The latest press release from His Eminence Metropolitan Methodios is here.  I have blogged on the issue of H1N1 and communion before, and the original press release from the Metropolitan came out in October.    The Metropolitan addresses the issue of an Orthodox priest using plastic spoons for communion in an addition to the original statement:

Regrettably, a priest serving in New England — surely pressured by well meaning parishioners concerned with the outbreak of the H1N1 flu pandemic — utilized plastic spoons to distribute Holy Communion.  This unacceptable violation of Church order was addressed in accordance with Ecclesiastical procedure. 

            The Metropolis expresses its regret that this lapse of judgment resulted in widespread controversy, and is appalled that some individuals questioned whether this practice was authorized.  It expresses its fervent prayer that those who arrive at rash judgments — hurling paranoid condemnations in the press and on the internet — will rather invest their time in prayer and self examination during the Great Lent.  They should reflect on the countless passages in the New Testament which urge the followers of the the Crucified Lord to avoid gossip and the sin of judging others.  Let us all etch in our hearts and souls the prayer of St. Ephraim,

O Lord and Master of my life,

Give me not the spirit of laziness,

curiosity, lust for power, and idle talk.

But give to me your servant a

spirit of prudence, humility,

patience, and love.

Yes, Lord and King grant me to see

my own faults and not to

judge my brother.

For You are blessed unto the ages of ages.  Amen.

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