Corona Virus Lock Down - A Bishop's Response
As Northern Italy goes into a state of lock-down over Corona Virus Catholics are left with something of a dilemma. The local "ordinanze" (decrees) include the prohibition of "religious" gatherings, and getting ahead of the public authorities, several dioceses in the region have suspended religious activities.
Obviously this is a sensible & reasonable precaution against further spreading the virus, but one bishop has given an exemplary response as Rorate Caeli reports.
The Bishop of Pavia, in Lombardy, Corrado Sanguineti, shows that is possible. His pastoral letter on the matter is a lesson in common sense, and in particular I would draw your attention to this paragraph:
While unfortunately having to suspend the celebration of the Holy Masses until further notice, I order that Churches remain open, for the personal prayer of the faithful, and I ask that, even on weekdays, priests celebrate daily Mass, behind closed doors, praying in the name of the whole community, signaling with the sound of the bells that the Eucharist is being offered for the living and the dead: even if we cannot celebrate publicly, the liturgical prayer must not fail, which for us priests is a daily appointment of life and is an inexhaustible source of grace for all the people of God. Priests must keep in touch with the faithful, and must not fail to continue their presence among the sick and the elderly in homes and welcoming structures.