Coronavirus : Several Prelates Speak About Expiation for Public Sins

May 05, 2020
Cardinal Raymond Leo Burke.

While many bishops only consider the fight against the coronavirus pandemic prophylactically, aligning themselves with government measures, even going so far, as in Italy, to close the churches and prohibit the distribution of the sacraments, some courageous prelates have made the traditional teaching of the Church heard in the face of the ordeal which is striking the whole world.

On March 21, on his blog, Cardinal Raymond Leo Burke, patronus of the Order of Malta, recalls the serious public disorders of which our societies have been guilty: “a person of faith cannot consider the present calamity in which we find ourselves without considering also how distant our popular culture is from God. It is not only indifferent to His presence in our midst but openly rebellious toward Him and the good order with which He has created us and sustains us in being. We need only think of the commonplace violent attacks on human life, male and female, which God has made in His own image and likeness (Gn. 1:27), attacks on the innocent and defenseless unborn, and on those who have the first title to our care, those who are heavily burdened with serious illness, advanced years, or special needs. We are daily witnesses to the spread of violence in a culture which fails to respect human life.”

“Likewise, we need only to think of the pervasive attack upon the integrity of human sexuality, of our identity as man or woman, with the pretense of defining for ourselves, often employing violent means, a sexual identity other than that given to us by God. With ever greater concern, we witness the devastating effect on individuals and families of the so-called ‘gender theory.’

We witness, too, even within the Church, a paganism which worships nature and the earth. There are those within the Church who refer to the earth as our mother, as if we came from the earth, and the earth is our salvation. But we come from the hand of God, Creator of Heaven and Earth. In God alone we find salvation. We pray in the divinely-inspired words of the Psalmist: “[God] alone is my rock and my salvation, my fortress; I shall not be shaken” (Ps.62:7) [RSV]. We see how the life of faith itself has become increasingly secularized and thus has compromised the Lordship of Christ, God the Son Incarnate, King of Heaven and Earth. We witness so many other evils which derive from idolatry, from the worship of ourselves and our world, instead of worshiping God, the source of all being. We sadly see in ourselves the truth of Saint Paul’s inspired words regarding the ‘ungodliness and wickedness of men who by their wickedness suppress the truth’: ‘they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed for ever!’ (Rom. 1:18, 25) [RSV].”

“Many with whom I am in communication, reflecting upon the present worldwide health crisis with all of its attendant effects, have expressed to me the hope that it will lead us – as individuals and families, and as a society – to reform our lives, to turn to God Who is surely near to us and Who is immeasurable and unceasing in His mercy and love towards us. There is no question that great evils like pestilence are an effect of original sin and of our actual sins. God, in His justice, must repair the disorder which sin introduces into our lives and into our world. In fact, He fulfills the demands of justice by His superabundant mercy.”

“In His justice, God recognizes our sins and the need of their reparation, while, in His mercy He showers upon us the grace to repent and make reparation. The Prophet Jeremiah prayed: ‘We recognize, O LORD, our wickedness, the guilt of our fathers; that we have sinned against you,’ but he immediately continued his prayer: ‘For your name’s sake spurn us not, disgrace not the throne of your glory; remember your covenant with us, and break it not’ (Jer. 14, 20-21) [RSV].”                                                                                                                                                  

A Deep Conversion for the Entire Church

In an interview give on March 27 to Diane Montagna for the Remnant, Bishop Athanasius Schneider, auxiliary bishop of Astana in Kazakhstan, denounced the recent worship given to a pagan idol during the Synod on the Amazon in Rome, recalling in passing that “the same bishops who now try to protect (sometimes with disproportionate measures) the bodies of their faithful from contamination with a material virus, tranquilly allowed the poison virus of heretical teachings and practices to spread among their flock.”

Indeed, according to him, “the cultic veneration of the pagan idol of Pachamama inside the Vatican, with the approval of the Pope, was to be sure a great sin of infidelity to the First Commandment of the Decalogue, it was an abomination. Every attempt to minimize this act of veneration cannot withstand the barrage of obvious evidence and reason. I think that such acts of idolatry were the culmination of a series of other acts of infidelity to the safeguarding of the divine deposit of Faith by many high-ranking members of the Church’s hierarchy in past decades.”

And he vigorously asserted, “The only adequate reaction to tribulation, catastrophes and epidemics and similar situations — which are all instruments in the hand of Divine Providence to awaken people from the sleep of sin and indifference towards God’s commandments and eternal life — is penance and sincere conversion to God.”

But, he observes, “What is regrettable in our situation is the fact that many members of the Church’s hierarchy do not see the current situation as a tribulation, as a divine chastisement, that is to say, as a ‘divine visitation’ in the biblical sense. These words of the Lord are applicable also to many of the clergy in the midst of the current physical and spiritual epidemic: ‘You have not known the time of your visitation’ [says Christ in addressing the city of Jerusalem] (Lk. 19:44). The current situation of this ‘fiery ordeal’ (see I Pt. 4:12) must be taken seriously by the Pope and bishops in order to lead to a deep conversion of the entire Church.”

The Kazak prelate also evokes the eucharistic desecrations promoted by communion in the hand, as is generally done in the new Mass: “This event has come almost fifty years after the introduction of Communion in the hand (in 1969) and a radical reform of the rite of Mass (in 1969/1970) with its protestantizing elements (Offertory prayers) and its horizontal and instructional style of celebration (freestyle moments, celebration in a closed circle and towards the people). The praxis of Communion in the hand over the last fifty years has led to an unintentional and intentional desecration of the Eucharistic Body of Christ on an unprecedented scale.”

Bishop Schneider concludes his interview with a prayer and a wish: “‘May the Holy Spirit touch the heart of the Pope and bishops and move them to issue concrete liturgical norms in order that the Eucharistic worship of the entire Church might be purified and oriented again towards the Lord.’ One could suggest that the Pope, together with cardinals and bishops, carry out a public act of reparation in Rome for the sins against the Holy Eucharist, and for the sin of the acts of religious veneration to the Pachamama statues.”

Roberto de Mattei.

Condemn the Errors of Vatican II

In an interview given on March 29 to Michael Matt for The Remnant, Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò, former apostolic nuncio to the United States, recalled that societies, like individuals, must recognize their faults: “Saint Thomas Aquinas teaches that it is the duty of the individual to recognize, worship, and obey the one true God. By the same token societies - which comprise many individuals - cannot fail to recognize God and ensure that their laws allow members of society to reach the spiritual end to which they have been destined. There are nations which do not merely ignore God, but deny Him openly. There are those which require their citizens to accept laws against natural morals and Catholic teaching, such as recognizing the right to abortion, euthanasia, and sodomy. Others corrupt children and violate their innocence. Those who allow people to blaspheme God’s Divine Majesty cannot evade God’s punishment. Public sins require public confession and public atonement, if public forgiveness is sought. Let us not forget that the ecclesiastical community, which is also a society, is not exempt from heavenly punishment when its leaders become responsible for collective offences.”

The high prelate specifies which are the sins of certain clerics in today’s Church: “The faithlessness of the Sacred Pastors is a scandal for their confreres and for many among the faithful, not only in terms of lust or thirst for power, but also - I might say especially - when they touch the integrity of the Faith, the purity of the Church’s teachings and the holiness of morals. They have even committed acts of unprecedented gravity, such as we saw with the adoration of the Pachamama idol in the Vatican itself. Indeed, I think Our Lord has rightly become indignant at the great multitude of scandals committed by those who ought to be setting a good example, because they are Shepherds, to the flocks to whom they have been entrusted. Let us not forget that the example given by so many in the Hierarchy is not merely a scandal for Catholics: it is a scandal for those outside who look at the Church as a lighthouse and a point of reference. Nor is this all: this scourge cannot dispense the Church, in her Hierarchy, from making a proper examination of her conscience for giving in to the spirit of this world. She cannot escape her duty to condemn firmly all those errors she has allowed in after the Second Vatican Council, which have brought down upon her all those just punishments. We must mend our ways and return to God.”

And he laments: “It pains me to have to say that even now, after we have seen the divine wrath beating down upon the world, we go on offending the Majesty of God by speaking of mother earth demanding respect, as the Pope said a few days ago in his umpteenth interview.”

The new mass: “Offended though He is by the slovenliness and lack of respect shown by his priests, outraged by the profanation of the Blessed Sacrament which occurs every day when they give Communion in the hand, and tired of silly songs or heretical homilies, He is still - from His place of silence within the Tabernacle - satisfied by the austere composed praise offered by the many Priests who are still saying the Mass of all time. The Mass which goes back to the time of the Apostles. And which has always been the beating heart of the Church down through the centuries. Let us remember this most solemn warning: God is not mocked.”

The abandonment of the missionary spirit: “All we are seeing [in the sanitary measures encouraged by the bishops - Ed. Note] is works of corporal mercy, whereas works of spiritual mercy have been utterly wiped out. Nor is this all: the current Papacy has completely eliminated any form of apostolate, and says the Church must not perform any missionary activity, which it calls proselytism. We can only provide food, hospitality, and health care, but nobody provides food, hospitality, or care for the souls of those who so desperately need it. The modern Church has been turned into a sort of NGO. True Charity is nothing to do with its masonic imitation, however much they try to hide it with an extremely vague sense of spirituality: it is the exact opposite, because the various bodies [officially ‘charitable,’ in reality, ‘humanitarian’ - Ed. Note] we see at work today deny that there is only one true Church, whose message of salvation must be preached to those outside it.”

“This is not all: the Church has drifted so far after the Council in questions of religious freedom and ecumenism that many charitable bodies now confirm the people entrusted to their care in their paganism or atheism. They even offer them places of worship where they can go and pray. We have even seen terrible examples of Masses where, at the explicit request of the celebrant, instead of the Holy Gospel a reading is taken from the Koran or, as happened more recently, idolatry has been practiced in Catholic churches.”

Interreligious dialogue: “The religious relativism which was brought in with Vatican II led many people to believe that the Catholic Faith was no longer the only means to salvation, or that the Blessed Trinity was the Only True God. In his Abu Dhabi declaration, Pope Francis said that God wants all religions. Not only is this a blatant heresy, it is also a very serious apostasy and a terrible blasphemy. Saying that God wants to be worshipped as something other than how He revealed Himself means that the Incarnation, Passion, Death, and Resurrection of our Savior are completely meaningless. It means that the reason for founding the Church, the reason for which millions of holy Martyrs gave their lives, for which the Sacraments were instituted, along with the Priesthood and the Papacy itself, are all meaningless.”

Collegiality has today become ‘synodality’: “Bishops must recover an awareness of their own Apostolic Authority, which is personal, which cannot be delegated to intermediate subjects such as Episcopal Conferences or Synods, which have distorted the exercise of the apostolic ministry, causing serious damage to the divine constitution of the Church.”

“The time has come to put an end to synodal paths, to an absurd sense of inferiority and flattery when dealing with the world, to that hypocritical use of the word dialoguing instead of fearlessly preaching the Gospel. We must stop teaching false doctrines and stop being afraid of preaching about purity and holiness. And stop being silent in front of the arrogance of evil. Stop covering up terrible scandals. Stop lying, tricking, and taking revenge.”

Several Laypersons Also Speak

An echo of the declarations of these courageous prelates, several faithful lay voices have been making themselves heard. Thus, on his site Corrispondenza Romana [and on Rorate Caeli] on March 25, the historian Roberto de Mattei writes: “Removing the idea of chastisement does not mean avoiding it. Chastisement is the consequence of sin and only contrition and repentance of one’s sins may prevent the punishment that these sins inevitably bring, for having violated the order of the universe. When sins are collective, chastisements are collective. Why wonder at the deaths brought on a nation, when governments are guilty of homicidal laws like abortion, and during the epidemic the slaughter continues to have a preferential way? As we see in Great Britain, where the government has even authorized ‘abortion’ at home, so as not to interrupt the carnage during the Coronavirus!”

Likewise on the Cap Fatima site on April 2, Yves de Lassus laments: “Few encourage us to recognize our faults, to ask forgiveness from God, to do penance to repair the offenses that were done to Him and to make the decision to correct us so that God, seeing our humility and our contrition, will put an end to the punishment that He sent us. Because let us not doubt it: the plague of the coronavirus is a divine punishment. This punishment is the consequence of our sins, which have three origins: the sins of nations or governments imposing immoral laws, the sins of men of the Church.”

And he adds, logically, “divine mercy can only be exercised if we recognize that we have sinned, if we ask forgiveness of God and if we take the firm resolution to correct ourselves. Without these conditions, divine Mercy cannot be exercised. But who remembers these conditions these days? In the speech of many clerics, divine Mercy is acquired whatever the attitude of the sinner, even if he does not renounce his sin.”

“And unfortunately, this spirit is found in many prayers offered today. Many are asking for graces for us, for our loved ones, for those who are sick, for those in government, for the pandemic to stop, etc. Far fewer are those who offer to ask God for forgiveness of our faults, of those of society and to repair them. Yet this is what the Angel and the Blessed Virgin never stopped asking at Fatima.”