"Over our 2,000-year history, the Church has always adjusted," said Pope Francis, as he announced a major change in baptisms rituals and canonical law to reflect the coronavirus situation. According to the New Testament, Jesus of Nazareth was submerged into the Enon River by John (aka the "Baptist") as a symbol of purification and devotion. Christians have been conducting the same ritual for 2,000 years--until coronavirus came along.
According to Vatican Spokesperson, Matteo Bruni, effective immediately, all parish priests, monsignors, bishops, cardinals, and archbishops may baptize the faithful using social distance techniques. "We will leave it up to the individual parishes to decide which apparatus to use. For instance, an infant or child, a small water pistol should be sufficient. However, for an older person who converts and has lived wickedly, a water canon may be in order. It all depends."
If members of the Holy Family parish in Manati, Puerto Rico, are representative, Pope Francis has support of the congregation. "This is a common-sense solution. I like the idea of using a water pistol, hose or water canon depending on the person. My granddaughter was baptized traditionally prior to coronavirus. But with coronavirus, a water pistol would be fine", said Yvette Rivera.
Although Catholics have an innovative solution, ironically, Baptists are paralyzed by coronavirus. Sammy Tippit, President, Baptist Evangelists, expressed his feeling recently in a newsletter, "If we use water pistols, hoses, or whatever, we are no longer true baptists, we are just the soakers."