A ludicrous sight

May 25, 2020 • 5:45 pm

On the news tonight they showed a short video of a Catholic priest in Florida wearing a mask while conducting Mass in a nearly empty church. I see that as a testament to human gullibility. For here is a man publicly encouraging worship of a God who’s killing people by the hundreds of thousands. Coronavirus is not a byproduct of God’s gift of free will.

Either that, or the priest is worshiping a being who doesn’t exist.

From the Chicago Sun-Times: Wearing a face mask because of coronavirus precautions, Cardinal Blase Cupich celebrates Holy Thursday Mass at Holy Name Cathedral on Thursday, April 9, 2020. Archdiocese of Chicago

37 thoughts on “A ludicrous sight

  1. Perhaps, after about 10 years of service, he sees it as just a job. No thought involved. Just going through the motions and getting free room and board.

  2. I think your last one is correct. He doesn’t exist. However, the masked man gets your money.

  3. Maybe it’s a Hannibal Lecter type mask, to remind him not to violate any social distancing norms w/r/t the altar boys (if you catch my drift, and I know you do).

  4. Did any of you see the piece on he news with the priest squirting holy water (with a kids’ blue and green squirt gun) onto his flock as they drove by in cars with windows down? More sense of humor than most.

        1. Maybe they could hear confession through those speakers like they used to have at drive-ins.

  5. What’s the deal with the 100,000 dead Americans? Jesus didn’t want to love and protect them? Oh right, their deaths were all part of his amazing plan to preserve free will. Great plan so far, Big J! Thanks for sending us Trump. Thy will be done and all that..

  6. When I attended Catholic Church as a preteen in the late 70s, the priest couldn’t wait to have a cigarette as the people exited when mass concluded on Sunday. That told me he was just as human and fallible as anybody else and as he was administering communion all he could probably think about was having that after mass smoke. Not sure how that relates exactly through the topic but that’s what I thought of.

    1. It was a major source of controversy, back in the day. Lots of flock leaders refused to install them because of the implications.

      Over time, the evidence seemed to mount, that the tallest structures such as steeples would get hit the most and that lightning rods actually did protect against fires.

      There was the usual face-saving blather that their god had created the science to prevent the damage just as it had created the cause of the damage, so there was no criticism implied in avoiding its wrath.

      1. I usually acknowledge theodicy as a real problem for the religious, but medicine and technology also expose the difficulty of faith in the ‘will of god’.

        “Is God willing to prevent evil, but not technically able? Then he is not omnipotent.
        Is he able, but not willing? Then he is malevolent.
        Is he both able and willing? Then whence cometh evil?
        Is he neither able nor willing? Then why call him God?”

  7. I’m Jewish. Actually, a rabbi. Actually, a rabbi who is agnostic/atheist. In any case, I don’t in any way represent the prelate above.

    All that said, it might be a bit misleading to speak of encouraging worship of a God who’s killing people by the hundreds of thousands. The theology that I studied would say something like: God creates all that is good AND bad. We are grateful to God for the good, and we try — with reliance on God — to withstand or change that which is bad.

    There’s much more. I’m just trying to disavow the idea that religionists somehow praise a sadistic God. As to the rest of it — all I can say is that I entered seminary 52 years ago and by now, for better or worse, I find all supernatural notions to be completely incomprehensible and unworkable.

    1. But, atheist, agnostic or not, you’re Jewish and the Catholic priest is engaging in a propitiatory rite for the Triune Christian God. It ain’t called “the Sacrifice of the Mass” for nothing. Something about God the Father giving his only begotten Son as a sacrifice to atone for the sin of Adam and Eve, or something like that. A sadistic god that sends his son to be tortured and killed for something he set up that was rigged from the jump; and the masochistic son says okay, pops, sounds like a plan. That’s a hungry god who needs sacrifices and that’s the god Christians worship.

      And if one looks just at the Old Testament, that g*d loves and lives to smite anybody and anything that runs afoul of his dicta. Christians love and emulate that god, too.

      1. Jenny, God in the Hebrew Bible is indeed a difficult personality. But even so, it’s inaccurate to see Him as a one-dimensional figure. See Exodus 34:6 — “God passed in front of Moses, proclaiming, ‘The Lord, the Lord, the compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness…'”

        But yes, God smites a lot of enemies in the Bible. There’s no denying that you’re right about that.

        1. The point I’d make is that he doesn’t actually exist, so his personality is a non sequitur. What is being described is simply the expression of human wants and needs in a time when survival was pretty iffy.

          1. Careful, Rick — that’s 3000 years worth of theology you’re fooling with there. If they admit something like that, then they not only lose their twisted feelings of security but also all that lovely special status that they’ve managed to attach to themselves.

            In any other context it would be seen as pathetic egotism.

  8. Catholic priests kiss the altar twice -at the beginning and at the end of the Mass-, and the deacon once. How are they going to do that with a mask?

  9. Church of England bishops have been lining up to cast the first second & third stones at the execrable Dominic Cummings, & accuse him of lying (he seems to have) while failing to turn the other cheek or forgive & standing in moral judgement on others, while their on belief system is based on lies. They cannot even follow their own moral code!
    A plague on all their houses.

    1. If you squint a bit you could see a lot of the confected furore over Dominic Cummings behaviour as the last hurrah of those wanting to ignore the Brexit Referendum.

      So we have Sir Kier Starmer arguing for Dominic Cummings resgnation… but not applying the same standards to Labour MPs who have ‘broken the lockdown rules’. The Church of England Bishops choosing who to demonise because it suits their happy clappy politics, and (worst of all) the Main Stream Media doing a pile-on witch hunt because Dominic Cummings is an un-compliant Brexiter.

      1. The anger over Cummings’ violation of the UK lockdown rules has nothing to do with Brexit, and everything to do with the contempt that he and his chum Johnson have for the rest of the population of the UK. Cummings and Johnson lie as easily and regularly as Tr*mp, and they share his belief that the rules are for the “little people”, not for them. That’s the reason for the anger.

        But Fintan O’Toole expresses it far more eloquently than I can:


        1. I would come down on the side of David, rather than AC (no relation, I presume). The Grauniad, for all its faults, does usually try to find out the truth, and print it. Fox News doesn’t.

          Cummings’s statement was interesting in that he never seemed to accept that his trip to the North was in any way blameworthy. He is supposed to be the great communicator, who has a direct line to the ordinary people who are being ignored by the liberal elite. The ordinary people’s response to his action shows how wrong he is.

  10. For here is a man publicly encouraging worship of a God who’s killing people by the hundreds of thousands.

    Yes, but how would you otherwise convince god not to kill millions?

  11. I’d cut him some slack because he’s providing comfort and a sense of normalcy to his flock while also modeling social responsibility and respect for the law (rendering unto Caesar?) – better leadership than is exhibited by the current resident of the White House.

    1. That’s like saying that a plate of dog feces tastes better than a plate of cat feces! No, I am not cutting slack for a priest who fosters delusions, who helps terrify the young, and enforces homophobic and anti-sex attitudes. Yes, he’s better than Trump, but so are about 99.999% of all people.

  12. I’ll try again:

    In his book, The Future of an Illusion, Sigmund Freud said of religious doctrines: “Of the reality value of most of them we cannot judge; just as they cannot be proved, so they cannot be refuted.” But Freud spent the entire book trying to “show” that these religious doctrines were “illusions”.

    I get the feeling that many of the commenters here feel the same frustration that Freud felt with his inability to prove that God does not exist.
    I’m not a scientist or a philosopher, but I have noticed that many scientists have embraced both religion and science in their worldviews. Father George LeMaitre comes to mind — the astronomer who came up with what we now call the “Big Bang Theory”. While watching several popular science shows about the Universe, I noticed that many scientists believe the odds against this Universe developing as it did (stars, planets, intelligent life) just by chance are tremendous. Am I wrong in saying the atheistic scientists developed the idea of a Multiverse in order to deal with this “problem”? In a recent article by Ethan Siegel titled “Have We Finally Found Evidence For A Parallel Universe?” he concludes: “For now, based on the scientific evidence we have, parallel Universes will have to remain a science fiction dream.”
    Do some of you find religious beliefs fantastic? How about the “many-worlds interpretation of quantum physics” where the universe is constantly, constantly, constantly splitting? Or the notion that an electron spinning in your ear right now might possibly jump to the other side of the moon in the next second?
    As to God’s reasons for this or that: if there is a God, isn’t it possible that He sees the “Whole Picture” while we see only part of it? The allegory of Plato’s cave comes to mind.

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