Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Surviving The Sanitary Dictatorship

The term "sanitary dictatorship" was coined by Bishop Athanasius Schneider as he wrote about the plight of Catholics who are being deprived world-wide of the Sacraments out of misguided fear.  The "sanitary dictorship" is comprised not only of overreaching civil authorities, but even of Catholic hierarchy who seem all too eager to "go along to get along".

When I say "misguided fear", I do not mean to dismiss the importance of proper precautions such as the washing of hands, maintaining distance between people and for the sick, staying away from others.  I mean that the fear of the virus is supplanting what should be a proper and Godly fear of the Lord.  This lack of fear is causing even otherwise good Catholics to downplay the absolute necessity of the sacraments, believing that we can do without sacraments more so than temporal (and temporary) safety.

Bishop Joseph Strickland of Tyler TX called upon priests worldwide to do whatever is necessary to administer the Sacrament of Confession to their congregations.  An important aside - while some apoologists have argued that Catholics in prior centuries went without receiving the Eucharist for several months, they always attended Mass.  Moreover, they always had recourse to Confession, for if they died in mortal sin, they stood a good chance of going to hell.  By and large, they acknowledged that fact and acted accordingly.

Cardinal Burke has likewise penned an article in which he plainly states that once again, the Church must prioritize spiritual needs over temporal.  I could spend an entire post on his piece but I will simply urge you to read it in its entirety.

Fortunately, some priests are indeed "thinking outside the box" in order to make that vitally important Sacrament available to their congregations.  That article tells of a number of pastors who are offering "drive-through" confessions, including the pastor of St Edward the Confessor in nearby Bowie MD.  I heard from a friend that St Martin's of Gaithersbug will do the same on Saturdays from 4-5:30.

The Vatican has introduced indulgences in the wake of the deprivation of sacraments that we now endure.  These indulgences, though, persume that the seeker of the indulgence is in a state of grace.  Today, owing in part to terrible catechesis, many Catholics are in mortal sin.  For those Catholics there remains a lifeline known as an Act of Perfect Contrition; even then there is the condition that they must receive the Sacrament of Confession.

We simply must hammer home to our prelates the need to place the salvation of souls as first priority, even above public safety.  I will link to the blog of my friend and colleague at Les Femmes.  She and her fellow columnists have written a good deal on this matter, and it is worth study.  The churches must be opened and the Sacraments once again opened to the congregations.  In the meantime...


  1. Right on, Janet! We are seeing so many putting their trust in government measures rather than in God. And while they still go to the grocery store, they excoriate others who simply want to go to Mass. I've been vilified for other things I've written, but this is just sad coming from other presumably serious Catholics.

    1. Same here. Given how the word "selfish" is doled out like candy, I must wonder from where that impetus originates.

  2. ST.Mary of the Mills,114 St. Mary's Place, Laurel, MD 20707 has confession twice a day Mon-Fri: 7:00 - 7:30am/9:30 - 10:00am, and Tuesday: 6:00 - 7:30pm, Saturday: 3:30 - 4:30pm http://www.stmaryslaurel.org/reconciliation

  3. Re: my prior post,it has been my experience that the Priests at St. Mary's don't leave as long as there are penitents are n line


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