Dusseldorf, Germany – Cardinal Gunter Schuster, head of the German Bishops Conference and Archbishop of Dusseldorf, announced plans for a “Lavabo Rite Modification Commission” today to remedy “health hazards” in the current “washing of the hands” or “lavabo rite” during the Mass.
“Priests are setting really bad examples for their congregations,” Schuster commented today, “No soap, only a little drip of water, no hand sanitizer, no scrubbing, and only washing for an average of three seconds. No wonder it’s so hard for parents to get their children to wash their hands. They’re getting a bad example set for them every single time they go to Mass.”
That’s why Cardinal Schuster’s planned commission will aim to remedy this by studying “liturgical uses of Purell”, whether scented soaps should be used and in what quantities, and how a congregation wide “participation” in the Lavabo rite could be performed without lengthing the Mass and similiar “necessary improvements”.
“Its been two-thousand years,” Schuster further complained in a CNN interview today. “Science has advanced, health has made great strides, and yet the Church continues to promulgate the usage of Water Alone. So during this critical time, we need to make sure we’re stepping up to make long-las… err… continuous reincarnations of the liturgy”
Several licensed liturgical engineers, immunologists, and executives from health-care supply companies will be on Schuster’s task-force which will make its recommendation for changes to the rite by August of this year.
Part of longer term series of initiatives, ImagineYourMass, Schuster hopes to present the team’s suggestions for improvements to the ritual washing to the Vatican in order to ensure wider adoption of “common sense responsible behaviors”.
“Don’t just think of this as negative,” Schuster said concluding a press conference today on the announcement. “Think of this as something new and exciting. Imagine one day Coldplay playing as hundreds [another news source quoted him as saying dozens] of parishioner’s scrub, rub, and sanitize their hands with blessed Purell. How about pass the hand sanitizer instead of the annoying pass the basket. Imagine sermons on good sanitation, a Clean Hands Stop Germs notice on every pew, canonization for Ignaz Semmelweis, and maybe even special readings on hand hygiene and overall cleanliness. This is your future, our future. Wash your hands with soap and water, grab it.”
The Vatican has not yet commented on Cardinal Schuster’s proposal.