It is being said that anyone who is asking for the celebration of Mass to be reinstated, anyone who is going to church to pray, anyone looking for a priest to ask for confession and the Eucharist, is a selfish person. And yet, whether we are thinking of ourselves, of people dear to us or who are more at risk, what should make us most afraid is not death but rather leaving this world in fear and without being well-prepared for death. Death must not become something taboo for the Church: it is what we most need to hear about, as well as hope for eternal life.
A scene from Communist China took place in Marina di Cerveteri north of Rome. A parish priest surprised by two law enforcement officials is ordered to stop a Eucharistic celebration. What’s the reason? Because there were faithful gathered outside in the churchyard praying at the recommended distance.
Faith and economy are more interrelated than it seems. Lent can teach us many fundamental economic notions. Today we begin to examine this "Lentonomics" starting from the subject of "sacrifice" whilst considering its implications for our daily economic choices.
A new decree by the Cardinal Vicar of Rome, Angelo De Donatis, revokes the decision made just a few hours earlier to close the churches of Rome, after the pope thundered at his morning Mass in Santa Marta against “drastic measures.” And so the churches in Rome are reopening, but Cardinal De Donatis wrote to the pastors of Rome and revealed that the decision to close churches was made by the Pope. The protests by many of the faithful and alarmed phone calls from bishops and cardinals convinced him to make a U-turn. A disturbing spectacle of a church hierarchy in a state of confusion. And now may the bishops have the courage to reinstate public Masses with the faithful (obeying all security and health directives).
The disturbing story of Rome’s churches – first ordered closed and then reopened – clearly reveals a Church bent on living for today and unaware that God’s is worth more than our present lives. Precisely because of the seriousness of the epidemic, it is necessary to lift suspensions on public Masses, even if it means taking necessary precautions.
There is no common understanding of what the concept of synodality means. It was once thought that synodality meant walking together believing in the same truths of faith. Today synodality is considered taking action together. The model of synodality was a monarchical church, today it is a democratic church.
Totalitarian China is increasingly referred to as an example for how to contain the coronavirus epidemic. While wanting to remain a democratic country, Italy is nevertheless is trying to imitate the Chinese. Never mind that China is a highly questionable model, it is not the only Asian nation to have effectively tackled the epidemic. Other Asian countries, such as Taiwan (Democratic China) and Singapore have managed to stymie further infections. Meanwhile South Korea, one of the hardest hit countries, has managed to slow down outbreaks like, if not more than, China. Yet, none of these governments have used totalitarian methods nor have they have blocked entire regions or entire economic sectors as is happening in Italy.
Every Mass, as the Council teaches, has by its very nature a “public and social disposition.” The sacrifice of Christ that is renewed in the Mass is universal – it is offered for the salvation of the entire world. Benedict XVI has said that the Eucharist has such a public significance that it impels people to a courageous commitment to serving the structures of this world through the social doctrine of the Church.
The Italian Bishops’ Conference has decided to suspend all Masses in Italy with the faithful in attendance until April 3 because of the coronavirus. This is a grave and historically unprecedented decision, which sends a clear message, faith is irrelevant to people’s lives. It is a model that creates the risk of being followed by the rest of the world. The ecclesiastical hierarchy seems to be ever more dependent on the government, following the model of the “Patriotic Association” in China. “Clandestine” priests are now celebrating Mass in churches or homes with a few of the faithful in attendance, at the risk of being denounced by state officials and other priests.
Education, health, poverty reduction: no other organization in the world does more than the Catholic Church to respond to people's needs. This was confirmed by a research group based at Georgetown University (USA), which quantified the amount of good that Catholic charities contribute to the world. This is in addition to the amount of spiritual good she provides by bringing to the Gospel to humanity.
Here it is the sermon of Cardinal Raymond Leo Burke for the Pontifical Requiem Mass celebrated in Stamford (Connecticut) for the eternal rest of Cardinal Ignatius Kung Pin-Mei in observance of the 20th anniversary of his death on March 12, 2000.