Sunday 31 May 2020

The Day of Pentecost

The great day, which consummates the work that God had undertaken for the human race, has at last shone upon the world. The days of Pentecost, as St. Luke says, are accomplished.[1] We have had seven weeks since the Pasch; and now comes the day that opens the mysterious number of fifty. This day is the Sunday, already made holy by the creation of the light, and by the Resurrection of Jesus: it is about to receive its final consecration, and bring us the fullness of God.[2]

In the old and figurative Law, God foreshadowed the glory that was to belong, at a future period, to the fiftieth day. Israel had passed the waters of the Red Sea, thanks to the protecting power of his Paschal Lamb! Seven weeks were spent in the desert, which was to lead to the promised land; and the very morrow of those seven weeks was the day whereon was made the alliance between God and His people. The Pentecost (the fiftieth day) was honoured by the promulgation of the ten commandments of the divine law; and every following year, the Israelites celebrated the great event by a solemn festival. But their Pentecost was figurative, like their Pasch: there was to be a second Pentecost for all people, as there was to be a second Pasch, for the Redemption of the whole world. The Pasch, with all its triumphant joys, belongs to the Son of God, the Conqueror of death: Pentecost belongs to the Holy Ghost, for it is the day whereon He began His mission into this world, which, henceforward, was to be under His Law.

But how different are the two Pentecosts! The one, on the rugged rocks of Arabia, amidst thunder and lightning, promulgates a Law that is written on tablets of stone; the second is in Jerusalem, on which God’s anger has not as yet been manifested, because it still contains within its walls the first fruits of that new people, over whom the Spirit of love is to reign. In this second Pentecost, the heavens are not overcast, nor is the roar of thunder heard; the hearts of men are not stricken with fear, as when God spake on Sinai; repentance and gratitude are the sentiments now uppermost. A divine fire burns within their souls, and will spread throughout the whole world. Our Lord Jesus had said:’I am come to cast fire on the earth; and what will I, but that it be kindled?’[3] The hour for the fulfilment of this word has come: the Spirit of love, the Holy Ghost, the eternal uncreated Flame, is about to descend from heaven, and realize the merciful design of our Redeemer.

Jerusalem is filled with pilgrims, who have flocked thither from every country of the Gentile world. They feel a strange mysterious expectation working in their souls. They are Jews, and have come from every foreign land where Israel has founded a synagogue; they have come to keep the feasts of Pasch and Pentecost. Asia, Africa, and even Rome, have here their representatives. Amidst these Jews properly so called, are to be seen many Gentiles, who, from a desire to serve God more faithfully, have embraced the Mosaic law and observances; they are called proselytes. This influx of strangers, who have come to Jerusalem out of a desire to observe the Law, gives the city a Babel-like appearance, for each nation has its own language. They are not, however, under the influence of pride and prejudice, as are the inhabitants of Judea; neither have they, like these latter, known and rejected the Messias, nor blasphemed His works whereby He gave testimony of His divine character. It may be that they took part with the other Jews in clamouring for Jesus’ death; but they were led to it by the chief priests and magistrates of the Jerusalem which they reverenced as the holy city of God, and to which nothing but religious motives have brought them.

It is the hour of Tierce, the third hour of the day,[4] fixed from all eternity for the accomplishment of a divine decree. It was at the hour of midnight that the Father sent into this world, that He might take flesh in Mary’s womb, the Son eternally begotten of Himself: so now, at this hour of Tierce, the Father and the Son send upon the earth the holy Spirit who proceeds from Them both. He is sent to form the Church, the bride and the kingdom of Christ: He is to assist and maintain her; He is to save and sanctify the souls of men; and this His mission is to continue to the end of time.

Suddenly is heard, coming from heaven, the sound of a violent wind; it startles the people in the city, it fills the cenacle with its mighty breath. A crowd is soon round the house that stands on Mount Sion; the hundred and twenty disciples that are within the building feel that mysterious emotion within them, of which their Master once said: ‘The Spirit breatheth where He will, and thou hearest His voice’.[5] Like that strange invisible creature, which probes the very depth of the sea and makes the waves heave mountains high, this Breath from heaven will traverse the world from end to end, breaking down every barrier that would stay its course.

The holy assembly have been days in fervent expectation; the divine Spirit gives them this warning of His coming, and they in the passiveness of ecstatic longing, await His will. As to those who are outside the cenacle, and who have responded to the appeal thus given, let us, for the moment, forget them. A silent shower falls in the house; it is a shower of fire, which, as holy Church says ‘burns not but enlightens, consumes not but shines.’[6] Flakes of fire, in the shape of tongues, rest on the heads of the hundred and twenty disciples; it is the Holy Ghost taking possession of all and each. The Church is now not only in Mary, but also in these hundred and twenty disciples. All belong now to the Spirit that has descended upon them; His kingdom is begun, it is manifested, its conquests will be speedy and glorious.

But let us consider the symbol chosen to designate this divine change. He who showed Himself under the endearing form of a dove, on the occasion of Jesus’ baptism in the Jordan, now appears under that of fire. He is the Spirit of love; and love is not only gentle and tender, it is also ardent as fire. Now, therefore, that the world is under the influence of the Holy Ghost, it must needs be on fire, and the fire shall not be checked. And why this form of tongues? To show that the heavenly fire is to be spread by the word, by speech. These hundred and twenty disciples need but to speak of the Son of God, made Man, and our Redeemer; of the Holy Ghost, who renews our souls; of the heavenly Father, who loves and adopts us as His children: their word will find thousands to believe and welcome it. Those that receive it shall all be united in one faith; they shall be called the Catholic Church, that is, universal, existing in all places and times. Josus had said:’Go, teach all nations!’[7] The Holy Ghost brings from heaven both the tongue that is to teach, and the fire (the love of God and of man kind), which is to give warmth and efficacy to the teaching. The tongue and the fire are now given to these first disciples, who, by the assistance of the holy Spirit, will transmit them to others. So will it be to the end of time.

An obstacle, however, opposes the mission at the very outset. Since the confusion at Babel, there have been as many languages as countries; communication by word has been interrupted. How, then, is the word to become the instrument of the world’s conquest, and to make one family out of all these nations that cannot understand each other? Fear not: the holy Spirit is all-powerful, and has provided for this difficulty. With the other gifts, wherewith He has enriched the hundred and twenty disciples, He has given them that of understanding all languages, and of making themselves understood in every language. In a transport of holy enthusiasm, they attempt to speak the languages of all nations; their tongue and their ear take in, not only without effort, but even with charm and joy, this plenitude of word and speech which is to reunite mankind together. The Spirit of love has annulled the separation of Babel; men are once more made brethren by the unity of language.

How beautiful art thou, dear Church of our God! Heretofore, the workings of the Holy Ghost have been limited; but now, He breatheth freely where He willeth; He brings thee forth to the eyes of men by this stupendous prodigy. Thou art the image of what this earth was, when all its inhabitants spoke the same language. The prodigy is not to cease with the day of Pentecost, nor with the disciples who are its first receivers. When the apostles have terminated their lives and preaching, the gift of tongues, at least in its miraculous form, will cease, because no longer needed: but thou O Church of Christ! wilt continue to speak all languages, even to the end of time, for thou art to dwell in every clime. The one same faith is to be expressed in the language of every country; and thus transformed, the miracle of Pentecost is to be kept up for ever within thee, as one of thy characteristic marks.

The great St. Augustine alluded to this, when he spoke the following admirable words: ‘The whole body of Christ, the Church, now speaks in all tongues. Nay, I myself speak all tongues, for I am in the body of Christ, I am in the Church of Christ. If the body of Christ now speaks all languages, then am I in all languages. Greek is mine, Syriac is mine, Hebrew is mine, and all are mine, for I am one with all the several nations that speak them.’[8] During the ages of faith, the Church (which is the only source of all true progress), succeeded in giving one common language to all the nations that were in union with her. For centuries, the Latin language was the bond of union between civilized countries. However distant these might be from one another, there was this link of connexion between them; it was the medium of communication for political negotiations, for the spread of science, or for friendly epistolary correspondence. No one was a stranger, in any part of the west, or even beyond it, who could speak this language. The great heresy of the sixteenth century robbed us of this as of so many other blessings; it dismembered that Europe which the Church had united, not only by her faith, but by her language. But let us return to the cenacle, and continue our contemplation of the wondrous workings of the holy Spirit within this still closed sanctuary.

First of all, we look for Mary; for her who now, more than ever, is full of grace. After those measureless gifts lavished upon her in her Immaculate Conception; after the treasures of holiness infused into her by the Incarnate Word during the nine months she bore Him in her womb; after the special graces granted her for acting and suffering in union with her Son, in the work of the world’s Redemption; after the favours wherewith this same Jesus loaded her when in the glory of His Resurrection: we should have thought that heaven had given all it could to a mere creature, however sublime the destiny of that creature might be. But no. Here is a new mission opened for Mary. The Church is born; she is born of Mary. Mary has given birth to the bride of her Son; new duties fall upon the Mother of the Church. Jesus has ascended into heaven, leaving Mary upon the earth, that she may nurse the infant Church. Oh! how lovely and yet how dignified, is this infancy of our dear Church, cherished as she is, fed, and strengthened by Mary! But this second Eve, this true Mother of the living,[9] must receive a fresh infusion of grace to fit her for this her new office: therefore it is that she has the first claim to, and the richest portion of, the gifts of the Holy Ghost. Heretofore, He overshadowed her and made her Mother of the Son of God; now He makes her the Mother of the Christian people. It is the verification of those words of the royal prophet: ‘The stream (literally, the impetuosity) of the river maketh the city of God joyful: the Most High hath sanctified His own tabernaole.’[10] The Spirit of love here fulfils the intention expressed by our Redeemer when dying on the cross. ‘Woman!’ said Jesus to her, ‘behold thy son!’ St. John was this son, and he represented all mankind. The Holy Ghost now infuses into Mary the plenitude of the grace needful for her maternal mission. From this day forward, she acts as Mother of the infant Church; and when, at length, the Church no longer needs her visible presence, this Mother quits the earth for heaven, where she is crowned Queen; but there, too, she exercises her glorious title and office of Mother of men.

Let us contemplate this master-piece of Pentecost, and admire the new loveliness that beams in Mary from this new maternity. She is inflamed by the fire of divine love, and this in a way not felt before. She is all devoted to the office put upon her, and for which she has been left on earth. The grace of the apostolate is granted to her. She has received the tongue of fire; and although her voice is not to make itself heard in public preaching, yet will she speak to the apostles, directing and consoling them in their labours. She will speak, too, to the faithful, but with a force, a sweetness, and a persuasiveness, becoming one whom God has made the most exalted of His creatures. The primitive Christians, with such a training as this, will have vigour and energy enough to resist all the attacks of hell, and, like Stephen who had often listened to her inspiring words, to die martyrs for the faith.

Let us next look at the apostolic college. The frequent instructions they have been receiving from their Lord, during the forty days after His Resurrection, have changed them into quite other men; hut now that they have received the Holy Ghost, the change and conversion is complete. They are filled with the enthusiasm of faith; their souls are on fire with divine love; the conquest of the whole world, this is their ambition, and they know it is their mission. What their Master had told them is fulfilled: they are endued with power from on high,[11] and are ready for the battle. Who would suppose that these are the men who crouched with fear, when their Jesus was in the hands of His enemies? Who would take these to be the men that doubted of His Resurrection? All that this beloved Master has taught them is now so clear to them! They see it all, they understand it all. The Holy Ghost has infused into them, and in a sublime degree, the gift of faith; they are impatient to spread this faith throughout the whole earth. Far from fearing, they even long to suffer persecution in the discharge of the office entrusted to them by Jesus, that of preaching His name and His glory unto all nations.

Look at Peter. You easily recognize him by that majestio bearing, which, though sweetly tempered by deep humility, bespeaks his pre-eminent dignity. A few hours ago, it was the tranquil gravity of the head of the apostolic college; now, his whole face gleams with the flash of enthusiasm, for the Holy Ghost is now sovereign possessor of this vicar of Christ, this prince of the word, this master-teacher of truth. Near him are seated the other apostles: Andrew, his elder brother, who now conceives that ardent passion for the cross, which is to be his grand characteristic; John, whose meek and gentle eye now glistens with the fire of inspiration, betokening the prophet of Patmos; James, the brother of John, and called, like him, the son of thunder,[12] bears in his whole attitude the appearance of the future chivalrous conqueror of Iberia. The other James, known and loved under the name of the brother of Jesus, feels a fresh and deeper transport of joyousness as the power of the Spirit thrills through his being. Matthew is encircled with a glowing light, which points him out to us as the first writer of the new Testament. Thomas, whose faith was the fruit he took from Jesus’ wounds, feels that faith now made perfect; it is generous, free, unreserved, worthy of the brave apostle of the far east. In a word, all twelve are a living hymn to the glory of the almighty Spirit, whose power is thus magnificently evinced even at the outset of His reign.

The disciples, too, are sharers, though in a less degree than the apostles, of the divine gift; they receive the same Spirit, the same sacred fire, for they too, are to go forth, conquer the world, and found Churches. The holy women, also, who form part of the assembly of the cenacle, have received the graces of this wondrous descent of the Holy Ghost. It was love that emboldened them to stand near the cross of Jesus, and be the first to visit His sepulchre on Easter morning; this love is now redoubled. A tongue of fire has stood over each of them, and the time will come when they will speak, with fervid eloquence, of Jesus, to both Jews and Gentiles. The Synagogue will banish Magdalene and her companions: the Gentiles of our western Europe will receive them, and the word of these holy exiles will produce a hundredfold of fruit.

Meanwhile, a large crowd of Jews has collected round the mysterious cenacle. Not only has the ‘mighty wind’ excited their curiosity, hut, moreover, that same divine Spirit, who is working such wonders upon the holy assembly within, is impelling them to visit the house, wherein is the new-born Church of Christ. They clamour for the apostles, and these are burning with zeal to begin their work; so, too, are all. At once, then, the crowd sees these men standing in its midst, and relating the prodigy that has been wrought by the God of Israel.

What is the surprise of this multitude, composed as it is of people of so many different nations, when these poor uneducated Galileans address them, each in the language of his own country? They have heard them speak before this, and they expected a repetition of the jargon now; when lo! there is the correct accent and diction of every country, and with such eloquence! The symbol of unity is here shown in all its magnificence. Here is the Christian Church; it is one, though consisting of such varied elements: the walls of division, which divine justice had set up between nation and nation, are now removed. Here, also, are the heralds of the faith of Christ; they are ready for their grand mission; they long to traverse the earth, and to save it by the word of their preaching.

But in the crowd there are some who are shocked at witnessing this heavenly enthusiasm of the apostles. ‘These men,’ say they, ‘are full of new wine!’ It is the language of rationalism, explaining away mystery by reason. These Galileans, these’ drunken men, are, however, to conquer the whole world to Christ, and to give the Holy Ghost, with His enebriating unction, to all mankind. The holy apostles feel that it is time to proclaim the new Pentecost; yes, this anniversary of the old is a fitting day for the new to be declared. But in this proclamation of the law of mercy and love, which is to supersede the law of justice and fear, who is to be the Moses? Our Emmanuel, before ascending into heaven, had selected one of the twelve for the glorious office: it is Peter, the rock on whom is built the Church. It is time for the shepherd to show himself and speak, for the flock is now to be formed. Let us hearken to the Holy Ghost, who is about to speak by His chief organ to this wondering and attentive multitude. The apostle, though he speaks in one tongue, is understood by each of his audience, no matter what his country and language may be. The discourse is, of itself, a guarantee of the truth and divine origin of the new law.

The fisherman of Genesareth thus pours forth his wondrous eloquence: ‘Ye men of Judea, and all you that dwell in Jerusalem, be this known to you, and, with your ears, receive my words! For these are not drunk, as you suppose, seeing it is but the third hour of the day. But this is that which was spoken of by the prophet Joel: “And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith the Lord, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams. And upon my servants indeed, and upon my handmaids, will I pour out, in those days of my Spirit, and they shall prophesy.” Ye men of Israel, hear these words: Jesus of Nazareth, a Man approved of God among you, by miracles and wonders and signs, which God did by Him in the midst of you, as you also know. This same being delivered up, by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, you, by the hands of wicked men, have crucified and slain. Whom God hath raised up, having loosed the sorrows of hell (the tomb), as it was impossible that He should be holden by it. For David saith concerning Him: “My flesh shall rest in hope, because Thou wilt not leave my soul in the tomb, nor suffer Thy holy One to see corruption.” Ye men, brethren, let me freely speak to you of the patriarch David: that he died and was buried, and his sepulchre is with us to this day. Whereas, therefore, he was a prophet, he spoke of the Resurrection of Christ; for neither was He left in the tomb, neither did His flesh see corruption. This Jesus hath God raised again, whereof all we are witnesses. Being exalted by the right hand of God, and having received of the Father the promise of the Holy Ghost, He hath poured forth this which you see and hear. Therefore, let all the house of Israel know most certainly, that God hath made both Lord and Christ this same Jesus, whom you have crucified.’[13]

Thus did the second Moses promulgate the new Law. How must his hearers have welcomed the stupendous gift of this new Pentecost, which put them in possession of the divine realities foreshadowed by that figurative one of old! Here again, it was God revealing Himself to His creatures, and, as usual, by miracles. Peter alludes to the wonders wrought by Jesus, who thus bore testimony to His being the Messias. He tells his audience that the Holy Ghost has been sent from heaven, according to the promise made to this Jesus by His Father: they have proof enough of the great fact, in the gift of tongues of which they themselves are witnesses.

The holy Spirit makes His presence and influence to be felt in the hearts of these favoured listeners. A few moments previously they were disciples of Sinai, who had come from distant lands to celebrate the by-gone Pasch and Pentecost; now they have faith, simple and full faith, in Christ. They repent of the awful crime of His death, of which they have been accomplices; they confess His Resurrection and Ascension; they beseech Peter and the rest of the apostles to put them in the way of salvation: ‘Men and brethren!’ say they, ‘what shall we do?’[14] Better dispositions could not be: they desire to know their duty, and are determined to do it. Peter resumes his discourse, saying: ‘Do penance, and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ, for the remission of your sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. For the promise is to you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, whomsoever the Lord our God shall call.’[15]

The Jewish Pentecost pales at each word of the new Moses; the Christian Pentecost manifests itself with clearer light. The reign of the Holy Ghost is inaugurated in Jerusalem, and under the very shadow of that temple which is doomed to destruction. Peter continued his instructions; but the sacred Volume has left us only these few words, wherewith, probably, the apostle made his final appeal to his hearers: ‘Save yourselves from this perverse generation!’[16]

These children of Israel had to make this sacrifice, or they never could have shared in the graces of the new Pentecost: they had to cut themselves off from their own people; they had to leave the Synagogue for the Church. There was a struggle in many a heart at that moment; but the holy Spirit triumphed; three thousand declared themselves disciples of Christ, and received the mark of adoption in holy Baptism. Church of the living God! how lovely art thou in thy first reception of the divine Spirit! how admirable is thy early progress! Thy first abode was in the Immaculate Mary, the Virgin full of grace, the Mother of God; thy second victory gave thee the hundred and twenty disciples of the cenacle; and now, three thousand elect proclaim thee as their mother, and, leaving the unhappy Jerusalem, will carry thy name and kingdom to their own countries. To-morrow, Peter is to preach in the temple, and five thousand men will enroll themselves as disciples of Jesus of Nazareth. Hail! then, dear creation of the Holy Ghost! Militant on earth; triumphant in heaven; beautiful, noble, immortal Church, all hail! And thou, bright Pentecost! day of our truest birth! how fair, how glorious, thou makest these first hours of Jesus’ bride on earth! The divine Spirit thou givest us, has written, not upon stone, but upon our hearts, the Law that is to govern us. In thee, O Pentecost! we find realized the hopes foreshadowed in the mystery of the Epiphany; for though thou thyself art promulgated in Jerusalem, yet thy graces are to be extended to all that are afar off, that is, to us Gentiles. The Magi came from the east; we watched them as they visited the crib of the divine Babe, for we knew that we, too, were to have our season of grace. It was thou, O holy Spirit! that didst attract them to Bethlehem: and now, in this Pentecost of Thy power, Thou callest all men; the star is changed into tongues of fire, and the face of the earth is to be renewed. Oh! grant that we may be ever faithful to the graces thou offerest us, and carefully treasure the gifts sent us, with Thee and through Thee, by the Father and the Son!

The mystery of Pentecost holds so important a place in the Christian dispensation, that we cannot be surprised at the Church’s ranking it, in her liturgy, on an equality with her paschal solemnity. The Pasch is the redemption of man by the victory of Christ; Pentecost is the Holy Ghost taking possession of man redeemed. The Ascension is the intermediate mystery; it consummates the Pasch, by placing the Man-God, the Conqueror of death, and our Head, at the right hand of the Father; it prepares the mission of the Holy Ghost to our earth. This mission could not take place until Jesus had been glorified, as St. John tells us;[17] and several reasons are assigned for this fact by the holy fathers. It was necessary that the Son of God, who, together with the Father, is the principle of the procession of the Holy Ghost in the divine essence, should also personally send this divine Spirit upon the earth. The exterior mission of one of the Three Persons is but the sequel and manifestation of the mysterious and eternal production which is ever going on within the Divinity. Thus the Father is not sent, either by the Son or by the Holy Ghost, because He does not proceed from them. The Son is sent to men by the Father, of whom He is eternally begotten. The Holy Ghost is sent by the Father and the Son, because He proceeds from both. But, in order that the mission of the Holy Ghost might give greater glory to the Son, there was a congruity in its not taking place until such time as the Incarnate Word should be enthroned at the right hand of the Father. How immense the glory of human nature, that it was hypostatically united to the Person of the Son of God when this mission of the Holy Ghost was achieved! and that we can say, in strict truth, the Holy Ghost was sent by the Man-God!

This divine mission was not to be given to the Third Person, until men were deprived of the visible presence of Jesus. As we have already said, the hearts of the faithful were henceforward to follow their absent Redeemer by a purer and wholly spiritual love. Now, who was to bring us this new love, if not He who is the link of the eternal love of the Father and the Son? This holy Spirit of love and union is called, in the sacred Scriptures, the ‘Gift of God’; and it is on the day of Pentecost that the Father and Son send us this ineffable Gift. Let us call to mind the words spoken by our Emmanuel to the Samaritan woman at the well of Sichar: ‘If thou didst know the Gift of God!’[18] He had not yet been given, He had not yet been manifested, otherwise than in a partial way. From this day forward, He inundates the whole earth with His fire, He gives spiritual life to all, He makes His influence felt in every place. We know the Gift of God; so that we have but to open our hearts to receive Him, as did the three thousand who listened to St. Peter’s sermon.

Observe, too, the season of the year, in which the Holy Ghost comes to take possession of His earthly kingdom. Our Jesus, the Sun of justice, arose in Bethlehem in the very depth of winter; humble and gradual was His ascent to the zenith of His glory. But the Spirit of the Father and the Son came in the season that harmonizes with His own divine characteristic. He is a consuming Fire;[19] He comes into the world when summer is in its pride, and sunshine decks our earth with loveliest flowers. Let us welcome the life-giving heat of the Holy Ghost, and earnestly beseech Him that it may ever abide within us. The liturgical year has brought us to the full possession of truth by the Incarnate Word; let us carefully cherish the love, which the Holy Ghost has now enkindled within our hearts.

The Christian Pentecost, prefigured by the ancient one of the Jews, is of the number of the feasts that were instituted by the apostles. As we have already remarked, it formerly shared with Easter the honour of the solemn administration of Baptism. Its octave, like that of Easter, and for the same reason, ended with the Saturday following the feast. The catechumens received Baptism on the night between Saturday and Sunday. So that the Pentecost solemnity began on the vigil, for the neophytes at once put on their white garments: on the eighth day, the Saturday, they laid them aside.

In the middle-ages, the feast of Pentecost was called by the beautiful name of ‘The Pasch of roses,’ just as the Sunday within the octave of the Ascension was termed the ‘Sunday of roses’. The colour and fragrance of this lovely flower were considered by our Catholic forefathers as emblems of the tongues of fire, which rested on the heads of the hundred and twenty disciples, and poured forth the sweet gifts of love and grace on the infant Church. The same idea suggested the red-coloured vestments for the liturgical services during the whole octave. In his Rational (a work which abounds in most interesting information regarding the mediæval liturgical usages), Durandus tells us that, in the thirteenth century, a dove was allowed to fly about in the church, and flowers and lighted tow were thrown down from the roof, during the Mass on Whit Sunday; these were allusions to the two mysteries of Jesus’ baptism, and of the descent of the Holy Ghost on the day of Pentecost.

At Rome, the station is in the basilica of St. Peter. It was but just that special honour should be paid to the prince of the apostles, for it was on this day that his preaching won three thousand converts to the Church. Though the station, and the indulgences attached to it, are at St. Peter’s, yet the sovereign Pontiff and the sacred college of Cardinals solemnize to-day’s service in the Lateran basilica, which is the mother-church of the city and of the world.

- From Dom Prosper Gueranger's commentary on the Feast Day of Pentecost in The Liturgical Year.

Tuesday 26 May 2020

CDC: Coronavirus death rate no worse than an above average flu Season

Open cafes in Stockholm, Sweden 

CDC 0.26% Infection Fatality Rate (IFR) See here. 

CDC 0.1% annual Infection Fatality Rate (IFR) for 
Seasonal Flu

You can read the full CDC report here. You may also wish to reflect on why the media has been silent. 

When I supported temporary two week lockdown to ensure hospital capacity was preserved, it was based on the fact that we were facing a novel conronavirsus and that the official World Health Organization (WHO) Infection Fatality Rate (IFR) was at 3.4%.  The Centre for Evidence Based Medicine (CEMB, Oxford University), gives a global estimate of 0.1 - 0.41%, including all potential regional caveats. Again, a huge difference from the "lockdown" justification numbers. If we take the highest estimate of the CEMB, the WHO's estimate is STILL 8.3 times HIGHER. 

Further, the Models presented in early-late March continued to estimate the 3% plus figures. The two week temporary lockdown - so we were told based on these "official" numbers - to preserve hospital capacity (for the predicted massive overflow of patients), quickly morphed into an enforced quarantine on a healthy population (under the politically correct phrase, "social distancing"). 

John Ioannidis of Stanford who was skeptical of these apocalyptic predictions in mid-March (since proven correct) extrapolated much preliminary evidence by analyzing the data from the cruise ship, the Diamond Princess. What emerged amongst this mostly elderly population is six deaths amongst just over 700. The CDC officially gave the Diamond Princess an IFR rate of 0.63%. The WHO IFR predictions were nearly six times HIGHER.

Flattening the curve is theoretically valid, as well as practically valid, if the pathogen actually is killing very high numbers of people, e.g. IFR 2.0% +. Otherwise with an extended lockdown we see an actual spike in deaths due to deaths unrelated to SARS-CoV-2. We are in fact seeing this already and into the future. There are already multiple reports coming in of deaths due to lockdown and cancellation of surgery, treatment. Lockdown can actually do more damage than good. As we see the real IFR, the lockdown beyond early April is irrational, not based on the evidence. If we follow the evidence emerging over April and into May we can see that faculty data led to faulty decisions. We now know the Canadian healthcare system was never overwhelmed and never would have been. We should have reopened in early April. In retrospect (as Sweden is showing) we should have never closed. A bit more on that later.

The most important thing during any epidemic or alleged epidemic is to identify the IFR. We now have emerging evidence: Santa Clara County (population 1.9 million) out of a sample of 3,330 adults tested for SARS-CoV2 antibodies, the extrapolated infection for the County was (in early April) between 48,000-81,000 (50-85 MORE than those as confirmed cases). The IFR for Santa Clara is 0.12-0.2%. The WHO's IFR is 17-29 times HIGHER than what has emerged in Santa Clara County.

In LA County (population 7,9 million) out of a sample of 863 adults tested for SARS-CoV-2 antibodies, the extrapolated infection rate for the County was (in early April) between 280,000- 547,000 adults (35-68 MORE than those as confirmed cases). The IFR for LA County is 0.13-0.3%. The WHO's IFR is 13-26 HIGHER than what has emerged in LA County. These figures coming out in early April, were again confirmed by mid-April: still the lockdown continued.

It should also be noted that in NYC the IFR rate is estimated to being between 0.5 and 0.8%. That can be explained in three ways: very high-density population, a percentage of the population with respiratory/immune conditions due to to inhalation of residual effects of 9/11, and grave mismanagement, (in fact criminal) by Governor Cuomo whereby (e.g.) over 5,000 elderly have been identified as unnecessary deaths. As such, this figure is skewed but still indicative that IFR rates are drastically below the initial predictions that were used to justify a lockdown. The CDC 0.26% is well within estimates of both these two samples. 

In comparison the H3N2 Virus (so-called Hong Kong Flu) of 1968-70 killed (according to CDC figures) approximately 100,000 Americans (US population 200 million), and between 1-4 million worldwide. If we extrapolate the SARS-CoV-2 deaths we are being told (and the debate as to if they are all really from SARS-CoV2 is another story with multiple sources indicating the figures in the western nations are being artificially inflated) the US deaths for SAR-CoV-2 should be in excess of 170,000. The US economy was not shut down. Readers may be interested to remember that during the "Hong Kong Flu" of 1986-1969 two HUGE music festivals were held: Woodstock in 1969 (attendance 400,000), and The Isle of Wight Festival of 1970 (attendance 600,000 plus). Just think about that! 

Sweden. They were blessed by not being in a major air hub and as such had the ability to give that 2-week assessment to see if the Models and predictions were actually holding up against the emerging evidence. They were not. They also have a brilliant and gusty Chief Medical Officer who was able to withstand incredible international pressure to cave. He did not. He followed the evidence.

Sweden has minimal social distancing (suggested, not enforced), and the economy is open. The IFR is comparable to data from similar countries in population, urban density, health care system and demographics who have enforced strict lockdowns. There is no difference in death rates and infections between those in lockdown and those not. That is why the media is silent about Sweden. Sweden in vivo disproves the lockdown. In fact, there is a lo of scientific data that carte blanche lockdowns are actually counterproductive and can exacerbate infection. But that is another story. Read about it here

As to why this lockdown is going on (some are now claiming they want lockdowns into 2022) is a good question. I think there are two possibilities: the first being that politicians' primary concern are votes and it is very hard for a politician to admit error. Nonetheless, a politician can still extricate him or herself by stating the truth: Models and predictions were given them that were wrong. But there still are consequences, so they are motivated to go along. The second point is that this virus was seized upon by militant atheistic globalists at  the outset to advance an agenda; every passing day proves this. 

We have gone from a 2, 3-week lockdown to now three months and counting all based on a hugely inaccurate IFR. We have people dying because they have been denied medical treatment over the past two months, we have decimated economies, crushing debt, massive unemployment, suicides, substance abuse etc. We have to start asking “QUI BONO”? 

The Toronto Oratory: SOLEMN HIGH MASS will be LIVE-STREAMED TODAY at 5 P.M.

The Toronto Oratory, on the Feast of St. Philip Neri, will be live-streaming a Solemn High Mass at 5 p.m. EST on their Youtube channel. 
"If a man finds it very hard to forgive injuries, let him look at a crucifix, and think that Christ has shed all His Blood for him, and not only forgave his enemies, but prayed the Eternal Father to forgive them also". St. Philip Neri 
You may also view the Mass here, as I have embedded the live-stream.

Friday 22 May 2020

"EBOLA-ITIS" ~ the mania of those who still defend the lockdown for Covid-19

Christ-haters infected with "ebola-itis" burnt down a church in Mississippi

We are NOT facing an Ebola-like pandemic

By early April the projected Models of SARS CoV2 (novel coronavirus/COVID 19) death were not being fulfilled, but seriously off their mark. A Model will project numbers based on the data fed into it. Faulty data equals a faulty Model. By early April, as the data was coming in, I had written that the time had come to reopen society. 

COVID-19 is a dangerous upper respiratory infection (for those with pre-existing comorbidities) on a par of lethality with Influenza. And yes, there were a number of hotspots, where local lockdowns were justified. We also did not know just what this disease was, and (so we were told it could have a two week asymptomatic incubation period. Common sense people agreed that a two week lockdown had a logical justification.  But that was nearly three months ago.

After three months the death rate is approximately 0.1%. That is on the level of seasonal Influenza. How many are aware, e.g. that this year alone in the United States 23,000 people have died of Influenza? Was the economy shut down, people ordered to "stay home" (the worst medical advice by the way for boosting your immune system, but I digress). 

Contrary to what (e.g., as I live in the Archdiocese of Toronto) Cardinal Collins claimed in his latest Letter (no doubt based on the information he has been given), it is NOT "an extreme medical emergency ...rampaging through the community...". Nor is the ongoing lockdown for the "common good...based upon well-founded medical principles regarding the best way to combat pestilence". Our Ontario hospital emergencies are at less than 50% capacity. There are emergency physicians who are actually seeing NOT ONE patient during the course of an entire shift. Hospital staff (including emergency staff) have been talking amongst themselves how the the reality is completely different from the "fake news". Which brings me to my final point. 

Amongst the many scandals, perhaps the worst is the silence and even ongoing collaboration and encouragement by "conservative" Catholics and protestants with the lockdown. In fairness we can say that most were terrorized by the well-organized and oiled propaganda machine of the globalists. The very people who have nosily denounced "fake news" had themselves fallen into the trap. And it was very skillful: play on fear, play on emotions. God has a way of humbling the proud. 

However, we are three LONG months down the road of this enforced "house arrest". As Fr. Brad Sweet of the Canadian Armed Forces has noted:
"Stores opening. But no churches/parishes. No announcements from bishops, no plans. But also no protest from the people. The secular society has won here". 

So sad but true. This is the result of a fake "church", a country-club "church", a "church" of lace, incense. A "church" of worldliness and pet political ideologies. A "church" of man. A "church" of little faith, terrified at the possibility of being infected with a virus, but not terrified at the loss of liberty....

As to the actual number of COVID-19 deaths, watch the following. 

Fr. Sweet strongly suggests Catholics contact their Bishop requesting a plan, action on the reopening of our churches. If you wish to do so, please be respectful. Make a petition, but do NOT tell the Cardinal what to do. It does not work that way. Keep him in your prayers. 

Catholics of the Archdiocese of Toronto can contact 
His Eminence, Thomas Cardinal Collins at: 

​Office of the Cardinal

1155 Yonge Street
M4T 1W2

t:416-934-0606, ext. 609

Sunday 17 May 2020

Fifth Sunday after Easter

Yet four days, and our risen Jesus, whose company has been so dear and precious to us, will have disappeared from the earth. This fifth Sunday after Easter seems to prepare us for the separation. In a week’s time, we shall begin the long series of Sundays which are to pass before He returns to judge the world. This is a grief to the Christian; for he knows that he will not see his Saviour until after this life, and he feels something of the sorrow the apostles had at the last Supper, when Jesus said to them: ‘Yet a little while, and ye shall not see Me.’[1]
But, after His Resurrection, what must these privileged men have felt, when they perceived, as we do, that this beloved Master was soon to leave them! They had, so to speak, been living with Jesus glorified; they had experienced the effects of His divine condescension and intimacy; they had received from His lips every instruction they needed for the fulfilment of His will, that is, for founding on earth the Church He had chosen as His spouse. These happy forty days are fast drawing to a close. The apostles will then be deprived of Jesus’ visible presence, even to the end of their lives.

We, too, shall feel something of their sadness, if we have kept ourselves united to our holy mother the Church. From the very first day, when she recommenced, for our sakes, the ecclesiastical year, during which all the mysteries of our redemption, from the birth of our Emmanuel even to His triumphant Ascension into heaven, were to be celebrated,—have not we also been living in company with her Jesus, our Redeemer? And now that He is about to close the sweet intercourse which these seasons and feasts have kept up between Himself and us, are not our feelings very much like those of the apostles?

But there is one creature on earth, whom Jesus is leaving, and whose feelings at the approaching separation we cannot attempt to describe. Never had there been a heart so submissive to the will of her Creator; but, at the same time, there never was any creature so severely tried as she had been. Jesus would have His Mother’s love still increase; He therefore subjects her to the separation from Himself. Moreover, He wishes her to co-operate in the formation of the Church, for He has decreed that the great work shall not be achieved without her. In all this, Jesus shows how tenderly He loves His blessed Mother: He wishes her merit to be so great, that He may justly give her the brightest possible crown, when the day of her own ascension into heaven comes.

The heart of this incomparable Queen is not, indeed, to be again transfixed with a sword of sorrow: it is to be consumed by a love so intense that no language could describe it. Under the sweet, yet wearing, fire of this love, Mary is at length to give way, just as fruit falls from the tree, when its ripeness is complete, and the tree has nothing more to give it. But, during these last hours of Jesus’ presence, what must such a Mother have felt, who has had but forty days to enjoy the sight and the caresses of her glorified and divine Son? It is Mary’s last trial; and when her Jesus tells her of His wish that she should remain in exile, she is ready with her favourite answer: 'Behold the handmaid of the Lord! Be it done to me according to Thy word!’ Her whole life has been spent in doing God’s will; it was this that made her so great in His eyes, and so dear to His Heart. A holy servant of God, who lived in the seventeenth century, and was favoured with the most sublime revelations, tells us that it was left to Mary’s choice, either to accompany her divine Son to heaven, or to remain some years longer upon the earth to assist the infant Church; and that she chose to defer her entrance into eternal bliss, in order to labour, as long as it was God’s good pleasure, in the great work which was so closely connected with the glory of her Son, and so essential to the salvation of us her adopted children.

If this generous devotedness raised the co-operatrix of our salvation to the highest degree of sanctity, by giving completeness to her mission on earth, we may be sure that Jesus’ love for His Mother was increased by the new proof she thus gave Him of her uniformity with every wish of His sacred Heart. He repaid her, as He well knew how to do, for this heroic self-sacrifice, this prompt submission to His designs which destined her to be, here on earth, as the Church calls her, 'Queen of the apostles,’ and a sharer in their labours.

During these His last few hours on earth, our Lord’s affection for His apostles and disciples seemed to be redoubled. For several of them, the separation was to be a long one. The beloved disciple, John, was not to enjoy the company of his divine Master till more than fifty years had elapsed. It was to be thirty before the cross would carry Peter to Him who had entrusted to his keeping the keys of the kingdom of heaven. Magdalene, the fervent Magdalene, would have to wait the same length of time. But no one murmured at the divine appointment: they all felt how just it was, that Jesus, now that He had so fully established the faith of His Resurrection, should enter into His glory.[2]

On the very day of His Resurrection, our Saviour bade the disciples go into Galilee, for that there He would meet them. As we have already seen, they obeyed the order, and seven among them were favoured by Jesus’ appearing to them on the banks of Lake Genesareth: it is the eighth of the manifestations mentioned in the Gospel. The ninth also took place in Galilee. Our Lord loved Galilee: it gave Him the greater number of His disciples, it was Mary and Joseph’s country, and it was there that He Himself passed so many years of His hidden life. Its people were simpler and better than those of Judea; and this was another attraction. St. Matthew tells us, that the most public of all Jesus’ manifestations, after His Resurrection,—the tenth in reality, and the ninth mentioned by the evangelists,—took place on a hill in this same district.[3]

According to St. Bonaventure, and the learned and pious Denis the Carthusian, this hill was Mount Thabor, the same that was honoured by the mystery of the transfiguration. Upwards of five hundred of Jesus’ disciples were assembled there, as we learn from St. Paul:[4] they were mostly inhabitants of Galilee, had believed in our Lord during His three years of public life, and merited to be witnesses of this new triumph of the Nazarene. Jesus showed Himself to them, and gave them such certitude with regard to His resurrection, that the apostle appeals to their testimony in support of this fundamental mystery of our faith.

Further than this, we know of no other manifestations made by our Saviour after His resurrection. We know that He gave order to His disciples to repair to Jerusalem, where they were to see Him once more before His Ascension. Let us, during these few days, follow the disciples to Jerusalem. Faithless city! how often has Jesus sought to gather together her children, as the hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and she would not![5] He is about to re-enter her walls; but she is not to know it. He will not shew Himself to her, but only to those that love Him; and after this He will depart in silence, never to return until He comes to judge them that have not known the time of their visitation.

In the Greek Church, the fifth Sunday after Easter is called the Sunday of the man born blind, because her Gospel for the day contains the history of that miracle of our divine Lord. She also calls it Episozomene, which is one of the names given by the Greeks to the mystery of the Ascension, the feast of which is kept with them, as with us, during the course of this week.

- From Dom Prosper Gueranger's commentary on the Fifth Sunday after Easter in The Liturgical Year.

Friday 15 May 2020

CHURCH OF THE HIGHER COMMITTEE OF HUMAN FRATERNITY: they do not want the "Corona" of Christ so they are poisoned with the Masonic Virus

Though there was a lot of raging when Pachamama made her appearance in the Vatican Gardens and Roman churches a few months ago, she did not appear by accident. No, Pachamama has been lurking around the Catholic Church for decades in various forms. Indeed, she was already tempting, so to speak, churchmen well before the Second Vatican Council. 

One could say that Pachamama has been making illicit visits into the hearts of churchmen for a good two hundred years. In fact Pachamama, and earlier papal "encounters" with "world religions" would have been unthinkable without Assisi, 1986. But Assisi is still a mystery unless we go back to "Nostra Aetate" of Vatican II. What was originally to only be an outreach to the Schismatic Orthodox who had valid sacraments and episcopacy, was quickly seized upon by Christ's enemies in the Catholic hierarchy to open it up without distinction to heretics, and even those who rejected Christ's Divinity. Gone was any missionary spirit. Why? Because they had lost the Faith. To paraphrase Goethe: "from Nosta Aetate through Assisi to Pachamama". 

"Nosta Aetate" had been preceded with decades of "compromise Catholicism", culminating in "fiftiesism". Bishop Fulton Sheen exposed some of this when he already lamented in back in 1951 that morals and marriage were in a great crisis. We regard the 1950s as a "golden age"; but they were anything but. They were decadent. By the end of that sad decade, "Bing Crosby" Catholicism was overwhelmingly popular: "you have your religion, I have mine, if Jesus Christ is God or not God it is not important enough to have a disagreement. Lets all go down to the golf club". 

However there is huge problem. Jesus Christ is God. This is an objective TRUTH. It is also the ONLY TRUTH, from which all other truths flow. "Thou art the Christ the Son of the Living God" (Matthew 16:16). Nothing else matters. From this great act of faith, Our Lord conferred on Peter the Papal Primacy. 

Very few religions accept that Jesus Christ is God except Catholics, Eastern Schismatics, and some Protestants. The other so-called "world religions" have opinions on Our Lord Jesus Christ ranging from "prophet" through "teacher" and "brother", to that of "heretic" and "blasphemer". These false "religions", to the degree they reject Our Lord Jesus Christ's Divinity, are particularly active agents of revolution (and Satan is the father of revolution) and subversion against the Divine Plan for Order which is to bring all men into supernatural union in the Catholic Church (Galatians 3:28). There are very serious consequences for rejecting Our Lord: "He is who is not with me, is against me" (Matthew 12:13; Luke 11:23).

False "religions" are objectively evil because they are not supernatural infusions of the Holy Spirit. You would never know that if you read "Nostra Aetate", but you would if you read the Gospels. However modern man, poisoned by liberalism believes to the contrary: "you have your religion, I have mine. It doesn't really matter if Jesus Christ is or is not God, we are all on the same road to Heaven". This is modern "Catholic" thinking. Is it not?

The poor savage in the jungle and his totemistic beliefs, though in darkness, cannot be compared to the monstrous evil of false "world religions" that knowingly reject Jesus Christ. There is a vast moral and spiritual difference between ignorance and rejection. The churchmen's sick, macabre dance with the leaders of these false antichrist "religions", is perhaps the main cause of God's wrath, and His cutting off of these churchmen from Divine Grace, not because it is not there, but because they refuse it. 

My own Archdiocese of Toronto (not surprisingly) is actively promoting and encouraging participation in a "worship service" with false "religions" that reject Jesus Christ came in the Flesh, and to join the Pope in a "prayer service" under the new universalist, gnostic "Church of the Higher Committee for Human Fraternity". 

The Pope informs us that we are all "brothers and sisters", we are being "called", and "prayer belongs to everyone...of every religion...and probably to those who profess no religion". In contradiction to this the same Pope also writes: "Mother of the Lord, Virgin Mary, Queen of the Rosary, shows us the power of your protective mantle..."remain in me and I in you (Jn 15:4)..."I am the vine, you are the branches" (Jn 15:15). This is what happens when a Catholic churchman succumbs to the madness of liberalism: his mind turns to mush. They are for, and yet against everything. And at the same time. Two and two make four, but also five, and twenty-six. Not Catholic, then Catholic. Yes, No. No, yes. Philosophically, these men are insane. Their liberalism has driven them mad. They are out of their Catholic minds.

In rejecting God's Grace, these same deluded men who sit on the "chair of Moses", perversely copulate with false "religions" achieving demonic "union" with Satan. St John warned us: "he who denies Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is of antichrist". Notice his word: "denies". St. John is telling us that those who deny Jesus Christ's Divinity, whether they are aware or not, still are of the spirit of antichrist. Objectively no man is good as God wants him to be if he rejects Jesus Christ's Divinity. Subjectively some of these men in the false "religions" may be invincibly ignorant and may perhaps achieve salvation, but only because of God's ability to read hearts and know that if they knew Christ was God they would have responded accordingly. But if He is saving those in spite of their adherence to a false "religion" (NOT because of) the Gospels are silent on this: to the contrary (John 3:5). Hence the absolute necessity to preach Christ Jesus to all of Creation. 

The crimes of churchmen over the past decades of cavorting, pandering, misleading, lying to, and engaging in false "worship" with these non-believers is a sin that cries to Heaven for vengeance. I believe it simplistic  to hold that God, after decades of their blasphemy, suddenly allowed the advance of the Globalists and Communists under the auspices of the politicized coronavirus because of Pachamama. It turns God into  a silly old sugar daddy that can be turned on and off for each pet peeve. No, blasphemy is blasphemy. If God were going to punish crimes of false worship He would surely have done so already for the far more guilty and dangerous "world religions" and accordingly, the far greater blasphemies. Guilty because they know of the claims of Christ, dangerous because they have influence to actively oppose the Gospels, and the Divine Plan for Order. More blasphemous as they knowingly reject Christ's Divinity. Otherwise we turn the Holy Spirit into a liar in contradicting Sacred Scriptures. Catholics must once again regain the courage to proclaim as diabolical deception the "world religions" (Luke 10:16; John 3:3-5; Acts 4:12; Romans 1:18). These false "religions" are leading souls to Hell, and they are being encouraged to do so by the very men who should be declaring from the rooftops that Jesus Christ is the ONLY Way to salvation (John 14:6). 

Opposition to these false "world religions" requires courage, as it will entail  personal and social consequences. It certainly required courage in ancient Jerusalem, Rome, in Elizabethan England and Wales, in Calvinist Scotland, in Imperial Japan, in New France, in South America, in 19th century America and so on. In our time the Orthodox and Catholics of Russia and China can teach us something about persecution. It is not by chance that the vast majority of bishops joining Archbishop Vigano in opposing the push for masonic global tyranny are from the former Soviet Union. Our bishops, you will notice are silent. These lukewarm bishops Jesus Christ vomits out of His mouth (Rev 3:15-16). 

I am of the opinion that it is massive sin, rebellion, amongst not just evil, wicked and perverse churchmen, but amongst the vast majority of us. Most of us could make a nice long list of grave sins: sins have consequences. We have allowed ourselves to be seduced into a compromise "Catholicism" poisoned through the virus of liberalism. What Catholics believed 200 years ago, even 100 years ago, is no longer believed by the vast majority of Catholics of today because it is demanding and uncompromising. But God is a jealous God: it is all or nothing (Exodus 34:14). Contrast our timidity and go along to get along Catholicism to that of the Japanese Catholics who were able to keep the Faith through 300 years of isolation and murderous persecution. They had the Faith, we just have the bricks and mortar. 

Once again: we need a reminder. St. John wrote: "he who denies Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is of antichrist". (1 John 4:3)

NO EXCEPTIONS. NONE. NOT ONE. Otherwise you turn the Holy Spirit into a liar and deceiver. 

Do we need St. Peter's witness?: "there is NO name under Heaven by which we are saved, but that of Christ Jesus". (Acts 4:12)


Now we have coronavirus, because we did not want "Corona"  - the Crown of Jesus. So Our Lord has allowed this "virus", and perhaps far more sinisterly,  its global sociological and political effects to be spread and manipulated by evil men who seek world domination and the destruction of the Catholic Church and true worship of God, especially through the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. As Archbishop Lenga (one of the cosignatories against this globalist putsch) has said it is now a "Masonic Virus". 

Let us get on our knees and say Three Hail Marys for the Pope and Three Hail Marys for the rest of the poor souls in the world seeking both his, theirs and our reconversion (conversion). 

Monday 11 May 2020

Prelates warn of Tyrannical Technocratic World Government behind the political manipulation of COVID-19

to Catholics and all people of good will

Veritas liberabit vos.
Jn 8:32

In this time of great crisis, we Pastors of the Catholic Church, by virtue of our mandate, consider it our sacred duty to make an Appeal to our Brothers in the Episcopate, to the Clergy, to Religious, to the holy People of God and to all men and women of good will. This Appeal has also been undersigned by intellectuals, doctors, lawyers, journalists and professionals who agree with its content, and may be undersigned by those who wish to make it their own.

The facts have shown that, under the pretext of the Covid-19 epidemic, the inalienable rights of citizens have in many cases been violated and their fundamental freedoms, including the exercise of freedom of worship, expression and movement, have been disproportionately and unjustifiably restricted. Public health must not, and cannot, become an alibi for infringing on the rights of millions of people around the world, let alone for depriving the civil authority of its duty to act wisely for the common good. This is particularly true as growing doubts emerge from several quarters about the actual contagiousness, danger and resistance of the virus. Many authoritative voices in the world of science and medicine confirm that the media’s alarmism about Covid-19 appears to be absolutely unjustified.

We have reason to believe, on the basis of official data on the incidence of the epidemic as related to the number of deaths, that there are powers interested in creating panic among the world’s population with the sole aim of permanently imposing unacceptable forms of restriction on freedoms, of controlling people and of tracking their movements. The imposition of these illiberal measures is a disturbing prelude to the realization of a world government beyond all control.

We also believe that in some situations the containment measures that were adopted, including the closure of shops and businesses, have precipitated a crisis that has brought down entire sectors of the economy. This encourages interference by foreign powers and has serious social and political repercussions. Those with governmental responsibility must stop these forms of social engineering, by taking measures to protect their citizens whom they represent, and in whose interests they have a serious obligation to act. Likewise, let them help the family, the cell of society, by not unreasonably penalizing the weak and elderly, forcing them into a painful separation from their loved ones. The criminalization of personal and social relationships must likewise be judged as an unacceptable part of the plan of those who advocate isolating individuals in order to better manipulate and control them.

We ask the scientific community to be vigilant, so that cures for Covid-19 are offered in honesty for the common good. Every effort must be made to ensure that shady business interests do not influence the choices made by government leaders and international bodies. It is unreasonable to penalize those remedies that have proved to be effective, and are often inexpensive, just because one wishes to give priority to treatments or vaccines that are not as good, but which guarantee pharmaceutical companies far greater profits, and exacerbate public health expenditures. Let us also remember, as Pastors, that for Catholics it is morally unacceptable to develop or use vaccines derived from material from aborted fetuses.

We also ask government leaders to ensure that forms of control over people, whether through tracking systems or any other form of location-finding, are rigorously avoided. The fight against Covid-19, however serious, must not be the pretext for supporting the hidden intentions of supranational bodies that have very strong commercial and political interests in this plan. In particular, citizens must be given the opportunity to refuse these restrictions on personal freedom, without any penalty whatsoever being imposed on those who do not wish to use vaccines, contact tracking or any other similar tool. Let us also consider the blatant contradiction of those who pursue policies of drastic population control and at the same time present themselves as the savior of humanity, without any political or social legitimacy. Finally, the political responsibility of those who represent the people can in no way be left to “experts” who can indeed claim a kind of immunity from prosecution, which is disturbing to say the least.

We strongly urge those in the media to commit themselves to providing accurate information and not penalizing dissent by resorting to forms of censorship, as is happening widely on social media, in the press and on television. Providing accurate information requires that room be given to voices that are not aligned with a single way of thinking. This allows citizens to consciously assess the facts, without being heavily influenced by partisan interventions. A democratic and honest debate is the best antidote to the risk of imposing subtle forms of dictatorship, presumably worse than those our society has seen rise and fall in the recent past.

Finally, as Pastors responsible for the flock of Christ, let us remember that the Church firmly asserts her autonomy to govern, worship, and teach. This autonomy and freedom are an innate right that Our Lord Jesus Christ has given her for the pursuit of her proper ends. For this reason, as Pastors we firmly assert the right to decide autonomously on the celebration of Mass and the Sacraments, just as we claim absolute autonomy in matters falling within our immediate jurisdiction, such as liturgical norms and ways of administering Communion and the Sacraments. The State has no right to interfere, for any reason whatsoever, in the sovereignty of the Church. Ecclesiastical authorities have never refused to collaborate with the State, but such collaboration does not authorize civil authorities to impose any sort of ban or restriction on public worship or the exercise of priestly ministry. The rights of God and of the faithful are the supreme law of the Church, which she neither intends to, nor can, abdicate. We ask that restrictions on the celebration of public ceremonies be removed.

We should like to invite all people of good will not to shirk their duty to cooperate for the common good, each according to his or her own state and possibilities and in a spirit of fraternal charity. The Church desires such cooperation, but this cannot disregard either a respect for natural law or a guarantee of individual freedoms. The civil duties to which citizens are bound imply the State’s recognition of their rights.

We are all called to assess the current situation in a way consistent with the teaching of the Gospel. This means taking a stand: either with Christ or against Christ. Let us not be intimidated or frightened by those who would have us believe that we are a minority: Good is much more widespread and powerful than the world would have us believe. We are fighting against an invisible enemy that seeks to divide citizens, to separate children from their parents, grandchildren from their grandparents, the faithful from their pastors, students from teachers, and customers from vendors. Let us not allow centuries of Christian civilization to be erased under the pretext of a virus, and an odious technological tyranny to be established, in which nameless and faceless people can decide the fate of the world by confining us to a virtual reality. If this is the plan to which the powers of this earth intend to make us yield, know that Jesus Christ, King and Lord of History, has promised that “the gates of Hell shall not prevail” (Mt 16:18).

Let us entrust government leaders and all those who rule over the fate of nations to Almighty God, that He may enlighten and guide them in this time of great crisis. May they remember that, just as the Lord will judge us Pastors for the flock which he has entrusted to us, so will He also judge government leaders for the peoples whom they have the duty to defend and govern.

With faith, let us beseech the Lord to protect the Church and the world. May the Blessed Virgin, Help of Christians, crush the head of the ancient Serpent and defeat the plans of the children of darkness.

8 May 2020
Our Lady of the Rosary of Pompeii

Mgr. Carlo Maria Viganò, Archbishop, Apostolic Nuncio (promoter)
Cdl Joseph Zen Ze-kiun, Bishop emeritus of Hong Kong
Cdl Janis Pujats, Archbishop emeritus of Riga
Cdl Gerhard Ludwig Mueller, Prefect emeritus of Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith
Mgr Luigi Negri, Archbishop emeritus of Ferrara-Comacchio
Mgr Joseph Strickland, Bishop of Tyler, Texas
Mgr Thomas Peta, Metropolitan Archbishop of Astana
Mgr Athanasius Schneider, Auxiliary Bishop of Astana
Mgr Jan Pawel Lenga, Archbishop emeritus of Karaganda
Mgr Rene Henry Gracida, Bishop emeritus of Corpus Christi
Mgr Andreas Laun, Auxiliary Bishop of Salzburg
Mgr Robert Muetsaerts, Auxiliary Bishop of Den Bosch