Catholic Priest: COVID-19 Pandemic Will Lead To A ‘Deepening Of Faith’

Amidst all the negative headlines, Father Frank Pavone, a Catholic priest and National Director of Priests for Life, sees one positive to come out of the COVID-19 pandemic: a deepening of faith.
Speaking with Fox News, Father Pavone expressed no concern that the prolonged closure of churches will in any way normalize the practice of people not attending church on Sunday once lockdown lifts. In fact, Pavone believed the opposite could occur, namely, a spiritual awakening.
“People are going to return to restaurants. Why? Because we have a need. We have a need not only for food. We have a need for the social experience of having a meal at a restaurant,” said Pavone. “Well, similarly, going to church is not a luxury. It is also a need. There’s a deep human need to worship together.”
“They will flock back to church, once it’s safe again to do so. And I’m not at all concerned that worshiping from home virtually will become normalized,” he continued. “Now more people may become familiar with the options for prayer and worship that are available online, and take more advantage of that. I think that would be a good thing, but it won’t replace their felt need, and desire, to worship together in person.”
As several news outlets have reported, religiosity in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic has only improved, with both Bible sales and church attendance surging in recent weeks.
Many churches are seeing higher participation online than they could fit in their sanctuaries.
In a survey April 6, 44 percent of pastors said their attendance online has been higher than normal (29 percent said much higher and 24 percent said slightly higher), according to the Barna Group, an evangelical polling company. Seventeen percent said their attendance is basically the same after the switch online, and 29 percent said attendance is down.
Tate Baptist Church, which counted 400 to 450 people on a normal Sunday before stay-at-home orders in the U.S., had 439 views of its Sunday sermon on Facebook. Nashville’s Mount. Zion Baptist Church, a tech-forward megachurch and one of the oldest and largest black congregations in the U.S., sees a weekly attendance of 10,000 and had more than 12,000 views on its Facebook live stream last Sunday.
While smaller Catholic parishes streaming online are more likely to lose followers to the larger archdiocese channels, large cathedrals are pulling in views more than 50 times their seating capacity.
According to Pavone, these are positive signs that should herald a great spiritual revival when the lockdowns lift.
“When we see people searching online more for prayer resources than they’ve ever done before and ministries, including my own, making available more and more resources online for prayer and for worship … we see that people turn to their faith… in a particular, strong way when things are not going well,” said Pavone.
“Our nation is based on spirituality,” he concluded. “Our founding fathers were men of faith. And they said so. And we have a president who echoes that very effectively. Pulling through a crisis like this, as Americans – helping one another in our own country and also helping the world – can really bring about a revitalization of the faith that is at the core of our patriotism. And that’s something that’s going to be very good for America.”
Powered by Blogger.