Bishop Schneider Speaks Out
  • Chonak,

    In my original response, I quoted correctly. My editing of his quote was inadvertent. I am sorry that I didn't proofread my own comments more carefully.
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 11,373
    They do have those skills, but our streamed masses locally are handled by the professionals already on staff. They are not inviting any outsiders to take part.
    Thanked by 1Elmar
  • CharlesSA
    Posts: 147
    Dear fellow Charles :)

    I don't think anyone here has claimed that we ought not conform ourselves to the reality in which we find ourselves. That reality being, no matter the circumstances, we are all called to become holy and be cleansed of our sins and imperfections, and that even without Sacraments we have 2000 years of tradition regarding prayer, spirituality, devotions, etc by which we can sanctify our day, as we all are bound to do (especially at this time of the year).

    Only the most extreme comments aside (though admittedly, these are extreme circumstances in that they differ markedly from most people's whole life's experience), I see good discussion being had on the consequences of what is happening and it can and should be fruitful for any future, similar experience.
    Thanked by 1Elmar
  • CCoozeCCooze
    Posts: 1,183
    In other (similar subject) news, we have now heard that a NY tiger has tested positive for the coronavirus. They are suggesting that house pets may need to be tested. They are suggesting that anyone testing positive may do best to have someone else care for their pets, should those pets still be testing negative.
    This is getting ridiculous. If it's all going to keep cycling through humans and animals, alike, do we all hide and take cover, or do we fine a reasonable way to get on with our lives?
    Your ability to go to Mass and receive the Sacraments is being removed. Apparently your pets should also be removed.

    Saints and Martyrs died to attend Mass.
    Martyrs still die for professing faith in Christ. Should they, instead, be saying whatever someone tells them will "spare" them, to avoid "needless loss of life?"
    Is not God and Heaven our ultimate goal?

    While I try not to scare any sort of belief into my children, I do remind them that there are people in the world who execute those who refuse to blaspheme and apostatize - and that health and happiness in this life will never be more important than our spiritual welfare.

    "For what shall it profit a man, if he gain the whole world (or survive a pandemic?), and suffer the loss of his soul?" -Mark8:36
  • tomjaw
    Posts: 2,177
    I think the comparisons with the flu are rather missing the point. First of all Coronavirus has a death rate an order of magnitude higher than the flu. Secondly, it sends a high proportion of people to the ICU. Somewhere around 5% if memory serves, and 15% require hospitalization. As we saw in Italy, the health system can be rapidly overwhelmed. If all ICUs are full, where do you send heart attack and car crash victims? The whole point of all this physical distancing is to slow the spread so that health systems can cope.


    Really we don't have the data to prove any of the above. We will not know the death rate until next year, (mainly because the virus effects those that die in their 1,000's naturally every day in the U.K.).
    There have been several interesting comments about ICU use, some are empty, while the hospital next door is full, why? we have not got a clue.
    Health services can get overwhelmed regularly, whether it is caused by the virus or plain panic (and doctors decisions) is another matter.
    There is no evidence that the various measures that have been introduced work to slow the spread.

    Too many, I think, speculate on the horrid things that could happen to us if we don't conform to their idea of a perfect church, perfect liturgy, perfect music, and on and on. All of it is nonsense in this situation.


    Too many speculate on the supposedly horrible things that will happen to us because of Chinese Flu... Our biggest secular enemy at the moment is not the Virus, it is misguided actions taken without adequate data, causing far greater damage.
    Thanked by 2Incardination dad29
  • a_f_hawkins
    Posts: 2,771
    I am not following the restrictions just for my own benefit, but to reduce the spread to other people. The first identified UK case never had any symptoms IIRC, but having been infected in Singapore, and travelling back, he caused outbreaks in two countries. I have a duty to my neighbours.
    Thanked by 4Elmar CHGiffen cmb Carol
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 11,373
    Our biggest secular enemy at the moment is not the Virus, it is misguided actions taken without adequate data, causing far greater damage.


    The virus is a threat, to be sure. I don't think anyone, health authorities included, can make guarantees as to when this will end. Pandemics, plagues, etc. have happened before. Read "The Fate of Rome: Climate, Disease, and the End of an Empire," by Kyle Harper. It has always been a bit mystifying that a world power like Rome could have become so weakened that it fell to its enemies. Harper documents plagues that severely weakened them including as an example a plague that wiped out an entire legion.

    Collections of data are sometimes enlightening, and sometimes false gods that lead astray. Information can be relatively worthless unless it is in the hands of someone who can accurately interpret and apply it.
    Thanked by 1Elmar
  • Elmar
    Posts: 380
    those who might say "we don't need to attend Mass or have the Sacraments because there is a risk of exposure" might have forgotten about those who in earlier times of the Church's history attended Mass knowing that to be caught was virtually 100% fatal.
    Nobody here has argued that he/she wouldn't dare to go to Mass because of the personal risk of getting infected - even if it were "virtually 100% fatal".
  • Nobody here has argued that he/she wouldn't dare to go to Mass because of the personal risc of getting infected - even if it were "virtually 100% fatal".

    No, the argument (by some) has simply been that the needs of "science" dictate that we must abandon public Liturgy.

    Conversely, no one here is saying don't take REASONABLE precautions. Liturgy can be celebrated in such a way as to practice distancing and mitigate risk without giving in to fear or hysteria.
    Thanked by 1tomjaw
  • a_f_hawkins
    Posts: 2,771
    (Rituale Frisingense. Munich, Johann Jaecklin, 1673, digitized text, Bayerische Staatsbibliothek, Munich, pp. 721-723).
    [the pastor] should endeavor, that he might lead all men to confession, and the reception of the Holy Eucharist. For placating the wrath of God, and averting the scourge of the present necessity, they should establish on certain distinct days processions, also the prayer of the Forty Hours, with an assembly in the church daily (provided that the pestilence has not yet invaded the place, for otherwise those processions and assemblies would be ruinous, and should not be done), ...
    Thanked by 1Elmar
  • Elmar
    Posts: 380
    No, the argument (by some) has simply been ...
    Incardination: I do not concur; or did I misquote you in my previous comment? It seemed to be an allusion to danger in times of prosecution, which I think is misplaced in the context of te present discussion: We are talking about the risk to infect others with a deadly disease; not about the danger to one's own life.
    Thanked by 1Incardination
  • If you knew you had the virus, would you partake in anything that might put others at risk? If you exhibited symptoms (of ANY kind - even cold symptoms, say, at this point), I'm guessing you would take additional precautions to avoid communicating your situation to others (as would anyone discussing this topic on the forum).

    The reason others have been making comparisons to the flu is that we experience an epidemic nearly every year. Putting aside questions (legitimate questions) over the way of calculating the mortality of an ongoing pandemic, I'll concede that, yes, Corona has a higher mortality rate (than the normal flu)... but there is mortality associated with the regular flu as well. Corona also does not appear to compare to certain other strains in terms of mortality, although it may well be more significant in terms of communicability. So where do we draw the line? Would we discard public Liturgy every flu season? For every flu / virus that exceeds X mortality rate? Or do we take reasonable precautions while continuing to observe the precepts or our Faith, where we can? After all, Corona is NOT the Spanish Flu; is NOT The Plague or the Black Death.

    Neither charity nor piety are the question here. It shouldn't be a all or nothing approach - clearly that is ridiculous when carried to extremes - in EITHER direction. Rather than sacrificing piety to charity or charity to piety, there most certainly is a middle course. If no middle course were available, we wouldn't be able to find a solution to purely secular endeavors - surely we should be able to do likewise for spiritual endeavors without casting them off in such an arbitrary manner.

    Is it really ONLY one OR the other?
    Thanked by 2Elmar tomjaw
  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 9,611
    Yes... there MUST be balance... too many are quickly willing to abandoned their freedoms carelessly without weighing the serious consequence of shedding our spiritual responsibility as individuals and as the corporate Body of Christ. What we relinquish all too easily we may never have returned to us.
  • Elmar
    Posts: 380
    Incardination, there is nothing wrong with what you write above, but - the point I was adressing was:
    ... those who in earlier times of the Church's history attended Mass knowing that to be caught was virtually 100% fatal
    What did you mean by "caught"? Was this about desease (there aren't any "virtually 100% fatal", not even the plague - there always were survivors), or prosecution? I am confused.
    Still it seems that this statement is about those that attend Mass themselves; rather than about all those that one puts at risk as well.
    Thanked by 1Incardination
  • Yes, this was about those attending Mass themselves.

    Caught by the authorities for taking part in the Mass - that is, the comparison in accepting risk in order to take part in the Liturgy.
    Thanked by 1tomjaw
  • While I have enjoyed my new life of retirement in Maine, one of the things I most miss is the preaching of Fr. Michael Kerper at St, Patrick’s church in Nashua, New Hampshire, a short drive from my former home in Massachusetts. Fr. Kerper is the only priest I know who, when delivering his Sunday homily, inspires some parishioners to take notes. He is not a dramatic, emotive type of speaker with a honeyed voice a la Fulton Sheen, but offers thoughtful insight that consistently engages.

    Though not a homily as such, this letter to his parishioners during this extraordinary time is an example of his gift. It applies, I think, to some concerns covered in this thread.

    https://www.stpatricksnashua.org/media/1/Bulletin Letter 03_29_2020.pdf
  • jpnz71
    Posts: 65
    Randolph Nichols - Fr. Kerper's letter is wonderful. Thank you for posting it. I hope everyone who has commented on this thread reads it as well.
    Thanked by 1Randolph Nichols
  • Elmar
    Posts: 380
    Caught by the authorities for taking part in the Mass - that is, the comparison in accepting risk in order to take part in the Liturgy.
    That would be like: to be worried by possibly getting a fine for the coming together, rather than by being a possible threat to other persons' health.
    (Just theoretically speaking, I wouldn't have dreamed of thinking that way, would anyone???)
  • There is a real need for weigh-in from those well-versed in moral theology and ethics here. For example, we have the concept of unintended consequences. There is a moral difference between meaning to cause an effect, and doing some unrelated act that has an unintended consequence. Famously, for example, a diseased and life-threatening womb may in some cases be removed even if the woman is pregnant, with the unintended consequence of killing the baby.
    That is with an unintended consequence that is both known and inevitable. Then we have a further category of unintended consequences that are neither known nor inevitable. In the case of this virus, we do not know that transmission will take place at a public Mass (especially if all possible precautions are taken to prevent spread). Neither do we know that IF that transmission took place, death would inevitably result from our particular action. Neither could we know for sure whether, IF transmission took place at Mass (as opposed to, say, work or the grocery store) that the transmission from Mass in particular set off the chain of events that lead to a death three or four degrees of separation down the road. Whatever our opinion on the virus and liturgical shut-down, we would do well to keep some of this nuance in mind before making moral judgments of others. We might also do well to consider the logical conclusion of an approach to life and action that must always take all possible unintended consequences into consideration in order for each decision to be judged on a moral level.
    Have any of you lost sleep at night because you know that your decision not to call off choir may result in the death/serious injury of choir members and other innocent people on the road? I certainly have - we go through the harsh Great Plains winters here in South Dakota every year. I've had choir members in serious wrecks. But at some point I have to accept a certain risk of injury and death in order to keep up our Cathedral music standards. How can I weigh death vs musical standards, morally?
    No, I'm not saying this is a direct counterpart to the current situation. But it is an example of the "terrible calculus" even ordinary people have to face every day, if we stop to think about it. Regardless of whether coronavirus is stopped, or comes back, the flu will be here next year and will kill tens of thousands. Inevitably, our decision to continue public Masses in flu season next year will result in some death. Or should we cancel liturgies every flu season? Where is the appropriate line? What disturbs me more than the virus or the response, is the ease with which so many people assume that our response to these realities is black-and-white and morally unambiguous. Real life is a complicated thing.

    And I will repeat what I've said earlier - in an attempt to be "on topic" :)
    Bishop Schneider's original letter and response seems, to me, to display the kind of nuance I'm talking about here. BOTH spiritual and scientific realities must be considered. BOTH risk removal (total stoppage of liturgy) and risk mitigation (careful continuance of liturgy) must be considered.
  • Elmar, I'm sorry I'm not clear. I'm not talking about merely facing fine for taking part in the Liturgy. The martyrs of the early centuries and the Reformation in England paid with their lives for attending Mass. A different kind of "mortality rate" but one that is certainly apples to apples in terms of the end result.
  • OraLabora
    Posts: 209
    @tomjaw:

    Really we don't have the data to prove any of the above. We will not know the death rate until next year, (mainly because the virus effects those that die in their 1,000's naturally every day in the U.K.).


    Actually I think we rather do. Italy and Spain are prime examples of what happens when the health care system is overwhelmed.

    Here are some recent numbers:

    Italy: death rate of 12%; health system completely overwhelmed. Collateral death rate from other causes due to no ICU capacity? No idea, as I couldn't find a number, but surely there are some.

    Canada: death rate 1.8%; ICUs are still not at full capacity, heavy physical distancing in place (Québec seems to have the severest restrictions).

    Québec (subset of Canada): death rate at 1.18%; 15% of ICUs occupied by coronavirus patients and the ICUs are at about 70% capacity all causes included (alas one of those cases is a security guard run down deliberately by an irate motorist because the security guard tried to enforce distancing rules). Total hospitalizations for the virus are about 7.5% of total beds in Québec (today's statistics).

    Italy also has an ageing population which doesn't help: 23% over the age of 65. In Québec, it is 18.5%, not hugely different.

    So we are seeing the difference between a health system that can still cope, and one that couldn't. And with our ICUs running at 70% capacity all causes included, it wouldn't take much of a explosion of cases to overwhelm the system.

    We need to stop making excuses. Our public health authorities are the experts. We wouldn't let them make decisions about liturgy, we shouldn't second-guess their decisions about physical distancing in a pandemic. These are MDs and PhDs who have spent their lives studying these things.

    All the numbers above can be found thanks to Google. I think they express rather eloquently *why* we must keep hospitalization and critical care cases below the capacity of the health systems to cope.

    Ora
  • Elmar
    Posts: 380
    Elmar, I'm sorry I'm not clear ... paid with their lives for attending Mass. ...
    Sorry, I still don't get your point what this has to do with the present situation: we are now not talking about what I, or you, or whoever is ready to risk for ourselves in order to do God's will, it's about whether we are putting others at risk ...
  • Ora - I don't want to keep going down the scientific/medical rabbit-hole because this is a liturgical forum. But even from the perspective of liturgy and morality/ethics (which I think fall under this forum's purview), it is important to keep in mind that there is not one single monolithic bloc of "experts" in this matter. Certainly, my opinion as a musician is not really that important. But there are medical and scientific experts with a range of opinions about this topic. If you have not heard from them, you might consider broadening your media consumption/sources. If our mainstream media (by which I simply mean the biggest channels/publications) decides on a certain narrative, and then only interviews those experts who agree with the narrative, then of course it will be true that "the experts agree". We should also keep in mind the fear for self and career that must inevitably accompany any public statements that do not support the official narrative.

    The truth is more complicated. And even the mainstream news sources are constantly reminding us of how little we know about this virus, especially in the absence of widespread testing, and the absence of regular poll-type testing (that is, testing a representative swathe of the population rather than those who come to the hospital). And the absence of widespread antibody testing.

    In the absence of clear knowledge, preparing for the worst-case scenario may indeed be the wisest and most prudent thing. But we should be careful about overstating our knowledge and the homogeneity of "expert opinion". If you're not seeing dissenting expert opinions, then you are not looking.
  • CCoozeCCooze
    Posts: 1,183
    Just something from today's Office, on which to dwell:
    "Recall the days gone by when, after you had been enlightened, you endured a great contest of suffering. At times you were publicly exposed to insult and trial; at other times you associated yourselves with those who were being so dealt with. You even joined in the sufferings of those who were in prison and joyfully assented to the confiscation of your goods, knowing that you had better and more permanent possessions. Do not, then, surrender your confidence; it will have great reward. You need patience to do God’s will and receive what he has promised...
    "We are not among those who draw back and perish, but among those who have faith and live."
    Thanked by 1CatherineS
  • Elmar, you may be assessing from your likelihood of infecting others. I'm not sure you can speak for all others commenting on this topic about the risk they are willing to accept for themselves.

    As for the risk to others, as I've mentioned before, it seems unlikely that we are unable to find a median between extremes of canceling all public Liturgy on the one hand and expecting all - regardless of their health issues of the moment - to attend on the other.
  • OraLabora
    Posts: 209
    @JaredOsterman,

    I am in fact a scientist (retired) though in a different field (applied chemistry and physics). So working with data is not new to me. I think at the moment public health officials have a rather broad consensus on the pandemic being a pandemic. Methods to deal with it may differ though some form of social distancing seems to be common with now a very few exceptions (notably Sweden and previously, the Netherlands). The Netherlands have ended up conforming as their death rate soared. There are also now more worries in Sweden. It's population is similar to Québec's (9m in Québec, 10m in Sweden), and yet its death rate is nearly 5 times higher. Its population over 65 is nearly the same as Québec's: 19%.

    The numbers speak for themselves. Social distancing appears to work. I'm looking at data to arrive at my conclusions that are not that much different than our public health officials in Canada.

    I do agree with you that we don't know enough about the behaviour of this virus, but we do know the devastating effects on the health care system if precautions are not taken. Italy and Spain are proof of that and the USA I fear may go down the same path.

    So, since this is a liturgical forum, I am quite prepared to accept the liturgical and sacramental penalty for the greater good,

    Ora
    Thanked by 1Elmar
  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 9,611
    @tomjaw

    i hear you about the vaccine... i take a little scotch every day :-)... and even if it does nothing for my health, i find im a little less stressed as a result. (i am trying to solicit another bottle from the "dudes of the forum" thread)
    Thanked by 2tomjaw a_f_hawkins
  • tomjaw
    Posts: 2,177
    Needs to be cask strength to kill the virus... Of course there are plenty of scientific papers on the interesting medicinally beneficial chemicals in Single malt Scotch whiskey...

    Interestingly a case of scotch would soon arrive once you published (for research purposes!)
    Thanked by 1francis
  • jpnz71
    Posts: 65
    What many of you are missing is that all your efforts to improve liturgy and music in the Catholic Church are undermined by implicit racism (Chinese virus, etc.), trafficking in conspiracy theories (Swiss doctor - take a look at the Swiss Propaganda Research site and see if you think anything they publish is credible - a favorite topic of theirs seems to be Jews controlling the media), and an aversion to science and facts (see innumerable posts on this thread which continue to compare covid to the flu), among other things. Over the last 15 years as a music director in Roman Catholic Churches, I have seen first hand how ineffectual are the efforts of those who promote better liturgy and music, and now I understand why. No pastor will listen to people whose positions on liturgy and music dwell side by side with conspiracy theories, a dismissive attitude towards modern life as a whole (including science), and sadly, racism (implicit at best, explicit at worst.) So go ahead, keep on posting these kind of posts. I of all people can't stop you. But I can tell you none of your most fervent efforts to improve Roman Catholic liturgy or sacred music will ever come to fruition so long as you continue to be so stubbornly opposed to living in and dealing with 21st Century life, science, facts and reality.
    Thanked by 1Richard Mix
  • JPNZ71,

    There are people who subscribe to conspiracy theories. I don't see those here, except in jest.

    There are people who engage in racist behavior. I don't see those here, either.

    About the Jews..... Mark Zuckerberg and Stephen Spielberg are (at least nominally) Jewish. They have tremendous influence, individually speaking. Whether their influence has anything to do with their Jewishness is a question which is beyond the scope of this forum, and beneath our inquiry.

    Chonak and others have already disposed of the implicit racism of the Chinese virus argument.

    so long as you continue to be so stubbornly opposed to living in and dealing with 21st Century life, science, facts and reality.


    No one here is described by this.

    No one is opposed to living in the 21st century. (Charles W jokes about 19th century Russia, but it's a joke meant to illustrate a different point.)

    No one is opposed to dealing with 21st Century life. In fact, that's precisely what everyone here is trying to do, with different approaches. Since human nature doesn't change, the conditions in which we live are all that we can put under "21st Century life", and our need to worship God didn't change just because the calendar did.

    No one is opposed to science, per se, and in fact some of the sternest critics "science" are, themselves, scientists. Some of us (perhaps most?) realize that science deals with the material world, not the metaphysical, and that humans can not, adequately face the 21st Century (or any other time period) merely with "science" since we're not merely material beings.

    No one here is opposed to facts. Not everything which claims the mantle of being a fact is, actually, a fact, and the presentation of something as a fact without proper context is just a pretext. [I'm indebted to a priest for this insight, and he was quoting a seminary professor, "Text, without context, is pretext"]

    Reality just is. Sin is real. The consequences of sin are real. Panic is real. Scientific inquiry is real. No one opposes reality or tries to pretend that it doesn't exist, but since reality is multifaceted, some of us see only portions of it at a time.

    For the sake of civil conversation, could you find a way not to insult anyone who disagrees with you?
  • tomjaw
    Posts: 2,177
    Swiss Propaganda Research
    You seem to worry what else they write about, who cares... But what have they written about the Chinese Virus, if you read they are giving access to information sources ignored by the main stream media.

    I presume that you think that all the doctors and experts quoted on that site are all racists!

    [The SPR site has a list of over a dozen articles about "The Jewish lobby", so that's not a site acceptable for posting here.--admin]
    Thanked by 1Incardination
  • TCJ
    Posts: 782
    Calling people racist is purely a cheap tactic to try to shame people into shutting up. To use the race card is to admit to an extreme bias against people merely because they happen to have opposing opinions.
  • Aside from the (frankly ridiculous) assertion that referring to COVID-19 as the Wuhan Flu is somehow "racist", I have to agree with jpnz71. We are indeed part of an extremely insular religion that historically tends to shun most things not considered nominally Catholic. In the past, this grew out of the heresy and lawlessness of much of the non-Catholic world. However, when our own church is infested by those who wish to see it destroyed, who view proper high liturgy as something anti-Catholic, and when even some of our own clergy have become misguided - this strategy will not work. Gregorian chant "not being appropriate for the modern Catholic Church" is what we are facing.

    Sadly, I see this sectarian attitude far too often.
    Thanked by 2CHGiffen Elmar
  • @OraLabora

    I appreciate your respectful reply. And I don't necessarily disagree. I am merely pointing out the fact that some people who are eminently qualified to do so are voicing opinions less dire than the ones focused on in the mainstream narrative.

    My main reason for pointing this out is to refute the narrative that somehow on one side we have "SCIENCE" and on another side a Medieval stereotype of superstitious rejection of science and modern knowledge in general. As if ANY deviation from a perceived mainstream of scientific opinion on this virus is, in itself, a rejection of science. And as if the Church, in possibly taking a prudential but more moderate approach, would be rejecting science and the scientific method in toto. I'm not accusing you of any of those attacks, but I sure see them directed at the Church in this forum and elsewhere.

    There is plenty of room for rational discussion of this matter, without the reduction to a simplistic dichotomy of FAITH vs. REASON.

    And like I said, I have total respect for people who say "We don't know for sure, so lets err on the side of caution". What I object to is people who say "We absolutely do know for sure, and any other opinion or proposed course of action deviating from what we are doing right now, is automatically an attack on science."
  • jpnz71
    Posts: 65
    For those who object to the racist implications of calling this the Chinese virus or the Wuhan virus. There are those who have done this as a way to assign the origins of this virus to unclean outsiders, from which the virus has then invaded the U.S. Thanks to them, it is too late to claim that calling this the Wuhan or Chinese virus is not racist, just as it is too late to claim that certain historic symbols (swastikas or confederate flags come to mind) are not symbols of racism. Unfortunately, when the worst people use a term or symbol, the term or symbol they used becomes tainted, and if we use those tainted terms and symbols, we are either explicitly, implicitly, or ignorantly amplifying their racism. I would think Catholics would go out of their way to avoid doing any such thing, keeping the life and teachings of Jesus in mind. But, apparently not.
    Thanked by 1OraLabora
  • CCoozeCCooze
    Posts: 1,183
    Catholics aren't required to go out of their way to keep unchecked emotions from spilling over.

    Just because a person uses something in an offensive way does not make the thing offensive.
    Just because people say that using something makes you racist does not make it so.

    I grew up in the South, raised by parents who were raised in the North. I grew up in the midst of quite a lot of Northern and Southern Civil War monuments. The Confederate flag is not a symbol of hate or racism. It isn't not equivalent to the Nazi flag.

    The whole, "oh, but surely you would avoid doing/saying ____, so that people don't think you're _____" is perpetuated by people who have their own form of bigotry and intolerance (in fact, they often cite the "paradox of intolerance" as some way to make their intolerance A-OK) that is currently acceptable.

    Surely, you must be aware that those fighting for acceptable, Sacred music in Catholic churches are used to hearing the, "but people might not understand if you do that..." argument?

    Again. Serving as a music director for ___ years in a Catholic church/school/organization does not necessarily make one Catholic, nor does it make one an expert on Catholicism.
  • OraLabora
    Posts: 209
    @JaredOstermann

    My main reason for pointing this out is to refute the narrative that somehow on one side we have "SCIENCE" and on another side a Medieval stereotype of superstitious rejection of science and modern knowledge in general.


    Indeed it is not either/or. When I came back to the Church after a long absence, the fact that the Church respected science was one of many factors that drew me back. I have long since reconciled my scientific background with my faith. From time to time there are frictions, but by and large, faith and science can and do mutually enhance each other. That there have been many scientists in the Church, even among religious, helped.

    Science without faith-driven moral ethics would be a tyranny, and a religion that refused to recognize the role of science is just snake oil and I could never belong to such a Church. A good example of the two co-existing is Jérôme Lejeune, Servant of God, whose cause is being led by the abbot of St-Wandrille in France.

    Ora
    Thanked by 1Elmar
  • The two parallels you gave to "Wuhan Flu" are considered throughout the world to have those implications because of the dominance of the ideologies they represented in their respective eras. It's not like a worldwide hegemony exists that uses that term to discriminate against Chinese people. And allowing the unfortunate use of the term by a handful of racist individuals to govern the majority's use of it seems misguided to me.
    Thanked by 1CCooze
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 11,373
    So isn't it about time to recommend the good bishop to God and let this thread languish dramatically into eternity? Some of it reminds me of that 300-pound soprano I saw when a child, wasting away from tuberculosis. It took her several acts to finally croak.

    Woo-hoo, wu-what, Wuhan, woo who cares?

  • JPNZ71,

    You seem to have a blinkered view of Jesus' life and teachings. He called some people a "brood of vipers", and "whitewashed sepulchres". He wasn't (as you're using the term) racist, or hateful on intolerant. He knew those to whom he addressed these expressions, and knew them to be accurate descriptions.

    I want to endorse Ora's idea that science without a moral superstructure is a very bad idea. "Pure science", meaning "science without all those moral impediments" is not pure or science. One example of such is eugenics. It claimed the mantle of science. Should we (had we been alive in 1920) have accepted such utter nonsense just because experts and well meaning people proclaimed it to be true?

    Since our focus is (supposed to be) liturgy and music, let me refocus this post in response to Fr. Kerper's letter. I agree with him, and so do you (based on your previous comment praising him), but we come away with completely different conclusions. He notes that in many parts of the world, our current situation (or something like it) is normal. In the privation itself, of course, he's correct. The cause is different, and I think that's where we may find fruitful clarification. Persecution of the Church in many parts of the world makes stronger Catholics. Accepting that the secular authorities get to define how the Church behaves doesn't make stronger Catholics, but weaker ones.

    If we attend Mass on Ash Wednesday for the purposes of being showy about our ashes, this is a bad thing, even though the Mass at which we received them is objectively good. Musicians who sing beautiful polyphony and chant but do so for their own self-congratulatory gratification damage the good they otherwise would do. On the other hand, people who damage the liturgy, so that it becomes overtly concerned only with the here-and-now do an enormous amount of harm. Dr. William Marra (whom I've quoted before) said that he didn't want the wreckovators to be punished with Hell, but to spend eternity with a sign hanging around their necks: "I reformed the liturgy".

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  • dad29
    Posts: 2,100
    We are talking about the risk to infect others with a deadly disease;


    Yes, well....have you attended Mass, or a ball-game, or the theatre while having a cold? Did you sit near someone with COPD and pass on your cold which then turned to pneumonia and killed the COPD sufferer? Same questions apply if you had Flu-A or -B and were--at the time--asymptomatic, which is usually the case early on.

    Almost anyone, at almost any time, can unknowingly spread a disease or infection which kills someone else through a combination of circumstances which IS rather common.

    K? Get the hint?
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  • dad29
    Posts: 2,100
    Our public health authorities are the experts.


    Yes, and just today, they Expert-ly reduced their projections of hospitalizations and deaths by about FIFTY percent. That should give you pause, friend.
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  • dad29
    Posts: 2,100
    Social distancing appears to work.


    And yet, just today I watched a video of a German epidemiologist who was a Rockefeller U. prof. In his opinion, "distancing" merely prolongs the scourge--flattening the curve results in a longer time-line. He scoffs at the idea of forcing people to remain inside their homes when fresh air is a FAR better environment (and has been known as such since at least my childhood.) He thinks that 'herd immunity' is required to mitigate the disease now AND over the next few years.

    He, too, is an "expert" as are the Stanford and Yale (and Oxford) profs who disagree with the interpretations and projections from U of Washington, among others.

    [I believe the guy you saw is the same guy tomjaw has been plugging. He's in New York and has been mentioned in the Post. Sweden has been following the same approach he advocates, so we will find out what happens. --admin]
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  • jpnz71
    Posts: 65
    Chris - I do not have a blinkered view of the life and teachings of Jesus. Jesus did not adhere to the perspectives of the racists of his time, nor did he spend his life avoiding the "unclean." Please, give me one example of Jesus saying something racist, or doing something racist - did I miss something in the Gospels? Charles W - I care, and so do the priests, and now the Bishop, I work for. Take a look at recent comments above re: the confederate flag, or comparing covid to the common cold. Do you think people holding these views will ever be taken seriously when it comes to music and liturgy? I know from experience they are not. No matter how solid a person's views on music and liturgy, if they were to espouse some misguided belief about the heritage of the confederate flag vs. its true history, or in the case of the pandemic to compare the covid virus to the cold or flu, no pastor I have ever worked for would give this person's views on liturgy or music serious consideration. People on this forum, and people running CMAA need to decide whether they want to be a coalition of conspiracy theorists, science/fact skeptics, and casual racists, or whether they want to be a serious organization that advances the cause of better liturgy and more beautiful music in the Roman Catholic Church. CMAA cannot be both.
  • Richard MixRichard Mix
    Posts: 2,399
    We don't even know whether herd immunity will work yet, and the UK seems to be backing off from that strategy now.

    When I had dengue fever my eyeball muscles were so painful I read Moby Dick by waving the book back and forth, and when I started to recover I rejoiced at having immunity, that is until I learned it would last 14 to 20 days and wouldn't protect me from the 3 other predominant strains in the meantime.
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  • JPNZ71,

    Corinne pointed out that she was born in the South, but raised by parents who grew up in the North. I would guess (since my wife fits the same profile) that she didn't richly imbibe the culture of hatred which you're so sure exists in anyone who comments accurately on the Confederate flag, or Confederate war monuments. I would further guess that she will acknowledge that some of the people she encountered as a Yankee growing up in the South didn't meet her parents' standards of good behavior. That doesn't mean that every Southerner is a racist to the core, nor does it mean that Corinne, having grown up there, must be evil for distinguishing the Confederate flag from the Nazi flag.
    People on this forum, and people running CMAA need to decide whether they want to be a coalition of conspiracy theorists, science/fact skeptics, and casual racists, or whether they want to be a serious organization that advances the cause of better liturgy and more beautiful music in the Roman Catholic Church.


    I'll let Janet and Bill, Dr. Mahrt, Ben and the others defend their organization, but I can't let your attempt to bully the rest of us go unanswered. "Disagrees with JPNZ71" is not the same as "conspiracy theorists, science/fact skeptics, ... casual racists"


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  • CharlesW
    Posts: 11,373
    The Confederate flag, racism, and even colds and flu have nothing much to do with liturgical music. An exception would be if a significant number of singers are out with illness. I think some need to retire to their safe spaces and color.
  • jpnz71
    Posts: 65
    Whether or not someone is a racist due to their views on the confederate flag is a topic for a different forum. My point is, someone who defends the confederate flag as a symbol of southern heritage will not be taken seriously when it comes to their views on music and liturgy. I used to list my CMAA membership on my resume, and brought it up in conversations with priests and others. I no longer can. I would be mortified if someone I worked for, or someone I was trying to persuade on liturgical and musical matters, or someone on a hiring committee of a church where I wanted to work, came to this website and read through this kind of thread and found comments about the confederate flag being some kind of race neutral symbol, or comments causticly or causally dismissing scientists and medical professionals and their "facts." CharlesW -wrong. If CMAA wants to be taken seriously regarding music and liturgy, then it needs to eliminate threads like this that give voice to the ignorant/cruel on social and cultural issues, and frankly, stops giving voice to these people at all if they insist on continuing in their ignorance and cruelty.
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  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 9,611
    JPNZ71...

    You may have missed this alert box. You may have to reel in your comment about the association representing one thing or another.
    1454 x 283 - 85K
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  • OraLabora
    Posts: 209
    @dad29:

    And yet, just today I watched a video of a German epidemiologist who was a Rockefeller U. prof. In his opinion, "distancing" merely prolongs the scourge--flattening the curve results in a longer time-line. He scoffs at the idea of forcing people to remain inside their homes when fresh air is a FAR better environment (and has been known as such since at least my childhood.) He thinks that 'herd immunity' is required to mitigate the disease now AND over the next few years.


    Well as it happens I just completed a 55 km bike ride today (and I did 80 km on Saturday). We are not restricted to indoors in Québec unless we are symptomatic or diagnosed with the virus, or have been in contact with someone who is. I've plotted multiple courses of up to 110 km that keep me within a 20 km radius of home. It keeps me from going nuts (that along with chanted daily Liturgy of the Hours).

    We're encouraged to get out and exercise (walk, bike, run). Yes flattening the curve does lengthen the timeline. We've been explicitly told that by our head of public health. In fact we were told that "flattening the curve" was the goal.

    Again, the purpose of flattening the curve is to ensure that the hospital system is never overwhelmed, like it was in Italy and Spain. Because if you overload the hospitals, it isn't just COVID-19 patients who suffer: all acute cases will suffer and there will be collateral deaths. And I'm not even talking about what happens when medical staff start being felled by the virus. That's another can of worms. Already we have some staff shortages and are scurrying for protective equipment.

    My wife is an MD by the way, so I have some inside information. At the moment our system is coping. It is imperative to keep it that way.

    Ora