Former head of the CDF, Gerhard Cardinal Mueller, has some interesting things to say about the lamentale state of affairs in this interview at the Italian publication Daily Compass (link to translated copy). An excerpt:
Your Eminence, for many faithful the suffering of the disease has meant the additional suffering of the prohibition to attend Mass and the prevention of holding funerals; worse still, they find it is justified by the ecclesiastical hierarchy.
This is very serious, it’s the secularist thought which has made its way in to the Church. It is one thing to take precautionary measures to minimise the risks of contagion, it’s another to ban the liturgy. The Church is not a client of the state, and no bishop has the right to ban the Eucharist in this way. Moreover, we have witnessed priests being punished by their bishops for celebrating mass for only a few persons, this means they conceive themselves as state officials. But our supreme pastor is Jesus Christ, not Giuseppe Conte or any other head of state. The state has its task, but the church has its own.
It seems many find it difficult to reconcile their duty to the state with the need for public worship to God.
We must also pray publicly because we know that everything depends on God. God is the universal cause, then there is the secondary cause that goes through our freedom. We, finite creatures, do not know how much of what happens depends on the causality of God and how much depends on ourselves: this is the point of prayer. We must pray to God to overcome the challenges of our personal and social life, but without forgetting the transcendental dimension, that vision of eternal life and intimate union with God and with Jesus Christ even in our suffering. We are called to load our cross on our shoulders every day, but we must also explain their suffering to the faithful according to Gospel criteria. Banning participation in the liturgy goes in the opposite direction. Taking certain external measures is the task of the state, our task is to defend the freedom and independence of the Church; and the Church’s superiority in the spiritual dimension. We are not an agency subordinated to the state.