LifeSite’s previous (and future) live updates on the coronavirus crisis and how it relates to issues our readers care about can be viewed HERE.
March 31, 2020, 7:22 p.m. EST: The Washington Examiner reports, “Nearly half of the country believes that the sweeping and deadly coronavirus is a ‘wake-up call’ from God, and one-third see it as the ‘last days’ predicted in the Bible, according to a new national survey.”
“Some 44% said the virus crisis is a ‘wake-up call for us to turn back to faith in God’ and ‘signs of coming judgment,’ said the Joshua Fund,” the article explains.
Baltimore’s Archbishop William Lori, famous for leading the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ response to the Obama adminstration’s attempts to squash religious freedom, has closed all churches in his archdiocese and banned priests from administering the sacraments unless “the individual is in danger of dying.”
Bishop Mitchell Rozanski of the Diocese of Springfield, Massachusetts has gone even farther and banned his priests from giving the Last Rites.
In some good news, the German seminary of the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter (FSSP) reports that the coronavirus outbreak within its seminary “seems to have been overcome.”
March 31, 2020, 4:33 p.m. EST: Click HERE to watch Trump’s coronavirus briefing live, which begins at 5:00 p.m. EST.
March 31, 2020, 1:52 p.m. EST: To view President Trump’s coronavirus briefing from yesterday, click HERE. LifeSite will be streaming today’s briefing, too; the link will be posted on this article around 5:00 p.m. EST today.
March 31, 2020, 1:37 p.m. EST: CNN’s Chris Cuomo announced he has the coronavirus.
A second Catholic cardinal, Cardinal Philippe Ouédraogo of Burkina Faso, has tested positive for the coronavirus.
The Telegraph reports, “German researchers plan to introduce coronavirus ‘immunity certificates’ to facilitate a proper transition into post-lockdown life, as Chancellor Angela Merkel’s handling of the crisis has led to a boost in the polls.”
LifeSite has published an article about how to obtain the Last Rites for a hospitalized COVID-19 patient.
Vatican News, the Holy See’s official news service, published and then deleted an article calling the coronavirus an “ally” of planet Earth.
Maria Madise has written a sobering article on the Blessed Virgin Mary’s calls for repentance and how they relate to the current situation.
“Could it really be the case that the need for penance is less acute and the reality of hell, a consequence of unrepentant sin, less threatening today than a hundred years ago, when the Mother of God descended from Heaven to inform her children [at Fatima] of the urgency to repent?” she asks.
Our Lady told little Jacinta that more sinners go to hell because of sins of impurity than for any other reason. Today many of these sins are state policy of the most powerful nations and smaller nations, too, have followed suit.
In once Catholic Ireland abortion and same-sex ‘marriage’ – two of the four sins that cry out to heaven for vengeance – are enshrined in the constitution. This is the same constitution that in its preamble still invokes the protection of the Most Holy Trinity.
More children have died worldwide through legal abortion than people killed in all the wars of recorded human history.
In my home country, Estonia, more people have been killed by abortion since 1955 than our living population today.
And throughout the world, countless children are being corrupted by school sex education, often with the placet of Catholic bishops. These programmes destroy the innocence of children, groom them for the porn, contraception or abortion industry and teach them to question whether God has created them a boy or a girl.
Cardinal Paul Josef Cordes of Germany is the latest prelate to say the coronavirus is a chastisement for the Church.
March 30, 2020, 8:54 p.m. EST: The Associated Press released an article two hours ago about how countries around the world are “crack[ing] down on basic rights” amid the pandemic. It details various measures taken by governments around the world to punish the spread of “false information” about the virus and “interfering with efforts to contain the spread of the coronavirus, like a curfew or mandatory quarantine” (Hungary, punishable by five years and eight years in prison respectively); engage in “unprecedented electronic surveillance” to track people’s movements (Israel); and social media censorship (Russia).
“A new government smart phone application” has been “introduced for people in home quarantine” in Poland; Serbia has “sidelined” its parliament, enacted “a 12-hour police-enforced curfew,” and banned people over 65 from leaving their homes.
China, where the virus originated, is known for its rampant human rights abuses. At least one police department in England has been using drones to monitor whether its citizens have been complying with government orders to stay at home. A police department in California says it will do the same.
March 30, 2020, 8:40 p.m. EST: The District of Columbia has also ordered its residents be confined to their homes beginning April 1 unless they are working at “essential businesses”; engaging in “essential travel” or “essential activities,” such as buying food or obtaining certain kinds of medical care; “perform[ing] or access[ing] essential governmental functions”; and engaging in “allowable recreational activities.”
“Any individual who willfully violates the stay-at-home order may be guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction, subject to a fine not exceeding $5,000, imprisonment for not more than 90 days, or both,” Mayor Muriel Bowser’s office warned in a statement.
March 30, 2020, 8:32 p.m. EST: On Saturday, four pro-lifers in North Carolina were arrested for allegedly violating their jurisdiction’s coronavirus stay-at-home order. They were arrested moments after arriving outside of an abortion center to defend preborn children. Watch the video HERE.
And in Toronto, police showed up directly after Mass last week to warn a Catholic priest of the Society of St. Pius X that he could be fined for violating a provincial order restricting public gatherings because of the coronavirus. The priest, Fr. Dominique Boulet, says he was complying with a March 17 directive from Premier Doug Ford – which allowed gatherings of up to 50 people — when his parish held a public Mass on March 25, the Feast of the Annunciation.
A pastor in Tampa, Florida has been arrested today for holding a church service yesterday. His county is subject to a “safer-at-home” executive order with 42 paragraphs of exceptions. The pastor, Dr. Rodney Howard-Browne, is being represented by Liberty Counsel.
A ProPublica investigation reveals how China built a “Twitter propaganda machine” and used it to spread covert propaganda around the world.
The American Civil Liberties Union of Alabama has filed an emergency request in federal court on behalf of abortionist Dr. Yashica Robinson and three abortion facilities, asking that they be allowed to continue abortions despite a state order halting unnecessary medical procedures.
Other LifeSiteNews articles about the coronavirus crisis today include:
- Experts: Universal do-not-resuscitate orders are unethical, un-American, unnecessary
- Texas bishops demand removal of laws protecting patients’ rights, Strickland dissents
- Priest: post ‘Divine Mercy’ image on front door for protection during coronavirus outbreak
- Abortion continues unimpeded in Canada despite coronavirus lockdown
- Pope Benedict remains well, prays for world suffering from coronavirus
- Bishops’ ban on sacraments during pandemic violates Church law, priests can disobey: canonist
- UK changes law for third time in a week, again allows home abortions amid coronavirus
- Iowa, Kentucky demand abortions stop during coronavirus outbreak
- Pro-life org persuading governors to shut down abortions during coronavirus panic
March 30, 2020, 3:19 p.m. EST:
Angelo Cardinal De Donatis,
Vicar General of Rome, and Archpriest of St. John Lateran, has tested positive for coronavirus covid-19, and has been hospitalized in the Gemelli in Rome. He is in a good condition. He is the first Cardinal to have been diagnosed with the virus. pic.twitter.com/rrt7sLzr2M
— Catholic Sat (@CatholicSat) March 30, 2020
New York City mayor Bill de Blasio said on Friday that churches and synagogues could be closed down permanently if people are gathering for services during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I want to say to all those who are preparing the potential of religious services this weekend — if you go to your synagogue, if you go to your church and attempt to hold services after having been told so often not to, our enforcement agents will have no choice but to shut down those services,” he said. “You’ve been warned.”
The New York Post reports that an 86-year-old woman “awaiting treatment for bowel blockage at a Brooklyn hospital yesterday died” after another patient punched her “for not engaging in ‘social distancing’ amid the coronavirus.”
The Food and Drug Administration yesterday granted emergency authorization for the distribution of hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine, anti-malaria drugs that have been effective at treating the coronavirus, to hospitals.
March 30, 2020, 3:01 p.m. EST: The Virginia governor’s office has released Executive Order Fifty-Five, which outlines more details of Northam’s “stay at home” order.
Reasons people may leave for their residences include “taking care of other individuals, animals, or visiting the home of a family member,” “engaging in outdoor activity, including exercise, provided individuals comply with social distancing requirements,” and “traveling to and from one’s residence, place of worship, or work.”
March 30, 2020, 2:44 p.m. EST: Virginia Governor Ralph Northam has announced Virginians will be confined to their homes until June 10, 2020 except for limited reasons.
“Individuals may leave their residence for allowable travel, including to seek medical attention, work, care for family or household members, obtain goods and services like groceries [or] prescriptions,” the order mandates. Outdoor activity is allowed “with strict social distancing requirements” and Northam’s announcement notes there are a few other exceptions to the mandated home confinement as outlined in Executive Order Fifty-Three. Some of those exceptions include the provision of health care or medical services, “access to essential services for low-income residents, such as food banks,” “the operations of the media,” and law enforcement agencies and government operations.
During his press conference, Northam chided Virginians for having gone to the beach over the weekend.
March 30, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – Maryland has issued a “shelter in place” order only allowing residents to leave their houses to go to the store for food or prescriptions.
The order also allows for outdoor exercise such as walking, hiking, running, and biking, as long as [it] with complies with the CDC's social distancing guidelines.
Violators could face up to a year in prison and/or a $5,000 fine. The order is effective 8 p.m. Monday.
[Governor] Hogan also said Marylanders should not leave the state and those who do, must quarantine for 14-days.
More people in Knox County, Tennessee died by suicide than from the coronavirus last week, The Federalist reports, and other states are reporting a similar uptick in suicides as the coronavirus crisis wrecks the economy.
A March 27 article on Bloomberg titled “Rhode Island Police to Hunt Down New Yorkers Seeking Refuge” reported:
Rhode Island police began stopping cars with New York plates Friday. On Saturday, the National Guard will help them conduct house-to-house searches to find people who traveled from New York and demand 14 days of self-quarantine.
Rhode Island has just over 200 [coronavirus cases], and it has begun an aggressive campaign to keep the virus out and New Yorkers contained, over objections from civil liberties advocates.
[Governor] Raimondo, a Democrat, said she had consulted lawyers and said while she couldn’t close the border, she felt confident she could enforce a quarantine.
National Guard members will be stationed at the T.F. Green airport, Amtrak train stations and at bus stops. The citizen-soldiers will be following up with people at local residences. The maximum penalty for not complying: a fine of $500 and 90 days in prison.
Ontario has now banned gatherings of more than five people.
“This order would not apply to private households with five people or more. It would also not apply to operating child care centres supporting frontline health care workers and first responders provided the number of persons at each centre does not exceed 50 people,” the government announced in a press release. It added funerals are allowed “with up to 10 people at one time.”
At least four Catholic dioceses have, apparently by their own initiative, locked their church doors indefinitely; the province did not classify houses of worship as “essential.” In the Ottawa diocese, a local health authority ordered all houses of worship closed on pain of a $250,000 fine daily.
The province considers beer and cannabis stores “essential.” They are allowed to remain open.
The national pro-life group the Susan B. Anthony List has blasted Pennsylvania’s Democratic Governor Tom Wolf for requiring his constituents to postpone important medical procedures including cancer, pediatric, cardiac, and spinal surgeries, while elective abortions continue during the crisis.
“It is unconscionable that Governor Wolf has allowed elective abortions to proceed during this crisis when all resources are needed for essential medical procedures,” said SBA List President Marjorie Dannenfelser. “At a time when so many Pennsylvanians are making major sacrifices so that the most vulnerable can survive this national emergency, abortion business Planned Parenthood Keystone insists on carrying out elective abortions and has even asked that precious personal protective equipment be diverted from dealing with the Coronavirus crisis in order to end the lives of innocent unborn children.”
“Governor Wolf should put an end to these risky and unnecessary procedures that further strain our already overtaxed health care system, and Planned Parenthood Keystone should put people above profits,” added Dannenfelser.
Bishop Athanasius Schneider, one of the world’s leading defenders of Catholic doctrine and orthodoxy, said in a new interview that a priest, using discretion and following the necessary health precautions, does not have to “obey the directives of his bishop or the government to suspend Mass for the faithful.” He also described the COVID-19 pandemic as a chastisement and a purification.
Italian officials say that a 101-year-old man – who was born during the Spanish flu epidemic that killed 50 million people – tested positive for the coronavirus and survived.
On Sunday, Chicago police broke up a funeral. Forty to 60 people had gathered at a church, but none were arrested or given citations.
Father Jorge Ortiz Garay of Brooklyn, New York, is apparently the first Catholic priest in the U.S. to have died of the coronavirus.
And, there is talk of New York Governor Andrew Cuomo replacing former Vice President Joe Biden as the 2020 Democrat nominee.
“While Americans are stuck at home, the Democrat dominating the airwaves to counter President Donald Trump’s messaging about the coronavirus is not the one seeking to replace him in the Oval Office – it’s New York Governor Andrew Cuomo,” Bloomberg reported yesterday.
“And that’s causing some daydreaming for political junkies with time on their hands.”