رابطة قدامى الإكليريكية البطريركية المارونية
Le Saint-Siège a décidé mardi 31 mars de mettre ses drapeaux à mi-mât « par proximité avec les victimes de la pandémie en Italie et
- Gary Fields
Mar 31, 2020
SILVER SPRING, Maryland - The global pandemic is upending the season’s major religious holidays, forcing leaders and practitioners across the spectrum to improvise. They’re having to finding new ways to live out their beliefs in a time of social distancing and empty houses of worship.
“One hundred years ago during the Spanish Influenza, congregations also canceled (services) and quarantined. Now, COVID-19 imposes the necessity of social distancing, which is an anti-congregational, isolating imperative,” said Robert Franklin, a theology professor at Emory University and former president of Morehouse College. “However, all of our traditions aim for a sense of right relationship with the holy.”
That singular goal can connect and unite different faiths, Franklin added: “Rituals may divide, but righteous intent unites and elevates us all.”
The holidays range from the holiest week on the calendar for Christians to the Passover meal that symbolizes the Israelites’ journey out of bondage in Egypt. Over the next month, Hindus and Sikhs will also celebrate a new year and anniversary and Muslims will begin a month of introspection and sacrifice during Ramadan.
For Christians, Holy Week starts this weekend with Palm Sunday and culminates April 12 with Easter, the celebration of Christ’s resurrection that is the faith’s most joyous day of the year. That joy will take a smaller shape this year, as Christian pastors preach to empty pews but share their services online and extended families will reunite digitally rather than at festive Easter dinners.
Jewish communities where the important holiday of Passover is celebrated with a traditional meal known as a seder are already adapting their traditional rhythm of extended families dining and observing together. Some will be held virtually, and others will be much smaller.
“On this Passover, when so many are separated from one another at a traditional time of being together, we reach out to one another with renewed love and compassion,” the American Jewish Committee wrote in its supplement to the Passover prayer book known as the Haggadah.
Hindus are in the midst of a nine-day celebration called Chaitra Navaratri that began in March with what many consider the new year and will culminate April 2 with the festival of Ramanavami. Normally Hindis would be preparing special foods and performing special prayers at temple. But in India and elsewhere, temples are empty while celebrations are held at home and worship services live-streamed.
Across the world, many Muslims are praying for the coronavirus cloud to lift before the start of the Islamic holy month of Ramadan in late April. Ramadan is a time for fasting, worship, introspection, charity and empathy. Ordinarily, it’s also a time for community and gatherings as families and friends break their fast together and worshippers fill mosques.
Already the outbreak has disrupted Islamic worship with closures of mosques and many services or sermons moving online.
The Sikh holiday of Vaisakhi celebrated April 14 marks the day the religion took on its current form in 1699. Normally it is a time of festival and special services. But like the others, practitioners are relegated to home worship and livestreaming.
Dr. Kulwant Dhaliwal, former president of the Sikh Temple of Wisconsin, in Oak Creek, said if the situation is unchanged later in April, “you have to just do it” and follow the orders. “Like everything, life is not normal right now. We could always celebrate later on.”
Seul, il a monté les marches vers l’endroit où il préside d’habitude l’audience générale. Seul, il a écouté la lecture de l’Évangile. Seul, ensuite, il s’est recueilli, longuement, devant l’icône de Marie-Salut du Peuple romain, puis le crucifix miraculeux amené de l’église Saint-Marcel-au-Corso où il s’était déjà recueilli il y a deux semaines.
Seul, enfin, après un long temps d’adoration, il a pris l’ostensoir posé sur l’autel placé dans l’atrium de la basilique avant de sortir bénir une place Saint-Pierre vide, battue seulement par la pluie. Au même moment, une ambulance, sirènes hurlantes, arrive à l’hôpital Santo-Spirito tout proche.
Une bénédiction urbi et orbi « extraordinaire », tant par son moment – elle n’a lieu d’habitude qu’à Noël, à Pâques et au jour de l’élection du pape – que par sa forme : devant une place vide, avec seulement, au loin, quelques journalistes et une forte présence policière faisant respecter le confinement imposé aux Italiens depuis maintenant trois semaines.
Mais si François en a voulu ainsi, c’est justement à cause de ce temps « extraordinaire » de la pandémie. Du doute qui s’empare du monde, et notamment de l’Italie où, au moment où
By Linda Bordoni
Water is the only substance on earth that occurs naturally in solid, liquid and gas forms. Without it there would be no life on our planet. It is also a powerful spiritual symbol associated with the cleansing and purification of the body and the spirit.
For Christians, baptism by water – itself a symbol of God’s grace – signifies spiritual rebirth.
Aqua fons vitae. Orientations on Water, symbol of the cry of the poor and the cry of the Earth. This is the title of a new Vatican document rooted in the Social Magisterium of the Popes, and inspired by work carried out by national and local Churches in different countries.
The document distinguishes three aspects or dimensions relating to water:
1) water for human use;
2) water as a resource used in many human activities, in particular agriculture and industry;
3) water as a surface, namely rivers, underground aquifers, lakes and especially oceans and seas.
For each aspect, the text presents the related challenges and operational proposals to increase awareness of the issue and commitment at local level.
The final part of the document proposes a reflection on education and integrity.
In a press release on Monday, the Dicastery also announced that a strategy is being defined to address the situation regarding water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH). This will apply to health care facilities belonging to the Catholic Church.
The press release notes that in poor and developing countries too many sanitation facilities do not have adequate access to water for the most basic needs of cleanliness and hygiene. This places billions of people at risk.
Without clean water, sinks, soaps, toilets and hygiene procedures patients, care staff and families lack the foundation or infrastructure for decent, safe, quality care.
“Births, surgery, infections, epidemics: none of these can be managed safely without water, and the situation is particularly alarming in these weeks marked by the COVID-19 pandemic,” reads the communiqué.
Governments, NGOs, charities
The press release notes that “thousands of healthcare facilities are functioning as they can without the safeguard of water that cleans and protects life.” However, some world leaders in the health field have become increasingly aware of this issue and are developing action plans to address the problem.
The Catholic Church
The Catholic Church has been a pioneer and extremely committed to health and health care on all continents in terms of its commitment to health and health care.
The Vatican Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development, is consulting with religious congregations, episcopal conferences, Catholic development agencies and qualified experts in a concerted effort to “encourage and support those already actively involved in this battle to save lives.”
A starting point
The communiqué specifically mentions a collaboration with Catholic Relief Services and Global Water 2020. It identifies these as partners in its commitment to promote investigations in selected countries. It notes that the results of this study, and other surveys, will be used as a starting point for implementation and fundraising plans to support operational projects.
Organisations interested in joining this initiative may contact the Dicastery (from mid-April onwards) to request further information or discuss partnership opportunities.
Malgré le confinement, les paroisses françaises ont encore un certain nombre de charges, entre l’indemnisation des paroisses, le salaire des laïcs non mis au chômage partiel, ou encore l’entretien quotidien des lieux. Mais avec l’arrêt des cérémonies publiques depuis dimanche 15 mars, ces paroisses sont désormais privées d’une de leurs principales ressources : la quête.
Pour pallier l’impossibilité de récolter physiquement les dons au moment de l’offertoire, la Conférence des évêques de France (CEF) a mis en place un site Internet, calqué sur celui consacré au denier du culte.
« En cette période de confinement, il est offert aux catholiques de participer à ce geste liturgique qu’est la quête en versant