But there's no reason to despair, Mass will still be held! A virtual Mass! Yes, priests will still show up and conduct Masses in their churches throughout the country, but the churches will otherwise be empty. No need to wake up, get dressed, and trudge down to the old cathedral. Best of all, these Masses will be recorded live and broadcast to parishioners who will now be able to enjoy the holy service from the comfort of their own homes.
Think of the luxury! I mean, you could participate in Mass wrapped in a Snuggy! Or your underwear! Rumor has it the clergy have come up with some special 3D effects for the communion. Heck, why watch it live? Why not just record the Mass? This way you can fast-forward through the dull bits and tailor the service to your own liking.
But what about those who, for whatever strange reason, actually miss being physically present in church? Well have no fear, churches will still be open for private prayers - as long as fewer than . . . what? Twenty? Fifteen? Ten people show up at the same time? And as long as they stay at least a meter apart from each other.
I'm making light of this, but in reality it's no laughing matter. Regardless, these actions reveal some uncomfortable yet meaningful truths. As Bruce Charlton very perceptively pointed out on his blog yesterday, the Roman Catholic Church, together with nearly all other Christian churches, has essentially told Christians that they are on their own.
Extra ecclesiam nulla salus?
Sum howa I doubtimus it.