Christian response and guidance to coronavirus

Roosh

Cardinal
It seems like a lot of churches are following the secular world and closing everything down. Catholic Churches have closed and even my church (Armenian) is doing liturgy behind closed doors without parishioners. As a young Christian, I thought that Christ defeated death for us, and we have nothing to fear, so I wonder what is going on with the hierarchy in their decision-making.

Here's a great video from a Catholic priest who strongly criticizes the closure of churches:

 

The Guest

Pigeon
My Protestant denomination has come out in support of closures. Personally, I think we need as many Christians to survive this as possible and deal with what will come after.

My pastor is young and has been good with moving things online. He's doing livestreams every day including the daily office, Bible study, and prayers.
 

Rob Banks

Pelican
I go to a traditional SSPX Catholic church (in the U.S.). We had Mass today, but the priest announced that Mass is cancelled for the foreseeable future due to government restrictions on large public gatherings.

My priest a few weeks ago, in a sermon, talked about how the idea of "freedom of religion" is wrong (which I agree with). At the same time, he lives in America, and he is only able to be a Catholic priest because the American government allows freedom of religion.

I'm not criticizing him or any American Catholics for this. I am just saying it is interesting. What if the American government decided to outlaw Christianity (or, more realisticly, what if if the government decided to prohibit worship services for an unreasonable amount of time, say months or years, due to the virus)?

What would the proper Christian response be? Should they obey the government's orders? Should they practice their religion in secret? Should they openly rebel (knowing they will most likely be easily defeated and killed/jailed)?

I believe in the Soviet Union, which was officially atheist and persecuted Christians, people continued to practice Christianity but many people (i.e. millions) were killed.
 

NoMoreTO

Ostrich
Very powerful words from the ArchBishop My Church in Ottawa is open only for confession and prayer before the sacrament. They have been ordered not to have public masses by their bishop so they are having private masses only.

To me the breaking point is Easter Sunday. We can't have the Churches closed on Easter Sunday. I can take a few Sundays off if the Churches are closed, but not going on Easter feels horribly wrong.

This has me thinking to call the local hometown Church and see what the situation is. Perhaps if the people were asking for mass the Priests and Bishops would have more courage!

The Pope requested a Rosary to be said at 9 one night last week, but then he didn't even lead it on the livestream. Someone at my Church was saying how a Saint prophesied that there would be no masses for 3.5 years at the beginning of the Tribulation. Truly dark times. The Churches need to reopen even with restrictions or safe measures etc. Something needs to be done. I have seen confession in Cars which seems like a good idea.
 

Brebelle3

Sparrow
My Catholic Church in Da Lat, Vietnam was and has been open every day for worship. Every Sunday they have Mass in English and while a little empty yesterday, still had many people attend.

I can't believe I feel safer and life is more normal in a country bordering China.
 

Thomas More

Hummingbird
I think God guides us and following his teachings protect us, but he doesn't do supernatural miracles to just get us through the day. Many of the South Korean cases started by a super spreader at a big church. Does that mean God's blessing is not on that church?

In Dixon, IL in 1868, a group of 100's of people gathered to watch six people being baptized in the river. They were up on the bridge, and the bridge collapsed. 46 people drowned. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dixon_Bridge_Disaster Was the city of Dixon cursed? Did God not accept these baptisms?

No, the truth is that bad things happen to God's people, even when they are doing their best to follow his will. This is not God's judgement. It is the normal risk of bad things happening in life, which we should avoid if possible. If the people of Dixon had known the bridge was unsafe, they would have been correct to stay off it, and not be able to be present for the baptisms.

Should people gather together for church services in the midst of a pandemic? I'd say they should not do so, any more than they'd gather in a condemned church building with a rickety roof that was shaking in a high wind. Doing such a thing seems like tempting God to me.

You could say maybe God wants us to die for his sake, if the only other alternative is to forego worship gatherings in the middle of a pandemic. I don't think this is accurate. It is acceptable to worship God in small home groups when there is a catastrophe that prevents the larger body of Christ from gathering safely.
 

AnonymousBosch

Crow
Gold Member
For Catholics:

If you can't make confession, say an Act of Perfect Contrition with true sorrow for your sins.

Oh my God! I am heartily sorry
for having offended Thee and
I detest all my sins because
I dread the loss of Heaven and the pains of Hell;
But most of all because I have offended Thee, My God,
Who art all-good and deserving of all my love.
I firmly resolve, with the help of Thy grace,
To confess my sins, to do penance,
And to amend my life. Amen.

If you have the intention to go to reconciliation when things calm down, then that act absolve your sins, and so, don't panic.

Once one knows the divine law of confession, he must also determine to confess all the mortal sins he has committed after baptism. To say that one is sorry without that intention to confess the sins, when one has a chance to do so, is a false act of contrition. One must determine to obey all God's commandments, and one of those commandments is that one must confess all mortal sins committed after baptism to a duly authorized priest. If there is no priest to be had, then God accepts the will for the deed. He will not accept the will for the deed if there is a duly authorized priest available. Remember the act of perfect contrition always takes away all sins immediately.

The Catholic Church has also reintroduced the Third Rite of Reconciliation due to the crisis, meaning, your sins can be mass absolved as a group rather than being confessed individually, say, if you were in an Emergency Department, the Priest can absolve everyone in the room with one act.

Lastly, for Quarantine, you want to pray The Prayer of the Hollow Heart, which I was taught a year ago:

Lord Jesus, come and fill my emptiness.

It's particularly-useful for those who are carrying Emotional Wounds:

1. Feel the pain of the hollow heart. Don’t try to escape from it through distractions.

2. Consciously acknowledge that this is exactly what is happening. I am lonely. I am depressed. I am grieving. I am experiencing the need for intimate sharing or bonding with another. We are inadequate unto ourselves.

3. Accept it for what it is. Namely, the creature’s inadequacy and total dependency on a loving Creator who seeks us infinitely more than we can ever be aware or affirm.

4. Rather than run from the pain - enter into the pain and embrace the pain with the knowledge that this is what it is that you are experiencing – your own inner emptiness that is capable of the infinite love of Jesus.

5. Invite Jesus Christ into your hollow human heart. He stands at the door knocking through your heart ache. Previously you ran away or went into another room absenting yourself from a personal encounter with God himself, only you didn’t know that that was what it was.

6. Remain in the experience of aloneness but prayerfully recalling and acknowledging that Jesus Christ is indwelling your heart.

7. Repeat the above steps every time you feel the sensation of need, grief, pain, compulsion or inadequacy.

Jesus Christ will do the rest, if you don’t resort to previously distracting and soul destroying personal modes of escapism you will eventually experience God in your heart.

8. Enjoy the experience of God’s indwelling presence. It is life giving. It is eternal life giving.

Praying that regularly, I haven't experienced loneliness for a long time. I haven't even noticed I've been largely-cut off from people for nineteen days.
 

Leonard D Neubache

Owl
Gold Member
I was going to ask about this. I'm also wondering if the authorities will cross the line of persecuting priests for attending to private residences as being "non-essential travel".

I am not afraid, oddly, or angry. I trust God to take perfect account.
 

bobmjilica

Sparrow
My protestant church is holding Bible study and services online. I echo the other commenters sentiment that we would prefer if as many Christians are alive once this thing is over. If one person in a church is positive, there's a likelihood he spreads it to multiple people in the church. Just because Christians should not be afraid of death, as they are eternally saved, does not mean that we should shorten our lives when we still have work to do on Earth.
 

Athanasius

Pelican
The Guest said:
My Protestant denomination has come out in support of closures. Personally, I think we need as many Christians to survive this as possible and deal with what will come after.

My pastor is young and has been good with moving things online. He's doing livestreams every day including the daily office, Bible study, and prayers.

This is where my denomination is too. Doug Wilson describes it well here. It comes back to the distinction in function between the civil magistrate and the church.
 

Mike_Key

Robin
Roosh said:
...
As a young Christian, I thought that Christ defeated death for us, and we have nothing to fear, so I wonder what is going on with the hierarchy in their decision-making.

...

Ha, that's interesting ... aside from jokes this brings up some good points and this is a great thread.

On a serious note, malady and trials were never squelched in the New testament. I too have brought this point up about Churches closing and Christians retort, "you need to be smart" and "people are immune compromised." Which I get this idea and the one lady that said this - her mom had cancer recently.

Secondly, the Great Commission - how can you work for Father God if you are sick or dead.

"Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” "

Christians often romanticize dying and going to heaven - but, we have hard work yet to complete.

Jobs:

Guidance?

If fired or cut back on hours at your place of employment ... then fast and pray.
There's much power in fasting and praying. It can even be disconcerting it's so powerful. But don't fear. How to fast and pray? If you intend to do something, eat or something that you can do without but with effort -- don't do that something and for that amount of time pray. Then get back to normal ---say at Dinner time, etc.

One more thing:

Roosh once said (paraphrase) "Don't read the bible unless with a trained teacher."

I can believe some of that but not all of it.

There are some amazing things in the bible that when you first learn them 10 years after becoming a Christian - you feel cheated.

- Balamm and the donkey
- Writing on the wall (Daniel Chpt 5)
Which reminds me of Barack Obama not being able to make a basket on the basketball court on Easter Sunday
- They tried to throw Jesus off a cliff but couldn't
- A husband and wife died because the Holy Spirit is very powerful among humans
- Matthew 5:22 Raca topic
- "The Lord rebuke you!" Jude 1:9
Reminds me of a bad encounter I had with a schizophrenic dude.​
- Saul converts to Paul, left for dead, Brave dude going to Rome, Thorn in his side (perhaps it was persecuting Christians ... )

Many great lessons, ideas, philosophies ...
 

AnonymousBosch

Crow
Gold Member
Leonard D Neubache said:
I am not afraid, oddly, or angry. I trust God to take perfect account.

Neither is every Catholic I know. We sense what is about to happen must happen. Trust in what you feel.

I spent 90 minutes on the phone with my Priest when he rang me the other day. The Church Mystics have warned the Church, but when I heard what he told me, my heart filled with love and peace, because I already knew.

Remind me to email you later about it mate. Going to be busy for a couple of hours.
 

An0dyne

Robin
The churches here have almost all closed down--the Roman diocese has forced all their parishes to close, the local Orthodox parish is closed, and nearly all the mainline protestant churches are shuttered, though our little congregation is still going, albeit with abbreviated 10-people-or-less services as mandated by the government. I do not know how long this will last, but I hope our leaders resist governmental attempts to shut us down--especially with Holy Week nearing.
 

Paracelsus

Crow
Gold Member
For the Catholics here, this could be important: the Papacy has announced plenary indulgences for people with COVID-19 and for those who care for them, including medical staff and family members, and for those who pray for them.

Per the Catholic News Agency:

Vatican City, Mar 20, 2020 / 06:41 am (CNA).- The Vatican’s Apostolic Penitentiary has granted a plenary indulgence for people with COVID-19 and for those who care for them, including medical staff and family members, and for those who pray for them.

Announced Friday, a plenary indulgence is granted to Catholics who, infected with the coronavirus and quarantined at home or the hospital by order of health officials, participate spiritually in a devotion such as the rosary or the Way of the Cross.

Catholics around the world who pray for an end to the pandemic, healing for the sick, and the eternal repose of the dead are also granted the indulgence, according to the decree.

Plenary indulgences, which remit all temporal punishment due to sin, must be accompanied by full detachment from sin.

In this case, the person must also fulfill the ordinary conditions of an indulgence, which are sacramental confession, reception of the Eucharist, and prayer for the intentions of the pope, by having the will to satisfy the conditions as soon as possible for them.

Other devotions which may grant the indulgence, the penitentiary said, are participation in Mass through the internet, and the recitation of the Creed, the Our Father, and a “pious invocation of the Blessed Virgin Mary, offering this trial in a spirit of faith in God and charity towards their brothers and sisters.”

Healthcare workers and family members who have exposed themselves to the risk of contagion in caring for those ill with COVID-19 are also granted the indulgence under the same conditions, according to the declaration, which quoted Christ’s words that “no one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.”

The indulgence is granted “from the authority of the Supreme Pontiff,” with a decree signed by Cardinal Mauro Piacenza, penitentiary major of the Apostolic Penitentiary.

To receive the indulgence, always under the usual conditions, Catholics not sick with COVID-19 may offer at least a half hour of adoration before the Blessed Sacrament or a half hour of prayer with scripture, or the recitation of the rosary or chaplet of divine mercy “to implore from the Almighty God an end to the epidemic, relief for those who are suffering, and eternal salvation of those whom the Lord has called to himself.”

The indulgence is granted, the decree stated, “so that all those who suffer because of COVID-19, in the very mystery of this suffering, can rediscover ‘the same redemptive suffering of Christ.’”

“Be glad in hope, constant in tribulation, persevering in prayer’ (Rom 12,12). The words written by Saint Paul to the Church of Rome resonate throughout the history of the Church and guide the judgment of the faithful in the face of every suffering, disease and calamity,” the March 20 announcement stated.

It explained that the coronavirus, which threatens humanity, has altered people’s lives by bringing fear, uncertainty, and widespread physical and moral suffering.

“The Church, following the example of her Divine Master, has always had assistance to the sick at heart,” the decree said.

The document quoted St. Pope John Paul II, who wrote in Salvifici doloris that the value of human suffering “is supernatural, because it is rooted in the divine mystery of the redemption of the world, and it is also profoundly human, because in it man finds himself, his very humanity, his very dignity, his very mission.”

Pope Francis too, it noted, has invited constant prayer for those sick with COVID-19.

The coronavirus indulgence is also granted to those who are at the point of death, provided they are properly disposed and in the habit of prayer.

The decree said “the Church is praying for those who find it impossible to receive the sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick and Viaticum, entrusting each and every one to divine Mercy by virtue of the communion of saints.”

“The Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of God and of the Church, Health of the Sick and Help of Christians, our Advocate, would like to come to the aid of a suffering humanity, driving back from us the evil of this pandemic and obtaining all the good necessary for our salvation and sanctification,” the document concluded.

I'm glad they have done this at least. There are many souls who are going to need these indulgences in the coming months.
 

NoMoreTO

Ostrich
Message from my FSSP Parish in Ottawa

Total Closure of Churches Effective Immediately

By order of Dr. Paul Roumeliotis, Medical Officer of Health at the Eastern Ontario Health Unit, all churches must now be closed – even for private prayer – until further notice.We are saddened by this news but understand the magnitude of the situation for public health.
Archbishop Prendergast just informed us this morning about this and is asking us to abide by the civil authorities and close immediately. However, we will continue to offer our daily masses in private, for the good of souls.

We will update you of the situation later today.
Please consider joining us in the Rosary Crusade for and end to this COVID-19 virus crisis. More information on this can be found on our website.

Fr. has asked today that all families consider praying the 15 decades of the rosary every day for the next nine days (at least) as a means to obtain a positive resolution to our current coronavirus crisis.
To many of you this may seem daunting ; however, with so many people laid off or working from home there might be time on your hands? If your day is still quite busy, consider praying a morning rosary for your morning prayers, then a 2nd rosary spread throughout the day (i.e. pausing from your activities to pray a decade each hour), closing with a family rosary in the evening. This can be done.
I would also encourage you all to wear the Miraculous Medal of St. Catherine Labouré which was first produced by the Daughters of Charity. During the cholera outbreak in Paris in 1832, which claimed 20,000 lives, the first medals were being produced. The sisters started to distribute the first 2,000 of them, especially to infected people who filled the hospitals. The healings increased, including a lessening of emotional distress. So great was the effect that the people began to call it the “miraculous medal”. We need all the help we can get !

Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee ! Amen.
 

kamoz

Kingfisher
Gold Member
Just a brief observation I came across.

Pope Francis’ papacy began on March 13, 2013.

Corona-mania started (“officially”) on March 13, 2020 (a Friday no less).

Not too familiar with numerology but some patterns are apparent.
 

ilostabet

Pelican
kamoz said:
Just a brief observation I came across.

Pope Francis’ papacy began on March 13, 2013.

Corona-mania started (“officially”) on March 13, 2020 (a Friday no less).

Not too familiar with numerology but some patterns are apparent.

I remembered yesterday that it's been almost a year since Notre Dame cathedral was in flames.
 

budoslavic

Peacock
Gold Member

Italian priest dies of coronavirus after giving respirator to younger patient
March 24, 2020 | 8:20am

An Italian priest infected with coronavirus gave up a respirator his parishioners bought for him to a younger patient — and then died from the deadly bug, according to reports.

The Rev. Giuseppe Berardelli, 72, refused to take the respirator while in a hospital after finding out the other patient — who was a complete stranger — also needed it, according to the BBC.

The main priest in the town of Casnigo died last week in Lovere hospital, the broadcaster said, citing hospital officials.

He was one of at least 60 priests who died in Italy this month as the European nation was the epicenter of the deadly pandemic, according to the Catholic News Agency.

“He is a ‘Martyr of Charity,'” New York Jesuit priest James Martin said on Twitter, adding the biblical phrase, “Greater love has no person …”

Martin — an author who edits the Jesuit journal America — said Berardelli was a “saint like St. Maximilian Kolbe, who in Auschwitz volunteered to take the place of a condemned man with a family, and was killed.”

Don Giuseppe Berardelli, patron of those who suffer from coronavirus and all who care for them, pray for us!” he wrote, with many others replying that the dead priest was a “true saint.”

No details were given on the patient who received the respirator at Berardelli’s request.
 
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