Is the Eucharistic Revival a Liturgical Revival?

In the United States, the recent observance of the Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ marked also the beginning of a three-year Eucharistic Revival under the auspices of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.  The bishops note on the official website for the revival that

“our world is hurting. We all need healing, yet many of us are separated from the very source of our strength. Jesus Christ invites us to return to the source and summit of our faith—his Real Presence in the Holy Eucharist . . . . We launch our national response to the Lord’s call with widespread eucharistic processions and adoration on the Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ.”

The website explains that the

“first year of the Revival invites diocesan staff, bishops, and priests to respond to the Lord’s personal invitation and equips them to share this love with the faithful through eucharistic congresses and events.”

Beginning in June 2023,

“the second phase will foster Eucharistic devotion at the parish level, strengthening our liturgical life through faithful celebration of the Mass, Eucharistic Adoration, missions, resources, preaching, and organic movements of the Holy Spirit.”

The revival will feature a National Eucharistic Congress in Indianapolis in June 2024, where the bishops envision “more than 80,000 Catholics of all ages will gather in Indianapolis to reconsecrate their hearts to the source and summit of our faith.”  In the third phase, after the congress and running through Pentecost 2025, “the Holy Spirit will send us out on mission to share the gift of our Eucharistic Lord.”

According to a podcast by Bishop Andrew Cozzens [Crookston, MN] who is spearheading the revival, although there was already some talk in 2019 of planning a revival, the release of a Pew survey in summer of that year catalyzed events.  The survey (which has been challenged) found that only 30% of Catholics accepted the doctrine of transubstantiation; hence the emphasis on returning to the Real Presence in the Holy Eucharist.  In his podcast, Bishop Cozzens also mentioned confusion on the part of some Catholics about the nature of the Mass as a sacrifice.  He rightly pointed out that the self-offering of those in the assembly is joined to the one sacrifice of Christ on the altar.

Yet I could find no reference on the website or in his podcast to the importance of partaking in the same sacrifice by avoiding recourse to the tabernacle for distribution of Communion at Mass.  Nor was there reference to the symbolic fullness of receiving both the Body and the Blood of Christ at Mass, with the latter understandably suspended in places for the time being because of the COVID pandemic.  The website mentions processions and adoration of the Blessed Sacrament but not practices in / of the Mass itself.  In the podcast, the only reference to practices within Mass was a brief mention of Archbishop of San Francisco Salvatore Cordileone’s directive to withhold Communion from the Speaker of the House if she presents for the sacrament at a Mass in that archdiocese.

Neither one website nor one podcast can be all things to all people.  Still, I wonder about the degree to which the revival will abstract the Eucharist as a thing from the Eucharist as the sacramental / liturgical context in and from which the Body and Blood of Christ have their meaning.

54 comments

  1. I confess to a measure of contrariness. My thoughts are inchoate and unorganized. I am not opposed to this as such, but this campaign at this juncture seems so much less missionary than it purports to be, and more about Seeming (or perhaps just Changing The Subject).

    The campaign concept is very American. Not sure how Catholic it is. It reads to me like something consultants* sold to a corporate board to show the board is Addressing Something that it can testify to in reports to shareholders and perhaps even quarterly analyst calls.

    The self-description is “grassroots” (marketing epithet rhetoric right there). Yet…the first year is devoted to diocesan bishops. priests and staff, i.e., management or “shepherds” and their assistants, not the flocks in the “grassroots” pastures (of course religious are not “diocesan”, so they are with us prols).

    What are the flocks at the grassroots hungry for?

    Is what the flocks are hungry for worthy of them?

    The “culmination” is…80,000 Catholics convening in Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis**? I guess if one’s running (mostly unspoken) assumption is that that Catholics in the USA have already apostatized, and that this land is back to the first year after the first Pentecost, then maybe that’s a high goal. The problem is: the Apostles and Disciples did not face Jews and Gentiles who had already heard the Word and of the Way, nor did they have the burden of being justly perceived as wolves instead of shepherds – that is, a track record of the Church to defend (other than the abandonment of the Lord by all of the Eleven in Gethsemane – which they clearly “owned”, repented and their example became embedded in the foundation of the Way).

    * Perhaps KofC-affiliated? https://adoremus.org/2022/01/overview-the-2024-national-eucharistic-congress/

    ** While that is ostensibly not the culmination, the corporate-influenced structure of this campaign will certainly make it seem like that when people first read it.

  2. I read a few other skeptics on Catholic Right sites like the NCReg. They have the answers. Return to the 1962 Missal. Confess 2020 was a pandemic panic by bishops who didn’t trust God. And the like.

    Telling is one of the three pull-down menus on the main page, “Learn.” Some bishops still think most lay Catholics are ignorant, uneducated, and in need of learning. Literally.

    Here’s my biggest problem with it: Baptism comes before Eucharist. Tim O’Malley, a theologian I do admire and respect, preaches about “Eucharistic Culture.” I think that’s a fine thing, for a next generation. The problem and challenge is that Catholics haven’t absorbed what it means to be baptized. By and large, baptism is seen as a membership card, not a sacrament of vocation.

    Bishops Barron and Cozzens are earnest, loyal churchmen. They do have the best interests of the Church at heart. But so does a doctor who has honestly misdiagnosed appendicitis for heartburn. The problem is that if they’ve misdiagnosed here, they will be spinning their wheels for 3 years, and in another generation, another bunch of bishops will be trotting out the same solutions to the wrong problems.

    What should’ve come first here was a wider consultation than web designers, bodybuilders, and Hollywood PR gurus.

    That said, my old parish in WA had a very fruitful and celebratory day yesterday. So maybe good things will come out of this. If so, likely not planned for.

    1. Your emphasis on baptism causes me to think about the Samaritan woman at the well. And, beyond that, the feeding of the multitude that begins John 6. The Samaritan woman is thirsty (or at least weary of having to go to the well at midday). The multitude is hungry. In both situations, Jesus meets his audience where they are…but invites them beyond with “I Am” revelations. He helps them identify what they desire…and then offers them something worthier of them. Not that what they desire is necessarily unworthy, but fulfillment of it is transitory. What do you want vs What do you need? Can we bring ourselves to desire what we need more than what we want? In John 6, Jesus does something that patriarchs, kings and prophets of Israel did: feed the people. But he doesn’t stop there. That miracle (which is clearly not a material situation of Caring and Sharing) is the pivot to an I Am revelation, and one fruit of that is the division of his disciples. (The Samaritan woman gets told she’s not needed anymore. How’s that for a start to mystagogy? Maybe that’s a good example of ego-deflation for all evangelists. The Eastern Churches venerate her as a disciple of Jesus, apostle and martyr: Saint Photinḗ, Equal-to-the-Apostles.)

  3. Correct response but wrong issue. Eucharist is a *verb*; not a *noun* – try to find that in any of the pre-program papers.
    Given the times we live in – division, partisanship, violence – we could use a three year campaign that focuses on Catholic Social Teaching – across all divisive issues. And, yes, the divided USCCB needs to start this off the first year with unity, seamless garment, and plans to address the poison of libertarianism and individualism.
    Emphasize three CST core beliefs – dignity of the human person, we are communitarian (common good), all creation is good and at the service of the community.

    1. Eὐκαριστία is indeed a noun and has always been recognized as such:

      And this food is called among us Eὐχαριστία [the Eucharist], of which no one is allowed to partake but the man who believes that the things which we teach are true, and who has been washed with the washing that is for the remission of sins, and unto regeneration, and who is so living as Christ has enjoined. For not as common bread and common drink do we receive these; but in like manner as Jesus Christ our Saviour, having been made flesh by the Word of God, had both flesh and blood for our salvation, so likewise have we been taught that the food which is blessed by the prayer of His word, and from which our blood and flesh by transmutation are nourished, is the flesh and blood of that Jesus who was made flesh. (St. Justin Martyr, First Apology)

      This attempt at changing the meaning Eucharist — making it an activity rather than the bread and wine changed into the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ — is at the heart of the problem that the bishops are trying to address. Yes, service to our neighbors is an important part of Christian discipleship, but love of neighbor follows after the first and greatest which is love of God. The liturgy is about the latter, the worship of God, which then sends us out to love our neighbors. The recognition and worship of Jesus Christ in the Eucharist does not take away from the action of the love of neighbor but empowers and directs it. To reduce Eucharist to action or social justice, on the other hand, is to cut off the source of grace that leads to true love and service of our neighbors.

  4. It’s only symbolic fullness if you accept “concomitance”. Concomitance strikes me as God acting in a superfluous manner, especially since Jesus explicitly said to take and eat and take and drink. I dare say, this is one that Aquinas got wrong, but then again he realized it was all but straw.

    1. But we accept concomitance when we refrain from the logical next step of declaring that people who fail to receive from the chalice are disobeying Jesus. (Which step would be a great way to deepen disunity in the form of effectively accusing people of committing a sin that the Church has not declared to be a sin.)

      1. A story that I have told before: at a funeral the visiting priest told bereavement that there was no need to do both species “because it was inconvenient.” I assured him that it was what we did here and would be no trouble. What I really wanted to ask him was which other of Jesus’s direct commands could I ignore because it was inconvenient.

    2. But the Council of Trent declared the following:

      Canon i. If any one shall say, that, by the precept of God, or, by necessity of salvation, all and each of the faithful of Christ ought to receive both species of the most holy sacrament of the Eucharist; let him be anathema.

      1. I’m sorry, I assumed I was talking to a Roman Catholic for whom such declarations from an ecumenical council are involved definitive interpretations of scripture that ar binding.

        About the last supper though, if you want to be hyper literal about it, then the command to drink is given to the disciples present at that moment and not to all disciples everywhere.

      2. A revival of Utraquisim will be a sure way for the Catholic Church to reconsider the prudence of making the chalice available to the laity at all. Which would be sad.

      3. “About the last supper though, if you want to be hyper literal about it, then the command to drink is given to the disciples present at that moment and not to all disciples everywhere.”

        That would imply Jesus is unable to extend his mandate through time and space.

        Also that the Last Supper was for the Twelve alone. Though those present were likely all Jews. But Acts 15 fixed that. And yes, Trent got that one wrong.

      4. Where in scripture does Jesus extend that mandate?

        Also, if Trent got it wrong then so did Vatican II as it reaffirmed Trent on this issue explicitly. Are you now saying that it’s ok to reject Vatican II based on your private judgement?

      5. Declaring Trent to be wrong on this point may not seem like it but it is ultimately a dead-end like saying Vatican II was wrong in reforming the liturgy, except that Trent is dogma and SC is not, so it’s a fantastic way to undermine Vatican II. An own-goal. Vatican II relies on authority of the Church as the Body of Christ in the Holy Spirit living the Great Commission no less or more than Trent did/does. To posit (explicitly or implicitly) Jesus vs the Church in that dimension is a solvent. At that point, everyone should just pack it up and go home. Mission and discipleship amputated from that authority are not sent and not following, and will have an fissiparous inertia rather than a unifying one, and thus will be orthogonal to Other Things Jesus Commanded.

      6. Accepting the infallibility of Church teaching as expressed in both the Ordinary and Extraordinary Magisterium of the Church is a sine qua non of being a Catholic. The contrary is heresy. If one does not accept the binding authority of Church teaching, fine. But then he should not present himself as being Catholic.

        Additionally, if the Council of Trent is not binding, why is Vatican II?

    1. Thank you for the correction. Donald Cozzens was a diocesan priest, seminary rector and counselor to priests and seminarian who died in 2021.

  5. One maddening thing I have noticed on Catholic websites of differing persuasions is how an article on the Eucharist will often have as an accompanying graphic a photo of a monstrance. How did we arrive at the point where the first thing associated with the sacrament is Exposition? I recall channel surfing one day and caught the tail end of an EWTN Mass when they raise a magic partition to expose the Blessed Sacrament and the commentator “explained” this was the object (a well-chosen word) of Mass — to place the Host in a monstrance for adoration. When this kind of “Eucharistic theology” is propagated by a major media outlet, then the distortion I mentioned is inevitable. The inauguration of this “revival” with its emphasis on (otherwise laudable) processions and Benediction will only serve to enhance the imbalance. By the way, I was present for Corpus Christi in the year 2000 as part of its Eucharistic congress and participated in the procession from the Lateran to St. Mary Major. It was a memorable experience of popular devotion and one I cherish. This isn’t about the legitimacy of such things as adoration, but there is something not quite right about the current emphases. As an aside and one which the bishops ought to be at least as concerned about is a little experiment I did on YouTube recently. I did a search for streamed “Masses” for Trinity Sunday and added up the views for the first 10 that showed up — 300,000 in total. Yes, you read that correctly.

    1. A Eucharistic, liturgical revival has to be more than theology or classes on the Eucharist or talking about it. It has to be the way we celebrate Mass and if that celebration brings people, both laity and clergy into a personal and intimate relationship with the Real Presence of the Risen Lord in sacramental signs. Part of it is the art of celebrating, part of it is music, part of it is active/actual participation in both the verbal and spiritual aspects. I think my parish has a good many of these good attributes, but certainly not perfect. Yet no matter how much I catechize about how to receive Holy Communion (tongue or hand) the time of Holy Communion isn’t the most visual sign of reverence or belief in the Divine Second Person of the Blessed Trinity being received. It is often causal, quick and a kind of chow line. I have had more traditional parishioners complain about how children receive in the hand, pop the Host in the mouth and return to the pew swinging their arms. We didn’t catechize them this way, but this is what they see and copy. And the number of times people walk off with the Host, place the Host in the pocket or purse or simply leave it in a hymnal are too numerous for me to count. We need to look at the revised methods of receiving Holy Communion in the post-Conciliar Church as perhaps the single most important aspect of decline in belief in what we as Catholics are to believe when receiving. And the Mass is more than receiving Holy Communion. Many don’t see any difference between it and a Communion Service except the Communion Service is better because it is shorter. The same could be said about Benediction of the Most Blessed Sacrament.

      1. “(T)he time of Holy Communion isn’t the most visual sign of reverence or belief in the Divine Second Person of the Blessed Trinity being received. It is often causal, quick and a kind of chow line.”

        Eucharistic Minister, heal yourself.

        When one is close to the end of a sixty-minute liturgy, some people, especially the leadership, start thinking about the end time. In all seriousness, the main people I ever hear concerns about the length of Mass are priests. I think they have good initial impulses. They think other people are clock-watching. They want a smooth procedure without distractions or confusion.

        If people in a parish are chowing the line, they might be taking their cue from the ministers, especially the priest. Does a priest see his most reverent moment as the Eucharistic Prayer or the Communion Procession? If the former, parishioners probably agree. Where the emphasis is on adoration, sitting still, being quiet, then the act of walking and receiving will be farther down the reverence list.

        I look at it this way: when people don’t sing at Mass, it’s my fault. Unfamiliar song, poor song, not rehearsed enough, I printed the wrong lyrics or something. Maybe the focus on clergy for year one isn’t at all bad. As long as there’s no catechetical methodology or apologetics included. Just training for better prayer leadership and preaching.

  6. I would think that a Eucharistic revival has to include a liturgical revival as well. Eucharist is both a noun and a verb.

  7. I really think the money being used for these national events would be better put to use at the local level. As a husband with 2 small children; most people cannot attend an event across the country. Just by having more reverence and beautiful masses would do more good for everyone. We have learned more from resources online then any one parish or priest.

  8. The problem for ‘liturgists’ is that separation of ‘eucharist’ (noun) from Communion is the default setting in Catholicism. I suppose it has been for a long time, I can cite two things in evidence (in addition to the ancient and universal practice of Communion from the Tabernacle): first, a guidebook to Westminster Cathedral (London UK) from the 1920’s which stated that Holy Communion was distributed every hour of the morning , after Mass; second, a poem by Gerard Manley Hopkins, ‘The Bugler’s First Communion’ which suggests that it was not at Mass (Stanza 3).

    Despite my reverence for it, I do not believe that the Liturgical Movement ever succeeded in dislodging this from the popular Catholic mind, nor, I suspect, has the renewed emphasis on Communion brought in during the postconcilar era. Maybe we are seeing the result of this now, when ‘adoration’ is replacing Communion as the most meaningful place of encounter with the Lord.

    The NLM website at the moment has some film clips of Corpus Christi processions in Cologne in 1947 and Liverpool in 1934. I guess it might be doubted whether every member of the huge crowds present had received the Sacrament that day.

    AG.

  9. Would suggest that eucharist is primarily a *verb* – not a noun nor would I suggest dividing eucharist as *noun* from communion as *verb*. In my opinion, that only highlights your very point. Eucharist is both the table of the word and the table of the Lord; a community meal; and ends/purpose is to go on mission. Where is *mission* in a *noun*? Where is *mission* in this three year campaign?
    You may be correct that the VII liturgical renewal has failed to reach its goal and lingering calls for adoration, processions, etc. only highlight that. Suggest again that you have missed what most people come and celebrate – you are focused on a tiny minority of people who rely on piety; do not understand VII *eucharist*; and hang on to older, outdated, comfortable fall back positions. Doubt that folks who have given their time to plan community liturgies, trained to be eucharistic ministers or lectors, RCIA leaders, etc. would agree with that sentiment.
    Think that you are focused on and letting the tail wag the dog. Sort of like the initial survey on the eucharist that started all of this – i.e. real presence. Misinterpreted results from the get go.

  10. Before we can prescribe a solution we need to set aside ideological agendas and honestly ask how the present widespread disbelief in the Real Presence in the Holy Eucharist came about in the first place. It was not always so.

    1. The poll was flawed, certainly in the way it formulated its questions (multiple choice often skews responses, Yes or No questions are more accurate) and in the miniscule sample it used from which to extrapolate the results (1,835 out of a total Catholic population of 70,000,000, and those 1,835 are part of a cohort of self-selecting regular panelists).

      I would not agree that there is widespread disbelief in the Real Presence. I do think, however, that there is an increasing view of the Real Presence as something to be adored in a static fashion, rather than as something to be consumed as food for the soul. That seems to be an unhealthy phenomenon.

      1. My experience for the past 42 years is that most people who attend Mass receive Holy Communion, even those multitudes present for Christmas and Easter. If they attend, they receive.

      2. Denying the results of the poll is whistling past the graveyard. It is consistent with other polls taken in the past and with the low level of Mass attendance. Such an attitude just serves to prevent an honest critique of the problems we have today.

        It is not a question of either/or (adoration vs. communion) but both/and. Communion is near universal for those who attend the Mass. If the Holy Eucharist is indeed the Body and Blood of Christ then He is deserving of our adoration. I do not understand the opposition to this simple proposition. Such opposition has contributed to the lack of faith which we are experiencing today.

      3. Is real presence really a matter of faith? We are told it is so. Therefore, a fact. When it is doubted, clergy clutch their pearls, wring their hands, and act as if they’ve been told water is not wet. They also assume belief was higher in the Golden 50s. What survey can they cite? What if 30% is an improvement on 15?

        Too many priests talk the talk on real presence, but they don’t invest in liturgy like they believe it. For the past half-century, some of them have poured most of the parish budget into a ministry that serves a fraction of their parishioners–schools. A worthy effort, surely. But one that devotes only a fraction of its own ample time to religion.

        Want to see a loss of faith and lower participation? Pull the plug on sports at a Catholic school and substitute a retreat. A high school near me once hired a team for a week-long retreat. (They didn’t pull the plug.) O, the outcry. What a waste of money! (Like groundskeeping for the football field didn’t cost more.)

        I think some Catholics think they’re entitled to high rates of belief. They seem to think baptism is some kind of magical membership card. If they’re in the neighborhood of consecration they receive. Well, likewise people who support abortion and are excommunicated, people in irregular marriages, and even non-Catholics.

        “If they attend, they receive.”

        Do we really want to go down that rabbit hole? I think some clergy are in serious need of catechesis.

      4. Fr Anthony Forte said:
        Denying the results of the poll is whistling past the graveyard. It is consistent with other polls taken in the past and with the low level of Mass attendance. Such an attitude just serves to prevent an honest critique of the problems we have today.

        The decline in Mass attendance is a red herring.

        We know that attendance had already started to decline in the late 1950s, when the preconciliar liturgy and devotxional practices were still in possession, and that decline may or may not be attributable to an increasingly educated laity who found the lack of engagement of the preconciliar model not encouraging for their faith..

        Much worse was Humanae Vitae in 1968, which split the Church down the middle..

        I know it’s fashionable in some quarters to blame the Vatican II liturgical reforms for lower attendances, a loss of a sense of reverence, etc, etc, but it’s clear that this was not in fact a major factor. In particular, the hammer-blow brought about by the HV débâcle was decisive, and the Church has not recovered from it, nor learned the lessons.

      5. While I would agree that the dissent against Church teaching expressed in Humanae Vitae was a major contributing cause for lower church attendance, it is foolish to disregard the trauma that has been caused by the liturgical reform. This refusal to acknowledge honest critiques about the liturgical reform is its own form of rigidity.

        Obviously, the Church is divided on this question. Why not put it to the test: let the two form of the Mass exist side-by-side on an equal basis for ten years and see what are the results? Should not the highest law of the Church be the salvation of souls rather than the promotion of liturgical agenda?

      6. A University of Chicago study in the mid70s looked at the factors of liturgy and HV. While both events were the cause of embitterment for many people, the study concluded that the post-HV exodus in the US would have been much worse if the liturgy had gone unreformed.

        A Notre Dame study in the 80s identified the three most important factors for liturgical engagement: quality music, good preaching, and welcome/sense of community. If the bishops were wise, they’d spend the next year with their clergy at preaching workshops and voice coaching sessions. They could do far worse.

        As for adoration, sure: promote it. It’s the lowest hanging fruit on the ritual tree.

        We’ve had the pre-conciliar Mass on an equal basis since 2007. It didn’t work. It’s a source of disunity and distraction. Time to put it to bed for good. JP2 and B16 had the best intentions. They were wrong. The latter would likely admit it.

      7. I would hardly call the regime under Summorum Pontificum an “equal basis.” One or two locations in a diocese with 100-200 parishes can hardly be called equal. Yes, in theory, a priest was free to say the old Mass, but there were many reasons this did not become widespread. First, there was a lack of church space available. Then there was the lack of priests available. With priests already committed to a full schedule of Masses in the new rite there is little opportunity to say the old Mass. I was once the pastor of a parish with two churches, each with an English and Spanish congregation. I was saying five Masses on a weekend in two languages. I could not institute a traditional Latin Mass despite my desire to do so. Finally, there was the open hostility and opposition by many pastors and bishops that prevented many younger priests who were interested from doing so.

        I would venture to say that the vast majority of young and middle-aged Catholics are unaware that there is a Latin Mass much less ever having attended one. It was about as equal as the “separate but equal” regime in the old South. But where the old Mass has been allowed to be established, those parishes are growing and filled with large young families. Again, if salvation of souls is the highest law, and given the multitude of rites that exists in the Church, why so much opposition for what was the normative Mass for 1400+ years? Unity and peace would come with live and let live.

      8. The 1570 Missal and its descendants to 1961 were NOT what we had had for 1400 years. Most of the unchanging texts can be dated back that far, and many of the orations, but the rubrics, the ars celebrandi, definitely not. Newly confronted with the 1570 Missal style most Englishmen would have said “Where is the engagement with the congregation?”

      9. Liturgy and faith isn’t a matter of a popularity contest.

        “One or two locations in a diocese with 100-200 parishes can hardly be called equal.”

        But it might be advantageous. As a seed, a TLM parish avoids the burdens of apathy. It can focus on its mission rather than flounder in suburban mediocrity. One parish in dozens might be a religious mecca of sorts for local Catholics–people get attracted because of liturgy, social justice, or some aspect of expressing faith that is simply done with excellence. Instead bitter Catholics–a minority but numerous enough–poisoned their own well with attitudes contrary to charity, unity, and hope.

        “I could not institute a traditional Latin Mass despite my desire to do so.”

        A good lesson for a leader. You had duties and responsibilities. You recognized them. You set aside your own desires for a greater good. Would that more young leaders (and quite a few older ones) did so.

        ” … what was the normative Mass for 1400+ years …”

        First, I think your keyboard slipped a typo in on the “1”

        Some of us think it’s the same Mass. We’ve never bought into the whining and fake news about invalidity, Bugnini, and the devil. It’s a reform.

      10. Only one or two locations in a diocese with 100-200 parishes is a sign that the number of locations for a traditional Latin Mass is being artificially limited. I know of a number of places that could easily support more Masses but no allowance is being made for normal growth.

        A number of people have attempted to justify the restrictions on the traditional Latin Mass by the “bitterness” of some of its advocates. How does this differ from those who show their own animosity towards the traditional Mass and seek its complete elimination? Judge not, lest you be judge. The way forward toward peace and unity is to allow both forms to exist freely and without restrictions. There are may rites in the Church. Why is the existence of the traditional rite the only one that threatens the unity of the Church?

        As for my inability to institute a traditional Latin Mass, this highlights the weakness of Summorum Pontificum. It is the bishop who is responsible for the allocation of resources within a diocese. Without his support there is little that individual priests can accomplish. I would suggest that it is the bishops and older pastors who need to set aside there own desires for a greater good. There is a growing interest in the old Mass, or at least a more traditional form of the Mass, and these Catholics have just as much a right to spiritual care as those pushing for a more progressive and modern form of the liturgy. It is time for them to be fully welcomed into the Church and for the leadership of the Church to drop its rigid and doctrinaire implementation of the liturgical reform.

        “1400+ years” was no typo. Too much emphasis has been placed on what were minor changes, mostly concerning the private prayers of the priest, in the liturgy over those years. The Mass prior to Vatican II was substantially that same that had existed for over a millennium; it was not an invention of the 16th century. This is especially true when contrasted to the radical departure from traditional forms of the present Mass.

      11. “Only one or two locations in a diocese with 100-200 parishes is a sign that the number of locations for a traditional Latin Mass is being artificially limited.”

        Social Gospel parishes might say the same. They don’t seem to complain as they keep their nose to the grindstone of their own charisms.

        “… no allowance is being made for normal growth.”

        Probably because many TLM advocates were more focused on foisting themselves on others rather than build on their own charisms.

        “How does this differ from those who show their own animosity towards the traditional Mass and seek its complete elimination?”

        I think there is the heft of Vatican II behind the academic stance that the 1570/1962 Missal was abrogated. Additionally, one rarely, if ever, found lay people celebrating in the modern Roman Rite invading TLM parishes and insisting on post-1970 expressions of liturgy. Thanks in part to Catholic traditionalists, we have a train wreck of MR3, and the rabbit hole of reform2. Largely gone was the post-conciliar focus on fulfilling reforms for better preaching and music. Instead we had some pipe dream of some middle ground that TLM advocates themselves resisted in small items such as the Good Friday prayers for the Jewish people.

        “The way forward toward peace and unity is to allow both forms to exist freely and without restrictions.”

        Or, simple obedience.

        “Why is the existence of the traditional rite the only one that threatens the unity of the Church?”

        It’s not the rite; it’s the attitude of superiority and the tinge of gnosticism in the culture.

        “There is a growing interest in the old Mass …”

        That’s not what the vast majority of Catholics are interested in.

        ” … the radical departure from traditional forms of the present Mass.”

        No. It’s the same Mass.

  11. Thank you, Todd and Paul. To quote – “If the Holy Eucharist is indeed the Body and Blood of Christ then He is deserving of our adoration.” Would suggest that this reflects your last sentence….”I think some clergy are in serious need of catechesis”. All for both/and but not in terms of adoration/communion. The history of the eucharist is complex (see Jungmann) but one of his theses is that adoration skewed the church’s understanding of eucharist. Again, Eucharist is about an action of sharing the body/blood of Christ because we are the body of Christ – we are on a journey. It is food for the journey vs. a static pose of adoration which turns eucharist into an object to be adored – is that even the core meaning of eucharist? Suggest that our participation in a community eucharist; our mission and journey reflecting nourishment in a hospital is the core that our adoration is to *do* eucharist so that we understand and reflect that core eucharistic belief.

    1. So were all the great saints of the last 800 years also in need of serious catechesis? Did Popes John Paul II and Benedict XVI who promoted Eucharistic adoration also need serious catechesis? What about Pope Paul VI who wrote in Mysterium Fidei

      55. Moreover, the Catholic Church has held firm to this belief in the presence of Christ’s Body and Blood in the Eucharist not only in her teaching but in her life as well, since she has at all times paid this great Sacrament the worship known as “latria,” which may be given to God alone. As St. Augustine says: “It was in His flesh that Christ walked among us and it is His flesh that He has given us to eat for our salvation; but no one eats of this flesh without having first adored it . . . and not only do we not sin in thus adoring it, but we would be sinning if we did not do so.”

      56. The Catholic Church has always displayed and still displays this latria that ought to be paid to the Sacrament of the Eucharist, both during Mass and outside of it, by taking the greatest possible care of consecrated Hosts, by exposing them to the solemn veneration of the faithful, and by carrying them about in processions to the joy of great numbers of the people.

      Pope Francis too has participated in the public adoration of the Blessed Sacrament. It should also be remembered that adoration and benediction are still part of the reformed liturgy. Given this witness and the insistence that the teaching of Vatican II is not just be found in its promulgated document but also in what followed, Eucharistic adoration should be considered a part of the teaching of Vatican II.

      1. “So were all the great saints of the last 800 years also in need of serious catechesis?”

        Of course not. Neither were the apostles. But some of today’s clergy may well be in great need.

        My concern was with Allan’s quote, ““If they attend, they receive.”

        Sheesh.

      2. Todd,

        My response was to William deHass in which he quoted you in his objection to adoration of the Eucharist.

      3. While William can certainly clarify if he wishes, what I caught was his objection to “adoration (that) skewed the church’s understanding …” Not his objection to adoration. That doesn’t appear to be there.

        I think it’s very important to be careful about how one criticizes, and more, how one reads critics. If one can’t get the diagnosis right, one probably can’t contribute to enlightenment on the details.

        I actually find the noun/verb discussion tiring. I’d prefer to say “neither.” Baptism is a way of life, and the Eucharist is the apex expression of this. Maybe it’s neither noun nor verb, but ontology. No doubt, non-believers in attendance can be as easily affected by grace as anyone else. Jesus himself suggested we would be surprised by the workings of grace, especially in sinners.

        Without a careful look at liturgy, this revival will be a shadow of the possible. Adoration is easy. It makes little demands on the clergy. It requires no budget. It makes use of leftover supplies, especially time. Adoration is certainly edifying, but it’s the inside game of Catholicism. It can evangelize, certainly. But it isn’t the primary evangelical tool, and the most fruitful era of the Church seemed to lack it entirely.

        As for the other question about JP2 and B16: I don’t think they were in need of catechesis. But maybe their assessment about the foremost challenges to the Church needed better discernment. I think they missed the boat. But maybe they did the best they could with the tools at their disposal.

  12. Isn’t the only time the Church has contradicted the teaching of Christ. Christ said marriage is a permanent joining. Paul (Pauline Priviledge) and Pius XI (Petrine Priviledge). Pius was probably OK, after all he held the Keys and had the power to bind and loose, but it’s still poor form to contradict Christ’s explicit teaching in my mind.

  13. I think more belief in the Eucharist will come when fewer people receive. When I was in Poland during March 2020 with COVID just happening; churches were packed like always on Sundays. What I further noticed was that not everyone receives, but they stay for over an hour mass. I think when people just realize they don’t have a right to receive; unless they practice would behaviorally teach people to respect the Holy Gifts more.

  14. Thank you, Todd – you caught my criticism exactly. Agree on noun/verb but it can be a useful method to get at key concepts and meanings of *eucharist*.
    You have more knowledge and experience in liturgy but I did reference Jungmann and VII – think both posited that the liturgical pendulum may have swung too far in terms of eucharistic adoration, etc. and many practices had/have a history that resembles what Jungmann described as *liturgical accretions* that needed to be trimmed to get at the core meaning. Find it interesting that the just posted article about the Zaire Missal highlights inculturation; their eucharistic journey, etc. rather than adoration – the only inculturated missal born of VII.
    BTW – usually avoid the use of ontology – brings to mind the debate about ordination as *ontological* change rather than *ministry & service*. I know, again with noun (ontology) vs. verb (ministry/service)

  15. A $38mm Congress is for the privileged. Ask a pew Catholic who the Lord they pray to is (used for Creator and Christ); ask what consubstantial means; ask about obligation vs. communion; ask who attended the Holy Thurdady meal and why.

    How can bishops “ass-u-me” what lay people need, when they spend no time listening to us, and have no interest in synodality? And are not interested in feeding their flock with protein AND icing?

    Have they never learned to exegete their flock before they preach? $38mm of self aggrandizing justification of confirmation bias.

  16. For the clarification of thought, I’d like to recommend Nathan Mitchell’s “Cult and Controversy: the worship of the Eucharist outside Mass” (Pueblo Publishing, 1982). Throughout its pages, Mitchell reminds the reader that such devotions or adorations only make sense when they point us back to us back to their source, the Holy Meal (Divine Liturgy). Confusion occurs when such a disengagement occurs. Again, “the source and summit of” of all, and I mean all, that we do.

    1. And Eastern Catholics have never had the style of eucharistic devotion which developed in the West. While attending a Ukrainian Catholic service of the presanctified gifts, I saw people prostrate themselves on the floor while the consecrated gifts were carried through the congregation at the “Great Entrance.” Yet they wouldn’t know what to do with a monstrance–especially because they use only leavened bread.
      And what would the decree of the Council of Trent say to their constant adherence to the dominical command of eating and drinking? Especially when Trent’s statement was in regard to the Reformation. Conciliar fundamentalism seems to be the close cousin of biblical fundamentalism.
      St. JP II was right: the Church needs to breath with both lungs.

      1. That means respecting both lungs as a coexisting and co-operating whole, not one lung giving up and letting the other lung being the only lung. Positing one lung vs the other is not that.

        The use of fundamentalism as a foil has a funny/sad tendency to beget…more fundamentalism. Because humans. Emo Philips’ famous routine from the 1970s comes to mind:

        Once I saw this guy on a bridge about to jump. I said, “Don’t do it!” He said, “Nobody loves me.” I said, “God loves you. Do you believe in God?”

        He said, “Yes.” I said, “Are you a Christian or a Jew?” He said, “A Christian.” I said, “Me, too! Protestant or Catholic?” He said, “Protestant.” I said, “Me, too! What franchise?” He said, “Baptist.” I said, “Me, too! Northern Baptist or Southern Baptist?” He said, “Northern Baptist.” I said, “Me, too! Northern Conservative Baptist or Northern Liberal Baptist?”

        He said, “Northern Conservative Baptist.” I said, “Me, too! Northern Conservative Baptist Great Lakes Region, or Northern Conservative Baptist Eastern Region?” He said, “Northern Conservative Baptist Great Lakes Region.” I said, “Me, too!”

        Northern Conservative†Baptist Great Lakes Region Council of 1879, or Northern Conservative Baptist Great Lakes Region Council of 1912?” He said, “Northern Conservative Baptist Great Lakes Region Council of 1912.”

        I said, “Die, heretic!” And I pushed him over.

      2. Though the practices differ, the basic idea is the same: the kind of adoration which is reserved to God alone is also given to the consecrated bread and wine.

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