Cardinal Burke Speaks Out
  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 8,543
    Dear Friends,

    For some time now, we have been in combat against the spread of the coronavirus, COVID-19. From all that we can tell – and one of the difficulties of the combat is that so much about the pestilence remains unclear – the battle will yet continue for some time. The virus involved is particularly insidious, for it has a relatively long incubation period – some say 14 days and some say 20 days – and is highly contagious, much more highly contagious than other viruses we have experienced.

    One of the principal natural means to defend ourselves against the coronavirus is to avoid any close contact with others. It is important, in fact, to keep always a distance – some say a yard (meter) and some say six-feet – away from each other, and, of course, to avoid group gatherings, that is gatherings in which a number of people are in close proximity of each other. In addition, since the virus is transmitted by small droplets emitted when one sneezes or blows his or her nose, it is critical to wash our hands frequently with disinfectant soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds, and to use disinfectant handwash and handwipes. It is equally important to disinfect tables, chairs, countertops, etc., on which these droplets may have landed and from which they are capable of transmitting the contagion for some time. If we sneeze or blow our nose, we are counseled to use a paper facial tissue, to discard it immediately, and then to wash our hands. Of course, those who are diagnosed with the coronavirus must be quarantined, and those who are not feeling well, even if it has not been determined that they suffer from the coronavirus, should, out of charity toward others, remain at home, until they are feeling better.

    Living in Italy, in which the spread of the coronavirus has been particularly deadly, especially for the elderly and for those who are already in a state of delicate health, I am edified by the great care which the Italians are taking to protect themselves and others from the contagion. As you may have already read, the healthcare system in Italy is severely tested in trying to provide necessary hospitalization and intensive-care treatment for the most vulnerable. Please pray for the Italian people and especially for both those for whom the coronavirus can be fatal and those entrusted with their care. Being a citizen of the United States, I have been following the situation of the spread of the coronavirus in my homeland and know that those living in the United States are becoming more and more concerned to stop its spread, lest a situation like that in Italy be repeated at home.

    The whole situation certainly disposes us to a profound sadness and also to fear. No one wants to contract the illness connected with the virus or to have anyone else contract it. We especially do not want our beloved elderly or others who are suffering in health to be put in danger of death through the spread of the virus. To fight the spread of the virus, we are all on a kind of forced spiritual retreat, confined to quarters and unable to show usual signs of affection to family and to friends. For those in quarantine, the isolation is clearly even more severe, not being able to have contact with anyone, not even at a distance.

    If the illness itself associated with the virus were not enough to worry us, we cannot ignore the economic devastation which the spread of the virus has caused, with its grievous effects on individuals and families, and those who serve us in so many ways in our daily life. Of course, our thoughts cannot help but include the possibility of an even greater devastation of the population of our homelands and, indeed, of the world.

    Certainly, we are right to learn about and employ all of the natural means to defend ourselves against the contagion. It is a fundamental act of charity to use every prudent means to avoid contracting or spreading the coronavirus. The natural means of preventing the spread of the virus must, however, respect what we need to live, for example, access to food, water and medicine. The State, for instance, in its imposition of ever greater restrictions on the movement of individuals, provides that individuals can visit the supermarket and the pharmacy, with the observance of the precautions of social distancing and of use of disinfectants on the part of all involved.

    In considering what is needed to live, we must not forget that our first consideration is our relationship with God. We recall the words of Our Lord in the Gospel according to John: “If a man loves me, he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we come to him and make our home with him” (14, 23). Christ is the Lord of nature and of history. He is not distant and disinterested in us and the world. He has promised us: “I am with you always, to the close of the age” (Mt 28, 20). In combatting the evil of the coronavirus, our most effective weapon is, therefore, our relationship with Christ through prayer and penance, and devotions and sacred worship. We turn to Christ to deliver us from pestilence and from all harm, and He never fails to respond with pure and selfless love. That is why it is essential for us, at all times and above all in times of crisis, to have access to our churches and chapels, to the Sacraments, and to public devotions and prayers.

    Just as we are able to purchase food and medicine, while taking care not to spread the coronavirus in the process, so also we must be able to pray in our churches and chapels, receive the Sacraments, and engage in acts of public prayer and devotion, so that we know God’s closeness to us and remain close to Him, fittingly calling upon His help. Without the help of God, we are indeed lost. Historically, in times of pestilence, the faithful gathered in fervent prayer and took part in processions. In fact, in the Roman Missal, promulgated by Pope Saint John XXIII in 1962, there are special texts for the Holy Mass to be offered in times of pestilence, the Votive Mass for the Deliverance from Death in Time of Pestilence (Missae Votivae ad Diversa, n. 23). Likewise, in the traditional Litany of the Saints, we pray: “From plague, famine, and war, O Lord, deliver us.”

    Oftentimes, when we find ourselves in great suffering and even facing death, we ask: “Where is God?” But the real question is: “Where are we?” In other words, God is assuredly with us to help us and save us, especially at the time of severe trial or death, but we are too often far from Him because of our failure to acknowledge our total dependence upon Him and, therefore, to pray daily to Him and to offer Him our worship.

    In these days, I have heard from so many devout Catholics who are deeply saddened and discouraged not to be able to pray and worship in their churches and chapels. They understand the need to observe social distance and to follow the other precautions, and they will follow these prudent practices, which they can easily enough do in their places of worship. But, often enough, they have to accept the profound suffering of having their churches and chapels closed, and of not having access to Confession and the Most Holy Eucharist.

    In the same light, a person of faith cannot consider the present calamity in which we find ourselves without considering also how distant our popular culture is from God. It is not only indifferent to His presence in our midst but openly rebellious toward Him and the good order with which He has created us and sustains us in being. We need only think of the commonplace violent attacks on human life, male and female, which God has made in His own image and likeness (Gn 1, 27), attacks on the innocent and defenseless unborn, and on those who have the first title to our care, those who are heavily burdened with serious illness, advanced years, or special needs. We are daily witnesses to the spread of violence in a culture which fails to respect human life.
    (cont'd)
  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 8,543
    Likewise, we need only to think of the pervasive attack upon the integrity of human sexuality, of our identity as man or woman, with the pretense of defining for ourselves, often employing violent means, a sexual identity other than that given to us by God. With ever greater concern, we witness the devastating effect on individuals and families of the so-called “gender theory.”

    We witness, too, even within the Church, a paganism which worships nature and the earth. There are those within the Church who refer to the earth as our mother, as if we came from the earth, and the earth is our salvation. But we come from the hand of God, Creator of Heaven and Earth. In God alone we find salvation. We pray in the divinely-inspired words of the Psalmist: “[God] alone is my rock and my salvation, my fortress; I shall not be shaken” (Ps 62 [61], 6). We see how the life of faith itself has become increasingly secularized and thus has compromised the Lordship of Christ, God the Son Incarnate, King of Heaven and Earth. We witness so many other evils which derive from idolatry, from the worship of ourselves and our world, instead of worshiping God, the source of all being. We sadly see in ourselves the truth of Saint Paul’s inspired words regarding the “ungodliness and wickedness of men who by their wickedness suppress the truth”: “they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed for ever!” (Rom 1, 18. 25).

    Many with whom I am in communication, reflecting upon the present worldwide health crisis with all of its attendant effects, have expressed to me the hope that it will lead us – as individuals and families, and as a society – to reform our lives, to turn to God Who is surely near to us and Who is immeasurable and unceasing in His mercy and love towards us. There is no question that great evils like pestilence are an effect of original sin and of our actual sins. God, in His justice, must repair the disorder which sin introduces into our lives and into our world. In fact, He fulfills the demands of justice by His superabundant mercy.

    God has not left us in the chaos and death, which sin introduces into the world, but has sent His only-begotten Son, Jesus Christ, to suffer, die, rise from the dead and ascend in glory to His right hand, in order to remain with us always, purifying us of sin and inflaming us with His love. In His justice, God recognizes our sins and the need of their reparation, while, in His mercy He showers upon us the grace to repent and make reparation. The Prophet Jeremiah prayed: “We recognize, O LORD, our wickedness, the guilt of our fathers; that we have sinned against you,” but he immediately continued his prayer: “For your name’s sake spurn us not, disgrace not the throne of your glory; remember your covenant with us, and break it not” (Jer 14, 20-21).

    God never turns His back on us; He will never break His covenant of faithful and enduring love with us, even though we are so frequently indifferent, cold and unfaithful. As the present suffering uncovers for us so much indifference, coldness and infidelity on our part, we are called to turn to God and to beg for His mercy. We are confident that He will hear us and bless us with His gifts of mercy, forgiveness and peace. We join our sufferings to the Passion and Death of Christ and thus, as Saint Paul says, “complete what is lacking in Christ’s afflictions for the sake of his body, that is, the Church” (Col 1, 24). Living in Christ, we know the truth of our Biblical prayer: “The salvation of the righteous is from the LORD; he is their refuge in the time of trouble” (Ps 37 [36], 39). In Christ, God has fully revealed to us the truth expressed in the prayer of the Psalmist: “Mercy and truth have met together; justice and peace have kissed” (Ps 85 [84], 10).

    In our totally secularized culture, there is a tendency to view prayer, devotions and worship like any other activity, for example, going to the cinema or to a football game, which is not essential and therefore can be cancelled for the sake of taking every precaution to curb the spread of a deadly contagion. But prayer, devotions and worship, above all, Confession and the Holy Mass, are essential for us to remain healthy and strong spiritually, and for us to seek God’s help in a time of great danger for all. Therefore, we cannot simply accept the determinations of secular governments, which would treat the worship of God in the same manner as going to a restaurant or to an athletic contest. Otherwise, the people who already suffer so much from the results of the pestilence are deprived of those objective encounters with God Who is in our midst to restore health and peace.

    We bishops and priests need to explain publicly the necessity of Catholics to pray and worship in their churches and chapels, and to go in procession through the streets and ways, asking God’s blessing upon His people who suffer so intensely. We need to insist that the regulations of the State, also for the good of the State, recognize the distinct importance of places of worship, especially in time of national and international crisis. In the past, in fact, governments have understood, above all, the importance of the faith, prayer and worship of the people to overcome a pestilence.

    Even as we have found a way to provide for food and medicine and other necessities of life during a time of contagion, without irresponsibly risking the spread of the contagion, so, in a similar way, we can find a way to provide for the necessities of our spiritual life. We can provide more opportunities for the Holy Mass and devotions at which a number of faithful can participate without violating necessary precautions against the spread of contagion. Many of our churches and chapels are very large. They permit a group of the faithful to gather for prayer and worship without violating the requirements of “social distance.” The confessional with the traditional screen is usually equipped with or, if not, can be easily equipped with a thin veil which can be treated with disinfectant , so that access to the Sacrament of Confession is possible without great difficulty and without danger of transmitting the virus. If a church or chapel does not have a sufficiently large staff to be able to disinfect regularly the pews and other surfaces, I have no doubt that the faithful, in gratitude for the gifts of the Holy Eucharist, Confession, and of public devotion, will gladly assist.

    Even if, for whatever reason, we are unable to have access to our churches and chapels, we must remember that our homes are an extension of our parish, a little Church into which we bring Christ from our encounter with Him in the bigger Church. Let our homes, during this time of crisis, reflect the truth that Christ is the guest of every Christian home. Let us turn to him through prayer, especially the Rosary, and other devotions. If the image of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, together with the image of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, is not already enthroned in our home, now would be the time to do so. The place of the image of the Sacred Heart is for us a little altar at home, at which we gather, conscious of Christ’s dwelling with us through the outpouring of the Holy Spirit into our hearts, and place our often poor and sinful hearts into His glorious pierced Heart – always open to receive us, to heal us of our sins, and to fill us with divine love. If you desire to enthrone the image of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, I commend to you the handbook, The Enthronement of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, available through the Marian Catechist Apostolate. It is also available in Polish and Slovak translations.

    (cont'd)
  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 8,543
    For those who cannot have access to the Holy Mass and Holy Communion, I commend the devout practice of Spiritual Communion. When we are rightly disposed to receive Holy Communion, that is, when we are in the state of grace, not conscious of any mortal sin which we have committed and for which we have not yet been forgiven in the Sacrament of Penance, and desire to receive Our Lord in Holy Communion but are unable to do so, we unite ourselves spiritually with the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, praying to Our Eucharistic Lord in the words of Saint Alphonsus Liguori: “Since I am unable now to receive Thee sacramentally, come at least spiritually into my heart.” Spiritual Communion is a beautiful expression of love for Our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament. It will not fail to bring to us abundant grace.

    At the same time, when we are conscious of having committed a mortal sin and are unable to have access to the Sacrament of Penance or Confession, the Church invites us to make an act of perfect contrition, that is, of sorrow for sin, which “arises from a love by which God is loved above all else.”. An act of perfect contrition “obtains forgiveness of mortal sins if it includes the firm resolution to have recourse to sacramental confession as soon as possible” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, no. 1452). An act of perfect contrition disposes our soul for Spiritual Communion.

    In the end, faith and reason, as they always do, work together to provide for the just and right solution to a difficult challenge. We must use reason, inspired by faith, to find the correct manner in which to deal with a deadly pandemic. That manner must give priority to prayer, devotion and worship, to the invocation of God’s mercy upon His people who suffer so much and are in danger of death. Made in God’s own image and likeness, we enjoy the gifts of intellect and free will. Using these God-given gifts, united to the also God-given gifts of Faith, Hope and Love, we will find our way in the present time of worldwide trial which is the cause of so much sadness and fear.

    We can count upon the help and intercession of the great host of our heavenly friends, to whom we are intimately united in the Communion of Saints. The Virgin Mother of God, the holy Archangels and Guardian Angels, Saint Joseph, True Spouse of the Virgin Mary and Patron of the Universal Church, Saint Roch whom we invoke in times of epidemic, and the other saints and blessed to whom we regularly turn in prayer are at our side. They guide us and constantly assure us that God will never fail to hear our prayer; He will respond with His immeasurable and unceasing mercy and love.

    Dear friends, I offer these few reflections to you, deeply conscious of how much you are suffering because of the pandemic coronavirus. It is my hope that the reflections may be of help to you. Above all, I hope that they will inspire you to turn to God in prayer and worship, each according to his or her possibilities, and thus experience His healing and peace. With the reflections comes the assurance of my daily remembrance of your intentions in my prayer and penance, especially in the offering of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.

    I ask you please to remember me in your daily prayers.

    I remain yours in the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary, and in the Purest Heart of Saint Joseph,

    Raymond Leo Cardinal Burke
    21 March 2020
    Feast of Saint Benedict, Abbot
  • Carol
    Posts: 511
    I was feeling very anxious for my family and for all of us and this has helped me a great deal. God bless you!
  • Francis, thank you for posting this. I will share with some others who may not have seen it.
  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 8,543
    Hi @Carol and @mmeladirectress

    YAQW... Our shepherds should be stepping up, and I was so glad that Cdl Burke made some bold steps to care for the flock. I am adding you and your family to my rosaries... and anyone else that feels they need prayers and the consolation of Our Blessed Mother who is so powerful against the calamities that surround us. You will have moments of doubt, of fear and of anxiety. It is simply human, especially in these troublesome times. But all of heaven is around us. The angels are here too for our protection and guidance and encouragement.

    I don't know if you are a singer (chanter) or a musician, but please download the music files that is on this thread

    https://forum.musicasacra.com/forum/discussion/17933/music-in-time-of-pestilence#Item_11

    I will post a pdf soon that allows you to print and sing 'Necessary Chants in Time of Distress' which includes some other chants too.

    Remember, today is Laetare Sunday... a time of hope and stability as we hear in the propers for today....

    Those who trust in the Lord are like Mount Zion; the inhabitants of Jerusalem shall never be shaken. Vs. As the mountains are round about Jerusalem, so the Lord is round about his people, from this time forth and for evermore.

    Thanked by 1Carol
  • Carol
    Posts: 511
    Our pastor had confessions outside next to the church yesterday (while observing "social distancing") and he is also communicating with his flock via email. These emails contain information from the Archdiocese, encouragement, and prayerful messages. So far I think it is his finest hour as our pastor!
  • YAQW?

    Y'all quit whining? That doesn't fit the tenor of what you've written, so could you explain?
    Thanked by 1Carol
  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 8,543
    You Are Quite Welcome!
    Thanked by 1Carol
  • TCJ
    Posts: 676
    Thank you to Cardinal Burke for pointing out that people need access to the sacraments. It's a shame that he will most likely go ignored.
    Thanked by 2Incardination CCooze
  • TCJ,

    Perhaps some of us could appeal to our bishops to take a hint from Cardinal Burke, and help them see that public worship of God (acts of reparation, in public, too) can -- indeed must, it seems to me ) be the solution to the wretched nuisance.

  • TCJ
    Posts: 676
    I already called the diocese a week ago. While I suppose I could send a link to the diocese, I have my doubts that anything I send actually makes its way to the bishop. Given how certain things are (in usual times) in this diocese, I don't think our bishop would take much stock of what Cardinal Burke says anyway.
  • Yesterday's Laetare mass at Walsingham can be seen live-streamed, as can a number of other masses and evensongs. (www.olwcatholic,org)
    Thanked by 1Joseph Michael
  • Carol
    Posts: 511
    Once again, thank you to Francis for the original post of Cardinal Burke.

    [portion removed because it referred to a context which has already been removed.--admin]
  • TCJ
    Posts: 676
    Archbishop Lenga of Poland:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CXa8FqCxDq8
    Thanked by 1francis
  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 8,543
    wow TCJ... hell for taking communion in the hand... strong words.
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 10,314
    This has gone from ridiculous to asinine. No one is celebrating mass. There will be no masses in my diocese until after Easter. Depending on circumstances, masses may not resume even then. As a church musician, we are hoping no one passes away until after Easter. We may not even be able to accommodate funerals at this time.

    Communion in the hand: Even more ridiculous. Communion in the hand was the normal practice in Catholicism for the first 400 years of Christianity. Those folks were much closer in time to apostolic teaching and practice than we are today. I can see arguments for not receiving in the hand, but the overreaction to what was an ancient and approved practice is over the top and beyond bonkers.

    After one of the wettest springs on record, we are promised we will actually see the sun tomorrow. It's a plot, I'm sure signifying nothing good. Let's wander into that, as well, since we have nothing better to do than tilt at windmills.

    [part of this comment was deleted, since it referred to a context which has also been removed.--admin]
    Thanked by 2tomjaw mattebery
  • Liam
    Posts: 3,939
    The abp is NOT saying people are going to hell for taking communion in the hand. His comments are not directed at the faithful taking communion in the hand. His condemnation is directed at what he sees as an exploitation of this situation by certain prelates and clergy to override the personal conscience of certain members of the faithful.
  • More evidence of the utter depravity of probably most of our governing class was provided yesterday by no less than the Lieutenant Governor of Texas, who suggested that, so that the economy could recover everyone should go back to work, the elderly should contract the Wuhan virus and die for the sake of their children and grandchildren (who presumably would not grieve their loss). He even went so far as to say that the elderly themselves were eager to die for the sake of younger generations. Surely such words and thoughts are direct transmissions from the devil!
    Thanked by 2CHGiffen Richard Mix
  • ...the normal practice...for the first 400 years...
    At Walsingham and throughout the Ordinariate we receive by intinction and on the tongue. This is one practice that I resent deeply. The irony is that I can go to any Roman rite parish and receive in a throne made of my hands as I always did as an Anglican, but the churches of the Anglican patrimony insist on spoon-feeding their people. This, presumably, makes them more Catholic. It could be worse - the Orthodox make a mush of the body and blood and literally do spoon-feed their people with a little spoon (whose Greek appellation I do not at this moment recall). I will echo Charles, who said -
    ...the overreaction to what was an ancient and approved practice is over the top and beyond bonkers.
    (I realise that few, if any, of my colleagues on our Forum will share my sympathies about this matter.)
    Thanked by 1CharlesW
  • chonakchonak
    Posts: 8,042
    It's about time for me (as admin) to apply the forum etiquette guidelines and delete comments that transgress these points.

    1. Be Polite
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    Maybe we can get a little focus back on the original topic.
  • jpnz71
    Posts: 15
    My comments were about music and liturgy. I just did not agree with the echo chamber chorus. Is this an impolite observation? Or is your real objective to keep dissenting opinions to orthodox/conservative perspectives out of the conversation?
  • Richard MixRichard Mix
    Posts: 2,013
    If anyone is still complacent, Deutsche Welle today reported figures for Italy agreeing with these: a little over 10% of confirmed cases recovered, 10% died.
  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 8,543
    @jpnz71

    we listened and debated your points. listen to the good shepherd.
  • jpnz71
    Posts: 15
    To whom are you referring as the good shepherd?
  • JPNZ71,

    Without capital letters, it could describe Cardinal Burke, but with capital letters it manifestly describes Our Lord. Since this thread started as a presentation of the statements of Cardinal Burke, it would be reasonable to guess that Francis means Cardinal Burke.

    Why call Cardinal Burke "the good shepherd"? Aside from the more obvious reasons, let me raise these:

    1) He acts as if he believes Christ's words: the good shepherd lays down his life for his friends; if ye love me, keep my commandments; and he heeds St. Paul's admonition to Timothy: preach in season and out of season. He doesn't change his teaching to fit the current fad.

    2) He never criticizes individual people. Rather, he critiques intellectually dishonest arguments.
  • jpnz71
    Posts: 15
    No Good Shepherd in heaven, or true good shepherd on earth, would require his sheep to gather in close proximity for the purpose of worshiping Him at the risk of infecting other sheep inside or outside the flock. I challenge anyone to quote one Gospel verse in which the Good Shepherd said anything that would make anyone believe He would be so selfish as to require people to worship him in a public setting during a pandemic. Cardinal Burke may very well be number 1 and 2 as stated above, but if he is advising his sheep to go worship the Good Shepherd during a pandemic, he is very much in error. And in this one case, if he continues to advocate public worship against the consensus of public health officials and scientists, he is not being a good shepherd on earth.
    Thanked by 1MarkB
  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 8,543
    There is only One Good Shepherd. There is only One who is Good. Do we recognize the voice of the shepherd when He speaks to us? If you do not live in the flock of the shepherd from day to day, you will not recognize His voice when He calls to you.

    Today is the Great Feast of the Annunciation. The foremost requirement of heaven enjoined on us today is this... Love the Lord with all your Heart, Mind, Soul and Strength.

    I offer this small meditation which I composed in conjunction with that mandate.

    HOLD the rosary of our Blessed Mother.
    LOOK at the mysteries as reflected by so many who have gone on before us.
    HEAR the music that promotes these mysterious events.
    PRAY out loud the prayers that are given.
    KNEEL if you are able.
    JOIN with us in spirit.

    ...for the sake of your soul and those of the entire world.

    http://www.myopus.com/preview/joyfulMysteries.mp4

    (PS... you can ignore the end message about ordering a DVD... I will probably just offer this to the public online unless I receive significant request to do so. If, God willing, I am able to complete the other two sets of mysteries, I may post it as a downloadable file from my website.)
  • JNP71,

    You're mostly mistaken, but let's examine why.

    No Good Shepherd in heaven, or true good shepherd on earth, would require his sheep to gather in close proximity for the purpose of worshiping Him at the risk of infecting other sheep inside or outside the flock.


    God requires of us, in justice, that we worship Him. For this reason, the Good Shepherd indeed does require his sheep for the purpose of worshiping Him. This part isn't up for discussion: God requires of us that we worship Him.

    God founded one Church to bring all men to salvation, but some will refuse His offer of salvation, since all have free will. In order that the Church be able to fulfill her divine commission, she must be knowable and discoverable. At one time, historically speaking, the Church was in the catacombs, but even there she was discoverable, by His Divine Providence. Since we are to be ONE, that unity must be visible: we are one in faith,professed and enacted, one in the sacraments , and under one visible head. The fundamentally unsatisfying thing about Live-streamed Masses is that we're only there by camera uplink, not there in person.

    God does not ever do or will evil. He does, sometimes, allow evil (or what seems like evil to us) for the purpose of bringing a greater good out of it. So, while God's purpose wouldn't be to send anyone to Hell, He has allowed sickness to come upon the people of Israel to illustrate by what means they might be saved. (People got sick, and God commanded that they look upon the serpent..... it's in the Old Testament). God allowed a man to be born blind -- not on account of his sin or that of his parents, but so that He might be glorified in him. God allowed a woman to suffer an issue of blood for many years so that she might be healed when she reached out to touch the hem of His garment. God allowed (in a parable) a son to suffer the evils of being among swine -- remember that this is the Jewish people, who are commanded not to eat pig meat of any kind -- so that he might come to his senses, and return to his Father.

    Yes, indeed, God lets us see some of the effects of sin even temporally, so that we lose not the eternal gift He intends to bestow on us.

    but if he is advising his sheep to go worship the Good Shepherd during a pandemic, he is very much in error.


    Please re-read Cardinal Burke.

    In any event, if we believe that the solution to the present wretched nuisance is purely material, we're utterly missing the point. God offered plagues to the Pharaoh of Egypt to get him to acknowledge the one true God -- at least in part -- but Pharaoh refused.

    Our worship of God isn't time limited. "In season and out of season" is our mandate.

    Now... let's look at a few specific cases, where the terms of the agreement appear (to us) to be different.

    1) Nursing and expectant mothers are dispensed from fasting in Lent, but not from attending Mass.

    2) Those in the hospital, unable to get to Mass, are dispensed from attending Mass because it is physically impossible for them to get to Mass. In the same vein, children commit no sin who, dependent on others to get to Mass, are unable to attend.

    3) Doctors caring for those who are sick, hospitable-bound, are not required to give up tending their patients, but they should still make whatever time they can to attend Mass.

    4) Those who are bed-ridden by illness are not required to attend Mass. Healthy people aren't "bed-ridden by illness". Healthy people, under ordinary circumstances, can't claim the dispensation of their own illness.

    5) Those incarcerated (whether in an American jail or a Soviet Gulag) are physically prevented from attending Mass, and so can't be violating the precept to attend Mass.

    This list isn't exhaustive.

    against the consensus of public health officials and scientists


    The scientific consensus until recently was that male and female are fundamental characteristics of persons. Now, the scientific consensus is (so I gather) that this isn't true. Brave teachers of biology in our schools hold to the truth. Bishops (Paprocki comes to mind) teach the truth which we know from revelation and from science. A group of scientists hired by the tobacco companies demonstrated conclusively that tobacco isn't habit forming or dangerous -- but most people didn't accept that finding because of the source.

    "Public health officials" often advocate for contraceptive use, far and wide. Aside from the fact that this is bad science advice, and directly against good public health, such advice is an offence against the moral law.

  • CCoozeCCooze
    Posts: 795
    My comments were about music and liturgy


    I'm not sure that's accurate.
    Most of the comments in this thread had nothing specific to do with music or liturgy, except for bemoaning the fact that we don't have direct access to most of the Liturgy.

    Chonak may as well have gone further, deleted all but the 3 initial posts that held Raymond Cdl Burke's letter, and then closed comments to avoid more insults and insinuations against the good cardinal and even hypothetically against God.
  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 8,543
    The reason I posted Cardinal Burke's somewhat formal exhortation or letter of encouragement and direction without comment, is because it is what it is. IMHO, I, or any of us, really, don't have anything to add that would make it better or clearer.
    Thanked by 2CCooze CHGiffen
  • jpnz71
    Posts: 15
    Disagreement with Chris-Gartin Zavesky, CCooze, Francis, and many others does not constitute insults or insinuations. Nor does disagreement with the good cardinal. He is not infallible. Nobody on earth is. None of my comments will ever even hypothetically insult God. I live and work in a diocese in which thankfully, the Bishop has extended the suspension of public Masses through Holy Week, and potentially through Pentecost. I am thankful for the wisdom he is showing in listening to scientists and health professionals, and have every reason to believe he will continue to do so as he considers when to lift the suspension on public Masses. This topic has real world consequences for music and liturgy, and for those who work as liturgical musicians. And in the real world, scientists and health professionals are considering real facts, real data, real science, and making the best recommendations possible to avoid a health catastrophe. I thank God for their work, and Bishops and pastors who are listening to them. They are protecting the most vulnerable sheep amongst us, as well as me and my family. They have my full support, and the support of many others as well.
  • tomjaw
    Posts: 1,666
    I am thankful for the wisdom he is showing in listening to scientists and health professionals,

    Who admit they don't know what they are doing!

    in the real world, scientists and health professionals are considering real facts, real data, real science, and making the best recommendations possible to avoid a health catastrophe.

    In the real world us scientists make mistakes and get things wrong most of the time, we are not infallible. The famous study that brought the restrictions in the U.K. in, is from a team that has been consistently wrong! They always over estimate the deaths by several orders of magnitude.

    health catastrophe

    No chance, We have a very long way to go, the total deaths are still a very long way from the total deaths PER YEAR from flu! Statistically the Chinese virus is undetectable in the U.K. data. At the moment thanks to the hand washing advice fewer people have Respiratory diseases requiring hospital treatment this year! A month ago we had up to 1000 people fewer deaths per week!

    By all means put your faith in scientists, but you will be disappointed.

    N.B. I trained as an Organic Synthetic Chemist (Drug design), I am now working in education.
    Also a bit of doctors advice, keep calm carry on, laugh smile and don't worry, because if you worry you will be more likely to become ill. (This is from one of our Chief medical officers, so in your eyes someone who is infalliable)
    Thanked by 2Incardination CCooze
  • In the real world us scientists make mistakes and get things wrong most of the time,


    In fact, isn't science mostly the search for the truth, rather than the proclamation of it?
    Thanked by 2tomjaw CharlesW
  • CCoozeCCooze
    Posts: 795
    Have you looked at the CDC website? Nearly every page and FAQ basically says, "we know nothing about how Covid-19 affects _______. We suggest one washes one's hands frequently."
  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 8,543
    physical precaution = wash hands frequently, practice social distancing
    spiritual precaution = wash soul frequently (confession) practice avoiding the nearest occasion of sin

    PS... watch reruns of Green Acres and laugh a lot
    Thanked by 3Carol CCooze CHGiffen
  • Richard MixRichard Mix
    Posts: 2,013
    listen to the good shepherd
    And I thought he meant the moderator.
    Thanked by 2francis CHGiffen
  • a_f_hawkins
    Posts: 1,732
    isn't science mostly the search for the truth..?
    Yes, and that only about the physical world. However it is so easy, once you have a better grasp of a little bit of truth than most other people, to be tempted into pontificating.
  • ...only about the physical world...
    The mystics, holy writ, and Christian teaching, (and, perhaps, 'common sense') all are witness to the truth that God and spiritual entities are not and cannot be known or experienced by human senses. We can only experience or detect the physical world and universe in which we live and to which we are confined. Therefore all the efforts of some scientists and philosophers to prove or disprove God are in vain. They may reveal yet more wonders and complexities about the physical universe, but God remains unknowable by the senses, scientific instruments, or mathematical equations. Further, if there are sentient beings on other planets, as some propose and even suppose, they are a part of this created and fallen universe and are in need of the Christian message and sacraments. It is disappointing and sad that all suppositions about our future on earth or elsewhere, and/or that of presumed extraterrestial life do not envision the need of spiritual nourishment and God's saving grace - if we ever encounter them, and if there is a 'them'. God is known only by faith, the witness of the prophets, the scriptures, the witness of mystics, the life and resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth, and the (miraculous) love and compassion that dwell within human hearts
    Thanked by 1tomjaw
  • Hawkins,

    Are you commenting on the hubris of scientist-types or my arrogance in posting such a thought?
  • a_f_hawkins
    Posts: 1,732
    That was about the hubris of (some) scientists. Though as a mathematician working for the UK government I saw hubris among the economists and engineers I worked with, as well. But liturgists - theologians - psychologists, in fact all of Adam's descendants, are susceptible.
  • chonakchonak
    Posts: 8,042
    Hi, folks.

    This thread is about Cdl. Burke's statement, so if you have read it above, you're welcome to comment on passages of it.

    Would you please make an effort not to build up any flame-war here? That is: don't get personal.

    Thank you for understanding.
    Thanked by 2CHGiffen CCooze
  • I'm struck by the tone of the piece. I don't mean that I'm surprised, but that he clearly understands the anxieties of both "camps", if you will. He begins by acknowledging the purely material, and then switches, almost seamlessly, to a discussion of what is necessary for the good of our souls. He stops short of saying, "Bishops must open their churches", but clearly that is his thrust: the State can't treat religion as a form of entertainment, and we can clearly accommodate the safe radius needs of the medical establishment. I like how he gently tweaks the "establishment" by pointing out how little we do know: some say 1 meter, others say 6 feet --- which is nearly twice as far --- and some say incubation is 14 days, while others say 20 days. All these uncertainties against the sureness of our obligation toward and our need for God.
    Thanked by 1CCooze
  • TCJ
    Posts: 676
    One reason I posted the video of Archbishop Lenga is that he mentions how in many places, there has not even been an attempt to be creative. While the governments were banning groups of more than 50, bishops were just cancelling public Mass, period. Cardinal Burke's suggestion could have been heeded while still following the the restrictions.

    People can still go to McDonald's, but they can't go to Mass!
  • Somewhere between the extreme of "ignore the virus; only the spiritual realm matters" and "clearly the virus necessitates the shutdown of any and every public liturgical activity", there is probably a healthy middle ground where we take both physical and spiritual health into account. It's always easier, though, as with every hot button topic to bounce between extremes.

    For my money, Cardinal Burke's statement was an eloquent attempt to find that middle ground. Given that we will all have to help ease out of the restrictions at some point, it is valuable to calmly think about the most appropriate way to do that. I imagine - I could be wrong - that we will have a slow build-up back to public liturgy rather than a sudden lifting of all restrictions.
  • Elmar
    Posts: 175
    I have a lot of respect for our bishops - Cardinal Burke is a great example - who have to take far-reaching decisions with wisdom on an extremely short timescale. These decisions cannot be perfect, they ARE human - interestingly, people in charge everywhere now repeat this obvious truth over and over again; while in 'normal' times, everybody's own decisions are the best, whereas everyone else is stupid.

    The bishops of the Netherlands (I asked to pray for them in a separated thread - thanks everyone!) have just released their decision, how to act on the latest anti-gathering measures; less than 24 hours after government published their details! There was even consulting with the minister in charge, as well as with leaders of other religions: the latter apparently to avoid - wisely!!! - any competition between religions (muslim vs. catholic would be the most relevant) about who is 'brightest' in finding loopholes in the regulations in order to 'best' serve the needs of their flock.

    For the record: we had people who traveled substantial distances to find a TLM not yet canceled, instead of going to their open parish church for silent prayer before the Sacramant. Spiritual Communion is being strongly promoted [*] - a concept almost forgotten here even among traditional catholics!

    [*detail added (3-28): communion is restricted now to the celebrant, even in broadcasted masses with a few ministers]
    Thanked by 1M. Jackson Osborn
  • was an eloquent attempt to find that middle ground.


    If I may pick a nit with you on this one, I don't think the Cardinal found the middle path between two extremes. I think he found the terra firma between two puddles of quicksand.
    Thanked by 1a_f_hawkins
  • Ronn62353
    Posts: 6
    I may have missed this, but I have yet to see any schedule for Cardinal Burke's celebration of public Mass. Just an observation.
  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 8,543
    @Ronn6253

    Yes, we are awaiting the proof in the pudding.
  • Well, Francis, Bishop Sheen's prophetic view of the people and the laity did not exactly ring true after the recent council, did it? Bishops dismantled our heritage, and most priests were glad to see them do it, religious stopped being religious, and 'the people' thought it was all very nice being 'Vatican II' people - except that they, none of them, were really in tune with what the council really said, were they? They weren't then and they aren't now, and they won't be tomorrow - 'the people' are quite happy with the way it is, pop masses and all - so please don't complicate things by quoting Vatican II to them... they don't want to hear it.
    Thanked by 2francis tomjaw
  • toddevoss
    Posts: 121
    One practical thing the laity can (and in my opinion "should") do is, for those who can, increase their online giving for a couple months to make up for those who can't or who just don't give online and only give by the Plate. My parish informed me that online only accounted for about 25% of the Parishes revenues. So parishes are in some potential financial straits.
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