US Priest Starts 'drive-through Confessions' As Churches Close Amid COVID-19 Lockdown

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People have started taking additional precautionary measures amid coronavirus outbreak including priests who have started ‘Drive through confessions’.

Written By Aanchal Nigam | Mumbai | Updated On:
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As the unprecedented outbreak of deadly coronavirus continues to tighten its grip worldwide, people have started taking additional precautionary measures including priests who have started ‘Drive-through confessions’. With major churches closed in a bid to stem the easily spread fatal COVID-19, Scott Holmer started the tried-and-tested method in the nation of car-lovers. According to reports and images surfaced on social media, he sits in a wooden chair in priestly robes in the parking lot outside his Maryland chapel every day except Sunday and does a contact-free confession and blessing. Holmer uses two lines of traffic cones and signs guide cars outside St Edwards Church in Bowie, which is a small town around 20 miles outside of Washington. The drivers lower their windows and confess their sins to the priest and after a few words of encouragement to return to the path of the Lord, grants absolution. 

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According to international reports, Holmer came up with the idea last week when he saw South Korea organise a drive-through test for coronavirus. While talking to an international news agency, he said, “the diocese cancelled all masses to tamp down the spread of the infection. But the decision about confession was kind of up in the air.” So according to him, “I’ll just get in the parking lot” in order to avoid contraction of COVID-19. 

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‘Drive-through confessions’

After Father Holmer, many other priests across the regions battling with the deadly outbreak have also started similar kinds of sessions either in church’s parking lot or any other safe spot amid the pandemic. The coronavirus which originated in China in December 2019 has now claimed over 13,000 lives worldwide as of March 22. According to the tally by international news agency, the pandemic has now spread to 185 countries and has infected at least 3,08,425 people. Out of the total infections, 95,827 have been recovered but the easily spread virus is continuing to disrupt many lives. Major cities have been put under lockdown in almost all countries, and the economy is struggling. 

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