22 May 2020

I’m not American. Nor am I Catholic. But there are similar clerics here, not all Catholic, who are putting their own gloss on regulations of dubious legality. It as if they do not want people to repent and seek salvation, and they want us to remain children of wrath. So bear with this example, (hat tip Brother Mundabor) because Cupich is such a clear example of what we should not be doing.

With the stroke of a pen, Cardinal Cupich has blithely yielded the Authority of the Church and subjugated the primacy of her worshipto laws of man which are being successfully challenged by other denominations. In doing so, he replaces what has been heroically defended for thousands of years with the absurd perception that the Mass and the Sacraments are less necessary and more potentially dangerousthan grocery stores, gas stations, hardware stores, take-out restaurants, laundries, the postal service, and construction trades, all of which are having no trouble observing CDC regulations.

His second and more insidious betrayal lies in the fact that none of these essential business, nor any other diocese, has been subjected to any official certification process in order to open. Why on earth would we place less trust in the Church than all of these?

Note carefully that the government is not the one forcing a certification process on our churches. Cardinal Cupich has taken this upon himself, circumventing any legal recourse the laity might have for relief from this inequitable policy. What could he possibly stand to gain by such a self-punitive plan? Could it be because it gives him an unchecked power to grant or revoke this certification according to his tastes? Anyone who doubts this possibility would do well to consider the cases of Father Frank Phillips or Father Paul Kalchik, or the church in South Dakota whose doors he locked during the Easter Triduum.

Cupich’s third betrayal is his thin veneer of self-righteousness which undermines the true virtue of our Church. Secular wisdom abounds in his introduction to these new policies, and the entire Gospel is ignored while we are admonished about being “our brother’s keeper.” This gaffe is not unusual; most of us will recall his ”rabbit hole” episode. I suppose he never stopped to realize that this phrase was Cain’s sarcastic way of deflecting his own guilt for murdering his brother—simply because God had favored Abel’s sacrifice over his own.

Ironically, these insidious policies were announced on the feast of Our Lady of Fatima, who appeared to three children in Portugal at a time when the government was doing its best to stamp out the “superstition” of religion. After months of apparitions, Our Lady proved herself with the Miracle of the Sun, which was witnessed by over 30,000 people.

Why is this ironic? Because Our Lady came to warn the world that, despite His great mercy, God would not hold back forever the punishment we deserve for our countless sins and offenses against Him. With tears in her eyes, she begged us to offer reparation,describing the tribulations that lay in store if her warning were ignored.

Where is this message today? Where is the voice of the Church in the midst of this crisis, calling for reparation for our sins and offenses, lest we suffer further chastisement? Where is Her care of souls?

The St. Charles Borromeo Society

Cupich is relying too much for this reformed bloke on his sense that the needs approval from man, and not from God. He is not referring to scripture or the Traditions of the Church — and his, like Bosco Peters, has a high version of Eucharist. This causes problems in this time.

Those who lead Eucharist (in my tradition) vow and sign to certain agreements and disciplines, for example: to use good quality bread and wine; to consume all the consecrated bread and wine. Furthermore, by word and action, it is clear to the gathered community which bread and wine is intended to be consecrated.

In remote consecration, how are these disciplines of reverence maintained? Is it clear what is being consecrated, or is it any bread and wine in the line of sight of the screen? Is all the consecrated bread and wine consumed? Do you have to be in the room during the consecration or can you simply leave the bread and wine in front of the screen for it to be consecrated? In a in-a-church-building Eucharist [In Real Life (IRL) Eucharist], if you happen to need to go out during the consecration, the service continues while you are out, and the bread and wine is still consecrated during that time you are out.

Some have a different workaround. They have click-and-collect Communion. Consecrated bread and wine is delivered to your door, or you collect it from the church building, or you can even have drive-through Communion or similar. Then you can eat and drink consecrated bread and wine at home while watching a live or recorded Eucharist.

In the reformed branch this is less important. We pray over the emblems, but doing it in memorial is more important: it is a memorial and symbol. It is not Christ re-sacrificed: it is a recollection of this. But that has been a cause of contention well before Luther nailed 95 theses on a door, if not before that.

What we need to be careful is that we do not fall into the sins of the fleshly mind: an over reliance on logic and tradition and theological speculation. We should have the humility to accept some things are mysteries, beyond our comprehension.

Ephesians 2:1-7

2 And you were dead in the trespasses and sins 2 in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience— 3 among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind. 4 But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, 5 even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved— 6 and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, 7 so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.

I generally don’t jump onto the third rail and go into the theological controversies that split the church. There has been enough blood spilled, and books written. But at this time, this non liturgical and reformed bloke has sympathy for my papist and orthodox brothers. Calvin said that symbols given to us by God matter. They do. Closing our access to them is an offense against the spirit.

The fleshly will not see that, regardless of their titles.

But we need to ensure that the church is built, refined, and established, regardless of any regulation from any authority. We must obey God, and not man.

And though we will attempt as much as we can to avoid conflict, those who hate the gospel will try to bring war. So be prepared. You may find your witness is in your standing when all are told to bow to the Caesar of this age.