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Tuesday, March 31, 2020

SOME FOOLISH PEOPLE THINK WE CAN’T GO BACK TO THE PAST AND PUBLIC MASSES, LIKE THREE WEEKS AGO, BUT INDISAGREE! WE CAN RECOVER FROM OUR PAST WHAT WAS LOST, BUT I SAY WE CAN!

We can recover, from the past, kneeling for Holy Communion, ad orientem for Ordinary Form Masses,  a reform of the reform, recovery of Latin, Gregorian Chant, Polyphony, the vertical in our liturgies.

I long for the way things were on Christmas Eve, 2019! Can we go back? No! But we can move forward by recovering and restoring what was lost!


WHAT ARE YOU DOING FOR PALM SUNDAY

Please note that our Knights of Columbus will pass the palms through passenger door window employing social distancing, latex gloves and mask.


HAS THE PRETENTIOUS IDOLATRY OF CHURCH MEMBERS, HIGH AND LOW, BEEN BLOWN UP BY THE GOD OF SURPRISES WHO ALSO HAPPENS TO BE THE GREAT “I AM” THE SAME YESTERDAY, TODAY AND TOMORROW?



It is time to explore Catholic teachings found in the Old Testament and New Testament and thus in the Tradition of the Church that we are undergoing a chastisement from God with this Pandemic. And a Cardinal says it is so:

March 31, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) — German cardinal Paul Josef Cordes has joined the growing number of Catholic leaders looking at the coronavirus pandemic as a chastisement. “God’s Word also clearly states that life contrary to God can lead to illness,” wrote the former president of the Pontifical Council Cor Unum.

Read the rest there:

Cardinal: Coronavirus pandemic is a chastisement for the Church


I think we are all still trying to wrap our heads around what has transpired in the Catholic Church in just two or three short weeks. It is so stunning, that one may attribute it to Satan, to Original Sin, to Mother Nature or to God.

The Catholic Church has been stripped of its man-oriented theologies of community, inclusivity, Church as a field hospital, accompaniment, ecological conversion. How odd that the Pope’s metaphor of the Church as a field hospital going out to the peripheries, to accompany those in irregular situations evaporates with a virus that only medical personnel, no matter their religious or lack of religious persuasion is can be present in actual field hospitals and the Church and her ministries locked out!!!!!!!! Is our God of Surprises also a Comedian with a dry, ironic sense of humor?

Pope Francis said this at a homily at the Chapel of His Holiness’ residence, the Vatican Motel 6 (not 666) though on March 26:

“The Pope said, ‘The Lord must not find us, at the end of our lives, and say to us, “You are corrupt. You have left the path I showed you. You have bowed down before idols.’”
What are some of the idols of the past 50 years, new and old:

1. Vatican II, a merely pastoral Council, made dogmatic and the center of Church life these past 50 years, preached and taught more often than Jesus Christ was (this seem to be changing after Pope Benedict assumed the papacy, but has found new life with Pope Francis papacy.

2. Sacrosanctum Concilium’s conservative call for a slight reform of the Mass and sacraments became exaggerated with Pope Paul’s Consilium and the major manufacturing of a new Latin Rite Mass and Sacraments formulas. And this was presented as an infallible reform, coming from God Himself.

3. That liturgical reform would bring about a new springtime for the Church as those reforms concocted by fallible human reformers is the locus of this springtime, and not God Himself who is replaced by reformers’ preferences.

4. Renovating perfectly good sanctuaries and churches to accommodate liturgists’ idea of what they felt the Council wanted and this would bring about a new springtime for the Church and not God’s vertical intervention which has taken place since Jesus founded the Church.

5. Dogmatizing pastoral theology, which Pope Francis’ seems to have placed on steroids. There is no precedence for this in the 2000 year history of the Church. Any pastoral theology, as found in most of Pope Francis teachings and encyclicals is purely opinion, speculative and less in value than the theology of Limbo for unbaptized babies.

6. Making decisions of synods a part the extraordinary magisterium of the Church, when in fact it is a politicization of Catholicism, opening it to the whims of those who are chosen to participate in such synods. Synods like Ecumenical Councils, should be rare and only called in a crisis to address heresy  and offer correction and Anathemas.

7. Investing too much authority in Bishops’ Conferences and their way too many committees and paid personnel as though these are God-given structures, which they aren’t of course.

8. Investing too much authority in local Bishop’s pastoral centers, the plethora of paid personnel there and the dogmatism coming from these pastoral centers and diocesan pastoral councils.

9. Investing too much authority in parish pastoral councils and consulting with the laity, as though God surely is at the heart of this consultation and prayer discernment

10: Elevating personal conscience above the sound and defined Deposit of Faith to include morals

11. Making novelties in the Church and her pastoral theologies a part of what the “God of Surprises”  because the pope or some bishop or priest or lay person says it is so.

12. Treating the papacy, the Sacrament of Holy Orders as though it is the domain of the person initiated into it and not the domain of God and His Church which is the sin of pride in twisting that which belongs to the Church into one’s personal image of what it should be

13. The papal magisterium leading the Church into areas that are not within the competency of the Church’s Magisterium such as climate change, building more humane cities, conversion to ecology, placing non Catholic Christian sects on par with Catholicism, and the same for non Christian religions, secular ideologies, and now pagan entities as a response to the Church to dialogue with the devil in these relationships. Pachamama, is a prime example of idolatry at the Vatican despite comments contrary to the truth from high sources.

14. Bishops and priests abdicating their responsibility before God and the Faithful to be good shepherds leading the laity in the spiritual battle against the flesh, the world and the devil

15. The sex abuse crisis as a part of the reimagining of the promise/vow of obedience and celibate chastity and the corruption that this has caused within bishops and lower clergy.

16. Religious orders, seminaries and other institutions of Church using the collective will of democratic processes accomplished under what is called prayerful discernment, to reimagine the Church, religious orders, etc and call it renewal even when all the evidence points out that what was accomplished by these processes has led to the death of a once strong Catholic Church and strong, thriving religious orders of men and women.


Monday, March 30, 2020

ITALIANS HAVE PENCHANT OF GETTING REALLY WORK UP, YELLING DURING ARGUMENTS, SLAMING POTS AND PANS AS WELL AS DOORS AND THEN THEY GET OVER IT

THESE ITALIAN THEOLOGIANS WILL GET OVER IT. PRAY FOR THEM, THEY’VE GONE CORONAVIRUS CRAZY BEING QUARANTINED SO LONG AND WITH SO MANY OTHER PRESSING ISSUES IN ITALY LIKE EMPTY ORDINARY FORM PARISHES IN OR OUTSIDE OF THE CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC.

BUT FIRST, AND THIS IS COMEDY GOLD, FATHER ANTHONY RUFF, OSB, A GERMAN, HAS ANOTHER HITLER MOMENT TO HIS BLOG POST ON THIS TRULY SILLY TYPICAL ITALIAN OUTBURST. HE GETS ONE COMMENT THAT POINTS OUT THE OBVIOUS AND LIKE A CHILD HE SHUTS DOWN FURTHER COMMENTS. POOR FR. ANTHONY, HIS IDOL, VATICAN II, AND FOOLISH FANTASY THAT THE ANCIENT LATIN MASS WAS OUTLAWED FOREVER, IS BEING HIT WITH THE VIRUS OF TRUTH, THAT GOD ALONE IS GOD, NOT VATICAN II, AND THE ANCIENT LATIN MASS IS UNDERGOING A RESURRECTION RESURGENCE! AND THE VATICAN, UNDER POPE FRANCIS, IS AIDING AND ABETTING IT:

????????

Theologians Call Upon Vatican to Revoke Recent Decrees on 1962 Missal (2 comments before comments shut down)




It really is astonishing the degree to which the use of the so-called extraordinary form of the Roman Rite drives some people absolutely bonkers. On the one hand we are told with calm assurance that this is a tiny, indeed insignificant issue…on the other, we are treated to expressions of dire outrage about things like the relatively minor issue of Rome doing exactly what Rome predicted would be done in 2011. 
Come on now, Andrea. Are seven prefaces and some optional feast days really worth all this anxiety?

  1. I think there’s a more accurate interpretation of what’s going on. I take it that the issue isn’t just prefaces and saints’ days. It is about whether the Second Vatican Council did away with the old rite or not. That’s a burning question, and opinions differ on it. And no – we’re not going to debate that any further at Pray Tell!
    awr
    COMMENTS CLOSED!!!!!!!!!!

Open letter on the “state of liturgical exception” (english version)


letteraperta
Open letter on the “state of liturgical exception”
To all theologians,
scholars, and
students of theology
The great liturgical tradition, which has always accompanied and supported the Church in her history of grace and sin, hears the groaning of individuals and nations in this pandemic crisis, which brings suffering and affliction to those who are sick, and fear, isolation and loneliness to everyone else.  The ordinary rhythm of the Lenten and Paschal journey is altered and subverted, in solidarity with our common suffering. We would never have thought, however, that a small but not marginal suffering would also come at the same time throughthe exercise of ecclesial authority and through the decrees Quo magis e Cum sanctissima, which the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith published on 25 March 2020.
It is no surprise that This Congregation should devote its attention to the liturgy. But special and singular is the fact that it modifies the ordinesintroduces prefaces and formularies for feasts, and modifies calendars and criteria of precedence. And it does this on a 1962 missal. How is this possible? The Congregation, as is known, in this case moves in the space of an exceptional authority, which dates back 13 years, in accordance with motu proprio Summorum pontificum. But since time is greater than space, what is possible on the regulatory level is not always appropriate. Therefore, it is crucial to engage in critical reflection on the logic of this development.
Time, in fact, has unveiled to us the paradox of a competence on the liturgy being taken away from the Bishops and the Congregation of Worship: this was arranged, in Summorum pontificumwith an intention of solemn pacification and generous reconciliation, but soon it changed into a serious division, a widespread conflict, and became the symbol of a “liturgical rejection” of the Second Vatican Council. The greatest distortion of the initial intentions of the motu proprio can be seen today in those diocesan seminaries where it is expected that the future ministers will be trained at the same time in two different rites: the conciliar rite and the one that denies it. All this reached its most surreal point the day before yesterday, when the two Decrees were released. They mark the culmination of a distortion which is no longer tolerable, and which can be summed up as follows:
- the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith acts as a substitute in exercising competences conferred by the Second Vatican Council on Bishops and the Congregation for Divine Worship;
- it undertakes to elaborate “liturgical variants” of the ordines without having the historical, textual, philological and pastoral competences;
- it seems to ignore, precisely on the dogmatic level, a grave conflict between the lex orandi and the lex credendi, since it is inevitable that a dual, conflictual ritual form will lead to a significant division in the faith;
- it seems to underestimate the disruptive effect this “exception” will have on the ecclesial level, by immunizing a part of the community from the “school of prayer” that the Second Vatican Council and the liturgical reform have providentially given to the common ecclesial journey.
A “state of exception” is also happening today on the civil level, in its harsh necessity, and this fact allows us greater ecclesial foresight. To return to an ecclesial normality, we must overcome the state of liturgical exception established 13 years ago in another world, with other conditions and with other hopes, by Summorum pontificum. It no longer makes sense to deprive diocesan bishops of their liturgical powers; neither does it make sense to have an Ecclesia Dei Commission (which has in fact already been suppressed), or a Section of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith which take away authority from diocesan Bishops and the Congregation of Divine Worship; it no longer makes sense to enact decrees to “reform” a rite that is closed in the historical past, inert and crystallized, lifeless and without vigor. There can be no resuscitation for it. The double regime is over; the noble intention of SP has waned; the Lefebvrians have raised the barhigher and higher and then run away, insulting the Second Vatican Council and the present pope along with all three of his predecessors. Continuing to nourish a “state of liturgical exception” – one that was born to unite, but does nothing but divide – only leads to the shattering, privatization, and distortion of the worship of the Church. On the basis of these considerations, we resolve together to request that the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith immediately withdraw the two decrees of 25/03/2020 and restore all powers concerning the liturgy to the diocesan Bishops and the Congregation for Divine Worship. Obviously, we ask this without prejudice to the powers that this Congregation retains in doctrinal matters.
So let us leave the “state of liturgical exception”. If not now, when?
With best wishes to all colleagues and students, besieged but not conquered in life, during these bitter yet still generous times.
Andrea Grillo

Sunday, March 29, 2020

ON LINE MASS AND ON LINE DRIVE THROUGH BENEDICTION

A PICTURE IS WORTH A........


THE PROBLEM WITH POST VATICAN II UNDERSTANDING OF THE MASS: COLLECTIVE NARCISSISM


Below is a portion of a Praytell post by a priestess of the Anglican Communion. You can read the full article HERE. As I read the article, especially the portion I post below, it was as though I was back in the seminary of the 1970’s and liturgy courses there attended by female students from our seminary’s ecumenical institute. Many were studying for Anglican ministry.

I see three major problems with this theology.

Firstly, it is ecumenical and reduces, truncates and perverts the authentic Catholic understanding of the Mass as an act of God’s intervention into the Church, no matter how many or how few of the community are there. It is the lowest common denominator of  the ecumenical movement upon Catholicism.

Secondly, it is purely horizontal. There appears to be no faith element in the Divine Act or intervention, what is referred to as the vertical. An atheist or agnostic could well feel at home with the horizontal vision of community and personal growth and nourishment. It is a horizontalism that leads to a strong sense of belonging to a human community here and now regardless of what is to come. It is for and about those who gather.

Thirdly and this flows directly from the second, is that this is communal narcissism. It’s all about us and this time and this place. It truly is a perversion of Catholic worship and liturgy, to say the least, and please notice, which is to be expected in an ecumenical approach to worship, there is no hint or talk of the sacrificial act of Christ on our behalf for our eternal salvation.

Here is the excerpt:

The celebration of Holy Communion, the Holy Eucharist, is an incarnational worship experience. The distinct features that nourish the soul and grow our faith lie in joining our voices in song and prayer, in our corporate confession and the words of absolution, in the sharing of insights from Scripture, each person hearing what s/he needs at that time, and the partaking in God’s holy meal of Christ’s body and blood. Or in the words of Paul to the church in Corinth: What should be done then, my friends? When you come together, each one has a hymn, a lesson, a revelation, a tongue, or an interpretation. Let all things be done for building up.(1 Cor. 14:26)
In other words worship, liturgy, is a corporate act, authenticated by the active engagement of the congregation, identified as the full, conscious and active participation of God’s holy people. The Greek word leitourgia originally means the public work of the people. If we lose sight of this, we risk cultivating a passive audience watching a spectator sport (with all due respect for the sincere efforts of clergy to sustain the spirit of the faithful as best they can). Recall Jesus’ words: “For where two or three are gathered in my name, I am there among them.”(Matt. 18:20) God is present with us as we are present to one another in prayer and conversation, in joint confession and forgiveness, in song and praise, in sharing Christ’s Body and Blood.
To the Praytell clientele, the whole notion of on-line Mass presented live makes no sense and is not efficacious. Why, because from the Protestant perspective, which the ecumenical movement’s spirit must take its point of departure, you have to have a community of people, fulfilling various roles and feeling a sense of connectiveness to each other. It fits the narcissism meme I highlight in my third point. How could a private Mass with a priest alone or with one male server be communal, warm, welcoming, inclusive, nourishing, sustaining and growth producing? 
And that’s precisely the problem with what has happened to the Catholic Mass and how many authentic priests in the Sacrament of Holy Orders express their priesthood in a truncated, narcissistic way in the manner in which most Ordinary Form Masses are celebrated today and their priesthood expressed. It’s ethos is ecumenical and thus Protestant. Protestants feel at home in the horizontal experience of fellowship and “love.”
I am not saying that on-line Masses should be the norm in normal times, but it certainly should be the norm in abnormal times, in times of quarantine, for those homebound and those who for whatever reason cannot attend Mass in person with others. 
When I celebrate Mass alone or with one server, it is the Holy Sacrifice of Jesus Christ at Calvary that is re-presented in a gloriously risen way, an unbloody, beautiful way, for the salvation of the world. IT IS AN ACT OF GOD AND OUR RESPONSE TO HIM ALONE IN PRAYER, PRAISE, SACRIFICE AND WORSHIP: INDIVIDUALLY, VERTICALLY, IN A THANKFUL WAY ALBEIT IN A COMMUNAL PAROCHIAL SETTING. AND TO THE WORLD WHOSE LIFE IS ENDING (THAT’S MOTHER EARTH AND ALL OF US EVENTUALLY) WE LOOK VERTICALLY TO THE ORIENT, THE EAST, TOWARD THE RISING SUN, TO OUR ETERNAL DWELLING IN HEAVEN WITH THE MOST HOLY TRINITY, OUR BLESSED MOTHER, THE ANGELS AND SAINTS.

Saturday, March 28, 2020

PRAYWHINE HITS THEIR WHINNING OUT OF THE PARK WITH THIS ONE


During this Coronavirus shut down of the Catholic Church, we are seeing our Church stripped to its pre-Vatican II core. All the self-absorbed nonsense we have experienced in the last 50 years or so has evaporated overnight, except at the blog Praytell.

From trying to stop climate change to save the planet, the pope is now trying to save people from the coronavirus, fear in general and the fear of death and perhaps promote the fear of God and damnation. Hopefully we won’t hear from the Holy Father ever again, the word synodality and the self-absorbed upcoming synod on synodality. What the hell????????

First the nasty, unsanitary, pandemic promoting common chalice was removed from the laity, then the Sign of Peace and then public Masses. No one is talking about climate change, as though the Church and her Magisterium could change that. Rather what the Church’s mission is to save souls. That’s the priority. The world, Mother Earth and our lives are coming to a conclusion. Denial about this seems to be evaporating amongst the Church’s elite, except in some quarters. We and the earth we live on will die. There will be a final consummation of the world. Heard that in the recent past? Hearing it now?

In my daily Mass homily on Friday, I stated that this pandemic is highlighting for us that we have spewed nonsense for the past 50 years, such as the focus on Vatican II, the focus on the reform of the liturgy, the focus on getting the laity empowered to do this, that or the other churchy thing. What we have failed to do and perhaps it is because our faith has shifted to what we do and do so horizontally and self absorbedly, a fake faith if you will, is to preach about the essentials of our Catholic Faith, about the spiritual warfare that all of us must be engaged against the world, the flesh and the devil as we prepare for the four last things, death, judgement, heaven and hell.

It is more sterile and self absorbed to focus on liturgy, new music, inculturation, synodality, climate change and the other nonsense that has nothing to do with the spiritual battle with the world, the flesh and the devil or to do with the four last things, death, judgment, heaven and hell.

Read this incredible Praytell post, posted during this pandemic and see where their focus is. I can tell you it isn’t on the spiritual warfare against the world, the flesh and the devil and it isn’t about the four last things, death, judgement, heaven and hell:



Livestreamed Eucharist “Without the People” – Step Backward or Forward?


In a time of internet and of the coronavirus pandemic, we must completely rethink community.

Read the comments too and the feeble attempt of the blog’s moderator to defend his blogs whining and ridiculous post in this pandemic. 

SAINT ANNE PARISHIONERS ARE BUILDING HOME ALTARS

I’ve asked our parishioners to see their homes/families as the Church in miniature. We are encouraging home altars. Here are some wonderful examples:











Friday, March 27, 2020

THE HOLY FATHER’S POWERFUL WORDS AND PRAYER





EXTRAORDINARY MOMENT OF PRAYER
PRESIDED OVER BY POPE

FRANCIS

Sagrato of St Peter’s Basilica
Friday, 27 March 2020

“When evening had come” (Mk 4:35). The Gospel passage we have just heard begins like this. For weeks now it has been evening. Thick darkness has gathered over our squares, our streets and our cities; it has taken over our lives, filling everything with a deafening silence and a distressing void, that stops everything as it passes by; we feel it in the air, we notice in people’s gestures, their glances give them away. We find ourselves afraid and lost. Like the disciples in the Gospel we were caught off guard by an unexpected, turbulent storm. We have realized that we are on the same boat, all of us fragile and disoriented, but at the same time important and needed, all of us called to row together, each of us in need of comforting the other. On this boat… are all of us. Just like those disciples, who spoke anxiously with one voice, saying “We are perishing” (v. 38), so we too have realized that we cannot go on thinking of ourselves, but only together can we do this.

It is easy to recognize ourselves in this story. What is harder to understand is Jesus’ attitude. While his disciples are quite naturally alarmed and desperate, he stands in the stern, in the part of the boat that sinks first. And what does he do? In spite of the tempest, he sleeps on soundly, trusting in the Father; this is the only time in the Gospels we see Jesus sleeping. When he wakes up, after calming the wind and the waters, he turns to the disciples in a reproaching voice: “Why are you afraid? Have you no faith?” (v. 40).

Let us try to understand. In what does the lack of the disciples’ faith consist, as contrasted with Jesus’ trust? They had not stopped believing in him; in fact, they called on him. But we see how they call on him: “Teacher, do you not care if we perish?” (v. 38). Do you not care: they think that Jesus is not interested in them, does not care about them. One of the things that hurts us and our families most when we hear it said is: “Do you not care about me?” It is a phrase that wounds and unleashes storms in our hearts. It would have shaken Jesus too. Because he, more than anyone, cares about us. Indeed, once they have called on him, he saves his disciples from their discouragement.

The storm exposes our vulnerability and uncovers those false and superfluous certainties around which we have constructed our daily schedules, our projects, our habits and priorities. It shows us how we have allowed to become dull and feeble the very things that nourish, sustain and strengthen our lives and our communities. The tempest lays bare all our prepackaged ideas and forgetfulness of what nourishes our people’s souls; all those attempts that anesthetize us with ways of thinking and acting that supposedly “save” us, but instead prove incapable of putting us in touch with our roots and keeping alive the memory of those who have gone before us. We deprive ourselves of the antibodies we need to confront adversity.

In this storm, the fa├žade of those stereotypes with which we camouflaged our egos, always worrying about our image, has fallen away, uncovering once more that (blessed) common belonging, of which we cannot be deprived: our belonging as brothers and sisters.

“Why are you afraid? Have you no faith?” Lord, your word this evening strikes us and regards us, all of us. In this world, that you love more than we do, we have gone ahead at breakneck speed, feeling powerful and able to do anything. Greedy for profit, we let ourselves get caught up in things, and lured away by haste. We did not stop at your reproach to us, we were not shaken awake by wars or injustice across the world, nor did we listen to the cry of the poor or of our ailing planet. We carried on regardless, thinking we would stay healthy in a world that was sick. Now that we are in a stormy sea, we implore you: “Wake up, Lord!”.

“Why are you afraid? Have you no faith?” Lord, you are calling to us, calling us to faith. Which is not so much believing that you exist, but coming to you and trusting in you. This Lent your call reverberates urgently: “Be converted!”, “Return to me with all your heart” (Joel 2:12). You are calling on us to seize this time of trial as a time of choosing. It is not the time of your judgement, but of our judgement: a time to choose what matters and what passes away, a time to separate what is necessary from what is not. It is a time to get our lives back on track with regard to you, Lord, and to others. We can look to so many exemplary companions for the journey, who, even though fearful, have reacted by giving their lives. This is the force of the Spirit poured out and fashioned in courageous and generous self-denial. It is the life in the Spirit that can redeem, value and demonstrate how our lives are woven together and sustained by ordinary people – often forgotten people – who do not appear in newspaper and magazine headlines nor on the grand catwalks of the latest show, but who without any doubt are in these very days writing the decisive events of our time: doctors, nurses, supermarket employees, cleaners, caregivers, providers of transport, law and order forces, volunteers, priests, religious men and women and so very many others who have understood that no one reaches salvation by themselves. In the face of so much suffering, where the authentic development of our peoples is assessed, we experience the priestly prayer of Jesus: “That they may all be one” (Jn 17:21). How many people every day are exercising patience and offering hope, taking care to sow not panic but a shared responsibility. How many fathers, mothers, grandparents and teachers are showing our children, in small everyday gestures, how to face up to and navigate a crisis by adjusting their routines, lifting their gaze and fostering prayer. How many are praying, offering and interceding for the good of all. Prayer and quiet service: these are our victorious weapons.

“Why are you afraid? Have you no faith”?Faith begins when we realise we are in need of salvation. We are not self-sufficient; by ourselves we founder: we need the Lord, like ancient navigators needed the stars. Let us invite Jesus into the boats of our lives. Let us hand over our fears to him so that he can conquer them. Like the disciples, we will experience that with him on board there will be no shipwreck. Because this is God’s strength: turning to the good everything that happens to us, even the bad things. He brings serenity into our storms, because with God life never dies.

The Lord asks us and, in the midst of our tempest, invites us to reawaken and put into practice that solidarity and hope capable of giving strength, support and meaning to these hours when everything seems to be floundering. The Lord awakens so as to reawaken and revive our Easter faith. We have an anchor: by his cross we have been saved. We have a rudder: by his cross we have been redeemed. We have a hope: by his cross we have been healed and embraced so that nothing and no one can separate us from his redeeming love. In the midst of isolation when we are suffering from a lack of tenderness and chances to meet up, and we experience the loss of so many things, let us once again listen to the proclamation that saves us: he is risen and is living by our side. The Lord asks us from his cross to rediscover the life that awaits us, to look towards those who look to us, to strengthen, recognize and foster the grace that lives within us. Let us not quench the wavering flame (cf. Is 42:3) that never falters, and let us allow hope to be rekindled.

Embracing his cross means finding the courage to embrace all the hardships of the present time, abandoning for a moment our eagerness for power and possessions in order to make room for the creativity that only the Spirit is capable of inspiring. It means finding the courage to create spaces where everyone can recognize that they are called, and to allow new forms of hospitality, fraternity and solidarity. By his cross we have been saved in order to embrace hope and let it strengthen and sustain all measures and all possible avenues for helping us protect ourselves and others. Embracing the Lord in order to embrace hope: that is the strength of faith, which frees us from fear and gives us hope.

“Why are you afraid? Have you no faith”?Dear brothers and sisters, from this place that tells of Peter’s rock-solid faith, I would like this evening to entrust all of you to the Lord, through the intercession of Mary, Health of the People and Star of the stormy Sea. From this colonnade that embraces Rome and the whole world, may God’s blessing come down upon you as a consoling embrace. Lord, may you bless the world, give health to our bodies and comfort our hearts. You ask us not to be afraid. Yet our faith is weak and we are fearful. But you, Lord, will not leave us at the mercy of the storm. Tell us again: “Do not be afraid” (Mt 28:5). And we, together with Peter, “cast all our anxieties onto you, for you care about us” (cf. 1 Pet 5:7).

PLENARY INDULGENCES FOR THE POPE’S APOSTOLIC EUCHARISTIC BENEDICTION ACQUIRED THROUGH AN ACT OF PERFECT CONTRITION AND A WORTHY SPIRITUAL COMMUNION!!!!!!!

His Holiness, Pope Francis’ extraordinary Urbi et Orbi, truly extraordinary, surreal as His Holiness spoke before an empty St. Peter’s Square. It was stunning in simplicity, beautiful words and silence and the Benediction of the Most Blessed Sacrament truly a grace rather than the normal Apostolic Blessing of normal Urbi et Orbi blessings at Christmas and Easter.

And a blessing that we gain the Plenary Indulgences for praying for an end to this nightmare without the need for actual Sacramental Confession and Holy Communion, during this time of an imposed Fast from both, although once the Fast is lifted, auricular Confession is necessary as well as worthy receptions of Holy Communion.

I was saddened that not even Fox News carried this event Live in any way or portion. Did anyone see it on any secular media?


SAINT ANNE'S LIVE STREAMED MASS FOR FRIDAY, THE 4TH WEEK OF LENT


The beginning of Mass is not present due to a technical glitch:


You can watch the live stream recording of Friday's Mass in the 4th week of Lent HERE.

WHAT DOES THE PANDEMIC TELL US ABOUT THE SOFT AND NOW MARSHMALLOW LIKE POST VATICAN II CHURCH?


The Catholic Church prior to the Second Vatican Council can be caricatured as an institution that was clear, rigid, disciplined, like an army and masculine in outlook with the Church Militant like an army to fight the spiritual war against the world, the flesh and the devil. The Church’s liturgy exemplified this regimented, masculine approach to the spiritual combat that the Church had to fight with all the masculine spiritual weapons available.

Catholics prayed, paid and obeyed. Today the more feminine model uses euphemisms like spiritualities, stewardship and discernment.

John Allen has a striking piece in Crux which you can read here. Basically he voices the concerns of many that the men of the Church, meaning the pope and bishops, have abdicated their God-given authority to the state. Their voice isn’t being heard other than to offer comfort to those who are shut out of their Churches by them for the Sacraments,  This is the Post Vatican II ethos which is a very feminine approach to this spectacle where the Church is shut out of this pandemic because the four last things,  death, judgment, heaven and hell, are no longer viewed as relevant in our secular culture with its godless secular religion. It isn’t even relevant to majority of the upper and lower clergy!!!! Thank Vatican II’s “spirit” for that.

One of my parishioners, works in a nursing home down the street from my church. She is a nurse. She knew that we couldn’t bring Holy Communion to our 8 residents there. She asked me, since she is an extraordinary minister of Holy Communion, if she could bring Holy Communion to them when she was on her shift. I said, wonderful, yes, that would be great. She checked with her supervisor who told her she couldn’t do this!

This feminization of the men of the church is exemplified by the fact that no bishop is calling out secular authorities who allow medical personnel to treat the bodies of the sick to the complete neglect of the soul. Priests who are spiritual doctors are not allowed into medical institutions and nursing homes to offer the Last Rites. Only essential personnel to take care of medical needs are allowed.

And no bishop seems to have warned civil authorities about their infringement on the separation of Church and state when they order churches to cease public gatherings and ban priests from visiting the sick and dying!

Not a peep out of the bishops about this heresy of dualism or a word about it to the faithful who should be outraged that priests aren’t allowed to offer the Last Rites in public institutions.

The Post Vatican II Church which has turned relationships, inclusivity, ecclesiology, lay participation,  liturgical reform into false idols having to do with the here and now, has abandoned what the purpose of the Church is: to save souls from eternal damnation, to prepare them for their particular judgement and to do penance for their sins.

God’s judgment on the Church has been taking place these past 50 years and at the General Judgment, the men of the Church will have a lot to answer for transitioning from male  to female.

Thursday, March 26, 2020

THURSDAY, 4TH WEEK OF LENT, DAILY MASS ON FACEBOOK FROM SAINT ANNE, RICHMOND HILL, GEORGIA

THE RESURGENCE OF THE PRACTICE OF POPULAR PIETY IN THE PANDEMIC OF THE CORONAVIRUS, WILL IT BE A TWO EDGED SWORD?


One of the dastardly effects of the post Vatican II, spirit of Vatican II ideologies, was the complete denigration of popular piety being too private and too pietistic. The Rosary, novenas, adoration and Benediction among others were discontinued or discarded almost over night.

The main emphasis was placed on the Mass as the source and summit of Catholic life because it was communal and the post-Vatican II Church’s so-called new ecclesiology including a more communal expression to the Mass in a much more horizontal, family meal like fashion with little attention to the vertical aspect of God’s intervention into the Church’s liturgical expressions.

Priest were celebrating Masses all over the place, in homes, on beaches, at hotels and at camps. The Mass was the popular devotion but a priest was needed, whereas most other popular devotions, especially those prayed privately did not need a priest.

Most modern Catholics had no idea about what an “act of perfect contrition” is or consists and its parameters. They certainly did not know about “spiritual Holy Communion.” Most Catholics when they attend Mass, even sporadically, will go to Holy Communion regardless of the state of their souls and lives. The thought of a “spiritual Communion” is not something they’ve ever heard about. You go to Mass, you go to Holy Communion. You don’t go to Mass, you don’t even think about it or Holy Communion, let alone contrition or attrition.

And now, with Masses closed to the general public and lived streamed, we are teaching once again about acts of perfect contrition and spiritual Holy Communions.  Will this new fangled theology bring about a new private piety based on the Mass, but watching it on TV or various media sources where one simply makes an “act of perfect contrition” and then a “spiritual communion” as though that’s just as good as being present in body and soul in the Church for Mass?

Will the rediscovery of popular piety encourage the 8% to 30% of Catholics who did go to Mass regularly to consider a new form of the heresy of dualism, that the spiritual without the physical is just as good as the physical without the spiritual? By that I mean, they think spiritual contrition and Communion is all that is needed and one doesn’t need to be physically present at Mass to tangibly receive our Lord’s forgiveness and Holy Communion. And when we are allowed by in our churches, fewer will return, the truly committed, hard nosed rigid Catholics only, the ones denigrated the most by the Holy Father?

This of course is very Protestant, pietistic and dualistic. No?

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

IT SEEMS LIKE A DRESS REHEARSAL FOR THE APOCALYPSE: SAINT ANNE PARISH IN RICHMOND HILL ISSUES REVISED POLICIES BECAUSE OF THE CORONAVIRUS


Dear parishioners,

The mayor of the city of Savannah has issued a shelter in place decree. Although the mayor of Richmond Hill has not done so yet, in solidarity with the Deanery of Savannah which includes Richmond Hill, all parish churches are now to be locked in an abundance of caution to help mitigate the spread of this insidious Coronavirus. 

Part of the nature of this virus is that it can live on surfaces for hours. All of these scrupulous actions are taken out of an abundance of caution for the physical health of our parishioners and all others we meet. 

Our parish office is closed too. You can contact us by email which is found on our bulletin or our parish website. 

As well, Confessions will not be heard in our church buildings. 

We will continue to live stream our daily Mass at 9 AM and our Sunday Mass at 10:30 AM.

The Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches the following about Perfect Contrition, which I urge you to strive to make while the Sacrament of Penance is suspended:

Among the penitent's acts contrition occupies first place. Contrition is "sorrow of the soul and detestation for the sin committed, together with the resolution not to sin again."

When it arises from a love by which God is loved above all else, contrition is called "perfect" (contrition of charity). Such contrition remits venial sins; it also obtains forgiveness of mortal sins if it includes the firm resolution to have recourse to sacramental confession as soon as possible.

The contrition called "imperfect" (or "attrition") is also a gift of God, a prompting of the Holy Spirit. It is born of the consideration of sin's ugliness or the fear of eternal damnation and the other penalties threatening the sinner (contrition of fear). Such a stirring of conscience can initiate an interior process which, under the prompting of grace, will be brought to completion by sacramental absolution. By itself however, imperfect contrition cannot obtain the forgiveness of grave sins, but it disposes one to obtain forgiveness in the sacrament of Penance.

You can also learn how to make "The Act of Perfect Contrition", and "How to make an Act of Spiritual Communion" by clicking on the highlighted titles.

In terms of our parish budget and the offertory collection, if your income has not changed, please consider maintaining your contributions to the parish. You can give easily on line by going to our secure Our Sunday Visitor on-line giving and setting up a personal account. WE NEED YOUR SACRIFICIAL OFFERINGS IF WE ARE TO PAY OUR EMPLOYEES, OUR BILLS AND OUR DEBT.  Or you can mail your offering to us.  

Although the celebration of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass is closed to the general public, the Mass is nonetheless offered for your intentions and more importantly, for your eternal salvation. That is what Jesus did for us on Calvary 2000 years ago. That bloody One Sacrifice is experienced in an eternal or timeless way in every Catholic Mass but in a “gloriously Risen, unbloody way!” What a blessing from our Lord is this Most Wonderful Sacrament. Priests are offering non-public Masses throughout the world and all of us benefit from this whether we are there in person or not. We can be there in spirit and pray for the reopening of our churches and our public Sacraments, especially the Mass and Penance!

I am so distressed about all of this and I am worried about the spiritual and physical health and well-being of our parishioners and all people throughout the world. Together with Jesus, Mary and Joseph, Saints Anne and Joachim, and in union with the Church Triumphant, Militant and Suffering, God will see us through this hour to the perfection of heaven. BE NOT AFRAID! God bless you.

Your Pastor,
Fr. Allan

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

PANDEMIC APOCALYPSE AND WAKE UP CALL

The Zombie Apocalypse of the Walking Dead was called by a virus that went pandemic. Is this art imitating the reality of another virus and pandemic, the Coronavirus/?


For the most part, the USA and most of the western world have not had to deal with apocalyptic issues since World Wars I and II to include the Holocaust.

We have a high standard of living and apart from the threat of acts of terrorism and 9/11, we live an almost idyllic life and we are very affluent. Even our poor, including some of our street people, are better off than most people in the 3rd world.

We haven’t had tsunamis, like Indonesia, Japan and other places killing hundreds of thousands of people. Nor major, major earthquakes like Haiti.

We haven’t experience war, terror and constant bumbling like those in Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan.

We haven’t be displaced looking for other countries to live.

But now, we are getting a foretaste of what an apocalypse in the USA could entail with the Coronavirus affecting the entire world and the USA soon outdoing other nations in terms of the impact.

There is an economic collapse, no public gatherings including for Mass and religious services. There is more coming and there will be huge numbers of people seriously ill and dying.

But what if’s now become realities that would lead to the collapse of the USA and western civilizations. One nuclear bomb in New York City and Washington, DC would end our lives as we know it and chaos and civil war might ensue.

The loss of internet and computer connections would be apocalyptic too.

We Americans are so soft, few of us could survive on our own or face an enemy who will want what we have as little as that might be. In this case the long running AMC serial, The Walking Dead seems like fact imitating fiction. Their apocalypse leading the the Walking Dead was a pandemic of a virus but now the greatest monsters aren’t the living dead, but the living and people getting together to support themselves in terms of zombie killing and the threat of the still living.

And our Catholic Faith. Only 12% to 20 % practice their faith and of that number, there are many who embrace the faith in a purely horizontal, vapid and superficial way. The 80% who don’t practice and have become nones will have a truly difficult time with the loss of their points of purpose in life.

Only the solid in faith both in the EF and OF communities of the Church will rely on their faith to get them to heaven because Jesus Christ, the Risen Lord, has won the battle and teaches us this isn’t our true home, heaven is as all things will end including Mother Earth.

Monday, March 23, 2020

EXCERTING THE CHURCH'S GOD GIVEN AUTHORITY TO LOOSE AND BIND EVEN ON THE PAROCHIAL LEVEL AND FOR TEMPORAL MATTERS!


MY POST TO MY PARISHIONERS ON OUR SAINT ANNE FACEBOOK:

Dear parishioners,

As this damnable coronavirus spreads and more concern is being voice from the top down by international, national, state and local leaders, both religious and secular leaders, what we are doing or not doing at Saint Anne's continues to evolve.

We had a bit of a dust up with the Savannah Latin Mass Community's use of our Chapel for the Traditional Latin Mass on Sunday at 1 pm. It was meant for live stream only and for only the small choir, altar servers and videographers I had invited and me of course. Unfortunately some of the choir members brought friends, someone unlocked the chapel and others entered just as we began the live stream and I entered the chapel for Mass.

Some in attendance thinking it was private for those invited by me, were angry that others got in and understandably so.  Some Catholics have become belligerent about their perceived right to public Masses as though the pope, the bishop or the priest in some cases could not dispense from the obligation to attend a public Mass. This is a mortal sin against charity towards others who are fearful of contagion. It complicates the mortal sin in severity by possibly expanding the current public heath pandemic we have. Let me repeat, it is a mortal sin.

Thus, I am using my Canon Law authority as your canonical pastor to use my authority to lock the chapel or main church when we are live streaming the Mass. As long as I am well and able, I will celebrate either a private Mass alone or with those I ask to join me and at my discretion and certainly if they feel comfortable doing so.

For the time being, the chapel will be open after the Mass and during office hours for private prayer leaving it to the charity and common sense of those who enter to maintain social distancing.

Finally, I am closing the parish office to the public. For the time being, it is only for those who work in the office, to include the priests, to be present. If any employee is fearful of coming to work, we will allow for some other solution.

I know that this will agitate and anger some in the parish. I ask you to take that agitation and anger to prayer and cooperate with our pope, bishop, me and public authority during this time of pandemic. We don't want to exacerbate it, or be held accountable before the throne of God at our personal judgement for mortal sins against the 4th Commandment and charity! God bless you.

Your pastor,
Father Allan McDonald

WHO'S IN HYSTERIA NOW AND IS THIS NEW FOUND HYSTERIA PRUDENT IN THE CURRENT CRISIS?



How many times since I have been blogging since about 2009 or so have I sounded the alarm about the danger of contracting viruses and diseases from multiple people drinking after one another from the common chalice especially those who receive last and the poor person drinking the dregs of ablutions?

How many times have I been mocked and persecuted by one or two who comment here for being Chicken Little about this and the low chance of anyone getting sick or dying from this unsanitary practice in which the Church could be held legally liable?

And now there is a new hysteria being promoted from the top down, secular and religious sources,  about the contagion of the Coronavirus. We're in a pandemic and while we need to take precautions, we won't know until all this has passed if what we are doing now is an over-reaction or not. Time will tell.

I was at our Cathedral in the mid 80's when the AIDS crisis with its panic and hysteria were at a peak, not unsimilar, but on a smaller scale, to what is happening today. The gay lobby put an end to that hysteria and called everyone homophobic and bigoted toward gays for thinking being in close proximity with a person with aides might transfer the disease to them. No such lobby today to put an end to today's Coronavirus hysteria.

Let me make clear what the difference is between the common chalice and normal things we do in church in normal times. We all need to live in the world and touch things that are contaminating with all kinds of germs and viruses, even poison. We take precautions but live life in a carefree way because touching things and social interaction are necessary.

Much of what we do in life is involuntary or required and much of the germs we experience help us to build immunity. My parents intentionally exposed me to chicken pox when I was 4 years old so that I would get it then and not later at an older age that would be more dangerous. (This was before a vaccine). The same will be true of the coronavirus until a vaccine is developed. Those who have recovered will be developing a immunity.

The common chalice is not necessary for the Laity or anyone. It is a mandate of dogmatic liturgists and bishops who swallowed these liturgists' mandates about the Post Vatican II Mass hook, line and sinker much of which has led to the Liturgy Wars and the malaise in Mass attendance we had just prior to the Coronavirus and who knows who will return to Mass when it ends?

No one should lick or place their mouth on  door knobs, hymnals or any other unclean surface or think they should because someone told them the chances are slim to none that they will get sick. The same with the common chalice. THERE IS ABSOLUTELY NO NEED FOR IT NOW, IN THE PAST, OR IN THE FUTURE!

FINALLY, IT IS NOT NECESSARY FOR CONCELEBRTING PRIESTS TO DRINK FROM THE COMMON CHALICE EITHER. ALL THEY NEED TO DO, AS DONE IS ROME, AND AT PAPAL MASSES, IS TO APPROACH THE ALTAR AFTER THE CELEBRANT HAS RECEIVED FROM HIS CHALICE, AND TAKE THE HOST ON THE ALTAR FOR HIM AND INTINCT IT INTO ANOTHER CHALICE OF CONSECRATED WINE, VERY CAREFUL NOT TO TOUCH THE PRECIOUS BLOOD WITH HIS FINGER/S. EVERYONE UNDERSTAND????


SAVANNNAH'S LATIN MASS COMMUNITY'S EF HIGH MASS FOR LAETARAE SUNDAY AT ST. ANNE'S MARTHA AND MARY CHAPEL, RICHMOND HILL, GEORGIA






You can watch the Facebook video by pressing this sentence.

AND WHO SAID THAT THE EF MASS IS ONLY APPRECIATED BY THOSE WHO REMEMBERED THE 1950'S?

This is the Savannah Latin Mass Community's schola:



Saturday, March 21, 2020

DRIVE THROUGH BLESSING WITH HOLY WATER AND BENEDICTION OF THE MOST BLESSED SACRAMENT



Come one, come all, from the orient, south, north and west! Saint Anne Catholic Church in that international metropolis of Richmond Hill, Georgia, 10040 Ford Avenue, will have a drive through blessing of parishioners, items to be blessed, like water, oil and other religious items.

The Knights of Columbus will direct traffic. Each car with its occupants, things to be blessed will get sprinkled with Holy Water to deliver them from the invisible demons and viruses that afflict us and then receive our Lord’s blessing, not the priest’s blessing, but OUR LORD’S BLESSING (BENEDICTION)! 

ANOTHER ACADEMY AWARD WINNING FILM PRODUCED BY THAT WONDERFUL ANONYMOUS SAINT ANNE CATHOLIC CHURCH PARISHIONER IN RICHMOND HILL, GEORGIA

Friday, March 20, 2020

WHAT WILL THEY THINK OF NEXT?

SAINT ANNE'S FRIDAY LENTEN MASS AND STATIONS OF THE CROSS

A THEOLOGICAL TREATISE FROM TRIESTE, ITALY WHERE MY PARENTS AND SISTER ONCE LIVED


This is copied from Lifesite news. My parents and sister lived in Trieste in the late 1940’s.

I appreciate, as a Catholic who is also a priest, a theological reflection on the Coronavirus. Leave the scientific analysis to biologists! Let the Church be the Church!


Here below is LifeSite’s full translation of Bishop Crepaldi’s text, with kind permission from Marco Tosatti of Stilum curiae.

Full translation of Bishop Crepaldi’s text:

The epidemic linked to the spread of “COVID-19” has a strong impact on many aspects of human coexistence and for this reason it also requires analysis from the point of view of the Social Doctrine of the Church. Contagion is above all a sanitary situation and this is enough to link it directly to the goal of achieving the common good. Health is certainly a part of that. At the same time, it poses the problem of the relationship between man and nature and invites us to overcome the naturalism that is so widespread today; and I would like to recall that, even without government on the part of man, nature also produces catastrophes and that a nature that is only good and originally free from contamination does not exist.

Secondly, it raises the problem of participation in the common good and solidarity, inviting us to address, on the basis of the principle of subsidiarity, the various contributions that political and social actors can make to solving this serious problem and to rebuilding normalcy, once the epidemic will be behind us. It has become clear that these contributions must be interlinked, convergent and coordinated. The financing of health care, a problem that the coronavirus highlights very clearly, is a central moral issue in the pursuit of the common good. There is an urgent need to reflect both on the objectives of the health system and on its management and use of resources, as a review of the recent past shows a significant reduction in the funding of health care institutions. The epidemic is threatening the functionality of productive and economic sectors, and if it continues, it will lead to bankruptcy, unemployment, poverty, social difficulties and conflicts. The world of work will be subject to major upheavals, new forms of support and solidarity will be needed and drastic choices will have to be made.

The economic issue relates to the credit and monetary issues and, therefore, to Italy's relations with the European Union, on which the final decisions in these two areas depend in our country. This again raises the issue of national sovereignty and globalisation, highlighting the need to re-examine globalisation understood as a globalist systemic machine, which can also be very vulnerable precisely because of its rigid and artificial internal interrelationship, so that when a nerve centre is hit, it causes global systemic damage that is difficult to correct. When lower social levels are removed from sovereignty, all will be swept away. On the other hand, the coronavirus has also highlighted the “closures” of states, which are unable to cooperate effectively even if they are members of the supranational institutions to which they belong. Finally, the epidemic has raised the problem of the relationship of the common good with the Catholic religion and the relationship between the State and the Church. The suspension of Masses and the closure of churches are only some aspects of this problem.

This, then, seems to be the complex picture of the problems posed by the coronavirus epidemic. These are subjects that challenge the social doctrine of the Church, and this is why our Observatory feels called to propose a reflection, inviting further contributions in this direction. Benedict XVI's encyclical Caritas in Veritate, written in 2009 at a time of another crisis, states: “The current crisis obliges us to re-plan our journey, to set ourselves new rules and to discover new forms of commitment, to build on positive experiences and to reject negative ones. The crisis thus becomes an opportunity for discernment, in which to shape a new vision for the future In this way, the crisis becomes an opportunity for discernment and it enables us to develop new projects.” (n. 21).

The end of ideological naturalism

Societies were and still are traversed by various ideological forms of naturalism that the experience of this epidemic could correct. The exaltation of a pure and originally uncontaminated nature of which man was the polluter was untenable; it is even more so today. The idea of a Mother Earth originally endowed with its own harmonious equilibrium with whose spirit man would have to connect in order to find the right relationship with things and with himself is an absurdity that this experience could do away with. Nature must be governed by man, and the new pantheistic (and not only they) postmodern ideologies are inhuman. Nature, in the naturalistic sense of the word, also produces imbalances and illnesses and therefore it must be humanized. It is not man who must naturalize himself, but nature which must be humanized.

Revelation teaches us that creation is entrusted to man's care and governance for the ultimate goal which is God. Man has the right, because he has the duty, to manage the material creation, to govern it and to derive from it what is necessary and useful for the common good. Creation is entrusted by God to man, to his intervention according to reason and to his capacity for wise domination. Man is the regulator of creation, not the other way around.

The two meanings of the word “Salus”

The term “Salus” means health, in the sanitary sense of the word, and it also means salvation, in the ethical-spiritual and especially religious sense. The current experience with the coronavirus shows once again that the two meanings are linked. Threats to the health of the body induce changes in attitudes, in the way of thinking, in the values to be defended. They test the moral reference system of society as a whole. They demand ethically valid behavior, they call into question selfish, disengaged, indifferent, exploitative attitudes. They highlight forms of heroism in the common fight against contagion and, at the same time, forms of plundering of those who take advantage of the situation. The fight against contagion requires a moral rebuilding of society in terms of healthy and respectful behavior and solidarity, which is perhaps more important than the rebuilding of resources. The challenge of physical health is therefore linked to the challenge of moral health. We need profoundly to rethink the immoral drifts of our society, at all levels. Often, natural misfortunes are not entirely natural, but have behind them man's morally disordered attitudes. The origin of COVID-19 has not yet been definitively clarified; it may even turn out not to be of natural origin. But even if its purely natural origin is admitted, its social impact calls into question the community ethic. The answer is not and will not only be scientific-technical, but also moral. After the technical response, the serious coronavirus crisis should revive public morality on a new solid foundation.


Contribution to the common good

Ethical participation is necessary because the common good is at stake. The coronavirus epidemic contradicts all those who have argued that the common good as a moral end does not exist. If this were the case, what would all people inside and outside institutions be engaged in and fighting for? What commitment would citizens be called upon to make by restraining orders if not a moral commitment to the common good? On what basis is it said that a certain behavior is “mandatory” at this time? Those who have denied the existence of the common good or who have entrusted its implementation to techniques alone, but not to moral commitment for the good, are today contradicted by the facts. It is the common good that tells us that health is a good that we must all promote. It is the common good that tells us that the word Salus has two meanings.

Will this experience with the coronavirus be taken to the point of deepening and broadening this notion of the common good? As we fight to save the lives of so many people, procured abortion procedures do not stop, the sale of abortion pills, euthanasia practices, the sacrifice of human embryos and many other practices against life and the family do not stop. Rediscovering the common good and the need for common and concerted participation on its behalf in the fight against the epidemic requires intellectual courage and the will to extend the concept as far as it naturally needs to go.

Subsidiarity in the fight for health

The ongoing mobilization against the spread of the coronavirus has involved many levels of action, sometimes well coordinated, sometimes less so. There are different tasks that everyone has carried out according to their responsibilities. Once the storm has passed, it will be possible to take stock of what went wrong in the chain of subsidiarity, and to rediscover the important principle of subsidiarity in order to apply it better – and to apply it in all areas. One experience in particular must be valued: subsidiarity must be "for" and not a "prohibition of": it must be for the common good and, therefore, it must have an ethical basis and not just a political or functionalist basis; an ethical foundation based on the natural and finalized order of social life. This is a promising opportunity to move away from conventional visions of social values and goals.

An important point now highlighted by the coronavirus crisis is the subsidiary role of credit. The blockage of large sectors of the economy to ensure greater health security and reduce the spread of the virus is causing an economic crisis, particularly in terms of liquidity, for companies and households. If the crisis lasts for a long time, a crisis in the circularity of production and consumption is to be expected, with the specter of unemployment. In the face of these needs, the role of credit can be fundamental and the financial system could redeem itself from its many reprehensible deteriorations of the recent past.

Sovereignty and globalisation

The current experience with coronavirus also forces us to reconsider the two concepts of globalization and national sovereignty. There is a globalization that sees the entire planet as a “system” of rigid connections and articulations, an artificial construction governed by insiders, a series of seemingly unshakeable communicating vessels. However, such a concept has also been proved to be weak, because it suffices to strike the system at any given moment in order to create an avalanche domino effect. Epidemics can put the health system in crisis; quarantines put the productive system in crisis, causing the economic system to collapse, poverty and unemployment causing the credit system to run out of fuel, while the weakening of the population exposes it to new epidemics and so on in a series of vicious circles of global proportions. Until yesterday, globalization presented its splendors and glories of perfect technical-functional functioning, of unquestionable certainties about the obsolescence of States and nations, of the absolute value of the “open society”: one world, one religion, one universal morality, one globalist people, one world authority. But a virus may then be enough to bring down the system, since the non-global levels of response have been deactivated. Our experience warns us against an “open society” understood in this way, both because it is in the hands and power of a few and because a few other hands could bring it down like a house of cards. This is not to deny the importance of the international collaboration that pandemics require, but such collaboration has nothing to do with collective, mechanical, automatic and systemic global structures.

The European Union’s death by coronavirus

The experience of these days has shown once again a divided and ghost-like European Union. Selfish differences have arisen between Member States rather than cooperation. Italy has remained isolated, it has been left alone. The European Commission intervened late and the European Central Bank intervened badly. Faced with the epidemic, each State took steps to close down. The resources needed by Italy to deal with the emergency situation, which at other times would have been its own, for example with the devaluation of the currency, now depend on the decisions of the Union, to which it must bow down.

The coronavirus has definitively demonstrated the artificial nature of the European Union, which has revealed itself incapable of making the States , on which it has been superimposed by acquiring sovereignty, cooperate with each other. The lack of a moral cement has not been compensated for by an institutional and political cement. We must take note of this unglamorous end of the European Union by coronavirus, and realize that cooperation between European States in the fight for health is also possible outside the supranational political institutions.

State and Church

The word Salus means, as we have seen, also salvation, and not only health. Health is not salvation, as the martyrs taught us, but in a certain sense salvation also gives health. The proper functioning of social life, with its beneficial effects also on health, also needs the salvation promised by religion: "Man does not develop by his own strength alone" (Caritas in Veritate, 11).

The common good is of a moral nature and, as we have said above, this crisis should lead to the rediscovery of this dimension, but morality does not live by its own life, for it is incapable in the final analysis of being its own foundation. The problem arises here of the essential relationship that political life has with religion, the one that best guarantees the truth of political life. Political authority weakens the fight against evil, as is also the case with the present epidemic, when it equates Holy Masses with recreational initiatives, thinking that they should be suspended, perhaps even before suspending other forms of gathering which are certainly less important. Even the Church may be mistaken when she does not affirm, for the same authentic and complete common good, the public necessity of Holy Masses and the openness of churches. The Church contributes to the fight against the epidemic through the various forms of assistance, aid and solidarity which she knows how to implement, as she has always done in the past in similar cases. However, it is important to remain very attentive to the religious dimension of its contribution, so that it is not seen as a mere expression of civil society. This is why it is so important what Pope Francis said when he prayed to the Holy Spirit to give "pastors the pastoral capacity and discernment necessary to take measures that do not leave the faithful people of God alone. May the people of God feel accompanied by pastors and the comfort of the Word of God, the sacraments and prayer", naturally with the common sense and prudence that the situation demands.

This coronavirus emergency can be experienced by all “as if God did not exist” and in this case the next phase, when the emergency ends, will also apply such a vision of things as a logical continuation. In this way, however, the link between physical health and the moral and religious health that this painful emergency brought to light will have been forgotten. If, on the contrary, the need is felt to return to the recognition of God's place in the world, then the relationship between politics and the Catholic religion and between the State and the Church can also take the right path.

The urgency of the current epidemic profoundly challenges the Church's social doctrine. It is a heritage of faith and reason which, at the present time, can be of great help in the fight against the infection, a fight which must concern all levels of social and political life. Above all, it can help with regard to the post-coronavirus. We need an overarching view that does not exclude any really important perspective. Social life requires coherence and synthesis, especially when difficulties arise. That is why, in difficulties, people who know how to look in depth and upwards can find solutions and even opportunities to make things better than they were in the past.

Bishop Giancarlo Crepaldi