ASK FATHER: @BishopBarron on the Pew Research and lack of belief in the Eucharist. Fr. Z rants a little and issues an invitation.

From a reader…


Bishop Barron has a video reacting to the Pew Research saying that 75% of Catholics think the Blessed Sacrament is just a symbol.  He talks about the failure of catechetics and educators and that social justice was made more important than sound teaching.

What say you?

Here’s the video in question:

Bishop Barron indeed reacted to the recent Pew Research about Catholics and their belief in the Church’s teachings about the Eucharist.  He is clearly frustrated.  Anyone with any commonsense and sliver of love left for the Church would be beside himself at the news that 75% think that the Eucharist is just a symbol (younger Catholics … drop that to 80%). It’s only a symbol.

Barron quotes Flannery O’Connor’s famous quip and quite properly.  “If it’s only a symbol, to hell with it.” Exactly right.  The Eucharist is the – here comes the non-cliché which must never be allowed to be used as a cliché – “source and summit” of our lives as Catholic Christians.

Barron admits that, if 75% don’t believe then something has gone seriously wrong. It represents a “massive failure” for which “we are all guilty”.

Sorry, but I’M NOT!  I’ve been flogging myself for decades to be clear as crystal about the Eucharist and I’ve been beaten to a pulp for my efforts.  As I recounted elsewhere, I was thrown out of seminary (the first time) because of a dispute over the Eucharist.  But, as a former Lutheran, I can “do no other”.  As a convert, I made radical choices knowing what I was leaving and knowing what I was embracing.  As a matter of fact, I did my profession of Faith, from the traditional Ritual, publicly during Sunday Vespers kneeling in front of the Blessed Sacrament exposed on the altar.  Enough about me.

It could be that Barron’s “we” meant “we bishops”. But, sincerely, I get his point: many, not all, people are to blame.  Hmmm… many… not all….

Bp. Barron underscores that this has been a massive failure on the part of educators, catechists, evangelists and teachers.

Well, yes, but mostly… NO!

Yes, catechesis is important, but more important still is our liturgical worship, for decades hardly “sacred” liturgical worship.

Lack of belief in the Eucharist is mostly a massive failure in the way we celebrate the Eucharist!  I mean, of course, Holy Mass.

Everything flows from worship and then back to worship.

Allow me to affirm that you can’t say everything in a short video. There isn’t enough time. So, what you choose to include is probably your most important position, what you really want to get across.

Not a word from Bp. Barron in the video about liturgy, about decades of the prevailing liturgical style (or the rite itself – the Novus Ordo).  This is so typical of bishops.

Not a word – in that video – about liturgy as either a cause of the problems we face or as a solution. I listened to it twice and didn’t hear it.  He talks about the danger of placing social justice, etc., before doctrine.  But, he doesn’t talk about liturgy.

Did I miss it?  Please correct me if I did.  It may be that he has held forth at length on the topic elsewhere.  I don’t follow him daily.

Bp. Barron, in this video, underscores great figures who loved the “Eucharist” and who would be flabbergasted at the suggestion that the Eucharist was just a symbol.  Exactly so!

However – and I know you know this Bp. Barron – “Eucharist” is not just the Blessed Sacrament. It is also the way the Eucharist is celebrated.

There’s the Eucharist that is the Host and Precious Blood and there’s the Eucharist that is the very way by which we have the Host and Precious Blood, the ultimate “thanksgiving” which is Holy Mass.

Our sacred liturgical worship is our most important action in the fulfillment of Religion, that orders all other activities and gives them meaning.

The way that Holy Mass is celebrated IS DOCTRINE… it IS CATECHESIS.

Liturgy is the principle locus of encounter which the vast majority of Catholics have with the Church. It’s Sunday Mass (if they go) far more than talks, classes, adult education, CCD, etc.  Let’s not even bring up efforts in most homes of your average Catholic to teach children the Faith.

The way Mass is celebrated is by far the principle influence on how people see and think about the Eucharist.

If the ars celebrandi of the priest is X, then people will be guided towards X. Change the liturgy and the belief of people about X will slowly follow.  Legem credendi lex statuat supplicandi … “Lex orandi – Lex Credendi” is NOT a cliché, either. It’s the way things work!

WE ARE OUR RITES. Change those rites and you change belief.  It is inevitable.

What Pew Research revealed is nothing other than the fruits of the last 50 years of near total liturgical devolution which enervated and evacuated the Faith of the overwhelming majority of Catholics.   And soon they won’t even bother calling themselves Catholic.

Tick… tick… tick… tick….

Bp. Barron says that this is a “call to action” in the Church. I agree.

On the other hand, the Bishop doesn’t seem to mean action to change the way we celebrate the Eucharist, the way we see the Eucharist, the way we sing to and about the Eucharist, the way we literally handle the Eucharist.  That is: liturgical worship, how we celebrate Holy Mass.

He wants a “call to action”? Here’s a call to action!

  • Foster kneeling for Communion put in Communion rails.
  • Get serious about music.
  • Phase out unnecessary lay ministers of Communion.
  • Clear the sanctuary of everything that distracts.
  • Celebrate ad orientem.
  • And the scariest of all … implement generously Summorum Pontificum!

Every one of those will require, yes, catechesis.  Lot’s of sound catechesis and patience.

Patience and more patience.

But “it’s the job that’s never started as takes longest to finish.”

Let’s not wring our hands and wonder how to proceed “pastorally” to the point that we, again, proceed to do nothing.

“Oh dear, oh dear! Some people might not like these changes!  We have to be sensitive!  They’ll… you know… complain!  Then what?  We have to be nice, after all.  Can’t we get along?  Let’s not fight over these things.”

Not fight?  NO!  Sometimes we have to have the fight.   The fight has come to us, whether we want it or not.

We are, in fact, now in the fight of our Catholic lives!

Bp. Barron has issued a call to action.

I respectfully issue a call and an invitation to Bp. Barron.

Bp. Barron: Think outside the box – which is actually inside the box of Tradition –  and talk about sacred liturgical worship as the key to rebuilding our Catholic identity.

Projects and programs and pamphlets and videos… yeah… great.  It’s liturgy all along.  It has always been about liturgical worship.

Also, in my capacity as the President of the Tridentine Mass Society of the Diocese of Madison, I invite you to come to talk to us here about all these matters and – please! – also to celebrate a Pontifical Mass in the Extraordinary Form either at the Faldstool or, with Bp. Hying’s consent as he wishes, at the Throne.

I am convinced that you will do well as celebrant.  It isn’t has hard as one might imagine.  In fact, celebrating traditionally as a bishop is about as easy as it gets in the Roman Rite on either side, because you are surrounded by ministers who do just about everything.  All you have to do is be a little docile, pray, and preach well.  We do the rest.

Please consider coming. Your welcome will be warm and sincere and you will set an example of “action”.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
This entry was posted in "How To..." - Practical Notes, ASK FATHER Question Box, Hard-Identity Catholicism, Liturgy Science Theatre 3000, Mail from priests, Our Catholic Identity, The Coming Storm, The Drill, The future and our choices, Wherein Fr. Z Rants and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.


  1. ejcmartin says:

    Father, have you seen the video by Brian Holdsworth : . He is a young Catholic with a number of videos on YouTube. This one is in line with what you are saying about worship and belief in the Real Presence.

    [Yup. He got there. And his child’s question was dead on. Again and again I hear things like this. I am reminded of the prayer that is NOT said in the Novus Ordo when the offerings and altar are incensed, but which is said in the TLM. As the priest blesses the incense at the offertory… “May the Lord, by the intercession of blessed Michael the Archangel, who standeth at the right side of the altar of incense, and of all His Elect, vouchsafe to bless + this incense and receive it as an odor of sweetness: through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. ” Then, over the offerings “May this incense, which Thou hast blessed, O Lord, ascend to Thee, and may Thy mercy descend upon us.” And then, as he goes back and forth, incensing the top of the mensa, and the sides, and below the mensa… “Let my prayer, O Lord, be directed as incense in Thy sight: the lifting up of my hands as an evening sacrifice. Set a watch, O Lord, before my mouth, and a door round about my lips. May my heart not incline to evil words, to make excuses for sins. May the Lord enkindle within us the fire of His love, and the flame of everlasting charity. Amen.” Friends, it is an entirely different thing. As a priest I can tell you that, once I had memorized this, so that it was part of me as I worked my sacrificial space, as the priest/victim, having invoked the angels… it is an entirely different thing than what goes on in the Novus Ordo. That whole “noble simplicity” thing and “getting rid of accretions” and “repetitions” sucked the life’s blood from the offertory, the connection of the priest and the offerings, their being hallowed and prepared for the great moment to come. And that little kid, which he mentioned in the video, got it. But he would, wouldn’t he. Children are hard-wired for liturgy. The wires get cut later, by banality and laxity.]

  2. Amerikaner says:

    If the Eucharist were only a symbol, we wouldn’t need a priest. That is the quintessential reason the devil attacks the priesthood.

  3. Gaetano says:

    The Prayer Before Communion in the Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom nails this :

    O Lord, I believe and profess that you are truly Christ, The Son of the living God, who came into the world to save sinners of whom I am the first.

    Accept me today as a partaker of your mystical supper, O Son of God, for I will not reveal your mystery to your enemies, nor will I give you a kiss as did Judas,

    But like the thief I profess to you:

    Remember me, O Lord, when you come in your kingdom.
    Remember me, O Master, when you come in your kingdom.
    Remember me, O Holy One, when you come in your kingdom.

    May the partaking of your Holy mysteries, O Lord, be not for my judgment or condemnation, but for the healing of my soul and body.

    O Lord, I also believe and profess, that this,
    which I am about to receive, is truly your most precious Body, and your life-giving Blood,

    Which, I pray, make me worthy to receive
    for the remission of all my sins and for life everlasting.

    O God, be merciful to me, a sinner.
    O God, cleanse me of my sins and have mercy on me.
    O Lord, forgive me for I have sinned without number.

  4. JustaSinner says:

    Spot on, Father! I still won’t look up at the priest during Mass when he says, “This is My Body” and “This is My Blood” for who am I that I should gaze upon Christ? No to Communion in my hand? Again, my dirty mitts touching the Body of Christ? No.

  5. APX says:

    Clear the sanctuary of everything that distracts

    This. I was visiting a church last month and I couldn’t get over how much junk was piled and stored in the sanctuary. Plastic totes of crap, extension cords, old hymnals, papers, a filing cabinet, cardboard boxes, old fake plants.

  6. JGavin says:

    Sorry, I do not feel responsible at all. I have prayed, believed and acted on the teaching of the Church on the Eucharist. I will continue to do so. Yesterday , I went to Mass at St Pius X in Fairfield. It was a low Mass. Fr Iannacone gave a homily about the Assumption and Catholic teaching on The Blessed Virgin. It was the best I have heard in years. There is hope!

  7. Chaswjd says:

    Where I have to disagree with Father Z. and agree more with Bishop Barron is on the matter of catechesis. [Perhaps you missed the part where I say that we need catechesis.] The Eucharist is a mystery which we do not come to as a matter of reason. It is a matter of faith which must be taught. Therefore, having the most reverent mass won’t lead the faithful to belief in the Real Presence alone. I think that perhaps we start with good teaching. [Nisi credideritis non intelligetis.] But we then must not undermine it with liturgy which sends the message that the Real Presence is simply a matter of words. And there I must agree with much of what Fr. Z says.

  8. Gab says:

    Bp Barron, I have no time for his brand of cowardly and appeasing evangelisation.

    [And I have no time for entirely unhelpful comments. Bp. Barron is about 3 weeks younger than I, and I will soon be 60. For a bishop he is still young and he hasn’t been given his own mandate yet. Who knows how grace and encouragement will work. You write as if the story is over for him, or for me, or for you and that people can’t change or grow or change directions, even though we say – oh how piously – we say that we pray that people will change. You come in here, into MY HOUSE, and bash the bishop I just invited? Thanks. That’ll really help. Look here: this is the time to close ranks and work together, not to atomize ourselves even more in the face of the tsunami headed our way. Be instructed: Where there is life and breath, there’s hope. We honor at the altar saints who were once wicked or tepid or confused before something happened to them. Who knows? It might be that this Pew Research will wind up scaring the horse-hockey out of some of our temporizing and even feckless shepherds. You would do well to dedicate a month of praying the Rosary for him and asking his Guardian Angels and maybe one of the Apostles to work on him. If you think he is “cowardly and appeasing”, pray to Peter for him, who was a cowardly appeaser in the courtyard of the Sanhedrin. Okay… I’ll put the 2×4 down. Please consider praying for Bp. Barron. And I won’t forget that the other day you asked for prayers for your brother, in the URGENT PRAYER REQUEST post. Let us pray for each other and all the readers here, especially against the temptation to “atomize ourselves even more in the face of the tsunami”.]

  9. OldProfK says:

    I hope the Bishop accepts your invitation, Father.

    Beyond that, I am stupefied and then some by the…arrogance required to tell people the Eucharist is just a symbol, flouting two millennia of Church teaching. On whose* authority does one decide that “…nope, it’s not really the Body of Christ, and I don’t mind saying so”?

    *Who, indeed.

  10. bibi1003 says:

    Fr. Z, I’d like to add one other thing to your excellent “call to action” list. Please Fathers, remind us sternly to dress modestly in the best clothes we have, precisely because we are in the presence of our Lord.

    At mass last night for the Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, two of the lay ministers of Communion, one man and one woman, were wearing t-shirts, shorts and tennis shoes. Clueless.

  11. Gab says:

    Thank you, Father, for taking the time to admonish me. You are correct in everything you wrote. My pride has been well castigated and I am humbled. I take on board everything you said and cannot disagree with a word of it, especially the prayers for Bp Barron, which I will do starting today. And my heartfelt apologies to you and readers of your blog.

  12. John21 says:

    As you say, Father Z, never underestimate the impact of an invitation.

    I think Bishop Barron would be open to talking with you. His Word on Fire platform has a broad reach, and getting him on board could be a strategically important move in your call to action. I haven’t heard him comment directly on the TLM vs. the NO, but I know he has expressed again and again the importance of beauty in the Church’s art and architecture and so forth.

  13. jaykay says:

    How beautiful those prayers of the blessing of incense and of the Altar and offerings are! “Set a watch, O Lord, before my mouth, and a door round about my lips. May my heart not incline to evil words, to make excuses for sins.”

    Combined with the “…quam ego, indignus famulus tuus…” in the “Suscipe”, how much expression of humility has been lost! Instead we tell God how blessed He is, in the most perfunctory manner. Like a bored waiter shoving the plat du jour under your nose in a two-bit diner.

    “Let my prayer, O Lord, be directed as incense in Thy sight: the lifting up of my hands as an evening sacrifice.”

    How beautiful. If I were a Priest, I’m sure I could get a substantial homily out of that. Eheu.

  14. RK3 says:

    It is annoying when people like Bishop Barron say “we all…” Speak for yourself.

    Notably, he has suggested the possibility and/or likelihood that nobody is in hell. Of course, that is contrary to what God Himself says in Luke 13:24. He says “many” go to hell; and not only does He say that many go to hell, but He says that “many” expect (presume) they will get to heaven but when they stand before God on Judgement Day – when it is too late to change – they find out they are cast into hell. The heresy that “nobody is in hell” (or its variants) is directly responsible for much of the unbelief in the Most Holy Eucharist.

    Belief in things unseen most often starts merely with obedience to the Word of God and “fear of the Lord”. God says the Most Holy Eucharist is His Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity, and He says that belief in those words are required to get to heaven (have “life”/”eternal life” (John 6:53-54) and “life forever” (John 6:58) so one must obey what He says.

    Jesus makes this clear in John 6, and this can be deduced by comparing His language about the Eucharist in John 6 to His language about baptism in John 3. Compare particularly John 3:18 and John 6:47-48. Then compare John 3:5, 3:16 to John 6:53-54. Belief in the Most Holy Eucharist is required to get to heaven, just like baptism is required according to what the Church has taught for 2000 years.

  15. LeeGilbert says:

    At least in my opinion this is the best argument you have ever made for the importance of the liturgy as formation/instruction/catechesis. Until this morning I’ve been in the “yeah, maybe” crowd, though I’ve been following this blog for years.

    Still, there are things you say that do not cross the blood/ brain barrier, so to speak, such as “We are our rites.” Honestly, I don’t get it. Maybe that needs some expatiation, or perhaps you have been explaining it for years and it just has not been registering, or does not accord with anything in my thought or experience. Anyway, thanks for this post.

  16. arga says:

    STU – PEN -DOUS rant! Thank you! Deserves to be published in every Sunday bulletin in every parish in the world. A true Fr. Z encyclical.

  17. aviva meriam says:

    Can I make a general request ?
    Since people genuinely don’t known their own faith, can the bishops PLEASE instruct their priests to preach on the following:
    1. What the Eucharist is and How to approach Communion
    2. What Mortal Sin is and WHY one shouldn’t receive Communion after committing Mortal Sin before Confession
    3. On Confession

    It would be helpful if every parish in a diocese covered the same territory on the same Sundays. A consistent message.Then have the priests increase the regularly scheduled hours Confession is offered. An organized effort to return to basics across a diocese may actually bear Good Fruit over time.
    (Just think: there is time to implement this before Advent).

  18. teomatteo says:

    The bishop’s intimation that everyone is at fault says it all. I wonder if he has preached from the pulpit the mortal sin of missing Holy Mass and the need for confession before a catholic can approach the Lord in communion? Maybe he has.

    [Maybe he has. However, do consider that we are all in this together. When one sins, we are all hurt by it. That’s why penitents must be reconciled not just to God, but to the Church herself, all her members.]

  19. Jann says:

    No. We’re NOT all guilty for the failure of good catechesis. It is pastors, schools and diocesan departments which hire educators, catechists, evangelists and teachers and you have to be interviewed and approved by these gate-keepers.

    The archdiocese where I was hired penalized me (even though I was told I was overqualified) by limiting my hours because I refused to take their required course in what was essentially “aggressivity-training”. Ironic since I was strong enough to refuse and hold my ground. And woe to you if you were a convert or majored in philosophy. I was an ex-Anglican who came into the Church mid-way through the Council. …There just doesn’t seem to be any end to this.

  20. Jann says:

    PS – The old “aggressivity-training” classes were ostensibly to train people to become more aggressive in standing up for themselves. I was told this by others who had to take this course.

    Also, I’ll add that anyone who complained about liturgical abuses in those days was just dismissed as reactionary.

  21. teomatteo says:

    Yes Father. That comes out loud and clear in the confiteor. Problem is our priest at the suburban church down the street refuses to have us recite it. Refuses. Thanks for the reminder. God bless you.

  22. hwriggles4 says:

    As a Catholic revert, the last 16 years I have realized that evangelization and teaching is needed within our Church. Many others besides myself have realized this and assist with seminars, mens groups, and catechesis. I am a CCD teacher and I do voice my concerns (our pastoral administrator does too) that too many parents drop the kids off for CCD, and the parents only attend Mass occasionally. Since several Catholic parents don’t attend Mass weekly, the kids don’t see it as important, and would rather be playing sports instead.

    I help primarily 5th through 8th grade, and I make sure the students know that CCD is not a substitute for Mass (some think this because their Protestant brethren are allowed to attend Sunday school while their parents are in church hearing a sermon and singing – for Protestants this is fine, but not Catholics, and when I was a kid that confused me too) . Saying prayers at home and attending weekly Mass are a start.

    I also agree for families to attend Mass at a parish where there is solid preaching, reverence, and a congregation that pays attention. I get irritated when I see 20% of the congregation run to the parking lot after communion (when I ushered in college, our pastor instructed us not to bring out bulletins until the closing song started). As a 1980s teenager, I lived through homilies with several jokes, Masses where a few choir members dominated where Mass was more of “the (insert name here) show”, and confession was virtually nonexistent such as “oh, that’s old church, we don’t do that anymore. ” It’s a no brainer to say that I was a “clock in clock out Catholic ” for several years. I can see where Bishop Barron is coming from. Earlier this week, Bishop Barron had a discussion about the pew survey on Catholic Radio.

  23. kurtmasur says:

    “Not fight? NO! Sometimes we have to have the fight. The fight has come to us, whether we want it or not.“

    Talk to me about that, Father….I would know all too well about it. One time I was invited to go for a special Easter lunch by a friend who is active in a typical NO parish, with typical NO music, NO mentality of holding hands in the Our Father, etc. Also invited for the lunch was an elderly woman who was also a member of the same NO parish. While my friend herself is quite conservative, her elderly friend was not, and in fact, the latter wasted no time in exposing her rather liberal views with regards to the Church. Upon mentioning to her that I belong to my TLM community, she expressed shock and disgust (her reaction: “they still do that???!!!” When I made it clear that I go to the pre-Vatican II Mass, in Latin, etc.). When I mentioned that only authorized people can be in the sanctuary area (basically an all-men’s altar), composed of only clergy and authorized ministers and male altar servers, she expressed disgust that women and laity are excluded from the altar. Anyways, to make a long story short, it became clear to me on the spot that I had to stand in defense of the traditional liturgy and the faith and that “the fight had come to me” at that very moment. Never mind that it was an Easter lunch, which was supposed to be friendly and joyful. In all likelihood I probably came off as arrogant and mean, but I couldn’t sit there quietly while the elderly lady was already showing verbal aggression towards tradition. If anything, she literally started it.

    Anyways, I ended up using that opportunity to point out facts that she had never heard of, including what really is written in Vatican II’s Sacrosanctum Concilium on the liturgy with regards to Latin and music, and I pointed out the lack of catechesis described above in this blog entry, including the fact that today’s Catholics don’t believe in the Eucharist as the true presence. To my surprise, she seemed to concede to this last point after some back and forth. But still, she blamed the Church for not doing enough, and maybe she was right on that point. By the end of that lunch, we had somehow moved to a neutral topic, and when we said our goodbyes, you could feel the meal had been stained by the arguing, but I felt I did what I had to do, and I took it as a sign that the Lord wanted me there at that particular moment.

    Anyways, the point of all this is that we must always be prepared to defend the faith wherever we may be because the Lord will put us on the spot when we least expect it. Twenty years ago, I thought that we had to be ready to defend the faith against non-Catholics, especially evangelicals/Protestants. But in 2019, we have to be prepared to defend the faith against catholics themselves, which I think speak volumes of our day and age.

  24. Gusmo says:

    In 1999 Bishop Barron wrote a book on the Eucharist, available on Kindle. I’ll be happy to send it to you but I need your email. I believe you will find that his teachings are very much like your own, there is no significant difference between the two of you in Theology. There is a substantial difference in style!
    The discussion around “we all …” reminds me of when I had to explain to my teenage son that Christ did not die for OUR sins, he died for MY sins (and yours and yours). It makes a difference!

  25. Hidden One says:

    There has indeed been a massive failure of catechesis… liturgical catechesis, in particular.

    I accept my share in the collective responsibility to fix it.

  26. Tito Edwards says:

    Bishop Barron is now a ‘bishop’ & no longer a priest only.

    So my question is, what is going to do about it in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles. He is now in a position of authority. What are his plans and how will he implement whatever it is that needs to be implemented in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles.

    I haven’t seen his video, so forgive me he has laid out a comprehensive strategy to fix this problem.

  27. Vince K says:

    Today I am sending out a letter asking my bishop to consider celebrating a Pontifical Mass in the Extraordinary Form at our FSSP parish. Please say a prayer that he will prayerfully consider and respond positively!

  28. KateD says:

    Father, may I suggest an addition to your list? Abolish the three days of darkness that is L. A. Congress. Most catechists I’ve encountered are well intentioned parishioners just trying to help but they are given bad information and materials. The conduits generally pass on what they have received….and those who know better, need to step up to the plate, despite lack of talents or natural ability. If we don’t want to be bothered with being involved, we forfeit the right to complain. A first step for Bishop Barron would be to allow access to the Santa Barbara mission for those faithful, the indigent (ie Jesus, Mary and Joseph and Saint Francis) included (gasp!) who wish to adore the Eucharist in the tabernacle without requiring an entrance fee for admission.

  29. Unwilling says:

    Recently on this, I have watched a few more YouTube interviews with Bishop Barron. His main theme is the need for catechesis, since (69% of) Catholics don’t know what the Church teaches. But in one he relates that young people leaving the Church say they are leaving because they don’t believe what the Church teaches. There is a difference between not knowing what is taught and not believing it. Delivering a fuller catechesis of doctrinal meaning and truth is no doubt important. But the more fundamental problem relative to this discussion is the lack of assent. The 69% did not complain of ignorance. They manifested incredulity.

    [John 6 edited] “This is a hard saying; who can listen to it?” After this many of his disciples drew back and no longer went about with him. How does one address a lack of belief? Individually, let alone programmatically? “It is the spirit that gives life, the flesh is of no avail…. there are some of you that do not believe. This is why I told you that no one can come to me unless it is granted him by the Father.” Prayer and fasting.

  30. iPadre says:

    Well said, Pater Z.

    There are committees, and meetings, and reports, ad nauseam. Every few years someone does a poll on believe in the Eucharist/ Real Presence, but nobody acts on it. If the Church would stop the endless, fruitless meetings, and implement your 8 points we would see change in a relatively short time.

  31. NBW says:

    AMEN, Father! I hope the Bishop responds to your call to order. The Bishop is incorrect saying we are all at fault. Many of us were small children when the Novus Ordo was foisted upon us. We didn’t have a say. We learned bad catechesis and had no clue on the beauty and reverence on the Latin Mass, or of the Traditions of the Catholic Church.

  32. BrionyB says:

    I had a similar encounter to kurtmasur with an elderly lady who reacted with shock and evident distaste to hearing that I attended the “old Mass” (“The one where the priest turns his back to the people??”). She remembered it from when she was young, and told me about how people back then felt they were being excluded from the Mass, and most could not follow the Latin or understand what was happening at the altar.

    I didn’t like to argue with a lady old enough to be my mother, but noted that she went on to bemoan how all her grown children (and her nieces and nephews, a whole generation) had fallen away from attending Mass, apparently finding it boring. Whereas she, having grown up in the “bad old days”, had stayed faithful. There’s a lesson there, perhaps, if people are willing to see it.

    Also, memory is an odd thing, and I wonder whether “we felt excluded, no one could understand” is an accurate memory of that time, or something that people were indoctrinated with later, to the point where they believe they must remember having experienced it like that.

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