From Fr Ed’s Blog:
I was aghast to read that, in the face of Coronavirus threat, all churches in Rome are now closed until April. Mass will not be offered publicly. Who made such a drastic call and why? It strikes me as a wrong headed over-reaction, especially when you consider this virus will only cause most healthy people to suffer mild flu like symptoms. Unless we are not in full possession of the facts the decision is crazy!
Historically Christians flocked to church, not away from it, in times of disease and calamity; to offer prayers and petitions imploring Almighty God come to their aid. There was a strong belief that divine supernatural intervention was ever possible in times of danger. Furthermore Catholics believed you could not become sick from partaking of the sacred body and blood of Christ because sacred things cannot be tainted . If it really is HIS BODY how could it be spoiled thus? And certainly I do not know of a single case in history where anyone became ill because of the Mass. Meanwhile miracles associated to the Mass are numerous.
We also do well to remember that the Early Church grew precisely because of the courage of Saints who, when pagans were running for the hills in time of sickness, remained with the stricken to offer care and medication. Such visible supernatural faith in the face of danger made people sit up and take notice. Where today do we find such faith? Where the willingness to risk all for the sake of the Gospel? A few hundred deaths and the entire church of Rome is closed in a rush. I find it lamentable and it strikes me as yet another sign of anaemic supernatural faith stemming from the crisis of modernism that plagues the church in our day.
What does it say about the faith of modern Catholics if we are seen to fear virus more than we trust the power of God? What does it say that Rome’s churches are closed for what must be the first time in history? Has this ever happened before? Is there precedent?
I am not mystical, nor prone to end time fantasy, but I do feel something seismic might be occurring on a spiritual level in the world at present. Just this year alone we have had the extraordinary sight of idols worshipped in the Vatican and now churches closed in a hurry. This against a backdrop of undeniable global apostasy such as predicted in the book of Revelation. Are we seeing portentous signs? Maybe and maybe not. Only God knows. But either way we should remain in a state of grace and be prayerfully watchful whilst keeping level heads.
In Pembury we are communicating in one kind only, and refraining from sharing the peace, in a bid to show a measured response to the threat of virus. But rest assured if ever banned from celebrating mass publicly I shall offer it privately- in church – and at the usual times. And the doors will remain open to ensure healthy ventilation! For I believe we must stay close to Jesus and not cave in to fear and it is my duty to care for the parish sacramentally in times of danger. For what does it profit a man to save his life in this world only to lose it in the next…
Just another way to take Christ out of our lives: close the churches in the seat of Catholicism. We must face it, there are forces against the thought of God.
I just checked for Vatican City, and it seems that smaller Masses will continue there ; but not the large-scale Masses in the Basilica.
Thank you! Good news!
… but the Italian Police have barricaded St Peter’s Square preventing anyone from entering that does not work in the Vatican. (Much of the most external area of the square is in Italy)
This is a worse persecution against the sovereignty of Vatican City State and its borders even than those by the Italian fascists and the German occupying forces during World War 2.
Someone bloody-minded enough could possibly enter the Vatican through a different border crossing, and perhaps even attend Holy Mass at Sant’Anna dei Palafrenieri — which as far as I can tell is the only church on the whole Italian Peninsula to still publicly provide the Holy Eucharistic Mass. (the Mass has also been canceled in San Marino) (though if you could manage to get into the Basilica somehow, some Masses a little clandestine may be possible there)
Perhaps there are some priests here or there braving arrest and prosecution in the name of Christ — but if so, I haven’t heard of any, apart from one report that some Catholics are organising secret Masses — secret Masses ; in Italy.
The Church in Italy is being led by men who put their faith in the flesh of men, not in the Flesh of our Christ.