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Will People Come Back To Church After Coronavirus?

In this episode of The Catholic Talk Show, the guys discuss whether or not Mass attendance levels will plummet or rebound after months of coronavirus-related restrictions and dispensations from the Bishops.

Episode 98:
In this episode, we will discuss:
• Will there be a large drop in Mass Attendance?
• How will Bishop lift the dispensations from Mass?
• How will priests handle full-scale re-opening?
• Will there be a fight between the Church & Government?
• What needs to be done to prevent a decline?
• and much more



7 comments on Will People Come Back To Church After Coronavirus?

  1. Andrea says:

    Hi guys,
    The regulations for health during a pandemic are not militant RD and you shouldn’t have used that description. I think those who are in Mass weekly will be back weekly and those who attend Mass irregularly will attend just as irregularly as well after the new normal or end of the pandemic. I agree that the majority who attend will also be the majority who will return. It is a pandemic RD not whatever you want to call it. You obviously have lost no-one to the coronavirus and I am glad you are so lucky but knock off the arrogance about it. I have lost a family member myself.

    I wrote my second book, a sequel to Thoughts on God, and that may be published eventually but everything is on hold as far as time and money investments during a pandemic that is affecting everyone’s budget and economy and more importantly health. I had a good friend read it, a fully practicing Catholic who even plays the organ during morning Sunday Masses at his parish, and he thought it inspiring. It is entitled God We Do Hear You and is relevant to what you are talking about today. I actually wrote three books but one is not of a spiritual nature just a coming of age compilation of short heart-warming stories. My first book was published, Thoughts on God, and can be found through Amazon or Barnes & Noble. The only two authorized vendors. We have to hear God in our daily lives not just during Mass.

    RD, you did make a good point – where is God in all this. What does God want during this pandemic? The protests are not good comparisons for selling church attendance, as in what the hell. Yes there are crowds of protestors but that doesn’t make it right to crowd into the church during an infectious pandemic. How dare you risk the health of people to get them back into church when they are receiving special dispensation is my reaction to such a call to spiritual arms. Our local and state governments are doing the best they can during a worldwide crisis and deserve our gratitude and cooperation. They are trying to save the majority of lives. God is in charge of saving souls. The goals need not be mutually exclusive.

    Another thing you need to address is how to get the people to believe that Christ is alive in the Sacrament. This is a very real problem out there. I, for one, plan to continue watching the Mass on TV either Catholic TV or EWTN. I sometimes watch the adoration of the Eucharist on EWTN and I don’t feel that Jesus is present in the host that is on display for our adoration. I need to visualize God as we see Him and Jesus in our artworks. The host does nothing for me sad to say. I wish I felt differently. I don’t know how to get there from here. God is more alive for me personally than he is communally. This is an issue for me and was before the pandemic.

    I think that special dispensation needs to stay alive during the pandemic. A sensible choice. Those churches re-opening need to follow
    necessary social distancing and wearing of masks to keep the congregation healthy and from spreading the virus. That has nothing to do with faith in God. God expects us to take care of ourselves, the whole body. The body houses the soul.

    You are almost telling people to take their lives in their hands in order to attend Mass and then backing off from this stance. You were sending conflicting messages throughout this broadcast. Music means much of nothing to me during Mass except for the traditional hymns, Fr. Rich. The ones I grew up with mainly. I find the hymns blend into the experience as well as the organ playing but think the guitars are a bit much even if that is all that is affordable in some parishes. Personal opinion only, of course. That is something you three need to remember as well. You are expressing opinions not dogma.

    Stay safe and healthy during this pandemic and listen to your governors! It ain’t over til it’s over as Yogi Berra would say.

  2. Matthew Potter says:

    Excellent show. I would like you to think about this conundrum, though. Early on you stated that the diocese should pretty much stay out of the parish’s way with respect to providing for the pastoral and spiritual needs of the People of God during the pandemic. Then towards the end you mention that the bishops should require that Mass be solemn without guitars blaring.

    Pastors get to make the call as to the way Mass is celebrated, outside the obvious requirements. He chooses guitar/organ, little crucifix/large crucifix, chant/St. Louis Jesuits. We can’t have bishops controlling every action of every priest and maintain subsidiarity.

    Bishops are as different from each other as can be. While they have tremendous influence, there are plenty of instances of their being ignored, by both their clergy and the faithful. What you are posing with your concerns is the same complaint posed by parishioners around the world. We want the bishop to stay out of our way, except when we don’t. There’s no real solution to this except to remember that the Catholic Church is the Church of Jesus Christ, who is still the head of it. (I learned that from a bishop, by the way.)

    Bishops come and go. Ask Father how many of his brother priests who don’t like their current bishop take the long view that he, the bishop, will be gone one day while father remains. The guys with the pectoral crosses are temporary. Only Jesus Christ is forever.

  3. Elizabeth Cronin says:

    Wow, pretty interesting show! There are so many points that I could comment on but I’ll stick to one. I want to see RS play that guitar riff down at St. JP II & have Fr. Rich breakout into some moves! Please! 🎸
    ⛹️‍♂️

  4. Felix Rivera says:

    There is no better way to illustrate the strength and power of our Church than Rabbi Gamaliel’s advice to Saul of Tarsus “If this ‘Jesus” movement (Church) is God’s creation no man will be capable of destroying it” not even the bad decisions of our bishops to succumb to the power of the government and close our Churches. Our Churches should have remained open, obviously taking all the necessary precautions of physical distancing, masks, hand sanitizer, etc. Yes our church have received a strong blow from within and we will see another decline, however, in the end Our Church has the blessing and power given by God to withstand till the ends of time.

  5. Hello gentlemen. my name is Marc I live in Canada n I love your podcast I look forward to your podcast. I appreciate all that you guys do.I just wanted to say that I never missed one week of church throughout this corona pandemic I was very fortunate to be able to attend mass weekly throughout this ordeal and I love being catholic n I can’t imagine my life without the church.father pagano I wanted to thank you so much. I got to go to church with you on Sunday when I couldn’t go to mass on Sunday I got to go to mass with you and I Come to love your homilies so thank you very much May God bless you three gentleman again thank you so much

  6. Maria says:

    The issue raised in this episode is interesting. My own experience is that we are hungry for spiritual food. Here in Shanghai, China, we have formed Zoom groups to pray 3X a day. We want to learn more about our faith. We have formed Bible Study groups. Whenever, a priest is offering private Mass and confession, we attend. At the same time, Bishop Robert Barron is giving good homilies.
    We feel the presence of the Paraclete. I do not believe that we will stop going to mass after the the society becomes more open and less restrictive.
    I think the American Church is reaping the fruits of not sewing the seeds for almost three centuries by giving up on the education of the young. We need to re-think about the importance of education – not only in schools but also at home.

  7. Connie J Green says:

    Very interesting show today! I really liked the strong conversation between the three of you. You each made very good arguments on your position. I happen to agree with all three of you. Thank you for being honest with your opinion. Above all, I feel that all three of you are correct in believing that this is a pivotal time for the Church. She needs to handle this right with love and respect for all involved. We need to get back to worship and evangelization!
    I am praying really hard for a good dose of the Holy Spirit to come into our hearts and minds so that we can move forward from here and become the Church that God intended us to be! Thank you for your show, and for the three of you, Ryan, Ryan and Father Rich, for taking the time to tackle this very important topic. God bless you!

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