My overarching point was that the bishop and the Church remain officially aligned with the birdemic narrative. As such, they continue to believe their decision to close churches and deny Mass to hundreds of millions was totally justified. Put another way, the Catholic Church - and practically all other Christian denominations - remain firmly convinced that they did the right thing for the right reasons. They feel no need to reflect upon or perhaps reassess their decision, and they certainly do not think they have anything to repent.
I happen to think the opposite.
I hold the opposite view because I am convinced that the birdemic is an Evil Lie. Moreover, I believe in the primacy of the spiritual - in putting God and spiritual considerations first. By denying Mass and other sacraments such as last rites at the behest of the secular global diktat of none are safe until all are safe, the Catholic Church (and other Christian denominations) essentially demonstrated that they believe in the primacy of the material - in putting the world and material considerations first.
Of course, not everyone agrees with my standpoint on this matter. A Catholic blogger - whom I won't bother mentioning by name or linking to because I have zero interest in directing any traffic toward him or his blog - was curious to know if I possessed any special competence or qualifications to support my view:
What is Francis's special competence in stating that Birdemic is not a legitimate reason to close down the Churches. Is he a microbiologist, epidemiologist, practicing clinician. Or is he just some guy with an opinion?
Ah, the old "What makes you an authority?" line.
The blogger's comment reveals much. For starters, he basically admits that he considers the birdemic to have been a perfectly legitimate reason to close down the churches.
Furthermore, he would only be open to reconsidering his position if I possessed some kind special medical or scientific competence through which I might be able to prove my assertions and, perhaps, persuade him to reconsider his own views concerning church closures and the birdemic.
Otherwise, I'm just "some guy with an opinion." Not to be taken seriously. Easily dismissed.
I must add that said blogger is himself a practicing family physician, which means he possesses the sort of special competence he demands of me in order to make my "opinion" worth considering.
Sounds reasonable, right? Sure, until you consider the veritable armies of microbiologists, epidemiologists, practicing clinicians, and other medical professionals who have distorted, twisted, warped, slanted, manipulated, falsified, misreported, misrepresented, slanted, and skewed the birdemic to no end, to say nothing of the untold hundreds of thousands who buckled, cratered, submitted, capitulated, deferred, conformed, and complied to the birdemic narrative for a variety of reasons, foremost among them - expediency.
Sorry, but when it comes to the "trust the experts" angle and the birdemic, you can count me out.
However, for the sake of argument, let's pretend I did possess some kind of special competence. Say I was a world-renowned epidemiologist who could prove the birdemic was not a legitimate reason to close the churches. Do you think it would make a shred of difference to the Catholic blogger? He seems to imply that it would, but I strongly doubt it. I get the sense he would listen to my ironclad proof, nod his head thoughtfully, and then write me off as a crank or a quack.
Because at its core, the birdemic is not about science or medicine or church doctrine. At its core, the birdemic marks the epicenter of things coming to a point. More specifically, the birdemic is about being able to spiritually discern good and evil and making the right choices in light of this discernment.
To the Catholic blogger noted above, I'm just a "guy with an opinion". On top of that, said blogger believes my opinion to be wrong. In his qualified opinion - and remember, he is a doctor - the birdemic was a legitimate reason to close churches. Not only that, there was nothing particular special about the church closures - it was just a common sense precaution against a global health threat. And he should know because he's a doctor. Hence, Catholic blogger dismisses my "opinion" as wrong because I'm just "some guy". Fair enough; said Catholic blogger can think whatever he wants about me, but my opinion about church closures during the birdemic is not an opinion, but discernment, and I don't think that this discernment can be flippantly dismissed.
As far as I'm concerned, churches the world over failed miserably when they closed their doors due to the birdemic. I will go even as far as to say most churches actively and willingly made the wrong choice. And churchgoers who passively and obediently follow their churches in this regard are also making the wrong choice.
People can reject this as my "opinion", but I do not regard my standpoint on this issue to be mere opinion. For me, it's discernment - discernment based on my understanding of God and Creation - that is, on my understanding of the fundamental nature of reality and of our current spiritual war.
My discernment is not perfect. I sometimes misjudge. I do get things wrong. When I do, I acknowledge the fact, repent, and attempt to right my course. That is part of my spiritual learning.
But the whole point of the point is that it makes discernment easier. The line separating good from evil has rarely, if ever, been clearer. That doesn't mean that discernment is always easy or that our judgments are always correct, but it does mean that spiritual discernment can no longer be considered a passive, optional activity. Like it or not, we have all been put in the position where we must choose - and those choices are based on our ability to effectively discern.
In this regard, we are all our own spiritual authorities. The possibility of outsourcing discernment to an external church authority is closing before us. When it comes to matters of religion and spirit, we no longer have the luxury to simply believe what we are told to believe and do what we are told to do. We must make our own judgments about these matters, and these judgments must emanate from our innermost selves and our active and willing alignment with God and Creation.
In this sense, spiritual discernment is the most important special competence we can possess in this time and place. Unlike other special competences, we can't and don't need to obtain PhDs to become experts at exercising spiritual discernment. All the resources we need are already within us, but we have to access these resources to make discernment work.
And this is something all Christians, regardless of denomination, simply must do.
All the special competences and skills the world can offer will do you very little good if you turn your back on the basic and necessary skill of spiritual discernment.
Which is exactly what the Catholic blogger so skeptical of my "opinion" appears to have done when it comes to the birdemic.