On Friday, I was given a chance to avail myself of the Sacrament of Confession in the driveway of my home. After the priest had heard my Confession, he and I spent some time discussing some topics of interest. One of them was the shuttering of public Masses by the Cardinal. I confided to Father that while I did not miss the Eucharist - not having had It for many months, I had offered it up as a privation - I missed going to Mass for the sake of going to Mass. Like many good Catholics, Sunday Mass is the highlight of my week. It is what keeps me going until the next week - the older I get, the more I need to rest in Christ's arms. Seeing the Mass shuttered twice in the space of less than a year has been saddening and upsetting for this writer.
In any case, Father also confirmed my sentiments that these new measures - by both the Ford government and the Cardinal - are unnecessary and extreme. We both agreed that it is wrong, and even called into question some of the hysteria around the coronavirus. However, one of the more interesting points Father and I discussed was how to respond to all of this. Father is aware that I write under this pseudonym, and he is also aware I struggle with finding a balance between speaking out and remaining silent. He and I came to the conclusion that there is little I can add to the conversation which hasn't already been said, and it would do little good for me to be angry.
However, this was before the Archdiocese decided to close down York Region's public Masses as of 12 o'clock midnight this morning. Pursuant to this development, I received an email which called the members of the Archdiocese's highest echelons to account. Upon reading this email, I was moved to ask myself that if the Cardinal is regarded as pious, devout, and a firm defender of the Catholic faith, why has he closed down the celebration of public Mass a second time in the space of a year? It is a difficult circle for me to square.
I do not doubt I am not the only Catholic in the Archdiocese asking themselves this same question. What I am told the Cardinal is does not match up with the facts. Sure, pious and devout men can temporarily suspend the Mass without significant damage to their reputation. After all, suspending public Mass was a measure undertaken with necessity during the 1918 Spanish Flu pandemic - a pandemic, we can be sure, was much more serious than the one today. Ours is not so serious, as Barona and others have demonstrated, so why are we suspending the Mass once again? Something is not right here.
Therefore, it is with great sadness that I formally join the crusade calling for the Cardinal to restore public Mass for the City of Toronto, the Region of Peel, and the York Region. I do it with sadness because I should not have been placed in this position to call on the Cardinal to do his duty. He should know what to do - safeguard the rights of God - without being told to do so. But it has fallen to the likes of little people such as myself, Barona, Vox Cantoris, and Everyday for Life Canada to remind the Cardinal of his duty. As Blessed Pope Pius IX once said in response to the social movements of his day, "The world has heard enough of the so-called 'rights of man.' Let it hear something of the rights of God."
I respectfully ask Cardinal Collins to uphold the rights of God, one of which is that He is worshipped in the manner most pleasing to Him - the Mass - and restore its public availability for the greater good.
As for the question of the Cardinal's piety and fidelity to God in light of his closing of public Mass twice in one year? I leave that to more able men.
The proof, after all, is in the pudding.