MY POST TO MY PARISHIONERS ON OUR SAINT ANNE FACEBOOK:
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.
Father Allan McDonald