Bishop Athanasius Schneider (LIfeSite)
Another good Bishop comes out and encourages the Faithful and urges priests to reopen the Churches because souls are at stake.
This Bishop is His Excellency, Athanasius Schneider. He describes how priests should act for the salvation of souls.
He urges priests to imitate the Good Shepherd Who laid down His life for souls and even urges priests to disobey the orders from bishops who are acing like bureaucrats instead of shepherds, urging priests by saying, "he has not to obey the directives of his bishop or the government to suspend Mass for the faithful. Such directives are a pure human law; however, the supreme law in the Church is the salvation of souls."
The bishops "In focusing too exclusively on all the hygienic protective measures, they have lost a supernatural vision and have abandoned the primacy of the eternal good of souls."
Bishop Athanasius Schneider said that “As long as supermarkets are open and accessible, and as long as people have access to public transportation, one cannot see a plausible reason for banning people from assisting at Holy Mass in a church.....One can guarantee in churches the same and even better hygienic protective measures.”
He also related a story of President Magufuli who spoke these encouraging words: “The coronavirus cannot survive in the Eucharistic body of Christ; it will soon be burnt away. That is exactly why I did not panic while receiving Holy Communion, because I knew that with Jesus in the Eucharist, I am safe. This is the time for building our faith in God.”
In summary, the whole interview is worth reading, but his words urging priests to be good shepherds cannot be overlooked:
If a priest is prohibited by an ecclesial authority from going to visit the sick and dying, he cannot obey. Such a prohibition is an abuse of power. Christ did not give a bishop the power to forbid visiting the sick and dying. A true priest will do everything he can to visit a dying person. Many priests have done so even when it meant putting their lives in danger, either in the case of a persecution or in the case of an epidemic. We have plenty of examples of such priests in the history of the Church. St. Charles Borromeo, for instance, gave Holy Communion with his own hands on the tongue of dying persons, who were infected with the plague. In our own day, we have the moving and edifying example of priests, especially from the region of Bergamo in northern Italy, who were infected and died because they cared for dying coronavirus patients. A 72-year-old priest with coronavirus died a few days ago in Italy, after giving up the ventilator, which he needed to survive, and allowed it to be given to a younger patient. Not to go and visit the sick and dying is the behavior more of a hireling than a good shepherd.
See the full Interview with Bishop Athanasius Schneider here from the Remnant Newpaper: https://remnantnewspaper.com/web/index.php/articles/item/4826-exclusive-interview-bishop-athanasius-schneider-on-church-s-handling-of-coronavirus