Coronavirus “Creativity” for Mass: “Just do it in the Parking Lot.” No. And… Hell no.

Bouncy-happy-go-lucky-effervescent-unthinking-clowns tell me to just have Mass on the steps facing the lower parking lot. Um…  No. And hell no.

The lower parking lot is across a busy state road where it is normal to speed well over twice the speed limit. On one side is a blind hill and on the other side a blind curve. At that speed there would be little chance for people to stop politely for children continuously crossing the road to go to the bathroom during the Mass. They are going to trust that they are safe, because it’s at Mass, and people are going to respect their lives during Mass, right? No. It’s a blind hill and a blind curve. So, no. And hell no. I’m not going to be a “parking lot priest” just to look up-to-date.

For that matter, I’m not going to do baptisms with a super-soaker squirt gun. I’m not going to wear gloves to administer the Most Sacred Body of Christ in Holy Communion. What I’m going to do is offer the Most Holy Sacrifice of the Mass at the altar in the sanctuary of the church in a reverent, respectful manner. I challenge any politician to put my parishioners’ children at mortal risk. I will defend them.

What we’re doing and what we have been doing regardless of the religious discrimination of anti-Constitution bully Governor Cooper of North Carolina is to have our normal Mass schedule in the normal way. Yes. Normal confessions in the Confessional. At Holy Redeemer we have the old draped screen style of confessional with no possibility of face to face. Yes.

I do tell people these things:

  • It’s probably imprudent for you to come to Mass
  • It’s probably dangerous for you to come to Mass
  • If you’re at least as old as I am, you should probably stay home and I’ll bring Holy Communion to you

I also tell people these things:

  • All I’m doing is saying Mass with the doors of the church unlocked
  • I’m not requesting that anyone come
  • The bishop still grants a dispensation from the obligation to go to Mass on Sunday (or the vigil)

I also tell people these things:

  • I’m not a minister of justice of the state, whether by way of the executive or judiciary branches of government, so I’m not going to throw a tantrum and try to police any situation from the altar during Mass, complaining about non-compliance of some imagined infraction by some tender snowflake. Thus, families are NOT requested to social-distance (that’s a verb now, I guess). But someone might throw a fit about that. I’m not going to intervene on the part of the tender snowflake. That’s not even the policy of the State. I’m just going to quietly offer Holy Mass…

A few things also need to be insisted upon:

  • The free exercise of religion is not for a politician to give us, it is for us to ensure that any tyrant governor does not ration that which is unalienable because given by God.
  • Our freedom of speech is not for a politician to give us, it is for us to ensure that any tyrant governor does not ration that which is unalienable because given by God.
  • Our freedom of assembly is not for a politician to give us, it is for us to ensure that any tyrant governor does not ration that which is unalienable because given by God.
  • Our freedom to defend the innocent from unjust aggression is not for a politician to give us, it is for us to ensure that any tyrant governor does not ration that which is unalienable because given by God.

I could go on, but you get the idea.

In regard to the free exercise of religion, let me be clear. This isn’t about the fake “separation of Church and State”, which is another way of saying that all believers must be discriminated against for daring to live in the confines of the State. The free exercise of religion clause in the Constitution is all about the government (which should be of, by and for the people) not interfering with religion in any way. This is not only about freedom of worship, some rituals of whatever group in whatever church building or otherwise. The free exercise of religion is also about following a properly informed conscience (by natural law and divine revelation) in the public square, also in politics. To just say it: politicians who are believers are to be free to express and act on their also religiously formed conscience in their public lives, also in the formulation of public laws. This is said with all things being equal, so that such a believing politician is not proselytizing, but is enhancing the proper implementation of the Constitution for all also based on natural law, for instance, for the right to life for the born and the unborn.

Moreover, Governor Dictator tyrant Cooper cannot legislate criminal penalties for disobeying his “orders”. Legislation is done by… wait for it… the legislature. As judge Napolitanto said, all such cases will immediately be thrown out by any judge.

And just to repeat, again: Governor Cooper is flagrantly discriminatory against religion. Others can be open up to 50% of the Fire Marshal’s stated maximum capacity of a building, but even a megachurch with a capacity in the thousands can only have a preacher-man and nine others. This makes me skeptical about all this. This is about tyranny and hateful discrimination.

We have a constitutional republic and the rule of law, not a democracy styled as that in which tyrants  do whatever the hell they want to smash people down.

You know, I wonder if – even if I haven’t been charged with a criminal misdemeanor or felonies upon repeated “infractions” – I wonder if I have standing to haul Governor Cooper before the Department of Justice to end his intimidation and threats of imprisonment.

UPDATE: I also add one more point to any who are gathered at Holy Mass: In the trajectory of history, going back centuries and millennia, whenever a political platform or tyrant or emperor or otherwise dictator outlaws God in their politics and in their state, what follows is the oppression of the free exercise of religion in every way, and there is a blood bath even on the level of hundreds of millions. It’s all about raw power cut off from justice, cut off from respect for others, cut off from love, cut off from God. What follows, again, is murder, genocide, on a massive scale. If someone gets sick or dies because of coming to Mass, that’s their decision to be martyrs to witness to essential nature of the free exercise of religion. I would mourn, terribly, but this is the fallen human world we live in and this is how we can deal with it in witness to Jesus. I’m hoping no one will get either sick or die. Also, on the category of “essential” being taken away by governors or as granted by the president, I don’t buy it. What government can grant on a whim can be taken away on a whim. The free exercise of religion, as the Constitution of, for, and by the people btw, is essential not because of any government or politician but because the free exercise of religion is an unalienable right granted by almighty God. I don’t care what governors or presidents do about this one way or the other. I’m going to carry on with the free exercise of religion against all threats of imprisonment on the one hand, or the enjoyment of the president backing us up in his own I’m sure sincere way, wanting to just back up the Constitution.

UPDATE: Father Gordon MacRae, in having all the above read to him, gave me this statement to add here. It’s incisive, and full of wisdom, summing it all up:

  • “Pope Francis says that “prudence and obedience” to civil authority are necessary. When that prudence and obedience are on a collision course, as they are now, then obedience to a Higher Authority is more necessary.” — Father Gordon MacRae


Filed under Coronavirus, Free exercise of religion

12 responses to “Coronavirus “Creativity” for Mass: “Just do it in the Parking Lot.” No. And… Hell no.

  1. pelerin

    Your parishioners Father are very lucky having you as their parish priest. No Masses here yet in Britain and all churches are locked.
    I have been watching Sunday Masses from Paris each week and this last Sunday was the first time there was a congregation (apart from the half dozen allowed in the past) – one person on the end of each row and every other row kept empty. All wore masks as did the Archbishop, various assorted priests and servers. The Archbishop did take his mask off when he reached the altar although it looked as if everybody else had been told to keep theirs on.
    I wondered what would happen at Communion. The people approached the masked priests, still with their own masks on, received the Host with one hand then walked away while unhooking their mask with the other. It all looked rather awkward but It was good to see the priests were not wearing gloves. I did not see anyone receiving on the tongue as of course this would sadly have been impossible with everyone wearing a mask.
    I have been used to receiving on the tongue since I changed parishes some time ago and am not sure how I would feel now if I were once more able to receive but only in the hand. Perhaps after so long being deprived I might feel differently…

    • Father George David Byers

      Anyone wanting to receive Holy Communion must lower/remove their mask or not receive… You can insist on Holy Communion on the tongue.

  2. gk

    This is how it should be done!!! We may be coming up from Atlanta for Mass!

  3. Aussie Mum

    I’m glad to say that Father is bringing Our Lord in Holy Communion tomorrow. He couldn’t before this because of restrictions by both government and Church authorities (New South Wales Diocesan Protocols re Covid-19). I asked if I could still receive our Lord on the tongue and he said “Yes”.

    People in our state are not compelled to wear masks during the pandemic; in fact, it is actively discouraged. However, a priest in another parish some distance away has created a screen to put between priest and communicant with a space for him to hand Our Lord through to a waiting hand.
    I haven’t heard of any other priest doing this and hope it doesn’t become the trendy thing to do. I’m glad I live in the parish I do because the priests here are not trendy but orthodox like you, Father. I’m happy for your parishioners and our parish. It is sad that not all Catholic parishes are so fortunate.

    Pelerin, I hope the bishops unlock the churches and allow public Masses there again very, very soon.

    Two days ago, just after our country’s patronal feast day (Our Lady Help of Christians) Pope Francis finally provided our diocese with a bishop – we have been without since the last one retired almost 4 years ago. The incoming bishop was an auxiliary bishop of Melbourne before being appointed here. Other than that we know nothing about him yet. I hope and pray he will be a great blessing for our diocese. Australian Bishops seem to be struggling somewhat and the state my parish borders (Victoria) is anti-Catholic. The hatred whipped up against the Church here is still far from over.

    • pelerin

      Thanks for your comment Aussie mum – yes it’s tough. I have only once had to go two months without attending Mass while in hospital waiting for the birth of our second son. However a good priest (RIP 2016) came to visit regularly twice a week, once for a social visit and once with the Blessed Sacrament. This time the deprivation is more difficult. France is ahead of us with their lockdown rules so learning that their churches are now open albeit with rules and regulations gives us hope here in Britain.

    • pelerin

      Thanks as well for your links Aussie mum. How right that Australian priest was when he said ‘Virtual is ok but it is now enough.’ When I spoke to my parish priest on the phone recently – he had very kindly telephoned to see how I was coping in lockdown – I mentioned that I had watched Masses from Paris and Lourdes on the internet but would have swapped them all for attending just one in person. Virtual is indeed not enough.

  4. John Tarter

    Orémus Y’all.

  5. pelerin

    That should of course read ‘NOT enough.’

  6. Nan

    You’ll be happy to know that Fr Joseph Johnson of Holy Family in St Louis Park, MN, has been having Adoration in the main church from 7 AM to 9 PM M-F and 7AM to 7PM on weekend days. At the end, he distributes Holy Communion. A friend, who had looked for an open Adoration chapel, alerted me to this when I was struggling to deal with the church abandoning me.
    Even though churches are now opening for Mass, he has continued the Adoration. Nowhere is it announced that he gives communion after bringing Jesus back to the Adoration chapel.

  7. Joisy Goil

    Does anybody REALLY believe that Jesus would let anyone get sick receiving His Body and Blood? Picture it, germy Jesus! Yeah right.
    What happened to our faith? I guess this is the natural result of only 30% of Catholics believing in the REAL PRESENCE.
    And… Right on Fr Gordon!

  8. Fr. Gordon has the right way of it…in other words, Render to Caesar what is Caesar’s aLord. nd to God what is God’s …too bad the Holy Father and the majority of bishops if not all, have forgotten or neglected the words of Our Lord

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