Short Commentary: Pope Francis vs. Anti-Mask Protestors

From Market Watch , excerpting from Francis’s new book Let Us Dream: The Path to a Better Future:

“Some groups protested, refusing to keep their distance, marching against travel restrictions — as if measures that governments must impose for the good of their people constitute some kind of political assault on autonomy or personal freedom,” he [Pope Francis] writes.

He goes further, and contrasts those who dig in against health measures with anti-mask protests. “You’ll never find such people protesting the death of George Floyd, or joining a demonstration because there are shanty towns where children lack water or education, or because there are whole families who have lost their income,” he adds. “On such matters, they would never protest; they are incapable of moving outside of their own little world of interests.”

I keep wondering: what would a eucharistic worldview say to us about the face mask and lockdown controversies?

What does the deep structure of the eucharistic liturgy – communal gathering, proclamation of and sharing in Christ’s dying and rising, communal eating [and drinking, I’d still like to include] the Body and Blood of Christ as a pledge of the heavenly life to come, sending forth as disciples renewed for mission – what does all of this mean for our approach to pandemic controversies?

What does a eucharistic spirituality have to say about issues of the individual and the community, personal freedom, responsibilities to others, promoting an economy which benefits as many as possible, sharing of resources, and discussing difficult issues respectfully?

I think Francis is pointing us in the right direction.


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