Drive-by confessions in Mexico due to virus restrictions

By: AFP April 11,2020 - 08:29 AM

Catholics in the Mexican port city of Acapulco take confession at a drive-through confessional where they meet with a priest, while either staying inside their car or sitting on a chair in the open air, amidst the coronavirus epidemic, which has infected more than 3,000 people in the country. / AFP

ACAPULCO, Mexico — Catholic priests in Acapulco, a  seaside resort in the south of Mexico, are offering drive-by confessions over Easter to avoid contributing to the spread of the new coronavirus.

The Acapulco diocese has authorized priests in the Caleta neighborhood to hear confessions from the side of the road as the faithful remain in their vehicles.

Sitting on an office chair, wearing his priestly gowns and a face mask, Marco Antonio Galeana listens to the confessions of a devotee behind the wheel of a car.

Even trucks and motorbikes roll up in front of the improvised confessional.

“We have to stay at a distance of three meters. Those who come to confess don’t get out of their cars, they stay inside the whole time and we give them a surgical mask,” Galeana told AFP.

“After each penitent leaves, we spray disinfectant to purify the air.”

Many parishes have started streaming mass live on social media during the Holy Week as churches and the Acapulco cathedral are closed due to the health emergency.

“The church needs more than ever to be close to its faithful. The faithful need to take care of their health, but in these very stressful moments of great uncertainty, great confusion, they also need spiritual attention,” added Galeana.

According to official statistics, Mexico has had more than 3,400 cases of coronavirus and 194 deaths.

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TAGS: Acapulco diocese, COVID-19, drive-by confession, Mexico

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