March 14, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – What we are witnessing in these hours is dramatic — certainly throughout Italy, but in a tragically exemplary way, in Rome, the heart of Catholicism.
The scenario is all the more disconcerting as what is at stake is not only public health but the salvation of souls — and for some time now we, as Pastors, have stopped inflaming the hearts of our faithful with the desire for eternal salvation. We have thus deprived them of those supernatural gifts which make us capable of facing trials here below, even the assaults of death, with the power of faith and that spark of inexhaustible and unshakable hope which comes to us from our yearning for the destiny of glory for which we were created.
The statements of the Italian Episcopal Conference, those of the Cardinal Vicar of Rome, as well as the surreal and spectral images that have come to us from the Vatican, are many expressions of the darkening of the faith that has struck the heights of the Church. The Ministers of the Sun, as St Catherine of Siena was fond of calling them, have caused the eclipse, and delivered the flock to clouds of thick darkness (cf. Ezekiel 34:12).
Regarding the measures of the Italian Episcopal Conference (CEI): when those issued by the State were still limited only to at risk areas, to certain activities and at precise times of day, the CEI had already cancelled the totality of public liturgical celebrations in all the churches of the territory, helping to fuel fear and panic and depriving the faithful of the indispensable comfort of the sacraments. It is difficult not to think that such a measure was suggested to the president of the CEI by the one who, protected by the Leonine Walls, has been dreaming for seven years now of an outgoing, rugged, field hospital Church, which does not hesitate to embrace everyone and to get dirty.
Cardinal Bassetti, so eager that he seems more zealous than the king, appears to have forgotten a very important lesson: that the Church, in order to serve the common good and the State, must never give up being herself, nor fail in her mission to proclaim Christ, our only Lord and Savior. She must beware of obscuring her divine prerogatives of Wisdom and Truth and in no way abdicate the Authority that comes to her from the Sovereign of the kings of the earth, Our Lord Jesus Christ.
The ecclesial events of these hours have manifested clearly — if there was still any need — the tragic subjection of the Church to a State that is striving and doing all it can to destroy the Christian identity of our Italy, by enslaving it to an ideological, immoral, globalist, Malthusian, abortionist, migrant agenda that is the enemy of man and of the family. The goal of this agenda is the destruction of the Church, and certainly not the good of our country.
The courage and wisdom of ardent priests and lay faithful has partly remedied the absence of an authoritative voice and heartening gestures from the Vicar of Christ and from pastors.
Open, throw open wide the doors to Christ! Open, throw open wide the doors of our churches so that the faithful may enter in, repent of their sins, participate in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass and draw upon the treasury of graces that flow from the pierced Heart of Christ, our only Redeemer who can save us from sin and death.
+ Carlo Maria Viganò
Translation by Diane Montagna