Fr. Jerry Pokorsky: Pondering the Pandemic

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By Fr. Jerry Pokorsky, CAtholic Culture, Mar 16, 2020

Fr. Jerry Pokorsky is a priest of the Diocese of Arlington who has also served as a financial administrator in the Diocese of Lincoln. Trained in business and accounting, he also holds a Master of Divinity and a Master’s in moral theology. …

In the West, the Church has been reasonably immune from governmental interference in the practice of the Faith. There are payroll taxes, employment regulations, and the all-too-common lawsuits for the usual reasons. Occasionally, there is a challenge to the sacrosanct seal of Confession: litigation that is usually resolved before it gets to the courts.

But the current pandemic has set government authorities against Church authorities in matters of the celebration of the Mass, with some bishops surrendering to government pressure. The result? Many Church leaders have agreed to suspend the public celebration of Mass.

At times, canceling Mass makes sense: a bomb scare, crime scenes, safety concerns, mistakes, etc. The cancellations are anomalies, usually with the intention of resumption after a reasonable interval. But the willing long-term suspension of public Masses by entire dioceses is a new phenomenon outside of war zones and totalitarian states.  ….