Michael Voris about tabernacles and, gasp, liberals!

Michael Voris has another indirect, deeply nuanced reflection, this time touching on issues such as the placement of the tabernacle in churches.

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70 Responses to Michael Voris about tabernacles and, gasp, liberals!

  1. FrCharles says:

    Quite right and astute, though the characterization of Arianism is a caricature.

  2. SonofMonica says:

    indirect, deeply nuanced reflection

    I see what you did there.

  3. Jack Hughes says:

    If I were to talk to Mike I would remind him that not EVERYONE who moved Our Lord did so for the reasons he gives; a Priest friend of mine reminiced last April about a group of Nuns who moved their Spouse on the advice of ‘liturgical experts'; Father then corrected the good Sisters and to my knowledge Jesus is still centerplace in this particular convent.

    Sadly when I was in Lisbon last April I attended Mass in a wonderful, ornate Church where they had moved Jesus

  4. Fr. Basil says:

    Is it worth pointing out that in the Western Church, reserving the Mysteries in a tabernacle on the main altar is, historically, a Franciscan innovation?

    I’m saying nothing against the practice but this is a relatively recent custom. Hanging pyxes in various shapes, Eucharistic doves suspended above the altar or attached to the wall, or in a tower to the north of the high altar called a Sacrament House were the general rule until about the 1400s.

    Voris’s remark about a “whatever was done in a 4th century monastery somewhere” is a straw-man argument.

  5. Fr. Basil says:

    I forgot to mention aumbries built into the wall, which would be the most secure respository.

  6. SonofMonica says:

    When the new Monsignor arrived at the ’60s-built Pablo Picasso-looking parish across town (not my parish), he restored the tabernacle to the center of the parish; it had been in a side chapel. He also got them a marble altar to replace the wood table, put in some statues, and wears real vestments. Kinda looks a bit kitschy, given all the ugly flat brick and wood surfaces around, but God bless him for doing what he can.

  7. Supertradmum says:

    A good, close priest friend of mine who is 78 told me that in the seminary in the 1950s, the priests who were teaching them and the seminarians, were thinking of how to make the Mass more “protestant” in order to encourage ecumenism. He told me that they were reading the avant-guard stuff coming out of the French Church at the time and were pushing for “reform” in architecture, the language of the Liturgy, the vernacular use, etc.. Thankfully, over the years, he has changed his mind and was one of the movers behind the restoration of the glory of the local cathedral where he was administrator. However, in his diocese, most of the damage has been done. Most of our churches here have “Eucharistic Chapels” at the side, where the tabernacle is kept.

    One of the worst things is the use of the term “sacred space” for the sanctuary or church. This implies that Christ is not Present in the Eucharist, as space is empty. When someone uses the term, I assume now that they fall into the Vortex category of non-believers in the Real Presence. And, on a lighter side, in England, we used to joke that the Anglicans kept better care of their churches, not renovating, for the Real Absence.

  8. FrCharles says:

    Fr. Basil is correct that some of the historical argument is flimsy; but the diagnosis of our current condition is accurate. (~Fr. Charles, innovating Franciscan. :) )

  9. PS says:

    I’d reiterate what Fr. Basil says, and I’d point out the basic point Voris makes, frankly, doesn’t hold a lot of logical water: “To deny the real presence is to deny the divinity of Christ.” Don’t tell that to quite a lot of Christians.

    I DO think it’s generally telling where the tabernacle winds up. I don’t mind a tabernacle not sitting on the altar, however, if it’s sitting in a nearby, special area. Our church has the tabernacle next to the altar, set off into a respectably-sized adoration chapel. The chapel is, in fact, much nicer a space than the church itself. Of course, sticking the Lord in a broom closet is monstrous.

    I also do agree that the folks that downplay the Eucharist tend to be the same folks that would love the Church to turn into another Unicef.

  10. Summers says:

    I think Mr. Voris is over the top 9/10. His intentions are good but his presentation is too bombastic and far too close to so-called “traditional-ism” and all that that entails, mainly an air of self-righteousness. I understand his point and I too have encountered irreverent behavior towards the Blessed Sacrament. But a lot of these problems can and will be corrected by leadership and that comes in the form of the priest. If priests are better formed they will be better leaders and hence they will lead their parishioners in the Catholic Faith instead of following their parishioners trying to satisfy their every whim and fancy. My solution: Pray for priests….everyday.

  11. thickmick says:

    Mike hittin’ it on the head again…”Real Absense”…that’s a good one! Thankful the Church I celebrate at has the Tabernacle front and center! Awesome! Now if I can just get them to quit clapping during Mass I’d think we’d be on our way. Man, do they like to clap for themselves. One time they clapped for me (in the middle of Mass, during the homily) because I shoveled some snow off Father’s door step the day before. In the middle of Mass! I almost crawled under the pew with embarrassment! Father, please forgive me and St. Theresa give me patience!

  12. Fr Tim Edgar says:

    We are doing it here Father, but it has been a battle.

  13. Bill Haley says:

    At 2:51: “these liberals and progressives are less concerned about God than they are man and specifically themselves”.

    Broad stroking statements like that are neither precise nor charitable. It may be true they are largely more concerned with God than man. Fine. But don’t accuse them of “specifically themselves.” That kind of imprecision is untrue and could not be justified as hyperbolic.

    I wish Michael would do two things:
    1) quit touting that he has a bachelor’s degree. It may be an S.T.B., but it is a 4 year bachelor’s degree that does not grant a high level of expertise.
    2) Become more precise. A dull physician’s knife does not cut in a way that heals easily.

  14. David Homoney says:

    PS.

    I think he is actually accurate about the denial. You have to, as Protestants do, deny teachings of our Lord to deny the Real Presence. This is an attack on the Divinity. They create a different Jesus. Cherry picking the teachings of Christ is an attack on the Divinity of our Lord. They may still consider Jesus as God, but they choose to reject teachings of God and therefore setup a different God by proxy.

  15. Magpie says:

    I love Michael’s pastoral nuance. However, I’ve got the feeling that some priests, especially here in Ireland, would say he lacks charity and balance, and is divisive and incites disunity, and is prone to ritualism and rigidity. I agree with Michael though. =p

    (One priest told me I was risking being divisive when I commented negatively on dissent in the Church. One must be tolerant! Pass me the sick bag.

  16. I have heard theological arguments proffered for taking the tabernacle off the altar, but they made so little sense to me that I can’t even remember what they are.

    Before I moved away from my home town, I visited the church I had been baptized in, which had recently been wreckovated. To my great distress, I could not find the tabernacle. It must have taken me 10 or 15 minutes to locate it behind an ugly screen. Sometimes, you go into a church and feel like Mary Magdalene: “They have taken my Lord, and I do not know where they have put Him!”

  17. cothrige says:

    I think there may be some truth to the claim that “To deny the real presence is to deny the divinity of Christ.” I remember standing in a large Christian bookstore one day in a mall somewhere glancing through some of the biblical commentaries, which were all Protestant, and seeing a comment in a substantial set of volumes to the effect that ‘we know that Christ did not intend his words “This is my body” to be taken literally because, as he was still standing there in his body, he could not have made it also be in the bread.’ The argument came down to the idea that Christ “couldn’t” do it.

  18. Maria says:

    I am watching, listening, and learning from all this very carefully.

  19. Paul says:

    Anita Moore, OPL said, “Sometimes, you go into a church and feel like Mary Magdalene: ‘They have taken my Lord, and I do not know where they have put Him!'”

    First I laughed and then I cried. That comment is 100%, spot on.

  20. TNCath says:

    Jack Hughes wrote, “If I were to talk to Mike I would remind him that not EVERYONE who moved Our Lord did so for the reasons he gives; a Priest friend of mine reminiced last April about a group of Nuns who moved their Spouse on the advice of ‘liturgical experts’; Father then corrected the good Sisters and to my knowledge Jesus is still centerplace in this particular convent.”

    Jack is right. A lot of people did move tabernacles out of obedience to legitimate authority, just as many Sisters thought that discarding the religious habit was what what their superiors wanted, and, therefore, what the Church wanted.

    That said, it is also very true, particularly years after Vatican II when Father Richard Vosko was running around the country “wreckovating” churches and cathedrals. The first thing he would do is tell a parish that their altar was “cluttered” and recommend the movement of the tabernacle.

    I remember when our cathedral was “wreckovated” about 10 years ago, another crime committed by Fr. Vosko. At the ceremony of re-dedication, at the end of Mass the Blessed Sacrament was relocated to a small room off the main altar. When one of the older priests of the diocese was asked by the bishop about what he thought of the ceremony, he said, “The eviction of our Lord from the cathedral was done with great solemnity!”

  21. benedetta says:

    Funny how these changes were dictated by clergy and not out of a wellspring of faith of the laity, and how now the laity is often placed in the awkward and often vulnerable position of having to deal with those same aging clergy to try and ask them come around to belief anew, as a precondition to permitting the laity to worship in a manner in which they have already long been entitled to, not through Rome, Bishop or priest’s permission, but from the Last Supper.

    One thing I have discovered in hearing numerous tales of conversion and reversion, and regardless of political points of view, is the role played by the Real Presence. When you consider both sides, ultimately the Church’s teaching wins out over whatever has been attempted to be substituted over these years in its place by the sheer fact that on the one hand, the Church is transparent about the teaching. The teaching is easy to come across, straightforward, and even little ones making their First Communion can describe the essence of the mystery. Whereas the hows and whys about the side tabernacle and all the rest that goes along with the minimization of the Real Presence is not cogent, reasons for it are nowhere explained, it is often dictated to in a condescending way from on high without dialogue, discussion, or opportunity to present explanation. The terminology substituted in its place is a kind of jargon and lacks coherence. There is talk of following the mission of Jesus as disciple, as if he were some sort of guru or good teacher, and at the same time there is avoidance of teaching the basics about the Real Presence and a sort of shrug at parishioner-led efforts to gather for Adoration, there are slights and digs toward demonstrations of piety which seem to indicate that the recipient of communion actually believes in the presence of the Lord in the Eucharist, language which alludes to the Eucharist or the Real Presence as just another meal, table, gathering, reluctance to engage in apologetics or fortify Catholic identity…for starters! But it is all taught through omission and gaps and making it up as we go along which can never serve as coherent teaching and it is no wonder that many in a generation schooled in the faith in this way don’t go to church, barely have their children make the sacraments (if at all) let alone whether they can get all jazzed about supporting the various causes of the month asserted as proof and showing that we are authentic followers of Christ. And the entire situation begs the question, who or what, at the end of the day, if we have jettisoned the teaching of the Real Presence, are we celebrating in our liturgies? How great it is for us? Who wants to worship that? I mean, why come to the church to worship that…when especially in our society we do that in many different contexts to begin with…why make a religion out of it?

  22. Jakub says:

    Anita Moore, OPL said, “Sometimes, you go into a church and feel like Mary Magdalene: ‘They have taken my Lord, and I do not know where they have put Him!’”

    When one of the older priests of the diocese was asked by the bishop about what he thought of the ceremony, he said, “The eviction of our Lord from the cathedral was done with great solemnity!”

    Well stated…
    James

  23. flyfree432 says:

    “One of the worst things is the use of the term “sacred space” for the sanctuary or church. This implies that Christ is not Present in the Eucharist, as space is empty. When someone uses the term, I assume now that they fall into the Vortex category of non-believers in the Real Presence.”

    That is not at all true. The term is common in Newman schools (those Catholic universities that teach an authentic and orthodox Catholicism).

  24. chatto says:

    I suppose the centrality of Our Lord in the Sacrament (in the Tabernacle) follows a well established pattern – all Christians believe something, someone who thinks they know better starts attacking it (physically assaulting priests and pyxes, in Tudor England’s case), the Church responds with all the methods of teaching at her disposal, including putting Our Lord front and centre. Surely this is a legitimate development in Christian practice.

    Was the movement of the Tabernacle to the side, or even less obvious places, a desire to ‘get back to our roots’, given that the central Tabernacle as the standard is fairly recent? If so, I would say that there’s getting back to your roots, and then there’s just going backwards.

  25. Glen M says:

    The fact is belief in Transubstantiation has declined since the Tabernacle has moved, EMHCs and CITH became the norm, and the Novus Ordo switched the liturgical focus from God to man. Most of the ‘progressives’ who initiate these changes are married and/or female laity wishing to become priests while remaining Catholic. The only way to accomplish this goal is to change the Church. The result…by their fruits you shall know them…a Church in decline.

  26. rakesvines says:

    While Voris is right about many things in the Church today, he may not have a strong and deep background in the liturgy as shown by his ‘inaccurate’ assertions. Putting the tabernacle on a different space other than the sanctuary to emphasize the Eucharistic sacrifice neither diminishes nor denies the belief in the real presence nor was it intended to do so. And that practice did not come from some 4th century monastery either. He needs to think in the context of the institution of the Eucharist and the practice of the first Christian communities before he denounces as Protestants those who try to restore, reform and renew the liturgy by going to its original spirit, intent and focus. Furthermore, it is more counter-intuitive to have 2 Jesus – one inside the tabernacle and other being consecrated during the Mass.

  27. michael-can says:

    The good is the liberal are going into their sixties and seventies, and now many are sucking throught a straw ( Fr. Basil you word it) and many wonder, how did they come up with all this? One question I would like to asked esp: priests that could come up with explaination of all wonderful thing (( if you are a CEO of a Corp, with gain of 80% ( coming to Sunday Mass before all this kumbaya) and now your gain had drop 60% ( only 20% Catholic goes to Sunday Mass now after VECII and all these changes) do you seriously think that you should still hang around and do the same all, same all and try to explain your way out? I think not!!))

    What ever was done at that time was to cause the loss of faith, and that’s a period……, and not to increase faith and that’s another period….., hello pastor and bishop, you are all in the works of saving souls, not here to gain populality contest, I dislike saying this, we have soul and soul’s attach to the Divinity of Christ, a three year old child went to Mass with her old Grandma, Grandma bow to the Altar, the three year old child geneflex to the Tabernacle off the side ( I learn of this from Grandma), Grandma asked why do you geneflex to the Tabernacle and not he Altar? That is where Jesus is!!!!! please, please pastor and bishop wake up, the alarm has gone off, some Church has only five souls going to Sunday Mass and some Churches had cancel off daily Mass, how far do you seriously think we should all do remain the same and from a Universal committee with everyone dinomination and invite the molsem, hindu and newage …ect,etc. Please Pastor and Bishop take out and dust off you Rosary and teach us how to be Catholic again…. Amen and may God and His Angel guide you to the right path. +JMJ+

  28. Henry Edwards says:

    As Fr. Basil and others mention, Eucharistic practices differ between East and West, between earlier times and our own. Many of Christ’s own disciples failed to comprehend his “real presence” even when he was standing right there amongst them, and the Tabernacle was generally unknown in the first millennium. Mature Eucharistic beliefs and practices did not originate with the earliest Christians, but were left to unfolded and develop gradually over the centuries under the influence of the Holy Spirit.

    I have come to wonder whether, at the present time in the Latin rite, the main reason why progressives oppose the Tabernacle front and center—or genuflection before it, or Eucharistic adoration, or communion on the tongue while kneeling, or . . . —is that they want to prevent others from showing any reverence that they themselves do not feel.

  29. Tradster says:

    The worst I’ve seen is in the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, D.C. The tabernacle is in a fairly small and easily missed room to the left of the altar table. It’s sad simply because so very many people visit the shrine every day and get little or no sense that it is God’s home because He is hidden away. The tabernacle should be front and center most especially in the largest and most important shrine in the United States.

  30. jflare says:

    I don’t think Michael’s reference to a 4th century monastary aimed at being factual; it aimed at providing a general example of the TYPE of reason we’ve heard for moving the tabernacle. ..And, while he might be somewhat more abrasive than is strictly necessary, being more gentle–as people have suggested–rarely works. In my experience, if you intend to butt heads with someone who’s wanting to make changes, you durn near MUST, literally, butt heads. If you don’t, you’re dismissed.

    Unfortunate yes, but that’s what I’ve encountered.

    Placing the tabernacle in the building someplace has been a difficult issue for me, too,
    I HAVE seen a few situations in which a front-and-center tabernacle might be quite inappropriate, even sacrilegious (borderline, anyway). If you visit Notre Dame in Paris, in particular, you see a good case. Even if all the pilgrims attempted to be silent–they don’t–you’d still have a good bit of noise from the sheer number of people moving about on stone floors and wood pews. Noise is inevitable in this situation.
    There, it makes sense to offer a chapel on the side or in the rear for a private encounter with Our Lord.

    However, I’ve also visited churches here, in my area, which are neither as large as Notre Dame, nor as well visited each day. In some cases though, they STILL have the tabernacle off to the side and out of view, or in the back, where you least think to look.
    THAT..DOES..IRK me!!

  31. Andrew says:

    In the meantime, Michael Voris has the microphone and he is speaking loud and clear about things that make some folks uncomfortable. He’s painting with a broad brush (so what?) but the message is challenging, clear and timely. I love it. Speak out Mr. Voris!

  32. Fr. Basil says:

    To say that to deny the Real Presence is to simultaneously deny the Deity of Jesus is not true.

    The 39 Articles are very strong on the denial of the Real Presence–but unshakeable on the Deity of Jesus Christ.

    So are most of the classical Protestant confessions.

  33. HyacinthClare says:

    Michael can take the tone he does, which I thoroughly enjoy, because he isn’t talking to the liberals who have done the damage and continue to do it. He’s talking to US, putting steel in backbones long bent with the wimpies, and telling us we CAN ask for true worship, real reverence. We MUST ask for it. Why are you all chewing on him for his level of education? This doesn’t really take a PhD in theology to see what’s happened and what the devastating results have been to churches and souls. The attitude that “I have more education than you so I’m going to hide this tabernacle” is not going to be countered by, “Look! I have a PhD too!” It’s going to be countered by, “Not any more, you’re not.”

  34. benedetta says:

    The video is not only about tabernacles, or about whether Our Lord is regarded as True Man and True God, completely. What this video is about is the minimization or outright denial of the bedrock (and apolitical) teaching of the Real Presence. There are some places which have tabernacles to the side or in differing arrangements yet there is the Real Presence. And, there are also places which have central tabernacles yet all other expressions of acknowledgment of the faithful toward the Real Presence are minimized or the basic doctrine is for who knows what reasons, hidden, disguised, refused, rejected, omitted. I must stress that it the Real Presence is beyond (way beyond) political agendas and have seen places with quite liberal or even dissenting congregations where the belief is firmly taught, intact, and quite treasured. Lest any with agendas read this post and think, “You know what, let’s pretend it’s just/only bread and wine at a banquet and irk the conservatives” and go off to institute what they think is the latest trend. This particular one has been kicking around for quite awhile and as the others point out, it’s not apparently born fruit, on any level or criteria that one could use. Converts and reverts from all walks of life and political persuasion will witness to the power of the Eucharist. To deny it, or its fulness, to the faithful according to some half-baked political agenda is lower than low.

  35. EoinOBolguidhir says:

    Bill Haley – The S.T.B. is a baccalaureate degree, but it is also a professional degree equivalent to an M.Div. at least. In the U.K., physicians graduate with a Bachelor of Medicine degree as their only degree. That doesn’t make there degree the equivalent of a four year nursing degree. Ditto lawyers who practice with a B.C.L. You can’t judge degrees in the three higher faculties by the standards of the lower faculties.

    Michael-Can: you hit the nail on the head. How about throwing in the recent figure about 70% of Catholics not understanding or believing in the Real Presence. It’s not only a stultifying example of the failure of the post-conciliar Church which has led us to this crisis, but also directly supports Voris’s point.

    Father Basil – denying the real presence is indeed not the same thing as denying the divinity of Christ. And so what? The point is that denial of the Real Presence (and therefore the Priesthood, and the Magisterium, and the Faith as Voris himself draws out) is a damnable lie and a heresy that imperils souls, plain and simple. It has no business existing even as a sub-text in the Church. You are right on this small matter of this distinction, but he is right on the supremely important matter of salvation. These are more than straw man arguments.

  36. teomatteo says:

    One of the innovations that i see creeping into churches that have moved the tabernacle is the video screen. i may be paranoid but i’ve been to protestant eccl. communities and many have video equipment and screens set up. Is this next in our Churches???

  37. Like Voris’ style or not, it’s at least refreshing to hear someone speak boldly in defence of the Truth. We should at least be grateful for that.

  38. Scott W. says:

    Bill Haley – The S.T.B. is a baccalaureate degree, but it is also a professional degree equivalent to an M.Div. at least. In the U.K., physicians graduate with a Bachelor of Medicine degree as their only degree. That doesn’t make there degree the equivalent of a four year nursing degree. Ditto lawyers who practice with a B.C.L. You can’t judge degrees in the three higher faculties by the standards of the lower faculties.

    That is an interesting take and I’d like to hear a response from those who like to take issue with his degree because hardly any Catholic blogger can post one of his videos without someone going, “He just has a bachelor’s degree! What a phony!”

  39. Salvatore_Giuseppe says:

    The thing I thought when I watched this, and which has been mentioned in a few comments, is the unfortunate circumstance of the laity. They simply do not know better. The ones in charge told them it was a good idea and so they just assume that those in charge know what is right. It not an issue of whole parishes denying the Divinity, but rather of a few at the top denying both the divinity, and the right of the laity to have solid catechesis.

    If the priest is compared to a Shepard, then is congregation is rightly compared to Sheep, and one thing sheep do is listen to those in charge, and trust what they hear. Those in charge of the parish are, to the average layperson, the entirety of the hierarchy that they will ever encounter. And so when the Pastor says put Jesus in the corner, it might as well be the Pope saying it.

  40. michael-can says:

    I have a grade 8 education if one wishes to know, work in construction all my life, I don’t theology, but as a true believe in the Divine Lord and His Virgin Mother, I know deep down why many Catholic loss their faith and why many do not even believe in the real presence of the Eucharist, it simple, ( regardless of eastern or western, Byzantine or Roman, I have been to both) then deep down a soul would pick it up and know the Holiness, some how education do make you smart in this WORLD!!!, but not in the real presence of the Divine Lord, some may urge! we should asked this?, why did Our Divine Lord chosen Simon Peter a fisherman to be the rock and on this rock to build HIS Church, Ah!!!, not the high priest of the high temple!, please open you eye for you are blind to the wisdom of the God.

    I can tell you this much, unless one is humble to see the that the number of souls loss due to this changes, one is still living in pride, see the destruction on your left and on your right my dearest Catholics brother and sister, does that look like the graces of God have been deprave of?

  41. While Voris is right about many things in the Church today, he may not have a strong and deep background in the liturgy as shown by his ‘inaccurate’ assertions. Putting the tabernacle on a different space other than the sanctuary to emphasize the Eucharistic sacrifice neither diminishes nor denies the belief in the real presence nor was it intended to do so.

    Ah yes, THAT’S the theological argument for shunting the tabernacle off to the side that I was trying to remember. It STILL makes no sense. If it really was an effort to emphasize the Sacrifice, then it was a failure, since that is not the message that came across. It has been pointed out that the most important thing is always front and center; to put it someplace else makes it appear less important. Everyone knows this intuitively.

    And that practice did not come from some 4th century monastery either. He needs to think in the context of the institution of the Eucharist and the practice of the first Christian communities before he denounces as Protestants those who try to restore, reform and renew the liturgy by going to its original spirit, intent and focus.

    This verges on antiquarianism, which Ven. Pius XII condemned. The mere fact that a particular practice prevailed in ancient times is not, by itself, a sufficient reason for bringing that practice back. For one thing, the practice may have been a response to an exigency that no longer exists (e.g., the Roman persecutions). For another, you run the risk of ignoring centuries of development of the Church’s understanding of truths of the faith.

    Furthermore, it is more counter-intuitive to have 2 Jesus – one inside the tabernacle and other being consecrated during the Mass.

    Why? Why is the number of Jesuses in the church not a problem when fifty EMHCs fan out to distribute Holy Communion?

  42. Larry R. says:

    Brilliant, as usual. BTW, for the critics, it’s a 6 minute video, not a dissertation. Yes, he paints with a broad brush, that’s what this kind of exhortational apologist does. It’s also how the medium works. He’s trying to make a point, and to do so in a manner that will effect change.

    He does produce much longer, more in depth, work. But, alas, there will always be critics of “those who do.”

  43. becket1 says:

    It’s a good thing these liberals and progressives don’t live in Pakistan, where they have blasphemy laws against God. You would be literally be putting your life at risk, putting God in some corner.

  44. becket1 says:

    I can almost guarantee progressive and liberal Catholics of the West couldn’t even bare a tiny morsel of the suffering the Coptics are going through in Egypt.

  45. rakesvines says:

    @Anita: Your points are valid and you are quite informed. Permit me to clarify my position and attitude further.

    Re: It has been pointed out that the most important thing is always front and center; to put it someplace else makes it appear less important. Everyone knows this intuitively.
    — During the Mass,what is the most important thing?

    Re: The mere fact that a particular practice prevailed in ancient times is not, by itself, a sufficient reason for bringing that practice back. For one thing, the practice may have been a response to an exigency that no longer exists (e.g., the Roman persecutions).
    — Granted. However, the Eucharist itself is set in the context of an ancient practice that prevailed in ancient times – the Paschal Meal. When the Apostles celebrated the breaking of the break, they did it freely as we do today. They were not in the catacombs.

    Furthermore, it is more counter-intuitive to have 2 Jesus – one inside the tabernacle and other being consecrated during the Mass. To elaborate, the focus is on the sacrifice that is being made present specially during the Consecration. So, one focuses of that awesome reality, that miracle
    when Calvary becomes present again instead of the Real Presence in the tabernacle. Both are good. But at the moment of the Eucharistic Sacrifice, one needs to focus on offering the sacrifice = not praying the Rosary or a novena, which are also good in themselves at their proper time.

    Please note that I have great veneration for the real presence – coming from a Salesian spirituality. I used to visit the chapel many times since my youth. Now, the Churches are locked so the
    best I can do is pray the aspiration, “O Sacrament most holy, O Sacrament divine, all praise and all thanksgiving be every moment Thine.” outside the Church or as I drive by. And the liturgical reform, I agree, became a deformation in some ways. But I just want to address Voris’ accusations that putting the Blessed Sacrament in a side altar is denying the Real Presence by presenting the rationale behind the practice – FYI.

  46. rakesvines says:

    Here is an inspiring, true and contemporary story that a priest friend from DC shared with me re: devotion to the Blessed Sacrament. http://divine-ripples.blogspot.com/2009/01/short-visits-ejaculations.html Also an FYI.

  47. dominic1955 says:

    The tabernacle front and center makes the most sense post-Trent. If we really believe what we believe about the Eucharist, it makes sense to build churches that are basically “throne rooms” for the King of Kings. Thus, the “reaction” to move the Blessed Sacrament was a sort of dethronement. The tabernacle is (was, at least) no longer seen as a sort of holy bread box to house the Blessed Sacrament for viaticum and other such things. The practice of reserving the Blessed Sacrament on a side altar or with some other set up was permitted in the case of cathedrals and religious churches in which there would be the Office (and other) ceremonies chanted in choir or where it would be inopportune to have the tabernacle on the main altar because of the commotion of pilgrims and such.

    The “2 Jesus” thing makes no sense. Do you have multiple Jesus if you have more than one Host or if that one Host is broken into smaller pieces? The Real Presence in the tabernacle does not at all distract from the Real Presence that has just been consecrated.

    When tabernacles were being shoved into closets, I really doubt the intent was to emphasize the sacrifice of the Mass since the push in the “reform” was to deemphasize the notion of sacrifice and make it more of a meal thing. As such, the Tridentine practice should be restored as normative, as should the practice of saying Mass ad orientem. I find it silly when priests and laity push to have the tabernacle put front and center and then have the priest turn his back to it. That is the reason the old pastor of our parish moved the tabernacle, because he thought that since they “mandated” versus populum (which wasn’t de jure but was de facto) he did not like the idea of turning his back to the Lord in the tabernacle.

  48. Fr. Basil says:

    \\Ah yes, THAT’S the theological argument for shunting the tabernacle off to the side that I was trying to remember. It STILL makes no sense.\\

    Actually, it’s an old custom in cathedrals and pilgrimage churches to reserve the Mysteries in a special chapel and NOT at the high altar, principally for reasons of reverence.

    If you have ever seen the movie THE NUN’S STORY, you’ll notice that the Tabernacle was NOT in the choir, but in a side chapel.

    **These are more than straw man arguments.**

    My reference to straw-man arguments was Voris’s ahistorical assertion about “some monastery somewhere in the 4th century not reserving at the high altar.”

  49. briaangelique says:

    I dislike his rhetoric but agree with the substance of what he is saying. I also agree that for *Catholics* to deny the real presence it is a denial of his divinity.

    But I honestly fear less the CINOs, liberals &c, who will eventually take their toys and go home, than I do the people who honestly believe that they are Catholic while speaking in tongues and poisoning our parishes with the bad theology of evangelicalism.

  50. @Anita – you really hit everything spot on! Huzzah!

    the movement of the tabernacle was unheard of before the Council but soon after the altar was made freestanding and all “liturgists” claiming that it is one of the reforms of the Council, tabernacles are found all over the place.

    Our outward actions speaks of the internal reality within. How we designate the place of honor for the Lord in the tabernacle show how we respect him.

    If the Lord can be seated on a side altar, then why is the priest-celebrant sitting on the center? I just don’t get it!

  51. Unfortunately, most of our priests and sisters do this for either of the two reasons:

    1. They were misled by self-proclaimed liturgists who tout supposed Vatican II reforms.

    2. They have lost faith in the Real Presence and instead focus mo…re on elevating the “You and Me” in the Mass.

  52. EoinOBolguidhir says:

    Father Basil: ‘My reference to straw-man arguments was Voris’s ahistorical assertion about “some monastery somewhere in the 4th century not reserving at the high altar.”’ Dude. I know what you meant. I’m saying you’re wrong. Callously tossing off centuries of legitimate, and organically developed tradition based on a false sense of resourcement is heinous. It’s not an inconsequential argument. It’s not something he sets up to easily tear down. It’s a legitimate criticism. Your mischaracterization of his argument as a strawman argument is facile, vapid, and untrue.

  53. Luvadoxi says:

    Regarding this post: Both are good. But at the moment of the Eucharistic Sacrifice, one needs to focus on offering the sacrifice = not praying the Rosary or a novena, which are also good in themselves at their proper time.

    OK, I was following the line of reasoning up until the =. If you had said, “one needs to focus on offering the sacrifice = not adoring Christ in the tabernacle, which is also good in itself at the proper time”–THEN I would have understood (though not agreed with) your argument.
    But what do praying the Rosary or a novena have to do with *this* discussion? Nothing. Moving the tabernacle doesn’t per se stop rosaries/novenas cold. Your insertion of these things reveals the real agenda behind moving tabernacles.

  54. Sandra_in_Severn says:

    I like his closing about the connection of the Divinity of Christ, the HOLY in holy Orders, and the disconnect of the parish from the “CATHOLIC” in the teaching authority and authenticity of the Church.

    Seen it happen in a few parishes, the removal of the tabernacle from the altar, the removal of “C” and using “c” in catholic. Then it’s like a liturgical protestant church.

    One concern, when your “parish” has to share facilities with other faith groups, having somewhere for the tabernacle. Example, all military chapels have at least a Blessed Sacrament Room, and a few even have a Blessed Sacrament Chapel. That might be one of the few times that you would not necessarily have a tabernacle on the high altar.

  55. Rakesvines: re “counterintuitive to have 2 Jesuses,” one at the altar and one in the tabernacle: why did it take until the middle of the 20th century for this to be counterintuitive?

  56. Just Learning says:

    From a layperson perspective…

    In terms of content, the key message he wanted to impart was quite clear: it is disrespectful to place the tabernacle and Blessed Sacrament anywhere other than the center of the church. From my perspective, he is 100% on target. However I did find the following in the Catholic Encyclopedia: “As a rule, in cathedrals and monastic churches it is not set upon the high altar but upon a side altar, or the altar of a special sacramentary chapel; this is to be done both on account of the reverence due the Holy Sacrament and to avoid impeding the course of the ceremonies in solemn functions at the high altar. On the other hand it is generally to be placed upon the high altar in parish churches as the most befitting position.”

    In terms of delivery, I think the guy is brilliant! Yes, he is over the top, arrogant, and comical (I have to admit to laughing a couple of times), but he kept my attention and made me interested in what he had to say. I wouldn’t be surprised if he purposely used inaccurate historical data as a method to draw interest and get people to talk about his clip. Think about it, if Michael Voris’ style was reverent and accurate, would his clip have made it to Fr. Z’s blog where it was probably viewed by 100,000 people or more?

  57. Midwest St. Michael says:

    @ Fr. Basil: “Actually, it’s an old custom in cathedrals and pilgrimage churches to reserve the Mysteries in a special chapel and NOT at the high altar, principally for reasons of reverence.”

    Um, dear Father – *most* Catholics do not worship in (i.e. have their home parishes as…) “cathedrals and pilgrim churches”.

    I live in a rural area. I have devotion to the Blessed Sacrament by visiting Our Lord at least once a day to worship Him in one of the five parish-churches (all within a fourteen mile radius of each other) where I live. The largest parish-church that can hold maybe 400-500 folks – but does this really constitute a side chapel? No. (should one that holds 1000? 2000?)

    Dear heaven these silly arguments about “2 presences of Jesus” or a “static presence” – simply because the tabernacle is located in the high altar or somewhere else in the main nave of the church – are ridiculous. Does one have to have three-to-seven letters behind their name to understand this?

    Is it any wonder, then, that devotions like 40 hours, Benediction, Corpus Christi processions, etc. etc. have all but disappeared in the vast majority of Western world parish communities?

    As someone noted above, these Eucharistic devotions came about because of the development or better understanding of the doctrine of the Holy Eucharist over the centuries.

    To suddenly take our Lord out of our parish-churches has had disastrous effect.

    Out of sight, out of mind. Indeed.

  58. rakesvines says:

    @Anita: Re: “…why did it take until the middle of the 20th century for this to be counterintuitive?”
    — My guess is because of the theological developments that occurred during that time. The liturgical reform did not happen in a vacuum but in relation to developments in other branches of theology, the new founded openness heralded by Pope John XXIII to pick up what is good in the world e.g. the advances in behavioral sciences and the host of changes in almost every facet of life.

    @Luvadoxi: Re: “OK, I was following the line of reasoning up until the =. If you had said, “one needs to focus on offering the sacrifice = not adoring Christ in the tabernacle, which is also good in itself at the proper time”–THEN I would have understood”
    — You’re right about the lack of transistion; what you stated would have been much clearer and is what I meant. But since I already mentioned the Blessed Sacrament earlier, I referenced the practice of saying the Rosary while the Mass was going on. ( I was avoiding wordiness to the fault of becoming telegraphic.)

  59. robtbrown says:

    Supertradmum wrote:

    A good, close priest friend of mine who is 78 told me that in the seminary in the 1950s, the priests who were teaching them and the seminarians, were thinking of how to make the Mass more “protestant” in order to encourage ecumenism. He told me that they were reading the avant-guard stuff coming out of the French Church at the time and were pushing for “reform” in architecture, the language of the Liturgy, the vernacular use, etc..

    That theology was originated between the two World Wars. It was intensified by WWII and the Cold War. It is also a reaction against Counter Reformation Theology which, despite disseminating a lot of good information, was IMHO too much a shortcut, too Ecclesiocentric (the Church says . . . ). This meant it was was also too deficient in Scripture, the Fathers, reason, and common sense (which includes experience)–all of which are . . . ahem . . . to be found in the Theocentric and Christocentric works of St Thomas.

    The liberals jumped into the gap, adopting a Community of Man Ideology but calling it Ecumenism. In the service of this ideology that which was distinctively Catholic (e.g., Latin, Transubstantiation, the mass as Sacrifice) was redefined via ambiguities or eliminated altogether. Those who questioned this ideology were persecuted.

    2. I like the concept of Sacred Space because it refers to an area set aside for exclusive use in sacred actions, e.g., sanctuary.

  60. Luvadoxi says:

    Rakesvines: I thought about what I posted and apologize for my lack of charity. I got to thinking later that the rosary and novenas were done in front of the Tabernacle because Christ is there, right?–so basically that’s why moving the Tabernacle would also move the private devotions to another time and place than Mass. (I may disagree that rosary/novenas during Mass necessarily means you aren’t participating, because you are concentrating on Christ and His Sacrifice in a different way…but that’s a whole other topic!) Anyway–I’m sorry that I was quick to jump to conclusions.

  61. rakesvines says:

    @Luvadoxi : Nothing to apologize about. I did take offense not did I think anything uncharitable about the comment. But thanks for considering my feelings. God bless. – Ric

  62. rakesvines says:

    @Luvadoxi : Nothing to apologize about. I did NOT take offense nor did I think anything uncharitable about the comment. But thanks for considering my feelings. God bless. – Ric

  63. mjbfjs says:

    The childish thinking of Vatican II of changing the Sacrifice and the turning of the Alter [altar… right? With an “a”?] was a big mistake for when it happen every Priest turned their back to Our Lord even when if you put Our Lord were he belongs in the Center you still have every Priest turning their backs to Our Lord.

  64. pop says:

    So many of the comments that I have read really confirm my belief that many people simply do not know, or at least they have no understanding of what we do at Eucharist! [Translation: “at Mass”. And perhaps our focus should be more on what God does during Mass. But let that pass.] I am not suggesting there is a lack of reverence, or a lack of belief, but that there is a serious misunderstanding of truth.

    First: How does Christ come into being so that He can be reposed into a tabernacle? [Do you see anything theologically problematic with that statement?]
    The answer is of course He comes to us during the Holy Sacrifice of Mass/Divine Liturgy. What is consecrated during that mass is what should be consumed! There are theological reasons for this!
    What is not consumed at mass is reserved for the sick, the homebound, and so forth. That is why a tabernacle came into being in the first place. There is a very long tradition of how and why what we have today is what we have today.
    Eucharist is the process of God calling people to worship, [?] to have the Word proclaimed to them, and to have that Word made Flesh as it were. Eucharist is an action! [I sense you are using the word “Eucharist” equivocally.] Jesus Christ made present in the reality of our time. [“in the ‘reality’ of our time” …. ?!… ] We are simply not re-enacting an historical event. God/Jesus is in the people, the Word, the priest, and is the Body & Blood that we receive! [But not, NOT, present in the same way. There is no equivalence of “being in” these different things.]
    The True and Living Sacrifice takes place upon the altar. Because of that reality we REVERENCE the “Altar of God”. [Let’s not forget the Eucharistic species.] God, Jesus Christ is made present to us and for us by the Holy Spirit. The question then that is begging to be asked is: do I focus on Jesus in the tabernacle, or the action where-by Jesus becomes present upon the “Altar of God”. [Let’s look at again. Focus on a) Jesus truly present or b) an action. I suppose we have to wonder in turn: Why pit the one against the other? Somehow Catholics were able to work this out: Jesus is present in the Eucharist in this church, just as He is present in the Eucharist in the church across town. He is present on the altar in the Host Father just consecrated, and in the tabernacle. He is present in the Host in the tabernacle and in the Host Father just gave to Mrs. Bagofdonuts and is about to give to me. No one fell over writhing at the horrible conflict of reason this created.] You see, the “Altar” then is more than just a work table…. even though the “Work of the People” does in part take place upon that table. [h brother. It’s the “work of the people” thing again.]
    When the tabernacle is placed in the immediate proximity, especially to the center rear of the altar, we are forced to choose our allegiance if you will allow me. [Perhaps you think people are rather stupid.] Certainly Jesus demands nothing less than the upmost respect and reverence……. but which aspect (for lack of a better term)…… the Jesus upon the altar/ the Jesus reserved in the tabernacle! Mass is a living sacrifice, Mass is a Holy Sacrifice. Mass is a liturgy, a “work of the People of God” who have chosen a presider [Let’s say “priest”, shall we?] in whom Jesus Christ is Sacramentally present. A presider who collects ourselves in our total giving/self-emptying of ourselves. A presider who takes the gifts of water, wine and bread, and who calls down the Holy Spirit from God to come upon these gifts that they may become the Body and Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ at Whose command we do this!
    The location of the tabernacle is a problematic issue then because when placed so near the proximity of the Holy and Living Sacrifice it is ignored at least to some extent, and as one commented, the priest (and I’ll add) deacon have their back turned to it. [Thanks for hanging that slow curve over the plate: ad orientem worship fixes that problem.]
    In order to address this reality, [There’s that word again!] and at the same time fully honor Jesus Christ reposed in the tabernacle, some suggested the tabernacle be moved to a “suitable” place of “prominence” where the People of God could locate for meditation. [And where very few people will notice it. Let’s be realistic about reality.] It is directed that when this movement is not accomplished, [Ummm… was this originally composed in English or translated into English from another language?] that is when the tabernacle is in the close proximity of the altar, the ministers will reverence the tabernacle immediately before, and immediately after the celebration. At all other times the “Altar of God’ is to be reverenced. The exception being when the priest or the deacon goes to the tabernacle.
    In either placement stating there is a lost reverence for, or that clergy do not believe in the Real Presence is very close to heresy! [I guess we have to judge that by other criteria.] It is the product of people who do not believe or who refuse to believe the Holy Spirit spoke to the Fathers at Vatican II. May I ask: do not you believe in Pentecost as well! [I see. People who want the tabernacle in the center of the church are rejecting the Holy Spirit and Vatican II. Got it.]

  65. anilwang says:

    Rakesvines: re “counterintuitive to have 2 Jesuses,”.

    Just one comment, why? Two Jesuses were present at the last supper when Christ held himself in his own hands.

    I personally don’t see the problem on the location. As mentioned, private devotions favour one way while mass celebrations favour the other. What must be done in any case is the make the place where Christ is prominent wherever it is located so it is clear that Christ is here.

    WRT private devotions during mass, try visiting an Eastern Rite or Eastern Orthodox parish. There’s no problem with the real presence, although you will hear a lot of private devotions going on during mass…you don’t have to worry about the “sign of peace” either…you just have to worry about the kiss of peace:-)

  66. Byzcat says:

    “counterintuitive to have 2 Jesuses,”? 2 Jesuses? Permit me. Jesus is One, not two, not multiple. Each host, each particle of the host, each drop of the precious blood, is Christ; not a part of Him, but ALL of Him: Body, Blood, Soul, Divinity. No division. There are not poly-Jesuses. Phew! Got that off my chest…

  67. rakesvines says:

    re: questions, hilarious comments and other tongue-in-cheek remarks about the 2 Jesus reference,
    @pop elaborated it by writing, “The question then that is begging to be asked is: do I focus on Jesus in the tabernacle, or the action where-by Jesus becomes present upon the “Altar of God”.”

  68. marija says:

    As someone raised in the 70’s and 80’s I assure you I had NO education about the Real Presence that had any depth whatever. The church is a nice building housing Jesus. And Jesus is a fun guy. I believe in the Real Presence, but that belief is shaken every time I go to church. The way people behave in the presence of the Eucharist is appalling. If the people in the church (and I am not excluding myself, though I’m trying) truly believed the the Real Presence, they would refrain from chatting, chewing gum, hugging one another, dressing inappropriately, taking pictures, using cell phones, i – whatevers, video games, eating snacks or drinking coffee. We are forced to have our choir practise in the church. This, or any other rehearsal, in my opinion, does not help matters because we do not act with reverence in a rehearsal, thus further making the church a more informal place, further shaking belief. I need to take more time in prayer and ask for a stronger faith. But often, going to church, (especially on Sunday, when I am not alone with the Eucharist) makes it more difficult.

  69. While Tabernacles were not the norm of the early Church, nor were that manner many of the practices of the Church today. Understanding deepens over time. I believe that it was a major mistake to remove Tabernacles from the center of parish churches (Cathedrals being the exception to the norm). Unfortunately this attempt to re-capture what the early Church did has been a colossal failure.

  70. Even though I can see the importance on wanting to place emphasis on the altar during the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, why did it have to be done to the exclusion of Christ who is in the Tabernacle? Why not the both and solution of bowing and genuflecting at the same time?