The Pope and Coronavirus: Sure Brings Out the Absurd! By Peter West
Italy is in lockdown, but the Pope is urging priests to physically go out and comfort those infected by coronavirus … question mark whether this involves hugs along with praying?
“Pope Francis urged Catholic priests on Tuesday to "have the courage" to go out and help those sickened by the novel coronavirus, hours after Italy was placed on a nationwide lockdown. "Let us pray to the Lord also for our priests, that they may have the courage to go out and visit the sick... and to accompany the medical staff and volunteers in the work they do," the pontiff said during a mass in Vatican City. St Peter's Square in the Vatican -- in the centre of the Italian capital Rome -- was almost empty on Tuesday with only a few dozen people walking around, most of them without masks. The Italian government has asked for people not to travel if they can avoid it and to avoid contact with the sick. Officials passed a decree late Monday extending nationwide restrictive measures that had been put in place at the weekend in the hardest-hit northern regions. The restrictions -- including checkpoints on roads and in railway stations -- are set to remain until April 3. Italy is the epicentre of the European virus outbreak with more than 9,000 cases and 463 deaths so far. Globally, more than 110,000 cases have been recorded in over 100 countries, although health experts are hopeful that the virus has peaked in China, where it originated late last year.”
“Travel across Italy is only allowed for 'urgent, verifiable work situations and emergencies or health reasons', according to a decree signed by Italian prime minister Giuseppe Conte last night. 'Necessities' such as grocery shopping are allowed but it is unclear whether a clerical visit would belong to that category. People who want to travel will need to fill in a document explaining their reasons for doing so and carry it with them. If they are found to have lied they face fines or jail terms, but the restrictions will generally work on an honour system. Public transport will remain operational, but Conte says he wants as many people as possible to stay at home.”
It sounds warm and fuzzy, to comfort the sick and infected, but really, this can only be done safely using a chemical suits and special masks. So how comforting would it be to have a priest praying for you dressed in something out of a zombie apocalypse movie? The alternative is that the priest just goes by prayer alone, and hopes to be protected, which could happen no doubt, but I would not want to be the one doing it … yes, me Peter, of so little faith, or is it like the man who drowned in a flood, testing God?
Oh, will the Pope please be on the frontlines of this personal contact with the infected? What would he say if there was a real zombie-style apocalypse, say in an end-of-days scenario? Globalism means embrace everyone even if it means your own death!