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Wednesday, May 20, 2020

Minnesota Bishops Defy Governor's Lockdown Order, Reestablish Public Mass

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At a moment when the spiritual leadership of our shepherds has been drastically curbed by secular authority, and yet where it is also more essential than ever, we are proud to announce that the Bishops of Minnesota have decided to defy the State of Minnesota’s increasingly draconian lockdown of Minnesota's religious houses.

Led by the Archbishop of the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis, Most Rev. Bernard A. Hebda, the bishops of five other diocese have cosigned a respectful but firm letter of defiance, announcing that they will reopen Minnesota’s Catholic churches for public Masses on the 26th of May, in order to allow parishes time to prepare for the celebration of Pentecost on May 31, 2020.

We here at The Remnant are grateful to God and to our shepherds for setting a truly Catholic example on which history and God Himself will surely look with favor.

We have reached out to Father John Echert—The Parking Lot Priest—pastor of the Churches of Saint Augustine and Most Holy Trinity for comment on this historic and welcome news:

The clergy and the faithful of the State of Minnesota are grateful to our bishops for taking a stand in defiance of the Stay Safe order of the Governor, which opened up shopping malls to 50 percent capacity yet restricted churches to no more than ten people total. As we approach the Feast of Pentecost, on which occasion the Apostles were filled with the power of the Holy Spirit, how appropriate that the Minnesota successors of the Apostles speak out boldly as did Saint Peter: “Better to obey God than man!”


Archbishop Hebda, at the height of pandemic two months ago, went out of his way to publicly demonstrate fidelity to Our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament:


We invite our readers to share the letter (see linked PDF below) from the Bishops of Minnesota, keeping in mind that the cooperative effort of Catholic leadership with that of other Christian denominations at a time like this could be described as the most worthwhile ecumenical effort in the history of the ecumenical movement. There is no theological compromise at work here. Religious leaders, with obvious theological differences, are nonetheless not only entitled and obliged before God and man to cooperate against unjust orders enacted by the secular state which are not only unconstitutional but also violate natural justice itself.

The traditional Catholic movement, not only here in Minnesota but throughout the entire country, are united in gratitude to the bishops of Minnesota for this strong and courageous stand in defense of their flock. We in turn pledge to stand with them against whatever civil retaliation may be forthcoming in the weeks and months ahead.   - Michael J. Matt

St. John Fisher, Pray for us!  



How can reason require us any longer to keep our faithful from the Eucharist?

Therefore, we have chosen to move forward in the absence of any specific timeline laid out by Governor Walz and his Administration. We cannot allow an indefinite suspension of the public celebration of the Mass.

The human cost to this pandemic has been extraordinary, not just in terms of lives lost to the virus but the rapidly growing problems of job loss, depression, crime and violence, and substance abuse.

Our decision to suspend the public celebration of Mass was painful. We made that decision not because we were compelled to do so, but because we judged that the circumstances required it. We believe that those circumstances have changed, as confirmed by the Governor’s decision to end the Stay-at-Home order and allow more commerce.

The bishops of Minnesota are united in our conviction that we can safely resume public Masses in accordance with both our religious duties and with accepted public health and safety standards. We can worship in a way that reflects both the love of God and the love of our neighbors (cf. Mark 12:30-31). Therefore, we are giving our parishes permission for the resumption of the public celebration of Mass on Tuesday, May 26, which will give us time to be ready for the celebration of Pentecost on May 31.

Auxiliary Bishop of St. Paul and Minneapolis, Andrew Cozzens, celebrates the traditional Latin Mass at the Church of All Saints (FSSP) in Minneapolis: cozzens



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Last modified on Wednesday, May 20, 2020
Michael J. Matt | Editor

Michael J. Matt has been an editor of The Remnant since 1990. Since 1994, he has been the newspaper's editor. A graduate of Christendom College, Michael Matt has written hundreds of articles on the state of the Church and the modern world. He is the host of The Remnant Underground and Remnant TV's The Remnant Forum. He's been U.S. Coordinator for Notre Dame de Chrétienté in Paris--the organization responsible for the Pentecost Pilgrimage to Chartres, France--since 2000.  Mr. Matt has led the U.S. contingent on the Pilgrimage to Chartres for the last 24 years. He is a lecturer for the Roman Forum's Summer Symposium in Gardone Riviera, Italy. He is the author of Christian Fables, Legends of Christmas and Gods of Wasteland (Fifty Years of Rock ‘n’ Roll) and regularly delivers addresses and conferences to Catholic groups about the Mass, home-schooling, and the culture question. Together with his wife, Carol Lynn and their seven children, Mr. Matt currently resides in St. Paul, Minnesota.