Deze video van de katholieke priester Mark Goring is toevallig gekozen. Maar zijn preek staat niet alleen. Vele geestelijken grijpen het coronavirus aan om de greep op de gelovigen te vergroten. Goring haalt zelfs Gods kastijding (‘Chastisement’) erbij. Notabene in 2020. Daar heb ik zo mijn vragen over. Mijn reactie bij de video:
Is it really true that today’s Italians are concerned about whether the God of Catholicism chastises the country and its inhabitants with the corona virus? It seems rather that the Italians are concerned about practical matters. Such as their health, their work, their travel options or, in a broader sense, the influence of the virus on the Italian economy that is already under so much pressure.
Mark Goring makes God and chastisement more important than it really is. Goring worries the Italians with his reference to writings from the 18th century that had a very different function in their time and that are incomparable with today. Instead of reassuring them. The society of 1764 from a fragmented Italy with famine and plague cannot simply be translated to the united Italy of 2020.
Goring tries to translate a health problem into his religion. He can of course do that. That is his profession. But it is not very useful and appealing. It is quite touching that he wants to revive old times, but it will not work. People are informed and are no longer dependent on the help of the church or the information of the church leaders.
On the calendar of Goring it is still 1764. He hopes, against better knowledge, that he can again lead the believers unambiguously. So that they listen to him and his church in full dependence.
As a clergyman, Mark Goring is not alone in turning back the clock. Many religious seize the corona virus crisis to strengthen the hold on their herd. That can be both humane and inhuman. The shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. Or that is the claim of the clergy during a crisis. Inclusion and exclusion is simply their core business.
The true face of religion emerges during a crisis. That is not always a human and pleasant sight. But it is good that someone like Goring once again points out to us what religion really means and how it wants to control believers.