Clergy Who Bowed to COVID Fears Need to Face a Reckoning

April 5, 2021 Updated: April 6, 2021


Spring has finally arrived here in rural New England, the air crisp and fresh, the skies blue. The annual promise of renewal, symbolized by a glorious Easter Sunday, washes away the gloom of winter as new life bursts from the ground.

How sad it is, then—how demoralizing—to see our fellow citizens in the sunshine with slave masks on, heads down, avoiding eye contact with fellow villagers, furtively shuffling along like sullen convicts getting a few moments in the prison yard before returning to their cells to continue a life sentence without the possibility of parole.

Even were the Wuhan flu—caused by the CCP virus unleashed, perhaps deliberately, perhaps accidentally, on an unsuspecting world sometime in late 2019—a real global emergency instead of a jumped-up, panicked, and likely malevolent overreaction to an illness whose death toll has been largely confined to the elderly, the sick, and the obese, the way we have responded has been nothing less than a civilizational humiliation.

We have taught our people to fear one another, to move aside on a public street as if someone coming their way were radioactive, to shout at strangers for refusing to muzzle themselves as they go about their business. And all because an 80-year-old lifelong bureaucrat whose advice seems to change monthly, commandeered the heights of the federal government and terrified the American people about a disease with a 99 percent survival rate, if you even get it.

And yet, out of “an abundance of caution” (what an execrable, cowardly phrase) and outright fear, we have abrogated our civil liberties without a second thought, including crucial protections of speech, faith, and assembly that we once fought and died to protect. We heedlessly demolished whole industries, including travel, restaurants, hotels, sporting events, cinemas, concerts, and other public entertainments and accommodations.

Most disgracefully of all, at a time when people could have used spiritual solace, we closed our churches—and the clergy obeyed without objection. For this, every single prelate, priest, rabbi, bishop, or cardinal who meekly obeyed secular “authority” ought to be publicly shamed, stripped of his clerical garb, and never be allowed to attend to souls again.

A reckoning is coming for the clergy and it isn’t going to be pretty.

Like the doctors and nurses who suddenly discovered and complained that their work was dangerous—as if medicine were to be practiced simply as “wellness” and not when the Grim Reaper comes calling on the fields of battle or in the charnel houses of an epidemic—the clergy has all but admitted that what they do, or what they pretended to do, was a frivolity only to be practiced at the sufferance of the local commissars.

In 1844, when anti-Catholic nativists threatened to burn down Old St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York City, Bishop John J. Hughes gathered his parishioners, some of them armed, and promised the Protestant mob that any assault on the church would be met with deadly force. If a single Catholic church was burned, “Dagger John” announced to the city, the despised immigrant Irish would burn New York to the ground. Not a church was touched.

Epoch Times Photo
Pastor Artur Pawlowski moments after he drove police on a COVID-19 check out of his church in Calgary, Alberta, on April 3, 2021. (Screenshot Youtube via The Epoch Times)

Compare Hughes with the mewling pussycats currently occupying high pulpits. Even in Hughes’s homeland of Ireland, punitive lockdowns there have canceled St. Patrick’s Day (a national holiday and a holy day of obligation) for two years running. The country whose national spirit was kept alive by the outlaw “hedgerow priests” during centuries of British ethnic and religious persecution, dispossession, exile, and murder has meekly surrendered its Catholicism and its soul.

Writing in The American Mind last summer, cultural historian Angelo Codevilla was characteristically forthright in his assessment of a “COVID coup”:

“What history will record as the great COVID scam of 2020 is based on 1) a set of untruths and baseless assertions—often outright lies—about the novel coronavirus and its effects; 2) the production and maintenance of physical fear through a near-monopoly of communications to forestall challenges to the U.S. ruling class, led by the Democratic Party; 3) defaulted opposition on the part of most Republicans, thus confirming their status as the ruling class’s junior partner. No default has been greater than that of America’s Christian churches—supposedly society’s guardians of truth.

“The biggest and most significant default, however, has been that of America’s Christian churches—all of them—from their hierarchs to their priests, pastors, and ministers. Their complaisance with the lockdowns set aside a truth far more important to human dignity than anything having to do with any physical ailment.”

That’s why it was something of a cheer moment the other day, when a Polish-born pastor in Calgary, Alberta, did his best imitation of Jesus driving the money-changers from the temple as he 86’d a platoon of Canadian cops and other busybodies who tried to shut down his Christian church on Holy Saturday. Calling them, “Nazis,” “Gestapo,” and “Communists,” Artur Pawlowski bulled members of the Alberta Health Services and City of Calgary Bylaw services out the door and into the street, shouting imprecations at them all the way.

Would that some American pastors would follow his lead. Then again, Pawlowski was born in Communist-occupied Poland and has seen totalitarianism up close and personal. But just because the police come with mild manners and happy-face buttons on their lapels doesn’t make what they’re doing right or lawful. For a country such as the United States—founded on the very notion of freedom of religious worship—to meekly surrender to a leftist, atheist mob of functionaries and penny-ante governors in the name of “health” is something that will live in infamy.

Meanwhile, the hidden death toll caused by the unprecedented, unconstitutional, and illegal lockdowns continues apace, uncounted so far, even in the undeniably inflated COVID-19 “fatality” statistics. Look for heart disease, hypertension, stroke, and cancers various to come roaring back, not to mention the increasing suicide rates including, alarmingly, among the young.

Now, we have the various vaccines, created under the Trump administration in a headlong rush, and currently being imposed upon the public in a way that no other vaccine ever has been. And there is a movement building to require vaccine “passports” to enter some buildings, attend public events, and even to travel around the country—still masked, of course. That this sort of control over the populace was institutionalized in the old Soviet Union doesn’t seem to faze the authorities at all.

Maybe you should ask yourself why.

Michael Walsh is the editor of and the author of “The Devil’s Pleasure Palace” and “The Fiery Angel,” both published by Encounter Books. His latest book, “Last Stands,” a cultural study of military history from the Greeks to the Korean War, was recently published.

Views expressed in this article are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.