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2020, Apr 27
The Holy Father, Pope Francis has cautioned against addiction to Mass celebration through the media describing it as faith sharing devoid of the sacraments, the Church and the people of God. He emphasized that online Masses and spiritual communion do not represent the Church, as it has been necessitated by the Corona virus pandemic that is ravaging the world.
Pope Francis made this assertion in his homily during the celebration of the Mass recently at the chapel of his Vatican residence, the Domus Sanctae Martha. According to him: “This is the Church in a difficult situation that the Lord is allowing it, but the ideal of the Church is always with the people and with the sacraments – always.”
The Pope noted that the forced isolation impelled by the Corona Virus pandemic connotes the faithful living the faith only for themselves – detached from the sacraments, the Church and the people of God.” He reflected on serious concerns about the faithful not being able to come together as a community to celebrate Mass or to receive the sacraments because of government restrictions against people gathering in groups as part of efforts to stem the spread of the coronavirus scourge.
“Masses, prayers and faith-based initiatives have been offered online, and the faithful have been encouraged to make an act of spiritual Communion given their lack of access to Holy Communion, but ‘this is not the Church,” the Pope said. He emphasized that the closeness to Christ without the Eucharist and the people of God assembled together is dangerous.  It is dangerous because people could start living their relationship with God as a community but “for just myself, detached from the people of God.”
Pope Francis further declared: “The Church, the sacraments and the people of God are concrete; the faithful’s relationship with God must also stay concrete, as the apostles lived it, as a community and with the people of God, not lived in a selfish way as individuals or lived in a “viral” way that is spread only online.” He concluded “May the Lord teach us this intimacy with him, this familiarity with him, but in the Church, with the sacraments, with the holy faithful people of God.”


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