The Catholic Parish of Holy Redeemer (HR) in Andrews, North Carolina, covers the north-eastern half of Cherokee County (Valleytown township), the north-western half of Macon County (Nantahala township), and the entirety of Graham County, which boasts of its own “Mass center” called Prince of Peace (PoP) in Robbinsville, North Carolina. We border the Diocese of Knoxville for more or less 20 miles.
Here’s our present Mass schedule (with Confessions before all Masses and Last rights, etc., anytime):
- 6:00 PM Saturday – Vigil Mass in Spanish (HR)
- 6:00 AM Sunday – Adoration of the Most Blessed Sacrament (HR)
- 8:00 AM Sunday – Adoration of the Most Blessed Sacrament (PoP)
- 8:30 AM Sunday – Holy Mass in English (PoP)
- 11:00 AM Sunday – Holy Mass in English (HR)
Weekdays Mass, given other things going on:
- Monday – 12:00 Noon (HR)
- Wednesday – 5:30 PM (HR)
- Thursday – 12:00 PM (PoP)
- Friday – 12:00 PM (HR)
Accompaniment by law enforcement already some weeks ago:
I like that. I’m sure there’s a story behind it. Nice guy, I’m sure. :-)
Regarding Communion on the tongue: we do that, and that’s the norm. We border a certain diocese which does not permit that – against the universal law of the Church and against science (hands being horrifically worse than the tongue). Anyone visiting from that diocese or anywhere else will not be refused simply because they want to receive on the tongue (all things being equal, as in they being Catholics who are in good standing).
To Governor Cooper: You’ve demonstrated yourself in your specious legislation about enforcement of Covid-19 regulations to be discriminatory against the free exercise of religion, singling out religious institutions with draconian policies compared to leniency for state owned profit-making endeavors like ABC Liquor stores, or compared to private essential companies such as Lowes and Walmart, which are allowed up to 20% and 50% of the maximum capacity imposed for whatever buildings by the County Fire Marshall. This is not true for religious institutions, which – no matter the capacity even of a megachurch that would hold thousands – are limited limited to, say, a minister and nine other people, you know, for a quorum of ten like for a synagogue. That demonstrates bad faith in leadership, an abuse of power to please constituents, you know, Democrats who have outlawed God in their platform. Kick the faithful in the face and get votes! What was it, 5 out of 100 counties that voted you in to “power”?
I’m good with cooperating with national emergencies, national security, etc., when there isn’t any blatant anti-free-exercise-of-religion legislation. I think I can prove that cooperation in a court of law by subpoenaing a long list of witnesses right up the chain of law enforcement.
Speaking of the chain of law enforcement, Bill Barr of the Justice Department is demanding that ordinary citizens like me rat out politicians like you, Governor Cooper, so that overreach oppressing religion can be smashed down hard. I would welcome a legal challenge from the likes of you Governor Cooper. You’ve threatened for a long time now the imposition of a second class misdemeanor for a first “offense” of praying, which quickly turns into – if memory serves me – class “I” and “H” felonies for repeat offenses. I would love to do a lightning appeal to the Supreme Court to kick your policies where the sun don’t shine.
And, by the way, a note to LEOs: Just because the Governor has pretended to give you arrest powers for any free exercise of religion, he has no authority to do this, and he cannot support you; you also will be brought to court for upholding wrongful law, that is, you personally, as well as your department, town, county and state.
Here’s the deal: every time we’ve seen a politician suppressing religion in a discriminatory manner throughout human history – going back for last number of decades, going back for last number of centuries, going back for the last number of millennia – what we’ve seen is not just some tens or hundreds of thousands of deaths from any virus, but instead we’ve seen genocides on a grand scale, what with the likes of Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot… on and on. Hundreds of millions murdered. It’s all about POWER. Oooo! Power! Hmmm… the weighing of thousands of deaths over against hundreds of millions of murders. And it’s like clockwork. And it takes no time at all. And it’s frequent. And it can happen anywhere, anytime. Just ask people in the countries where it’s happened. Oh, right, they’re all dead already, starved, shot, incinerated…
So, over my dead body, Governor Cooper. Sure, my dead body might be because I die from Coronavirus – a horrific death I wouldn’t wish on anyone, but maybe that will stand in witness to protection of the free exercise of religion.
So, go ahead Governor Cooper. Let’s see your worst. I’ll bring you to the Supreme Court, along with any law enforcement individuals, towns, counties or State which try to enforce your anti-God, anti-neighbor, and anti-Constitution policies.
Methodology of proceeding:
Holy Mass is offered by myself at the altar in the sanctuary of the churches of the parish, during which time the doors will be open. I do not request anyone to come. I tell people that it is imprudent and dangerous for them to come. I make rather intense appeals to those who are elderly or health compromised to stay away, saying that I will bring them Communion at home, and I do. I tell people that if they do wander into the church at the time I’m there that I think it’s a good idea for them to wear a mask, do social distancing, etc. There is no shaking of hands. The fact is, when I had to get a MethylPREDNISolone shot and a DosPak of the same because of the “worse case of poison oak seen in Cherokee County”, I had no immune system and I did not offer Mass publicly at that time. Having said that, and now back to public free exercise of religion:
- I am NOT a minister of justice of the state
- I am not in the employ of the state
- I am NOT going to attempt to police any would-be non-compliance from the altar as if a minister must police imposed anti-constitution policies. Ain’t gonna happen.
If you don’t like this rebellion against your anti-American policies, Governor Cooper, a rebellion coming from the smallest parish in these United States of America – so tiny, so vulnerable to your power – then, by all means, shut us down, you know, with all the Law Enforcement in your power (which is a lot). Send in the National Guard. Send in SWAT teams of the State Bureau of Investigation. Call in emergency assistance from anywhere and everywhere. As I say, I’ll have you in the Supreme Court so fast that you’ll be a good example of what not to do. But if you do that, just have me arrested. Don’t be a cruel jerk and raid the church, throwing kids through the windows and smashing the elderly to the ground, giving people heart-attacks and causing injuries. I’m a model of quiet and peaceful compliance. Just throw cuffs on me and stuff me in the cage in the back of whatever vehicle and cart me off. But anyone else who happens to be present at the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass… let them go; let my people go. Don’t be a jerk, Governor Cooper. Just make me the target of attacks on religion, the free exercise of religion.