I continue to be aghast at otherwise faithful Catholics who are falling lock-step behind the government's unconstitutional ban on large gatherings. The First Amendment guarantees, among other things, Freedom of Religion and Freedom of Assembly. I won't rehash last week's piece on this; read it here.
I commend the priests who are "working around" the draconian actions of their bishops, with many of those actions surpassing those of civil authority in jack-booted tyranny and in utter disregard of their sacerdotal mandates. Several pastors are conducting "drive-through" confessions in their parking lots. Others are exposing the Blessed Sacrament in the churches so that He can be seen and adored from the outside. Other non-Roman rites are still conducting Mass, or Divine Liturgy to use their terminology.
But again, the mental contortions that some Catholics use to justify their "go along to get along" attitudes is a sight to behold. More than a few are claiming that Catholics in a state of grace do not have the right to receive the Sacraments. To which I will now reply, "AT CANON LAW, THEY CERTAINLY DO HAVE SUCH RIGHTS". Canon 213 expressly states that truth.
Many times we have cited Canon 915, detailing that Catholics "persevering in manifest, grave sin" are not to be admitted to Communion. However, examine Canons 912 - 923. I foresee one attempt at silliness now and will quash it immediately. Canon 912 states that "any baptized person not prohibited by law can and must be admitted to Holy Communion." "Law" in this context means church law, not civil; else we would have to conclude that Chinese Catholics cannot receive Holy Communion.
Now are the bishops actually barring us from Mass? Well, they are actually quite clever about that. At Canon Law, they cannot do that. They are closing Churches and exhorting us to remain at home and maybe watch a live-stream of Mass. In some discussions where I've broached the idea of going outside my diocese for Mass, I am told that I am "being disobedient". No I am not. I have the canonical right to go to Mass. Moreover, the bishops never ordered us outright not to go to Mass. They cannot, and they know it. They simply put out some sly suggestions and hope that Catholics will believe that they are forbidden to attend. Indeed, some naively take the suggestion and run with it, probably not stopping to actually think about the matter.
Let's look at Confession through the prism of Canon Law, beginning with Canon 960. That canon states that grave sin can only be remitted via the Sacrament of Confession, excepted only by "physical or moral impossibility". NEWS FLASH! The equivocating cowardice of bishops, by which they so cavalierly close their confessionals, does NOT constitute those kinds of impossibilities. God bless the priests mentioned above who have devised ways to work around their prelates' irresponsible directives. Canon 986 is quite explicit about the duty of priests to make themselves available for confession, particularly when the penitent is in danger of death.
So my fellow Catholics, hold your bishops' feet to the fire. Go outside your diocese to receive the Sacraments, if you must. Remember that your first duty before God is your own and your families' salvation. Physical health, good as it is, takes lesser priority to salvation.
Saturday, March 21, 2020
No Bishop Can Abrogate Our Canonical Right To The Sacraments
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Our Bishop (a Byzantine Catholic bishop), has punitively locked down the entire Eparchy. Our average parish has 10-20 people at Divine Liturgy, even though the churches can easily accommodate 150 to 200 souls. "Social Distancing" is not an issue in our churches. The priests are afraid of him. He has locked the churches so that the faithful cannot pray. He has spies who report on priests who try to serve their people. We cannot receive communion, and confession is only permitted in extreme circumstances. Any priest who violates his commands faces draconian penalties. I pray he converts or is removed from the episcopate. The prophecies of Akita are beginning to come true: "The only arms which will remain for you will be the Rosary and the Sign left by my Son."ReplyDelete
Where are you located? Are you permitted to receive Sacraments from other rites? If so, you may have alternatives, albeit few.Delete
It sounds like you're in the Eparchy of Passaic: https://www.eparchyofpassaic.com/ or possibly the Eparchy of Parma:https://parma.org/Delete
Unfortunately I cannot tell you where - if I did and it got back to him, he would punish the local priest. My family and I prayed a liturgy without the anaphora, and with spiritual communion. Married priests and those parishes, such as the cathedral, where others live onsite, are permitted to have the sacraments. In states or regions under the "Shelter in Place" rules, we are not even permitted to be onsite during the private liturgies. The churches are locked. In effect, the bishop has placed his entire eparchy under interdict.ReplyDelete
Sadly, I understand. I hope you can explore other rites, perhaps in other locales where regulations aren't as draconian.Delete
Thank you very much for this most appreciated article. God bless you and your work.ReplyDelete
Public Mass Bans Are Unjust and Canonically Invalid -- https://www.churchmilitant.com/news/article/disobey-bishops-illegal-orders-banning-massesReplyDelete
Public Masses Cancelled But Planned Parenthood: Abortions ‘Business as Usual’ During Coronavirus --https://www.breitbart.com/politics/2020/03/23/planned-parenthood-abortions-business-as-usual-during-coronavirus/