For some clarifications and considerations, see this follow up post, Abortion Jargon, Obedience, and Whether I Just Want to Kill All Priests: The Catholic + Coronavirus Can of Worms
I suppose one never knows for sure until one is faced with the opportunity, but I like to think that I would die for Jesus, and for you.
I believe in the authority of the pope and our bishops to dispense us from our Sunday obligation, and to offer new indulgences in new ways, and that both of these are licit and charitable and good. I believe that the Covid-19 Coronavirus is real and that it poses a real danger to the health of some and that there are steps that we can and should take to mitigate some of the risk.
However . . .
The annals of hagiography are filled with saints willing to be martyred in defense of their neighbor, the Church, and the sacraments. Specifically the Eucharist.
I’m not here to tell you what choices you should make for your own health and family in your particular circumstances. But it seems to me that the narrative that our bishops are hearing is that we, the faithful, are scared. They are hearing that we want safety. I want to come out and say that I want Jesus in the Eucharist, and I am willing to risk death for it.
I believe that Jesus is truly present in every particle of the Blessed Sacrament and I am willing to risk death to treat every particle with reverence.
I believe in the efficacy of the sacraments of confession, baptism, matrimony, anointing of the sick, and extreme unction, and that the faithful have a right to them even in times of crisis. (Can. 213)
I believe that friends and family and fellowship and community are integral parts of our faith and the human experience and there are levels of risk that I am willing to accept for those opportunities.
I understand that no matter what precautions I take, I and people I love might get the Coronavirus. It sounds pretty miserable. I understand that no matter what precautions I take, I and people I love might die of the Coronavirus or any number of other things. That is all the more reason why I prefer to have access to the sacraments, even with the risks that would entail.
It is the responsibility of the faithful, per Canon Law, to let the bishops know what we need. (Can. 212.2-3) I invite you to consider doing so.
Update 5/9: New policy, because it’s my blog and I can.
I strongly object to the use of the term pro-life in this debate. To willfully and purposefully kill someone by abortion or euthanasia is in no way the same as to accept that there are risks associated with particular choices in life and to allow people the freedom to make those choices. I risk my own life and the lives of my children, other motorists, and passers by when I drive my car. But we consider that acceptable because the reward is high enough and the risk is low enough. It is not anti-life to drive. It’s not anti-life to allow people to choose other behaviors that have risks.
Let’s talk about whether the reward of the sacraments is worth the risk. Let’s have this discussion, let’s try to convince one another to see it our way. But please don’t call it a pro-life issue.
In related news, please try to just say what you think without offering insult or speculating about the motivations of the people to whom you are responding. It just keeps everything so much more pleasant.
As always, I reserve the right to delete comments or portions of comments as necessary. -Kendra
Want to Read More?
- Four Effective Ways for Catholics to Pray When Separated from Mass and the Sacraments
- Control Is an Illusion: Some Things I Noticed While Spending Five Weeks in the Hospital with a Two Year Old (and a baby sidekick)
- Abortion Jargon, Obedience, and Whether I Just Want to Kill All Priests: The Catholic + Coronavirus Can of Worms