The following was a response by Fr. Patrick Henry Reardon to a letter sent out by Fr. Joseph Abud, Administrative Assistant to Bishop Anthony of the Antiochian Archdiocese. Published with permission.
Please, thank Bishop Anthony for the first truly encouraging message our people have heard from an Orthodox bishop for nearly a year.
As far as I know, this is also the first time, during these ten miserable months, an Orthodox bishop has asked for “creative ideas addressing this issue” from the local pastors of our congregations.
Taking our beloved Bishop Anthony at his word, let me make the following suggestion:
Immediately—starting this next Sunday—Bishop Anthony should start visiting the congregations of this diocese every weekend, to convey strong messages of hope and reassurance. He should preside at the Sacred Mysteries openly, without regard to personal danger. He should appear conspicuously without the disgrace of a surgical mask. He should make a point of avoiding even the slightest appearance of apprehension.
A bishop must NEVER, under any circumstances, convey fear.
Bishop Anthony should stride into our churches with the manly majesty of an Apostle, gather God’s People into his arms, press them to his pastoral breast, and protect them from the social and political demons that are currently destroying the Church.
Also from Fr. Patrick – How it COULD have Happened