The Banning Of The Sacraments

In an incredible development, the new Archbishop of Dublin, Archbishop Dermot Farrell, has all but forbidden Catholics in his diocese to worship almighty God. There is to be no Holy Communion; no Eucharistic Adoration; no baptisms unless there is a danger of death; no coming together for the Rosary or Stations of the Cross. All of this comes about just as Professor Oran Doyle of the Trinity College Law Department has published an article which clearly shows that religious services were never prohibited under Covid-19 legislation because they are not even mentioned in the legislation. Let us pray for our bishops that they will once again allow the faithful to attend the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass regardless of any government opposition.

Ave Maria, gratia plena, Dominus tecum. Benedicta tu in mulieribus, et benedictus fructus ventris tui, Iesus. Sancta Maria, Mater Dei, ora pro nobis peccatoribus, nunc et in hora mortis nostrae. Amen.

I will be dealing with this issue more comprehensibly in the March – April edition of our “Christ is King” bi-monthly newsletter, which has already gone to the printers and, please God, it will be posted out during the last week of March. This newsletter is one of our primary sources of funding for The Lumen Fidei Institute and contains our Easter Fundraising Appeal.

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There was an interesting article on LifeSiteNews recently by a priest which was titled “A priest reflects on the morality of abortion-tainted COVID-19 vaccines”.

It is interesting to note that, for Catholics to morally accept abortion tainted vaccines, there must be no alternatives available. The impression given by some Catholic sources is, that there must be no morally acceptable ‘vaccines’ available, but this is not correct. There are ways of treating Corona viruses other than by vaccination, it is a lie to suggest otherwise. Some of these treatments are morally acceptable, therefore, Catholics cannot morally take abortion tainted vaccines because there are ethical alternatives to the vaccines available.

In the LifeSiteNews article the priest puts it this way.

“However, what needs to be clarified is that the moral principle invoked here applies not only to vaccines, but to any therapeutic intervention that would neutralize the COVID-19 health threat in question. To put it more simply, when a safe and effective health intervention that is not tainted by abortion is available to neutralize the health threat, it is sinful to use an abortion-tainted health intervention for the health threat.”

The Irish bishops are giving morally unsound advice to Irish Catholics when they say that they can morally accept any of the abortion tainted vaccines that are currently available in Ireland.

I am sad to say that I have been contacted by several elderly supporters who are coming under tremendous stress from family and from doctors who are pressuring them to take the abortion tainted vaccines even though it goes against their conscience to do so. Such pressure is opposed to the principle that there must be free consent before a vaccine can be administered. Our elderly Catholic citizens, who have a moral objection to taking the abortion tainted vaccines, need our support in order to help them to stand firm against this immoral pressure that is coming at them from many sources including from misleading government propaganda.

It is dreadful to see our Irish bishops advising people to go to the abortion promoting HSE for advice on vaccines. In their support for the vaccination programme, the Irish bishops tell us that:

“Trustworthy and updated information on vaccines is available” from the Irish Health Services Executive (HSE).

This is the same organisation that tells a pregnant woman that she can kill her unborn child. The same organisation that will facilitate the woman and procure the poisons she needs to kill the child, and the same organisation that tells the woman that she can flush the remains of her dead child, who was created in the image and likeness of God, down the toilet.

Our bishops now tell us that this organisation can be trusted!!!

Our Lord tells us something different.

“By their fruits you shall know them. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? Even so every good tree brings forth good fruit, and the evil tree brings forth evil fruit. A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can an evil tree bring forth good fruit. Every tree that brings not forth good fruit, shall be cut down, and shall be cast into the fire. Wherefore by their fruits you shall know them.” (Matthew 7:16-20)

One of the fruits of the work of the HSE is murdered babies — almost 7,000 of them in 2019 alone and I would not be surprised to find that this number has increased during the year 2020.

No good can come from an organisation that promotes the murder of innocent children.

No good can come from an organisation that will carry out the murder of our vulnerable elderly when the ‘Death with Dignity’ Bill passes into law.

Yet our Irish bishops recommend that we go to this corrupt organisation and trust them to tell us the truth about vaccines.

The HSE lies to men and women about abortion and through their ‘Think Contraception’ campaign, they promote immoral sexual activity amongst young people. But when it comes to vaccines, the Irish bishops somehow believe that the HSE can be trusted.

With this mistaken attitude, it is no wonder that the majority of the young people who were educated in Catholic schools in Ireland, are in favour of abortion. They believe that it is OK to kill a certain class of Irish person if their little existence would inconvenience the mother.
But difficult as these times are, and regardless of how dark they will become, we, as Catholics, must maintain our commitment to our Catholic faith and we must be resolute in preparing ourselves for the persecution which is undoubtedly coming.

In St John’s Gospel, which is the heading for this article, St John describes Jesus Christ as the light coming into the world which could not be overcome by the darkness of the evil one.

One of my favourite liturgical ceremonies is the Easter Vigil. I loved when this used to take place at midnight on account of the darkness. The smell and the crackling of new paschal fire gave a sense of anticipation for what was to come.

Inside, the church was in complete darkness and a hush descended. Amidst some murmuring sounds from outside the faint glow of a candle would suddenly enter the church and the deacon would sing out, “Lumen Christi”. To which the congregation responded, “Deo Gratias”.

On reaching the centre of the Church the deacon sang out again in a higher tone, “Lumen Christi”, and again the congregation responded, “Deo Gratias”.

For a third time on reaching the sanctuary the deacon would sing, “Lumen Christi”, with the response from the congregation “Deo Gratias”.

Now, a tendency I have noticed in the modern liturgy, seems to be to try to get things done as fast as possible.

This is most noticeable in the way that Holy Communion is distributed in the Novus Ordo Mass, often times with great irreverence shown towards Jesus Christ in this most sublime sacrament. Another example is that, when lighting the candles of the congregation at the Easter Vigil, then send ten or twelve altar servers down the aisles to light the candles.

In my memory, only the candles of those in the first row on either side of the aisle were lit by the servers and then the flame was passed from pew to pew. If you were situated towards the back of the Church you would slowly see the ‘light of Christ’ begin to dispel the darkness of the Church and I was often amazed and just how much light was generated when everyone’s candle was lit. There is also a quality to candle light that cannot be replicated by electric light.

In these times of modern electronic gadgets, where people spend so much time looking at images on electronic screens of different sizes, we seem to have lost out on the simple yet powerful symbolism contained in our rich traditional Liturgy. For many, these simple things have lost most of their meaning. Many miss the symbolism because they have become hooked on the virtual realities of their electronic devices.

The thought struck me, while I was reflecting on writing this article, that the symbolism of the light being passed from one to another during the Easter vigil, is a strong reflection of how the Catholic Faith should be passed from family member to family member and from one family to another family especially during these darkening times.

As I wrote in my last article, we have recently moved house. During the packing stage in the old house, I came across the box with all of our eight childrens’ baptismal candles. In most cases, (I think we may have misplaced some along the way), we used the same candle for their first Holy Communion and Confirmation as well.

During a Catholic baptism, the child’s baptismal candle is lit from the Easter candle which signifies that “Christ has enlightened the neophyte. In Him the baptised are “the light of the world” (CCC 1243)

As parents we are told to guard this light and to nurture the newly bestowed gift of faith in our children. The symbolism, with its connection to the Paschal candle, is powerful. The light is coming once again into the world through the newly baptised Catholic and that light is to be shared for all to see. That light dispels the darkness of sin and it is contagious and spreads to others.

“You are the light of the world. A city seated on a mountain cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle and put it under a bushel, but upon a candlestick, that it may shine to all that are in the house.

So let your light shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.” (Matthew 5:14-16)

If you have ever used a large candle in your home, you will be aware that, every so often you must trim back the wax so that the candle continues to burn brightly. Once again there is a rich symbolism here.

In order to keep the light of our own faith shining brightly, we must go to confession, to rid ourselves of the impurities and sinful tendencies that tend to dim the light of our Catholic Faith. Lent is also a great time for this ‘pruning’ away of vices and bad habits.

Now, more than ever, we need to make sure that our Faith shines brightly in the world for all to see. This is especially true within the fundamental unit of society, the Catholic Family.

The current restrictions that have been unjustly imposed on us, can become a blessing in disguise if we use the time well within our families to nurture and to deepen our Catholic understanding of the Faith.
When we realise that a wholesome society is composed of wholesome Catholic families, we have discovered the solution to the problems we are currently faced with.

There are many, who rightly want to ‘take back’ Irish society from those who have stolen and destroyed our Catholic heritage and our Catholic culture. However, I notice a dangerous tendency which seeks to replace one form of totalitarian society with what is believed to be better, but which could quite quickly become an opposite kind of totalitarian society because it is not founded on prayer with a primary focus on the salvation of souls.

We must remember that this world will pass away and that no lasting habitation or society can be built here for man, because our home is in Heaven. The purpose of a right functioning society is to help its citizens to attain the goal of heaven.

For the Catholic, the solution to the problems we are faced with in our decadent society is Evangelisation, that is, to bring the other to Jesus Christ and to His Catholic Church. The best way to go about this is to first of all reform one’s own life, to lead by example, if married, to help one’s spouse to come to a deeper knowledge of the Catholic Faith; to build up a truly Catholic atmosphere in the home where prayer is a central part and foundation of each day. The family Rosary, is a great way of inviting Our Lady into to your home so that she can assist your family in the journey to holiness and to heaven.

We will have to learn to let go of many things and of many ideas along the way. The path to holiness is a simple path, just as God is simple. Do not mistake this simplicity for something easy, when we state that God is simple, we mean that God is without division.

We too must seek to eliminate division from our lives. Our focus must become entirely Christ centred and we must discard anything that leads us to deviate from the path of holiness or that leads to dissipation in our lives.

In society, the central place where this training in holiness takes place is within the Catholic Family home and the primary teachers of this way of life are the Catholic parents.
For too long Catholic Families have been left without proper guidance in the ways of the Catholic Faith. Catholic Catechesis has been all but absent from our lives these past fifty years, apart from some badly taught religion classes which may have had more to do with social justice and climate change than they did with teaching men how to become saints.

Man is created for holiness because man is created for God.

“That they should seek God, if happily they may feel after him or find him, although he be not far from every one of us: For in him we live, and move, and are.” (Acts 17:27-28)

So let us not become disheartened or disillusioned or despairing. Let us not fall into an expectation of some miraculous intervention by God which will sort everything and everyone out.

God of course can intervene in miraculous ways whenever he wants, but there can be a tendency to slacken off our efforts towards holiness if we believe that God is just about to act and we may then seek to simply ride out the storm without seeking to change the course of history by becoming saints ourselves.

Only saints change the world for the good, so, if we want to see a world changed for the better, let us strive to become saints. Let us take the Gospel message to heart, to live it and to bring it to our neighbour.

Jesus Christ is still hungry, and needs food to eat. He is still thirsty, and in need of a drink; He is still a stranger, looking to be taken in; still naked, and in need of clothing, sick, and looking for a visit. Jesus Christ in still in prison, hoping for us to come to Him.

Let us not look upon those who oppose us as our enemies, let us see them as the least of our brethren, lost children of Christ and let us pray for their conversion and go after them to bring them back into the one true fold.

In our family lives, let us strive to raise saints for the Kingdom of God and let us rid ourselves of anything that threatens that goal. Avoid becoming regimented or authoritarian, seek to build true order which seeks first the Kingdom of God. He has promised us that if we seek first the kingdom of God, and his justice, all these other things shall be added unto us.

If we cannot attend the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass this Easter, let us invite the Holy Family into our homes and let us ask God to bless us and to provide for our spiritual needs in the sure knowledge that He will do so. We must also challenge our priests and our bishops asking them to give proper spiritual nourishment to our families, especially to our children.

It is now clear that there are no legal restrictions on Catholics attending the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. Our government used deceptive tactics to imply that their recommendations were legally binding. Our bishops have fallen for these deceptive tactics and have unnecessarily deprived faithful Catholics from being able to receive Jesus Christ at the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. Let us prepare ourselves well because our current situation does not look too good.