Scots Priest Challenges Bishops’ Response To Lockdown & Covid-19 Restrictionseditor
On this, the Feast of St Michael, The Archangel, Defender of the Church & The Faithful, a priest of the Archdiocese of Glasgow – Father Stephen Dunn – speaks out against the closure of churches during lockdown, and the ongoing government restrictions being enforced in Catholic churches…
An Open Letter…
Dear Members of the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church in Scotland,
“Then he said, Son of man, remember everything I say to you, listen closely, and go to your exiled country men and talk to them. Tell them, ‘The Lord says this whether they listen or not.’” – Eziekiel, 2, 10-11. (Office of Readings, Monday, week 24)
“This is My Son the Beloved with whom I am well pleased. Listen to Him!’ – Mathew, Mark & Luke’s gospel.
This morning I was deeply saddened and angered when I saw people having to be denied entry to one of our Catholic churches in our Archdiocese of Glasgow because there were 50 people already in, and in obedience to Archbishop Philip Tartaglia, and the guidelines issued by the Archdiocese and the Bishops Conference of Scotland, this procedure had to be carried out. I was subsequently told that a man, his wife and his child, having travelled 15 miles were turned away a couple of weeks ago, again because 50 were already in.
ENOUGH of this suppression, intimidation!
This is disgraceful, shocking. “Could you not spend one hour with me?” No you can’t, because Philip Tartaglia and the Scottish Bishops conference says no – only 50 are allowed in; we are going to be obedient to government guidelines and not allow any more than 50 people in.
Obedient to a Government which advocates Adultery, Abortion, Sodomy, and Transgenderism? Please tell me one of those that is pleasing to God?
Why are the Bishops of Scotland being obedient to such law makers? Being obedient to laws/directives made by a fascist, Communist government which drove fear into people and makes them act in fear, a government which you are obeying! Our Lady warned at Fatima, Russia will spread her errors throughout the world, causing wars and persecutions of the Church. I am aware that is not unique to Scotland, but as a priest ordained 26 years ago for Glasgow in Scotland I am going to focus my criticism/argument there.
One of these persecutions of the Church is happening now. The government, in its freedom removal and fear laws, said churches were to be shut, God’s people were not to gather at His house and celebrate/receive the Sacraments, the primary means of the Salvation of their souls. Bishop, are you of God or of the world?
This intimidation is happening before your very eyes and you happily go along with it. Is this good shepherding?
Never in the history of Mother Church, has she been subject to the laws of the State. The Church is not and never has been subject to the State; this is clear in all Encyclicals regarding the relationship between Church and State issued by the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church. It is frightening that Bishops have compromised this clear teaching by their obedience to the State, to the point where Sacraments, the primary means of salvation, are being denied even to the dying. Shocking.
And do not dare tell me that this is because of Covid 19, a disease which has a recovery rate of 99.79%! Yes a fatality rate of 1 in 500. A disease, which 42 studies showed by 39 – 3, that if treated promptly and with the correct and proper dosage, of hydroxychloroquine, full recovery increases by 33 – 50% !
See the facts for yourselves! – this is not a study but a review of 42 studies!
For the purpose of the points/criticisms I make, I shall quote Truth given by Our Lord in the 4 gospels, showing how these present actions are against His will, contradict His will. I will also refer to other Scripture quotes and the lives of the saints.
From the start our Bishops closed our churches, the dwelling place of Jesus Christ in the most Blessed Sacrament.
Holy Water was removed from our fonts with which we bless ourselves on entering Jesus’ house, reminding ourselves of the covenant God made with us at Baptism – “Unless you are born of water and the Holy Spirit you shall not enter the Kingdom of Heaven” – John 3.
Is God going to use Holy Water to pass disease to faithful followers of His son who remind themselves of His covenant?
The weekend before we entered national lockdown on Monday 23rd March the Bishops closed our churches, denying access. “Come to me all you who labour and are overburdened, and I will give you rest. Shoulder my yoke and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls!”- Matt 11.
When the sheep were frightened and scared of the Covid wolf, you shepherds denied them entry to be with their Master, He through whom they were created, their Saviour, in His Real Presence, Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity in the Most Holy Sacrament of the Altar. Sorry to say it, but I say directly, this is Shocking, Disgraceful.
Consider the prayer taught by the Angel to the little children at Fatima –
My God I believe, I adore, I hope and I love You. I beg pardon for those who do not believe, do not Adore, do not hope and do not love you. Most Holy Trinity, Father, Son and Holy Ghost, I adore you profoundly and I offer you the most precious Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus Christ, truly present in all the Tabernacles of the World in reparation for the outrages, sacrileges and indifference with which He Himself is offended. And through His Sacred Heart and the Immaculate Heart of Mary, I beg of you the conversion of poor sinners. Amen
You, Bishops of Scotland, you denied adoration, you are the ones who presently cause the outrages, sacrileges and indifference with which He Himself is offended, by denying the sheep time in the Real Presence of Jesus. And at a time when they need it most.
You may reply: But they might have had Covid, brought it and passed it resulting in an outbreak which would have resulted through their coming to Church!
Is the Father going to allow His Son’s house to be the centre of disease and the passing of disease when the sheep come to His Son to find peace for their souls! No.
“When the Son of Man comes will He find any faith on earth?” – Luke 18. With such chief shepherds as we have, sorry Lord Jesus, it looks very unlikely.
What guidance and example do the saints give us, actions that will please the Father?
St Augustine, Bishop and Doctor of our Holy Catholic Church, says regarding shepherds i.e., Bishops and we priests who have advocated and followed the above practices; said on Monday, week 24, Office of Readings:
“So let us see how the Word of God, that flatters no one, addresses the shepherds who are feeding themselves not the sheep. ‘You take the milk, you clothe yourselves with the wool, you slaughter the fatlings; but you do not feed my sheep. The weak you have not strengthened, the sick you have not healed, the crippled you have not bound up, the strayed you have not brought back, the lost you have not sought; any strong one you have killed; and my sheep are scattered because there is no shepherd.”
Not only did you close churches and stop people from spending time in the Real Presence, you stopped funerals denying the grieving time at the Lord’s altar, to pray for their loved ones: “All I ask of you is that you remember me at the Altar of God” – St Monica.
In hospitals where people were dying, they were denied access to priests, and so to the Sacraments, the primary means of the salvation of their souls, the Forgiveness of Sin, Absolution for their Souls, which would have placed their souls in a state of Grace, so helping them to remove the fear of death, helping them to find peace in Jesus’ mercy…
As the Compendium Catechism of the Catholic Church, written by Pope Benedict XVI, says:
How are sins remitted? (#200)
The first and chief sacrament for the forgiveness of sins is Baptism. For those sins committed after Baptism, Christ instituted the Sacrament of Reconciliation or Penance through which a baptised person is reconciled with God and with the Church.
Why does the Church have the power to forgive sins? (#201)
The Church has the mission and the power to forgive sins because Christ Himself has conferred it upon her: “Receive the Holy Ghost, if you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained” – John 20
This mission of yours, this duty as shepherds, you neglected, by not making sure a priest was available to the dying in a time of great fear.
“But he could have caught Covid and might have died!” I hear you reply.
Will the Father allow disease to pass to a Priest/s, with whom Jesus has shared His priesthood, as he tries to worthily celebrate the Sacraments, the primary means of Salvation, to sick and dying souls? Have you any faith, trust in Jesus who has shared His priesthood with you? He whom St Paul tells us in his letter to the Philippians: “If our life in Christ means anything to you” (it should be the centre of our priesthood) “if love can persuade you at all, or the Holy Spirit that we have in common, or any tenderness and sympathy, then be united in your convictions and united in your love, with a common purpose and mind.”
That common purpose and mind must be to follow the actions and teaching of Christ – was He scared to touch the lepers? In the Gospel Jesus tells us of the son who said “yes”, he would go to his father’s vineyard and work but never went. On being installed Bishops, you promised to go and look after the Lord’s flock, but you have gone to the world instead, listened to its instructions and imposed them on the people, failing to implement Jesus’ teaching and ways.
Lives/example of the saints –
St Robert Bellarmine, Bishop and Doctor of the Church, feast 17th Sept,- During the time of great disease, at the time of the Reformation, the plague which ravaged Europe, he went about cleansing and dressing the wounds of those infected by the plague; what hand sanitizer was he using? Please tell me if you know – I better get some!
St Mother Teresa served the poor looking after them, dressing their wounds, helping them in their illness. What age did she live to? 87! How many followed her, joined her order, she who trusted herself completely to the service of God and her neighbour. “By its fruits shall you know the tree.”
If we are truly trying to be shepherds through the priesthood Christ has shared with us, these are the examples we should look to, copy and so trust in the power of Christ, as we try to do the will of the Father through the prompting of the Holy Ghost, and without fear.
And finally to the Mass and how it has been changed by you Bishops.
Mass, the celebration of Christ’s offering on the Cross for the forgiveness of our sins, the institution of the Most Holy Eucharist, where we hear the Word of God to help us guide our actions to show our belief in Jesus Christ, our Saviour.
You shut our churches, denying people the Mass, the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus Christ: “I tell you most solemnly, if you do not eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His Blood you will not have life within you.” – John 6:53.
You stopped the sheep from receiving the Lord in Holy Communion at the time when they needed Him most. Instead of doing what Christ instructed you did what the Government instructed:
Do not get close to each other. Priests, keep people apart, distancing them from each other, no singing, the liturgy must be celebrated in a very basic way. You must make the faithful wear masks, despite the fact that the WHO admitted to the BBC that its June 2020 mask policy update was due not to new evidence, but “political lobbying”. – D Cohen, BBC Medical Correspondent Yet, the people are hindered in their ability to speak, to enter God’s Presence, showing their facial individuality, how God created them. Disgraceful.
On 3rd September, in the Tridentine calendar, we celebrated the feast of St Pius X, great pastor of the flock, who realised the full value of the liturgy as the prayer of the Church that is pleasing to the Father. You hinder such celebration in your clear obedience to the world. Why?
One cannot help but think that if the Lord Jesus came into such churches, He would tear down your tape, cast aside your sanitizer bottles and masks and say My Father’s house shall be called a house of prayer, but you have turned it into a worldly den which follows practices of the world and the flesh! Be gone! – Matt, 21.
Priests have to sanitize hands before giving out communion – as Philip Tartaglia said to me in a letter instructing me to follow guidelines, or else! People should leave the church after receiving Holy Communion; they should not remain/return to benches. People are to be denied time in the Real Presence of their Saviour, He who sacrificed Himself for the forgiveness of their sins, their Lord and Master. This directly contravenes the example of the saints of the Church who in their lives show the importance of spending time in the presence of Jesus, having just received Him.
“The Bishops of Scotland have agreed to suspend the choice of distributing and receiving Holy Communion on the tongue during the current pandemic for reasons of infection control. This is not an attempt to change liturgical laws. It is a reasonable temporary measure to adopt in this pandemic.” – letter sent by email to me from Philip Tartaglia, 20th August 2020.
You Bishops have no right, no such power to remove people’s choice to receive Holy Communion on the tongue!
It is for people to choose, not you to dictate things contrary to the teaching and rules of Mother Church.
Is Jesus, who is using the priest, with whom He has shared His priesthood, going to pass disease through their giving of Holy Communion? Again I quote, “When the Son of Man comes will He find any faith on earth?”
According to Scripture in the Office of Readings of the last few weeks, the Lord asks of His shepherds, on numerous occasions, through the Prophets, and very precisely here: “When the upright man renounces his integrity to do evil and I set a trap for him, he too shall die for his sin and the integrity he practised will no longer be remembered; but I will hold you responsible for his death.” – Ezekiel 2:20
By publishing this letter, as a priest who is struggling in the present situation, I truly believe I am acting in obedience to God’s will, pleasing the Father and following the prompting of the Holy Ghost by giving clarity through Christ’s words, not mine. I believe that by my quotes from the Gospels, I have declared myself for Jesus in the presence of men as Jesus commands and, I believe, a true shepherd should. (Matt, 10:32)
To you, the people of the Body of Christ in Scotland, the One Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church I ask your prayers, especially before the altar of God. I am a sinner with faults and failings, some say many faults and failings. Many will assure you “that you definitely won’t see a halo over Dunn’s head!” However, even with such weakness and faults, I believe that I have a duty to make this letter available to you, in obedience to God, Father, Son and Holy Ghost, to address grave failings and incorrect directives from our Scottish Bishops.
To those whom I accuse, I say reflect, realise what Christ wishes of we Shepherds, and like the Prodigal Son, come back to the Father – remembering that Christ tells us, ”There will be more rejoicing in heaven over one repentant sinner than ninety-nine good men who are in no need of repentance.” – Luke, 15.
And as individuals, let none of us forget: “Remember dear Christian: You have but one soul to save, One God to love and to serve, one Eternity to expect, Death will come soon, Judgement will follow, And then, Heaven or Hell for all Eternity!” (St Teresa of Avila).
Yes, we priests have many souls to save, and because more has been entrusted to us in priesthood, the greater our Judgement!
God Bless you all, and may we all be united in Christ Jesus to carry out His will.
Christ’s brother in priesthood,
Fr Stephen Dunn
Priest of 26 years of the Archdiocese of Glasgow.
Father Stephen Dunn has honoured Catholic Truth by permitting us to publish the above letter. We thank him for this, and I have already assured him that our readers and bloggers will be praying for him. It takes courage for any priest to speak out in this way.
Father Dunn regularly offers the Traditional Latin Mass. He learned the Mass on publication of Summorum Pontificum, and at that time his main reason for wanting to learn the old Mass was because his father, Dr John Dunn RIP, a supporter of Catholic Truth from the beginning of our publication, had stipulated that his funeral Mass must be offered in the Traditional rite. Father has come to fully appreciate the old rite, especially in its reverence, and he now offers it as often as possible.
Please express your support for Father in the comments below, and remember to pray for him because, as we know, while dissenting priests are protected and promoted in the Church at this time of apostasy, loyal priests who preach and defend the Faith are, sadly, more often than not punished at some level – we have all been following such cases, most notably, recently, the case of the American priest, Father James Altman.