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According to Catholic Teaching: Why is God allowing COVID-19?

This question was marked as a duplicate, but it is not a duplicate.

I am not asking if COVID-19 can generate any good or if there is a silver lining. That is an entirely separate question.

I am asking about the nature of God and what God would say about COVID-19's existence.

UPDATE: Thank you so much for everyone's consideration. I would very much appreciate a reopen vote. Thanks again.

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  • I agree with Peter. The question could possibly be considered for reopening, but I fell it needs to be tweaked somewhat to make less similar than the so-called duplicate.
    – Ken Graham Mod
    Dec 3 '20 at 20:34
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yeah, I don't think it's an exact duplicate, but how much of the answer would carry over?

And how much of the science behind the answer needs to be verified before the Church could possibly give an answer? Maybe you could ask without the reference to Covid specifically?

Like, "According to the Catholic Church, does God levy retribution for the destruction of the Environment?"


I'm just saying, I don't think I'm going to mod-hammer open the question without a few other votes and/or and edit, Ken or Dannii might and that'd be OK by me.

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  • Thanks for being diplomatic. Could you please tell me who closed the question?
    – Jim G.
    Dec 3 '20 at 18:23
  • You can see it in the edit history, I thought... Well, it was geremia, and he can close questions as dupes with mod-like powers because he's got the golden catholicism badge.
    – Peter Turner Mod
    Dec 3 '20 at 18:43
  • I agree with you, Peter. The question could possibly be considered for reopening, but I fell it needs to be tweaked somewhat to make less similar than the so-called duplicate.
    – Ken Graham Mod
    Dec 3 '20 at 20:34
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    I just tweaked it somewhat. What do you think?
    – Ken Graham Mod
    Dec 3 '20 at 20:44
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    @ken you can re-open it if you want. The reason SE lets Gold Badged folks close dupes is because of the sense of Deja Vu they get answering the same question over and over again. I think it needs to be framed in a way that precludes a generic theodicy sort of answer.
    – Peter Turner Mod
    Dec 3 '20 at 20:48
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The question (as you explains it better in the meta post) has promise, but I agree with Peter that "it needs to be framed in a way that precludes a generic theodicy sort of answer" and that framing it more generally than Covid (like Peter's suggestion "does God levy retribution for the destruction of the Environment") may invite a more focused answer, focus and objectivity being the bedrock of the C.SE library usefulness.

Several points that come to mind:

  1. A more generic theological question is: "Why does God allow natural 'evils' to kill the 'innocents'?" thereby expanding this question to include natural disasters (earthquakes, hurricanes, volcanoes, drought, etc.). The OT may have answers for this, expanding potential answer to Judaism.

  2. You have the right instinct about Covid as part of a natural animal order, now that in medicine scientists see a human body NOT as "infested" with bacteria but the human body as a microbiome / ecosystem carrying billions of bacteria, viruses and fungi. See Human Microbiome: Your Body is an Ecosystem.

  3. The question may want to bring up historical equivalences that have caused more deaths (when compared to total population): the 14th century Black Death, 6th century Justinian Plague, 15th century impact of European contacts with Native Americans, 1918 Spanish Flu, etc. with the caveat that God could NOT have held them responsible given the level of their scientific knowledge at the time, so bringing them up may not serve this question depending on the direction of how you want to refine it.

  4. C.S. Lewis book Miracles says that God's granting free will requires a stable natural order as a prerequisite.

  5. Covid may be God's clarion call to the whole humanity to humble ourselves in our finitude before Him that He is STILL GREATER in the age where in the past 100 years mankind has so much more scientific understanding and so much technological achivement (space travel, computing power, DNA manipulation, nano technology, etc.), so in doing extends the distance of creator-creature distinction the way God answered Job in chapters 38-41.

  6. Extending the last point, C.S. Lewis may actually addressed this in his other book Problem of Pain when he talks how pain is God's megaphone to the world, inviting mankind to seek Him with our hearts after realizing we cannot live by natural resources alone.

  7. Having a common "natural enemy" can potentially bring humanity closer together: no single race, etchnicity, gender, nationality, etc. is immune to this.

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