St Mungo’s, Townhead, Glasgow
Catholic Truth blogger Athanasius, aka Martin Blackshaw, writes…
In what can only be described as providential timing, I encountered first-hand on Saturday the evil that Fr. Dunn warned of in his letter challenging the bishops of Scotland on their Covid-19 response measures.
The venue of my bitter experience was St. Mungo’s church in Glasgow’s Townhead, the source of the evil was the superior of the Passionists there, Fr. Frank Keevins.
Having clearly been tipped off that I had entered the church for Confession, dismissing, as is my Catholic duty, the faithless and dehumanising house rules for entry imposed by Scotland’s wayward hierarchy, Fr. Keevins skulked around outside awaiting my departure in order to “have a word”
The word mumbled from behind his pitiful little face covering was that unless I conform to the Covid-19 tyranny of the State, as per the capitulation of the bishops and their clerical enforcers, I will not be allowed to enter that particular House of God again. In fine – no mask, no Sacraments.
Two Gospel texts came to my mind as he spoke; one being Our Lord’s condemnation of the Pharisees who close the kingdom of heaven to souls, neither entering themselves, the other His just wrath visited upon the worldly Temple moneychangers.
Imagine Our Saviour turning up in the flesh at St. Mungo’s today only to be greeted by a masked usher asking for His contact details, squirting him
with sanitiser, handing him a State muzzle and offering to guide Him to one of the few pews not taped off. I think it fair to conclude that having turned away from that worldly place, emptied of God, there would not be left a stone upon a stone.
No matter how hard I tried to explain this reality to Fr. Keevins, reminding him of the very grave evil he was perpetrating, evil that could well result in the loss of his own immortal soul, he remained unmoved and resolute. His response was a flippant “I will take that risk” as he sought refuge in “blind obedience” to the bishops – that monumental error of our time that robs the free children of God of their liberty on the whim of abusive ecclesiastical authority.
This recourse of Fr. Keevins to blind obedience rather reminded me of the pathetic defence of the Nazis at Nuremberg who sought to justify their wickedness with the line “I was only obeying orders”.
To be absolutely clear on this point, it is the teaching of the Church that subordinates must obey the legitimate ecclesiastical authority in all that is consistent with the faith handed down. However, it is equally incumbent upon them to refuse obedience when the ecclesiastical authority issues commands that are detrimental to the faith and harmful to souls.
There is no question that by their treacherous compliance with unjust secular laws relating to Covid-19, laws that subordinate the superior supernatural authority of the Church to the inferior State, trampling the freedom and dignity of Christ’s flock along the way, these worldly bishops and priests must be resisted by all Catholics who retain a true sense of the faith and zeal for the honour of God.
It has been patently obvious for several months now that Covid-19 represents no threat to health for 99.7% of the global population; this is verified both by official statistics and the declarations of the world’s leading scientists.
Hence this unholy behaviour of our clerical superiors, unprecedented in ecclesiastical history even during times of real plague, is proof positive that the Church is presently undergoing a great crisis of faith in her clergy, a crisis that demands of the faithful serious discernment in the grave matter of which priests they entrust their salvation to.
The Redemptorist missionary admonition of tradition reads “You have one life to live and one soul to save; death will come soon, then heaven or hell for all eternity”. With these words of true wisdom ever present in our minds let us all resolve to reject the spirit of “the Prince of this world” that so many bishops and priests have succumbed to – and are trying to subject us to.
Our clear duty is to seek out faithful clergy, supernatural men of God noted for their love of God and their spiritual zeal for souls. These, in my experience, are generally priests who celebrate the ancient Latin Mass of the saints and martyrs and are conspicuous for their Eucharistic devotion, rejecting the much-abused, irreverence-inducing indult of Communion in the hand to standing communicants.
While they are by far the minority these days, often disdained and marginalised by their worldly bishops and confreres, these are the priests whose voice resonates within our souls as the true voice of the Good Shepherd.
To date, only one priest has gone on the record in Scotland (and, as far as we know, in the entire UK) to express his shock at the way the Bishops are implementing Government Covid-19 restrictions, placing themselves at the service of the State – that is to say, they have chosen to serve Man not God. This, of course, contradicts the Gospel imperative: Our Lord teaches very clearly that we cannot serve two masters – we must choose God or the world. If we try to serve both, we will come to hate the one and love the other (Luke 16:13) The Bishops of Scotland and the wider UK seem to have made their choice. This, of course, has been true for many years now, so we are entitled to ask if, in fact, they have come to hate God. They certainly do not appear to love Him more than the corrupt politicians from whom they are taking their orders, turning the Father’s House into a den of thieves.
But, what about the rest of us? Martin Blackshaw has made his position crystal clear: he’ll be complying with this ridiculous Covidiocy around ten years after Cadbury ceases chocolate-making. But what about you and me – will we go along with these outrageous restrictions through fear of fines and imprisonment? Are we likely to choose God over Nicola Sturgeon, in the absence of the kind of moral and spiritual leadership which we have a right to expect from our religious leaders? Bishops and priests are clearly afraid of the possibility of finding themselves with a criminal conviction, and their fear is understandable… until, that is, we recall the many priest-martyrs at the time of the Reformation who were criminalised – and executed (our own Scottish martyr, John Ogilvie SJ included) – simply for refusing to stop offering Holy Mass. Quite a standard – sets the bar very high for us all.
So… what now? Should priests who refuse the Sacraments to non-compliant laity, be disciplined? Share your thoughts…
Immaculate Heart of Mary, pray for us!