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Italian Bishops Suspend All Masses
for Catholics

Margaret C. Galitzin
Due to the Coronavirus mania-crisis, the Italian Bishops' Conference announced Sunday (March 8, 2020) the decision to suspend all public Masses, including funerals, in the whole Italian territory until at least April 3.

empty cfhurch italy

Churches are open but no Masses or Sacraments; below, spraying the crucifix with disinfectant

crucifix coronavirus
It is an unprecedented decision.

It is one thing for the government to take up the Coronavirus-mania ordering the entire Italian population – more than 60 million people – to be placed on lockdown and ban all public gatherings. New restrictions appear daily: cinemas, theaters, dance schools and bettering rooms are on hold, schools and universities closed, traveling restricted nationwide, even sports events suspended.

It is another thing for the Catholic authorities to shut down a major remedy the Church offers to its children in times when they are suffering from illness, plagues and natural disasters. To deny Catholics the Sacraments with the excuse that the spiritual remedies should not be administered due to an epidemic is to deny the Church’s spiritual mission, the salvation of souls. It is to follow the UN pagan ideal: health of body above all things. For the modern world and Church, the supernatural ceases to exist.

At no time are Sacraments more necessary than a time of epidemics. A threatening virus appears on the scene. The normal Italian, religious by nature if not by practice, understands quite well what this means: that God is angry with the people for their immorality, blasphemies and heresies.

This sense of impending disaster is especially strong today, when almost everyone knows that "something" is coming – a chastisement, a punishment from God whose hand can no longer be held back by Our Lady. It is something that every Catholic, and even many non-Catholics or pagans, sense in the heavy air we breathe in these pagan days.

media coronavirus

The Italian media feeds the coronavirus panic

The Italian Bishops did not see the Coronavirus as an opportunity to preach from the pulpits and airwaves a call for conversion, to lead public prayer and religious processions imploring heavenly assistance to appease the anger of God and to beg His mercy for sinful mankind. They did not call publicly for the intercession of Our Lady and the Saints.

No, they placidly submitted to the government restrictions, and dutifully suspended Masses. They emptied the holy water fonts, as if they were ignorant of its sacramental power to assist man in both body and soul.

And the Catholic population, raised in this Vatican II Church that does all it can to deprecate and deride the supernatural and the sacral, don their face masks and shiver and shake that they might contract the dark specter called Coronavirus and face the risk of – don't even say the word aloud – death.

A divine punishment from God

As I noted above all, I firmly believe that almost every Catholic – I would dare to include almost everyone – knows that that some disaster is imminent. Doomsday protestant soothsayers and contorted conspiracy theorists are drowning the Internet with predictions and prophecies of something dire that awaits mankind in the near future. An ominous atmosphere hovers in the air, robbing even children of the joie de vivre that used to characterize the ambiences of Christendom.

We as Catholics have the words and warnings of Our Lady at Fatima and Our Lady of Good Success who have prophesied a great chastisement of mankind, where nations will disappear and a good part of mankind will be killed unless man converts and returns to the full practice of the Catholic Faith.

st sebastian plague

During the Black Death the priest and people pray to their patron St Sebastian, who intercedes before God

The latter has not happened, and thus, when faced with natural disasters like the Katrina flood or epidemics like the HIV/AIDS pandemic, an authentic Catholic instinctively knows – whether anyone declares it or not – that God is punishing men for ignoring His laws and grievously violating Morals.

As an aside, I think it opportune to point out here that if you peruse a list of epidemics from the 5th century onward, you will see that from the 8th century to the famous Black Death of the 14th century, there is no major plague or epidemic. There were episodic instances in regions or areas of smallpox, tuberculosis, scabies, etc., but no pandemic in the Age of Faith.

Only in the disastrous 14th century, with the onset of the Renaissance, the emergence of the humanist national State and the germs of the Protestant revolt spreading did God see fit to punish mankind with the Black Plague that wiped out 30%-60% of the Western European population.

Now, then, when news about the Coronavirus started to dominate the headlines, who among us did not think: "Is this the beginning of the chastisement?" For those who fear the divine punishment, such thoughts can cause panic and anxiety, like the mayhem spread by the press. (I counted, for example, 16 hair-on-fire Coronavirus-related stories in yesterday’s Los Angeles Times alone.)

However, we Catholics who know that a chastisement shall come – as a predicted just punishment that will cleanse the earth and open the door to contrition and conversion – can maintain our equilibrium in the face of this threat. Yes, we take reasonable precautions to avoid contagion but continue to live life calmly, only redoubling our prayers and sacrifices that the punishment come soon so that mankind stops offending God so greatly.

This, then, is the grand opportunity for the clergy – starting from the top with the Pope – to preach to man, as the High and Low Clergy did in the past, that wars, epidemics and natural disasters are punishments from God to wake man from his lethargy and to warn him to change his ways. Such sermons are rarely heard today, even from the conservative and traditionalist Clergy.

‘Coronavirus is not a divine punishment'

Instead, we find what we would not expect: a Cardinal consistently described as a "conservative theologian," dismissing the notion Coronavirus could be a divine punishment.

"Divine punishment does not exist. It is an incorrect view of Christianity," Card. Angelo Scola, former Archbishop of Milan, told La Repubblica, when asked if Christianity supported the vision of a divine punishment behind the Coronavirus.

angelo scola

Card Scola: 'Divine punishment does not exist'

"Of course, God knows and predicts events but does not determine them," Scola concluded.

So, for Scola and for the present-day Vatican, God is out there in the clouds smiling at a Conciliar Church that adores Pachamama at St. Peter Basilica, promotes homosexuality and preaches Liberation Theology. He has nothing to do with plagues.

The conclusion is that the Coronavirus mania-crisis is nothing but a hygienic problem to be resolved by man…

This is the sad state of affairs in the matured Vatican II Church: The supernatural and sacramental world with God as central is replaced by a materialist, humanist world dominated by man.

It is a world that awaits the divine chastisement whether it believes in it or not.

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