Cleansing Fire

Defending Truth and Tradition in the Roman Catholic Church

Excerpts from US Priest’s Review of Church’s ‘Misjudgment’

August 25th, 2020, Promulgated by Diane Harris

Excerpts from LifeSiteNews on article by Rev. Michael Orsi:

[Red text is reviewer’s selected emphasis.]

US Priest: Our ‘biggest misjudgment’ amid COVID

was to close churches, suspend Sunday obligation


“In our anxiety about this new and mysterious plague, we’ve been too ready to compromise faith for the sake of civic duty,…”

“… we’ve had far too little concern for the transcendent dimension of life. Consequently, spiritual health has suffered. Probably our biggest misjudgment was the decision to close our churches and suspend the Sunday Mass obligation.”

“We could have maintained a regular worship schedule, or something like it. Reasonable, sensible adjustments would have provided a significant measure of protection.”

“Anyone whose health was compromised, or who feared they might be endangered by coming to Mass (or endangering others), would have had an automatic dispensation from attending — which is the Church’s regular, commonsense rule anyway.”

“The downside is that people were still denied the encouragement of sharing their faith in community. They were left to feel cut off from their fellow believers, and kept from reception of the Eucharist, an experience that’s caused much emotional deprivation.”

“We also should have placed greater emphasis on prayer, fasting, and other pious practices — even organizing rosary processions (properly distanced). All of these would have called upon the long history of intercessory prayer so well established in Church tradition.”

“… in our anxiety about this new and mysterious plague, and in a well intentioned effort to operate our parishes responsibly, we’ve been too ready to compromise faith for the sake of civic duty.”

“Perhaps we were being called to risk a certain kind of legal martyrdom for the sake of religious liberty. Many people have paid a price for our reluctance. And there might be long-term consequences of the failure to stand our ground…. We’re seeing signs of it already in the vandalism that’s occurred to some church buildings and religious statuary. These incidents can be understood only as efforts to intimidate Catholics into silence on certain issues and movements that faithful people would be expected to oppose.”

“…our willingness to curtail ministry for the sake of public health may suggest that we can be muzzled in other ways.”

“… we didn’t make nearly enough of the “teaching moment” nature provided. And that has been a great loss during the “Great Pandemic.”


The author, a priest of the Diocese of Camden, New Jersey, Rev. Michael P. Orsi currently serves as parochial vicar at St. Agnes Parish in Naples, Florida. Full article is here



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