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Priest offers corona-safe drive-through confessions

GDN Online Desk

A Catholic priest in the United States has found a new way to carry on amidst the rapidly-rising coronavirus pandemic.

With his church closed due to the outbreak, Reverend Scott Holmer turned to contact-free confession and blessing.

The Reverend, who sits on a wooden chair in his robes in the parking lot outside his Maryland chapel, listens to drivers who confess their sins, after which he offers a few words of encouragement to return to the path of the Lord and grants absolution.

He came up with the idea after seeing South Korea organise drive-through tests for the coronavirus.

"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," he said.

"So I said, I'll just get in the parking lot, and that way I can avoid getting it myself and people can avoid any transmission. It's more open air, so there's like air flow and all that good stuff."

Father Holmer takes care to keep a safe distance from his flock and asks parishioners to stay in their vehicles.

With couples or families, each person takes their turn sitting in the driver's seat and for those who wish to confess anonymously, the priest covers his eyes with a bandana.

Father Holmer said he does not believe he has been infected with the virus and that if he gets it, he will quarantine himself.

The priest plans to carry on with his drive-through confessions until the church reopens.