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By Phil Lawler, Catholic Culture, March 23, 2020
Phil Lawler has been a Catholic journalist for more than 30 years. He has edited several Catholic magazines and written eight books. Founder of Catholic World News, he is the news director and lead analyst at CatholicCulture.org. See full bio.
Over the course of this past weekend I heard of several different ingenious schemes, concocted by energetic pastors, that would have allowed Catholics to attend Mass without violating “social distance” or government regulations. In every case the plan was vetoed by the diocesan bishop.
Yes, I understand that bishops are concerned about the possible transmission of a deadly virus— but so are the pastors who invented ways to allow parishioners to worship in small groups, standing 10 or more feet apart. Yes, I understand that we all have a moral obligation to obey government regulations that are issued for the sake of the common good— but these schemes would have fallen within the scope of the existing regulations.
Why is it that at a time when many pious Catholics are begging for a chance to participate at Mass, and many conscientious pastors are willing to oblige them, our bishops are steadily pumping the brakes? ….