Why are Catholics in disarray on such fundamental questions as the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist and other important Catholic teachings? This question begs a response from our Catholic hierarchy.
The answer, which we have heard from one good shepherd, Robert Vasa, is the “spirit of evil in the world.” Bishop Vasa writes in particular about those evils that require constant vigilance to overcome.
Vasa addresses today’s sexual evils that contradict Church teaching and are flaunted by many who call themselves Catholic. Yet I suggest that a far greater evil lurks in our midst. In fact, for Catholics, it is so foundational to all other teachings that we could say ignoring it is tantamount to spitting in the face of God. That is the evil of ignoring the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist.
Cardinal Francis Arinze has said that when someone asks him whether or not pro-abortion Catholic politicians should be denied the Eucharist, he responds that the answer is so simple even schoolchildren know the answer. Of course the answer is no; those who favor abortion or any of those sins that violate the dignity of the human person should not be allowed to receive the body of Christ in the Eucharist until they have publicly repented of their sin.
And why publicly you might ask? Because when someone in public life denies Catholic teaching and violates it publicly, that individual is creating public scandal. The only way to seek forgiveness for the grave offenses he has committed in public is to publicly repent of his wrongdoing.
In today’s “feel good” society, this is sadly not the case. The vast majority of Catholic bishops in America do not obey Church law (Canon 915). The result is that nothing but chaos can ensue. Face it, if Catholics believe there is no reason to doubt, for example, that someone like former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi can get away with supporting abortion, while also receiving the Eucharist without reprimand, why shouldn’t they behave in the same manner?
The consequences to the Church and the souls of Catholics are tragic. Consider Providence Park Hospital in Novi, Michigan—part of the St. John Providence Catholic healthcare system. This hospital “not only maintains ties with four separate abortion providers, but is also offering sterilizations in at least one of its offices and referring abortion-minded women to Planned Parenthood.”
While pro-life advocates are protesting this outrage, we must ask what happened to the bishops in the state. Where is the outrage expressed from the pulpit? Where is the demand that hospital management either cease and desist or stop defining the facility as Catholic?
One answer came from the Archdiocese of Detroit when spokesman Joe Kohn told LifeSiteNews, “The Archdiocese of Detroit does not own or operate St. John Providence or any other hospitals. . . . You would have to contact the hospital about matters regarding its operations. It can be said in general, however, that the Catholic hospitals within the archdiocese demonstrate devotion to their Catholic identity and adherence to the ethical and religious directives.”
Catholic double-speak like this contributes to Catholic chaos.
And then there’s the Archdiocese of Cincinnati that recently drew up new teacher contracts requiring those who teach in Catholic schools to live by and publicly affirm the Catholic Church’s teaching on homosexual relationships, abortion, premarital sex, and other core doctrines.
While we applaud its action, the situation looks rather bleak because teachers are protesting these new contracts. In fact, “nationally, tens of thousands of people have signed petitions decrying the new contract stipulations.” In addition, “Another petition which has over 1,000 mostly local petition signatures, expresses concern about ‘the potential of teaching staffs . . . to become a homogeneous group which lacks the diversity that’s reflective of our communities,’ as well as ‘the future of our Catholic schools and their sustainability based on the restrictive, non-inclusive trend of the Cincinnati Archdiocese and their policies.’”
Oh my! Now we have the new Catholic normal calling for diversity and tolerance instead of obedience to God and respect for Christ in the Eucharist?
Why? Catholic chaos!
It’s time for all bishops to begin teaching and preaching truth in unison beginning with respect for the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist.
Bringing moral sanity out of this Catholic chaos is possible, but do our shepherds have the courage to do it?