Abuja, 07 May, 2020 / 1:00 am (ACI Africa).
The Archbishop of Abuja in Nigeria, Ignatius Kaigama, has clarified despite restrictions on social and religious gatherings put in place as a COVID-19 measure, the Church cannot administer the Sacraments through modern technology “or by proxy.”
“There are other things you can do through modern technology but the Sacraments are a bit different, you cannot receive Holy Communion through the television or by proxy,” Archbishop Kaigama told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in an interview.
“The same with other Sacraments; it has to be on a one-on-one basis; the Sacraments of Marriage and Holy Order for instance, you cannot receive them by proxy or through Skype,” the Nigerian Prelate added.
He underscored the fact that modern technology cannot stand in the place of the required face to face encounter between a minister of God and the faithful in the administration of Sacraments saying, “You have to be physically present to receive them. It is just like when you are sick, you go to the doctor.”
He further explained, “You do not just say; Doctor, I am at home, this is my sickness and then he stays in the hospital and gives you a prescription. No! He has to examine you, check your temperature; he has to know what the problem is before treatment. The Sacraments are administered on the faithful in the same way; they are like medicines.’’