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Excommunicated for age

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ISSUANCE OF Holy Mass Admission Pass to pre-determine (sic) number of people depending on the capacity of each parish and only those bearing these will be allowed to enter. No admission pass, no entry will be strictly implemented.

Balamu sine. Like going to the movies, yeah, a movie premier where tickets are pre-sold to patrons.

So, verily becomes that provision in the Archdiocesan Guidelines During GCQ contained in Circular Letter No. 40-Series of 2020 dated June 3, issued by the archbishop of San Fernando.

Which, in actuality, is much ado about nothing. Why the need for admission passes when under GCQ, religious gatherings are limited to an assembly of 10.

With the actors not in the movie sense now in the Holy Mass down to the essential, that is one priest-celebrant, one lector, one altar server, and one sacristan for errands and maintenance, that would leave but a congregation of 6.

The pass to Mass would then be most prized and God forbid! could be highly-priced.

Even under an MGCQ, when religious assemblies are maxed up to 50 percent of church capacity, the admission pass to the Mass is anathema to the faithful.

For one, it is exclusivist. A direct indictment therefore of a Church that claims to be inclusive, not to mention catholic.

Why need passes, where a firstcome, first-served system would work as efficiently, and indiscriminately? When the church is filled to capacity in the instance of MGCQ, 50 percent simply close the doors. Better yet, set up physically distanced monoblock chairs on the churchyards for increased capacity. They are allowed outside bank premises and supermarkets, why not outside churches?

An even greater peril that can obtain in the issuance of Mass admission passes is that it can easily turn elitist. In the hands of one man, not necessarily the parish priest, lies the key to the Eucharist, so to speak. And there flows too the currency of possibilities, pecuniary primarily.

It is not just the lamentations over the good sheep of the lost shepherds finding sounding board in the Facebook accounts of dear friends Francis Musni and Ian Flora, but firsthand knowledge too that this Mass admission pass instantly plucked out of long-suppressed memory that dark spot in Church history – the commodification of indulgences.

Yes, there is no saying that Mass passes cannot or will not be sold, if only euphemized as donation.” Especially given the aridity that descended upon the offertory boxes since the start of the ECQ.

 

Discriminatory

Only those who belong to the age bracket of 21 to 59 years old should be allowed to attend religious activities in churches.

So reads Number 1 in the circulars General Preventive Measure. The youth can very well speak for themselves, I take up the cudgels for my fellow senior citizens.

I find sheer depravity on the part of the Church to impose this interdict against elders availing themselves of the Eucharist. This is depriving us of our very sustenance to salvation.

We are being prevented to go to church. With no guidelines on what to do in the meantime. Or, has the archdiocese implicitly imparted upon us seniors that which is promised in Matthew 18:18, thus: whatsoever ye loosed on earth shall be loosed in heaven?

On a more practical note: Subscribing to the principle of the equal applicability of the lawso graphically, if ungrammatically articulated in The Law applies to all or none at all priests, church workers and servers 60 years and above are covered by the prohibition too. That will include the archbishop himself.

Wonder how many parishes would still be able to hold Masses with the application of that ban on seniors from churches. To invoke exemptions here is to negate the whole rule.

No, this is not in any way a challenge to what my beloved archbishop has ordained for the faithful to follow. Neither is it a defiance to what my government prescribes for the good of the nation.

Indeed, as the circular said: Out of obedience and prudence in pursuance of her mission in these trying times, the Church needs to cooperate and collaborate with the national and local governments in its task of ensuring the safety and well-being of the people and its commitment to the common good.

So, the archdiocese here, obediently and prudently, is simply rendering unto Caesar the things that are Caesars. Point well taken, straight as it is from Jesus Himself.

The problem is that the archdiocese stopped there. The aspect of rendering unto God what is Gods, on the other hand, while not exactly neglected is so much adulterated.

Salus populi suprema lex. The welfare of the people is the supreme law. Cries the government, to which the archdiocese, obediently and prudently, acceded.

Salus animarum suprema lex. The salvation of souls is the supreme law. The very call of the Church, which I feel the archdiocese, disobediently and imprudently, abnegated. At least, insofar as we seniors are concerned.

With this prohibition from attending the Holy Mass in churches, the archdiocese definitively denied seniors the Eucharist, that very source and summit of Christian life.

As Lumen Gentium holds: Sacrificium eucharisticum, totius vitae Christianae fontem et culmen, participantes, divinam Victimam Deo offerunt atque seipsos cum Ea.

Rendered in English thus: “Taking part in the Eucharistic sacrifice, which is the fount and apex of the whole Christian life, they offer the Divine Victim to God, and offer themselves along with It.

To be kept from joining therein is thus tantamount to separation from the mystical Body of Christ. Extra ecclesiam nulla salus. Outside the church, there is no salvation impacts its full, if literal, meaning to me here.

Only those who belong to the age bracket of 21 to 59 years old should be allowed to attend religious activities in churches.

This, in effect, is excommunication on the mere basis of age. Has the archdiocese just arrogated unto itself the promulgation of a new dogma?

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