GOP Senate Candidate: Catholic Church Has Fallen Short During Outbreak

Mark Curran
Photo credit Mark Curran (courtesy Curran campaign)

(WBBM NEWSRADIO) — The Republican candidate for U.S. Senate in Illinois believes the Catholic Church should have found ways to have in-person masses and confessions.  

Mark Curran says he’s worried the strict measures the church has taken will result in fewer people attending mass when the coronavirus danger fades.

Curran says he goes to confession every couple of weeks. He would especially like to go during this Holy Week leading up to Easter, he said in a Facebook posting.

“I am at a loss as to how having one person at a time go into a confessional and maintain distance is different than going to a grocery store. Does the Church agree they are not at all essential? What will it take for the Church to push back? Yes, I need to go to confession."

Curran adds: “Just seems like there’s ways we could be offering the sacraments and we’re just not even trying.”

The former Lake County sheriff says people could be spaced throughout the church as they wait their turn with the priest.

Similarly, he said, there are ways churches could hold in-person masses while maintaining physical distancing. 

"One of the things the church should be worried about is that the message is being sent, that they’re not ‘essential.’”

While the Chicago Archdiocese does not have in-person confessions right now, the Rockford diocese says it has one or two churches offering drive-through confessions. 

One Rockford diocese church, St. Mary in Huntley, says on a recording the church still offers confessions on Wednesdays and Saturdays.

Mark Curran thinks the Church's decision to livestream or broadcast masses and prayer services will ultimately hurt in mass attendance. 

"When they’re back open for business, don’t be surprised if more people decide, ‘The church wasn’t there in our time of need so why are we there?’”