Adding to the ever-growing list of religious figures whose inability to grasp science will put everyone in danger, we have Archbishop Andrzej Dzięga, leader of the Archdiocese of Szczecin-Kamień in Poland.
He wrote in a recent letter that Catholics should not only continue attending services, but also partake in the communion ritual. That’s because “Christ does not spread germs and viruses.”
He attributed the virus scare to Satan, according to a rough translation of his letter:
The tempter [Satan] knows perfectly well how to patiently weaken our closeness and unity with the Lord. He often starts with small matters. You have to tell him: go away, Satan. Satan is helpless against such expressive and explicit human testimony of faith. He’s terrified of it. It is not without reason that someone is afraid of something, like the devil of holy water. (…) Do not be afraid to reach for holy water with faith. Do not be afraid of the temple. Do not be afraid of the Church…
People like him are suggesting the response to coronavirus — and the call for self-quarantine — is somehow anti-Catholic or anti-religious. It’s not. It’s the most effective response for everyone regardless of faith or background. To tell believers to ignore the experts is dangerous, especially for the sort of people who usually attend Mass: the elderly.
To their credit, other Catholic leaders in Poland are saying Dzięga’s letter is irresponsible and wrong. One person even claimed his letter was “closer to ancient heresies than to Catholic orthodoxy.” Which is to say there’s nothing wrong with telling people to stay home and avoid rituals temporarily. Their eternal salvation won’t be affected.
But anyone with this much power is doing incalculable damage by using religion to scare people. His delusions are going to get people killed.
(Screenshot via YouTube)