Tuesday, March 10, 2020

In times of disaster the Church should not take measures to protect herself

Under the guise of protecting the faithful and the general public the Church, especially in places like Italy, is taking measures which serve only to protect herself, for example the decree in many places including United States that stipulates Communion be given only in the hand. No doubt there is no lack of good will but there is, at the same time, a grievous lack of foresight.

First of all, this official guidance issued by many dioceses is not morally binding, because the faithful always have a right to receive Communion on the tongue. But it also it serves only to protect the priest.

The Church’s traditional practices as one sees in every traditional Latin Mass are to give Communion only by means of the sacred Host, by the priest only, and with the laity kneeling at the altar rail and receiving reverently on the tongue.

The knee-jerk reaction in many places was to immediately stipulate that parishes all  revert to the Vatican II primitivism of Communion in the hand. The organic development of tradition incorporates the wisdom of the ages without sacrificing reverence in our sacramental practices. To jettison this treasure is a form of institutional suicide.

Saint Charles Borromeo, although closing some churches, himself went out and ministered to the sick, leading by example as is only right and good for a bishop whose priests deserve to look to him in the first place for a priestly example. Saint Charles had Masses said on temporary altars built in the streets for those quarantined in their homes.

The Church should not retreat in times of plague like the Coronavirus but, rather, courageously advance upon the field of battle, knowing with the confidence of Faith that she exists above all for moments like these in history, for the sake of the salvation of souls, especially those most under attack by disease as well as suffering privation of grace through unforgiven sins or the lack of repentance.

“Be ready to abandon this mortal life rather than the people committed to your care. Go forward among the plague-stricken as to life, as to a reward, even if there is only one soul to be won to Christ.” St Charles Borromeo

Sometimes those most in need of spiritual succour are those who wander into our open churches and find their way into the pew for Mass as well as those who call the priest to their bedside in the hospital or the home.

The glory of the Church shines most brightly through history because of her courage when others fell in the thick of battle and the fog of war.

Excelsior! Onward and upward!

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