Thus says Dr. Paolo Gulisano, renowned Italian epidemiologist, in an interview given to Church Militant TV. He is quite correct in describing this situation as a "fatal rupture" with the Church's history of standing fast in the face of plagues, wars, earthquakes, etc. He also made plain that no more can the pope utilize his "church is a field hospital" routine.
I am writing this after having just learned that my parish will not be offering the Sacrament of Confession "until further notice". This notice was given after one of the priests felt unwell and got tested for the covid-19 virus. His test results aren't in yet. Certainly we pray that the results are negative and for Father's health in general.
But what about the spiritual health of Catholics in the area? Just what might happen of that one Catholic who's been away from the Sacraments for years, and is now just mustering up what little faith and courage he/she has left to get right with God? Just being away from the Sacraments for years is its own mortal sin, and there are likely others, given that such a soul has had little if any spiritual sustenance. Now he/she cannot go to Confession at my Church, and at too many others. Remember - one mortal sin, if unconfessed, will damn a soul to hell for eternity. If that person makes a Perfect Act of Contrition, he/she might be able to save his/her soul. However, given the shoddy formation that many Catholics have received of late, that is one tenuous "IF". If he/she sees that Catholic priests are afraid of their company, will they be so understandably scandalized that they might never return?
In the Old Testament, we read Ezekiel 3:16-21 has plenty to say about those appointed by God to lead to salvation - and their punishment should they refuse to do so. Consider the disgraceful state of affairs of the US church right now. All of the US dioceses have canceled public Masses. In addition to the denial of Confession, many (not all, at least at the time of this writing) are not offering Last Rights nor are they baptizing babies. Here you have people in their final agonies being deserted by their Church. Frankly, I cannot see how such dereliction of duty isn't its own mortal sin. If so, how can a bishop's order to do that be binding under obedience? Then there are the babies. Let's get real on that. Pope John Paul II voiced the hope that there might be a way that unbaptized babies might be admitted to heaven. However, that is only a hope, not a certitude. We dare not presume that a child, deprived of baptism, will be admitted to the Beatific Vision. There is one glimmer of hope, and parents, take note. In dire straits, any lay person can baptize another. Must it come to that?
Too many clergy are losing sight of their sacerdotal duties in the face of physical disease. They value physical health over spiritual health. I fear that if they persist, they'll literally have hell to pay. Pray for our church and her priests.
The Dismal Synod Results
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