Canceling Catholicism Until Further Notice
  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 9,937
    Canceling Catholicism Until Further Notice

    Early on in his papacy, Pope Francis likened the Church to a field hospital. But the analogy hasn’t held up amidst coronavirus fears. The diocese of Rome has suspended Masses through April 3. The idea of closing churches during a crisis is a peculiarly modern one. The ancient impulse during a crisis was not to abolish worship but to increase it.

    In the age of the secularized Catholic Church, deference to the state, which prioritizes the body over the soul, is the order of the day. Even in America, where the risk of infection from coronavirus remains low...

    https://spectator.org/canceling-catholicism-until-further-notice/
  • bhcordovabhcordova
    Posts: 1,083
    Several things in that article are untrue. Italy is under lock-down. The diocese where closings are happening are the ones most severely hit by the pandemic. Sounds like someone complaining about the fire department fighting fires in another part of town because his house isn't on fire
  • I haven't read anything more than this excerpt, but it absolutely rings true in my ears. Instead of running to the fire, we seem intent on announcing a busman's holiday: everyone out of town.
  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 9,937
    @bhcordova

    What is the definition of 'severely hit' by the pandemic? Our entire state has 77 cases... (0 deaths) hype to the max.
  • TCJ
    Posts: 836
    That's what it feels like where I am. I called the diocese and the person said they haven't cancelled public prayer because you can still go into a church and pray. I had to correct her on what public prayer is...
    Thanked by 1CharlesW
  • Francis,

    "severely hit" is like "mass shooting". There may be a technical definition, but the news media seem to treat it as whatever they need it to be to make headlines to fit a narrative
    Thanked by 1CharlesW
  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 9,937
    CGZ... I think our Mass has been shot.
  • Kathy
    Posts: 5,431
    Francis, it's unlikely that your state has no more than 77 cases.

    Testing has been extremely limited, and many people who should have been tested have not been.

    The number 77 includes only those who have been tested.
  • Kathy,

    What makes is so unlikely?

    a) The state refuses to test anyone who might give a positive result, and so the 77 positives amount to incompetence in letting them slip through, when the number is predetermined to be 0.

    b) Some states have so many cases that 77 seems a tremendously low number.

    c) It's just not fair that Francis' state can have fewer than (say) California.
    Thanked by 1Kevin814
  • CharlesSA
    Posts: 150
    The question of testing is what I am extremely interested in now. I would be very interested to know how widespread testing could be made available as quickly as possible. Widespread testing and subsequent strict quarantine of those testing positive would, it seems, allow things to get things back to as semi-normal as possible. I understand there are a lot of unknowns about this virus still, and that there is no available vaccine yet, and so things won't be perfectly normal for quite some time, but the longer things remain chaotic - which they are getting to be now here in the US - the more people are going to get hurt financially. It seems widespread testing availability would go a long way towards helping.
  • CharlesSA
    Posts: 150
    I don't know why this is hard to understand. The reason it is certainly more than 77 is that one doesn't know one has it, and therefore will not go get a test, is that symptoms will not show in most people until days or weeks after being infected. With the result that many unknowingly infected people are still going out and about infecting people. And the cycle continues.
  • jpnz71
    Posts: 65
    I find it difficult to understand how mass shootings and the current pandemic can be mocked and dismissed on a forum whose members ostensibly are Catholic, Christian, and who, I presume, uphold the sanctity of life from conception to natural death. This is not something I am prepared to let pass. Shame on those of you pedaling in conspiracy theories and medieval approaches to science. You are the kind of people responsible for people abandoning Catholicism and looking for a faith home where faith and reason are valued. If what you want, ultimately, is a church of people with similar views on mass shootings and pandemics, you will be a very small church indeed. It might be useful for some of you to review the history of Shakers to see what happens to religious sects that cling to a long outdated past.
  • chonakchonak
    Posts: 8,921
    It's not surprising that some recently written articles contain statements that aren't true.
    The regulations in many places are changing from day to day. One day's statements are overtaken by the next day's events.

    The commentary linked at the top of this thread was written March 15. It cites a Reuters report about protests in Italy March 13, about church closings announced on March 12.

    But on March 13, a papal intervention reversed the order to close Roman churches. Once that happened, the reason for the protests went away, and so did the basis for the Spectator essay above, and hence for this discussion thread.
  • Italy does not have enough ventilators for patients who need them. Doctors are deciding who to treat, based on war-time criteria.

    Think on that, and get over your "Catholicism suspended" bleating.
  • CatherineS
    Posts: 690
    ...
  • Jpnz71,

    Welcome to the comment side of the forum. You've walked into a chattering fest which results from various factors, but you've also provided us with a first-hand look at why our administrator posts notices such as "Write with future readers in mind".

    Since it's my comment to which you are responding, I suppose I should be the one to reply.

    Francis Koerber made the inquiry about what "severely hit" meant in the context of this wretched nuissance. I replied that severely hit is a term rather like mass shooting, in that it can be deployed by news outlets to elicit responses -- much as my remark elicited a stinging rebuke from you. Neither I nor Francis approves of a wanton disregard for life nor the callous lack of interest in the souls of those killed in what the media terms "mass shootings".

    News outlets, whatever other purpose they serve, exist to sell newspapers (or your information, in the age of the internet). This is not a glib dismissal of the real suffering of real people, but a skepticism about what is being reported because of the messenger. The suffering of real people is being manipulated to serve a particular narrative peddled by the news outlets, and both Francis and I deplore such manipulation.

    I can't speak for everyone hereabouts, but I am a practicing Catholic -- so, yes, I'm a Christian -- and I uphold the sanctity of life from conception to natural death.

    Now it's my turn to ask a question. Where do you see "conspiracy theories" and a "medieval approach to science"? (In the interests of helping me focus, please quote texts from this thread.)

    Back to answering your questions, implied and otherwise.

    Many around here (though not all, to be sure) recognize that there has been a significant drop off in the practice of the faith as it had been practiced for hundreds of years, and that practice includes public acts of worship, reparation, penance, to name just a few. Some undetermined number of my colleagues here want a robust practice of the faith, without compromise or apology. The number isn't determined because our administrators don't conduct a purity test of any kind before allowing people access. Most of those who recognize the drop off don't want to go back to some imaginary past, but forward to a robust celebration of the faith. (See Corinne Cooze's comments about the Church going forward instead of backwards). Far from divorcing faith and reason Corinne and I and others want the estrangement which currently exists to be brought to an end to the extent possible, given that human agents are involved.

    When you say

    If what you want, ultimately, is a church of people with similar views on mass shootings and pandemics, you will be a very small church indeed.
    ,
    you seem to be tilting at windmills. Catholics want everyone to deplore the wanton destruction of human life, but also want to keep in mind that it is the soul which is more important than the body. If you want to be part of a church which approves of all forms of pestilence at the service of the wanton destruction of life, you won't find anyone here (EXCEPT IN JEST, so look for the purple) who belongs to, or wants to belong to such a church.

    The Shakers are an American Protestant sect, and as such they enjoy no guarantee from God Himself that they will continue until the end of time. "Outdated" has to be "dated" in the first place, so that which is merely old isn't outdated. I challenge you to consider the difference. There are some old people around this forum (writers, but probably also readers) and they aren't outdated just on account of their age, speaking as a young buck myself. The teachings of the faith aren't outdated. They're timeless.

    One final point: the Catholic Church isn't a religious sect.
  • chonakchonak
    Posts: 8,921
    I don't think it's accurate terminology to classify the Shakers as a Protestant sect, inasmuch as they do not profess the Trinity. Non-Trinitarian groups like the Jehovah's Witnesses, Mormons, and Shakers deserve their own consideration apart from Protestantism.

    There are at most two Shakers remaining, and I am not sure that they are both quite the real thing, inasmuch as the community decided in 1961 to stop accepting new members.

    One of the two reported adherents remaining was born around 1956, so he may not really have been old enough to have become a member before the closure.
  • Chonak,

    In so far as they are derivatives of the One true Church, their origins are in American Protestantism, but beyond that I'm happy to be corrected.
  • chonakchonak
    Posts: 8,921
    Granted, they have historical roots in -- in this case, English and French Protestantism.
  • It should be noted, mind you, that neither the English nor the French from which they descend approved of much shaking.
  • chonakchonak
    Posts: 8,921
    In case you haven't seen anything about their history lately, here's a summary.
  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 9,937
    Welcome jpnz... I see this is the first time you have visited our forum and this is the first time you have posted. Are you a church musician?
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 11,676
    Jerry Lee Lewis -Whole Lotta Shakin Going On

  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 9,937
    And Charles, We see that you’re over 10,000. How many of them are purple?!
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 11,676
    Francis, I don't know.
  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 9,937
    Kathy... yesterday this site said 77. Of course today is a little higher.

    https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2020/03/16/816707182/map-tracking-the-spread-of-the-coronavirus-in-the-u-s

    Even if it was 10 times higher, it is no reason to cancel Catholicism.
  • dad29
    Posts: 2,160
    30 cases, 0 deaths (gratias a Deo!!) and no Masses in the Archdiocese of Milwaukee until at least 3 April. 16 cases outside of this Archdiocese in the State.
  • CharlesSA
    Posts: 150
    I agree that churches ought not to be closed, and it looks like here in the US (in most places, at least...), they are not, and neither are they in Rome as the original post implies.

    Even so, there is a difference between "cancelling" Catholicism and "cancelling" (public) Masses. I mean really, if strident testing is not available - which it is unfortunately not; hopefully that changes soon - it is impossible to know if one has the disease and is therefore contagious. Absent this testing, forbidding large gatherings is the best thing to do for public safety. Just as it is no good to be perfect physically without taking care of the spiritual side, so is it not good to neglect physical realities on the grounds that one is fulfilling a spiritual duties. Our priest just gave a homily somewhat emphasizing this - to ignore taking all possible natural measures of safety on some sort of spiritual grounds is to test God, and this is impious.

    Yes, it is a big deal that there are no public Masses left. But particularly for those who are serious about their faith, those above all should know there are tons of ways to remain focused on prayer and maintaining a proper Lenten attitude at this time despite not being able to attend Holy Mass. As for those not as serious about their faith - please God, this situation might stir something in the depth of their souls and bring them closer to God and an authentic practice of their Catholic faith.

    Holy Week/Easter will certainly be a spiritual challenge if (as seems somewhat likely at this point) public liturgies are still forbidden. Yet we must do everything in our power with the help of God's grace to use the resources we have at our disposal. Surely, just as God may be allowing all of this for chastisement, so will He offer abundant graces to those who wish to draw ever closer to Him through it, by prayer and penance and sacrifice.
    Thanked by 1CHGiffen
  • dad29
    Posts: 2,160
    if strident testing is not available, it is impossible to know if one has the disease and is therefore contagious. Absent this testing, forbidding large gatherings is the best thing to do for public safety


    At this time, anyone with the symptoms (dry cough, fever, tightness in chest) can obtain a test. The results are provisional until CDC re-checks them (quality control here is critical.) Thus the country is not 'absent testing,' albeit they are not testing unless there is cause.

    As to forbidding large gatherings.........there are only two groups of people who are at risk of death from COV19: anyone over the age of 70, and anyone with an underlying serious health condition such as pneumonia, bronchitis, COPD, or asthma--or undergoing chemotherapy. (There may be others not mentioned here.)

    Thus, quarantining "at risk" people is far more sensible than merely banning gatherings of more than 10 people (which is the case in Wisconsin as of today)--or of 50, or whatever. Low-risk people may catch the disease and perish, but they can perish by other means, too. Shutting down the country's restaurants, shopping malls, taverns, and airlines--not to mention grade- and high-schools and colleges--has severe economic effects on a lot of people, many of whom simply cannot afford a 6-30 week period of unemployment.

    Look, too, at shutting down churches. At some point in time, with severely limited cash-coming-in from collections (and/or school tuition monthly checks), cash-going-out is going to be limited, if not stopped.

    So the question: how much damage should be imposed if 'lives lost' are held to a minimum through more directed and prudent quarantines??
  • bhcordovabhcordova
    Posts: 1,083
    Those two groups make up a sizeable portion of the population
    Thanked by 1Kevin814
  • Schönbergian
    Posts: 1,032
    I, too, am aghast at those seeking to polemicize this pandemic as some sort of new onslaught against Catholicism which can only be overcome through continuously gathering in enclosed spaces on a regular basis.

    Are the Sacraments of utmost importance? Absolutely. But there comes a point when following the advice of the foremost health experts on this planet trumps convenience of receiving the Sacraments by individuals. We're seeing unprecedented steps from both secular and sacred authorities - maybe that should be a sign that this isn't just some random localized crisis.

    A mass shooting doesn't encircle the globe in three months like this - those of you merely looking at numbers of cases are cherry-picking information to suit your case and ignoring the greater reality of how quickly this could spread if these measures are not taken. With the incubation period being what it is, a single person attending Mass could theoretically infect every member of the congregation without them knowing, Communion on the tongue or not.

    We need to defer to reasonable and proper authority in times like this instead of pretending that business is usual to justify public Masses.
  • Schoenbergian,

    Those who receive on the tongue and die from the Corona virus, IF THEY ARE IN THE STATE OF GRACE, go to heaven, which is better even than California.

    Those who aren't in the state of grace shouldn't be receiving, regardless of how He is offered.

    As to deferring to reasonable and proper authority:

    Since I'm living in the center of the most restrictive conditions in the country (so people tell me) if we were really serious about treating sick people, they are the ones who would be quarantined, not all of the rest of us.
  • Schönbergian
    Posts: 1,032
    Chris, that seems rather reckless to me. Isn't placing ourselves in a situation like that no worse than testing God? It's uncomfortably close to the logic by which we deem suicide a sin, to me.

    I'm not sure what you mean in the second half. The dangerous aspect of COVID-19 is that it is infectious far before any symptoms present, and individuals can spread the virus even if they are not aware they have it. Quarantining those with symptoms would not stop said group from continuing to infect other people. Also, there is no vaccine at present; therefore, the entire purpose of these lockdowns is to prevent the healthcare system from being completely overwhelmed at any given time until we can find some sort of sure-fire treatment.

    I agree that some of California's measures go too far; however, that doesn't justify some of the outrage I've seen here, as well as notions that prayer and the Sacraments are some sort of weaponry that can be accurately aimed and utilized against any ill in the world (which is where I suspect some of the earlier comments about "medieval science" may have came from)
  • TCJ
    Posts: 836
    I find it hard to believe that anyone really believes that the secular authorities have the well-being of the little peons in the nation as their first and foremost thought when making policies regarding the country. Past experience tells us that the politicians generally do not have our good in mind, even when they pretend that it is the case.

    As for the Church authorities, many of them have sold us to the wolves time and again. Why wouldn't people tend to be critical of actions that cut off the faithful from the reception of the sacraments because of a scare which AS YET is not backed up by statistics.

    Nobody is arguing that we can't take REASONABLE measures to protect health, but the standard is if you are sick, stay home. If you are healthy, go to Mass. Can people pass things when they don't know if they have it? Sure. But that has been the case for many other illnesses in the past. Fact is, even if you get tested and you are negative, the next day you could be positive. So when exactly is it safe for anyone to go anywhere or touch anything? And for how long? And what kind of impact is that going to have on other aspects of people's lives (which, incidentally, also has an impact on temporal and spiritual well-being)?

    People have been leaving the faith due to the tepid (at best) leadership which we have and the overall lack of faith among nominal Catholics. It is certainly not the few people who contest that we should be more adamant in keeping our faith and practicing it PUBLICLY, especially in times of chaos who are driving away anyone. If people do leave because of it, it's because those people were already looking for an excuse to depart from the Barque of Peter in the first place.

    And, as CGZ stated, if you die in the state of grace - Heaven! However, you're probably more likely to die in a car crash on the way to a testing center than you are of the actual COVID. Maybe we should ban car travel.
  • Schönbergian
    Posts: 1,032
    I don't usually, TCJ. But it's obvious that even the elites are scared of this virus. The economy is crashing worldwide and these steps are politically unprecedented from the leadership of certain countries. Canada didn't rule out closing the American border.

    As I've explained, the "standard" simply doesn't work with this virus. This has been explained by numerous health experts.
  • Kathy
    Posts: 5,431
    One interesting aspect of our situation is a kind of slow roll of understanding of its scope.

    Some of us are woker than others and I personally haven't been too successful at convincing those around me to take notice.

    And then once people do catch on, it can knock them for a loop.

    I think patience is called for on all sides.
    Thanked by 1CHGiffen
  • Kathy
    Posts: 5,431
    I think this a good explanation of why staying at home is the right thing to do.
  • Schoenbergian,

    Suicide is, by its nature, grave matter and sinful. Whether it is mortally sinful depends on the question of how much one is undergoing diminished capacity at the time of the act.

    I'm not intending to test God. I'm insisting on two truths: if one is in the state of grace, one is prepared to receive Holy Communion; if one isn't in the state of grace, regardless of COVID-19, one shouldn't be receiving Holy Communion.

    One is only "testing God", as you put it, if we say, "Ok, God, I dare you to get me sick.

  • dad29
    Posts: 2,160
    Those two groups make up a sizeable portion of the population


    OK, so what? Quarantine THEM, not everyone else.
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 11,676
    I think it is a Trad plot to kill off all the Novus Ordo people.
    The Trads also are hoarding all the toilet paper.
  • Charles,

    The Trads are also populated with a much greater concentration of young people.
  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 9,937
    “It is easier for the earth to exist without the sun than without the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass!" Padre Pio

    I think we’re about to see why...
    Thanked by 1tomjaw
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 11,676
    The Trads are also populated with a much greater concentration of young people.


    They have young people but there aren't that many Trads in comparison to the mainstream church. Some of those younger folks that I know run in the opposite direction as soon as they get away from parents. It usually isn't a good direction, either.
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 11,676
    I think we’re about to see why...


    I think we will be OK. There are monasteries, convents, etc. where the mass is continuing. The mass will not disappear, it just may not be available in all places at all times.
  • Charles,

    It's true that parents teach their parents the truth and children sometimes don't adhere to it, but it is also refreshingly true that the Traditional movement is drawing young 20s because of what it offers, not because of what these same 20s are fleeing.
    Thanked by 1tomjaw
  • Liam
    Posts: 4,606
    For now.

    The meme of declension (famously associated in American history with 17th to early 18th century New England, where Puritan divines bewailed the loss of initial fervor over descending generations in a variety of ways) persists for all initial fervors that degrade generationally and over time (this is hardly the province of Protestantism - it's seen in the monastic and other religious orders in Catholicism and eastern Christianity too many times to ennumerate). The moment the supposed nirvana of the extirpation of the OF occurs is when one can set the timer were the EF to become the ordinary default mode.
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 11,676
    There is no guarantee the EF will become the ordinary default mode. The powers that be could do something else entirely different. Trads are like the tail that wants to swing the dog. There aren't that many of them and they don't have nearly the influence or importance they ascribe to themselves.
  • Liam
    Posts: 4,606
    Charles

    That's why I couched that in the subjunctive mood - "were"... I've certainly witnessed very quick generational declension from many fervors; children of the fervent often learn excellent skills at humoring their parents as long as needed and beyond. Advice columns bear regular witness to this. Rebellion by late Silent/early Boomer kids was more overt, to be true, but lots of folks outside those generational typicalities learned how to achieve long-term similar ends with less overt means. In my own family of origin, in a family of six kids spread over 18 years, the younger always benefitted from the harder lessons of the elder, because the latter were eager to spare the former - by the time the last came around, the youngest had the benefit of five teachers, and absorbed lessons well with much less friction from parents (this is no small part because of the erosion of energy on the part of parents as they enter the back side of midlife). It probably would have happened even earlier had the children had a full 4 pack of grandparents, given how ready the singleton they had was ready and very willing to bypass the generation between them. The larger the family, the more extended the family, the more robust this can be.

    Thomas Mann won a Nobel for a book that in part illustrates generational evolution...
    Thanked by 1CharlesW
  • Charles,

    Most people I know who think the EF will become the default mode throughout the Church believe this for two reasons: the OF population is suffering from closed parishes and what at least one well known priest has called the Biological solution; when people can stop attending Mass because the remaining clerics are bound and determined to make us just like everyone else.... the laity instructed by these clerics will follow their advice and stop practicing the faith.
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 11,676
    I think you are doing some wishful thinking. If you have say, an EF parish that has say 200 in attendance each Sunday. You probably have 10 or more other parishes in town with attendance combined of 10,000 or more. And contrary to belief, those OF people are devout, are there because they want to be there, practice their faith, and support and love the Church. The faulty assumption underlying this is that if it is OF, they can't be serious, they secretly want what the EF has liturgically, and subscribe to rubrics prior to Vatican II. It ain't so.
  • Charles,

    Reread what I wrote. Your reading of it (to this point) and what I actually wrote don't say the same thing at all.