Today marks 125 days since the Archdiocese of Toronto banned the reception of Holy Communion according to ordinary form. Its canonical illegality has been much discussed, and this post is but a reminder and a prediction.
On March 17, 2020 all Masses were banned in the Archdiocese. From downtown Toronto to little hamlets, two hours drive and more away, every church was boarded up. A small, but dynamic group of Christians during this time began to petition the Ontario government to reopen churches. It is VERY significant that the Archdiocese of Toronto was NOT part of this group.
When churches were reopened with limited capacity, Toronto Public Health (under the authority of Toronto City Council, via the Toronto Board of Health) officials de facto overthrew (via threats of church closure) the local supreme authority in the Catholic Church (Cardinal Collins) and have assumed control over Catholic religious/liturgical practice by unconstitutionally encroaching on religious practice and "banning" Holy Communion on the tongue.
A Prediction: We are not going to see Toronto Public Health's illegal edict lifted until a vaccine or vaccines are produced. This effectively means that many of us will not be able to fulfill our Easter Duty. We are absolved of this Duty, as the pastors of the Church are bound by the Law of the Church to give Holy Communion to any Catholic in the State of Grace who requests it. I hope I am wrong in my prediction, but don't think I will be. It may well be that some of us will not be able to receive Holy Communion for well over a year...perhaps even longer.
Please pray for Cardinal Collins, our bishops, priests that they stand up for Christ, His Church, and the God-given rights of Catholics.
Please also pray for those Christians who are not in full unity with the See of Peter, but are standing up for Christ. Russian Orthodox Archbishop Kirill of San Francisco wrote a powerful Letter to Governor Gavin Newsom stating that his new violent measures against religion were eerily similar to those of the Soviet Union.
The Archbishop noted that Newsom's actions are "...open discrimination, hypocrisy and the infringement of our religious rights, prompting us to recall the era of godless persecutions in the USSR". Newsom has yet to reply to the Archbishop. Has your bishop taken a stand?
Another interesting case is that of "Pastor" John MacArthur of Sun Valley, California who defied the draconian measures of Newsom last Sunday and kept his church open. He faces the real possibility of going to jail. He is 81 years of age. MacArthur certainly is a heretic, but at least he believes enough in the Divinity of Our Lord to stand against an unjust edict that violates Christ's Law. Has your bishop shown faith in Our Lord's Divinity to stand publicly against unjust edicts, to even risk going to jail?
We, as Catholics must take as our models the martyrs, the defenders of the Faith. Let us recall the Japanese Catholics, who, without priests and under severe persecution from the State held the Faith for hundreds of years. They must be our example.