Archbishop Viganò: Don’t Leave the Church – Stay and Fight the Modernists! 

This new statement is important, inasmuch as in recent days, both Father Thomas Weinandy, as well as Father Raymond de Souza, spread the suspicion that the Italian prelate might be “schismatic,” thus intending to leave the Catholic Church. This suspicion had arisen because of Viganò’s critique of the Second Vatican Council and its detrimental effects on the life of the faith in the Church. For example, de Souza’s article is entitled: “Is Archbishop Viganò’s Rejection of the Second Vatican Council Promoting Schism?” And Weinandy stated: “My concern is that, in his radical reading of the Council, the archbishop is spawning his own schism.”

In an August 22 article published by the traditional Catholic newspaper Catholic Family News, Kokx had asked Viganò a set of questions with regard to what faithful laity can do in the midst of this Church crisis that is going back to the Council. 

Kokx suggested Viganò needs to give more advice to laity and priests on what to do next: “He’s certainly diagnosed the problem, but what are his solutions, if any? What, in other words, is it that he believes Catholics in the 21st century should do in response to the crisis?”

Archbishop Viganò’s response as published on September 1 by Catholic Family News (see full text below) is clear: it is not the faithful Catholics who oppose the changing of the faith, but those who perpetrate these changes that ought to be questioned. He writes that we need to discuss “the position of those who, declaring themselves Catholic, embrace the heterodox doctrines that have spread over these decades, with the awareness that these represent a rupture with the preceding Magisterium. In this case it is licit to doubt their real adherence to the Catholic Church, in which however they hold official roles that confer authority on them.”

If people who hold heterodox views are in positions of authority in the Church, he continues, “It is an illicitly exercised authority, if its purpose is to force the faithful to accept the revolution imposed since the Council.”

In addition and on a practical level, the Italian prelate gives us advice on how to live and grow in the faith, working on our sanctification and remaining in the state of “sanctifying grace.” But at the same time, we are to assist and “comfort” good priests and bishops, seeking out reverent Masses. 

“Faithful laity have the right and the duty to find priests, communities, and institutes that are faithful to the perennial Magisterium,” Viganò explains. “And may they know how to accompany the laudable celebration of the liturgy in the Ancient Rite with adherence to sound doctrine and morals, without any subsidence on the front of the Council.”

Finally, Archbishop Viganò also praises the Society of Saint Pius X (SSPX), which has defended the traditional faith for decades now. They “deserve recognition” for their work of preserving the Catholic faith, he says, and adds that he considers Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre, the founder of this Society, to be a “confessor of the Faith.”

Here we might remember that just recently, a cardinal stated that Lefebvre will one day be declared a “Doctor of the Church” and that he was “prophetic.”

Let us close with Viganò’s last words of his response to Kokx’s questions:

“The cure for rebellion is obedience. The cure for heresy is faithfulness to the teaching of Tradition. The cure for schism is filial devotion for the Sacred Pastors. The cure for apostasy is love for God and His Most Holy Mother. The cure for vice is the humble practice of virtue. The cure for the corruption of morals is to live constantly in the presence of God. But obedience cannot be perverted into stolid servility; respect for authority cannot be perverted into the obeisance of the court. And let’s not forget that if it is the duty of the laity to obey their Pastors, it is even a more grave duty of the Pastors to obey God, usque ad effusionem sanguinis.”

Below is the full statement by Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò, reprinted with permission:

Disclaimer: The following positions adopted and advice offered by Archbishop Viganò do not necessarily represent the views of LifeSiteNews and are presented only for your information.

Dear Mr. Kokx,

I read with lively interest your article “Questions for Viganò: His Excellency is Right about Vatican II, But What Does He Think Catholic Should Do Now?” which was published by Catholic Family News on August 22 (here). I am happy to respond to your questions, which address matters that are very important for the faithful.

You ask: “What would ‘separating’ from the Conciliar Church look like in Archbishop Viganò’s opinion?” I respond to you with another question: “What does it mean to separate from the Catholic Church according to the supporters of the Council?” While it is clear that no admixture is possible with those who propose adulterated doctrines of the conciliar ideological manifesto, it should be noted that the simple fact of being baptized and of being living members of the Church of Christ does not imply adherence to the conciliar team; this is true above all for the simple faithful and also for secular and regular clerics who, for various reasons, sincerely consider themselves Catholics and recognize the Hierarchy.

Instead, what needs to be clarified is the position of those who, declaring themselves Catholic, embrace the heterodox doctrines that have spread over these decades, with the awareness that these represent a rupture with the preceding Magisterium. In this case it is licit to doubt their real adherence to the Catholic Church, in which however they hold official roles that confer authority on them. It is an illicitly exercised authority, if its purpose is to force the faithful to accept the revolution imposed since the Council.

Once this point has been clarified, it is evident that it is not the traditional faithful – that is, true Catholics, in the words of Saint Pius X – that must abandon the Church in which they have the full right to remain and from which it would be unfortunate to separate; but rather the Modernists who usurp the Catholic name, precisely because it is only the bureaucratic element that permits them not to be considered on a par with any heretical sect. This claim of theirs serves in fact to prevent them from ending up among the hundreds of heretical movements that over the course of the centuries have believed to be able to reform the Church at their own pleasure, placing their pride ahead of humbly guarding the teaching of Our Lord. But just as it is not possible to claim citizenship in a homeland in which one does not know its language, law, faith and tradition; so it is impossible that those who do not share the faith, morals, liturgy, and discipline of the Catholic Church can arrogate to themselves the right to remain within her and even to ascend the levels of the hierarchy.

The situation is certainly more complex for clerics, who depend hierarchically on their bishop or religious superior, but who at the same time have the right to remain Catholic and be able to celebrate according to the Catholic Rite. On the one hand laity have more freedom of movement in choosing the community to which they turn for Mass, the Sacraments, and religious instruction, but less autonomy because of the fact that they still have to depend on a priest; on the other hand, clerics have less freedom of movement, since they are incardinated in a diocese or order and are subject to ecclesiastical authority, but they have more autonomy because of the fact that they can legitimately decide to celebrate the Mass and administer the Sacraments in the Tridentine Rite and to preach in conformity with sound doctrine. The Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum reaffirmed that faithful and priests have the inalienable right – which cannot be denied – to avail themselves of the liturgy that more perfectly expresses their Catholic Faith. But this right must be used today not only and not so much to preserve the extraordinary form of the rite, but to testify to adherence to the depositum fidei that finds perfect correspondence only in the Ancient Rite.

I daily receive heartfelt letters from priests and religious who are marginalized or transferred or ostracized because of their fidelity to the Church: the temptation to find an ubi consistam [a place to stand] far from the clamor of the Innovators is strong, but we ought to take an example from the persecutions that many saints have undergone, including Saint Athanasius, who offers us a model of how to behave in the face of widespread heresy and persecuting fury. As my venerable brother Bishop Athanasius Schneider has many times recalled, the Arianism that afflicted the Church at the time of the Holy Doctor of Alexandria in Egypt was so widespread among the bishops that it leaves one almost to believe that Catholic orthodoxy had completely disappeared. But it was thanks to the fidelity and heroic testimony of the few bishops who remained faithful that the Church knew how to get back up again. Without this testimony, Arianism would not have been defeated; without our testimony today, Modernism and the globalist apostasy of this pontificate will not be defeated.

It is therefore not a question of working from within the Church or outside it: the winemakers are called to work in the Lord’s Vineyard, and it is there that they must remain even at the cost of their lives; the pastors are called to pastor the Lord’s Flock, to keep the ravenous wolves at bay and to drive away the mercenaries who are not concerned with the salvation of the sheep and lambs.

This hidden and often silent work has been carried out by the Society of Saint Pius X, which deserves recognition for not having allowed the flame of Tradition to be extinguished at a moment in which celebrating the ancient Mass was considered subversive and a reason for excommunication. Its priests have been a healthy thorn in the side for a hierarchy that has seen in them an unacceptable point of comparison for the faithful, a constant reproach for the betrayal committed against the people of God, an inadmissible alternative to the new conciliar path. And if their fidelity made disobedience to the pope inevitable with the episcopal consecrations, thanks to them the Society was able to protect herself from the furious attack of the Innovators and by its very existence it allowed the possibility of the liberalization of the Ancient Rite, which until then was prohibited. Its presence also allowed the contradictions and errors of the conciliar sect to emerge, always winking at heretics and idolaters but implacably rigid and intolerant towards Catholic Truth.

I consider Archbishop Lefebvre an exemplary confessor of the Faith, and I think that by now it is obvious that his denunciation of the Council and the modernist apostasy is more relevant than ever. It should not be forgotten that the persecution to which Archbishop Lefebvre was subjected by the Holy See and the world episcopate served above all as a deterrent for Catholics who were refractory toward the conciliar revolution.

I also agree with the observation of His Excellency Bishop Bernard Tissier de Mallerais about the co-presence of two entities in Rome: the Church of Christ has been occupied and eclipsed by the modernist conciliar structure, which has established itself in the same hierarchy and uses the authority of its ministers to prevail over the Spouse of Christ and our Mother.

The Church of Christ – which not only subsists in the Catholic Church, but is exclusively the Catholic Church – is only obscured and eclipsed by a strange extravagant Church established in Rome, according to the vision of Blessed Anne Catherine Emmerich. It coexists, like wheat with the tare, in the Roman Curia, in dioceses, in parishes. We cannot judge our pastors for their intentions, nor suppose that all of them are corrupt in faith and morals; on the contrary, we can hope that many of them, hitherto intimidated and silent, will understand, as confusion and apostasy continue to spread, the deception to which they have been subjected and will finally shake off their slumber. There are many laity who are raising their voice; others will necessarily follow, together with good priests, certainly present in every diocese. This awakening of the Church militant – I would dare to call it almost a resurrection – is necessary, urgent and inevitable: no son tolerates his mother being outraged by the servants, or his father being tyrannized by the administrators of his goods. The Lord offers us, in these painful situations, the possibility of being His allies in fighting this holy battle under His banner: the King Who is victorious over error and death permits us to share the honor of triumphal victory and the eternal reward that derives from it, after having endured and suffered with Him.

But in order to deserve the immortal glory of Heaven we are called to rediscover – in an emasculated age devoid of values such as honor, faithfulness to one’s word, and heroism – a fundamental aspect of the faith of every baptized person: the Christian life is a militia, and with the Sacrament of Confirmation we are called to be soldiers of Christ, under whose insignia we must fight. Of course, in most cases it is essentially a spiritual battle, but over the course of history we have seen how often, faced with the violation of the sovereign rights of God and the liberty of the Church, it was also necessary to take up arms: we are taught this by the strenuous resistance to repel the Islamic invasions in Lepanto and on the outskirts of Vienna, the persecution of the Cristeros in Mexico, of the Catholics in Spain, and even today by the cruel war against Christians throughout the world. Never as today can we understand the theological hatred coming from the enemies of God, inspired by Satan. The attack on everything that recalls the Cross of Christ – on Virtue, on the Good and the Beautiful, on purity – must spur us to get up, in a leap of pride, in order to claim our right not only not to be persecuted by our external enemies but also and above all to have strong and courageous pastors, holy and God-fearing, who will do exactly what their predecessors have done for centuries: preach the Gospel of Christ, convert individuals and nations, and expand the Kingdom of the living and true God throughout the world.

We are all called to make an act of Fortitude – a forgotten cardinal virtue, which not by chance in Greek recalls virile strength, ἀνδρεία – in knowing how to resist the Modernists: a resistance that is rooted in Charity and Truth, which are attributes of God.

If you only celebrate the Tridentine Mass and preach sound doctrine without ever mentioning the Council, what can they ever do to you? Throw you out of your churches, perhaps, and then what? No one can ever prevent you from renewing the Holy Sacrifice, even if it is on a makeshift altar in a cellar or an attic, as the refractory priests did during the French Revolution, or as happens still today in China. And if they try to distance you, resist: canon law serves to guarantee the government of the Church in the pursuit of its primary purposes, not to demolish it. Let’s stop fearing that the fault of the schism lies with those who denounce it, and not, instead, with those who carry it out: the ones who are schismatics and heretics are those who wound and crucify the Mystical Body of Christ, not those who defend it by denouncing the executioners!

The laity can expect their ministers to behave as such, preferring those who prove that they are not contaminated by present errors. If a Mass becomes an occasion of torture for the faithful, if they are forced to assist at sacrileges or to support heresies and ramblings unworthy of the House of the Lord, it is a thousand times preferable to go to a church where the priest celebrates the Holy Sacrifice worthily, in the rite given to us by Tradition, with preaching in conformity with sound doctrine. When parish priests and bishops realize that the Christian people demand the Bread of Faith, and not the stones and scorpions of the neo-church, they will lay aside their fears and comply with the legitimate requests of the faithful. The others, true mercenaries, will show themselves for what they are and will be able to gather around them only those who share their errors and perversions. They will be extinguished by themselves: the Lord dries up the swamp and makes the land on which brambles grow arid; he extinguishes vocations in corrupt seminaries and in convents rebellious to the Rule.

The lay faithful today have a sacred task: to comfort good priests and good bishops, gathering like sheep around their shepherds. Give them hospitality, help them, console them in their trials. Create community in which murmuring and division do not predominate, but rather fraternal charity in the bond of Faith. And since in the order established by God – κόσμος – subjects owe obedience to authority and cannot do otherwise than resist it when it abuses its power, no fault will be attributed to them for the infidelity of their leaders, on whom rests the very serious responsibility for the way in which they exercise the vicarious power which has been given to them. We must not rebel, but oppose; we must not be pleased with the errors of our pastors, but pray for them and admonish them respectfully; we must not question their authority but the way in which they use it.

I am certain, with a certainty that comes to me from Faith, that the Lord will not fail to reward our fidelity, after having punished us for the faults of the men of the Church, granting us holy priests, holy bishops, holy cardinals, and above all a holy Pope. But these saints will arise from our families, from our communities, from our churches: families, communities, and churches in which the grace of God must be cultivated with constant prayer, with the frequenting of Holy Mass and the Sacraments, with the offering of sacrifices and penances that the Communion of Saints permits us to offer to the Divine Majesty in order to expiate our sins and those of our brethren, including those who exercise authority. The laity have a fundamental role in this, guarding the Faith within their families, in such a way that our young people who are educated in love and in the fear of God may one day be responsible fathers and mothers, but also worthy ministers of the Lord, His heralds in the male and female religious orders, and His apostles in civil society.

The cure for rebellion is obedience. The cure for heresy is faithfulness to the teaching of Tradition. The cure for schism is filial devotion for the Sacred Pastors. The cure for apostasy is love for God and His Most Holy Mother.

Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us!

The cure for vice is the humble practice of virtue. The cure for the corruption of morals is to live constantly in the presence of God. But obedience cannot be perverted into stolid servility; respect for authority cannot be perverted into the obeisance of the court. And let’s not forget that if it is the duty of the laity to obey their Pastors, it is even a more grave duty of the Pastors to obey God, usque ad effusionem sanguinis.

+ Carlo Maria Viganò, Archbishop
September 1, 2020               

Source               

Comments invited…                                    

American Catholics Vote for Presidential Candidate Joe Biden? Absolutely NOT! 

Letter From a Pastor…

My dear _______,

I received your letter expressing your disappointment that I mentioned in my column in the bulletin that former Vice President Joseph Biden has clearly taken positions in favor of legalized abortion. You claim that the candidate is pro-life because he stated in a debate with Congressman Paul Ryan that he was “personally opposed” to abortion.

You further state that you believe Mr. Biden is a “sincere politician” who is a devout Catholic. Repeating what seems to have been a package released to the press to shore up Catholic support for him, you remark that he carries a rosary with him, that one of his staff says his presidential bid is a “subtle invocation of Catholic beliefs,” that Pete Buttigieg says Mr. Biden receives “comfort and meaning” from his faith, and that a political colleague of his praises his “pastoral care” of the bereaved.

Of course you know that carrying a rosary is not proof of being pro-life. The “subtlety” of Biden’s “invocation of his Catholic beliefs” is what is a clanger for me. He is far too subtle for me. A man who changed his stance on the Hyde Amendment and is now in favor of taxpayer money going for abortion hardly seems to respect even his own “personal” opposition to abortion. The National Abortion Rights Action League (NARAL) fiercely attacked Biden last year in June about his support for the Hyde Amendment. Shortly after that, Biden “amended” his position from opposition in the name of conscience to approval of public moneys for abortion because of President Trump’s active opposition to abortion on demand at any point in the pregnancy.

A Latin American writer, Sergio Ramirez of Nicaragua, a former Sandinista official, wrote a short story that is illustrative about a so-called public servant who forgets his own principles called “Adam and Eve.” It begins, “That February afternoon he left his house determined to have a conversation with his Conscience and for that reason invited her to drink a beer with him.” “He” is a judge and he takes his Conscience out to a dive in Managua because he wants to explain why he is about to take a bribe in a corruption case. He is surprised when she eagerly drinks a beer and orders another. The accused is a sick man who will suffer in prison, he tells her. She asks how much money is offered, and he tells her 2,000 dollars, not cordobas. “Of course, you wouldn’t sell me in the national currency,” she says.     

“You know that this is the first time I have done this,” he says to her pleadingly. Of course, he will never do it again, he tells her, and she laughs. Right now it is an emergency. “Until the next one comes along.” There are worse things he could do. “I’m glad you see it that way,” she says. The result is that his Conscience accedes to his corruption. Then the judge looks at her as she continues to drink and thinks, “She is not what she used to be.”

That is what I think of Mr. Biden’s conscience, too—not that he was ever consistently pro-life. NARAL might have been opposed to him, but they gave him a high rating of approval while he was a senator. Now they have endorsed him enthusiastically. This is evidence of a very subtle invocation of Catholic principles if you ask me. It is so subtle that the enemies of life in the womb embrace Mr. Buttigieg’s devoted Catholic with love.

But there is another current example of Mr. Biden’s opposition to Catholic institutions’ freedom of religion. When he was vice president, he argued that church institutions should be exempt from the federal mandate to cover birth control, sterilizations, and abortifacients. The government has since not only recognized the right of the individual to such devices and methods but now makes it a political right imposed on the person’s employers to pay for them. President Obama, consistently pro-abortion even when it comes to live births during abortion procedures, did not agree with Mr. Biden. Now Mr. Biden agrees with him and criticizes the Supreme Court for recognizing the rights of the Little Sisters of the Poor in refusing to pay in conscience for what is opposed to Church teaching and is hardly a constitutional right. When he is president, he will make the good Sisters pay for birth control, abortifacients included. This takes subtlety to a new level.

Lewis Carroll’s Humpty Dumpty famously asserts, “When I use a word, it means just what I choose it to mean—neither more nor less.” When Alice objects that words cannot be used that way he says, “The question is who is master—that’s all.”

I see the media blitz about the Catholic sensibility of Mr. Biden as an attempt to make Catholics ignore the reality of his very secular and indifferent attitude about things Catholics should deem important. Facti non verbi is a Latin saying that means “deeds not words.” Political positions are deeds, and Mr. Biden is signaling an anti-life bias that will no doubt influence his nominations to the judiciary. Because he claims to be a “good” Catholic, he gives us the right to make public our disagreement with him and clarify his divergence from the teachings of the Church. This is also the case with his proactive endorsement of same-sex marriages.

If Mr. Biden were my parishioner, I would have to follow the example of those brave priests who have denied him Communion. This would get me in trouble with bishops and others who want to keep peace by not talking about contradictions. But there is such a thing as truth, even in the midst of a media full court press to unseat the incumbent president by cobbling together a coalition that includes Catholics to support a member of the Church whose conscience has been overcome by confusion, if not simple ambition. Why does a Catholic politician feel the need to placate those who oppose the Church by taking up concrete positions while he does not feel the need to say anything more than sweet nothings to calm his fellow believers?

I hope that you will accept this explanation of why I pointed out to the people in my pastoral care the disappointment I felt with Mr. Biden’s “change of heart,” if you can call it that. My prayers are with you, and I encourage you to pray for our country in the cultural maelstrom we find ourselves in. We must turn to Jesus in all our troubles and ask for the Holy Spirit to give us discernment in times that indeed try men’s souls, sometimes trying them and finding them wanting.

God bless you, and thank you for your honesty in writing me directly. Others prefer to communicate with the chancery, and therefore I appreciate your forthrightness.    In Christ,  Your Pastor      Source

Comment… 

Aside from everything laid out in the above letter from a priest, Joe Biden has problems which manifest themselves wherever he goes – strange comments, challenging attitude to members of the public in meetings, you name it.  I can’t believe that he is standing against Donald Trump (or anyone else, for that matter) in the November USA election.  Nothing of Joe’s strange behaviour is mentioned in the broadcasting media in the UK (not that I’ve seen – he is mentioned only as a likely successor to Trump!)  Which is why I’m posting the short video below – it will be an eye-opener to many readers and bloggers here.  The key question, of course, for discussion is whether or not any Catholic may, in good conscience, vote for Biden in November.  I mean, President Trump has his faults.  He’s no saint – he’s not even a Catholic!   However, he should, without a shadow of a doubt, receive the vote of every Catholic in  America.  Remember, conscience is not a teacher; it has to be formed. And any well formed Catholic conscience will know that there is no way in this world that Catholics could possibly vote for Joe Biden – a man who is Catholic in name only. Just check out Father’s letter above again.  If you disagree – please explain. 

 

Catholic Church: Why the Scandalous Compliance in Covid-19 “Crisis”?

One of the most shocking aspects of the Covid-19 lockdown, with its serious restrictions on personal freedoms, both civil and religious, is the way in which the Church has co-operated – from the Pope down. No questions asked, simply uncritical obedience, of the kind not even expected of religious men and women in monasteries.  The language of docility is writ large on Catholic diocesan, and even traditional, websites.

Priests are embracing the Government restrictions, even as we are “permitted” to return to Mass.   Thus we see limits on the numbers allowed to attend, the use of hand sanitizers, etc. 

The traditional Fraternity of St Peter (FSSP) – certainly in Edinburgh – is going along, hook, line and sinker, with Government policy: everyone but the priest  has to wear a face mask, Mass will be shorter, people must book for Mass because only 40 permitted etc.  Click here to read the entire scandalous nonsense.  Informed Catholics are increasingly scandalised at the co-operation (for which read “complicity) of Churchmen in this fabricated crisis…

Email…

One reader emailed as follows a day or so ago…

…Anyway, my question relates to the ‘official’ line taken by the SSPX in regard to the crisis in general.  An acquaintance has stated that  they were told ‘…it’s not a persecution, nothing to do with Fatima and the general advice was to just do what the Govt says and wait for everything to go back to normal…’.  Now, do the SSPX honestly and truly believe that?  Surely not.  No-one else seems to, so why should they.  Do their sermons ever mention anything along these lines, and is anything said in general conversations with the faithful; assuming they do actually talk to people.  I don’t know anyone attending a Society Mass Centre at present so I can’t ask anyone else.

In another email, a reader commented that her Society priest rubbished the idea of any connection with Fatima, opined that it was irresponsible to promote that idea and that queuing at supermarkets was no big deal – a small inconvenience.  Maybe for him with nothing much to do but out here in the big wide world it is anything but a minor inconvenience.  And yet another Catholic, who watched the SSPX live-stream Masses in America, was shocked to see the priest dipping his fingers into water after giving each Host to parishioners at Holy Communion time.  What?!**   

Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre

However, there is no official statement that I can find on the SSPX UK website, although I was delighted to read the following heartening comment from the District Superior, Fr Robert Brucciani in his editorial in the District magazine, Ite Missa Est, July-August edition –  Heartening, in that it shows that Fr Brucciani is certainly aware of the sinister nature of this contrived crisis…

 

 

Father Robert Brucciani writes…

My dear brethren, There is a collective sense that the world is on the cusp of dramatic change. Already, the Covid-19 crisis and recent civil unrest in  many countries – both bearing hallmarks of sinister orchestration – have been the occasion of mass social conditioning and a dramatic encroachment upon religious and civil rights.

Regrettably, it seems that more of the same is to follow. The mainstream media are creating expectation with expressions like “the new normal”, economic meltdown is imminent, and the World Economic Forum – an organisation for the minions of the New World Order – have launched an initiative called “The Great Reset” which seems to augur the imposition of more direct individual control, ecologism, and the culture of death upon the entire planet.

Meanwhile, God is ignored in all this upheaval and men of good will are finding themselves being manoeuvred into making a choice between supporting the “new normal” of the cultural Marxists or face social and economic exclusion.

Our hope should not fail, however, for the evil that is visiting upon us is the occasion of great heroism on the part of those who stand firm in the Catholic faith… End of Extract – read entire Editorial here

Thus, with such clear thinking on the political – and evil – nature of the Covid-19 “crisis”, it is incomprehensible to Catholics aware of the very real crisis in the Church, that the SSPX should appear to accept, at any level, Government restrictions on our religious freedom, choosing to blame the diocesan Bishops for the closure of churches and continuing restrictions on the practice of the Faith.   We need to see concrete evidence of the “great heroism” of which Fr Brucciani speaks.  Don’t we all need to risk falling foul of the Government by refusing to keep the rules which are leading us into the “new normal”?   Or would that be to lack the virtue of prudence?   I wonder what St Thomas More would advise? 

The SSPX does not have to obey the local Bishops on this, that’s for sure. They can’t blame the Bishops.  So, the question remains, why do they? And why is there no dissent among the best of the diocesan clergy – I heard from another reader that the “traditional” parish in the north of Glasgow, is permitting only 50 people to attend Sunday Masses.  

With talk of a second wave (to be followed by a third and fourth wave…) there is clearly not going to be any end to this fake crisis.  Somebody in the Church is going to have to make the first move and say “We will not serve!”    Why can’t it be the Society of St Pius X, established precisely because its Founder could not, in conscience, accept the new normal concocted at Vatican II: “And if you wish to know the real reason for my persistence, it is this. At the hour of my death, when Our Lord asks me: ‘What have you done with your episcopate, what have your done with your episcopal and priestly grace’ I do not want to hear from His lips the terrible words ‘You have helped to destroy the Church along with the rest of them.’ (Archbishop Lefebvre: Open Letter to Confused Catholics, p.163).

Comments invited…

 

USA Election: Pro-Life Priest Forced To Resign From Trump Advisory Boards…

.-  

Priests for Life national director Fr. Frank Pavone has resigned from advisory positions in the reelection campaign of President Donald Trump. The priest withdrew at the direction of Church authorities, he told CNA Friday.

“I’ve been requested by the competent ecclesiastical authority not to have an official title/position on the advisory boards. So, as a priest in good standing, I’ve followed that request,” Pavone told CNA July 24, in response to questions about his role in the Trump campaign.

In January, Pavone was appointed co-chair of the Pro-Life Voices for Trump coalition, and in April was announced as a member of the Catholics for Trump advisory board; the priest headlined that month an online kickoff event for the Trump Catholic group. Both groups are organized as part of the Trump campaign. Pavone was also a co-chair of the Trump pro-life coalition in 2016.

Pavone’s role in a political campaign was unusual for a priest. Members of the clergy require permission to “have an active part in political parties,” according to the Church’s canon law.

In April, Pavone told CNA that he did not believe himself to need permission for campaign involvement because he considered Trump’s reelection to be a matter of urgency. “I’m not going to ask anybody’s permission to go scream that the house is on fire,” he said at the time.

But on Friday, Pavone said that he had “been asking for permission to serve on these advisory boards” when he was “requested” to resign from them.

Pavone did not indicate what authorities had directed him to resign from the Trump campaign. In 2005 Pavone was incardinated in the Diocese of Amarillo, Texas, when he transferred to that diocese from the Archdiocese of New York with plans to begin a pro-life religious order of priests. Those plans did not materialize, and Pavone found himself at odds with Bishop Patrick Zurek, soon after the bishop was installed in 2008.

In 2011, the dispute between Pavone and Zurek became public, after the priest was recalled to the diocese and suspended by the bishop. Pavone appealed to the Vatican, and the suspension was eventually lifted in 2012.

In April, the priest told CNA that his relationship with Zurek remained rocky, describing communication with his bishop as “dysfunctional,” and saying that he was in the process of transferring to a new diocese.

The Diocese of Amarillo has not responded to repeated requests from CNA for clarity about Pavone’s political activity or ecclesiastical status, including requests to clarify whether he has faculties to minister publicly as a priest.

Pavone told CNA Friday that he remains incardinated in the Amarillo diocese, “but my transfer has been canonically completed to a different bishop who has good will toward me and my work.” He declined to name that diocese, saying that “the announcement of what diocese I’m in now is up to the same ecclesiastical authority to make.”

While Pavone is no longer part of the Catholics for Trump coalition, the group drew attention on Friday when it announced that author and YouTube commenter Taylor Marshall would join the Catholics for Trump advisory board.

Pavone’s role in the 2016 Trump campaign sparked considerable controversy in the Church. Ahead of the election the priest filmed a video at the Priests for Life headquarters, urging support for Trump. The video was filmed with the body of an aborted baby laid before Pavone on what appeared to be an altar.

Soon after video’s release, Zurek said he would open an investigation into the incident, calling it “against the dignity of human life” and “a desecration of the altar,” and adding that “the action and presentation of Father Pavone in this video is not consistent with the beliefs of the Catholic Church.”

While the diocese has not announced the results of that investigation, Pavone claims that he has been “cleared of the past complaints/investigations/disciplinary actions by the bishop of Amarillo. That chapter is closed.”

Pavone said that while he will no longer occupy a position in the Trump campaign “nothing has changed in my advocacy for the president, given that the Democrats do indeed pose a grave threat to ‘the rights of the Church’ and ‘the common good,’ a point I’ll be making constantly between now and November 3.”

“Any cleric who doesn’t see that point has his head in the sand or in a Democrat echo chamber,” the priest added.

Pavone is not the only priest in recent U.S. history to make headlines for involvement in an election.

In 2008, Chicago priest Fr. Michael Pfleger drew attention for appearing as part of a “People of Faith for Obama” coalition during then-Senator Barack Obama’s primary battle against Hillary Clinton for the Democratic Party’s presidential nomination.

Pfleger’s bishop, Cardinal Francis George, said at the time that “while a priest must speak to political issues that are also moral, he may not endorse candidates nor engage in partisan campaigning.”      Source

Comment: 

Is a priest who is promoting the pro-life message, and encouraging Catholics to vote for a candidate who will protect the unborn, the kind of political involvement [of clergy] prohibited in Canon Law?  

Covid-Compliant Clergy Doing Violence To God’s Will – Severe Judgment Awaits…

Martin Blackshaw (aka blogger, Athanasius) writes…

Given that the Covid-19 crisis and lockdown are demonstrably fabricated, constitutionally unprecedented, counter-cultural, globally oppressive, repressive, suppressive and depressive, it was only natural that Catholics should look to the Church, in her clergy, to raise the voice of moral objection and resistance.

What we have witnessed instead, with no little incredulity and scandal, is a clergy which has largely complied silently and submissively with unjust government legislation; first in suppressing the Mass and the Sacraments for 4 months, and now with Church re-opening rules that are, frankly, an affront to Almighty God and a violation of conscience for so many Catholics.

In fine, our clergy have turned the Church, the House of God, the House of Faith, into a House of fear and forbiddance, the very antithesis of Our Saviour’s invitation: “Come to Me all ye who labour and are heavy burdened, and I will give you rest”. (Matthew 11, 28).

Surely this shocking clerical capitulation to abusive civil authority renders a good many bishops and priests worthy of that Gospel condemnation of Our Lord: “But woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites, because you shut the kingdom of heaven against men: for you yourselves do not enter in and those that are going in, you suffer not to enter…” (Matthew 23, 13).

Before expanding further on this great betrayal of our times, it is first necessary to recap on some very basic, easily obtainable, facts about Covid-19.

Fact 1. This virus has never been correctly isolated and identified using the gold standard method of science, namely, ‘Koch’s Postulates’. Rather, world governments have simply accepted the flawed PCR science of Communist China, a notoriously unreliable method that renders all subsequent human testing suspect and inadmissible.  

Fact 2. 99.7% of the global population is relatively unaffected by this virus. Of the remaining 0.3% of global humanity, only a tiny 0.04% of the Scottish population is said to have died with or of it. In other words, we are dealing with a virus that is barely comparable with a bad flu year.

Fact 3. Professor Neil Ferguson, the architect of national lockdown, has since been discredited along with his apocalyptic computer model predicting millions of Covid-19 deaths.

Fact 4. There is no definitive scientific evidence underpinning the imposition of “social distancing”, face masks and hand sanitisers. Quite the contrary, “social distancing” was plagiarised from a hypothesis written many years ago by a college student and face masks have been shown to be more dangerous than helpful to health.

Fact 5. National quarantine of the healthy as well as the sick during a viral outbreak is unprecedented in world history, it runs contrary to human reason and sound governance.

Fact 6. Secular authorities are subordinate to the authority of the Church, not the other way around. Hence any State law that declares the public cessation of holy Mass under any pretext offends against the divine law, as do clergy who obey men rather than God.

Suffice it to say that by these few facts, and there are many others, we can easily determine the two elements necessary to render the present imposition of State Covid legislation null and void in respect to both the Church and society. These are that the legislation is irrational and contrary to the eternal law.


Regarding the eternal law, the Third Commandment of the Decalogue obliges all under pain of mortal sin to keep holy the Sabbath day. The Church teaches that the fulfilment of this obligation consists primarily, though not exclusively, in assisting at Holy Mass on Sundays and Holy Days.

Throughout history the Church has witnessed many plagues and viruses, some with a devastating cost in human lives that makes Covid-19 look like a case of the sniffles.

To give just a few examples from antiquity through the middle ages up to more modern times: The Antonine plague of A.D.165 is estimated to have killed around 5 million people throughout the Roman empire. The plague of Cyprian (A.D.280), so-called after St. Cyprian, Bishop of Carthage, who thought it the end of the world, was killing 5000 people a day at its height in Rome. The plague of Justinian (A.D. 541), named after the Byzantine emperor of the time, is estimated to have killed up to 10% of the world’s population. The Black Death of 1346 is said to have wiped out half the population of Europe. The Cocoliztli epidemic of 1545 killed 15 million inhabitants of Mexico and Central America. The Spanish Flu pandemic of 1918 is estimated to have killed 100 million worldwide.

For brevity’s sake I have left out numerous lesser historical plagues whose death tolls have varied from around 100, 000 to 1 million, against which latter number Covid-19 does not even compare.

Suffice it to say that through the worst plagues in history all Churches remained open without restriction while priests ministered bravely to their faithful, including the sick and the dying, filled with supernatural faith and divine charity. Indeed, it is recorded in antiquity that the terrified pagans marvelled at the selfless charity of the Christians during times of plague.

With this in mind we come to a comparison with today’s clergy, not to mention a very large number of faithful, who, having approved the lockdown of the House of God for 4 months, now humiliate the Church further with a sanitised faith that is a parody of Catholicism and a mockery of the spirit of the early Christians and holy martyrs.   

Against this appalling capitulation in the face of evil, we read in the 1921 edition of Spirago-Clarke’s Imprimatured “The Catechism Explained”: “The Church is, in its own department, absolutely independent of the State, for Christ left the teaching and government of His Church to the Apostles and their successors, not to any temporal sovereign. Hence the State has no claim to dictate to Christians what they are to believe and reject, nor to instruct priests what they are to preach, nor how and when they are to give the sacraments, say Mass, etc. Such interference has always been resented by the Church…”

Pope John XXIII expanded on this teaching, writing: “laws and decrees passed in contravention of the moral order, and hence of the divine will, can have no binding force in conscience, since “it is right to obey God rather than men.”…As St. Thomas teaches, “In regard to the second proposition, we maintain that human law has the rationale of law in so far as it is in accordance with right reason, and as such it obviously derives from eternal law. A law which is at variance with reason is to that extent unjust and has no longer the rationale of law. It is rather an act of violence.” (Peace on Earth, 1963, 51).

Even in the new Catechism we read as follows:

“Authority does not derive its moral legitimacy from itself. It must not behave in a despotic manner, but must act for the common good as a moral force based on freedom and a sense of responsibility: A human law has the character of law to the extent that it accords with right reason, and thus derives from the eternal law. Insofar as it falls short of right reason it is said to be an unjust law, and thus has not so much the nature of law as of a kind of violence.” (#1902)

Catholic Social Teaching St. Augustine: “An unjust law is no law at all.” (On Free Choice Of The Will, Book 1, § 5)

Authority is exercised legitimately only when it seeks the common good of the group concerned and if it employs morally licit means to attain it. If rulers were to enact unjust laws or take measures contrary to the moral order, such arrangements would not be binding in conscience. In such a case “authority breaks down completely and results in shameful abuse”. (#1903)

The citizen is obliged in conscience not to follow the directives of civil authorities when they are contrary to the demands of the moral order, to the fundamental rights of persons or the teachings of the Gospel. Refusing obedience to civil authorities, when their demands are contrary to those of an upright conscience, finds its justification in the distinction between serving God and serving the political community. “Render therefore to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.” “We must obey God rather than men.” (#2242).

In Pope Leo XIII’s June 1881 Encyclical on Government Authority (Diuturnum Illud), we read:

The one only reason which men have for not obeying is when anything is demanded of them which is openly repugnant to the natural or the divine law, for it is equally unlawful to command and to do anything in which the law of nature or the will of God is violated…”

Demonic Intelligence…

As already clearly illustrated, the Covid-19 crisis is fabricated and the response to it is contrary to human reason, human freedom and the eternal law. Hence bishops, clergy and faithful who have in any way complied with the present evil, not recognising the demonic intelligence behind the initial suppression of the Mass followed by re-opening rules that include forbidding Holy Communion on the tongue, replacing holy water with sanitiser, taping off pews to restrict numbers, leper-like distancing with infantile face masks, including perspex riot guards, a moratorium on kissing statues, lighting votive candles and moving around the church, will certainly not escape the just judgment of God for their faithlessness, having shown themselves more concerned with the health of the mortal body than with the health of the immortal soul.

Comments invited…   

English College in Rome: Supporting “Gay Culture” Is No Barrier to Ordination…

Our England Correspondent writes…

In our January 2019 (Issue #109) edition [available to download from our archives on the Newsletter page of our website),  and on this blog here, we published an email exchange between the Editor and an un-named seminarian at the Venerable English College in Rome (VEC) on the subject of the seminarian’s public support for “the gay culture” on social media outlets.  

Editor wrote to him expressing concern for the screen shots [and other material] she’d received from a concerned English reader, showing him, for example, ‘liking’ a “gay” club in Bristol on Facebook. The club’s blasphemous name is ‘OMG’ – a common abbreviation for Oh My God – with the ‘g’ showing horns and a halo above…demonic. The seminarian also advertised the fact that he was on a [gay] “Pride” committee, while on Twitter he appears to support “gay marriage”.

Initially, he replied to say that he now accepted the Church’s teaching on homosexuality. At around the same time, a veritable tsunami of homosexual scandals involving homosexually active seminarians, priests and bishops hit the headlines [click here] and even Pope Francis was quoted as saying, behind closed doors to the Italian Bishops gathered for their plenary assembly, that it was necessary to “put the brakes” on “welcoming too many homosexuals” into seminaries. 

Editor, therefore, wrote to the English seminarian again, quoting the Vatican Instruction ‘Concerning the Criteria for the Discernment of Vocations with regard to Persons with Homosexual Tendencies in view of their Admission to the Seminary and to Holy Orders’. She highlighted the following key part of that document: The Church cannot admit to the seminary or to holy orders, those who practise homosexuality, present deep-seated homosexual tendencies or support the so-called “gay culture. [Emphasis added]

Editor now asked the seminarian to reconsider his position, promising to maintain anonymity at that time – hoping that he would realise that proceeding to ordination was the wrong thing to do. When he failed to reply to that request, she wrote to the authorities in the VEC: Monsignor Philip Whitmore, Archdiocese of Westminster, seminary rector; Fr John Flynn, Diocese of Salford, vice-rector; Fr John Metcalfe, Diocese of Hallam, Pastoral Director; Fr James McAuley, Diocese of Portsmouth, Academic Tutor; Fr Anthony Doe, Archdiocese of Westminster, Spiritual Director. This, in order to make sure that they were aware of the line of communication with the seminarian, and to remind them of the Church’s criteria for the discernment of vocations with regards to varying levels of homosexual tendency. No replies were received from any of those concerned. The seminarian – Alexander Balzanella – was later ordained deacon, and is now proceeding towards ordination to the priesthood…

From the website of the Archdiocese of Westminster – 30/08/2019

Bishop Alan Hopes of East Anglia ordained Alexander Balzanella to the diaconate on Sunday 14th July at the Church of Our Lady of Snows Chapel in Villa Palazolla, just outside Rome. Alex is a Westminster seminarian studying at the Venerable English College (VEC) in Rome…(Rome ordination for Deacon Alex, published on the website of the Diocese of Westminster).  

Of course, homosexual priests, or those who support “the gay culture” are no longer making headline news anywhere, apparently welcomed as such by hierarchy and laity alike. However, we believe that, in the interests of transparency, for the sake of those few remaining Catholics who seek to avoid such influences over themselves and their children, we are now duty-bound to reveal the identity of the seminarian-now-deacon whom we reported back in 2019 for his public support of the “gay culture”. For senior churchmen, keeping the rules these days seems restricted to keeping the “Covid-19” rules – not the Church’s rules on admission to seminaries and certainly not the rules put in place by God – the Ten Commandments, the moral law.

Contrary, therefore, to what our enemies will claim, identifying this new deacon will not be to his detriment at all. If anything, we can look forward to writing a few lines of introduction to the new Bishop, if not Cardinal, Balzanella. Reflect…   Taken from Catholic Truth newsletter, July 2020, Issue No. 118, p.12

Comment from Editor…

As linked in the introduction above, we previously discussed this scandal in November, 2018 here

At that time, I asked bloggers to refrain from speculating as to the identity of the then seminarian, now deacon.  In this conversation, I would ask that the House rule prohibiting personal remarks be honoured, and that we all stick to the key issue which is the flouting, by bishops and senior seminary staff, of the Church’s directive on admission to seminaries: they are expected to  refuse admission to anyone who supports the so-called “gay culture. (Vatican). 

Alexander Balzanella supported the “gay culture” during his seminary training at the Venerable English College in Rome.  If his superiors did not know about this, which is unlikely, it was drawn to their attention through the Catholic Truth correspondence.  Yet, in defiance of the Church’s prohibition on admitting to seminary and to Holy Orders those known to support the “gay culture”, he was ordained to the diaconate in the Diocese of Westminster. 

Manifestly, the hierarchy in Westminster (and the senior seminary staff) do not think it matters whether they ordain deacons and priests who support the “gay culture” (“Pride” events, nightclubs, “gay marriage”, whatever). 

Given the above email exchanges in the Case of Alexander Balzanella Vs the Church’s Criteria for the Discernment of Vocations with regard to Persons with Homosexual Tendencies…  it seems clear that no lessons at all have been learned from previous scandals in seminaries, such as those documented in the book Goodbye, Good Men by Michael S. Rose, or following the defrocking of the American Cardinal [now Mr] McCarrick in the USA. 

Instead, the homosexualisation of the priesthood continues apace. But, does it really matter?  Is it wrong to highlight the issue?  Would you want to know if your priest/deacon had a history of supporting the “gay culture”? Last but by no means least, would you want to know if your bishop ignored the Church’s criteria for seminary admission and ordination?  

Ascension Thursday: “I am with you always…” Pray for the Church, Urgently!

Comment: 

Our Lord’s final words on this earth were an exhortation to go out into the whole world, bringing souls into the Church, and a promise to be with His Church “…always, even to the consummation of the world.”  (Matt 28:20)

But who believes that any more?  Where are the bishops and priests today who believe they have a duty to seek converts to the Faith? Who actually believes that Christ’s promise to be with His Church always still holds good, given that the widespread apostasy (notably the manifest loss of faith in key dogmas such as the Real Presence of Our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament) is hiding in plain sight… How can we claim that Christ is still “with His  Church”?  

If so, why are bishops and priests so keen to spread false religions?  If you haven’t signed this petition to stop the public broadcast of the Muslim Call to Prayer,  please do so now, because this will not be a temporary measure for  Ramadan in Lockdown – this will remain as a permanent feature of life in those particular London boroughs and will likely spread from there to other parts of the UK.   No doubt about it. 

There’s no need to ask  whether or not Catholic clergy approve this – that’s a given.  Otherwise, what’s with all the ecumenical and inter-faith dialogue over years now? 

So, today, on this important Feast of the Ascension of Our Lord into Heaven, let us pray especially for Holy Mother Church, so betrayed in our times by faithless religious leaders, even to the very top of the Church.  On this important Feast, then, we offer the following prayers for the Church and the Pope…

Almighty and Everlasting God, have mercy on Thy servant Francis our Supreme Pontiff, and direct him, according to Thy loving kindness, in the way of eternal salvation, that with Thy help he may ever desire that which is pleasing to Thee and accomplish it with all his strength. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.

A PRAYER TO SAINT GREGORY VII, POPE AND CONFESSOR

O invincible defender of Holy Church’s freedom, Saint Gregory of great renown, by that firmness thou didst show in maintaining the Church’s rights against all her enemies, stretch forth from Heaven thy mighty arm, we beseech thee, to comfort her and defend her in the fearful battle she must ever wage with the powers of darkness. Do thou, in an especial manner, give strength in this dread conflict to the venerable Pontiff who has fallen heir not only to thy throne, but likewise to the fearlessness of thy mighty heart; obtain for him the joy of beholding his holy endeavors crowned by the triumph of the Church and the return of the lost sheep into the right path. Grant, finally, that all may understand how vain it is to strive against that faith which has always conquered and is destined always to conquer: “this is the victory which overcometh the world, our faith.” This is the prayer that we raise to thee with one accord; and we are confident, that, after thou hast heard our prayers on earth, thou wilt one day call us to stand with thee in Heaven, before the eternal High Priest, Who with the Father and the Holy Spirit liveth and reigneth world without end. Amen.

Note:  although we are dispensed from the obligation to attend Mass at this time, live-streamed Masses can be found if you search on YouTube.   

Are We Morally Bound To Obey Coronavirus Restrictions / Laws? 

Comment:

The Catechism of the Catholic Church on the duty of citizens towards the authorities in civil society:

The citizen is obliged in conscience not to follow the directives of civil authorities when they are contrary to the demands of the moral order, to the fundamental rights of persons or the teachings of the Gospel. Refusing obedience to civil authorities, when their demands are contrary to those of an upright conscience, finds its justification in the distinction between serving God and serving the political community. “Render therefore to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.” “We must obey God rather than men”:
When citizens are under the oppression of a public authority which oversteps its competence, they should still not refuse to give or to do what is objectively demanded of them by the common good; but it is legitimate for them to defend their own rights and those of their fellow citizens against the abuse of this authority within the limits of the natural law and the Law of the Gospel.
  (# 2242)

The question here, therefore, is this:  are the Governments of the UK overstepping their authority by requiring us to accept some very serious restrictions on our personal liberty, in the name of “saving lives” – when by all accounts, the majority of those who become infected with Covid-19 recover from it? A relative of mine believes he had the virus back in January;  he was sure it was simply flu, but because it was the worst-ever flu attack he’d ever experienced, he decided to visit his doctor.  He said the doctor asked him “a strange question” – had he been in China recently!  The answer was “no” and that is where that conversation ended.  This relative – who is very elderly, in his 80s – made a full recovery.  

There is concern, therefore, that perhaps the lockdown restrictions are not only unnecessary (who quarantines the healthy?) but also too stringently enforced. The full force of the law…Really?  People stopped in the street, or pulled over in their car by the police, and asked to explain why they are outside of their home, destination etc.  Do we have to answer? Should we pay any fines imposed?  Is this a conscience issue, or would we be doing wrong to flout the State?  

Priest on Scandal of Denying The One True Religion: Outstanding Interview

Comment: 

Fr David Sherry is an Irish priest of the Society of St Pius X (SSPX) who served in Scotland for a year before he was re-assigned to Canada.  We have very happy memories of him in Glasgow – indeed, one of my Great-Nephews received his First Holy Communion from Fr Sherry, with a photograph on their fridge as a permanent reminder! 

Topics for discussion in the above lengthy interview with Fr Sherry of the SSPX, include: 

1. What is the SSPX
2. Who was [Archbishop] Lefebvre
3. Was he guilty of a schismatic act when he ordained 4 bishops or was it necessary due to a state of emergency?
4. Does the Vatican allow Catholics to attend SSPX masses to fulfil their Sunday obligation?
5. Is the status of the SSPX currently canonically irregular or schismatic?
6. Will there be an agreement with the Vatican soon, in your estimation?
7. What are some of the problems with Vatican II?
8. What are your thoughts on the Pachamama ceremony in the Vatican Gardens?
9. Is the Novus Ordo valid?
10. What should a Catholic do if an SSPX chapel is not available near them?

Share your thoughts on Father’s very clear explanation of the work of the Society in the context of the current unprecedented crisis in the Church.  What possible reason can anyone offer for continuing to avoid the SSPX Masses/Sacraments in this worsening time of trial within the Church? 

For more conferences, visit the St Peter’s Hamburg blog

An American Priest on Coronavirus – His Excitement Is…Well…Infectious!

Comment:

The above short video talk struck me right away as very typical of the modern “don’t criticise… that’s negative” mentality.  Positive thinking, blah blah.  Well, we can “positive think” 24/7, but it won’t change the worrying reality of military on the streets, permission slips/letters to go out of our homes, people told to contact the police if they see a group on the street, and no cycling allowed… and these are just four things which I’ve noted myself on one “round up” of the global news on TV today about “that virus”.  Am I “criticising”?  “Being negative”?  Or simply “calling a spade a spade”? 

One other thought crossed my mind today and was confirmed when I began to read the comments on YouTube underneath the above video, and stopped short at the first one, which reads:  “I was lucky to do confession before they cancelled physical masses. Funny enough, now that streaming masses are available, I’m more motivated to do it more frequently, and make it a daily habit. Blessing in disguise?”

Is it possible that, perhaps  an unintended consequence of the rush to discourage the worship of God in Catholic churches will be the idea that – well – we don’t actually need to personally attend Mass any more?  If your parish live-streams Masses, what’s the big deal?