A WDTPRS reader was looking at the comments over at NCR and noted that even the liberal comments over there are turning against McBrian’s flawed ideas!
Let’s see a few, as gathered by reader AT (my emphases and comments):
I generally enjoy Fr. McBrien’s postings, but I have to disagree with him this time…I do agree that the Mass is the center of our Catholic life, but Adoration provides a context for meditation and prayer that I find to be most helpful. I do not believe it to be an obsolete devotion, but one very relevant in today’s hectic and off-centered world. [Do I hear an "Amen!"?]
Father McBrien, I never expected to disagree with you on much of anything…but I do need to question several aspects of this column on eucharistic adoration. First, I have to wonder whether you, like many other progressive Catholics, view every pronouncement from Rome on current liturgy as a threat to the spirit of Vatican II–indeed, as an intentional inroad in that direction. If so, I have to tell you that I find your attitude rather adolescently rigid. [OORAH!]
Maggie Harrison Mangan
Eucharistic adoration at the parish level arose out of nowhere at the end of the 20th Century. Nobody planned it. Nobody foresaw it. I believe it was an authentic movement of the Holy Spirit acting in the Church. [Do I hear an "Amen!"?]
Dear Fr. McBrien, Did it ever even cross your mind that the Holy Spirit might be encouraging people towards this devotion, that it might not be simply a symptom of their backwardness or spiritual immaturity? If it were just an initiative of the people, without God’s help, it would not have taken the root it has and would not be spreading as it is. [yep]
Dear Fr. McBrien, I consider myself a progressive Catholic like yourself. I love the way the Mass is celebrated now rather than before Vatican II. I wish the Church would allow qualified lay people to preach at the time reserved for the homily. I favor ordaining women as deacons and priests. I hope that someday married, baptized Catholic men will be allowed in the priesthood and I don’t look forward to the new Mass translations that our Bishops had to approve at their June plenary session. However, Fr. McBrien, I must strongly disagree with your negative attitude about the Holy Father encouraging the restoration of Eucharistic adoration…Because of the large crop of faithful lay volunteers, my parish has Eucharistic adoration 24 hours every Friday of the week, which is attended by hundreds of parishioners (3000 families are registered in my parish) and even non-parishioners throughout the day and evening. Yes, celebrating the Eucharist each Sunday with the Catholic community should be the highest form of worship in a Catholic’s prayer life. But you see, Father McBrien, Catholics like myself are craving for some individual quiet time with Jesus too…That’s why it’s so important for Catholic churches to keep their doors open at least once during the weekday to allow some quiet prayer time for parishioners.
A literate catholic
I usually agree with Fr. McBrien’s views; in this instance, however, I part company…the sheer tone of Fr. McBrien’s column and various statements, such as "devotional excess" and "extraneous eucharistic devotions" make him sound like an over educated, pompous, theologically intellectual elitist, which I hope he is not. [If it walks like an "over educated, pompous, theologically intellectual elitist…".]
Dear Fr. O’Brien, While I appreciate your columns very much, I disagree with your final sentence in this piece, as would contemplatives everywhere. The Real Presence in the Mass does "provide all" that is needed, but the Mystery is inexhaustible and some in the Body of Christ feel compelled to extend worship beyond the actual time of the Eucharistic celebration. To say that there is "no need for extraneous eucharistic devotions" seems similar to debunking intimate friendship, being in love, the time "wasted" by lovers for whom simply communing is a value in itself.
Many thanks to AT, who gathered these great comments from NCR and that "over educated, pompous, theologically intellectual elitist", and "rather adolescently rigid" article by McBrien.
Hey! Their words, not mine!