The Overblown Corona-Scare

Catholic Candle note: Catholic Candle usually focuses directly on Faith and morals.  However, sometimes issues in society have a severe indirect impact on Faith and morals and should be addressed.  Below, we examine one of those issues which has a severe indirect impact on Faith and morals, viz., the overblown corona-scare.  We put COVID-19 in perspective, to help readers face this challenge in which Providence placed us, for the glory of God and for our good.

In our current corona-crazy world, people are acting strangely because they are frightened by (supposed) imminent death from COVID-19, or they are intimidated by abusive governmental lockdown orders.

People have been coerced into failing to gather to sanctify the Sunday together (which is important, even in the present Great Apostasy, when we have no Masses and no uncompromising priests, at least in most places in the world).  People have been bludgeoned into letting go of their humanity and are fearfully acting as if their fellow man was a threatening virus-culture rather than a fellow child of God and fellow soldier in the Church Militant.

Lastly, another reason to examine the exaggerated corona death toll is because it is a prominent example showing (for anyone who needs further proof) that the mainstream media is unreliable as a source of the truth concerning what is going on in the world.  It is Catholic Candle’s hope that this present article is a helpful reminder to our readers that they should distrust the mainstream media because it lies and “spins” the truth.

This article uses the statistics which were current when the article was written in August and September, 2020.  The article mostly uses data from the U.S. because there is so much of this data available.  For the most part, we do not include the data from the rest of the world because that information is less available to us and also in order to avoid this article becoming too cumbersome. 

However, the data we have from other countries supports the theses of this article.  That support makes sense because human nature is the same in all countries, COVID-19 is (apparently) the same everywhere, and the lockdowns are broadly similar, although more severe and abusive in some places than in others.

There are three aspects to the COVID-19 (so-called) “pandemic”, which help us to put the “COVID-19 death” totals in perspective:

1.    COVID-19 is in the same “ballpark” with (and has the same fatality profile) as the annual flu;

2.    The collateral deaths caused by the government lockdowns likely greatly exceed the deaths caused by COVID-19, even if the inflated COVID-19 death tolls were the true ones; and

3.    The COVID-19 death numbers are unreliable and inflated

Below, we examine each of these points.


1.   COVID-19 is in the same “ballpark” with (and has the same fatality profile) as the annual flu

There are almost no deaths of younger and healthier people.  For example, the latest CDC numbers (from August 15, 2020) show 309 deaths of persons 24 years of age and younger.[1]  More than 90% of COVID cases are asymptomatic and people usually don’t know they ever had the virus.[2]

Almost all persons who were listed as “COVID-19 deaths” were retirement age (65 or older), especially over 85 years old.[3]  Almost all of them (94%) had co-morbidities, meaning they were being treated for something else which was a known lethal condition.[4]

In fact, the persons who were counted as “COVID deaths” had an average of 2.6 co-morbidities – meaning that more than half of them had three co-morbidities (compared to the number who had 2 co-morbidities).[5]

A person who receives only the slanted, deceptive news of the mainstream media would not be aware of the truth concerning the relative lack of danger for most people.  Instead, people are given the impression that everyone is in great danger of dying at any time from COVID-19.  A recent Gallup poll reveals how ignorant and scared the American people are (because of the mainstream media’s and Democrats’ fear-mongering).  Look at these two graphs of Gallup Poll results, comparing reality and misperception:

This graph is found here:

This graph is found here:

Despite the false perception promoted by the mainstream media and the Democrats, the reality is that COVID-19 is in the same “ballpark” with, and has the same fatality profile as the annual flu, viz., it is usually something that does not affect most people and, if it does affect us, it is usually a little “blip” in our month.  (See, the two graphs above.)  However, older people in poor health have to take extra precautions for COVID-19, just like they should regarding the annual flu. 

To put this in perspective, there were 80,000 U.S. fatalities in the 2017-2018 annual flu season, and this number was so unremarkable that this death toll passed virtually unnoticed at the time.[6]


No one was locked down in 2017-2018 because of 80,000 flu deaths.  The economy was not destroyed because of that annual flu.  There were no masking orders, no churches closed, and no other oppressive government orders.  In a country the size of the U.S., with over 330 million people, a lot of people die every day and every year. 

Not only is the current COVID-19 scare overblown, but even now, some years of the annual flu, e.g., 1968, have killed more people per capita than COVID-19.  (We do not even mention the far-worse 1918 flu season.) 

It goes without saying that in none of those years – which were worse than the current year – was there a lockdown or other over-reaction, such as we see in the current year.


2.   The collateral deaths caused by the government lockdowns likely greatly exceed the deaths caused by COVID-19, even if the inflated COVID-19 death toll were the true one

In the section above, we saw that COVID-19 is in the same “ballpark” with (and has the same fatality profile as) the annual flu, viz., it is usually something that does not affect us and if it does affect us, it is usually a little “blip” in our month.  However, older people in poor health (especially with multiple co-morbidities) have to take extra precautions for COVID-19, just like they should regarding the annual flu. 

That older, sicker persons are in a different situation than the general population, is underscored by the fact that 42% of all U.S. “COVID-19 deaths” occur in nursing homes, although those facilities contain only 0.62% of the U.S. population.[7]

In the U.S., the states controlled by the (more liberal) Democratic party locked down more severely their general populations of younger and healthier people (compared to Republican states).  However, the Democratic governors of four of these states killed thousands of their most vulnerable people (who were in nursing homes) by forcing those nursing homes to receive other persons who tested positive for COVID-19.[8]

This is exactly the opposite of what should have happened!  Younger, healthier people should have been allowed to go on with their lives, while the government should have allowed nursing homes to protect the most vulnerable people, like those nursing homes protect their residents every year from the annual flu. 


Self-inflicted harm and the deaths from delayed medical care, during the corona-isolation

Among the many severe tolls taken by the corona-scare is the increases of suicides, drug overdoses, and deaths from delayed care for other serious illness because of the draconian corona-lockdowns.

It is obvious to any person of common sense that the severe lockdowns would cause great collateral harm.  Here are how more than 500 doctors described this harm in their public letter to President Trump:

It is impossible to overstate the short, medium, and long-term harm to people’s health with a continued shutdown. …  Losing a job is one of life’s most stressful events, and the effect on a person’s health is not lessened because it also has happened to 30 million other people.  Keeping schools and universities closed is incalculably detrimental for children, teenagers, and young adults for decades to come.

The millions of casualties of a continued shutdown will be hiding in plain sight, but they will be called alcoholism, homelessness, suicide, heart attack, stroke, or kidney failure.   …  In youths it will be called financial instability, unemployment, despair, drug addiction, unplanned pregnancies, poverty, and abuse.[9]

Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security examined the idea of “Large-Scale Quarantine Measures” in its November 4, 2006 study entitled: Disease Mitigation Measures in the Control of Pandemic Influenza.  Here is what that university study concluded:

The negative consequences of large-scale quarantine are so extreme (forced confinement of sick people with the well; complete restriction of movement of large populations; difficulty in getting critical supplies, medicines, and food to people inside the quarantine zone) that this mitigation measure should be eliminated from serious consideration.[10]

Although many people gullibly accept the false narratives of the mainstream media, we see now – by looking at the results of the lockdowns around us – why rational studies and doctors (like those quoted above) have rejected/opposed such lockdowns.

Before discussing the dramatic increase in suicides during the corona-scare, we note that this suicide increase was paralleled by a dramatic increase in help calls to suicide hotlines.  Here are some examples of different suicide hotlines with different increases:

  Two national hotlines had increases of 47% and 300% respectively.[11]

  Another national suicide hotline had a 40% increase.[12]

  Another national suicide hotline had an increase of 891% in March 2020, compared to March 2019.[13]

  Two other suicide hotlines had an 800% increase in call volume.[14]

These increased suicide “help” calls are attributed by those hotline organizations to “social distancing” and “social isolation” suffered because of the lockdowns.[15]

Indeed, common sense makes predictable the severely negative effects of the lockdowns, because we are human.  These lockdowns are inhuman and have never been tried before in the history of mankind: viz., isolate everyone in a nation from all his friends and fellow humans – and isolate each nation throughout almost the entire world.  This is rash and foolish in the extreme!

It is no wonder that one of the epidemiologists who advises the British government called the lockdowns a panic response.  Here are his words:

Lockdown was a panic measure and I believe history will say trying to control Covid-19 through lockdown was a monumental mistake on a global scale, the cure was worse than the disease.  …  It was always a temporary measure that simply delayed the stage of the epidemic we see now.  It was never going to change anything fundamentally; however low we drove down the number of cases …. 

We absolutely should never return to a position where children cannot play or go to school.  …  I suspect right now more people are being harmed by the collateral effects of lockdown than by Covid-19.  … 

Any restrictions imposed should be considered measures and should protect those who needed it while letting everyone live more freely.  …  Instead of concentrating on schools, we should have been concentrating on care homes. We were not really thinking about where the risk lies, just on suppressing the virus.[16]

Regarding the suicide death toll, obviously, the 2020 suicide death toll will not be certain until after the end of 2020.  However, the current projection for suicide/drug overdoses deaths is about 150,000 in the U.S.[17]  To estimate how many of these deaths are due to the extreme corona-isolation, we subtract the total for the latest year for which there is data: 2018.  In 2018, there were 48,344 self-inflicted deaths (suicides and drug overdoses) in the U.S.[18]

Let’s round that 2018 number up to 50,000 deaths.  Thus, according to the best projections we have, suicides and drug overdoses in our times of extreme corona-isolation are estimated to be about 100,000 greater this year than before this corona-scare.  In other words, self-inflicted deaths are 300% of the 2018 number!

The death toll from COVID-19 is extremely inflated, as we see in section three of this article.  However, this death toll is supposedly estimated to be about 183,000.  One way to put this supposed death toll in perspective, is that if we take this number and subtract the increase in self-inflicted deaths because of the corona-isolation, we get 83,000 (i.e., 183,000 – 100,000 = 83,000).  This is approximately the fatality total from the 2017-2018 annual flu which was so unremarkable that this flu death toll went almost unreported then.  Yet, politicians over-react in 2020 and ruin the country’s life.

But there is more: What is not evident in the above comparison of the numbers (viz., “COVID deaths” vs. collateral deaths), is that the deaths blamed on COVID-19 are almost entirely of older, retired people with multiple co-morbidities, most of whom are given only a relatively short time to live even without COVID-19.  By contrast, the suicide and drug overdose deaths occur in the younger and otherwise healthier people who have a far longer life expectancy.  In other words, each “COVID death” represents a far smaller number of years of life lost compared to the suicide/drug overdose deaths. 

Of course, we don’t want anyone to die, but we recognize that a sick, older person losing the last year of his life – as tragic as that is – is not the same as a high schooler losing that last 60 years of his life.

Below, we quote how the U.S. Center for Disease Control (“CDC”) sounded the alarm about the current suicide/drug overdose rate for high schoolers during our corona-isolation.  These COVID-19 lockdown death tolls are far greater than the corresponding “COVID-19 death” toll:

But there has been another cost that we’ve seen, particularly in high schools. We’re seeing, sadly, far greater suicides now than we are deaths from COVID.  We’re seeing far greater deaths from drug overdose that are above that we had as background than we are seeing the deaths from COVID.[19]

Similar spikes in suicide are occurring elsewhere in the world, e.g., in Australia.[20]

Another of the many great harms inflicted by the lockdowns (which are especially extreme in Democratic states) is deaths that occurred because of postponing medical treatment for other diseases, due to the COVID-19 lockdowns.  Those lockdown deaths – which would not have otherwise occurred – are from a variety of causes, e.g., heart attacks, strokes, and cancer.

We don’t know of a comprehensive estimated total of non-COVID-19 deaths which would have been prevented, in the absence of the corona-scare and lockdowns.  However, here are some datapoints:

  Looking at only two of the many types of cancer (breast cancer and colorectal cancer) the National Cancer Institute predicts there will be 10,000 excess deaths in the U.S. over the next 10 years because of pandemic-related delays in diagnosing and treating these tumors.[21]

  Looking at only the drop in cancer referrals, admissions, and diagnoses, compared to pre-COVID levels, one study (using what it called “conservative assumptions”) estimated that there will be 33,890 additional (i.e., excess) cancer deaths during the next year, in the U.S. because of that delayed treatment.[22]

  Although we do not have non-COVID increased-fatality numbers for the entire country for heart attacks, strokes, diabetes, and Alzheimer’s disease, we did find statistics of percentage increases in deaths (of persons who did not have COVID-19) from these four diseases, in five Democratic states (Massachusetts, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania).  These five states were among the most extremely locked down.  In these states, in March and April 2020, compared to January and February 2020, there was a:


·         96% increase in diabetes deaths;


·         89% increase in heart disease deaths;


·         64% increase in Alzheimer’s disease deaths; and


·         35% increase in stroke deaths.[23]

Also, in New York City (which suffered a more severe lockdown than almost anywhere), there was a 398% increase in heart disease deaths and a 356% increase in diabetes deaths.[24]

With this data, let’s do our best to estimate, in a rough way, how many deaths these percentages (of additional deaths) would mean throughout the United States.  Let us use the latest national numbers (from 2018) for these four causes of death and let us suppose those percentage increases in deaths from lockdown-delay-in-treatment were the same nationwide.  In other words, let’s use the 2018 national total deaths from each of those four causes, multiplied by the percentage increases given above, to calculate the excess lockdown deaths from each of those four causes.

This formula means that the lockdown-delays-in-treatment caused:

  81,548 additional diabetes deaths (84,946 deaths x 96% = 81,948)

  583,289 additional heart disease deaths (655,381 x 89% = 583,289)

  78,092 additional Alzheimer’s disease deaths (122,019 x 64% = 78,092)

  51,734 additional stroke deaths (147,810 x 35% = 51,734)[25]

Thus, we see, as a “ballpark” number, that the total of these lockdown-delay-in-treatment deaths is 794,663 additional deaths in the United States.  Let’s be clear about these numbers.  They are only rough.  On the one hand, they would seem to be overstated because they use the data of five Democratic states, whereas other (Republican) states exercised a much “lighter touch” in their lockdowns.  So, we would expect that the percentages (of increased deaths) in these Democratic strongholds would be higher than in other parts of the country.  This would mean that the national percentages for these lockdown-delay-in-treatment deaths would be lower than in those five Democratic states.

On the other hand, these numbers undercount the lockdown-delay-in-treatment deaths in another way: viz., those percentages only pertain to the increased death from four causes.  Since there are roughly 100,000 self-inflicted deaths, plus cancer lockdown-delay deaths, and delay-deaths from other causes too, all those numbers should be added to the total of the lockdown-delay deaths from these four causes (794,663) to approximate the additional U.S. deaths.  We see similar collateral deaths from corona-isolation in other countries too.[26]

For the present purpose, we are not trying to get an exact number of the collateral, lockdown-isolation deathsNor are we saying that we know there are 800,000 additional deaths.  Rather, we are pointing out that these collateral deaths from the corona-lockdowns provide a valuable context to our assessment of the current corona-scare. 

It is easy to see how the collateral deaths caused by the government lockdowns could easily exceed – even very greatly exceed – that inflated 183,000 COVID death number which is claimed.  Moreover, when comparing those collateral “lockdown deaths” with supposed “COVID-19 deaths”, the comparison is even more dramatic when we consider the number of years lost by people, compared to the number of lives lost (as shown above).

Perhaps someone might suppose that the “COVID-19 deaths” would be far more numerous if the governments did not order the harsh lockdowns which caused the huge numbers of collateral deaths.  That supposition is false, as will be shown in a future Catholic Candle article.  In fact, those lockdowns were unnecessary and did not help.


3.   The COVID-19 death numbers are unreliable and inflated

Above, we saw that the collateral deaths caused by the government lockdowns could easily exceed – even very greatly exceed – that inflated 183,000 “COVID-19 death” number which is claimed.

Now, we examine that “COVID-19 death” total and see if it is reliable. 


The overcount of “COVID-19 deaths”

There is a huge difference between dying with COVID-19 and dying from (i.e., because of) COVID-19.  Let’s illustrate the difference: the CDC estimates that adults will come down with 2-3 common colds every year.[27]  With colds being so common, it is common to die with a common cold, even though not because of a common cold.  If someone died while he had a common cold, we would not say he “died from the common cold”.

Well, “COVID-19 deaths” are counted to include anyone who dies with COVID-19 even though not because of (from) COVID-19.  This is similar to counting a person as a “common cold death” if the person died while he had a common cold.

Here is how Dr. Deborah Birx (coordinator of the coronavirus taskforce) explained this U.S. method of counting COVID-19 deaths:

There are other countries that if you had a preexisting condition and let’s say the virus caused you to go to the ICU and then have a heart or kidney problem some countries are recording [this] as a heart issue or a kidney issue and not a COVID-19 death. … [In the US] if someone dies with COVID-19 we are counting that as a COVID-19 death.[28]

With this foolishly broad overcounting, which no one ever uses for other sicknesses, there is a greatly exaggerated COVID-19 death toll.  There is not only the everyday overcount we would expect, of sick, frail, elderly people who have multiple co-morbidities, who die of something else (like a heart attack, a stroke, cancer, etc.) but who are counted as a “COVID-19 death” because they died with COVID-19. 

But there are also striking absurdities which are consistent with this official policy of counting every death as a “COVID-19 death” as long as the person had COVID-19 when he died, e.g.,

  A person who died in a motorcycle accident was listed as a COVID-19 death.[29]

  A person who died of suicide was listed as a COVID-19 death.[30]

But the COVID-19 overcount is even more exaggerated because a person need not even be known to have COVID-19.  Rather, current CDC protocols allow a person to be reported as a “COVID-19 death” as long as there is an assumption that COVID-19 somehow contributed to the death.  Here is the CDC’s instruction:

COVID-19 should be reported on the death certificate for all decedents where the disease caused or is assumed to have caused or contributed to death.[31]

Thus, when the death certificate lists COVID-19 on it, the CDC and the mainstream media report the person as if COVID-19 caused that person’s death.  For example, here is one instance of this type of falsification (this one from National Public Radio):

Today, more than 6 million Americans have been infected with the coronavirus and some 183,000 have died from it ….[32]

Here is another example of this type of falsification (this one from the Washington Post):

At least 191,000 people have died of the coronavirus in the United States


The truth is that the COVID-19 death total is really of people who died in some way connected with COVID-19, but not because of COVID-19.  These people did not all have pneumonia-type COVID-19 symptoms, nor were they all even known to have ever had COVID-19.

In fact, the “COVID-19 death” toll includes many people based on statistical suppositions.  For example, early on, New York adopted the policy of counting as “COVID-19 deaths” the number of people who died in excess of a statistically average year, even though those people never tested positive for COVID-19 or had any symptoms suggesting COVID-19.[34]  The unreasonableness and inaccuracy of this policy is obvious, since “half the time” (even without COVID-19) the fatalities will be above average – maybe even far above average – to offset the other “half” of the years when the death toll is below average.


Perverse financial incentives to count persons as “COVID-19 deaths”

We see (above) that the CDC authorizes hospitals to count as “COVID-19 deaths” all people whom they “assume” had COVID-19 which somehow contributed to the deaths.  These assumptions are made more common by the perverse financial incentives pressuring cash-strapped hospitals to “assume” that COVID-19 had some role contributing to patients’ deaths.  For example, the U.S. government pays hospitals a 20% premium in Medicare payments if the hospital “assumes” that a patient was a “COVID-19 death”.[35]

Any reasonable person would know that under these circumstances, there will be lots of “assuming” that COVID-19 had some connection to the death.  In fact, some whistleblower doctors have publicly complained that their hospitals pressure them to add COVID-19 as an assumed “contributing cause” on their patients’ death certificates.[36]


Summary of this section so far, of the reasons “COVID-19 death” numbers are inflated

The “COVID-19 death” totals are inflated because a person can be counted if:

  The person had COVID-19 when he died (regardless of what actually caused his death); or

  The person was assumed to have had COVID-19 when he died; or

  There was a statistical increase in deaths above the expected average, regardless of how the persons died.

Further, we see (above) that there is a large perverse incentive for hospitals to lie and to say that a person was a “COVID-19 death” so the hospital would get more money.


Let’s try to estimate the true number of persons whose deaths were caused by COVID-19

How do we figure out how many so-called “COVID-19 deaths” were really caused by COVID-19?  One way to roughly approximate this number is to consider what COVID-19 is and then look at the CDC numbers.

COVID-19 is a respiratory disease caused by the virus named SARS-CoV-2. The “SARS” in “SARS-CoV-2” stands for “severe acute respiratory syndrome” (which is sometimes also referred to as acute respiratory distress syndrome or adult respiratory distress syndrome).[37]

The CDC explains that sometimes COVID-19 is severe enough that it leads to death by progressing to pneumonia and acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS).[38] 

Here is another way this causation is stated:

The virus that causes COVID-19 is designated severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). The major morbidity and mortality from COVID-19 is largely due to acute viral pneumonitis that evolves to acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS).[39]

This is why, last spring, the CDC directors used a “case definition of COVID-19 requiring a diagnosis of pneumonia” in an article they wrote for the New England Journal of Medicine.[40]

Thus, let’s look at the death toll of persons whose death certificates at least mentioned pneumonia (regardless of what they died of).  In the CDC chart below[41], you see that there are 71,700 persons who died between February 1, 2020 and August 31, 2020, who at least had influenza or pneumonia when they died (regardless of the actual cause of their death).

Again, this total is 71,700 deaths.  Let’s count that as a rough proxy for how many people with COVID-19 actually died from it, since these people at least had influenza or had the pneumonia which accompanies COVID-19 when people actually die from the disease.

This data is the best we have although, obviously, to the extent that persons had COVID-19 and pneumonia but died of something else, such as a heart attack, these persons would be included in this total and would overcount COVID-19 deaths.  Further, to the extent that these persons had influenza and not pneumonia, they also would be an overcount.  But let’s “be generous” and count them all, to approximate a real COVID-19 death toll.  That number (71,700) is still only 40% of the claimed total of COVID-19 deaths (183,000).

It might seem that 71,700 is a big number.  However, the U.S. is a country of 330 million people.  In fact, about 2.8 million people die in the U.S. during a typical year.[42]

So, although we don’t want anyone to die, nonetheless pneumonia (and influenza) deaths are currently average for the entire country, not above average.  See the current CDC map below.


Map taken from:



We could talk about other countries too.  However, we will only briefly talk about one other country, Italy, because it has been mentioned so often in the mainstream media’s corona-scare.  Italy has the second-oldest population in the world.[43]  Just as the annual flu strikes more severely in elderly people with co-morbidities, so does COVID-19 too, as we saw in section one of this article. 

However, there is a dishonesty in the reporting of Italy’s COVID-19 fatalities, just as is true in the statistics for the U.S. and other countries.  Like for the U.S., the mainstream media attributes to COVID-19 all deaths in which the persons had some connection to the virus.  In other words, Italy’s COVID-19 fatality statistics include all the people who died with COVID-19, even when they die of something else and their deaths are not caused by COVID-19.

Here is how this is explained by Prof. Walter Ricciardi, scientific adviser to Italy’s minister of health:

The way in which we code deaths in our country is very generous in the sense that all the people who die in hospitals with the coronavirus are deemed to be dying of the coronavirus.  On re-evaluation by the National Institute of Health, only 12 per cent of death certificates have shown a direct causality from coronavirus, while 88 per cent of patients who have died have at least one pre-morbidity – many had two or three ….[44]

Thus, looking at how many people – even among Italy’s more elderly population – have died from COVID-19 as the cause, only 12% of those attributed in Italy as “COVID-19 deaths” showed a “direct causality from coronavirus”.  In other words, Italy’s “COVID-19 death” toll is inflated by 800%!


Summary of this article

There are many reasons that it is plain that the corona-scare is overblown.  The reality is that:

  COVID-19 is in the same “ballpark” with (and has the same fatality profile as) the annual flu;

  The collateral deaths caused by the government lockdowns likely greatly exceed the deaths caused by COVID-19, even if the inflated “COVID-19 death” toll were the true one; and

  The “COVID-19 death” numbers are unreliable and inflated.


Lastly, beware of the lies and “spin” in the reports of the mainstream media!

[16]         Assessment by Professor Mark Woolhouse OBE, University of Edinburgh professor of infectious disease epidemiology and member of the Scientific Pandemic Influenza Group on Behaviours that advises the British Government.


[19]         Robert Redfield, MD, Director, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention,

[25]         All of the above death total data was taken from:

[28] (emphasis added).


[33]         Washington Post Evening Edition, September 15, 2020, article entitled: Trump health appointee apologizes to HHS staff after accusing scientists of ‘sedition’ (emphasis added).


[36]         See, e.g., one doctor telling a major new outlet this:

[40]         Covid-19 — Navigating the Uncharted, by Anthony S. Fauci, M.D., H. Clifford Lane, M.D., and Robert R. Redfield, M.D., New England Journal of Medicine, (emphasis added).


Hireling-Priests in the Time of Coronavirus

Our Lord is the Good Shepherd and is the model of His priests who are good shepherds.  Our Lord contrasts the selflessness of a good shepherd-priest, with a hireling-priest.  Here are Our Lord’s words:

I am the good shepherd.  The good shepherd giveth his life for his sheep.  But the hireling, and he that is not the shepherd, whose own the sheep are not, seeth the wolf coming, and leaveth the sheep, and flieth; and the wolf catcheth, and scattereth the sheep; and the hireling flieth, because he is a hireling, and he hath no care for the sheep.[1] 

A hireling puts his own safety and self-interest before the good of his flock.  He withdraws from his flock in times of fear and trial.

When times are easy and peaceful, it is hard to distinguish hireling-priests from good shepherd-priests.  The proof that a particular priest is a hireling comes during times of fear and trial.  Here is how Pope St. Gregory the Great, Doctor of the Church, explains this truth:

Whether he [viz., a priest] is a shepherd or a hireling cannot be truly known unless a time of trial arise.  For as a rule, in times of peace, both shepherd and hireling alike remain watching their flocks.  It is only when the wolf comes that each one shows the purpose for which he has been standing guard over his flock.[2]

In any tribulation – whether a religious persecution or a plague – a priest has a duty to continue administering to souls.  Although a hireling withdraws from the flock, a true shepherd continues to tend the flock.

There are only two circumstances in which a priest may withdraw from his flock:

  when he is in special danger not shared by other good priests who remain to give good care to that flock; or

  when the priest can take his entire flock with him to safety and administer to their souls in that safe place.

Here is how St. Augustine, Doctor of the Church, teaches this truth:

Let the servants of Christ, the ministers of His Word, and of His sacraments, flee from city to city whenever one of them is especially sought for by persecutors; but so that the Church is not abandoned by those who are not thus pursued.  But when the danger is common to all, that is, to bishops and clergy and to the laity, let those who need the help of others be not abandoned by those whose help they need.  Therefore, either let all pass over to a place of safety, or else let those who must of necessity remain be not abandoned by those through whom their need for the rites of the Church are to be fulfilled.

The ministers of the Church, therefore, must then fly, under pressure of persecution, from those places in which we dwell when there is either no people of Christ there to whom we must minister, or when the needed ministry can be fulfilled by others who have not the same reason for flight. But when the people remain, and the ministers take to flight, and their ministry is withdrawn, what then have we but that condemnable flight of hirelings who have no care for the sheep.[3]

So, when the people remain in any tribulation – whether a religious persecution or a plague – only a hireling abandons them and withdraws his spiritual care. 

Fear for his personal safety is the hallmark of a hireling-priest.  He “seeth the wolf coming, and leaveth the sheep, and flieth” for his own safety.[4]  In this time of coronavirus, the two main fears of a hireling-priest are:

1.    He fears the government threats if he continues caring for his flock instead of “sheltering in place”; and

2.    He fears the coronavirus itself.

Below we will examine each of the hireling’s fears.

1. A priest who is a true shepherd continues caring for his flock even when threatened by the government for doing so.

Our godless civil governments have ordered priests to “lock down” and to “shelter in place” and to not go out to attend to the souls of their flocks.[5]  These godless governments assert that religion is not an “essential service” for the people and that, for the (supposed) “good of the people”, priests must not attend to their flocks.

It has happened many times in the history of the Catholic Church that the civil government ordered priests not to attend to their flocks.  A true shepherd would never submit to those evil commands.  In contrast to true shepherds, hirelings submit out of their own self-interest.

In Mexico, in the early 20th Century, when the godless, anti-Catholic, Masonic government ordered priests not to administer to their flocks, many hireling-priests fled to the United States, following the example of their hireling-bishops.  Many of the remaining priests in Mexico abandoned their flocks, married, and settled in the cities.[6]  However, here is what happened to the good shepherd-priests:

A courageous minority of priests refused to compromise.  They went into hiding and roamed Mexico at night, in disguise, doing their best to bring the True Faith and the Sacraments to the faithful.  If caught, they were arrested, fined, jailed, and sometimes tortured and executed.  In February 1915 alone, the Mexican government martyred 160 priests.[7]

Those were faithful shepherds indeed!  They imitated Our Lord, the Good Shepherd, Who laid down His Life for His sheep.  Those priests rejected the civil government’s order telling them to withdraw from their flocks “for the good of the people”.

Saints John and Paul are models for our time, showing the danger of the civil authority stifling the Church’s work by “little steps”.

Saints John and Paul (who are mentioned in the Canon of the Mass) are special models for our time.  They were martyred in 363 A.D., under the Emperor Julian the Apostate, because they would not compromise with the civil authority’s restrictions on the Catholic Church’s work spreading the true religion and saving souls.

The Roman Emperor, Julian the Apostate, attempted to stifle the Catholic religion by placing restrictions on Catholics teaching the youth.[8]  These restrictions were much more perilous to the Church than the preceding bloody persecutions under Nero and Diocletian because of the danger that Catholics would acquiesce to these limits on the work of the Catholic Church (whereas there was no danger Catholics would acquiesce in the government’s bloody persecution and martyrdom of Catholics).  Dom Guéranger explains that “never was Holy Church menaced with greater peril”.[9]

Dom Guéranger explains that during the previous persecutions, Catholics went to martyrdom with unmixed nobility.  Because of this, the civil government changed its strategy and instead attempted to destroy the Church through “small” compromises to slowly snuff out Her life.  Dom Guéranger continues:

[The civil government sought to] now make a slave of her [viz., the Church] whom they had beheld still holding her royal liberty in the face of executioners – fain would they [viz., the persecutors] now await the moment when, once enslaved, she would at last disappear of herself, in powerlessness and degradation.[10]

However, the bishops of the time were true shepherds, not hirelings that went along with the civil government stifling the Church in a “bloodless” weakening.  Dom Guéranger continues the account:

[T]he bishops of that time found vent for their indignant soul, in accents such as their predecessors had spared to princes whose brute violence was then inundating the empire with Christian blood.  They now retorted upon the tyrant, scorn for scorn; and the manifestations of contempt that consequently came showering in, from every quarter upon the crowned fool [viz., Julian], completely unmasked at last his feigned moderation [viz., his not putting Catholics to death].  Julian was now shown up as nothing but a common persecutor of the usual kind – blood flowed; the Church was rescued.[11]

In other words, Dom Guéranger explains that the Church was in great danger from the slow stifling of Her life by the civil authorities.  She was rescued by the renewed bloody persecutions and martyrdoms.  Dear readers, beware!  We are now undergoing this same slow snuffing out the Catholic religion!  Bloody persecution would be much less dangerous!

Dom Guéranger continues his account of Saints John and Paul, writing that cowardly Catholics would doubtlessly think that the best course would be to accept “small” compromises and “small” limitations on the Catholic Church’s care for souls.  Below, Dom Guéranger provides an imitation of the soothing words of cowardly Catholics who would advise accepting restrictions which are “prudent” compromises with the civil government. 

Here is Dom Guéranger’s warning, which imitates the cowards, trying to justify compromise:

[Julian the Apostate did not require] the renouncing of Jesus Christ, [as] a condition [for peace]. Well then, it may be retorted [viz., by weak compromisers], why not yield to the Imperial whim?  Could they [viz., Saints John and Paul] not do so without wounding their conscience?  Surely too much stiffness would be rather calculated to illdispose the prince [viz., Julian], perhaps even fatally.  Whereas to listen to him would very likely have a soothing effect upon him; nay, possibly even bring him round to relax somewhat of those administrative trammels, unfortunately imposed upon the Church by his prejudiced government.  Yea, for aught one knew, the possible conversion of his soul, the return of so many of the misled who had followed him in his fall, might be the result!  Should not such things as these deserve some consideration should they not impose, as a duty, some gentle handling?[12]

Dom Guéranger is warning us that this is a temptation of the devil under the appearance of good!  Dom Guéranger acknowledges that, if Saints John and Paul would have gone along with the government’s limitations on the Church, some people would have found a way to “justify” their compromise.  Here are Dom Guéranger’s words:

[T]he most exacting casuist[13] could not find it a crime for John and Paul to dwell in a court, where nothing was demanded of them contrary to the divine precepts.[14]

But true Soldiers of Christ are not compromisers!  Saints John and Paul openly opposed this stifling of the Catholic Faith and were gloriously martyred. 

Dom Guéranger warns his readers that, in our modern age, the civil authorities are again seeking to stifle the Catholic Church through slow suppression.  Here is his warning given through the means of a prayer addressing those two martyrs themselves:

Now-a-days there has arisen a persecution not dissimilar to that in which you gained the crown; Julian’s plan of action is once more in vogue ….[15]

In the present world, we see the tactics of Julian the Apostate again being used, in the civil governments’ ordering the priests to “lock down” and cease administering to their flock.  Only hireling–priests would submit to that order.

St. Edmund Campion, a good shepherd who firmly resolved to administer to his flock against the civil government’s command

About 1580, St. Edmund Campion, a Catholic priest, firmly declared his determination to continue administering to souls in Elizabethan England, despite the government’s order to Catholic priests to not attend to souls.  Here is St. Edmund Campion’s courageous response to the civil government’s order:

Whereas I have come out of Germany and Bohemia, being sent by my superiors, and adventured myself into this noble realm [viz., England], my dear country, for the glory of God and benefit of souls, I thought it like enough that, in this busy, watchful, and suspicious world, I should either sooner or later be intercepted and stopped of my course [viz., his administering to souls].

Wherefore, providing for all events, and uncertain what may become of me, when God shall haply deliver my body into durance [imprisonment], I supposed it needful to put this in writing in a readiness, desiring your good lordships [i.e., England’s ruling council] to give it your reading, to know my cause.  This doing, I trust I shall ease you of some labor.  For that which otherwise you must have sought for by practice of wit, I do now lay into your hands by plain confession.  …

Many innocent hands are lifted up to heaven [in prayer] for you daily by those English students [in Catholic seminaries on the continent], whose posterity shall never die, which beyond seas, gathering virtue and sufficient knowledge for the purpose, are determined never to give you over [i.e., give up on the rulers’ conversion], but either to win you heaven, or to die upon your pikes [weapons].  And touching our Society [of Jesus], be it known to you that we have made a league – all the Jesuits in the world – whose succession and multitude must overreach all the practice of England – cheerfully to carry the cross you shall lay upon us, and never to despair your recovery [to the Catholic Faith], while we have a man left to enjoy your Tyburn [a place of execution], or to be racked with your torments, or consumed with your prisons.  The expense is reckoned, the enterprise is begun; it is of God; it cannot be withstood.  So the faith was planted: So it must be restored.[16]

St. Edmund Campion was a true shepherd!  He did not withdraw from his flock even though the civil government told him that the Catholic religion is not an “essential service”!  Instead, this faithful shepherd courageously tells the civil authorities that nothing will stop him from attending to his flock until they catch him and kill him.

What a contrast this true shepherd is to the corona-cowards who withdraw from their flocks because the civil government ordered them to “shelter in place”!  For example, in April 2020, the French (so-called) bishops spinelessly said they were “regretting” the civil government’s order that “Catholic worship will be obliged to wait three weeks longer than stores, businesses, and public transport in order to take place publicly.”[17]

Where are the true shepherds?  Not there!  These are hirelings![18]

As St. Augustine teaches:

[W]hen the people remain [in need], and the ministers take to flight [or stay home to “shelter in place”], and their ministry is withdrawn, what then have we but that condemnable flight of hirelings who have no care for the sheep.[19]

Summary of this section

Good shepherd–priests continue administering to their flocks and do not abandon them even when the government orders a “lock down”.  By contrast, hireling–priests “shelter in place” for fear of the government.

2. A priest who is a true shepherd continues caring for this flock even during a plague.

Although hireling–priests “shelter in place”, good shepherd–priests stay with their flocks in times of plague.

For example, when the plague struck Milan, here is what St. Charles Borromeo did:

He visited the plague–stricken with unwearied zeal, assisted them with fatherly affection, and, administering to them with his own hands the Sacraments of the Church, singularly consoled them.[20]

St. Charles Borromeo and St. Aloysius Gonzaga both died attending victims of the plague.[21] 

When the plague was raging in Rome, Saint Joseph Calasanctius joined St. Camillus, and not content in his ardent zeal, with bestowing lavish care upon the sick poor, he even carried the dead to the grave on his own shoulders.[22]

When the plague struck Valencia, here is what St. Louis Bertrand did:

The plague that decimated the inhabitants of Valencia and the vicinity in 1557, afforded the saint [viz., St. Louis Bertrand] an excellent opportunity for the exercise of his charity and zeal.  Tirelessly, he ministered to the spiritual and physical needs of the afflicted.  With the tenderness and devotion of a mother, he nursed the sick.  The dead he prepared for burial and interred with his own hands.[23]

When the plague struck Switzerland, here is what St. Francis de Sales did:

Though the plague raged violently at Thonon [Switzerland], this did not hinder [St.] Francis [de Sales] either by day or night from assisting the sick in their last moments; and God preserved him from the contagion, which seized and swept off several of his fellow-laborers.  …  In a plague which raged there [viz., Annecy, Switzerland], he daily exposed his own life to assist his flock.[24]

When the plague struck Wales, here is what St. Theliau did:

When the yellow plague depopulated Wales, he exerted his courage and charity with a heroic intrepidity.  Providence preserved his life for the sake of others ….[25]

There are countless other examples of good shepherd–priests faithfully attending their flocks during a plague.  This is their duty – to assist their flock during a plague (and always).  A good shepherd–priest’s selfless devotion to his flock compels the admiration even of non-Catholics.  For example, here is how one protestant admired the religious priests of Manila during the plague there:

Of undaunted courage, they have ever been to the front when calamities threatened their flocks.  In epidemics of plague and cholera they have not been dismayed, nor have they ever in such cases abandoned their flocks ….[26]

Summary of this section

Good shepherd–priests continue administering to their flocks and do not cower for fear of the plague.  By contrast, hireling–priests “shelter in place” and withdraw from administering to their flocks.

In times of plague the prayers should be public.

The Catholic Church has always known what Pope Francis now denies, viz., that plagues are a just punishment of God for sin.[27]  In times of plague, the Catholic Church redoubles Her public prayers.  By contrast, the conciliar church and hirelings “lock down” and stay home.

When the plague ravaged Rome, this is what Pope St. Gregory the Great did:

[T]he plague continued to rage at Rome with great violence; and, while the people waited for the emperor’s answer, St. Gregory took occasion from their calamities to exhort them to repentance.  Having made them a pathetic [very moving] sermon on that subject, he appointed a solemn litany, or procession, in seven companies, with a priest at the head of each, who were to march from different churches, and all to meet in that of St. Mary Major; singing Kyrie Eleison as they went along the streets.  During this procession there died in one hour’s time fourscore [i.e., eighty people] of those who assisted at it.  But St. Gregory did not forbear to exhort the people, and to pray till such time as the distemper ceased.[28]

But as [St.] Gregory was passing over the bridge of St. Peter’s, a heavenly vision consoled them [viz., the people] in the midst of their litanies.  The archangel Michael was seen over the tomb of Hadrian, sheathing his flaming sword in token that the pestilence was to cease.  [Saint] Gregory heard the angelic antiphon from heavenly voices – Regina Coeli, lætare, and added himself the concluding verse – Ora pro nobis Deum, alleluia.[29]

How great was St. Gregory’s Faith compared to modern hirelings!  In April 2020, Cardinal Cupich of Chicago blasphemously scoffed at the power of prayer to help with the Coronavirus.  He said “religion is not magic where we just say prayers and think things are going to change.”[30]

Hireling–priests stay home.  They don’t see the importance of public prayer and penance in the time of plague because they are men of little faith.  But good shepherds are the opposite! 

When the plague struck Milan, here is what St. Charles Borromeo did:

[T]he plague appeared in Milan.  [Saint] Charles was at Lodi, at the funeral of the bishop.  He at once returned, and inspired confidence in all.  He was convinced that the plague was sent as a chastisement for sin ….[31]

[H]e ordered public supplications to be made, and himself walked in the processions, with a rope round his neck, his feet bare and bleeding from the stones, and carrying a cross; and thus offering himself as a victim for the sins of the people, he endeavored to turn away the anger of God.[32]

There is no end to the other examples we could give of the Catholic Church praying and processing publicly during times of plague.  Such a Catholic response, though, requires firm Faith.  Hireling-priests “shelter in place” and agree with Cardinal Cupich that “religion is not magic where we just say [public] prayers and think things are going to change.”[33] 

Hireling-priests are like Ohio’s (so-called) “bishops” who cowardly canceled all services because of fears that large gatherings could spread the coronavirus.[34]

Conclusion of this article

Hireling-priests cower at home when the government orders them to “shelter in place”.  Hireling–priests flee from coronavirus to save their own skin.  Good shepherd-priests stay with their flocks despite persecutions from the government or the danger from plague.[35]

[1]           St. John’s Gospel, Ch. 10, vv. 11-13 (emphasis added).


[2]           Pope St. Gregory the Great, quoted from The Sunday Sermons of the Great Fathers, translated and edited BY M. F. Toal, D.D., Volume II, Second Sunday after Easter, Henry Regnery Co., Chicago, ©1958. p.292.


[3]           St. Augustine, quoted from The Sunday Sermons of the Great Fathers, translated and edited BY M. F. Toal, D.D., Volume II, Second Sunday after Easter, Henry Regnery Co., Chicago, ©1958. p.292 (italic emphasis in the original; bold emphasis added).


[4]           Quoting St. John’s Gospel, Ch. 10, vv. 11-13.


[5]           See, e.g., these news reports which are a small sample of available reports:


§  Michigan’s governor banning all "public and private gatherings of any kind" including all religious services.


§  A mayor bans religious services:


§  Police break up religious services.


§  Mississippi’s Governor, Tate Reeves, issued a shelter-in-place order on April 3, 2020, that was followed by an executive order from Greenville Mississippi’s mayor, mandating all church buildings close for both in-person and drive-in church services.


§  Canadian police threaten a group of people because they are parked in a church parking lot, even though they stayed in their cars.


Catholic Candle note: this article leaves aside the fact that leaders in the human element of the Church might not be valid priests and bishops and that the “sacraments” they offer are really conciliar poison. 


For an explanation why conciliar ordinations and consecrations are inherently doubtful and so should be treated as invalid, read these articles:








For an explanation why the conciliar sacraments anger God and give no grace, read these articles:






[6]           Latin America: A Sketch of its Glorious Catholic Roots and a Snapshot of its Present, by the Editors of Quanta Cura Press, pp.39-40, © 2016.

[7]           Quoted from: Latin America: A Sketch of its Glorious Catholic Roots and a Snapshot of its Present, by the Editors of Quanta Cura Press, p.40, © 2016.

[8]               The second thing Julian the Apostate did was to ban Catholics from holding government offices.


[9]           The Liturgical Year, by Dom Guéranger, June 26, Feasts of Saints John and Paul, volume 12, (also called volume 3 for the Time After Pentecost) James Duffy, Dublin, 1890, pp. 348-350.

[10]         The Liturgical Year, by Dom Guéranger, June 26, Feasts of Saints John and Paul, volume 12, (also called volume 3 for the Time After Pentecost) James Duffy, Dublin, 1890, pp. 348-350 (bracketed words added for clarity).

[11]         The Liturgical Year, by Dom Guéranger, June 26, Feasts of Saints John and Paul, volume 12, (also called volume 3 for the Time After Pentecost) James Duffy, Dublin, 1890, pp. 348-350 (bracketed words added for clarity).

[12]         The Liturgical Year, by Dom Guéranger, June 26, Feasts of Saints John and Paul, volume 12, (also called volume 3 for the Time After Pentecost) James Duffy, Dublin, 1890, pp. 348-350 (bracketed words added for clarity).

[13]         A casuist is a person who is trained in “the resolving of specific cases of conscience, duty, or conduct through interpretation of ethical principles or religious doctrine”.


[14]         The Liturgical Year, by Dom Guéranger, June 26, Feasts of Saints John and Paul, volume 12, (also called volume 3 for the Time After Pentecost) James Duffy, Dublin, 1890, pp. 348-350.

[15]         The Liturgical Year, by Dom Guéranger, June 26, Feasts of Saints John and Paul, volume 12, (also called volume 3 for the Time After Pentecost) James Duffy, Dublin, 1890, pp. 348-350.

[16]         Apologia of St. Edmund Campion, a/k/a “Campion’s brag” (bracketed words added for clarity).


[18]         This article leaves aside the fact that these actions taken by the human element of the Church involve leaders who might not be valid priests and bishops and that the “sacraments” they offer are really conciliar poison. 

[19]         St. Augustine, quoted from The Sunday Sermons of the Great Fathers, translated and edited BY M. F. Toal, D.D., Volume II, Second Sunday after Easter, Henry Regnery Co., Chicago, ©1958. p.292 (italic emphasis in the original; bold emphasis added; bracketed words added).


[20]         The Liturgical Year, by Dom Guéranger, November 4, Feast of St. Charles Borromeo, volume 15, (also called volume 6 for the Time After Pentecost) New York, Benziger Bros., 1903, p. 189.

[21]           “St. Aloysius and St. Charles Borromeo died of the plague, caught while nursing the sick in the hospital.”  Quoted from The Catechism Explained, Spirago, Section: The Fifth Commandment of God, Subsection: Duty in respect to our own life, §4, p.384 (emphasis added).


[22]         The Liturgical Year, by Dom Guéranger, August 27, Feast of Saint Joseph Calasanctius, volume 14, (also called volume 6 for the Time After Pentecost) New York, Benziger Bros., 1910, p. 88-89.


[23]         1917 Catholic Encyclopedia, volume 9, article: Louis Bertrand.


[24]         Butler’s Lives of the Saints, January 29, Saint Francis de Sales (bracketed words added for clarity).

[25]         Butler’s Lives of the Saints, February 9, Saint Theliau.

[26]         Catholic Encyclopedia, article: Archdiocese of Manila.


[27]         Here is a news report of Pope Francis denying that a plague is a punishment of God for sin.


[28]         Butler’s Lives of the Saints, March 12, Pope St. Gregory the Great (bracketed words added).


[29]         Quoted from The Formation of Christendom, by Thomas William Allies, Volume VI, The Holy See and the Wandering of the Nations, from St. Leo I to St. Gregory I,

Ch. 5 St. Gregory the Great.


[31]         Catholic Encyclopedia, volume 2, article St. Charles Borromeo


[32]         The Liturgical Year, by Dom Guéranger, November 4, Feast of St. Charles Borromeo, volume 15, (also called volume 6 for the Time After Pentecost) New York, Benziger Bros., 1903, p. 189.

[35]         There is evidence that the danger of the coronavirus is greatly exaggerated in order to justify heavyhanded government intrusion and destruction of rightful liberty.  However, this article shows that even if the coronavirus were terribly deadly, the priests who withdraw from their flocks are hirelings.

No One Knows How to Feast Like a Traditional Catholic!

(Because no one knows how to fast like a Traditional Catholic)

Catholic Candle note: The holy time of Lent is upon us, which is a great occasion to reflect upon fasting (and the reason for feasting at the great feast of Easter).  The article below concerns feasting but does not imply eating in excessive quantities.

It might seem paradoxical, but in our age of laxity and over-indulgence, people don’t know how to feast properly.

Here are two elements that greatly enhance feasting:

1.    The best feasting is preceded by generous and strict fasting; and

2.    The best feasting has a great and celebratory motive.

Below, we discuss both of these elements which help us to feast well.


1.   The best feasting is preceded by generous and strict fasting.

Webster’s Dictionary defines a “feast” this way:

  an elaborate and usually abundant meal often accompanied by a ceremony or entertainment; banquet

  something that gives unusual or abundant enjoyment[1]

When a person satisfies his passions and his craves whenever he wants to, every day, then every day is largely the same.  To feast properly, we should fast properly!  Notice that Webster’s definition says that a proper feast should be “elaborate and unusually abundant”.  When a person eats with a usual great abundance, he is not feasting.

For the best feasting, there should be a strong contrast between the fasting just finished and the feasting now begun.  The greater the contrast, the better!  Such preceding fasting makes the subsequent feast more elaborate and more abundant by contrast.

Like other false religions, the conciliar church has virtually no fasting.  By contrast, Traditional Catholics are faithful to Holy Mother Church’s wholesome traditional commands to fast.  Because of this, Traditional Catholics also know well how to feast.

Easter is the greatest feast of the year.  It is fittingly preceded by the greatest fasting of the year (six-and-one-half weeks).[2]  The high feast of Christmas is preceded by its (fasting) vigil and its penitential season of Advent.  Other great feasts have their (fasting) vigils. 

Let us be generous!  The more generous we are in our fasting, the higher will be our feasting!  The conciliar church and other false religions can’t feast well because they don’t fast well.


2.   The best feasting has a great and celebratory motive.

Our motive for feasting should not be because we are inclined to indulge our passions and our craves.  That is not a wholesome reason to feast.  That is merely self-indulgence, resulting in the strengthening of our passions and the weakening of our will.

Notice that Webster’s Dictionary defines feasting as being “often accompanied by a ceremony”.[3]  In other words, feasting is best accompanied by important “ceremonies” – which show important reasons to feast.

A Catholic, whose heart if full of love and joy for his Risen Lord, can fully immerse himself in the Easter feasting, rejoicing in that sublime day with its great liturgical prayers, ceremonies and meaning.

But any person who is focused only on himself, and whose god is his belly[4], “celebrates” nothing except himself – and he already “celebrates himself” every day of the year.  So, every day is empty of special meaning.  There is no day with a fresh and high motive for celebrating and feasting.

The austere St. Francis of Assisi knew the worthiness of celebrating a high feast.  Here is one account, giving us insight into St. Francis’s thoughts about feasting:

When a friar once asked him [viz., St. Francis of Assisi] if you could eat meat when Christmas coincided with Friday, the traditional day of abstinence, St. Francis replied: "I would like that on Christmas even the walls could eat meat.”[5]

Like St. Francis of Assisi, St. John Chrysostom knew the great fittingness of celebrating a high feast.  Read St. John Chrysostom’s sermon (below) showing his contagious joy when celebrating the magnificent Easter feast:

Easter Sermon of St. John Chrysostom, Doctor of the Church

If any man be devout and love God, let him enjoy this fair and radiant triumphal feast.

If any man be a wise servant, let him enter rejoicing into the joy of his Lord.

If any have labored long in fasting, let him now receive his recompense.

If any have wrought from the first hour, let him today receive his just reward.

If any have come at the third hour, let him with thankfulness keep the feast.

If any have arrived at the sixth hour, let him have no misgivings, because he shall in no wise be deprived.

If any have delayed until the ninth hour, let him draw near, fearing nothing.

If any have tarried even until the eleventh hour, let him also be not alarmed at his tardiness; for the Lord, who is jealous of his honor, will accept the last even as the first; He gives rest unto him who comes at the eleventh hour, even as unto him who has worked from the first hour.

And He shows mercy upon the last, and cares for the first; and to the one he gives, and upon the other he bestows gifts.

And He both accepts the deeds, and welcomes the intention, and honors the acts and praises the offering.

Wherefore, enter ye all into the joy of your Lord, and receive your reward, both the first and likewise the second.

You rich and poor together, hold high festival.

You sober and you heedless, honor the day.

Rejoice today, both you who have fasted and you who have disregarded the fast.

The table is fully laden; feast sumptuously!

The calf is fatted; let no one go hungry away.

Enjoy the feast of faith; receive all the riches of loving-kindness.

Let no one bewail his poverty, for the universal kingdom has been revealed.

Let no one weep for his iniquities, for pardon has shone forth from the grave.

Let no one fear death, for the Savior’s death has set us free: He that was held prisoner of it has annihilated it.

By descending into hell, He made hell captive.

He embittered it when it tasted of His flesh.

And Isaiah, foretelling this, cried: “Hell was embittered when it encountered thee in the lower regions.”

It was embittered, for it was abolished.

It was embittered, for it was mocked.

It was embittered, for it was slain.

It was embittered, for it was overthrown.

It was embittered, for it was fettered in chains.

It took a body, and met God face to face.

It took earth, and encountered heaven.

It took that which was seen, and fell upon the unseen.

O Death, where is your sting?

O Hell, where is your victory?

Christ is risen, and you are overthrown.

Christ is risen, and the demons are fallen.

Christ is risen, and the angels rejoice.

Christ is risen, and life reigns.

Christ is risen, and not one dead remains in the grave.

For Christ, being risen from the dead, is become the first-fruits of those who have fallen asleep.

To him be glory and dominion unto ages of ages. Amen.[6]

In this sermon, St. John Chrysostom shows us the attitude we should have: feasting with joy when we have high motives to celebrate.  Truly, this is feasting worthy of the name!  What a contrast this is to the unworthy, joyless “feasting” which is merely a “celebrating” of the fact that we are indulging ourselves!



Let us Traditional Catholics fast well and then feast well.  Let us enter with all of our hearts and with complete generosity into our fasting, thereby forming a worthy contrast to our joyful celebrating of the great feast to come!

[1]           Quoted from Webster’s Dictionary, found here:  Note: In this article, by the word “feasting”, we do not imply over-eating.

[2]           Here is a handy table of the Church’s Traditional rules for fasting and abstaining.


[4]           St. Paul describes worldlings, unwilling to fast, in these words: “[T]hey are enemies of the cross of Christ; whose end is destruction; whose god is their belly; and whose glory is in their shame; who mind earthly things.”  Philippians, 3:18-19.

[6]           We recommend using this sermon as part of sanctifying the up-coming great feast of Easter.

New doctrines are not Catholic. They are heresy.

Catholic Candle note: Sedevacantism is wrong and Catholic Candle is not sedevacantist. In fact, we published a nine-part series setting out the errors of sedevacantism (and also why it is wrong to believe that former Pope Benedict XVI continues to be pope).

A reader would be mistaken to believe that the article below gives any support to sedevacantism. This article simply shows that Vatican II’s teachings, because they are new, cannot be Catholic and must be rejected. In this way, Vatican II’s teachings are like any other erroneous teachings of a pope or bishops. See, e.g., Pope John XXII’s denial (in the 14th century) of a doctrine that the Church has always taught infallibly (although this denial did not prevent him from being pope).

The First Vatican Council infallibly teaches that new teachings are not the proper subject matter for the guidance of the Holy Ghost:

For the Holy Ghost was promised to the successors of Peter not so that they might, by His revelation, make known some new doctrine, but that, by His assistance, they might religiously guard and faithfully expound the revelation or Deposit of Faith transmitted by the Apostles.

Vatican I, Pastor Aeternus, Sess. 4, ch.4, #6 (emphasis added).

The Council of Trent Catechism teaches:

[The Catholic Church’s] doctrines are neither novel nor of recent origin, but were delivered, of old, by the Apostles, and disseminated throughout the world. Hence, no one can, for a moment, doubt that the impious opinions which heresy invents, opposed, as they are, to the doctrines taught by the Church from the days of the Apostles to the present time, are very different from the faith of the true Church.

Council of Trent Catechism, under Creed: Apostolicity (emphasis added).

New doctrines are so foreign to Catholicism that St. Thomas Aquinas defines heretics as follows: A heretic is someone who devises or follows false or new opinions. Summa Theologica, IIa IIae, Q.11, a.1 Sed contra (emphasis added). Notice St. Thomas does not say “false and new opinions”. The newness of a doctrine is already sufficient reason to reject it.

The Second Council of Nicea, in 787 AD, condemned doctrinal innovators and rejected all innovations, with these words:

[W]e declare that we defend free from any innovations all the written and unwritten ecclesiastical traditions that have been entrusted to us. … Therefore, all those who … devise innovations or who spurn anything entrusted to the Church …, we order that they be suspended if they are bishops or clerics, and excommunicated if they are monks or lay people.

Emphasis added.

Pope St. Pius X describes modernists in terms of their break with tradition and their embrace of novel doctrines:

[T]hey pervert the eternal concept of truth and the true meaning of religion; in introducing a new system in which they are seen to be under the sway of a blind and unchecked passion for novelty, thinking not at all of finding some solid foundation of truth, but despising the Holy and Apostolic Traditions.

Pope St. Pius X, Pascendi Dominici Gregis, ¶13, quoting from the encyclical Singulari nos of Pope Gregory XVI, June 25, 1834 (emphasis added).


It is clear that the Holy Ghost is not promised as a guide for the teaching of new doctrines. Further, the Catholic Church has always taught that Her doctrines are not new. Rather, the Catholic Church condemns new doctrines and considers them heresy.

As Admitted by the Conciliar Revolutionaries, Vatican II’s Teachings Are New, Which shows that Those Teachings are False.

Having seen above that the Catholic Church rejects new doctrines and certainly does not teach them infallibly, we next look at whether Vatican II’s teachings are new. If they are, then they cannot be infallible and must be rejected. Below, we set forth the testimony of the hierarchy that the teachings of Vatican II are new. (This is merely one “level” of proof among many, showing that we must reject the teachings of Vatican II.)

The testimony of Pope John Paul II:

[W]hat constitutes the substantial “novelty” of the Second Vatican Council, in line with the legislative tradition of the Church, especially in regard to ecclesiology, constitutes likewise the “novelty” of the new Code [of canon law].

Among the elements which characterize the true and genuine image of the Church, we should emphasize especially the following: the doctrine in which the Church is presented as the People of God (cf. Lumen Gentium, no. 2), and authority as a service (cf. ibid., no. 3); the doctrine in which the Church is seen as a “communion”, and which, therefore, determines the relations which should exist between the particular Churches and the universal Church, and between collegiality and the primacy; the doctrine, moreover, according to which all the members of the People of God, in the way suited to each of them, participate in the threefold office of Christ: priestly, prophetic and kingly. With this teaching there is also linked that which concerns the duties and rights of the faithful, and particularly of the laity; and finally, the Church’s commitment to ecumenism. …

[T]he Second Vatican Council has … elements both old and new, and the new consists precisely in the elements which we have enumerated ….

Pope John Paul II, Sacrae Disciplinae Leges, January 25, 1983 (emphasis added).

As quoted above, Pope John Paul II specifically identified key doctrines of Vatican II as novelties. Among the chief novel teachings of Vatican II (and which are contained in the 1983 code of canon law), he lists: the Church, the universal sacrament of salvation [meaning everyone goes to heaven] is shown to be the People of God and its hierarchical constitution to be founded on the College of Bishops together with its head. Pope John Paul II, Sacrae Disciplinae Leges, January 25, 1983.

We have other warnings that the conciliar doctrines are novelties, (for which the Holy Ghost was not promised). Pope John Paul II admitted the council’s novelties in these words:

Indeed, the extent and depth of the teaching of the Second Vatican Council call for a renewed commitment to deeper study in order to reveal clearly the Council’s continuity with Tradition, especially in points of doctrine which, perhaps because they are new, have not yet been well understood by some sections of the Church.

Ecclesia Dei, (1988), ¶5b.

The pope is calling for deeper study because 23 years after the council, he acknowledges that Vatican II’s continuity with Sacred Tradition is still not shown (nor can it be)!

The testimony of Pope Benedict XVI:

In the first year of his pontificate, Pope Benedict XVI said:

[W]ith the Second Vatican Council, the time came when broad new thinking was required.

December 22, 2005 Christmas address (emphasis added).

Before he became pope, Cardinal Ratzinger taught:

If it is desirable to offer a diagnosis of the text [of the Vatican II document, Gaudium et Spes] as a whole, we might say that (in conjunction with the texts on religious liberty and world religions) it is a revision of the Syllabus of Pius IX, a kind of countersyllabus. … Let us be content to say that the text serves as a countersyllabus and, as such, represents, on the part of the Church, an attempt at an official reconciliation with the new era inaugurated in 1789 [by the Masonic French Revolution].

Principles of Catholic Theology: Building Stones for a Fundamental Theology, translator, Sr. Mary Frances McCarthy (San Francisco: Ignatius Press 1987), pp. 381-382; French edition: Les Principes de la Theologie Catholique – Esquisse et Materiaux, Paris: Tequi, 1982, pp. 426-427 (emphasis added; bracketed words added; parenthetical words are in the original).

Note: Obviously, whatever is the opposite (that is, the “countersyllabus”) of the Catholic Church’s prior teaching, must be a novel teaching which the Church did not previously teach. Yet this is how Pope Benedict XVI described some of the main teachings of Vatican II! Thus, clearly, Vatican II’s teachings contain novelties (which are therefore false).

The testimony of Pope Paul VI:

The new position adopted by the Church with regard to the realities of this earth is henceforth well known by everyone …. [T]he Church agrees to recognize the new principle to be put into practice …. [T]he Church agrees to recognize the world as ‘self-sufficient’; she does not seek to make the world an instrument for her religious ends ….

August 24, 1969 Declaration of Pope Paul VI, L’Osservatore Romano; (emphasis added).

Further, Pope Paul VI also referred to the “newness” of the doctrine of the Second Vatican Council, in a general audience on January 12, 1966.

Statements Made by other Members of the Hierarchy

Other members of the hierarchy have also made clear statements concerning the novelty and rupture of the teachings of Vatican II.

Near the close of the council, Cardinal Congar stated:

What is new in this teaching [regarding religious liberty] in relation to the doctrine of Leo XIII and even of Pius XII, although the movement was already beginning to make itself felt, is the determination of the basis peculiar to this liberty, which is sought not in the objective truth of moral or religious good, but in the ontological quality of the human person.

Congar, in the Bulletin Etudes et Documents of June 15, 1965, as quoted in I Accuse the Council, Archbishop Lefebvre, p. 27, Angelus Press, 2009 (emphasis added; bracketed words added).

Yves Cardinal Congar was made a Cardinal by Pope John Paul II in recognition for Cardinal Congar’s lifelong dedication to the conciliar revolution. Cardinal Congar likened Vatican II to the triumph of the communists in Russia, calling Vatican II the “October Revolution” in the Church. Yves Congar, The Council Day by Day: Second Session p. 215, (1964).

By this parallel, Cardinal Congar is telling us that Vatican II was an overthrow of the established order in the Catholic Church. Note that, by making this particular comparison, Cardinal Congar saw fit to compare Vatican II to the triumph of the anti-God communists in Russia!

Cardinal Suenens compared Vatican II to a different anti-God revolution. He made the same parallel as Cardinal Ratzinger did (quoted above), comparing Vatican II to the anti-God, Masonic French Revolution, saying that Vatican II was the “1789” in the Church. Quoted in the Catechism of the Crisis in the Church, Pt., 5, by Fr. M. Gaudron, SSPX.

In all three of the cardinals’ comparisons of Vatican II with a communist or Masonic revolution, it is clear that they are stating that Vatican II’s teaching is revolutionary, and thus it is new and false.

Conclusion Regarding the Non-Infallibility (and Falsity) of Vatican II’s Teachings based on their Newness (Novelty)

We have seen that the Holy Ghost is not promised for the teaching of new doctrines. Further, the Catholic Church has always taught that Her doctrines are not new and cannot change. Rather, the Catholic Church condemns new doctrines and considers them heresy.

We have also seen that Pope Benedict XVI, Pope John Paul II and Pope Paul VI (as well as some cardinals), have all stated that Vatican II’s doctrines are new. Therefore, Vatican II’s teachings cannot be infallible (and further, they must be rejected because they are new and heretical).