From the Pastor: Grumble, Grumble, Grumble
I was hoping to write a heartfelt “Thank You” article, thanking everyone who worked so hard to make our Epiphany celebration such an incredible event but the “real world” got in the way. There are just too many things going on right now which require some sort of “pastoral commentary” but are not exactly the best of topics for sermons. So let me comment here instead. First of all, the news coverage of the “Storming of the Capitol” has been atrocious. The very people and news organizations who kept outright lying about how “mostly peaceful” this summer’s leftist riots were, who praised rampagers for their tactics, who demanded that local and federal law enforcement stand down, who refused to arrest, or, once arrested, refused to prosecute the lawbreakers, are now screaming from the rooftops that everyone who not only entered the Capitol building but everyone who stood outside, who watched it, who heard of it, or who in any way ever uttered or thought the word “Trump” in a less-than-disgusted manner be immediately fired from their jobs, arrested, locked in concentration camps, and forever branded as a terrorist, including their relatives and acquaintances down to the fourth degree. I exaggerate only a little.
There is no exaggeration about the dangerous path taken by the big tech leftists in all of this. For the social media to, as a group, remove a sitting President from their platforms is a sign that they can and, mark this well, WILL go after anyone with whom they disagree. The instantaneous destruction of their “rival” platform, Parler, is one ominous example. It is one thing to call for a boycott of a company, which then allows consumers to decide either to support a company or not, but for monopolies to band together in lockstep to shut down a company for doing exactly what the Big Bullies themselves previously did with great pride in “real” government uprisings outside of this country, and were simultaneously doing during this “civil war” (as anyone who only reads headlines of mainstream media is convinced we just had) is something Al Capone and his ilk would be proud of. Farcebook pages and Bleets were used by the “Capitol Hill Gang,” yet those leftist companies have not even been “tsk-tsk’d, let alone banned,” by those controlling the internet. In fact, they are being applauded for removing tens of thousands of people whose thoughts The Left disagrees with. As one who belongs to a group already on the “terrorist threat” list (the Catholic Church, for being pro-life and pro-morality, has been several times branded a terrorist organization) I can see a day in the near future when my personal and my parish accounts will be “disappeared” in a like manner.
But now that I brought up the topic of “Catholic Church” I should like to jump to Her latest news headlines. To begin with, everyone doing any due diligence knows that the two covid vaccines currently available in the temporarily-united States use aborted baby tissue cell lines in their testing processes. And while the Bishops of these States and the Bishop of Rome all insist that everyone has an “obligation” to “voluntarily” take the shot, I have yet to see anyone broach the subject of pediatric deaths from influenza which have been drastically reduced and which will undoubtedly return to normal if we wipe out covid and usher in the flu once again. Covid has almost wiped out the flu worldwide. In the whole country, only 71 deaths of minors have so far been “associated with” covid while hundreds of youthful lives have been spared by the elimination of the flu. According to the CDC, the lives of 600 or more children in the US are believed to have been snuffed out by the flu during the 2017-18 flu season. They note that flu deaths were undercounted; I note that covid is overcounted. Those demanding covid vaccinations never mention that they may be biased in their reasoning since it is their own age groups that are being hit hardest by covid while children are mostly unharmed. I am not implying that this fact is the only one worth considering but it sure is one worth putting forth for all to see.
Now I turn my commentary to the new Moto Proprio on Lectors and Acolytes. The change to Canon Law now allows both men and women (instead of men exclusively) to be “instituted” as lectors and acolytes (basically, lectors are those who read the epistles at Novus Ordo Masses and acolytes are those who serve at the altar). Both males and females already do those things in the NOM. But until now they were only doing that as “extraordinary” ministers at a parish level. Once “instituted” to those roles, they have a “universal” role that may be fulfilled at any parish, even beyond diocesan boundaries. Since installed acolytes can function as subdeacons in the TLM, will Installed Acolyte Sister Mary Pantsuit from St. Elton John parish insist on subdeaconing our Solemn High Masses? Moreover, since only adults can be installed in these two ministries, could it be that altar boys and girls will have to give way to their moms and dads?
Lastly, there are new directions from Rome regarding the distribution of ashes on Ash Wednesday. The priest has to wash his hands “after blessing the ashes” and before distributing them, not afterward. That part makes no sense but the rest is worse. He then “puts on a facemask” (yes, it’s in the instructions!) and imposes them “without saying anything.” It is times like these that truly make me joyful that at TLMs we must use the 1962 rules!
With prayers for your holiness,
Rev. Fr. Edwin Palka