From the Pastor: A New World Order Without God
This week it became illegal to be outside from 9:00 pm until 5:00 am in Hillsborough County. According to the Tampa Bay Times E-Newspaper on Thursday, “The penalties for violating the curfew are the same as those in place for the safer-at-home order. It's a second-degree misdemeanor carrying a fine of up to $500 or up to 60 days in jail.” Did the Wuhan virus turn all of our government officials into Chinese Communist government officials? Can you imagine getting fined $500 for stepping outside to smoke? Going to jail for two months for taking your crying baby for a nighttime walk or drive to calm him down and to allow the rest of the household to get some shut-eye? Of course, those are two silly extreme cases and nobody would ever get fined or jailed for either one, right? Right? You cannot say “right” with certainty anymore. One month ago, this would have been seen as preposterous. Today, not so much. The mayor of Tampa, according to the same article, wanted the curfew but thought it should start two hours later. Big whoop. “Castor said she doesn't want people to get 'wrapped up around the axle' of details like dog-walking. She hopes they'll focus on the larger picture the need to keep practicing safe behaviors to slow the virus.” So she doesn’t mind the house arrest if it starts when she thinks it should start, and thinks we shouldn’t get worried or upset about getting in legal trouble for night-time dog walking as if it is no big deal! And for what purpose is this martial law imposed upon us? To “slow the virus.” Note: not to “stop” the virus. Not to “eliminate” the virus. Simply to “slow” the virus. For what purpose? To make sure everyone gets sick at the most convenient time for the hospitals? To make sure everyone gets sick at the most convenient time for those who want to instill more communism and socialism into government? Certainly not for MY convenience! I would rather have been sick two weeks ago so that by now I would either already be dead (highly unlikely, as the death rates keep inconveniently staying waaaaay below the predictions of all of the “experts”) or already recovered. But as it now stands, I and all of my fellow priests (save one, who picked up the virus while traveling before this lockdown went into effect) are all safe and snug in our little rectory cocoons. We have not been exposed to the virus. We have not gotten sick from it. So what happens when the world and churches, which have been following, rather than leading the world, open up again? Everyone who has been sick will probably (if this is like most coronaviruses) be immune to it for maybe three years, as we experienced with SARS. But those who have been sheltered and sequestered and curfewed will be exposed all at once and will start getting sick all at the same time and we will start the whole shutdown and panic all over again. Only those who carry proof of immunity will be allowed back out in public.
“But Father,” you might be thinking, “you are only a priest and not a government lackey. How could you possibly know what is happening? Shouldn’t you trust the government leaders? You stick to protecting man’s soul and they will stick to protecting man’s body.” Horsefeathers! “Flattening the curve” has absolutely nothing to do with caring for man’s body, his life, or his health. It is simply, as government is wont to do, procrastinating and kicking the can down the alleyway to be dealt with at a future time. “Trust us!” they say, “We will have a vaccine for you (developed from aborted baby body parts) in another 18 months or so. You can resume normal activities then.” Even a fool can see that there will no longer be a “normal” then. Communism will rule, tyrants will have complete control, and the Church, which has all but carried the water for the government team up to this day, will be dissolved, with only the remnant remaining underground.
This week a protestant minister, whose entire congregation was fined $500 (each) after having come to services in the church parking lot, where they stayed in their cars with the windows rolled up and listened to his sermon on the radio, won a quick ruling from a judge who said that religious rights cannot be trampled like that. The local government is appealing and still threatening more $500 per person fines for every occupant of each vehicle which drives up this Sunday. Attorney General William Barr issued a statement that "Religious institutions must not be singled out for special burdens." The protestants and the seculars are outshining the Church leaders! To date (this is being written Thursday, April 16) only one Catholic Bishop, Peter Baldacchino of Las Cruces, New Mexico, has once again allowed “public” Masses to be held. But even he has gone along with the absurd government rule of allowing no more than 5 people (including the priest) to congregate at any one time! Yet he is the epitome of Courageously Living the Gospel among bishops.
Will some or many of the Catholic laity and priests of Las Cruces get sick? It seems possible, even likely, though nearly infinitely less so at Mass than at the grocery store, even though Mass will get the blame. Some tiny percent will even die. But sickness and death afflict everyone, even without an atheistic, police state takeover of their lives. Why would any Catholic prefer deferred illness and death with neither sacraments nor liberty?
With prayers for your holiness,
Rev. Fr. Edwin Palka