ND’s McBrien: Eucharistic Adoration “is a doctrinal, theological, and spiritual step backward”

In many places where perpetual, or even frequent, Eucharistic Adoration has been made available, there have been great benefits.

But Richard McBrien of Notre Dame is against Eucharist Adoration.

In his latest piece for the dissenting, ultra-liberal National Catholic Reporter McBrien wrote this with my emphases and comments:

… The practice of eucharistic adoration began in the 12th century, when the Real Presence of Christ was widely rejected by heretics or misunderstood by poorly educated Catholics. The church saw eucharistic adoration as a way of reaffirming its faith in the Real Presence and of promoting renewed devotion to it.

However, as time went on, eucharistic devotions, including adoration, drifted further and further away from their liturgical grounding in the Mass itself.

Notwithstanding Pope Benedict XVI’s personal endorsement of eucharistic adoration [In other words, who cares what the Pope thinks.] and the sporadic restoration of the practice in the archdiocese of Boston and elsewhere, it is difficult to speak favorably about the devotion today.

Now that most Catholics are literate and even well-educated, [In other words, Adoration is probably something only stupid people are interested in.] the Mass is in the language of the people (i.e, the vernacular), and its rituals are relatively easy to understand and follow, [Really? Ask people after Mass what the epiclesis is for? or what the Gospel reading was?] there is little or no need for extraneous eucharistic devotions. The Mass itself provides all that a Catholic needs sacramentally and spiritually[No need for confession, either, I suppose.]

Eucharistic adoration, perpetual or not, is a doctrinal, theological, and spiritual step backward, not forward.

 

To which we might want to respond:

  • Blessed be God.
  • Blessed be His Holy Name.
  • Blessed be Jesus Christ, true God and true man.
  • Blessed be the name of Jesus.
  • Blessed be His Most Sacred Heart.
  • Blessed be His Most Precious Blood.
  • Blessed be Jesus in the Most Holy Sacrament of the Altar.
  • Blessed be the Holy Spirit, the Paraclete.
  • Blessed be the great Mother of God, Mary most holy.
  • Blessed be her holy and Immaculate Conception.
  • Blessed be her glorious Assumption.
  • Blessed be the name of Mary, Virgin and Mother.
  • Blessed be Saint Joseph, her most chaste spouse.
  • Blessed be God in His angels and in His Saints.

May the heart of Jesus, in the Most Blessed Sacrament, be praised, adored, and loved with grateful affection, at every moment, in all the tabernacles of the world, even to the end of time. Amen.

FacebookEmailPinterestGoogle GmailShare/Bookmark

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
This entry was posted in Our Catholic Identity, SESSIUNCULA, The Drill. Bookmark the permalink.

135 Responses to ND’s McBrien: Eucharistic Adoration “is a doctrinal, theological, and spiritual step backward”

  1. Rachel says:

    Amen!

    And I think the rituals of the Mass are easier to understand in the TLM because of its more explicit prayers.

  2. MargaretMN says:

    Progressives are all about diversity and variety except when it comes to practices and ideas that they don’t like. Then the are all about trying to stamp them out.

  3. A. J. D. S. says:

    The campus ministry at my university, which is really more interested, incidentally, in pushing fair-trade coffee than actually ministering anything to the campus, has a little pamphlet explaining Eucharistic Adoration in these words:

    “Adoration isn’t so much about adoring as it is about spending time with a friend.”

    So much for owing a debt of worship to God. We don’t worship someone who is merely our friend, with whom we are equals. Anyone who thinks that we’re far too grown up for these trite medieval acts of piety ends up in the same theological boat as McBrien, laboring under the delusion of being enlightened. Refusal to worship God is nothing more than a cry of Non serviam!

    God save us.

  4. FrCharles says:

    Adoramus te, Domine Jesu Christe et ad omnes ecclesias tuas, quae sunt in toto mundo, et benedicimus tibi, quia per sanctam crucem tuam redimisti mundum.

    Francis of Assisi, Testament.

  5. Jack Hughes says:

    Fr Mcbrien says that

    “The practice of eucharistic adoration began in the 12th century, when the Real Presence of Christ was widely rejected by heretics or misunderstood by poorly educated Catholics. The church saw eucharistic adoration as a way of reaffirming its faith in the Real Presence and of promoting renewed devotion to it”

    Well since around 70% of Catholics (in the US as of 2005) don’t believe that the Eucharist is Jesus Christ it sounds like a great practise to re-start; along with all that other silly stuff like: The Churching of Women, devotion to confession which might actually get Catholics to live their faith again. I would charitably suggest that Bishop ‘Darcy send Mcbrien to zimbabwe to do something useful……. like learn some doctrine.

  6. jantoniello says:

    Wow…I still don’t quite understand how Adoration is a doctrinal step backward.

    “Hey, there is the Lord. I worship the Lord. I’m gonna go worship the Lord.”

    Okay, now I get…wait, no.

    I’ll pray for him next time I am in Adoration.

  7. Orate Fratres says:

    Amen!

    This certainly motivated me to go to Adoration and Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament more frequently than I have previously, which was not that often I hate to admit, given the opportunities available in my area. I think this the best way to respond to this article.

    + JMJ +

  8. Inkstain says:

    How incredibly sad. But another call to pray for priests.

  9. MichaelJ says:

    I think that Fr. McBrien can learn from our separated brother Rick Warren (author of “A Purpose Driven Life”).

    If there is one overriding theme throughout this book it is this:

    “It is not about you”.

    Fr. McBrien would do well to remember this.

  10. cwhitty says:

    Maybe when he says that Adoration is meant for the uneducated, he really means “I am over-educated and so my faith has dwindled.”

  11. Jono says:

    I tried to leave a comment on McBrien’s blog, but was unable to locate it. Has anyone else done so? Were they able to find their comments?

  12. Jordanes says:

    Why does Father McBrien even bother with Catholicism any more? Does he believe the Catholic faith at all???

  13. Girgadis says:

    This article was written by a priest? Well, it would probably sicken him to know that pretty soon, we will have our first Perpetual Adoration chapel in South Philadelphia where us backward
    folks can pray for him and everyone who else who needs our prayers round the clock. I discovered the book “Come to Me in the Blessed Sacrament” some years ago and was pleased to read that Mother Teresa never traveled anywhere without it. Among other things it offers scriptural meditations for ten different holy hours. A recurring theme is that during the Agony in the Garden, Jesus saw how neglected He would be in the Blessed Sacrament. How gut-wrenching to realize that neglect would be propagated by an ordained priest.

  14. Bill in Texas says:

    Every time I read something like this, I throw up a little in my mouth.

    What a wretched notion he presents. The only thing to be glad about is that he apparently always wears a coat and tie, and not a Roman collar. That way people might mistakenly think he is something other than a Catholic priest.

  15. Frank H says:

    Jono – You can comment at the end of the article. But I don’t know where the comments will be displayed.

  16. Frank H says:

    Spoke to soon. It looks like none have yet been submitted, but for other of his blog posts, the comments are at the end as one would expect.

  17. Fr. John Mary says:

    How “inspiring”…(wheeze…my asthma is kicking in…)

    Thank you, Fr. McBrien, for “enlightening” us “poor, illiterate peasants.” I’ll take an hour before our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament to two minutes of this slop you are serving.
    And what is wrong with the 12th century???
    Shame on you!

  18. jonvilas says:

    Well, if the guys like this are working at Notre Dame, it is no wonder that it became Notre Shame. Is he still a priest? I mean, a true catholic priest? I wonder…

  19. MenTaLguY says:

    Given that Eucharistic adoration is the logical consequence of belief in the Real Presence, one wonders what doctrine McBrien perceives it as representing a step away from.

  20. Dr. K says:

    With what should we replace this allegedly unnecessary Eucharistic Adoration… liturgical dance?

    ~Dr. K

  21. Rob Cartusciello says:

    One one side: Fr. McBrien.

    On the other: St. Thomas Aquinas, St. John Vianney, Bishop Fulton Sheehan, Mother Theresa and John Paul II.

    With which group would you rather cast your lot.

    Can someone tell me why Call to Action still exists?

  22. jbalza007 says:

    Unfortunately, Fr. McBrien isn’t alone. Some years ago, there was one diocese (the name of the diocese escapes me at the moment, will try to look it up) where the bishop effectively banned perpetual adoration.

  23. patrick_f says:

    Amazingly brave of these priests to not wear their clerical garb, for it might actually burn off of them with their herisies

    And WHY do these people have jobs?

  24. Rebecca M says:

    “The Mass itself provides all that a Catholic needs sacramentally and spiritually.”

    As much as I believe that Sunday worship is an extremely important part of anyone’s spiritual life, viewpoints like the above quote are only feeding the trend of Catholics joining Evangelical Bible studies and churches in search of “more.” Having come from the Evangelical background, I wanted the depth of the Catholic spirituality. Adoration is an important way to promote that silent, sacred space that we need in a relationship with God.

    No, nothing can replace the Mass, but to say that no Catholic should need any other spiritual food goes a bit far.

  25. james says:

    The Holy See should respond. Publically.Why is he not up for excommunication?
    These are heretical words. Certainly not Catholic. He is not a Catholic,
    yet he’s a priest?!? Thankfully, I am in a parish w/24 hour Adoration. I am
    lucky to be able to go twice a week. We have a lot of young people there
    in the early a.m. hours.

    Shameful. St. Peter Julian Eymard was not some unsophisticated backward fool.
    He’s a Saint, Fr. O’Brien. A saint.

    Again, some response should come from the Vatican. Perhaps the Church should
    be investigating Notre Dame and Fr. O’Brien? Clearly, these comments are
    heretical, as is the National Catholic Reporter. Time for a response. Time
    for the Truth. Fr. O’Brien’s comments are blasphemous.

  26. Fr. John Mary says:

    jbalza007: I believe it was Bishop Robert Lynch in the Diocese of Saint Petersburg, FL.
    He had some important post in the USCCB or whatever it is they call it now.

  27. jbalza007 says:

    Yes, Fr. John Mary. That’s it. This info came from
    http://sflatinmass.blogspot.com

    No Perpetual Adoration in St. Petersburg
    15-September-2000 — Catholic World News Brief
    ST. PETERSBURG DIOCESE ENDS PERPETUAL EXPOSITION OF EUCHARIST
    ST. PETERSBURG, Florida, (CWNews.com) – The Diocese of St. Petersburg has issued new guidelines which, on September 1, ended the practice of perpetual exposition of the Blessed Sacrament in parishes, and only allows worship of the Eucharist reserved in tabernacles.

    The guidelines, “Concerning Eucharistic Adoration, Exposition, and Benediction,” survey Church history on the the theology of the Eucharist, noting that the current practice of worshiping the exposed Sacrament arose only in the 13th century. That contradicts other historians and theologians who trace the practice back to the sixth century in Spain. The guidelines, which were sent to priests of the diocese in a June 12 letter from Bishop Robert Lynch, also claim that the focus on the Real Presence in the Eucharist overshadows the presence of Christ in the minister, the Word proclaimed, other sacraments, and the participation of the faithful.

    The directive says that exposition of the Blessed Sacrament should take place within a fixed period of time in a liturgical service such as Benediction, or for a period of one or more days annually.

    For parishes that wish to inaugurate adoration of the Blessed Sacrament the Bishop says they should “reflect on… their commitment of time and money to social services.” Among other reflections, they should ask, “Are they as respectful and reverent toward Christ’s presence in the gathered Body, the Church, as they are to the presence of Christ in the Sacrament? …. Does the eucharistic bread look like bread? … Do the eucharistic ministers reflect the parish, i.e., inclusive of age, ethnicity, and gender?

  28. JohnMa says:

    I think this might rise to the level of c. 1390.

  29. Sandy says:

    Just when I think his blather can’t get any worse! I can only echo what is already said – why does he have a job; is he really a Catholic any more; where’s his bishop! Isn’t this rag, uh, paper, accountable to the bishop also? Gosh, I don’t want to get discouraged, but between the Church and our country, what the heck is going on! Let’s pray that Satan’s power is broken soon, and it will be our precious Mother who crushes his head.

    Speaking of the latter, you know, these errors and heresies come from the “head”, the mind. The Blessed Mother with her “heel” was pushed out of the way for too long, so the errors of the “head” have grown in power. She must be invoked to destroy these evils. All of this can be learned from what St. Louis de Montfort teaches in “True Devotion to Mary”. Mother Mary rescue us!

  30. medievalist says:

    “The practice of eucharistic adoration began in the 12th century, when the Real Presence of Christ was widely rejected by heretics or misunderstood by poorly educated Catholics. The church saw eucharistic adoration as a way of reaffirming its faith in the Real Presence and of promoting renewed devotion to it.”

    Glad to see Fr McBrien doing his usual high-rate research. A quick check of the standard historical (admittedly not theological) text, Miri Rubin’s Corpus Christi (Cambridge University Press, 1991), clears up his errors. It is well-known that Eucharistic adoration and, subsequently, the feast of Corpus Christi began as, essentially, a popular movement that the ecclesiastical authorities approved. It was, therefore, the “poorly-educated Catholics” (how easy it is to slander our ancestors) whose devotion inspired the hierarchy. Thus, there was no need to “reaffirm” and “promot[e] renewed devotion” to the Real Presence, since it was already recognised.

    Further, the feast of Corpus Christi must have been closely tied to Eucharistic adoration in general. This feast, however, not begin in Liege until the thirteenth century; received papal approval in the bull ‘Transiturus de hoc mundo’ of 1264; and spread throughout Christendom thereafter. Indeed, the nature of Transubstantiation was debated by “well-educated Catholics” in the universities well into the thirteenth-century. The Elevation during Mass was not introduced locally until c.1200 at the earliest, and, certainly, not widespread until after this. Adoration, therefore, was most unlikely to have begun prior to the beginning of the thirteenth century. And when it was introduced, it was as a means of permitting participation through a visual, spiritual communion.

    So, Fr McBrien is about a century off in his analysis, but he seems fairly out of date anyway.

  31. Fr. John Mary says:

    For parishes that wish to inaugurate adoration of the Blessed Sacrament the Bishop says they should “reflect on… their commitment of time and money to social services.” Among other reflections, they should ask, “Are they as respectful and reverent toward Christ’s presence in the gathered Body, the Church, as they are to the presence of Christ in the Sacrament? …. Does the eucharistic bread look like bread? … Do the eucharistic ministers reflect the parish, i.e., inclusive of age, ethnicity, and gender?

    Has he ever heard of Blessed Teresa of Calcutta who spent hours before our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament and endless hours picking up the dying off the streets of Calcutta?

    Talk about a need to reflect upon the “hermeneutic of continuity”!!

  32. gloriainexcelsis says:

    Pray for Fr. McBrien – before the Blessed Sacrament.

  33. Gabriella says:

    :(
    “… was widely rejected by heretics or misunderstood by poorly educated Catholics …”
    I think Fr. McBrien is truly a poorly educated Catholic – where did he learn to be a priest?
    :(

  34. patrick_f says:

    I posted this to his blog/site. Whether it gets posted, is another thing, as there is “moderation” involved.

    “Good Father,

    So what you are saying is, that if Almighty God were standing in your presence, you would not bow down and worship? You would not stand “in fear and trembling”, at the presence of Almighty God? Maybe I am just reading too much into some of your words, and not enough into the wholeness of the article?

    Forgive myself for not understanding your approach, as I guess I am not educated enough to understand the reasoning. I am not but a simple, lay Knight of columbus, who when he ccan, visits Jesus Christ (not a symbol, but Jesus Christ) in the form, and veil of the sacrament.

    Christ gave us this, so that we could behold his wonderful presence, sacramentally, and not be overwhelmed by it in our mortal, sinful state. If we were to experience His Infinately loving presence, we would be overwhelmed. THAT is the power of God.

    You also say “they have been changed sacramentally, not literally or physically, into the body and blood of Christ”

    To a certain degree, yes this is true. However, you are confusing form, with essence. Physical, with metaphysical. Christ is truly present in the Eucharist. Present, to the simple mind like my own, means present. Er go, He is there, for us to behold. So, to reduce it simple to the word sacramentally (which of course, it IS, but that is a way for all humans to understand it), seems a little sac-religious to me.

    You also mention people mistaking the host if it were to be scratched would bleed. well, I think in most cases, that is true. However, how can you explain the miracle of lanciano, where the Host Literally became live flesh? (Note, I know this is not a dogmatic principle from the holy see, but it is officially approved by the Holy See)

    “It should be pointed out that the church has always condemned devotional excesses that contradicted its official teachings”

    Yes, but I think you are referring more to flagellation then Eucharistic Adoration (IE worshiping Christ in his Sacramental form). I highly doubt, that the supreme Pontiff, His Holiness the pope, would participate,as well as his predecessors, such as John Paul the II, in something that was contradictory to its teachings. I believe at your ordination, you promised obedience to your superior, and to the Pope. Has that vow changed?

    In Closing, I will admit, you make some strong points about “oddities” such as putting Jesus to bed? However, I would challenge with the notion that it is a greater testament of faith to do that, then to simply put the Lord in a closet, particularly if suitable tabernacle is not available.

    We laity, depend on you Priests to teach us, to shepherd us, to guide us, and help us towards the Sacred, Towards Almighty God. Its confusing to say the least, and disheartening the most, when one of you speaks out not only against the Holy See, but against solid truths of our faith.

    I would invite you to give just one hour to the Lord each week in the presence of the eucharist, in adoration. Oh, and let him do the talking, you might just be amazed at the response. I know I cosntantly am.”

    Excuse the error here and there, and my “down homeness”. I am not a priest at Notre Dame, just a simple lay person

  35. Gus says:

    Things have changed in St. Petersburg since the instruction of 2000.
    Please see: http://gns.dosp.org/articles/01_adoration.php

    Pax et Bonum

  36. jbalza007 says:

    Gus: What a change indeed! Thanks for letting us know. Let’s pray and hope that Fr. McBrien goes the same way.

  37. JohnE says:

    Guess the topic for the “$100,000 Pyramid” game-show:

    - Eucharistic adoration is a step backward
    - Abortion is sometimes ok and the most compassionate option
    - Let gays marry; who are they hurting?
    - Women should be able to be priests
    - Get with the times; there’s nothing wrong with contraception

    For our studio audience:
    (“Things Satan Would Say”)

  38. TRAD60 says:

    Four decades of toleration of the likes of Mc Brien is a significant part of what has led the Church into the crisis which it is in today. The bottom line is, tolerance of dissent ultimately leads many to lose their faith. While this misguided priest is in need of prayers, he should have been excommunicated a long time ago. Oh, forgive me, I’ve forgotten. Excommunication is reserved for holy men such as Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre who have dedicated their lives to defending what the Church has always taught and held sacred.

  39. ray from mn says:

    Cheer, cheer for old Notre Dame,
    You bring the heresy, I’ll bring the pain;
    Send the Sophomores out for sin,
    Don’t let an orthodox Senior in;

    We never confess, we never adore,
    We meditate on pleasure and more
    While our loyal faculty
    Makes apostates of us all.

  40. Sedgwick says:

    cwhitty

    “Maybe when he says that Adoration is meant for the uneducated, he really means “I am over-educated and so my faith has dwindled.”

    This reminds me of Archbishop Fulton Sheen’s description of an intellectual: someone who has been educated beyond their intellect.

    By the way, when McBrien puts aside his earthly coil, will Notre Dame give him a Catholic funeral? And will it include a performance of The Vagina Monologues?

  41. JoeGarcia says:

    I actually feel BAD for Fr. McBrien, that he should state such things.

  42. Chrysologus says:

    As misguided and rash as his statement was, it is not heretical. He doesn’t deny any doctrines of the faith. You may disagree vehemently with his denigration of a very widespread custom that has received the highest Magisterial approval for centuries, but that doesn’t make him a heretic. Nor does it make sense to refer to him as “uneducated,” though you may think his education has led him to draw some mistaken conclusions. The word “heretic” shouldn’t be used lightly.

  43. wmeyer says:

    At the risk of seeming uncharitable, I find that doing the opposite of what is recommended by the good Fr. McBrien seems most often to be the best course.

    I shall pray for Fr. McBrien. Perhaps to St. Jude.

  44. Girgadis says:

    And more thing… giving O’Brien the benefit of the doubt for a second, that the Mass is sacramentally and spiritually all a Catholic needs, wouldn’t his time be better spent in service of Our Lord if he had used his pen to castigate Catholics for not attending Mass often enough, rather than denigrate and ridicule a sacred devotion as something only ignorant and illiterate people do? Perhaps the good Father hasn’t noticed that the faithful committed to Eucharistic Adoration also tend to be those who DO attend daily Mass and take frequent advantage of going to Confession. Unbelievable.

  45. Bill in Texas says:

    Sedgwick reminded me — Archbishop Fulton Sheen spent an hour every day in Eucharistic Adoration. He was certainly literate and well-educated. He certainly loved the Mass. Yet he drew strength from that daily hour.

    And of course Fulton Sheen was made archbishop, and is now being considered for canonization. Will either of those things ever be said of Father McBrien?

  46. Scott W. says:

    Stay alert people. This is one of those core issues where the smoke of dissent leads to fire. A certain layperson at my former parish with some adminstrative duties there also poo-pooed eucharistic adoration. Guess what else? Yep. This person rejected the Church’s teaching on contraception and male-only priesthood. See, eucharistic adoration reinforces the sacrificial emphasis of the Sacrament as opposed to the “sharing of a meal” WE ARE CHURCH philosophy (this shift is to the dissenter’s mind the step forward). When it is merely a meal, then in the dissenter’s mind, anyone can celebrate it–Man, woman, non-Catholic, man with puppet, trained monkey, etc.

    Want to revive a parish? Let me suggest that regular eucharistic adoration should be one of the first steps.

  47. Sid says:

    McBRIEN??? Oh, is he still around? I thought he went the way of Bishop Pike, Harvey Cox, God-is-dead theology, Situation Ethics, I’m OK/You’re OK, if it feels good do it, twist and shout, everybody’s surfing, Puff the Magic Dragon, I get high with a little help from my friends, groovy man, and far out.

  48. Girgadis says:

    Apparently, I have developed dyslexia in my middle age. McBrien, not O’Brien. sorry.

  49. Now that most Catholics are literate and even well-educated, the Mass is in the language of the people (i.e, the vernacular), and its rituals are relatively easy to understand and follow, there is little or no need for extraneous eucharistic devotions. The Mass itself provides all that a Catholic needs sacramentally and spiritually.

    I dunno…we got more “literate and even well-educated”; we got the Mass in the vernacular; we got the “easy” rituals; and we seem to understand the Mass less now than ever!

    The guidelines, “Concerning Eucharistic Adoration, Exposition, and Benediction,” survey Church history on the the theology of the Eucharist, noting that the current practice of worshiping the exposed Sacrament arose only in the 13th century. That contradicts other historians and theologians who trace the practice back to the sixth century in Spain. The guidelines, which were sent to priests of the diocese in a June 12 letter from Bishop Robert Lynch, also claim that the focus on the Real Presence in the Eucharist overshadows the presence of Christ in the minister, the Word proclaimed, other sacraments, and the participation of the faithful.

    If we need to get rid of adoration because it only goes back to the 13th century, why do we keep so much stupid stuff that only goes back to the 1960s?

  50. TRAD60 says:

    Although I do not have the ability to read Mc Brien’s heart, I strongly question whether or not he actually believes in the real presence. Given his known opinions on theological matters, it is certainly not out of line for one to suspect this. I, along with many other Catholics would wonder if the consecration was valid from a priest like Mc Brien. Even if it is valid, who would want to receive sacraments from a dissenting, unholy priest! He is smart enough to not deny the real presence outright, which likely (hopefully) would result in his excommunication, but he does continue to argue in favor of various things that the Church has extensively spoken on and declared not possible. This is what casts doubt on his overall orthodoxy.

  51. Scott W. says:

    The more I think of this, the more appalling I find it. I’m thinking there should be a move to contact Bishop D’Arcy and ask him to respond. Good idea Father?

  52. Rachel says:

    Did anyone else read the whole McBrien article and notice that he doesn’t seem to believe in transubstantiation at all? Here’s what he says:

    ‘It was also unfortunate that Paulson described the Catholic belief in the Real Presence (a technical theological and doctrinal term that did not appear in the story) as a “literal” transformation of bread and wine into the body and blood of Jesus during Mass. The transformation (the medieval word was “transubstantiation”) is sacramental, not literal or physical.’

    I know he mentions transubstantiation, but he also says it’s not a literal or physical transformation. I thought the correct teaching is that it most definitely is a real, literal, physical change of substance, and it’s only the accidents that don’t change.

    So no wonder he doesn’t believe in adoration either.

    I couldn’t care less what the man thinks of us, but I care very much about the harm he does the Church. As for why he’s still a priest– who’d care about his heretical views if he wasn’t? Plenty of non-Catholics disagree with Church teaching, but that’s not news. McBrien wouldn’t be news either if he did the honest thing and stopped pretending to be a servant of the Church he attacks.

  53. McBrien’s comments remind me of things that I have heard happened after the Council. Devotions and novenas were thrown out
    because they did not serve any specific purpose whatsoever and were viewed as private devotional practices.

    I remember trying to institute a Tuesday novena in
    honor of Our Mother of Perpetual Help at my university.
    It was largely a bust. Some of the blame can be placed
    on the fact that it was at an inconvenient time, but
    I also think some of it can be blamed on the fact
    that many people have lost their sense of the power
    that can be conveyed throught these devotions.

    Speaking for myself, I can say that I have experienced
    some of the greatest consolations in prayer when I’ve
    gone to Adoration. If that isn’t proof, then I don’t
    know what is.

  54. Paul says:

    I had no idea this man was a priest until I read some of the comments. His opinion is simply beyond my comprehension. This is a man who has consecrated the gifts and yet he can’t see the joy of adoration. My prayers are for him and for the whole Church.

  55. wmeyer says:

    …of course, since the speech was to a meeting of Call To Action, we have even less cause for surprise than might have been the case.

  56. robtbrown says:

    If we need to get rid of adoration because it only goes back to the 13th century, why do we keep so much stupid stuff that only goes back to the 1960s?
    Comment by Anita Moore OPL

    Are you saying that Fr McBrien’s theology should have been included in Bill Veeck’s 1979 Disco Demolition Night at Comiskey Park?

  57. Ellen says:

    Well. Just when I think they have gone about as low as they can go, they dig. My grandparents took me to Benediction and adoration every Sunday and it remains one of my cherished memories. I only wish I could go every day.

  58. jesusthroughmary says:

    This is what Chesterton was talking about when he penned the famous quote:

    “Tradition means giving votes to the most obscure of all classes, our ancestors. It is the democracy of the dead. Tradition refuses to submit to the small and arrogant oligarchy of those who merely happen to be walking about.”

    It is amazing how the perfidious intellectual elite love to slander those on whose shoulders we stand.

  59. Melody says:

    This person has irritated me before, but this is the first time I’ve wanted to actually smack him upside the head.

  60. Yet another vindication of the McBrien Priciple: If Dick McBrien opposes something, it likely ought to be done. (There is also the McBrien Corollary: If Dick McBrien favors something, it likely ought not to be done.

  61. Mitchell NY says:

    What a disaterous commentary he has made, which goes completely against the faith..How do you encourage young people or any person, not to take part in Adoration which is a pious, beautiful thing to encourage..Perhaps their time would be better spent getting into trouble and mischief. Truly saddening, no wonder our faith has been shaken to its’ core and millions lost over such nonsense. Lord, I pray for the Church and our Holy Father, give him fortitude and many years. This is the type of rot that eats away at the foundations of people’s faith and beliefs…

  62. John Enright says:

    Well, then, call me stupid. My parish has a chapel devoted to perpetual adoration, and I think that it is fantastic. Sometimes, I have a morning free and I visit. Other times, I I’m free at night to visit. Once in a while, when I can’t sleep at 3 a.m., the chapel is still open and I can stand in the light of my Lord and God.

    I feel sorry for Fr. McBrien and I pray for his redemption and reconciliation to the Church, because I think he is missing the essence of our faith. That said, I’d still like to smack his face and make him stand in the corner for, say, thirty or forty years.

  63. Fr. John Mary says:

    After our community Rosary, Litany of BVM, and Evening Prayer before our Lord in the most Blessed Sacrament(gasp!) I have “cooled off” and have a few thoughts.
    I do not want to sound hysterical; but there is real evil here.
    This attack upon adoration of the Lord in the Blessed Sacrament on the feast of His Mother’s Nativity seems diabolical to me.
    What is the point?
    To attack the very heart of our life as Catholics: the Sacrifice of the Mass and our Lord’s Real Presence.

    During this Year of the Priest, we need to not only pray for priests but make reparation, lots and lots of reparation. And I speak as a priest and one who lives the consecrated life. The priesthood and consecrated life (as we see in the response of the visitation of apostolic women religious that is causing some to shriek) are under full frontal attack by the powers of hell.

    The message of Fatima is ever relevant. I never understood years ago (many years ago as a child first hearing of Fatima) what was meant by reparation for the “sins, outrages and indifference by which He is most offended.”
    It was living through the seventies, eighties and nineties that made very real what the Angel of Fatima meant.
    Prayer and reparation are the foundation of our response. Education and trying to bring about some sanity are needed. But this, as Jesus said, can only be dealt with by “prayer and fasting.”

  64. joan ellen says:

    Thank you for the Divine Praises as a response Fr, and I am going to try to memorize them so as not to forget them. Ever.

    And, may we who believe in the REAL PRESENCE, adore, worship, and praise Our Lord, whether He is in the Tabernacle, or out in a monstrance in the Church/Adoration Chapel. If need be, or in addition, may we sit in front of an image of the Holy Eucharist and say/pray the Divine praises on a regular, even daily, basis.

    May we never forget the Divinity of Jesus Christ!

  65. Jayna says:

    “The Mass itself provides all that a Catholic needs sacramentally and spiritually.”

    Sacramentally and spiritually? So is he implying that no one need pray outside of Mass either? And I’m sure he means Sunday Mass alone, no need to go any other day of the week. I don’t know what it is with these people – they talk of how close to God they are and yet we find them at Mass for their requisite one hour each Sunday and no more.

    “…the sporadic restoration of the practice in the archdiocese of Boston and elsewhere…”

    This shows just how out of touch Call to Action and others of its ilk really are. Many, many, many churches hold adoration for at least one hour a week. Even my ultra lefty parish has it four to five hours a day Monday through Saturday!

  66. mpm says:

    “I would charitably suggest that Bishop D’Arcy send Mcbrien to zimbabwe” –Comment by Jack Hughes — 8 September 2009 @ 12:57 pm

    Jack,
    What have you got against poor little Zimbabwe?

  67. If Mass is all we need spiritually, we obviously don’t need Catholic newspapers to further educate us spiritually. So obviously, we don’t need to pay McBrien to write columns or books.

    I’m sure my brilliant logic will convince him to retire immediately to a life of seclusion, happily doing nothing but saying Mass.

  68. Stu says:

    thank u fathere mcbrine four halping and edumacating us on such stuff. we not to inteleegint.

  69. shoofoolatte says:

    I tend to agree with Fr. McBrien.

    Piety has taken its toll on Catholics. It’s time to move on. [That's just crazy.]

  70. John Enright says:

    To Stu:

    Good post. LOL!

  71. Re: physical stuff and transubstantiation

    Well, that’s actually true about it not being exactly physical. I don’t really understand it either, but it’s not that it’s not real; it’s just not precisely physical. McBrien makes it sound wrong, but he makes everything sound wrong, including blue skies.

    Listen to Fr. Hardon of catechism fame, explaining it to some nuns:

    http://catholicaudio.blogspot.com/2008/07/fr-hardon-sj-transubstantiation.html

  72. JosephMary says:

    I am the 70th comment so that shows that this dissenting priest hit some nerves. And he has some nerve too! And he has for decades and with impunity.

    I have sought to foster adoration and prayed for perpetual adoration for some 14 years. I fell in love with Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament in the fall of 1995. And although I had 12 years of Catholic school, I was totally unfamiliar with Eucharistic adoration. Now I make a daily holy hour and have for many years. I will offer an hour of adoration tonight in reparation for the words of this priest against Our Lord, truly present in the Most Blessed Sacrament.

    ps–I have yet to live in a place with perpetual adoration. Pray that my parish will establish it! We need a priest with the passion for this, I do believe. I know how far a lay person can take things…

  73. Supertradmom says:

    Sadly, I was talking to the president of the Catholic college where my son attends and asked why there was no Eucharistic Adoration on campus. The president stated that the bishops do not think it is the “normal manner of adoration”. Where did he get that?

    Fulton J. Sheen also stated, in addition to the above, “What do you called an ignorant Catholic-a Protestant.” Hello, Fr. McBrien….

  74. Miguel says:

    I’m with TRAD60…does no one see any value in temporal action any longer?

    It’s very frustrating.

    Psalm 12 comes to mind.

  75. Titus says:

    “I would charitably suggest that Bishop D’Arcy send Mcbrien to zimbabwe”

    H.E. Bishop D’Arcy certainly would—unfortunately McBrian is incardinated in some diocese in New Hampshire (or some place in the NE). Also why the CSC hasn’t disciplined him—he’s not a member.

    “why there was no Eucharistic Adoration on campus”

    The unusual thing is that there actually IS all-day adoration five days a week at Notre Dame: four days a week in the Campus Ministry building and all day in the basilica of the Sacred Heart on Fridays.

    I’ve never understood why Fr. McBrian is at Notre Dame. He’s a terrible embarrassment. What with the debacle in May and the last few years of the V.M. (which, incidentally, were not performed last year—the good news got lost in the commencement hubbub), we certainly don’t need this crackpot putting “Notre Dame” in his byline.

  76. Bruce says:

    shoofoolatte

    “If we love the Blessed Sacrament, and if we delight to spend our time in adoration of this tremendous mystery of love, we cannot help finding out more and more about the charity of Christ. We cannot help gaining an intimate and personal knowledge of Jesus Who is hidden under the sacramental veils.”
    THOMAS MERTON

  77. capchoirgirl says:

    Wow. Think I need some of those Divine Praises before I go to bed.
    There is NO way I would ever send my kids (if I had them) or my money (which I do) to Notre Dame, as long as people like this are there.
    When I’m in adoration tomorrow I’ll pray for him.

  78. Allan says:

    McBrien is a step backward, into a pile of muck.

  79. This goes to show that whatever Richard McBrien says or writes…It will always be a doctrinal, theological, and spiritual step backward, not forward.

    Can someone do the Church a favor?

  80. Fr. John Mary says:

    The Rev. Richard McBrien is incardinated in the Archdiocese of Hartford, Ct.
    I know this because I spent several years in this area. Maybe Archbishop Mansell needs to hear about this.

  81. Bruce says:

    Josh.24
    [14] “Now therefore fear the LORD, and serve him in sincerity and in faithfulness; put away the gods which your fathers served beyond the River, and in Egypt, and serve the LORD.
    [15] And if you be unwilling to serve the LORD, choose this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your fathers served in the region beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you dwell; but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.”

  82. maynardus says:

    “The practice of eucharistic adoration began in the 12th century, when the Real Presence of Christ was widely rejected by heretics or misunderstood by poorly educated Catholics. The church saw eucharistic adoration as a way of reaffirming its faith in the Real Presence and of promoting renewed devotion to it.”

    One aspect of Fr. McBrien’s latest babblings – which has gone as yet unremarked – is the implication in the statement above that Eucharistic Adoration was at one time an innovation dreamt-up by the litniks of the day, probably after surveys and recommendations from “experts”, as the officially sanctioned solution to a particular problem. Under such a mindset the Church can – and should – simply “change the menu” much like many restaurants do with the change of seasons! This is the sort of mediocre and parochial thinking, masquerading as original scholarship, which gave us the liturgical and theological revolt of the 1960′s and ’70′s.

    One wonders when he last made a Holy Hour himself…

  83. jennywren says:

    Can’t you just hear Uncle Screwtape saying McBrien’s words? “My dear wormwood…those pesky creatures keep growing in grace as they adore the enemy……”

    Truly, Perpetual Eucharistic Adoration it is only a step backward for evil.

  84. dbgallup says:

    I have been fortunate to attend weekly adoration in a nearby parish and every time I go I sense the inner working of the Holy Spirit in my soul bringing a greater love for Christ and His church. This deepening of my faith and love occurs in the silence where the love of God thunders deep within. I think of the verse in Isaiah 30 — For Thus said the Lord God, the Holy One of Israel: By waiting and by calm you shall be saved, in quiet and in trust your stength lies. But Isaiah continues, as if speaking directly to Fr. McBrien: “But this you did not wish.” I hate to say this, but I think in this instance one should say to Fr. McBrien, “Get thee behind me Satan.”

  85. robtbrown says:

    I tend to agree with Fr. McBrien.
    Piety has taken its toll on Catholics. It’s time to move on.
    Comment by shoofoolatte

    Move on to what?

  86. Cavaliere says:

    “Neither theological knowledge nor social action alone is enough to keep us in love with Christ unless both are proceeded by a personal encounter with Him. Theological insights are gained not only from between two covers of a book, but from two bent knees before an altar. The Holy Hour becomes like an oxygen tank to revive the breath of the Holy Spirit in the midst of the foul and fetid atmosphere of the world,”

    - Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen

    Perhaps Fr. McBrien should bend a couple knees more frequently.

  87. Scelata says:

    Imagine if the poor man had had, or thought he had, a vocation to marriage:

    The practice of telling your wife you love her began in the 12th century, when committed love was widely rejected by courtly cads, or misunderstood by poorly educated peasant men.
    Husbands saw saying “I love you,” as a way of reaffirming their commitment to their wives and of promoting renewed devotion to them.
    However, as time went on, saying loving things drifted further and further away from its grounding in love itself.

    Notwithstanding my Dad’s personal endorsement of telling Mom he loved her, and the sporadic restoration of the practice in suburbia, it is difficult to speak favorably about verbal proofs of devotion today.

    Now that most women are literate and even well-educated, there is little or no need for extraneous reminders of your commitment.

    I mean, you’re just being there ought to be enough.

    Saying “I love you, honey”, perpetually or not, is a step backward in your relationship, not forward.

    (Save the Liturgy, Save the World)

  88. Scelata says:

    Imagine if the poor man had had, or thought he had, a vocation to marriage:

    The practice of telling your wife you love her began in the 12th century, when committed love was widely rejected by courtly cads, or misunderstood by poorly educated peasant men.
    Husbands saw saying “I love you,” as a way of reaffirming their commitment to their wives and of promoting renewed devotion to them.
    However, as time went on, saying loving things drifted further and further away from its grounding in love itself.

    Notwithstanding my Dad’s personal endorsement of telling Mom he loved her, and the sporadic restoration of the practice in suburbia, it is difficult to speak favorably about verbal proofs of devotion today.

    Now that most women are literate and even well-educated, there is little or no need for extraneous reminders of your commitment.

    I mean, you’re just being there ought to be enough.

    Saying “I love you, honey”, perpetually or not, is a step backward in your relationship, not forward.

    (Save the Liturgy, Save the World)

  89. Scelata says:

    Sorry about the double post.

  90. Peggy R says:

    I say adoration is much in need. Our parish, which has had 1 hour adoration–at dinner time–for years, finally started 12 hours one day every week beginning right after the morning mass. The absolute disregard at our parish for Our Lord, even in the tabernacle is so distressing to me.

    I do tend to think that in some cases,
    an advanced education is a handicap rather than an advantage. I am trudging through “Out of Africa” this year (I have kids). The baroness’ interest in Roman Catholicism, though she did not appear to be RC, is fascinating. She clearly held Christian beliefs. I just read an anecdote in which she tells of numerous natives who converted from the Scottish church to the Roman Church b/c they came to believe in transubstantiation. The modern, European settlers couldn’t believe it and asserted the conversion was due to the material benefits. The priest was emphatic that the natives indeed believed. The power of the eucharist and simple faith of a child.

    One last thought on Fr. McBrien: You can’t work for Coca-cola and actively promote Pepsi. You cannot.

  91. Hans says:

    Jack Hughes suggested, ” […] that Bishop D’Arcy send Mcbrien to zimbabwe to do something useful…

    The one basic problem with this idea, if memory serves, is that Bishop D’Arcy isn’t his bishop; his is in Connecticut, I’m pretty sure.

    .

    Fr. John Mary asked, “And what is wrong with the 12th century???

    It was, among other things, in the barbaric Middle Ages, before the Renaissance came along and reduced the legal status of women and otherwise making relationships between superiors and subordinates less mutual and more unequal, trying to imitate the pre-Christian Roman model don’t you know. It’s also before the Enlightenment came along to put religion ‘in its place’.

    .

    Rachel asks, “I know he mentions transubstantiation, but he also says it’s not a literal or physical transformation. I thought the correct teaching is that it most definitely is a real, literal, physical change of substance, and it’s only the accidents that don’t change.

    Fr. McBrien’s arguments, especially his historically-based arguments, are usually pretty weak, molded as they seem to be to make the point he wants rather than following the general sweep of history. In any event, he has a tendency to treat exceptions that favor his point as the rule, while general practice that opposes his point is treated as a puzzling exception.

    But there are times when he is actually right. If the host were to ‘physically’ change into body and blood, I would as a physicist (though I might be better off as a chemist in this instance, which I’m not) be able to measure the change somehow. But the point of ‘transubstantiation’ is that the essential (and underlying) substance of the host changes, while the apparent and physical, but non-essential, accidents usually remain the same.

    The situation for ‘literal’ change is similar.

    .

    patrick_f, I would be surprised if your post didn’t get through, but be prepared to be attacked for affirming actual Catholic doctrine over the ‘Spirit’ of Vatican II, or various new-agey ideas.

    .

    Would it be unreasonable to suggest that, while Fr. McBrien may (seems not to) have much respect for his priestly ordination, it is still incumbent on those of us who haven’t been so touched to show a degree of respect for it nonetheless?

    Besides, I suspect that it would irritate him.

  92. Hans says:

    While he may not, that is.

  93. Warren says:

    I was received into the Church 23 years ago in what one might call a liberal parish. Soon after I was received into the Church I was employed as a choir director at a solidly Catholic parish that hosted Benediction (in Latin!), Adoration and a beautiful Mass. The choristers, a bunch of folk old enough to entirely remember their Latin, taught me by their example to love Gregorian chant. I thank God for leading me there.

    It was not but a couple of years later that those in the same RCIA program who remained at the liberal parish soon fell away.

    Fr. McBrien is simply and utterly wrong.

  94. Prudentius says:

    We are lucky to have Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament on a regular basis in our Parish. In my opinion, attending regular adoration to the blessed sacrament actually increases our foucus and attentiveness at Mass. Rather than being at odds with the Mass, Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament compliments the Mass. This is the exact opposite of what this guys is saying.

    I always get nervous when theologians try to tamper with a popular devotoin as they always overlook the important fact that such devotions are proved to be valid by their popularity among the faithful.

    Based on his arguement we may as well get rid of almost everything? I think this is what is called pseudo-primitivism. It’s classic double standards from these people.

  95. Hans — thanks for the short and sweet explanation of the accidents of the Eucharist and the “not physical” thing.

    Scelata — that was funny stuff! And oh, so true.

  96. terryprest says:

    It really is not true to say or imply that the practice of Eucharistic adoration is merely the preference of Pope Benedict XVI and a few bishops on the Eastern seaboard of the United States.

    It seems to have the backing of many BIshops in the Catholic world and the Western World in particular. See paragraph 66 of SYNOD OF BISHOPS XI ORDINARY GENERAL ASSEMBLY REPORT especially the responses in the Lineamenta (2004)

    The weblink is: http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/synod/documents/rc_synod_doc_20050707_instrlabor-xi-assembly_en.html

  97. Jack Hughes says:

    Mpm
    I haven’t got anything against zimbabwe but in a land where internet access is sketchy at best he won’t be able to write his colunm.

  98. mpm says:

    Jack,

    I was just kidding. Your point was clear: where can he do no harm?

  99. Kerry says:

    Hmm…did McBrien let Jesus know about this change?

  100. Cavaliere says:

    One aspect of Fr. McBrien’s latest babblings – which has gone as yet unremarked – is the implication in the statement above that Eucharistic Adoration was at one time an innovation dreamt-up by the litniks of the day, probably after surveys and recommendations from “experts”,

    Maynard, I posted on this over at my blog. In his book, In The Presence Of Our Lord, on the history, theology, and psychology of Eucharistic devotion, Fr. Groeschel gives evidence that Eucharistic Adoration was rooted in the teachings of the Church Fathers and the practice of theis devotion dates back to around the 6th century. There were Eucharistic processions and a number of saints who spent time praying in front of the tabernacle. Obviously it become more widespread in the 12th century but so what.

  101. patrick_f says:

    This might go without asking, but did anyone else post to his article? I havent seen one post “approved” yet. I havent even seen my own, which I think was very fair

  102. Fr_Sotelo says:

    I suspect that some priests have lost their faith. Or if they still have faith, they may struggle with the wound of a grievous sin of their past. In any event, adoration of the Blessed Sacrament is too much for them.

    Adoration requires them to confront Jesus face to face. If they don’t believe He is there, they think they are just staring at bread and get bored. If they believe He is there but confronts them for some unrepentent sin, they want to flee in order to escape the shame.

    This stuff McBrien is spouting became vogue about 30 years ago. Now, the Church is moving towards a recovery of Eucharistic faith and reverence. The “step backwards” is the parroting of these old clichés which are spiritually bankrupt and have given not one, single saint to the Church.

  103. Eric says:

    There has been an increase in perpetual Adoration (PA) in our area in the last 4 to 6 years. Our deanery alone now has three perpetual Adoration chapels. This practice seems to be popular at more “conservative/orthodox” parishes. I haven’t witnessed this movement at “parishes” dedicated to the Extraordinary form. Since most places where PA is offered tend to be more orthodox and don’t have the extra silliness at mass , I wonder if there is something deficient in the OF mass itself that is not fulfilling a deep desire (need maybe) for worship of the Physical presence. I am not old enough to remember if this was a common practice befor 1962 but people I have talked to have told me that is was not.
    I am reffering only to perpetual adoration in a seperate chapel not adoration and benediction in the main church on a limited basis. I am also not criticizing the practice of PA, as I have done an hour in the chapel in the wee hours every week for the last five years. Only a observation on a possible deficiency.

  104. Hans says:

    Rob Cartusciello asked, “Can someone tell me why Call to Action still exists?

    I can’t give a definitive answer, of course, but so far as I can tell, it exists as a sort of conversation movement. That way, when The End comes, it will take fewer angels to round them up, and those thus freed up from that task can better enjoy the festivities.

    .

    You’re quite welcome, Suburbanbanshee, and consonant with Fr. Richtsteig’s ‘McBrien Priciple’, I think it’s rather sneaky of Fr. McBrien to say something true in one of his columns.

  105. Hans says:

    Eric speculated, “Since most places where PA is offered tend to be more orthodox and don’t have the extra silliness at mass, I wonder if there is something deficient in the OF mass itself that is not fulfilling a deep desire (need maybe) for worship of the Physical presence.

    Another way to think about it would be that there is something about the proper practice of the OF that inspires greater reverence (since Fr. McBrien makes it clear by his opposition that Perpetual Adoration is a good thing), but that that something is typically masked by the shenanigans often superimposed on it.

  106. irishgirl says:

    Just when I thought that McBrien [can't call him 'Father', I'm sorry] has outdone himself in inanity, I have to read this latest outrage….oy…

    I go to a Perpetual Adoration chapel in my hometown-it’s been in existence for 17 years. My ‘usual hour’ is on Saturdays from 8:00 to 9:00 pm. Lately, since I’m not working, I go there in the morning for an hour or more, praying my Rosary and doing some spiritual reading.

    Thank you, Fr. Z, for posting the Divine Praises-we who love Our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament have to make a lot of reparation for things like this!

    Yeah, Melody-I’d join you in smacking McBrien aside the head!

  107. A lack of appreciation and devotion to Eucharistic Adoration almost always leads to a drifting farther and father away from orthodoxy. Fr. McBrien serves here as case-in-point.

  108. Rob Cartusciello says:

    Thank you for posting the Divine Praises, Father. They provided grace and consolation when I was tempted to dispair and wrath by the article.

    The Divine Praises are a powerful weapon against the Enemy of humanity.

  109. Henry Edwards says:

    Eric: I haven’t witnessed this movement at “parishes” dedicated to the Extraordinary form.

    This is an interesting point. I spend a daily hour in the Perpetual Adoration chapel in my home parish, and attend a Sunday TLM in another parish.

    When we started perpetual adoration some years ago, it was in the hope of inspiring greater Eucharistic devotion and reverence in a parish that we thought needed it. This has been at least part of the motivation in other parishes that I’ve heard about.

    Whereas in TLM parishes I’ve known (before before Vatican II and since) there’s always seemed such intensity of Eucharistic devotion and reverence — both at Mass and before the Tabernacle outside Mass — that there’s never (so far as I could see) been any perceived need to do something “more” to increase it.

    Though I’ve long been an ardent devote of Eucharistic adoration, I must admit to wondering recently whether the constant presence of the Blessed Sacrament exposed in the monstrance can somehow serve to dilute the experience with some people. I see people who have signed up for a weekly hour and then appear to view it as a obligation. At least, it may look that way when their activity in the chapel seems less than fully devotional (e.g., questionable reading rather than adoring prayer).

    At any rate, I’ve begun to long for the height of awe we used to feel as we knelt in anticipation as the Tabernacle was opened to bring out the Blessed Sacrament for Benediction or a long-awaited Forty Hours.

    So, as ardently as I have promoted perpetual adoration in more than one parish, I must admit to some occasional question whether too much of a good thing can diminish it, make it see too ordinary, and whether there are parish situations where it might be better to again leave the Blessed Sacrament reserved in the Tabernacle for adoration there. Don’t know, just beginning to wonder.

    Of course, I doubt that our famous Notre Dame professor is motivated by any such reservation as this.

  110. The earliest Christians got to reserve the Eucharist in their houses and take Him home with them from Mass to receive every day. So clearly, in the earliest times, there was plenty of hunger to have Him around. Don’t be hatin’ on the other Forms, now. :) The only reason we don’t still do this is that the logistics and reverence required got problematic, probably as you passed the magic 150 number when groups get less tight-knit and less fervent.

    Perpetual Adoration and other forms of Eucharistic devotion tend to go into the contemplative box, and therefore, as time went on, were largely left to the contemplative orders or special occasions. (Much like Communion was only for special occasions.) But as more and more new orders started to go for the total Perpetual Adoration format, laypeople were bound to get more interested in doing the same. The enthusiasm for Benediction and 40 Hours was very high before V2.

    Nowadays, the logistics of keeping the Eucharist around for Perpetual Adoration, reverently and safely, aren’t as hard. It’s actually easier to run Perpetual Adoration at a normal parish than 40 Hours or Benediction, because you only need a priest to show up at the very beginning. :) Most TLM parishes draw from far outside their boundaries, so Perpetual Adoration would be way too difficult for most parishioners; Benediction and Eucharistic Processions are a lot easier, because you’re already there for Mass.

    We don’t have as much devotion in the US to relics of the saints or saint festivals, so Eucharistic spirituality and the Rosary tends to gobble all. (Which isn’t a bad thing, though I could go for more saint stuff.)

  111. mburduck says:

    Blessed be God….

    Clowns like McBrien give academics a bad name. I should not be surprised, though, as I teach at a university (a secular one, by the way) where out of over 300 faculty members only 6 or so are conservatives.

    Mike

  112. Jayna says:

    “I should not be surprised, though, as I teach at a university (a secular one, by the way) where out of over 300 faculty members only 6 or so are conservatives.”

    I certainly know about that firsthand. I’m a grad student at a state university (MA, getting ready to apply for my PhD) and the tenor of my work is not very agreeable to, oh, the entire staff of the History Department. Especially my thesis advisor, who, while a religious historian, used to be an Evangelical and then did a complete 180 and is now about on par with moveon.org. Catholic universities are not immune to the situation, though, given that the overwhelming majority of academics are liberal (especially with regards to Catholic historians – if you want to talk about Catholic academics giving Catholics a bad name, just look at Jay Dolan).

  113. robtbrown says:

    To restate what I wrote some time ago: Richard McBrien’s theology is little else than the Irish pub version of Karl Rahner.

  114. Rachel says:

    Suburbanbanshee and Hans, thanks for your comments. We’re in agreement that O’Brien’s wrong one way or another, but in particular I still believe that he’s wrong when he says “The transformation is sacramental, not literal or physical.”

    From Mysterium Fidei (Paul VI):
    “For what now lies beneath the aforementioned species is not what was there before, but something completely different; and not just in the estimation of Church belief but in reality, since once the substance or nature of the bread and wine has been changed into the body and blood of Christ, nothing remains of the bread and the wine except for the species—- beneath which Christ is present whole and entire in His physical ‘reality,’ corporeally present, although not in the manner in which bodies are in a place.”

    Hans, you equated the physical presence of an object with the physical characteristics of that object– the “accidents” of appearance, taste, touch, and anything you could measure as a physicist. Normally physical presence and accidents do correlate, but (if I’m not mistaken) they shouldn’t be equated; they’re not the same thing. And with the Eucharist they don’t correlate– the accidents are of bread and wine but the physical presence is that of Christ. At least that’s how I read Paul VI. Perhaps the use of “physical” is open to debate even among orthodox theologians; I found some further thoughts here.

    As for “literal,” that refers to “the primary or strict meaning of the word or words; not figurative or metaphorical”, “true to fact; being actually such, without exaggeration or inaccuracy.” Isn’t Christ literally present by any of those definitions?

    Even philosophers like Aristotle and Aquinas had trouble pinning down the definition of what an object is and how that relates to its substance and its accidents, and I haven’t read the volumes of books on the subject, so I am certainly open to correction!

  115. “Literal” doesn’t mean anything when applied to objects. It only has meaning when applied to texts.

    So I just took that part as blah-blah and forgot about it, as nobody was arguing about that. “Physical” was what we were getting into.

    Again I readily acknowledge that the theological and philosophical meaning of “physical” when applied to the Eucharist goes beyond my depths, and I recommend again the late Father Hardon’s talk on the matter, to which I linked above. I’m sure there are all sorts of chewy books on this stuff as well.

  116. robtbrown says:

    As misguided and rash as his statement was, it is not heretical. He doesn’t deny any doctrines of the faith. You may disagree vehemently with his denigration of a very widespread custom that has received the highest Magisterial approval for centuries, but that doesn’t make him a heretic. Nor does it make sense to refer to him as “uneducated,” though you may think his education has led him to draw some mistaken conclusions. The word “heretic” shouldn’t be used lightly.
    Comment by Chrysologus

    Strictly speaking, you’re right. There is probably no explicit denial of doctrine in McBrien’s theology. The problem with much of contemporary theology is not its explicit denials, but rather its ambiguity–it fuzzes up distinctions.

    If you would speak with McBrien, he would probably not deny transubstantiation. But he would also probably say that it’s not all that important. And the question would be whether that’s heresy.

  117. Therese says:

    The most succinct description I’ve heard yet of the TLM: Eucharistic Adoration, with a Mass.

    ;-)

  118. Cavaliere says:

    With regard to the lack of Perpetual Adoration at “Extraordinary Form” parishes I would suggest that is simply a matter of lack of numbers more than anything else. First of all how many exclusive “EF” parishes are there? It takes 300-400 people to cover all the hours and have backups available. Also at the EF parish of St. Augustine’s in South Saint Paul, MN their sister parish, Holy Trinity, has a Perpetual Adoration chapel. Given that the two parishes are only a couple miles apart it wouldn’t make sense to have EA at both locations.

    As to Henry’s comment that people can come to view their weekly hour as an obligation I would reply that that is not necessarily a bad thing. We have all kinds of obligations in our lives but that shouldn’t dictate one hold a negative attitude towards them. No doubt priests and religious find the obligation to pray the Divine Office daily tedious or dry at times yet so long as they don’t approach it carelessly they can still derive spiritual profit from it. In fact (and perhaps Fr. Z you can explain this concept better) when we fulfill our spiritual and/or religious obligations out of obedience or love of God they are more fruitful than when we do them according to our own impulses. Not that following an impulse is bad but there is a danger that we are performing such and such action out of self-love for the pleasure it give us rather than the love it brings to God.

  119. mpm says:

    Comment by Rachel — 9 September 2009 @ 1:26 pm

    Rachel,

    I found the article you posted on the “physicality” of the Real Presence quite good, and especially the comments made there by Peregrinus.

    For the Greeks (even modern ones), since “physis” means “nature”, using “physical” sounds like “Christ’s natural presence in the Eucharist”, which sounds wrong to us also. Hans’s point about “physical” in terms of the science of physics is correct also, physics cannot attain the ontological reality of anything, only the quantitatively measurable aspects of them. Why Pope Paul VI used “physical” in Mysterium Fidei, I don’t know. I would only point out that he doesn’t use the word “miracle” in its usual sense either, when he says “To avoid any misunderstanding of this type of presence, which goes beyond the laws of nature and constitutes the greatest miracle of its kind, we have to listen with docility to the voice of the teaching and praying Church” (#46). Usually, miracles are made known to us precisely in that a change is detected, apparent to the senses and/or medical devices, which point to the Divine at work.

    The most traditional Western expression of this unfathomable mystery is the “Real Presence”, which refers to Christ’s presence “in re” (in reality) under the species of bread and wine. On that site, they talk about how the mystery is not less than physical, but more than physical. That’s a good way to put it. In the Host, Christ is present before us, as He is in Heaven right now; or, perhaps better, we are “brought” into His presence as He is right now in Heaven.

    Suburbanbanshee states that “literal” refers to texts not objects. That sounds right. The way you would express what you mean by “literal” in Latin would be “verus”, i.e., “true” (not “truthful”, which is “verax”). That is what is meant in the Creed by saying “true God from true God”. It is proper to say that Christ is “truly present” in the Eucharist.

    I have to firmly disagree with you on one thing though: his name is not O’Brien, it’s McBrien.

  120. robtbrown says:

    Rachel,

    The words physical and corporeity are used as an antidote against the contention that Christ’s presence is merely spiritual.

    The manner in which Christ is in the Sacrament is a difficult topic. For example, we believe that Christ is wholly and completely present in both species, yet we distinguish between His Body and His Blood (St Thomas has a further distinction for this problem). Further, the distinction between His Body and Blood is the foundation for the Sacrificial nature of the mass.

    Fr McBrien is an obfuscator. In so far as Christ is the Light, McBrien’s work can hardly be called “theology”.

  121. Bruce says:

    This might go without asking, but did anyone else post to his article? I havent seen one post “approved” yet. I havent even seen my own, which I think was very fair

    Comment by patrick_f

    I have posted. My guess is there are alot of Catholics who are upset with Mcbrien and NCR is “sifting” the comments before posting them.

  122. Fr. John Mary says:

    patrick_f and Bruce: The comments are there now.
    And not to get off track, but if you all have time to wander through that morass of confusion and theological whatever, you might want to read about “inquisition” they are screaming about re: the Visitation of LCWR and apostolic women religious, as well as the Sister who got
    “silenced” for her promotion of women’s ordination…all I can is “Stop the insanity”. All these issues are connected.

  123. mpm says:

    Bruce,

    Based on an experience with NCR I had some months ago, it may be that they “embargo” the comments until the official date of the print edition or something like that. I remember posting a comment, and seeing nothing for a couple of days, but after the “official” date the article was loaded with comments, including mine.

  124. Thomas S says:

    Of course this is the logical next step in McBrien’s heresy. He and the Modernists have already attacked the sacrificial nature of the Eucharist (and thus the priesthood as well). So when you’ve turned the Eucharist into merely a community banquet you have to attack Adoration next – the “eat don’t look” nonsense.

    Can anyone guess what the next step is?

    Public denial of the Real Presence.

  125. Cath says:

    I prayed for Fr. McBrien tonight at Mass and Adoration, most especially during the Divine Praises.

  126. JPG says:

    It is amusing only in that every year on a number of blogs one sees postings of a Eucharistic procession and adoration at Notre Dame that is held annually. This twit is no Hesburgh. I doubt he has any clue as to what goes on in his own campus. Likewise he has excercised no responsibility in the care of souls where he would find that although it makes to him no sense , Eucharistic adoration binds people with grater love for their Lord and His Church. The Seminary in our Diocese has a chapel of Eucharistic adoration for the Seminarians which one notes Bridgeport has ordained more priests than many dioceses of greater size.
    Clearly it works spiritually. His approach has in fact led to a an approach much like mainline Protestantism which is dying on the vine.
    JPG

  127. Hans says:

    Fr. John Mary suggested, “if you all have time to wander through that morass of confusion and theological whatever, you might want to read about “inquisition” they are screaming about re: the Visitation of LCWR and apostolic women religious, as well as the Sister who got “silenced” for her promotion of women’s ordination…

    Such reading can be informative, and even entertaining in a macabre sort of way, but I always feel like bathing afterwards. And if I do it too near bedtime, I tend to sleep poorly, as if I’d just watched some very scary movie (Alien comes to mind).

  128. Tricia says:

    What Fr.McBrien said was indeed awful in so many ways. The BIGGER problem is that so many catholics adhere to his teachings. They perceive him to be a sort of a “Modern American Church Pope”. Fr.says what he wants to say; he says what the average (liberal) catholic wants to hear and so many live his teachings quite comfortably.We truly must pray for Fr.McBrien’s soul; as well as the souls he has rendered from true Church teaching. Hopefully God is not finished with him yet. IF he truly re-converted back to the true church teachings think of how many of his followers he could bring back as well. Oremus. Tricia

  129. ThomasP says:

    What Arrogance!!!! McBrien is a jackass!

  130. shoofoolatte says:

    Good Merton quote, Brian. (at 7:59) Thank you.

    HEre is another good one:

    August 21, 1967. Can I tell you that I have found answers to the questions that torment the man of our time? I do not know if I have found answers. When I first became a monk, yes, I was more sure of “answers.” But as I grow old in the monastic life and advance further into solitude, I become aware that I have only begun to seek the questions. And what are the question? Can man make sense out of is existence? Can man honestly give his life meaning merely by adopting a certain set of explanations which pretend to tell him why the world began and where it will end, why there is evil and what is necessary for a good life? My brother, perhaps in my solitude I have become as it were an explorer for you, a searcher in realism which you are not able to visit … I have been summoned to explore a desert area of man’s heart in which explanations no longer suffice, and in which one learns that only experience counts. An arid, rocky dark land of the soul, sometimes illuminated by strange fires which men fear and peopled by specters which men studiously avoid except in their nightmares. And in this area I have learned that one cannot truly know hope unless he has found out how like despair hope is.” (Hidden Ground of
    Love, p. 156)

  131. robtbrown says:

    shoofoolatte,

    I assume you’re referring to Bruce, not Brian.

    I have read a lot of Merton (Seven Story Mountain– 3 times). He was very good on the Catholic life as a journey. He tends toward monastic romanticism, and so there is a bit of restlessness in his work–and life.

  132. kelleyb says:

    I guess I am a bumbling idiot because I need Adoration. I want to go more often than I am able. God have mercy on that fellow and those he leads astray.

  133. lome says:

    God always have the poorest of the poor,the simple minded,the uneducated ,the humble in his heart…

    How he abhor the arrogance of some?

    Jesus is the God of yesterday, today and tomorrow. The Adoration is all about Jesus to Jesus, all around Jesus? What is so backward about that?

    “Let the heaven and earth praise him, the seas, and every thing that moveth therein.” (Psalm 69:34)

    We may not yet understand the full purpose of God in creation, but at least one aspect of that purpose is that all things created should somehow praise their Creator. This theme occurs often in Scripture, especially in the psalms. For example, in addition to the exhortation in our text:

    “The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork” (Psalm 19:1).

    “Let the heavens rejoice, and let the earth be glad; let the sea roar, and the fullness’ thereof. Let the field be joyful, and all that is therein: then shall all the trees of the wood rejoice before the LORD: for he cometh” (Psalm 96:11-13).

    “All thy works shall praise thee, O LORD; and thy saints shall bless thee” (Psalm 145:10).

    “Praise ye him, sun and moon: praise him, all ye stars of light. Praise him, ye heavens of heavens, and ye waters that be above the heavens. . . . Praise the LORD from the earth, ye dragons, and all deeps: Fire, and hail; snow, and vapours; stormy wind fulfilling his word: Mountains, and all hills; fruitful trees, and all cedars: Beasts, and all cattle; creeping things, and flying fowl” (Psalm 148:3-4,7-10).

    The Lord Jesus said that if men should refuse to praise Him and “should hold their peace, the stones would immediately cry out” (Luke 19:40). Yet even though the whole creation–in its beauty, complexity, and providential orderliness–gives continual praise to its Creator, men perversely have “worshipped and served the creature |or more aptly stated, the creation| more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever” (Romans 1:25).

    How poignant, therefore, is the final verse of the book of Psalms: “Let every thing that hath breath praise the Lord. Praise ye the Lord” (Psalm 150:6).

    Let us pray to God that in our old days, we don’t succumb to Satan’s snares.

  134. lome says:

    NEGLECTING THE CHURCH’S FATHERS.

    The great modern encyclicals on sacred scriptures (Provindentissimus Deus,Spiritus Paraclitus and Divino Afflante Spiritu )stress the need for catholic biblical scholars
    To use the church’s Fathers in their study and teaching of scriptures. They remind biblical scholars that the Fathers, by virtue of their holiness, learning and office in the church are supreme models.Providentissimus Deus especially emphasizes how the Fathers remained unswervingly obedient to the magisterium and avoided a fondness for novelty in their study of sacred Scripture. They treated the Bible with the reverence it deserved as the inspired inerrant word of God.

    Some modern commentaries hardly mention the Father except to disparage their studies as pious but unscholarly and unscientific. These commentators demean or ignore the rich and profound spiritual insights of the Fathers while embracing and promoting the opinions of error-ridden dissidents as if they were oracles from heaven.

  135. grottoflower says:

    jesus we depend on you not ourselves vas our source of holiness. adoration of blessed sacrament is such a peace so i focus on value of loving my fellow human beings and serve them. it leads to christian action but i need the quiet time with god to bring him needs of world in prayer. then i can serve his people.