Tuesday, 25 February 2020

What Does a Catholic Bishop Do When Government Orders the End of Gatherings in Times of Coronavirus? This:

They can also offer thanksgiving for all the sins and blasphemies that will not be committed because of the cancellation of the Venetian Carnival.

From Rorate Cæli

Northern Italy is in a state of semi-lockdown due to the spread of the current most dangerous strain of the Coronavirus, as large public gatherings have been forbidden for several days in most of the regions -- including Lombardy, Veneto, Liguria, Piedmont, Emilia-Romagna.

Since some of the local "ordinanze" (decrees) include the prohibition of "religious" gatherings, and getting ahead of the public authorities, several dioceses in the region have suspended religious activities.

Now, as the very high death toll in a few days (over 50 so far, in only a week) in the Islamic Shia center of Qom, in Iran, has shown, religious gatherings can indeed lead to widespread infection and high mortality rates. But what if there is a way to keep the worship of God while complying with public demands to avoid contagion?

The Bishop of Pavia, in Lombardy, Corrado Sanguineti, shows that is possible. His pastoral letter on the matter is a lesson in common sense, and in particular we call your attention to this paragraph:

While unfortunately having to suspend the celebration of the Holy Masses until further notice, I order that Churches remain open, for the personal prayer of the faithful, and I ask that, even on weekdays, priests celebrate daily Mass, behind closed doors, praying in the name of the whole community, signaling with the sound of the bells that the Eucharist is being offered for the living and the dead: even if we cannot celebrate publicly, the liturgical prayer must not fail, which for us priests is a daily appointment of life and is an inexhaustible source of grace for all the people of God. Priests must keep in touch with the faithful, and must not fail to continue their presence among the sick and the elderly in homes and welcoming structures.

Of course, private daily Masses "without the people" are a traditional practice, and well known to Traditional Catholics, but not very common among large numbers of clergy raised with the Novus Ordo, so the reminder is necessary.

[Tip: MessaInLatino]

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