Perhaps the worst thing the Church did in response to coronadoom was to issue, in the true spirit of “synodality”, a new “viral” translation of the Bible. These modified verses will take some getting used to.
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: except coronavirus; but that goes without saying. –Psalm 23
Those that truly love Christ, his Gospel, and his people, they are not afraid of men; the spirit of power, love, and of a sound mind, is opposite to a spirit of fear, unless they are living in a typical pandemic, then Safety First. –1 John 4:18
But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, unless she is not wearing a mask.” –Matthew 1:20
Maybe I copied these down wrong. But I didn’t miscopy this, the Vatican’s Pontifical Academy of Life’s official response “HUMANA COMMUNITAS IN THE AGE OF PANDEMIC: UNTIMELY MEDITATIONS ON LIFE’S REBIRTH“:
The lessons of fragility, finitude, and vulnerability bring us to the threshold of a new vision: they foster an ethos of life that calls for the engagement of intelligence and the courage of moral conversion. To learn a lesson is to become humble; it means to change, searching for resources of meaning hitherto untapped, perhaps disavowed. To learn a lesson is to become mindful, once more, of the goodness of life that offers itself to us, releasing an energy that runs even deeper than the unavoidable experience of loss, that need to be elaborated and integrated in the meaning of our existence. Can this occasion be the promise of a new beginning for the humana communitas, the promise of life’s rebirth?
This reminds me of one of the late great Don Rickles’s routines. He’d start, “I’ll never forget the Reverend Dolan, who said…”, then spout off, in a loud, commanding voice, a gibberish paragraph like this. The punch line was Rickles ending the recitation with a puzzled look and a shrug of the shoulders.
Guess you had to be there. But if you can make any sense of that maudlin string of words, you’re a better man than I.
One part that is understandable is this: “The pandemic, however, forces us to look at a number of additional factors, all of which involve a multifaceted ethical challenge. In this context, decisions must be proportionate to the risks, according to the precaution principle.”
It’s understandable because it’s wrong. The precaution, or precautionary, principle is the philosophical justification for abject continuous unremitting fear. Anything you do, including doing nothing at all, can have the absolute worse consequences. This is a logical truth. The PP would have you protect against every potential worst case, an impossibility. In reality, then, the PP is always used as a weapon to justify panicking about whatever thing its holder wants to panic about.
The rest of that document reads like a Theology 101 homework assignment cobbled together from Jesuit seminarians after a drunken all night party at José’s Jaunty Merry Lighthearted Bar & Disco. The same sort of people responsible for tweets like this:
Both Jesus and George Floyd were repeatedly mocked by their killers. Jesus cried out to his father, and George Floyd called for his mother.https://t.co/JS4KFrdqQu
— America Magazine (@americamag) July 24, 2020
What strikes the average Friday fisheater is how quickly, and even eagerly, our spiritual leaders embraced coronadoom restrictions. They didn’t protest when the government said to shut down public masses. Even though they could have. Our dear prelates and priests could have said, “No way we’re stopping the worship of God. Come get us if you have to, but we’re doing it.”
They likely would have won that fight. But, with practiced somber faces, they instead came to the microphone and said, “You can’t even go to the funeral of your mother. Safety First.”
Cardinal Dolan on 12 June sent an email sympathizing with those cut off from the Eucharist.
Your patience and understanding throughout this difficult period have been admirable. I have been moved by the many letters, phone calls, and emails sent to me, expressing your longing to be able to attend Mass and receive the Eucharist, telling me of your admiration for your parish priest, or offering your support for your parish and the archdiocese as we deal with the financial implications of the coronavirus shutdown. Even though our churches were temporarily closed for public Mass, our priests and parishes found new and innovative ways to reach out to the people…
This consummate bureaucrat was so moved he…did nothing. Safety First.
Oh, maybe I exaggerate. A trifle. He did throw his considerable and increasing weight behind our land’s latest cause.
“The rallying cry of ‘Black Lives Matter’ has echoed throughout the land, as indeed it should,” wept Cardinal Dolan. “[T]he reality is that the sin and evil of racism continues to haunt our society, and, sadly, it too often appears that, for some, Black lives don’t matter, or don’t matter enough.”
He didn’t spell the magic word BLACK!, only “Black”, so traces of racism still haunt his Eminence.
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