Op-Ed: Suspending public Mass is not new

04-24-2020Weekly ReflectionFr. Carl Gismondi, FSSP

Last week the Archbishop of Philadelphia suspended public Masses throughout the archdiocese. He was not the first bishop to do this in the United States, and by the end of the week it appeared that every diocese in the United States had suspended public Mass. I've had a number of phone calls, emails, conversations with the faithful. Some have expressed frustration and disappointment with the U.S. bishops. One person seriously thought it was the end of the world. In addition, on the internet—where things are less filtered— comments have been more critical. Suspending public Mass is not new. In 1918, during the Spanish Influenza Epidemic, in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, public Masses were suspended for a number of weeks in October 1918.