English churches banned Masses, but ‘support groups,’ blood donations are allowed
PORTSMOUTH, England, November 19, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) — The Diocese of Portsmouth, England, issued updated guidelines for activities allowed in church from November 5 to December 2, in accordance with recent government legislation, that permit “essential voluntary services” such as food banks, blood donations, and support groups but prohibit Masses, baptisms and weddings.
The tragic irony of the state of the Catholic Church in England is that blood donations — the offering of blood from man to man — are now allowed in churches, but not the supreme offering of God’s blood to God for the sake of sinful man.
While recent English legislation allows for individuals to “attend a place of worship,” it stipulates a limited set of activities permitted there. This includes “individual prayer,” but not prayer that forms part of “communal worship,” such as Mass. Also permitted are funerals and “essential voluntary services or urgent public support services,” which include food banks and “blood donation sessions.”
The Diocese of Portsmouth guidelines explain that while funerals with attendance of up to 30 people are permitted, weddings and baptisms — what the diocese bizarrely refers to as a “life cycle event” — are only permitted for those who are fatally ill.
The guidelines also state, “Essential support groups can continue in person with up to 15 participants. Providing mutual aid, therapy, education or any other form of formal support is allowed.”
So, up to 15 people can participate in therapy sessions together, as well as other types of “formal support,” but they cannot worship together.
If even group “support,” therapy, and education are allowed, what is the point of communal worship if it does not meet an “urgent” need of man? Or, one might ask, why do we need communal worship when we can worship God on our own?
We should not be surprised that the secular governments of our age do not acknowledge man’s religious obligation to participate in the Mass, nor the right of God to be worshipped in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, nor the Mass’ infinite value as the sacrifice of Calvary renewed.
What should be shocking is that our very shepherds have willingly handed over the rights of God and man, and effectively denied the faith, through their active participation in the banning of Masses.
The submission of the Catholic Church to unjust legal dictates that are, frankly, an attack on the very rights of God, is itself an evasion of Christ’s Social Kingship, as Sean Wright argues. However, sadly, our clergy are guilty of more than mere compliance with unjust laws. In England and the United States, for example, they have rushed to close churches and cease celebrating public Masses even before, or without, government prohibitions on worship.
In England, clergy have gone so far as to actively push for the closing of churches, in what can only be described as a betrayal of their flock. In March, the bishops of England and Wales prohibited the celebration of public Masses before the nationwide lockdown came into force and, according to their own statement, played a crucial role themselves in convincing the government to require that churches be closed altogether.
When churches were allowed to open again, the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales (CBCEW) released guidance for the resumption of the public celebration of Mass, which included members of the congregation wearing face coverings, allowing Holy Communion only in the hand while standing, not allowing congregational singing, and encouraging those who receive Communion to leave the church immediately after Mass.
The rights of both God and man are being trampled upon — by state and church.