Bishops Battling Laity

News: Video Reports
by Rodney Pelletier  •  •  April 7, 2020   

Access to sacraments at center of growing storm

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Bishops in the United States as well around the world are ignoring a growing demand by faithful Catholics to restore access to the sacraments.

Over the weekend, Italian politician Matteo Salvini requested on live TV that bishops open Italian churches, allowing the faithful to attend Easter Mass, saying "I support the requests of those who ask to attend Easter Mass in an orderly, composed and safe way, maybe even in groups of three, four or five. ... I hope that we will find a way for believers to go to church."

It's an issue throughout the West, and especially in the United States, where 30 dioceses so far have suspended confessions and extreme unction, only allowing them in case of "extreme emergency" while marriages have been suspended altogether.

An open letter signed by prominent Catholics is imploring U.S. bishops: "While safety and cooperation with civil authorities is necessary, we must do everything we can to have access to what is essential for our spiritual lives."

However, not all Catholics are concerned about the shutdown of the sacramental life.

Social media shows lots of support for the bishops' actions among less traditional-minded Catholics, who seem to be not really concerned about having no access to the sacraments.

There are exceptions among the bishops, as some are allowing priests to respond to the faithful with drive-in confessions and eucharistic adoration in parish parking lots.

But other bishops are starving the faithful, virtually shutting down every aspect of the public life of the Church, leading some to doubt if those bishops believe the sacraments are essential channels of grace.

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