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Danger to Catholics during the Coronavirus Panic

As the COVID-19, Chinese communist, Wuhan coronavirus pandemic (pick your modifier) crisis continues, faithful Catholics from all sides have divided on the issue. The spectrum of opinions ranges from those faithful Catholics taking the virus very seriously and advocating for great caution to those other faithful Catholics dismissing the whole thing as an overblown and politicized seasonal virus.

This essay will not attempt to persuade the reader of anything regarding the seriousness of the virus. What I will argue is that Catholics, no matter how bad they believe the virus to be, need to absolutely agree about certain other extreme dangers. These dangers are now manifesting themselves at this time of unprecedented crisis.

The Danger of the Government’s Power

The first and most obvious danger is the governments of the world. These have suddenly gained more power now over their citizenry than perhaps any other time in history. In one of the bitter ironies of history, the republican revolutions since 1776 — movements advocated to liberate the common man from the tyranny of absolute monarchs — have led to giving a one-term president more power than any king ever had in his whole lifetime. This power has always been able to grow during a crisis. In various republican states from France to the United States, this power — without Christ the King — has at times made itself into an enemy of the Church.

Moreover, while the republican system does not by definition profess open hostility to the Faith, the other dominant system in our era — communism — most certainly does. Most governments across Euro-America, with few happy exceptions, are either ambivalent about or else in open attack against the Ark of Salvation. And so the prospect of giving all these governments even more power presents a grave danger, indeed.

Catholics would do well to watch closely the power of their governments during this crisis and its aftermath. They must unite in doing all they possibly can to ensure that whatever extended power becomes necessary — like the dictators of republican Rome — is relinquished when the crisis is over.

Danger from the Globalist Elites

This brings us to the power behind the power. As every Catholics should be fully aware, leftist elites have been making every effort for decades to destroy every vestige of Catholic culture from the face of the Earth. These elites have incalculable power and influence in innumerable countries. More than anything, the common citizen is vulnerable in this time to the power of ideas exercised through the media, especially in republican countries. Churchmen have recognized this danger as far back as 1932:

Seeing that the powerful frequently are able to secure in their own favor the decision of the majority, through the operation of finance and of the press, personal rights have in practice little more security in the Liberal [republican] State than under the old pagan regime. Thus arise the exploitation of the poor and the tyranny of the monied interest. [1]

For more than a hundred years of modern technology, the elites have used their positions of power to further their own ends. These ends have been sometimes largely innocuous (the accumulation of more wealth) and at other times nefarious (the leftist agenda of worldwide sexual revolution) — especially, as Curtis observes, with the added power of psychoanalysis.

Indeed, they are already plotting the course of the post-virus world. Therefore, Catholics must soberly scrutinize the next steps of the elites, especially as our pontiff has been adding fuel to their fire for years now. Time will tell how they will use this crisis for their aims.

Danger for the Poor

Just as Henry VIII’s pillaging of the Church’s innumerable charities for the poor was cast as “liberation,” the global elites constantly use the poor as a tool for their own evil. The most vulnerable poor — the unborn child — is murdered for their gain, and in this crisis they are fighting to continue the slaughter. Meanwhile, the elites consider how the virus might rid them of the second poorest group of poor — the vulnerable and elderly.

Meanwhile, those poor families throughout Euro-America, enslaved to credit cards and other usury while living paycheck to paycheck, have suddenly lost their income and must now appeal to a bottlenecked bureaucracy for succor. Even worse, the poor living in non-industrialized countries, most of them urbanized and dependent on imported goods, are struck with the prospect of a rapidly collapsing global economy.

It is for these reasons that every Catholic, after ensuring the needs of his family, must consider how he can increase his acts of mercy for the poor in this desperate time. This may mean increasing financial donations, volunteering more time at a charitable “essential service,” or simply spending more time making and maintaining connections with those in need.

Danger to Priests

We must then also consider our spiritual fathers, the priests. Faithful, orthodox priests before the crisis were already wearing their collars in the face of a yet more hostile, post-McCarrick world — for the salvation of souls. As it written, Let us go forth therefore to him without the camp, bearing his reproach (Heb. 13:13), and again, I now rejoice in my sufferings for you and fill up those things that are wanting of the sufferings of Christ, in my flesh, for his body, which is the church (Col. 1:24).

But many of these priests — again, with scant few happy exceptions — are abandoned by their bishops, who quickly turn them to the wolves when they make a stand for the Gospel. Or worse, they actively oppose their efforts to save souls by restoring Tradition. Now, in this crisis, some bishops are even canceling confessions, and others are taking advantage to suppress traditions like ad orientem. What is a faithful man of God to do who has vowed himself to obedience and also bound himself to the salvation of his flock?

Without a doubt, our priests need to hear from the laity that their efforts to save souls give us eternal gratitude. Their diligence in offering the Holy Sacrifice is calling down graces for all the faithful even as they are deprived from the happiness of Holy Communion.

Call or email your priest. Offer a family rosary for him by name. Send him a note of thanks and appreciation. Offer your sufferings now that he may have the grace to shepherd his flock in this time.

The Danger of Sins against Charity

Now we come to what is always the greatest danger: mortal sin, the destruction of charity in the soul. Here we may do well to remember the teaching of St. Thomas on the sin of rash judgement wherein a man, lacking certainty, “forms a judgment on some doubtful or hidden matter” (II-II q60 a2). I assert here that there are a great number of things about this crisis that are doubtful or hidden. It is difficult to ascertain the full nature of the virus, chart its effects, and predict the consequences of every contingency. Therefore, reasonable and faithful Catholics are led into disagreement. It would be an imprudent sin of rash judgment to hold these different opinions as if they were certain.

We must assert further here that no man can be accused of being culpable for an unintended result when the causes and effects are unclear. Every faithful Catholic is doing his best to wade through the complexity and confusion of this situation. We must remember here the chant of Holy Thursday:

v. So when we as one are gathered all together.
v. Let us strive to keep our minds free of division;
v. May there be an end to malice, strife and quarrels,
v. And let Christ our God be dwelling here among us.

Even if we disagree sharply on this grave crisis, we must realize how uncertain so many things remain in this time. Calm, rational, and charitable communication will keep the faithful working toward salvation even while they suffer the loss of their normal way of life — and some, even their lives. It would be to our shame if this crisis only revealed how prideful, uncharitable, and angry we really are as Catholics, in the face of the united enemies of Christ imposing their will while the world is vulnerable. Let this not be so among us who have been sealed with the sign of the holy cross. Let us instead unite in the resurrection of our Lord, who is vanquisher of death, and weather the storm of this crisis united in one faith, one Lord, one baptism (Eph. 4:5).

It is the day of Resurrection, let us be radiant for the feast, and let us embrace one another. Let us say: Brethren, even to them that hate us, let us forgive all things on the Resurrection, and thus let us cry out: Christ is risen from the dead, trampling down death by death, And on those in the tombs bestowing life. [2]

[1] Rev. E. Cahill, S.J., The Framework of a Christian State (Roman Catholic Books reprint 1932), 454

[2] Paschal Stichera, Greek Catholic liturgy

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