Posted by: Fr Chris | March 13, 2020

Source for Catholic Church & Coronavirus News

I am out of commission with a respiratory bug – fortunately NOT the coronavirus.

However it is continuing to spread in countries. Our Sunday Visitor has this website which they will keep updated with Church news and dealing with the pandemic.

https://www.osvnews.com/2020/03/12/the-church-and-coronavirus/?utm_campaign=OSV%20NewsNow%20031320&utm_medium=email&utm_source=Eloqua

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A Sister walks past the barricades of Saint Peter’s Square

I find it mind-boggling that certain people are lauding bishops or parishes that do not cancel services in areas that are infected. The Catholic Church suspended public celebrations of the Mass during the Spanish Flu pandemic of 1918-19 (which did not originate in Spain, but Kansas). Churches closed in other epidemics. In Italy during epidemics, outdoor Masses were offered so people could worship from their homes, but Holy Communion was not distributed. When a German-American priest in Cincinnati insisted on offering public Masses after the state ordered churches closed, it was Church officials who stepped in and told him to stop as it was dangerous.

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1918 poster in Saint Louis against spreading the Spanish Influenza 

While we all long for the reception of Jesus Christ’s Body and Blood, we are not meant to put people at risk in crowded churches where an infection like mine can travel quickly, let alone the coronavirus which is apparently transmitted easily.  Nobody is immune to this virus, people 60 and up or people with other health issues (like me) are especially vulnerable, and nobody wants to get sick. Sure, for healthy people it is like a bad flu, but for those at risk – and that’s quite a good portion of the populace – getting sick with this can lead to death or a prolonged illness with as yet unknown long-term results.

Social distancing and closing areas frequented by large groups of people saved the city of Saint Louis in the 1918 pandemic. While most cities buried thousands of citizens, Saint Louis had only 1,703 deaths. The same should hold true for us today we hope. Above all, pray to God for relief for the sick, and that cooler heads will prevail – after all, who on earth in America needs five flats of bottled water and a ton of toilet paper?

Instead of hoarding supplies, Christians should be praying for others, and offering to provide help with food, caring for children out of school, and shopping for those who can’t go out easily.  And if we care for our neighbor as Christ taught us, we should get the flu shot instead of playing Russian Roulette with our own health and that of those around us – 80,000 people die every year from the flu, which is so unnecessary!

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Saint Roch, patron against plagues, pray for us!

 


Responses

  1. Thank you Fr Chris. Take care & be well. You are in my daily prayers. ALSO thank you for a great presentation about Pope Pius XII. Very informative

    • thanks Beth! I appreciate the prayers very much.


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