27 April 2009
OK, apart from this picture being the worst kind of pictorial pun ('swine flew'), I wanted to re-post a couple of past stories that might be relevant as a way of looking at issues for Catholics in a flu epidemic, swine, bird, blogger-induced, or whatever variety.
Holy Communion. The sacraments. The lifeblood of our struggle against the powers and principalities, as St. Paul reminds us.
One news story I saw was interviewing a woman whose confirmation at the National Cathedral of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Mexico City was cancelled because of the swine flu. Granted, we don't need confirmation for salvation, but come on, it sure does help. And though this is undoubtedly to be rescheduled, what if something happens before then? Like, maybe, this girl gets swine flu?
How quickly are we willing to ditch our religious rites in the face of temporal disasters? And why would we?
If Mass is unavailable, or if Holy Communion is not allowed, or only allowed using methods that carry the likelihood of profanation of the sacred Host, what is the effect on the Mystical Body. How can the branches survive if they are cut off from the Vine?
It would take a lot--a lot-- to keep me away from the Eucharist.
Then, of course, there is the issue of what to do when a vaccine is promoted by health officials which, unless the relevant people start acting out of established character, will almost certainly be derived from aborted fetal cell lines. Vaccines for flu outbreaks are notoriously slow to come on line. This could mean that an unproven and possibly ineffective vaccine could be used, or else a vaccine may be available only after the fact. And what if the vaccine is mandatory?
Questions only. It will be interesting to see how these things play out.