Cleansing Fire

Defending Truth and Tradition in the Roman Catholic Church

Holy Goalie on morality of ‘lockdown’

September 26th, 2020, Promulgated by Diane Harris

In case someone doesn’t remember who the ‘Holy Goalie‘ is, it is Bishop Thomas Paprocki of Springfield, IL who wrote the book “Holy Goals for Body and Soul” with all the credibility of actually being a real life Hockey Goalie as well as prelate. It’s a great book for teenagers in particular, confirmation class worthy.

Apparently guarding the net is a mindset, as is protecting the Church and her teachings. Bp. Paprocki was out front on the abortion issue in a national election in 2012, after two weeks of activities in various dioceses on religious liberty.  His words and those of the Priests for Life made some waves, especially contrasted with years of  silence from the pulpit on such issues. I remember driving around with a quote on the tailgate over the good bishop’s name to the effect that voting for a candidate who supports abortion is a serious sin which can send souls to hell. I also remember some outrage for me and my friends from Festival for Freedom at the ‘vehicular bulletin board’ being parked (during Mass) in the church parking lot! And, at another church, the people handing out Priest for Life materials on the village sidewalk in front of the church were greeted with expletives by a diocesan priest! There is something about Bp. Paprocki’s directness, like slamming the puck away, that is compelling and made us stick our necks out.

Now, eight years later, such fearless statements are being made very widely and directly: “You can’t be Catholic and vote Democrat.” But in 2012, Bp. Paprocki was breaking new ground, shocking his fellow prelates by speaking the absolute truth. Why mention this now (besides the obvious connection to election season?) Because, when the Holy Goalie speaks, it is worth listening. And Bp. Paprocki has just written an essay for the September issue of Ethics & Medics, distinguishing between extraordinary means to save life and ordinary ones, and its application to a lockdown in a pandemic. Here are some excerpts from a LifeSiteNews recap, in which Bp. Paprocki argues:

  • there is no moral obligation to shut down our society, require people to stay at home, put employees out of work, send businesses into bankruptcy, impair the food supply chain, and prevent worshippers from going to church.”
  • “While some people may voluntarily adopt [extraordinary] means, only ordinary means that are not unduly burdensome are morally required to preserve life, both on the part of individuals as well as society as a whole.” 
  • Bp. Paprocki applies the moral principles commonly used in clinical decision-making to society as a whole. He wrote:  “while we recognize that our human life is one of our greatest gifts, it is not a moral absolute and in fact is secondary to the eternal life of our immortal soul.” While life needs to be treated “with respect and reverence,” there are higher goods, as can be seen in “things like martyrdom, or attempting to save the life of another.”

Bp. Paprocki wrote that “the US Supreme Court got it wrong” when it ruled that Democratic California Governor Gavin Newsom could enforce the order “that discriminated against houses of worship in placing numerical restrictions on public gatherings.” He explicitly contrasted the pro-abortion platform of the Democratic Party and its candidate for president with the pro-life platform of the Republican Party and President Donald Trump.

I especially value that Bp. Paprocki is not afraid to cross diocesan lines and state lines (see comment above on Newsom) to witness to the Faith. If more bishops were willing to do that, there might be some accountability of one bishop to another. Instead they often seem blind to key events affecting the flock if it is not in their dioceses, or under the USCCB purview of another bishop on the subject.


One Response to “Holy Goalie on morality of ‘lockdown’”

  1. christian says:

    Regarding the use of a vaccine against COVID-19: I have had concerns if COVID-19 vaccine would give immunity against COVID-19.

    We just learned of a friend who lives in an assisted care setting who had tested positive for COVID-19 a few months ago, is now positive for COVID-19 again.

    The first time, her symptoms grew so severe, that she required a fairly lengthy hospitalization and spent some of that time in the ICU. She had to test negative before being sent back to the assisted care setting.

    It is still too soon to tell if she will require hospitalization again this time, as she has just tested positive after reporting to staff that she didn’t feel well.

    There have been other people who have contracted COVID-19 again, after having it within the last 2-4 months.

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