by Fr Richard Heilman | April 19, 2020 1:19 PM
A Facebook friend posed this question, that I believe is on many Catholic’s minds:
Not looking for an argument…just wanted to share a thought.
A few friends shared pictures inside a grocery store where folks were packed in (groups of no more than 10? Um, er)…yet, we can’t have Mass.
Yes, I believe the Corona virus is real. Yes, I believe we need to be responsible.
Couldn’t we maybe sit folks every other pew and 6 ft apart with a limit of so many per Mass?
Yes, this would probably require an extra Mass or two.
Just a thought ♡
Here is “the amazing” Fr. Bill Peckman’s thoughtful response:
Two observations: a) There are too many in the stores. Not here so much in Missouri where we have a de facto 1 cart, 1 person, no kids things going in the store. B) I have played with logistics here…who do I let into Mass? Do I do a lottery system? Do I have counters at one entrance and once we hit x number people get turned away? To accommodate a typical Sunday Mass attendance, which is around 750ish people between the two parishes, I would have to do 7 to 9 Masses to accomplish this. Canonically I can offer 2, with the bishop able to grant me permission to do a 3rd. My bishop, in his letters to us knows when public Masses are restored that our Masses might well be more full than before. Is it even really realistic the idea that social distancing will happen with such an onrush? It is a logistics problem which we are trying to figure out.
That and I am still convinced this is God putting us in exile for our idolatry, our regular desecration of the Sabbath, our regular reception of the Eucharist in a state of mortal sin, our failure of the Great Commission, our abandonment of the Confessional, our constant infighting and bickering, our leadership’s heinous coverup of criminal behavior and engaging in criminal behavior, our dismal attempts of catechesis, and our feckless worldliness and adoption of secularism. Christ’s bride has wandered far from Him. We claim innocence but forget when God exiled Judah, it was not just the Jews who engaged in idolatry that were exiled and lost the temple…it was the good and faithful Jews who did as well. God deals with us as a people, as His flock, as His bride. The hunger for the Eucharist is good. But Holy Mother Church, both laity and clergy, need to get their act together so that worldliness, compromise with secularism, rampant unbelief, sacrilege and blasphemy, infighting of the kind that St. Paul pleaded with the early Church to not engage in, and that the Sabbath might again be held by believers. We are by the rivers of Babylon weeping and longing. We have work to do…the work of conversion and calling conversion.
I could not agree more with Fr. Bill Peckman. A recent August 6, 2019 Pew Research Report found that 70% of self-described Catholics DO NOT believe that, at Mass, the bread and wine become the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ, that it is merely “symbolic.”
My response to first reading this bitter pill of a report was that I was sure THIS would be the wake-up call we all need to reform the Mass, and help our people cry out, “My Lord and my God!”. To date, crickets.
What was God left to do?
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