May Caesar Render Unto God What Belongs to God

February 03, 2021

The following is an editorial by Fr. Alain Lorans.

How did the coronavirus manage to ban the public celebration of Masses, and limit the number of faithful allowed to attend to 30, whether in a chapel or a cathedral? Why were only six people allowed to attend a funeral?

Because the state—suddenly become sacristan—began to regulate religious services, and there were bishops who followed these injunctions with a zeal that went so far as to anticipate them.

Since then, hand sanitizer has replaced holy water at the entrance to churches, and the mask has become the new mantilla.

Each era has its references, its priorities. In ours, the supermarkets—those cathedrals of consumer society—are wide open and customers flock there in droves, but the vast naves raised by the ages of faith must accommodate only a few faithful, one seat in three and one row out of two.

What if, in reverse of this secular and obligatory consensus, spiritual priorities became more contagious than the consumerist virus of “buyer fever”?

Basically, does the state own our freedoms? Are we obliged to allow ourselves to be expropriated in this way, without doing anything, without saying anything? With the submission of trained seals?

These are the questions that we will ask ourselves during the 2nd Winter University of the Society of Saint Pius X on February 13-14, 2021, at the Saint-Michel school near Châteauroux. Legitimate and understandable health constraints, in times of pandemic, cannot confine the exercise of freedom of worship to living rooms and television screens.

“Render therefore to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s” (Mk. 12:17), but may Caesar not forget to render unto God what is God’s.