My friend Dr. Pedro Gabriel Domingues writes…

I have been told that the best way to keep myself informed about the Coronavirus pandemic is not to go to experts, peer reviewed publications, and credible official sources, but to check social media and YouTube.

So I did. Here is what I learned:

*Pulls out list, puts on monocle, clears throat*

The virus is a hoax and does not exist, except for the fact that it was bioengineered in a secret lab to be a bioweapon that is not more severe than the flu.

The mainstream media is *overestimating the threat* in order to control the populace. They are not even reporting that it’s all the WHO and China’s fault for *underestimating the threat* until it was too late.

Masks, social distance, and other restrictions do not work in containing the virus. These measures should be abandoned. Otherwise, how are people supposed to get the virus and develop herd immunity?

From a theological point of view, the pandemic is being used by the media and governments to instill fear on the population. Do not be afraid. The pandemic is a divine chastisement because of Pachamama or receiving communion in the hand and if you don’t repent you are all going to die!!!

Did I miss anything? Am I good now?

Pedro is a Portuguese Catholic physician who understands the science and the medical reality of COVID. He also knows his faith and therefore understands that science and faith are in no conflict. And he has the great blessing of not being an American, so he is not bombarded by the absolute nuttery of American conspiracy theorists who have turned many conservative American Catholics into raving lunatics with their demented fears.

I’d love for him to meet more Americans so he can see we are not all mad. But unfortunately, that will be very difficult since the EU has very sensibly opted to ban American travelers due to the fact that our criminally incompetent idiot in the White House, with the passionate support of conservative Christian dolts, both Protestant and Catholic, has successfully turned the US into the world’s biggest COVID petri dish.

I remember long ago when I entered the Church in the late 80s. One of the things that attracted me to the Church was precisely that it did not have either the split-brain faith vs. reason dichotomy of Evangelicalism, nor its strange psychological need for conspiracy theories to account for reality. Evangelicalism in late 80s and early 90s America was constantly swept by gusts of panic about ridiculous things. There were satanic panics, and D&D panics, and backward masking panics, and panics about ET, and Teletubbies, and fears about all kinds of silly crap.

One of the big attractors for me in looking at the Catholic communion was the fact of a sacred Tradition–and a Magisterium–that kept you rooted in balance and sanity.

For conservatives, that’s nearly vanished. The pope and the bishops are routinely attacked by kooks as evil agents of conspiracy. COVID is a plot by Bill Gates and the Holy Father to vaccinate us with nanochips. Taylor Marshall is convinced we have been “infiltrated”. Others see COVID as a sinister plot by modernists to deprive us communion on the tongue FOREVER! Still others have nutty theories about communists taking over the Church. The use of reason has been supplanted by the right wing in the Church’s mind-meld with QANON kookery and Evangelical fear-mongering about Satan tunneling under our houses.

The good news appears to be that this is mostly an American Catholic thing and that the rest of the world (which some exceptions) is avoiding this lunacy and looking at us in much the way Angela Merkel looks at Trump: with a mixture of wonder, pity, and contempt.

God deliver the American Church from both its feverish sickness and from the money and media might it currently commands to spread it. God forgive us and restore us to sane Catholic faith soon.

18 Responses

  1. “The EU is worse than China, only smaller”

    D. Trump.

    Turning allies into enemies, while obessessing over all kinds of size issues. Rick, looks like we’ve come to the end of a beautiful friendship.

  2. I always wondered what it would be like to be a pariah. Now we know. The lack of intelligence and common sense we have seen is staggering.
    Trump’s obsession with, race, sexism, size, in all matters it seems and appearances seems to sum up what the US has devolved into. I guess I thought we were smarter than that.

  3. The border between my country and yours is closed until July 21 I believe, but seeing as they are now saying there are probably 10 times more COVID cases in the US than are being reported, I am really, REALLY hoping they don’t open them for a very, VERY long time, the economy be damned. I live in Niagara, right on the border. Believe me when I say that none of us want to go to the US any time soon and we certainly don’t want you flocking to the Falls and reinfecting us all now that we have gotten our numbers down to one or two positives a day in our area. *gets out silver cross and garlic for good measure*

  4. The American Catholic Church played the leading role in creating this monster.

    The USCCB invented “non-negotiable evils”, and tailored it to fit Democrats, and demonize them as devils.

    That completely threw inquiry and debate out of the cultural and political discourse. When one side can be dismissed as non-negotiable devils, all kind of crackpot ideas can flourish, unchecked by reason or reality.

    And underlying it all was racism. There is an inherent belief that racism is not racism, unless it’s violent or forceful. The soft white racism of white Christian patronage – where whites own power but treats black as proteges – is STILL RACISM. A racism of kindness and goodwill and service is still racism

    When the USCCB engaged in a pitched battle to scuttle Obamacare — Supreme Court, lawyers, protracted demonstrations – and did close to nothing to when it comes to all other evils that Republican governments do… when you compare the mountain that was made out of the molehill of contraceptive mandate (please read the N400 form to see the ridiculousness) to the nothing that was done when Republican governments use force to perpetrate evils ….you come to realize that the USCCB was, and is, an arm of the Republican party.

    So, no, it’s not the spontaneous growth of raving nuttery of Conservative American Catholics . It is the result of racist cultural and political attitudes that was deliberately stoked, nurtured and perfected by the USCCB, It was schemed, propped up with a theology (non-negotiables) behind it, and preached throughout in Catholic Churches and nurtured. Until that theology is dead, and the USCCB is cleaned out, this will continue.

    Don’t blame the sheep who were led astray. Blame the shepherds and their crooked rod and staff

    I am colored, Catholic, and prolife. I vote Democrat.

    1. No. The USCCB did not. The Five Non-Negotiable were the creation of Catholic Answers and their voter guide, which had no magisterial standing at all. This is the creation of conservative Catholic media, who typically have regarded the USCCB with open contempt.

      1. Literally correct, but materially not.

        Catholic Answers operates with the permission of the Diocese of San Diego. It is listed in the current edition of The Official Catholic Directory, the authoritative listing of U.S. Catholic organizations, priests, and bishops.

        +2008+ In a presentation given at Loyola College in Baltimore, Most Rev. Samuel J. Aquila, bishop of the Diocese of Fargo, said opposition to intrinsic evils, such as abortion, is non-negotiable for Catholic politicians and all Catholics.
        +2012+ Wisconsin Bishop David Ricken : I would like to review some of the principles to keep in mind as you approach the voting booth to complete your ballot. The first is the set of non-negotiables.
        +2012 + S Dakota Bishop R. Walker Nickless: the “life issues” of abortion, euthanasia, embryonic stem cell research, and human cloning; … definition of marriage. These issues are “non-negotiable” because, if the fundamental right to life is not secure, no rights are ultimately secure.

        Google can find many more..

        But let us look at the last USCCB voting guide, from 2019. By this time, Trumpism is in full force, locking kids in cages, splitting families, gutting healthcare was in-place. Every one who can read knew what sort of abuse and misuse , “non-negotiable evil” terminology can be made use of, Everyone knows bishops using the term all over the country. Even Pope Francis understood the misuse of the abortion as a fig-leaf, and wanted it to stop.

        Might be a good time for USCCB to step in and clear it up, no? Well let us see, what happened. It is the *November 2019* meeting of USCCB to clarify the voting guide.

        — the bishops considered whether to include an entire paragraph from Pope Francis’ 2018 apostolic exhortation on holiness, Gaudete et Exsultate.

        Bishop Robert McElroy of San Diego said that paragraph should be included to make clear that Pope Francis prioritizes other issues at the same level as abortion.“It is not Catholic teaching that abortion is the preeminent issue that we face in the world of Catholic social teaching. It is not,” Bishop McElroy said, adding that to teach otherwise would provide “a grave disservice” to the faithful.

        After Bishop McElroy spoke, Bishop Joseph Strickland of Tyler, Texas, said, “I absolutely think ‘preeminent’ needs to stay.”

        Archbishop Charles Chaput of Philadelphia rose to say that he did not oppose the inclusion of the full statement of Pope Francis and added that teaching that abortion is a “preeminent” issue is not contrary to the magisterium of Pope Francis.

        Many bishops in the audience applauded after Archbishop Chaput finished his statement.

        The bishops then voted to keep the letter as is — without Cardinal Cupich’s amendment to insert the entire paragraph into the text — with 143 members of the conference in support. Sixty-nine members voted in favor of Cupich’s motion, with four abstentions.
        —-

        The USCCB knew everything, about “the creation of conservative Catholic media” the “non-negotiable evils”. They spend a day deliberating over it, and deliberately chose to let it continue. They refused to include a paragraph from Pope Francis’s encyclical that Pope Francis prioritizes other issues at the same level as abortion.

        If it looks like a duck, swims like a duck, and quacks like a duck, then it probably is a duck.

      2. @ hector…

        That imaginary non negotiable evil thing…otherwise known as my marriage.

        That real non-negotiable evil thing: the sexual abuse of children and pretty much anything with legs, going on for centuries, which they tried to pin on people like me instead of on a culture in the church that has prompted it, safe guarded it, and shielded it for nearly 1000 years. So they can add reviling and slandering on to the long list of their many, many sins.

    2. I completely agree, Hector. We’ve watched this brewing for decades. I’m reminded of the USCCB postcard campaign the weekend after President Obama was elected, based on right wing anti-abortion conspiracy theories and the notion that the devil incarnate was just elected. The Fortnight of Freedom itself was also based in the type of soft racism you describe. In the Northeast especially, bishops used such political commandeering to distract from the sex abuse volcano spewing everywhere. They quickly adopted the right wing non-negotiables rhetoric. Their opposition to the ACA was pure politics. Watching ++ Dolan chortle over ‘accompanying’ trump is nauseating.

      I live in hope however. The knowledge that ++Vigano was involved for so long in recommending many bishop candidates to the Holy See is enlightening. I’ve noticed a change though. Pope Francis is righting the ship, his choices of bishops have been wise.

    3. @ Hector

      The sheeple do have a responsibility to be functioning human beings. From my point of view, they weren’t led astray, they demanded to be led astray.

      To be a respectable and immaculate member of a flock of sheep, one must first, above all else, be a sheep. Occasionally, however, a wolf dressed up in sheep’s clothing may be able to pass.

      1. The Catholic Church places valorizes obedience and thinking with the Magisterium.

        It’s pretty remarkable how many Catholics are dissidents.

  5. Mark, I don’t understand how you could possibly have left out the position of the right-to-lifers in all of this. The Southern states, plus Arizona which is at least southern, if not in the South, all have a massive spikes and massive amounts of hospitalizations due to the actions of the Republican and Christian governors. Houston, which has within its massive city yet another massive city completely devoted to medical care, Will run out of beds in the hospitals in the next few days.

    But just a month ago, governor Greg Abbott, a standup kind of guy, and lieutenant governor Dan Patrick, both of them super Duper Christians Who will tell you that faster than you could drop your drawers, both of them super Duper conservative, and both of them super Duper right to life kinds of guys, Declared that the economy was far more important than the lives of their citizens. They said it in as many words. Money is more important than your grandma, And if grandma has to die so that I can make a buck, oh well. Sorry about your grandma.

    I have had quite a few online conversations since that moment in the sun, with right to lifers telling me that if I’m worried about getting sick, I should just stay at home. I am and I do, and yet, every day I have to worry about the surging numbers in this country while people make loud statements about their “freedumbs” not being infringed by that hoax that is really not serious.

    As of today, I think we have over 125,000 dead people, and millions and millions of sick people, many of whom are gathering together to spread this disease to more and more people. And the reason? Bill Gates or George Soros, because you really can’t trust billionaires, except for one, because he may not actually be a billionaire. How many billionaires can bankrupt a casino And still be called A good businessman?

    My favorite story is from yesterday. 18 people from a family in Texas decided to ignore what few quarantine regulations there are in Texas and have a big family gathering on May 30. 18 people are now sick with Covid, including the grandparents who were in the hospital getting blood transfusions in the hope of saving their lives. The family was warned by a member and his wife, an EMT technician and a doctor, not to have the family gathering. In the words of the Texas paper that reported the problem, those two “blew off the party“. Far as I can tell, the only thing that was blowing was Covid droplets. That the new story termed it like that, rather than “they decided to avoid getting infected with it possibly deadly disease“ it’s just more Texas.

    But while we’re on the subject of batts hit crazy, Let’s talk about the “infiltration of the church“.One of the current means, in place for about 20 years now, is that the church has been infiltrated by Lavender Mafia that has taken over, and as the source for all of the problems with child molestation of the church, apparently on orders from gay Central, who hates the church so much that they have hired agents to spend years inside of the seminary and learned how to convince the church that they have a genuine vocation, a literal calling from God. The fact that there is no gay central, that the lavender mafia such as it is, exist because of the churches actions, and that the molestation scandals in the church are not a new thing, but go back at least 1000 years, long before there was a gay rights movement, long before you could be out as a gay person without getting murdered for it, before mass media, long before just about anything else that might serve as an explanation.

    The united states is now leading the world in infections, deaths, and epidemiological spread. All of this is due in no small part to the actions of the hyper religious, spreading their conspiracy theories, demanding that they have rights that other Americans don’t have, demanding the right to infect others, demanding the right to believe whatever they wish as long as it appeals to their extensive guts, and they can use it to “own the libs” and “own the Demonrats” and own those edumacated elites..

    It’s positively diabolical.

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