Just like billions of people throughout the world, “the Church was not prepared” for the coronavirus pandemic, said Archbishop Christophe Pierre, the Vatican nuncio to the United States.
“We are also people in an organisation” beyond just a religion with adherents, Archbishop Pierre told Catholic News Service. “The other day I was with an archbishop who was telling me, ‘Today, we have 16,000 people to give salary to, people who work for the Church, and we have a huge organisation’.”
In response, “we have to innovate. We have to be creative,” Archbishop Pierre said.
He warned, though, of another malady that could strike the Church.
“We live in a drastically changing time,” Archbishop Pierre said. “May I say, in our Church at times we take for granted what we have until it disappears. The empty church will not just be covered with vines, the empty church is provoked by another virus: the loss of faith, the lack of transmission of faith in the family, in the schools, in the society. A lot of the young people who have not had any belonging to the Church. They have not received the gift of faith. They have not been invited to follow Jesus.”
The nuncio said he has heard from some “protesting” people that “the bishops have closed the churches, there is no access to the sacraments, and so forth.” But “we suffer what they suffer. The spiritual dimension of the meaning, maybe, of God’s presence in the world is being rediscovered.”
Picture: Archbishop Christophe Pierre, apostolic nuncio to the United States, is seen in Pittsburgh in 2019. (CNS photo/Chuck Austin, Pittsburgh Catholic).