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Ross Warnell • 5 years ago

And those who are in the ordained priesthood and preside at the Eucharist must keep in mind that the "Real Presence" that really counts is the "Real Presence" of the risen Christ in the people when they exit through the doors.

We get all wrapped around the theological axle trying to explain transubstantiation of bread and wine and never seem to apply it to us ordinary folks who go forth transformed to be the love of the Father incarnated into our world.

Incarnation remains a theological abstraction rather than a flesh and blood reality.

gratiana • 5 years ago

Well, what I used to tell my CCD (now THERE'S an ancient term) kids is that when the priest puts the Host in your hands you hold Jesus as surely as His mother held him...and if that isn't transformative I don't know what is...

maryclare1 • 5 years ago

oh, I like that image! thank you

Luis Gutierrez • 5 years ago

Absolutely, we keep fiddling with doctrinal abstractions while the Church burns.

mokantx • 5 years ago

Amen Ross, Amen!

Caiside • 5 years ago

Beautifully put.

Well said. Eucharistic Ecumenism is the religion of inclusion, the natural/ divine reality of eucharistic ecology, in perpetual transformation of higher consciousness (enlightenment), and higher conscience (love).

Guest • 5 years ago

So you are saying Jesus in the Eucharist doesn't matter until somebody consumes Him in the Sacrament?

Reyanna Rice • 5 years ago

Well...since Jesus said "Take and eat", " Take and drink" before he said "This is my body", " This is my blood", the action of consuming both in eating is quite important. I don't think Jesus had in mind some sort of magic act.

Guest • 5 years ago

Before the Eucharist was instituted, Christ told us He is the Bread of Life. His being the Bread of Life is not contingent any particular believer consuming Him and to say He doesn't matter unless someone consumes Him is blasphemy.

Reyanna Rice • 5 years ago

"Whoever EATS of this bread...* is the rest of the verse you conveniently left out. Bread is a food and food only nourishes if eaten. If Jesus only had in mind something we would worship after he was gone, he would have used something like a rock or a bunch of flowers. He chose bread and wine, foodstuffs, so that we would have nourishment in our spiritual journeys

Guest • 5 years ago

No, bread is still bread, still food before its eaten. The Eucharist is still the Body and Blood of Christ even if it adored and not eaten.

He is the Bread of Life independent of anyone coming to Him.

nugroho2 • 5 years ago

I do believe that Jesus means to say that bread must be shared between his followers. That's the way to remember Him... As for taking the holy Eucharist while in a state of sin, is it not weird that He GAVE the bread to Judas, knowing that he already had the intention to sell Him?

rockchalkwombat • 5 years ago

When parents continue to treat their adult children as if they were small, one of two things is likely to happen. Either those adult children will not tolerate it and the relationship will be severed, or they'll revert to perpetual immaturity. Neither of those is a good outcome.

The same thing happens in the Church. We have perpetually immature Catholics who are always "looking to daddy" for answers instead of taking responsibility for their own spiritual growth. And we have willful, belligerent Catholics (and former Catholics) who reject everything the Church stands for out of hand. In the middle are those of us who try to live honorably and faithfully while still holding the Church accountable, but it is becoming more challenging by the day.

I believe that the greatest historical failing of the Church was to devolve into a culture of paternalism, which Jesus warned against in Matthew 23. Every major problem in the Church today can be traced, in one way or another, to that mistake.

What I see Francis trying to do is help course-correct the Church into a more equitable, adult-centered understanding of the Gospel. It won't be done easily or perfectly. But it must happen if Catholicism is to survive.

mokantx • 5 years ago


As I've read the Gospels, I have come away, over and over, with the sense that the life of Jesus stands as a very powerful signal AGAINST rules and regulations, and in favor of mature responses to what life throws at us. Had Jesus followed the rules of the religion of his family and day, he would never have spoken with Samaritans, gotten anywhere near lepers, or the sick. He'd have chided his disciples for picking wheat on the sabbath so they could make a meal and eat.... the list goes on and on. Now, we know that a LOT of the Gospels are "add ons," frequently to make a point that somebody wanted made. (See Bart Ehrman, as but one example for sources on this.)

So ultimately, we need to step back and try to discern what of the often conflicting images of Jesus we get from the Gospels is real, and what is an "add on." I'm awfully inclined to believe that Jesus wasn't about rules, but about forming and LIVING a mature, sensible and other-centered faith. Obviously, some prefer or even choose to see the "other Jesus" in the Gospels. For me, about the only way the Beatitudes make any sense, is if I focus on the mature faith image of Jesus.

I do believe that Francis wants us to accept more personal accountability for our faith, and to rely less on rules per-se, and more on common sense. We don't need more fathers talking down to us, we need more brothers and sisters to walk with us.

rockchalkwombat • 5 years ago

Thanks, Mo. The nuance I might add is that Jesus, as portrayed in the Gospels, did not reject rules just for the sake of rejecting them. Any time he ignored or defied a rule it was always for some greater teaching moment. If I were to sum up his attitude, it would be to paraphrase his words from Mark 2:27 -- "the law was made to serve humankind. Humankind was not made to serve the law."

jimmccrea • 5 years ago

Thanks for NOT saying man or mankind.

MacCathmhaoilT • 5 years ago

I recall the Bernard Haring a contemporary of Benedict shocked by the stress
in the Third Reich on obedience and submission of will began to develop his Moral Theology around the idea of Responsibility. Of course he was silenced by Benedict who was very much into 'Obedience and Submission of Will' . Any human being deprived of real conscience just becomes a useless drone.

justmaybe • 5 years ago

Good thoughts Mac. Anyone who is "pro-life" must be against the termination of free will and primacy of conscience---from their conception til their death.

To pridefully and selfishly terminate free will and conscience--heck, to "contracept" their very existence and viability-- is to violate natural law.

And doctrine or canon that allows or calls for obedience that terminates free will and conscience would be a theological Roe V Wade.

bkc81 • 5 years ago

Bernard Haring was a very saintly Redemptorist. He is a good candidate for official sainthood.

Patricksday • 5 years ago

The villagers as well as older urban people in some communities think of the Priest as Royalty by the elaborate gowns, and processions. In one church a Priest and a Sister would pass out the Holy Communion, and the villagers would like up to take the Host from the Priest and not so much the Sister, when the Priest left and it was a Lay Eucharistic Minister and the Sister the people then lined up for the Sister to give them the Host. We tend to think less of our self because we lack the title that empowers us to carry our self in a different way as to looking down on the poor and patting our self on the back for our grand title they lack. God Bless Pope Francis for keeping him self and encouraging others in the clerical state to be real brothers and sisters and less ego manics driven by a false sense of power over others.

CAELewis • 5 years ago

Well and insightfully said!

Romero • 5 years ago

Well said, indeed.

Luis Gutierrez • 5 years ago

The best way to overcome clericalism, and recognize that the Spirit abides in all the baptized, is to ordain women to the priesthood and the episcopate. As long as the church hierarchy remains exclusively male, it is not fully human and cannot behave in a manner that is integrally human. Clericalism is just the symptom; patriarchy is the root cause of the disease.

DrRosemaryEileenMcHugh • 5 years ago

Other good ways to overcome clericalism include being married and having children, in my view.

BROhthor • 5 years ago

Or, being able to choose celibacy as a grace of the Holy Spirit, which it is, and not following a deceptive mandatory rule of life as part of ordained ministry.

DrRosemaryEileenMcHugh • 5 years ago

I agree to a point. Former priests who left and married have admitted that they never had to experience what it was to be humble until they were married. Living in a vacuum as a celibate can be an escape from life for some people. I do not think that celibates understand, nor do they have the right to tell married people what they can and can't do in regards to their sexual lives and use of various forms of birth control, including sterilization. It is sheer arrogance and lacks the respect for personal conscience for the pope and bishops to impose their theories on birth control on women and couples, in my view. I hope and pray the pope and bishops will try some humility and realize that women and couples have the right to plan their families as they find right for them and their particular circumstances.
Sincerely, Dr Rosemary Eileen McHugh

justmaybe • 5 years ago

I say this "half in jest, all in earnest"......

In the areas you note, I do think the words of Chuck Colson in the Nixon White House represent much clerical thinking about control of laity:

"Once you've got them by the b...., their hearts and minds will follow."

The male-centered view, of course, extends to women even more.

BROhthor • 5 years ago

self-deleted. I need to think about this more.

DrRosemaryEileenMcHugh • 5 years ago

Thankyou for your reply. I agree that we all have different life experiences and that diversity was respected and celebrated at Vatican II and needs to be rekindled, so that everyone is welcome and deserves respect as being a child of God and allowed to be free to live the life they feel called to live, in my view. Peace!

BROhthor • 5 years ago

Dr. R - I deleted the comment you are responding to, as I felt it was too reactive and not thought through enough. I'll get back to you with an edited comment in a day or so. Thanks.

Terri Hemker • 5 years ago

But I want grandchildren, Son!!!! :-(

BROhthor • 5 years ago

Look elsewhere, woman.....

Terri Hemker • 5 years ago

Sigh! I want so little....just a few dozen grandbabies....what's so tough about that?

David • 5 years ago

Well Dr. McHugh, that would be a very Noble and HEALTHY suggestion.
...your view is shared by the masses(no pun intended). LOL

Isn't the whole celebacy angle, about keeping the $$$ & property with the rcc coffers rather than its minions?

The way in which many of the rcc's rules/laws came about is truly Humorous and a real Eye Opener!
"Fish on Fridays" LOL

Caiside • 5 years ago

Another good way is to allow lay people to deliver homilies.

Terri Hemker • 5 years ago

Can you hear me now? ;-)

Guest • 5 years ago
David • 5 years ago

Sad to say...
I'm afraid this is all but more wonderful words to keep the laity warm while locked out in the cold.

Much like Bergoglios Commission on Priests raping innocent children.
...That's just gathering dust as is his words of a Tribunal of Bishops that covered-up such heinous crimes against humanities most vulnerable.

yjin117 • 5 years ago

Pope F. is a psychologically sick men who thinks that he can close his eyes to the clergy sexual abuse of children and thinks his talk about the poor and refugees, pollutions, family lives, other religions, will make people forget his standing by the sexual criminals. What he doesn't know is his standing by his sexual criminals will make all his other works a lie and deceit.

sprietsma29 • 5 years ago

As long as we keep separating Church members into "clerics" and "laity" we are going to have Clericalism.
Is maintaining such a "class structure" really necessary?

ScottG • 5 years ago

Thanks Sprietsma, you have a real gift for paring down the issue to the most simple, salient point. I respect your wisdom and experience.

Incidentally, and certainly as you are aware, I would add that this caste system is inherent in RC-ism being that it evolved directly from the political structures which were in place from the early days of imperial Rome.

BROhthor • 5 years ago

What is it you are proposing?

sprietsma29 • 5 years ago

What if we just went through Canon Law – which, after all, is simply a collection of our "Roberts Rules" for church customs – and eliminated all references to "clerics" and "the clerical state"?

BROhthor • 5 years ago

And.....substitute what for it?

sprietsma29 • 5 years ago

Maybe just baptized people who have the charism and training. Why does there need to be a specialized "class" ?

BROhthor • 5 years ago

I really don't know for sure, at least not all of the answers. Look, I think there is nothing "wrong" - inherently - in have structures and role differentials in any organization, even the Catholic Church. I see them as necessary in order for this collection of believers to function and have a coherent way of practicing and sharing a common faith. It is how those roles and "classes" have been developed and used (all of it man-made) that are the true problems that plague us. Man's "original sin" is that we tend to destroy and misuse what God provides us. Therefore, real and true renewal is found only in returning to the origins and starting over again, and in saving what grace has given us along the way, that is not self-serving for the select few in power. I do not think it is as simple and easy as just finding a few who have "charism and training." Important - definitely, but enough? I don't believe so.

sprietsma29 • 5 years ago

Having teachers or preachers or any governing "role" is still a role differential.
Question is, can those roles be given to any qualified baptized person, of are they reserved only for those who are in a "clerical" status?
The "cleric" role was a rather late development.

Cathy R. • 5 years ago

why then do we have a specialized class for anything. All can then be college professors, psychologists, lawyers etc....

sprietsma29 • 5 years ago

I understand that when medieval universities first developed, one had to be a cleric to be admitted.
Today education is for everyone with the ability and dedication - and maybe money - enough to go to school.
True, there are "role divisions" : butcher, baker, candle stick maker etc. But the only roles reserved for "clerics" are certain church governance roles.
It was not always so. Is it really helpful or useful? Or does it not inevitably lead to "clericalism" ?