This Week: Should Clerics Vote? Is Bankruptcy a Disgrace? And More. by Phil Lawler

Making the Public Square Beautiful Again, by Francis Lee
February 29, 2020
Resource: Denver Catholic: Coronavirus (COVID-19): Prevention & Resources
February 29, 2020

By Phil Lawler, Catholic Culture, Feb 28, 2020

► This week’s news was dominated by reports about the coronavirus. Even in Rome, when Pope Francis curtailed his schedule for a few days because of a “slight indisposition,” some overeager reporters questioned whether it was possible the Pontiff had somehow contracted the feared virus. Yes, it’s possible. But not at all probable. There was no report of an outbreak in Rome, and statements from Vatican officials—who were obviously being terse, to discourage speculation—suggested that in the Pope’s case the culprit was an ordinary winter flu.

By the way, questions about the Pope’s health will probably remain unanswered next week. After his scheduled public audience on Sunday, he is due to go into seclusion for a week, with the leaders of the Roman Curia, for the annual Lenten Retreat.

► Otherwise it was a quiet week. But I was taken aback, I admit, by Archbishop Bernard Hebda’s directive that priests and deacons in his St. Paul archdiocese should not vote in Minnesota’s presidential primary. Why would a prelate discourage clerics from exercising their civic rights—and, some would say, their duties? Archbishop Hebda explained that voting “could be seen as ‘partisan’ political activity” under new Minnesota rules for the primary, and canon law bars clerics from involvement in “partisan” causes. ….

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