Welcome to the Weekend Roundup! – News & Views – 3/28/20

Welcome to the weekend, my house-bound friends!

Last weekend, I mentioned some Catholic parishes were instituting drive-by confession in reaction to the COVID-19 virus. This week, I see some parishes are lining up cars in the parking lot so people can worship the Jesus wafer as it sits outside displayed in a “monstrance” (photo above). The worship of the faux Jesus wafer is the result of the RCC’s literalist interpretation of John 6 and the Last Supper accounts in the four gospels.

Pope Francis brought out the heavy artillery yesterday against COVID-19 by issuing a “urbi et orbi” (to the city and the world) extraordinary papal blessing. Everyone who witnessed the blessing live via television, internet, or radio was allegedly granted a “plenary (full) indulgence” which is purported to remove all temporal punishment remaining after confession and/or punishment for venial sins that would otherwise have to be expiated in purgatory. Did you understand all that? Don’t worry, 95% of Catholics could not explain a “plenary indulgence” or what “temporal punishment” was either.

The Catholic religion is inextricably bound to its sacramental ceremonies administered by its priests inside of their consecrated church buildings. But what are practicing Catholics to do when their churches have been closed during this pandemic and the sacraments are not available? The RCC is trotting out such emergency alternatives as “spiritual communion” and “general absolution.” But some inquisitive Catholics must be wondering, if these alternatives are OK in emergencies, why not at other times? The vast majority of Catholics could not care less either way because they don’t attend obligatory Sunday mass or yearly confession even in the best of circumstances.

What? Pope Francis is advising housebound Catholics to confess their sins directly to God? Is Francis turning Protestant? No, this is a concession to these extraordinary times when sacraments aren’t available, but Catholics are still taught they must merit their salvation.

Speaking of plenary indulgences, the RCC is opening the floodgates and issuing indulgences to everyone who contracts the COVID-19 virus, all caregivers of COVID-19 patients, and even everyone who prays for the COVID-19 sick. What about the poor Catholic who has some other serious illness and misses out on this “plenary indulgence” granted strictly to those affected by COVID-19? Are they chopped liver? [Please, no emails. I’m being facetious.]

It’s difficult to get out and even buy groceries these days, so some Catholic bishops are “magnanimously” lifting the ban on meats on Lenten Fridays. Some bishops are saying Catholics have already sacrificed enough during this pandemic crisis and don’t need the hassle of Lenten Friday meat abstention.

The various reactions to the virus pandemic by the Catholic hierarchy and clergy are shining a spotlight on the inanity and arbitrariness of the Roman church’s legalistic rules and rituals. The modification of legalistic precepts during this crisis should cause Catholics to question their validity. However, there is a Gospel that NEVER changes despite the circumstances and that is the Good News! of salvation by God’s grace alone, through faith alone, in Jesus Christ alone.

Canada is several years ahead of the U.S. as far as “progressive” legislation, but I can see this happening here in the U.S. very soon.

In this excellent, 17-minute video presented by Ligonier Ministries, John MacArthur addresses what the Christian’s attitude should be in the midst of this COVID-19 pandemic. He also mentions a startling irony: the country is rightly concerned with properly treating all of the victims of the virus, approximately 1700 Americans have died from the virus to date, and protecting all of the healthcare workers, yet there is comparatively little regard for the 2400 daily victims of the ongoing abortion genocide in the U.S. One of the blessings of this pandemic is that some pregnant women will reconsider going to a facility and having an abortion. Several states are pressing to have abortion classified as “nonessential surgery” during this pandemic crisis.

38 thoughts on “Welcome to the Weekend Roundup! – News & Views – 3/28/20

  1. Very good points to chew on today! John MacArthur’s video is right on target. I truly hope to do more to “proclaim the Gospel” as he said but also lamented about the cultural hypocrisy he preached re abortion.
    So sadly reminds me how NY approved up-to-birth abortions 😢 and lit up the new World Trade Center to celebrate.
    Press on brother.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Going do my Bible lessons with the kids but dropping by between things to say hi andwill read this in a bit! My day consists of sermon prep today, to answer your question and a facetime internet meeting with some of the guys in the CHurch who want to do more things with the blog such as podcast, designing a coole logo, etc. That will be in a couple of hours from now

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Yup, double your rain but much less sunshine. I googled it and I see ROC has 165 sunny days per year. LA? 284! Wow! ROC has 42% less sunshine! ROC is the 23rd least sunniest city in the continental US.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Yup, we’ve always heard that Western NY and Washington were the two cloudiest regions in the country. We Rochesterians are used to it, but when many travel or go to school in other areas and get a taste of the sunshine, they leave (with the lack of jobs here being another factor).

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Quick one:
    1.)”Parish’s drive-in offers Catholics safe way to adore Blessed Sacrament”
    Response: Seems Rome gotta keep their Mass going especially salvation hangs on it in their theology.

    2.) ” “urbi et orbi”’
    What?? Sounds like another hocus pocus side of Romanism most ECTers and even Catholics don’t know about!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for the good feedback!

      1: Being the nerd that I am I have to point out that the priest in the photo is conducting an “adoration” of the “Blessed Sacrament” rather than a mass, BUT, yes, Catholic theology centers around the Jesus wafer and they’re trying to keep the ball rolling with public masses now prohibited. Practicing Catholics must feel so deprived right now. They have been taught by the RCC that watching mass on TV does NOT accrue graces or forgiveness for venial sins like attending mass in person.

      2: urbi et orbi
      This uniquely “powerful” blessing is usually conferred by the pope only on Christmas and Easter. Yup, the RCC has catalogs full of these various rites, liturgies, and ceremonies. More rituals than Carter’s got pills! I imagine 98% of Catholics didn’t bother tuning in for yesterday’s blessing. Hmm. I wonder if Catholics receive the indulgence if they witness the ceremony after the fact via YouTube video OR is the indulgence restricted only to those who witness it live? Another legalistic rabbit hole.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. YOu mentioning about need to attend mass in person for grace: It seems with false teaching it always become archaic in adapting with new technology and time.
        Also an interesting legalistic rabbit hole you pointed out!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Wow! I think you and I have hit on a very real possibility! Yes, this pandemic lockdown could very well be the impetus for the RCC to explore adapting its old-school-style sacramentalism to modern technology. I could easily envision the RCC declaring (even as soon as in the midst of this pandemic) that a person who does view a Sunday mass via television or streaming would fulfill their weekly obligation and allegedly receive the same graces as someone who physically attended mass. Hey, your grasp of Catholicism is advancing rapidly!

        Liked by 1 person

      3. I appreciate your support and encouragement! There’s not a lot of evangelicals, even ex-Catholic evangelicals, who have the patience to follow along on many of these RCC rabbit hole deep dives.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. The JM video is excellent.
    I read about the urbi orbi or whatever, had to do some research to enlighten myself on this nonsense.
    How nice, poor deceived Catholics now have permission to confess directly to God, how kind of the pope….arrrg !
    Thank you Tom… very informative .

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Crissy, thanks for the good comments! Yes, it’s interesting to see Catholicism bend its legalistic requirements during this crisis. I agree that was an excellent message from JMac regarding the current situation.

      Liked by 1 person

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