A quick review of the agenda of the now-completed meeting of Catholic bishops in our nation exposes the very problem that troubles so many of us every day. While there are many things in our nation that deserve the bishops’ attention—including Catholic Relief Services and dialogues on culture—one thing remains paramount. And that is, of course, the ongoing problem that most Catholics reject the Church’s teachings on the Eucharist.
In preparation for the bishops’ meeting, the Pillar conducted a survey that summarized the challenges the bishops should have faced this week. It pointed out that
These latest findings confirm what Santa Fe, New Mexico’s, Archbishop Michael J. Sheehan wrote more than 26 years ago:
Sheehan called upon the Catholics in his archdiocese to become familiar with basic Catholic teachings regarding the Eucharist. But today, 26 years later, failure to teach these truths from pulpits across this nation has created at least one generation of totally uncatechized people who receive the body and blood of Christ in anything but reverent ways.
Why can’t the bishops address this challenge since the Eucharistic sacrifice is the source and summit of our faith?
Perhaps our bishops should take their lead from Jesus Christ Himself who preached to the Jews in Capernaum regarding His body and blood. The Jews were questioning His teachings, and He replied to them:
Christ did not mince words. He did not call for dialogue when He encountered opposition; He steadfastly taught truth without apology.
If the bishops truly seek a path forward that will help them teach the truth to the unbelieving, perhaps they should take a page from the life of St. Charles Borromeo who “encouraged priests, deacons, and religious to believe in the strength of prayer and penance, transforming their life into a true path of sanctity. ‘Souls,’ he often repeated, ‘are won on one’s knees’ and ‘pastors must be servants of God and fathers to their people.’”
The media and politicians are striving to erase Christ. The bishops for whom we pray are the wall of defense against this hatred of truth. They are the men who, by their personal example, can teach and preach Christ regardless of polls and politics.
Disbelief on the part of some does not erase Christ.© Judie Brown
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