Sunday, March 8, 2020


I was born in Italy in Naples, but my mother was from Tuscany, Livorno. I still have relatives and friend there (first cousins and others). Livorno has a few cases of the virus. All of Italy has shut down its schools and universities. The photo above shows where there is a epidemic and stringent measures are being taken in terms of quarantine.

The link below from Rorate Caeli has an article that may be too ideological. Press the title for the article:

EXTREMELY IMPORTANT - Italy: An Urgent Plea for Prayers

But what if?

What if we are told not to open our churches or have public Masses? The priest, if he is healthy, could still offer Mass for the world privately. Would that be sufficient? Or should we open our churches for prayer, for adoration, for Mass, for Confessions? Then let each make up his or her own mind to attend or not?

If there is an epidemic or pandemic, should the Church not be concerned about public health and taking radical precautions?

What is hysteria and what is common sense in a pandemic. Is Rorate Caeli's article indicating that we should have public Masses and open churches in a pandemic? Do you agree or not?


Anonymous said...

“What is hysteria and what is common sense in a pandemic”

The question of the hour. Meanwhile, from another front:
The World Health Organization has advised public against using paper money. Claims that Covid-19 is just as likely to remain on cash ‘as on any other surface’.

ByzRC said...

The attached link contains ROCOR's (Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia) announcement regarding their liturgies and the administration/reception of the mysteries vis-a-vis coronavirus.

"In our churches, we shall continue with the celebration of all our rites, customs, Divine Services and above all the offering and receipt of the Holy Mysteries in precisely the same manner as we have always done. No genuinely believing Christian can for one moment accept that the Holy Mysteries might bring or be the source of sickness or ill-health: by no means!"

As an Eastern Christian, this resonates with me greatly despite what is being suggested/enforced as "common sense" (including the preventative measures provided by my own eparchy). In other words, the safeguards are reasonable but, I cannot get my head around the true presence causing illness/disease.

Joe, my brother - aren't you within ROCOR? Thoughts?

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

Byz - Does this cover being in a pew next to a person with the novel coronavirus? Does being in church at Divine Services make one immune?

I'm being serious in my questions.

Paul McCarthy said...

I spent 3 years in Aviano, Italy in the early 90’s when I was flying Chinooks with the Army. I got to fly all over the country the from the alps to the boot and flew in to Pisa numerous times as we had a base at Livorno. Beautiful country from the ground and the air.

As for the coronovirus I feel that the blame lies at the feet of all the popes since Pope Benedict XV who all have failed to consecrate Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary and thus Russia did spread her errors which includes communist China and over 100 million killed by communist since 1917 most of those in Communist China.

When will we have a faithful Pope like St. Pius X.

V for ViganĂ²

Victor said...

20,000 have dies in the past few months in USA alone from common influenza. This coronavirus hysteria is beyond the ridiculous, but into stupidity:

Anonymous said...

Fr. MJK, great question! I hope Byz replies.

Anonymous said...

We understand that Fr. Gruner and the Fatima Center have always asserted that the consecration has not yet taken place. On this point, we stand with the Holy See. We trust the discernment of St. John Paul II; the assertion of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (at the time under the leadership of then-Cardinal Ratzinger, who is now Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI) in the official document “The Message of Fatima,” released in 2000, that the consecration has been made; and the letters in which Sr. Lucia declared that Heaven had accepted it.

ByzRC said...

Fr. K,

I do not believe his grace is making such a suggestion. He is merely encouraging calm and adherence to local government instruction while reinforcing that Christ, the physician of souls and bodies, cannot cause illness via the administration of the holy mysteries. Remain calm and be led forward by our unwavering faith.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

I received a comment from Rorate Caeli and accidentally deleted it as there were no less than 15 spam identical spam comments selling something. I apologize for the unintentional deletion in which the comment stated Rorate Caeli was basically stating the facts in Italy.

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

Byz - " No genuinely believing Christian can for one moment accept that the Holy Mysteries might bring or be the source of sickness or ill-health: by no means!"

It seems to me this is more, much more than, encouraging calm. It seems to me to be a statement of belief that one cannot get sick or come to ill-health by participating in the Divine Services of receiving the Holy Mysteries.

Anonymous said...

Er, what does consecrating Russia to the "Immaculate Heart of Mary" mean? Sounds like a slap against the Russian Orthodox Church, but I stand to be corrected.