Msgr. Charles Pope: Canceling Public Masses in Rome is Not the Answer to Coronavirus

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L0069367 Saint Carlo Borromeo ministering to the plague victims Credit: Wellcome Library, London. Wellcome Images Centered in the image is St. Charles Borromeo ministering to plague victims who are collapsed and lamenting. Above Borromeo is a cherub. Painting 17th Century By: Pierre MignardPublished: - Copyrighted work available under Creative Commons Attribution only licence CC BY 4.0

“Be ready to abandon this mortal life rather than the people committed to your care. Go forward among the plague-stricken as to life, as to a reward, even if there is only one soul to be won to Christ.” —St. Charles Borromeo

By Msgr. Charles Pope, EWTNNews, 3/9/20

The Scriptures warn us of a most serious threat to our spiritual well-being, which is the fear of death:

Now since the children have flesh and blood, [Jesus] too shared in their humanity, so that by his death he might destroy him who holds the power of death, that is, the devil, and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death (Hebrews 2:14-15).

Yet now, we are manifesting an almost worldwide panic attack over a virus that, however bad it might be, has no power of itself to “separate us from the love of Christ” (Romans 8:35).

One may excuse unbelievers, whom St. Paul describes as “those who have no hope” (1 Thessalonians 4:13), but what are we to say of bishops and other Church leaders who have succumbed to pressure to cancel public Masses while bars and restaurants remain open (albeit on a reduced basis)? Food and drink are essential to our physical survival, but the Holy Eucharist is even more essential to our spiritual survival: Truly, truly, I tell you, unless you eat the flesh and drink the blood of the Son of Man, you have no life in you (John 6:53). And thus we are confronted with deep indignation over the lack of hand sanitizer and surgical masks but too little indignation over the astonishing limits and outright refusal to offer the sacraments to God’s faithful….

Read more here: Msgr. Charles Pope, EWTNNews, 3/9/20