On Friday, we looked at the threat of Reactionary dissent in the Church…

Published April 19, 2021

Here is a sample of it, deadly to both body and soul, as a Reactionary priest offers a fake humblebrag to “apologize” for the imaginary sins, not of himself, but of his culture war enemies who paid attention to science and kept the vulnerable safe from him and his selfish sect of Trads.

What he means is “Those bad Normal Catholics over there, who paid attention to the science and kept the rest of us safe during the Pandemic are the villains, while we selfish Trads who bitched and complained and fought and resisted sanity are the true heroes. I will now confess the imaginary sins of the Normals to you, my fellow selfish narcissists who love to look down on Normals, and blame them while continuing to fight to infect as many people as possible, not only with COVID, but with selfish pride and narcissism. Let us all join in applauding ourselves and thanking God that we are Trads who are way better and more pious than the ordinary slobs who obeyed the Church’s safety protocols. Ain’t we pious and humble though?”

The website is full to bursting with demagogic MAGA priests whose continual message is to attack the Church, attack sane public health, attack anyone who doubts Trump’s messianic anointing, and attack anybody who is not a member of the far right–including, especially, the Pope. And, of course, to lard on both self-pity and pride on their sect of martyr heroes for trampling the weak and vulnerable.

Fr. Pablo Migone, a sane Normal, takes on this brother priest and rebuts his fake “apology” and its self-serving “humility”:

Several thoughts emerged immediately into my mind as I heard the brief video.  Here they are in no particular order:

There are millions of faithful Catholics who live in areas of the world where there is no priest, so they are only able to receive the Eucharist occasionally.  Some parishes in Latin America and Africa have up to 45 mission stations!  The priest can only visit once or twice per year – the Eucharist is hardly ever celebrated.  Our inability at times not to provide the Eucharist to the faithful does not imply that we have abandoned the faithful.  It means that there are extraordinary circumstances that impede it… such as a pandemic, or a shortage of priests.

I cannot support the priest’s anticipated disobedience to his bishop or superiors – it goes directly against the promises  we make as priests.  Anyone who applauds his sentiments goes against Catholic teaching: we are a hierarchical Church and union with our bishop represents our union with Christ.  I cannot understand how any faithful Catholic would applaud his sentiments.

Father states that we have given our people a stone during the pandemic.  What I saw during the pandemic were countless priests finding creative ways to minister to their people even though the Churches remained closed. I am truly heartbroken for the Catholics who did not experience this at their parishes.  Many priests courageously continued to serve their people: calling them on the phone, providing drive by confession, celebrating parking lot Masses, giving communion to those who asked for it, etc.  Perhaps the experience of Father Sergio at his diocese is vastly different from my experience in South Georgia.  My bishop lifted the dispensation from attending Mass last November, and we have been doing fine.

He assumes that only God’s people were hurt by the closed Churches: we priests suffered too.  We suffered together – feeling our people’s pain.  No priest wants to celebrate Sunday Mass in an empty Church: we have been ordained to serve the people of God.  Holy Week 2020 will always remain in my mind – it was painful for everyone.  Psalm 137 comes to mind: “For there our captors asked us for the words of a song; our tormentors for joy: ‘Sing for us a song of Zion!’  But how could we sing a song of the Lord in a foreign land?”  How could we rejoice Easter morning with our whole hearts when our Churches were empty?

Father Sergio speaks from an experience of the Church where the faithful have access to the Eucharist very often, perhaps daily, when so many Catholics do not have that luxury.  I believe that the months without the Eucharist made us yearn even for it more, and to experience solidarity with our Catholic brothers and sisters who are unable to receive the Eucharist frequently.  This may be a more constructive way to guide instruct God’s people.

It is important to note that historically, churches were closed during times of pandemic.  When I was a child in Peru, churches were closed in the mountains because of war.  This is not something new – just something that we have not experienced in our own generation.

As I read the comments from the faithful on the video, I am heartbroken that so many people have felt so desolate during the months of pandemic.  As priests, we are called to give hope to our people – for us together to process the pain and sorrow we have experienced.  Rather than adding wood to the fire, why not express tremendous gratitude that now we can gather at the altar for the Eucharist?

Please forgive me if you find my comments judgmental.  I recognize that I could be misreading some of the intentions behind the priest’s words.

My prayer is that together as a Church, now more united than ever, we can move forward in joy that the pandemic is subsiding.  To unite at the Eucharist where we are made One by Jesus Himself.  We can all rejoice in that!

I add to Fr. Migone’s astute observation about the many Catholics with limited access to the Eucharist the vital point that among them were the Amazonian Catholics who came to Rome seeking that access for themselves–and who were greeted as pagans and their statue of Our Lady of the Amazon thrown into the Tiber by the bigots, bullies, and selfoids who now pose before the mirror as heroes for refusing to observe sane health restrictions during the Pandemic. Reactionary MAGA Catholic care about nobody and nothing but themselves.

11 Responses

  1. What wonders me, over and over, is, where the hell are these people, I mean geographically? The ones who had this dreadful drought and denial of Mass and worship?

    To my certain knowledge in New Jersey USA, priests and congregants hustled to keep our worship going. The Mass did not go underground, it went out in the parking lot. Pastoral staff (deacons and sisters) called on the phone to uphold us. We learned about Mass on livestreams.

    And one of the early morning hosts on EWTN reminded listeners that the early Church in Japan had only Baptism for years, yet held together, and asked for the intercession of St. Paul Miki while we were briefly without Communion.

    Oh wait though, she’s the one that got fired, too liberal…

  2. I used to worry very much for my Protestant friends who can’t receive the Eucharist. One of them was the doctor that delivered all eight of my living children. Dr Green, (who retired about a decade ago) is a quiet man, with a gentle soul. His father was an Augustinian scholar. We would sometimes go back and forth in a playful manner about some Church practices/teachings. Even if we didn’t agree about some things, his faith was strong, and his kindness was palpable. He impressed me as a very holy man. He had served as a missionary in Samoa (he once delivered a 16 lb. baby!!!), lost hearing in one ear in the Korean war, and did his residency in Oakland serving poor and marginalized women. In Santa Barbara, he took the women without insurance or the ones with Medi-Cal. He put out the word that he would see any pregnant woman in a crisis, at any hour of the day. And he did. He saved lives–mostly the lives of children born to undocumented mothers.

    The words of St. Paul, stating that if we don’t receive the body and blood of Jesus we wouldn’t have “life within us” kept nagging at me. Finally the answer came to me in prayer: those of us who *can* and are given the grace to receive, receive for those who *can’t*. We all form one body. The body and blood of Christ IS within them.

    The body and blood of Christ was within us during the pandemic.

    For as long as I live, I will never forget the sorrow of our Holy Father, Francis, during Holy week. The empty square, the rain trickling down the statue of our Lady as if they were tears –there was something incredibly beautiful there. Our sorrow was his sorrow. He untied as many knots as he could, telling us to simply “Go to God to confess” in lieu of a priest. The Sunday “obligation” was easily waived away, so fear wouldn’t be compounded with more fear. I was so relieved and grateful for this. My family shared some of the most intimate mass time ever, in our living room, mostly with Bishop Barron but also with random parishes that we hit upon on YouTube. It was comforting to sing the same songs and answer the same responses with people that we wouldn’t have otherwise shared that time of prayer with. Our dog would literally leap up so we would hold her paws for the Our Father when she saw us holding hands. We will never forget that time of our lives as long as we live. It was a time of real grace. When the world came to a screeching halt, we turned more inward, and I can say with certainty that wounds from the past in which we had worked to exhaustion without enough “together” time were healed.

    It only lasted a few months. We were able to sit on the lawn in front of the Santa Barbara Mission, or the soccer field next to Mt. Carmel. Fr. Larry and Fr. Lawrence welcomed people back with an abundance of joy. Fr. Lawrence would stand outside the rectory to give people the Eucharist if they were too old or frail for the open air, socially distanced mass.

    I hope they keep at least one open air mass in perpetuity. We absolutely loved it. God’s creation has always been my favorite cathedral.

      1. Well there it is!

        I also don’t understand the idea that churches must face east. It should face the most glorious view. The day before yesterday we were sitting with our backs to a sweeping view of the bay and the Golden Gate Bridge. Come on.

      2. @taco,

        I was in a church in the Sierra Foothills one time. Behind the altar they had floor to ceiling glass windows, overlooking a beautiful mountain forest. I love the idea of using nature itself as sacred art!!

      3. I was told by an old friend who was conversant with both architecture and Church history, that in the old days, churches were built so that the altar wall faced to sunrise on the patron saint’s day — so that would be the morning the first light would come streaming in. Don’t know if it’s true but it’s kind of a lovely idea.

  3. And it will never, not for a second occur to anyone that ordaining married men might possibly be a good idea.

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