Real Presence

A Thomist’s Guide to the 2020 Election

For many well intentioned Catholics, determining whom to vote for in the upcoming presidential election is a difficult decision. The Church has no official, clear criteria to aid in the decision. Yet, the fact is that Rome, the highest authority in the Church, has provided the faithful with contemporary, official teaching concerning political decisions. Pope [...]

An Identity Crisis in the Priesthood

As a new wave of protests erupt in response to the death of Rayshard Brooks, many Catholics are finding themselves angered, frustrated, and perplexed, but not in the way that immediately comes to mind. For months, we have been told that we must be exiled from the public celebration of the Mass, and, in some [...]

The Real Absence

“I have sowed sackcloth upon my skin, and have covered my flesh with ashes. — Book of Job 16:16) “I hereby release everyone from fasting and abstinence. I think we’ve suffered enough already.” — Bishop Luke Warm, Diocese of Acedia “Whatever…” — Book of None These three responses pretty much encapsulate the three broad ways [...]

Flight of the Lady-Bishops

In mid-January, it was made public that His Excellency Bishop Barry Knestout (my local ordinary) had made arrangements with the Episcopal Diocese of Southern Virginia to allow an invalid consecration of a female “bishop” at St. Bede’s Catholic Church in Williamsburg. The public outcry was so intense that the Episcopalians chose to move the event [...]

Catholic schools must restore America’s faith in the Real Presence

“He is truly there in the Eucharist,” says Amelia Shripka. The 8th-grader at Everest Collegiate High School and Academy in Clarkston, Michigan takes delight in the Eucharistic procession that her school holds every year. It’s a “great time to reflect on what Jesus did for us,” she says. But according to a recent report from [...]

Yes, Virginia, the Real Presence is Really Real

Most Protestants and even some Catholics (arguably, 20 percent, maybe more) deny the predominately Catholic teaching that Jesus Christ is really present in the Eucharist. And many of those who accept the teaching betray little dis-ease receiving the sacrament in a manner that would have been unthinkable in a generation when the confessional lines were [...]

Corpus Christi and the Modern World

At first glance, the Solemnity of Corpus Christi seems primarily an internal church feast. However, once upon a time (especially when societies were more religiously homogenous) that internal faith found external expression in public processions with the Eucharist. In some places (e.g., Poland), public expression was never lost; in others, like the United States, it [...]

The 2015 Synod: The Real Issue at Stake

When the Church gathers in Rome from October 4-25 for a much-publicized Synod, the centerpiece topic will be “The Family.” We are living in a time when the family unit, which is at the heart of the human experience, has taken on “hot button” status. That is troubling enough. But other fiery issues are also [...]

“Worshipping the Devil by Default”

In his very first homily at the Missa Pro Ecclesia in the Sistine Chapel, Pope Francis quoted the famous words of Leon Bloy, stating “Whoever does not pray to God, prays to the devil.” Nature abhors a vacuum. Our experience of the material world tells us that things tend to occupy vacancies; substances naturally move [...]

Defending the Real Presence

 “This is the saddest story I have ever heard.” So begins one of the finest novels written in English in the last century, The Good Soldier by Ford Madox Ford.  It is not, however, the saddest story ever told.  That distinction belongs to a tale told in Aramaic back in the first century, which was [...]

Worship Gone Awry

Many thoughtful Catholics dismiss concern for style as an affectation, an indulgence in personal taste. Like Puritan prelates, they pull their hems back from what they regard as an overemphasis on ornament and human ceremony. These are distractions from the true ecclesia, the living temple that is the people of God. If Christ is found [...]

A Eucharistic Prayer

This prayer, offered quietly by the deacon or priest at Mass, often goes unnoticed. It is the prayer said in preparation of the cup of wine that will soon become the cup of the very blood of Jesus. This simple prayer expresses succinctly our Catholic belief concerning the Real Presence of Jesus in the sacrament [...]

Australia: The Happy Land of Upside Down

  The National Catholic Reporter has their undies in a bunch, as is their custom, over the fact that Pope Benedict XVI (perpetually referred to as "Ratzinger" at NCR) is still Catholic. This week, the pope has dissented from the NCR Magisterium by giving Bishop William M. Morris of Toowoomba, Queensland, his walking papers without [...]

Will Facebook Kill the Church?

Professor Richard Beck offers a provocative and well-written look at a truth that hardly anyone else is willing to state. In his piece "How Facebook Killed the Church," he argues that our new connectivity through Facebook and cell phones, and the broader digital world of Twitter and Skype, is hammering away at the foundational social [...]

Scourge Us

Lest there be any confusion, let me begin by admitting I am no liturgical expert. I have gone to some length to avoid becoming one, trying to shut controversies over the wording of the Mass out of my head while at prayer. As a convert from Anglicanism -- and very High Anglicanism at that, with [...]

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