Cardinal Raymond Burke called for the restoration of all masses during the coronavirus pandemic, warning that priests and bishops should speak out against these cancellations.
The Roman Catholic cardinal spoke out in a Saturday statement in which he stressed the importance of social distancing and fighting the virus. But Burke also noted that “our first consideration is our relationship with God,” and said that Catholics should not merely accept secular government’s determinations.
“In our totally secularized culture, there is a tendency to view prayer, devotions and worship like any other activity, for example, going to the cinema or to a football game, which is not essential and therefore can be cancelled for the sake of taking every precaution to curb the spread of a deadly contagion,” the American cardinal said.
“Therefore, we cannot simply accept the determinations of secular governments, which would treat the worship of God in the same manner as going to a restaurant or to an athletic contest,” Burke said. “Otherwise, the people who already suffer so much from the results of the pestilence are deprived of those objective encounters with God Who is in our midst to restore health and peace.”
His words come as bishops across the United States and around the world call for the cancellation of all masses and suspend all church services. (RELATED: Largest Catholic Church In North America Closes Doors For The First Time In Nearly 100 Years)
Burke called on bishops and priests to speak out about “the necessity of Catholics to pray and worship in their churches and chapels,” and “to insist that the regulations of the State, also for the good of the State, recognize the distinct importance of places of worship, especially in time of national and international crisis.”
“In the past, in fact, governments have understood, above all, the importance of the faith, prayer and worship of the people to overcome a pestilence,” he added.
Burke said that the faithful turn to Christ for deliverance from both pestilence and harm and that “He never fails to respond with pure and selfless love.”
“Just as we are able to purchase food and medicine, while taking care not to spread the coronavirus in the process, so also we must be able to pray in our churches and chapels, receive the Sacraments, and engage in acts of public prayer and devotion, so that we know God’s closeness to us and remain close to Him, fittingly calling upon His help,” the cardinal added.
“Without the help of God, we are indeed lost.”
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