Trust the Church to decide on Communion
The recent Phase 3 restrictions are not allowing Catholic churches to practise their faith in the fullest sense. I am writing this letter for my own sake and wish to express my right to freedom of speech.
The Most Reverend Wes Spiewak, Bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Bermuda, announced that the Ministry of Health is not allowing Holy Communion to be distributed.
This completely defeats the purpose of the Catholic form of worship (Mass) because an integral part of our worship is the liturgy of the Eucharist, which involves consuming the consecrated host that is the Body of Christ.
It is the highest form of grace that a Catholic can receive. Just how food is necessary for the human body to function, Catholics believe that the Eucharist is necessary for the human soul to grow. However, the Catholic Church is not able to spiritually feed her people at this time.
People are deprived of spiritual strength during these difficult times. Faith is the source of hope, grace and strength during these incredibly difficult times. The Church does not want to take advantage of her people. The church leaders are smart and realise the necessary precautions that need to be taken during these times.
Bishop Wes was aware of the path of Covid-19 before the virus reached Bermuda’s shores and chose to close the doors of the Catholic churches in Bermuda before the Government instructed to do so. The Bishop governs our church, not the Government. The Church cares for the wellbeing of people and knows how to deal with things such as this.
She has lived through pandemics, wars and scandals in the past and the leaders turn to God for guidance. The Government needs to trust that officials will do their part in ensuring public safety. If we want our island to return to normality quickly, we need to start by trusting people and not dumbing them down.
The precautions of the Government have the right intentions, but trust needs to be factored into this. Our country is what it is today not because of the success of government, but because of the people and their ability to rise to the occasion and take charge.
To me, receiving Holy Communion is the most important thing that I do for myself — just as how some people may believe that getting their nails done is the most important thing for them. Needless to say, what I see as valuable and essential is different to what others see as essential, and that is fine.
However, it is wrong when the Government tells me that what I see as important is not important. I do not like how my government does not trust me with my decisions. By diminishing the value of my beliefs, by not letting me fully participate in my chosen form of worship, my conscience is threatened and what my order of value is determined by the Government.
I pray that it is not the intention of the Government to become socialist or a dictatorship, but all of these restrictions, especially on worship and religion, certainly sound like it.
I love Bermuda because it is an island that is highly developed, economically stable and diverse, unlike other islands around the world. It would be horrible if our island resembled socialism and had a dictatorship.
I hope that I am correct in thinking that the Government is putting in place these restrictions simply because it does not know what Communion entails, and not because it wants to suppress religion. I do not understand how not allowing Holy Communion to be distributed, on top of temperature-taking, face mask-wearing, social-distancing and sanitising is a necessary measure in preventing the spread of Covid-19.
I believe at this time that people are thirsty for community and truth. Everything else in life may not be normal during these times, but worship provides a source of truth that is not from this world.
It is no lie that these are difficult times economically, socially, politically and mentally. It is important that people receive spiritual strength to keep going and to be persistent. It is a right to practise religion freely without government intervention.
As a proud Bermudian and faithful Catholic, I believe that it is my duty to practise my freedom of speech and make my concerns known so that the Government can continue to ensure that my rights and freedoms are upheld at all times and that it can serve the people in the best way possible.
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