The ‘Appeal for the Church and the World’, released by Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò, was signed by three cardinals, including Cardinal Joseph Zen Ze-kiun, nine bishops, and several theologians.
The initial list of more than 80 signatories also included doctors, lawyers, journalists, and heads of associations. American signatories include Michael Matt, Editor of The Remnant, and Steven Mosher, a renowned expert on China and President of the Population Research Institute.
APPEAL FOR THE CHURCH AND THE WORLD
to Catholics and all people of good will
signed by Mgr. Carlo Maria Viganò and many others.
“In this time of great crisis, we Pastors of the Catholic Church, by virtue of our mandate, consider it
our sacred duty to make an Appeal to our Brothers in the Episcopate, to the clergy, to Religious,
to the holy People of God, and to all men and women of goodwill.
This Appeal has also been undersigned by intellectuals, doctors, lawyers, journalists, and professionals who agree with its content, and may be undersigned by those who wish to make it their own.
The facts have shown that, under the pretext of the Covid-19 epidemic, the inalienable
rights of citizens have in many cases been violated and their fundamental freedoms,
including the exercise of freedom of worship, expression and movement, have been
disproportionately and unjustifiably restricted.
Public health must not, and cannot, become an alibi for infringing on the rights of millions of people around the world, let alone for depriving the civil authority of its duty to act wisely for the common good.
This is particularly true as growing doubts emerge from several quarters about the actual contagiousness, danger, and resistance of the virus. Many authoritative voices in the world of science and medicine
confirm that the media’s alarmism about Covid-19 appears to be absolutely unjustified.
We have reason to believe, on the basis of official data on the
incidence of the epidemic as related to the number of deaths, that there
are powers interested in creating panic among the world’s population
with the sole aim of permanently imposing unacceptable forms of
restriction on freedoms, of controlling people, and of tracking their
movements. The imposition of these illiberal measures is a disturbing
prelude to the realization of a world government beyond all control.”
And a little further on,
“Finally, as Pastors responsible for the flock of Christ, let us remember that the Church firmly asserts her autonomy to govern, worship, and teach. This autonomy and freedom are an innate right that Our Lord Jesus Christ has given her for the pursuit of her proper ends.
For this reason, as Pastors, we firmly assert the right to decide autonomously on the celebration of Mass and the Sacraments, just as we claim absolute autonomy in matters falling within our immediate jurisdiction, such as liturgical norms and ways of administering Communion and the Sacraments.
The State has no right to interfere, for any reason whatsoever, in the sovereignty of the Church.
Ecclesiastical authorities have never refused to collaborate with the State, but such collaboration
does not authorize civil authorities to impose any sort of ban or restriction on public worship
or the exercise of priestly ministry. The rights of God and of the faithful are the supreme law of the Church,
which she neither intends to, nor can, abdicate. We ask that restrictions on the celebration
of public ceremonies be removed.
We should like to invite all people of goodwill not to shirk their duty to cooperate for the common good,
each according to his or her own state and possibilities and in a spirit of fraternal charity.
The Church desires such cooperation, but this cannot disregard either respect for natural law or a guarantee of individual freedoms. The civil duties to which citizens are bound imply the State’s recognition of their rights.
We are all called to assess the current situation in a way consistent with the teaching of the Gospel. This means taking a stand: either with Christ or against Christ. Let us not be intimidated or frightened by those who would have us believe that we are a minority: Good is much more widespread and powerful than the world would have us believe.
We are fighting against an invisible enemy that seeks to divide citizens, to separate children from
their parents, grandchildren from their grandparents, the faithful from their pastors, students from teachers, and customers from vendors.
Let us not allow centuries of Christian civilization to be erased under the pretext of a virus, and an odious technological tyranny to be established, in which nameless and faceless people can decide the fate of the world by confining us to a virtual reality.
If this is the plan to which the powers of this earth intend to make us yield,
know that Jesus Christ, King and, Lord of History, has
promised that “the gates of Hell shall not prevail” (Mt 16:18).
Let us entrust government leaders and all those who rule over the fate of nations to Almighty God, so that He may enlighten and guide them in this time of great crisis.
May they remember that, just as the Lord will judge us Pastors for the flock which he has entrusted to us, so will He also judge government leaders for the peoples whom they have
the duty to defend and govern.
With faith, let us beseech the Lord to protect the Church and the world. May the Blessed Virgin, Help of Christians, crush the head of the ancient Serpent and defeat the plans of the children of darkness.
Signed by Mgr. Carlo Maria Viganò and many others.