On 5 April, the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales issued a statement entitled ‘Revised Hospital Chaplaincy Advice’, which after a paragraph of prevarication produced one clear sentence: ‘Priests and chaplains must follow the visiting instructions from hospital and trust authorities.’ Given that the visiting instructions in hospitals were not to visit at all, this, for the most part, put paid to anointing of the sick (or extreme unction), the sacrament that we’re told has the effect of uniting the sick person with Christ, giving them the strength, peace and courage to endure suffering, forgiving their sins and preparing them for eternal life. Priests can offer telephone support instead, said the bishops. Always good to chat when you’re on a ventilator.That's not all: The Church’s Limp-Wristed Coronadoom Response. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)
Here is some gibberish from the Vatican’s Pontifical Academy of Life’s “HUMANA COMMUNITAS IN THE AGE OF PANDEMIC: UNTIMELY MEDITATIONS ON LIFE’S REBIRTH“:
The lessons of fragility, finitude, and vulnerability bring us to the threshold of a new vision: they foster an ethos of life that calls for the engagement of intelligence and the courage of moral conversion. To learn a lesson is to become humble; it means to change, searching for resources of meaning hitherto untapped, perhaps disavowed. To learn a lesson is to become mindful, once more, of the goodness of life that offers itself to us, releasing an energy that runs even deeper than the unavoidable experience of loss, that need to be elaborated and integrated in the meaning of our existence. Can this occasion be the promise of a new beginning for the humana communitas, the promise of life’s rebirth?The faithful need the institutional church for the sacraments. The institutional church needs the faithful for their money. But the institutional isn't keeping its side of the bargain.