In a time when 75% of US Catholics don’t believe in the Real Presence… NEWSFLASH!!!! … 75% of bishops vote to teach about the Eucharist!


Today the USCCB overwhelmingly voted yes to the drafting of a document about the Eucharist.  Only 66% was needed to move that document forward and the approval garnered 75% of the bishops’ votes.

Given that the Pew survey a couple years back revealed that some 75% of self-identifying Catholics don’t believe what the Church teaches about the Eucharist, the real story is not that 75% of the bishops thought a document on the Eucharist was needed, but that 25% thought it was not needed.   In fact, some of the dissenting bishops think the document will be harmful.   Talking about the problem could do damage!   That’s the line of thought.

I saw a tweet from one of the papalotrous New catholic Red Guard which said that when bishops in the Amazonian Pachamama Synod (“walking together”) talked about ordaining married me, the divisions deepened.    So… shhhhhh!   Don’t talk about our problems.

Hey!  Wait!   I just remembered.  Bishops don’t need the USCCB to tell them whether or not they can teach about the Eucharist.  The USCCB can’t tell them anything, as a matter of fact.   So, perhaps the US bishops should – all on their own! – start teaching about the Eucharist.    Outside the box?

Meanwhile, Biden was asked about the possibility that he could be denied Communion.  He said that that was a private matter.    NO, it really isn’t a private matter, not if he goes to a church for a public Mass, it isn’t.  He is a highly visible public figure, highly recognizable (swarms of Secret Service is a give away).   In an age when everyone has a camera phone, it is decidedly not “private’.  That is precisely the point of one dimension of the discussion about the Eucharist and “Eucharistic coherence”… is that the term they are using now?   If you are obviously  and obstinately and perennially in defiance of certain important teachings of the Church, and if you are a highly visible public figure, then can. 915 applies: those who administer the Eucharist are barred from giving that figure Communion.  Communion is not to be given to those people.  That doesn’t apply just to politicians.

Again meanwhile, the bishops approved (voting 182 in favor, 6 opposed, 2 abstaining) the ICEL Gray Book of the Order of Penance for use in the dioceses of the United States.  So there will be a new translation of the various penance services, etc.  I haven’t seen that Gray Book to check if the formula of absolution will be tinkered with.

Remember, Fathers.  You can always use Latin.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

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  1. Iacobus Mil says:

    If the folks in charge of the Church act like it’s not important, it should come as no surprise that the people in the pews likewise conclude that it’s not important. I believe that when the question is narrowed down to people who actually occupy those pews on a regular basis, a much higher proportion do believe in the Real Presence, but it’s still too few. Given that, those bishops who voted against a teaching document on the Eucharist should consider giving up their seat to someone who is actually willing to teach, sanctify, and govern.

  2. Water1965 says:

    I’m pondering why I am somehow relieved that there were only a quarter of our bishops who are more concerned with keeping Biden, Pelosi or (insert name of some other high profile person in their diocese here) comfortable than adhering to the teachings of millenia and guiding their flock to heaven.
    When you accept the seat in the big brown chair behind the carved desk uncomfortable conversations and tough decisions are, or at least should be, part of the job description.
    Allowing people to potentially eat and drink their own damnation because you prefer to not have those conversations where feelings get hurt are solid grounds for your removal for being unfit for purpose.

  3. Edward says:

    What does this say about the 25% of our bishops who are happy with the status quo? Would they welcome heretical catholics at their communion rails? How do they define scandal?

    Did you see the look on Biden’s face when he learned of the vote? “Come on man.” These bishops can’t touch me.

    That says it all.

  4. Alice says:

    My bishop issued a beautiful letter about the Holy Eucharist a couple years ago. It would have been nice if he had promoted It as essential during the pandemic.

  5. Bob says:

    Maybe, just maybe if the Church cut all ties with federal money the vote might not be so divisive. But hey, who am I to say…

  6. JonPatrick says:

    I believe that the only thing that will bring back belief in the real presence is the spread of the Traditional Latin Mass, or at least a return to Ad Orientem and communion on the tongue kneeling. Lex Orandi Lex Credendi.

  7. L. says:

    It’s no wonder that 75% of Catholics don’t believe in the Real Presence. It’s almost never mentioned, and with the hordes of Extraordinary Ministers at Mass, Communion given mostly in the hand with no-so-subtle suggestions from the Chancery that no one kneel to receive because it detracts from the Uniformity of Posture that obviously is of paramount importance (perhaps even more important than having all parts of the parish buildings be compliant with the God’s Holy Americans With Disabilities Act), and with our Ordinary advising recently that he saw no reason to change the edict that everyone remain standing after the Agnus Dei, sorry, Lamb of God prayer. I mean, why would any reverent Catholic wish to kneel? Doing so might make people think they’re in the Real Presence of the Almightly.

  8. Henry Edwards says:

    Why expect a new catechetical document to teach what is negated by communion in the hand? The Protestant reformers explicitly intended to eradicate belief in the Real Presence by ending communion on the tongue. The post-Vatican II reformers followed in their footsteps. With the same outcome.

    So why not clearcut action to end communion in the hand? Instead of wheel-spinning referral to a committee to draft a document for further debate.

  9. TKS says:

    And dem Rep Ted Lieu daring the Church to deny him Communion (Fox News). It’s getting out in secular news where more people will see it.

  10. adriennep says:

    There must be some faithful Catholics with cell phones in parish where Biden attends.

  11. Kathleen10 says:

    The Marxists are going nuts over this. Some non-entity was daring them to not give him Holy Communion. The awful Rosa Delauro is whining. The liberals are getting all geared up, how DARE you deny them what they want.
    If I had to predict, I predict a retraction and it allll goes away.

  12. Ipsitilla says:

    Nearly every Democratic politician Congress has a perfect or nearly perfect rating from pro-abortion groups. Of the 158 self-identified Catholics in Congress, most are Democrats. The USCCB might want to take a look at how the Democratic Party leadership has managed to implement “party platform coherence” and inform its members about what is required to be a Democrat in good standing. It’s clear that Congressional Democrats are capable of toeing the line when the leaders they actually fear and/or respect draw such a line regarding their respective sacraments.

  13. jhogan says:

    “Full of sound and fury, signifying nothing” is my reaction to this vote. You need a vote on whether to teach the Truth? You need a vote on whether to counsel people against receiving the Eucharist unworthily?
    Where have the bishops been for the last 50 years? With 75% of Catholics not believing, the bishops now decide that, after all these decades, it is now maybe time to teach the Truth about the Eucharist? I suppose better late than never.
    Having “ranted” a bit, I do pray for the orthodoxy of the Pope and the bishops. I hope that they have the courage of the apostles to proclaim the Truth even when it is “out of season.”

  14. ChesterFrank says:

    regarding the denial of Eucharist to high profile Catholic politicians that promote abortion, the “Catholic members of Congress” published their reply:

  15. mcferran says:

    On November 14, 2006, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops issued a document, “Happy Are Those Who Are Called to His Supper: On Preparing to Receive Christ Worthily in the Eucharist”.

    One paragraph reads, “If a Catholic in his or her personal or professional life were knowingly and obstinately to reject the defined doctrines of the Church, or knowingly and obstinately to repudiate her definitive teaching on moral issues, however, he or she would seriously diminish his or her communion with the Church. Reception of Holy Communion in such a situation would not accord with the nature of the Eucharistic celebration, so that he or she should refrain.”

    Perhaps the American bishops could save time and money by just re-issuing the 2006 document.

  16. Semper Gumby says:

    Brooke Stanton at National Review:

    “The Catholic Church must align itself with empirical facts. The final document that emerges from the USCCB meeting must spell out to ordinary Catholics, and to the world at large, that arguments in favor of abortion clash not only with Church teaching but also with objective scientific reality.”

    Good news from Merrye Olde Englande:

  17. Semper Gumby says:

    Iacobus Mil: “If the folks in charge of the Church act like it’s not important, it should come as no surprise that the people in the pews likewise conclude that it’s not important.”

    Good point. With Vatican timidity in preaching the Gospel and its outright collaboration with secular forces, no surprise that many of the Faithful are influenced by an uncertain trumpet, and that Death Party politicians have sensed a power vacuum and are exploiting the opportunity.

  18. Semper Gumby says:

    ChesterFrank: That communique from Death Party commissars exemplifies the 21st century variant of the Investiture Controversy. Now at stake is the “source and summit of the Christian life.”

    A few quotes from Precious People’s Document Gloriously Granted to Us by our Ascended Masters, Mistresses, Mistrx, Mustard (er, spell check got me there), and Mzrx.

    “As Catholic Democrats in Congress, we are proud to be part of the living Catholic tradition – a tradition that unfailingly promotes the common good…”

    *chuckle* The “common good.”

    “As legislators in the U.S. House of Representatives, we work every day to advance respect for life and the dignity of every human being.”

    Except for the smallest and newest human beings. Been down this road before, Phoenicians, Canaanites, etc.

    “…the secular nature of American democracy…”

    These United States are a Republic, and this Republic was made for a religious people (John Adams and the Founders). Furthermore, the Death Party is not so much secular as it is a political religion that will sieze your children, your minds and your guns to create People’s Glorious Utopia (where you will stand in line six hours for a bar of soap and a portrait of Crazy Nancy will glare at you from every wall in your apartment).

    “Further, the Holy Father extolls that clergy must act as facilitators of grace, not arbiters, because “the Church is not a tollhouse; it is the house of the Father, where there is a place for everyone, with all their problems.””

    God did not create the world to be merely a combination day-care center and lunatic asylum. It is quite clear that effort is required, the virtues are a good start.

    “We believe the separation of church and state allows for our faith to inform our public duties and best serve our constituents.”

    The “separation of church and state” is a pernicious lie. But, repeating that anti-Christian Lie enables the Death Party “faith” to build High Places to Karl Marx and Margaret Sanger at taxpayer expense. And it allows the craven SecDef, baggy-pajama generals and feather-merchant admirals (along with a few dim-witted majors and sergeants-major) to inject toxic politics into the military and thereby give aid and comfort to foreign dictators.

    “…the weaponization of the Eucharist to Democratic lawmakers for their support of a woman’s safe and legal access to abortion is contradictory.”

    No, the Death Party is not just making stuff up here. This is in fact a key component of the anti-Gospel- these people are irrational and really believe that stuff because everything is all about Wonderful Them.

  19. Semper Gumby says:

    The USCCB and Dear Leader Biden now have something else to discuss after yesterday’s event.

    A statement last year from the USCCB:

    “A joint declaration issued today by U.S. and European Catholic bishops calls for all nations to work together to develop a “credible, verifiable and enforceable strategy for the total elimination of nuclear weapons.””

    Meanwhile, in the Kremlin on the Potomac yesterday Komissar Biden said, in the context of attacking the 2nd Amendment (and the 1st):

    “If you think you need to have weapons to take on the government, you need F-15s and maybe some nuclear weapons.”

    The USCCB should caution GruppenFuhrer Biden, his invitation is a bit much. Biden apparently also forgot about the vulnerabilities of computers, power lines, supply lines, fuel depots and high-tech equipment- not to mention forgetting, or grossly miscalculating, the true loyalties of the majority of U.S. civilians and military personnel.

    That said, the trusty Babylon Bee is on the job. Here’s a late breaking news item about an explosive sale at Bass Pro Shops: a BOGO sale on nukes:

    Well, another interesting day in the vineyards of the Lord is winding down. As the sun sinks below the horizon Grandpa on the front porch tucks his harmonica back into his overalls and turns off the lights, from the lake comes the haunting yet relaxing call of loons. The house is quiet after prayers, Mary Ellen says, “Good night John Boy” and the family settles in for the night. You, too, can have a restful night’s sleep blessed with dreams of non-exploding sheep by visiting MyPillow dot com with Promo code Poso.

    “I lie down and sleep; I wake again, for the Lord sustains me.”

  20. Semper Gumby says:

    If I could, more about the Investiture Controversy (or Conflict, see 24 June comment above), an 11th-12th century dispute about the authority to appoint (or “invest”- which obviously concerns allegiance) bishops and abbots. The main opponents were Pope Gregory VII and King Henry IV of Germany, Italy and Burgundy. First, some background.

    Times were tough in Europe as the tenth century began. Charlemagne’s Empire had fragmented, Muslims occupied Spain and were raiding Italy, the Vikings were roaming about with near impunity, feudal strife was common. The pontificate of Nicholas I (858-867) has been said to be a “high-water mark” of the effort to hold things together, before the descent into the even more problematic tenth century.

    The chaotic tenth century was further marred by increased warfare (in addition to the Vikings the Magyars roared out of Central Asia and rampaged through Europe until the Battle of Lechfeld in 955). Meanwhile, things weren’t going well in the Church: some parish priests were marrying and passing their parishes to their sons; some church property was treated as private property; some bishops and abbots were acting as secular feudal lords (though of necessity in certain localities because of anarchy); and there was some practice of simony.

    This corruption led to the tenth century Clunaic Reform. In 910 William Duke of Aquitaine (also known as “The Pious”), concerned for the future of Christianity and Europe, founded a Benedictine monastery at Cluny in France. He appointed Berno of Baume (later St. Berno of Cluny) as the first abbot. William then bypassed all local bishops and feudal lords and subjected the new monastery directly to the Pope. Abbot Berno and a string of his successors were both pious and skilled at administration. Cluny expanded, and as it did it founded new monasteries elsewhere, which were promptly annexed by Cluny to form a monastic “congregation.” Over time, the ideals of Cluny positively influenced clergy and laity, and slowly but surely there was improvement.

    One more item of background. The Cluny Reform also produced something else: the “Peace of God” movement. This effort by the Church to set down laws for the conduct of feudal warfare was reasonably effective (and expanded with the eleventh century “Truce of God”), but it enmeshed the Church even further into tenth century local feudal politics.

    Now, all that said, here is an interesting observation on the eleventh century Investiture Controversy from Joseph Strayer’s “On the Medieval Origins of the Modern State”:

    “The new leadership which grew up in the church in the eleventh century at first sought only reform of the clergy. But it gradually became apparent that to reform the clergy the Church needed to be more independent of lay authority, and that to gain and preserve its independence the Church had to be centralized under the headship of the Pope. A reformed and strongly centralized Church was bound to have wide influence in secular affairs.” [Perspective there on today’s Vatican enthusiasm for “Synodality,” Pachamama and socialism.]

    This program [the Church insisting on its right to invest bishops and abbots], most forcefully expressed by Pope Gregory VII (1073-1085), destroyed essential parts of the earlier political structure of Europe. Lay rulers resisted the claims of the Church and the resulting struggle (the Investiture Controversy) lasted for almost half a century [until 1122]. During the quarrel the old symbiosis of religious and secular authorities was seriously weakened. Kings lost their semi-ecclesiastical character and some of their control over Church appointments. The Church gained leadership, if not complete control, of European society. The Church had separated itself sharply from secular political authorities; it was independent at the highest level [helpful here would have been Strayer mentioning the improved security conditions in Europe that secular authorities had achieved against the Vikings, Magyars and to an extent Islam- this was undoubtedly a key factor in Church independence], and was thus able to assert a considerable amount of autonomy at lower levels.

    “Like all victories, the victory of the Church in the Investiture Conflict had unforeseen consequences. By asserting its unique character, by separating itself so clearly from lay governments, the Church unwittingly sharpened concepts about the nature of secular authority. Definitions and arguments might vary, but the most ardent Gregorian had to admit that the Church could not perform all political functions, that lay rulers were necessary and had a sphere in which they should operate.”

    “In short, the Gregorian concept of the Church almost demanded the invention of the concept of the State.”

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