Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Only in a Godless Society... the care of souls not considered “essential” activity for purposes of a stay-at-home order.

This afternoon, the governor of Idaho announced a stay-at-home order to combat the coronavirus, effective at 1:30 p.m.  The order bans public gatherings of any size, including for “faith-based” purposes, which naturally rules out worship services.  It defines essential businesses and services for which one may travel.  This does not include the services of priests and clergy.  This means that priests and clergy who are out caring for their flocks in violation of the stay-at-home order are subject to misdemeanor charges.

During World War II, persons entrusted with the care of souls were considered essential to the war effort.  That’s why ministers, priests and rabbis received “C” mileage ration stickers.  They entitled the bearer to more gallons of gas per week than persons working in the military industries and bearing “B” stickers, who got up to 8 gallons a week.  The average shlub got an “A” sticker, which entitled him to up to 4 gallons a week.

In what sense are the services of priests “non-essential”?  There really is such a thing as hell, and people do go there.  Persons nearing the end of their lives are in the greatest danger, since the attacks of the devil intensify at the hour of death.  They need all the help they can get.  That is what priests provide, via the Sacraments.  Yet it seems clear that if today we brought back these old ration stickers, priests would only rate an “A” sticker, if they got any sticker at all.  Already we are hearing stories about people dying without a priest.

Will our bishops courteously yet firmly and persistently demand exceptions for priests making sick calls and administering the Sacraments?

The chastisement deepens.  


  1. Can people contact their gov't rep and pressure them to get clergy allowed to make sick calls? Here people are allowed to go out but not if they are sick and not in groups.

  2. I can't really see our priests being too worried about getting pulled over and reprimanded for making a sick call.

  3. I agree that the real shepherds are not going to worry about consequences to themselves for carrying out their ministry. My concern is with secular authorities actually stopping and preventing them from doing what they have to do. We have seen secular authorities in some places, like China, use the coronavirus as an excuse to target the Church. I want an unambiguous exception in the stay-at-home order for clergy so that there is no doubt that their functions are essential, and no way for their functions to be interpreted as non-essential.

    I think that it is the bishops who need to take the lead on securing amendments to stay-at-home orders, where needed. That would by far be the quickest way to accomplish it. It might also restore bishops to the credibility they have spent the last several decades frittering away.

  4. What's worse is the blatantly outrageous breach of the principle of separation of church and state! It is NOT the role of the secular government to decide which if any religious activities are essential!!! Yet apparently there has been no objection from our clergy. Nor from the usual suspects who imagine they see breaches of the wall of separation all the time!