Martin Luther King, as pointed out in the above video, quotes Catholic teaching on unjust laws to legitimise the civil uprisings in the USA against the segregation of black people from the rest of the population. King points out that those who invoke this right to disobey unjust civil laws must be prepared to take the consequences – such as imprisonment. Thus, it is made clear that the motive for such civil disobedience is conscience, not malice.
At this time, when we are prohibited from the worship of God in our churches because of “the virus”, what should Catholics do – pressure priests for “secret” Masses or openly attend churches, bearing in mind that the priest is the person most likely to have to pay the consequences. We’re hearing of a Scots priest who has been handed a hefty fine for allowing parishioners to attend his Mass recently. Such is the confusion around us that I’m not clear in my own mind whether or not members of the congregation are also liable to fines – informed contributors please enlighten me on that score. It’s not the virus of which people are afraid when it comes to assessing the restrictions, it’s the fines and the fear of losing hearth and home which is forcing compliance. My entirely unsolicited and unqualified legal advice to anyone found breaking a “Covid law” is, in any case, to refuse to pay fines and let the matter go to court in due course. I’ll pray for you 😀
It should go without saying (but I’d better say it anyway) that if you happen to know of any underground Sacraments which you suspect may be on offer, you must not say so on this thread, or anywhere else on this blog for that matter. This thread is to discuss the principles of law and our obligation (or not) to obey all laws – even perceived unjust laws. Do the current Covid laws, especially the prohibition on attending churches, fit the definition of an unjust law, according to the thinking of Saint Thomas Aquinas and Saint Augustine…
IS is true that “an unjust law is no law at all” ?