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April 22, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – During an appearance on The John-Henry Westen Show yesterday, renowned Scripture scholar Scott Hahn said that he wished Catholic clergy “could be more creative in imagining ways to dispense the sacraments instead of simply shutting the doors.”
Hahn, who just released a book on death titled, “Hope to Die: The Christian Meaning of Death and the Resurrection of the Body,” was responding to a question about how Catholics have been cut off from the sacraments during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We were all caught off guard [by this virus],” Hahn said, “and we don't want to jeopardize the lives of our priests or our bishops…and so we ought to avoid any kind of congregating that would put people at risk.”
“At the same time,” he continued, “I’m a father and I long to not only provide for my kids, but to feed them, to protect them, but to make sure that they're fed. And so for me to not have the Holy Eucharist through most of Lent and now through the beginning of Easter is not an easy thing.”
“I do wish that our spiritual fathers, our priests could be more creative in imagining ways to dispense the sacraments instead of simply shutting the doors. I'm not in a position to judge them, you know. That is not my role. That's way beyond my paygrade. But at the same time, as a son of God and as a brother in God's family, I can ask our Father in heaven to give to our shepherds a greater energy to creatively imagine ways to feed the sheep in spite of everything.”
Following the outbreak of the coronavirus, every Catholic diocese in the United States cancelled public masses. Some bishops went so far as to tell their priests to stop hearing Confessions. As a result, Catholics started attending outdoor Adoration services as well as “parking lot” Masses offered by groups like the Society of St. Pius X. Last week, Peter Baldacchino, the Bishop of Las Cruces, New Mexico, lifted the ban on public masses but limited the number of attendees to no more than five, including the priest.
Hahn has two sons in the seminary studying to be priests for the Diocese of Steubenville. He said that he hopes the coronavirus crisis is not only a “wakeup call to see what all of us have at times taken for granted” but that Catholics will “seize the opportunity and re-appropriate the sacred mysteries.”
“It's forcing us to recognize not only the inevitability of our suffering and death, but there is also a sense in which we can recognize what God wants to do with it,” he said.
“We have such an inordinate fear of suffering and dying. And that's understandable. But at the same time…there's another life that is not merely human and natural, but divine and supernatural. And that isn't less valuable, but infinitely more valuable.”
Hahn is the author of more than 40 books and a well-known public speaker.
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