Protestant Attends Mass While Catholics Watch Online – Legacy of Lockdown …

Comment: 

There’s no mistaking the sincerity of the young Protestant Evangelical in the above video.  He very accurately summarises the differences between the Traditional Latin Mass (TLM) and the novus ordo (NO). 

One mistake which he makes – a very common mistake – is to think that “the Church” is not “one”.   He misunderstands the difference between the break-up of Christendom thanks to Martin Luther et al, who left the Church, with the Church itself upon which Christ bequeathed unity from the beginning: “That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.” (John 17:21)  Here Christ was bestowing unity on His Church – it was not some future goal. 

However, this is, as I say, a very common misconception.  Catholics make the same mistake, so we have to cut the young man some slack on this. 

Where there is absolutely NO slack to be cut, is for those Catholics who have not returned to attending Mass since the disgraceful Government ban was lifted, but are choosing instead to stay at home and watch Mass online.  I’d heard concerns expressed that this would happen and I could see the temptation but it didn’t occur to me for a second that any Catholic accustomed to attending the TLM would fall prey to such temptation.   I’ve now heard of at least three such cases – and I remain incredulous. 

Watching Mass online does not fulfil the Sunday Mass obligation.  The notices and announcements in churches at the time of the lockdown stated clearly that “there is a temporary dispensation from the Sunday obligation” – that is, the obligation was temporarily lifted [due to the Government ban].  That ban is no longer in place.  Neither is the dispensation from attending Mass in person.  We are once again obliged to attend Mass on Sundays and Holy Days of Obligation. 

So, what does this readiness to skip Mass for the comfort of watching it online tell us?  Well, with this willingness to miss Mass,  remember, is a willingness to live without the benefit of the Sacraments – no confession, no absolution, no Holy Communion.  What kind of Catholic life is that?  Answer:  it’s not.  

If you have any thoughts on this phenomenon please share them in the comments below, but do not name names.  Suffice that we try to work out what is  going on here – are these “Lockdown Legacy Catholics” staying away from church out of a [human but faithless] fear of “the virus”, or is the virus merely an excuse to re-structure life in such a way that God’s law does not interfere too much with their secular lives? Were they always Catholics of weak Faith, or what…  What’s the mentality – I’m genuinely puzzled.  Over to thee…   

And don’t forget to pray for the young Protestant man in the video – he appears to be very open to the grace of God, so it would be wonderful if he were to embrace the gift of the Faith.  Our Lady,  Help of Christians, pray for him!   

Scots Priest Challenges Bishops’ Response To Lockdown & Covid-19 Restrictions

On this, the Feast of St Michael, The Archangel, Defender of the Church & The Faithful, a priest of the Archdiocese of Glasgow – Father Stephen Dunn – speaks out against the closure of churches during lockdown, and the ongoing government restrictions being enforced in Catholic churches…

                        St Michael, Archangel,                           defend us in the day of battle…

An Open Letter…

Dear Members of the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church in Scotland,

“Then he said, Son of man, remember everything I say to you, listen closely, and go to your  exiled country men and talk to them.  Tell them, ‘The Lord says this whether they listen or not.’”   – Eziekiel, 2, 10-11. (Office of Readings, Monday, week 24)

“This is My Son the Beloved with whom I am well pleased. Listen to Him!’ – Mathew, Mark & Luke’s gospel.

This morning I was deeply saddened and angered when I saw people having to be denied entry to one of our Catholic churches in our Archdiocese of Glasgow because there were 50 people already in, and in obedience to Archbishop Philip Tartaglia, and the guidelines issued by the Archdiocese and the Bishops Conference of Scotland, this procedure had to be carried out.  I was subsequently told that a man, his wife and his child, having travelled 15 miles were turned away a couple of weeks ago, again because 50 were already in.

ENOUGH  of  this  suppression, intimidation!  

This is disgraceful, shocking.  “Could you not spend one hour with me?”  No you can’t,  because Philip Tartaglia and the Scottish Bishops conference says no – only 50 are allowed in;  we are going to be obedient to government guidelines and not allow any more than 50 people in.

Obedient to a Government which advocates  Adultery, Abortion, Sodomy, and Transgenderism?  Please tell me one of those that is pleasing to God? 

Why are the Bishops of Scotland being obedient to such law makers? Being obedient to laws/directives made by a fascist, Communist government which drove fear into people and makes them act in fear, a government which you are obeying!  Our Lady warned at Fatima, Russia will spread her errors throughout the world, causing wars and persecutions of the Church.  I am aware that is not unique to Scotland, but as a priest ordained 26 years ago for Glasgow in Scotland I am going to focus my criticism/argument  there.

One of these persecutions of the Church is happening now.   The government, in its freedom removal and fear laws, said churches were to be shut, God’s people were not to gather at His house and celebrate/receive  the Sacraments, the primary means of the Salvation of their souls.  Bishop,  are you of God or of the world?

This  intimidation is happening before your very eyes and you happily go along with it.  Is this good shepherding?

Never  in the history of  Mother Church, has she been subject to the laws of the State.   The Church is not and never has been subject to the State; this is clear in all Encyclicals regarding the relationship between Church and State issued by the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church. It is frightening that Bishops have compromised this clear teaching by their obedience to the State,  to the point where Sacraments, the primary means of  salvation, are being denied even to the dying. Shocking.

And  do not dare tell me that this is because of Covid 19, a disease which has a recovery rate of 99.79%! Yes a fatality rate of 1 in 500.  A disease, which 42 studies showed  by 39 – 3, that if treated promptly  and with the correct and proper dosage,  of  hydroxychloroquine, full  recovery increases by 33 – 50% ! 

See the facts  for yourselves! – this is not a study but a review of 42 studies!

For the purpose of the points/criticisms I make, I shall quote Truth given by Our Lord in the 4 gospels, showing how these present actions are against His will, contradict His will. I will also refer to other Scripture quotes and the lives of the saints.

From the start our Bishops closed our churches, the dwelling place of Jesus Christ in the most Blessed Sacrament.

Holy Water was removed from our fonts with which we bless ourselves on entering Jesus’ house, reminding ourselves of the covenant God made with us at Baptism – “Unless you are born of water and the Holy Spirit you shall not enter the Kingdom of Heaven” – John 3. 

Is God going to use Holy Water to pass disease to faithful followers of His son who remind themselves of His covenant?

The weekend before we entered national lockdown on Monday 23rd March the Bishops closed our churches, denying access. “Come to me all you who labour and are overburdened, and I will give you rest. Shoulder my yoke and learn from me,  for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls!”-  Matt 11.

When the sheep were frightened and scared of the Covid wolf, you shepherds denied them entry to be with their Master, He through whom they were created, their Saviour, in His Real Presence, Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity in the Most Holy Sacrament of the Altar. Sorry to say it, but I say directly, this is Shocking, Disgraceful.

Consider the prayer taught by the Angel to the little children at Fatima –

My God I believe, I adore, I hope and I love You. I beg pardon for those who do not believe, do not Adore, do not hope and do not love you. Most Holy Trinity, Father, Son and Holy Ghost, I adore you profoundly and I offer you the most precious Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus Christ, truly present in all the Tabernacles of the World in reparation for the outrages, sacrileges and indifference with which He Himself is offended. And through His Sacred Heart and the Immaculate Heart of Mary, I beg of you the conversion of poor sinners. Amen

You, Bishops of Scotland, you denied adoration, you are the ones who presently cause the outrages, sacrileges and indifference with which He Himself is offended, by denying the sheep time in the Real Presence of Jesus.  And at a time when they need it most.

You may reply:  But they might have had Covid,  brought it  and passed it resulting in an outbreak which would have resulted  through their coming to Church!

Is the Father going to allow His Son’s house to be the centre of disease and the passing of disease when the sheep come to His Son to find peace for their souls!  No. 

 When the Son of Man comes will He find any faith on earth?”  – Luke 18.  With such chief shepherds as we have, sorry Lord Jesus, it looks very unlikely.

What guidance and example do the saints give us, actions  that  will please the Father?

 St Augustine, Bishop and Doctor of our Holy Catholic Church,  says regarding shepherds i.e., Bishops and we priests who have advocated and followed the above practices; said on Monday, week 24, Office of Readings:

“So let us see how the Word of God, that flatters no one, addresses the shepherds who are feeding themselves not the sheep. ‘You take the milk, you clothe yourselves with the wool, you slaughter the fatlings; but you do not feed my sheep. The weak you have not strengthened, the sick you have not healed, the crippled you have not bound up, the strayed you have not brought back, the lost you have not sought; any strong one you have killed; and my sheep are scattered because there is no shepherd.” 

Not only did you close churches and stop people from spending time in the Real Presence, you stopped funerals denying the grieving time at the Lord’s  altar,  to pray for their loved ones:  “All I ask of you is that you remember me at the Altar of God” – St Monica.

In hospitals where people were dying,  they were denied access to priests, and so to the Sacraments, the primary means of the salvation of their souls,  the Forgiveness of Sin, Absolution for their Souls, which would have placed their souls in a state of Grace,  so helping them to remove the fear of death, helping them to find peace in Jesus’ mercy… 

As the Compendium Catechism of the Catholic Church, written by Pope Benedict XVI,  says:

How are sins remitted? (#200)

The first and chief sacrament for the forgiveness of sins is Baptism.  For those sins committed after Baptism, Christ instituted the Sacrament of Reconciliation or Penance through which a baptised person is reconciled with God and with the Church.

Why does the Church have the power to forgive sins? (#201)

The Church has the mission and the power to forgive sins because Christ Himself has conferred it upon her: “Receive the Holy Ghost, if you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained” – John 20

This mission of yours, this duty as shepherds, you neglected, by not making sure a priest was available to the dying in a time of great fear.

“But he could have caught Covid and might have died!”  I hear you reply.

Will the Father  allow disease to pass to a Priest/s, with whom Jesus has shared His priesthood, as he tries to worthily celebrate the Sacraments, the primary  means of Salvation, to sick and dying souls?   Have you any faith, trust in Jesus who has shared His priesthood with you? He whom St Paul tells us in his letter to the Philippians: “If our life in Christ means anything to you” (it should be the centre of our priesthood) “if love can persuade you at all, or the Holy Spirit that we have in common, or any tenderness and sympathy, then be united in your convictions and united in your love, with a common purpose and mind.” 

That common purpose and mind must be to follow the actions and teaching of Christ – was He scared to touch the lepers?  In the Gospel Jesus tells us of the son who said “yes”, he would go to his father’s vineyard and work but never went. On being installed Bishops, you promised to go and look after the Lord’s flock, but you have gone to the world instead, listened to its instructions and imposed them on the people, failing to implement Jesus’ teaching and ways.

Lives/example of the saints –

St Robert Bellarmine, Bishop and Doctor of the Church, feast 17th Sept,- During the time of great disease, at the time of the Reformation, the plague which ravaged Europe, he went about cleansing  and dressing the wounds of those infected by the plague;  what hand sanitizer was he using? Please tell me if you know – I better get some!

St Mother Teresa served the poor looking after them, dressing their wounds, helping them in their illness. What age did she live to?  87!  How many followed her, joined her order, she who trusted herself completely to the service of God and her neighbour. “By its fruits shall you know the tree.”  

If we are truly trying to be shepherds through the priesthood Christ has shared with us, these are the examples we should look to, copy and so trust in the power of Christ, as we try to do the will of the Father through the prompting of the Holy Ghost,  and without fear.

And finally to the Mass and how it has been changed by you Bishops.

Mass, the celebration of Christ’s offering on the Cross for the forgiveness of our sins, the institution of the Most Holy Eucharist, where we hear the Word of God to help us guide our actions to show our belief in Jesus Christ, our Saviour.

You shut our churches, denying people the Mass, the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus Christ: “I tell you most solemnly, if  you do not eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His Blood you will not have life within you.” – John 6:53.

You stopped the sheep from receiving the Lord in Holy Communion at the time when they needed Him most.  Instead of doing what Christ instructed you did what the Government instructed: 

Do not get close to each other. Priests, keep people apart, distancing them from each other, no singing, the liturgy must be celebrated in a very basic way. You must make the faithful wear masks,  despite the  fact that the WHO admitted to the BBC that its June 2020 mask policy update was due not to new evidence, but “political lobbying”. – D Cohen, BBC Medical Correspondent     Yet, the people are  hindered in their ability to speak, to enter God’s Presence, showing their facial individuality, how God created them.  Disgraceful.

On 3rd September, in the Tridentine calendar, we celebrated the feast of St Pius X, great pastor of the flock, who realised the full value of the liturgy as the prayer of the Church that is pleasing to the Father.  You hinder such celebration in your clear obedience to the world.  Why?

One cannot help but think that if the Lord Jesus came into such churches, He would tear down your tape, cast aside your sanitizer bottles and masks and say My Father’s house shall be called a house of prayer, but you have turned it into a worldly den  which follows practices of the world and the flesh! Be gone!  – Matt,  21.

Priests have to sanitize hands before giving out communion – as Philip Tartaglia said to me in a letter instructing me to follow guidelines, or else!  People should leave the church after receiving Holy Communion; they should not remain/return to benches. People are to be denied time in the Real Presence of their  Saviour, He who sacrificed Himself for the forgiveness of their sins, their Lord and Master.  This directly contravenes the example of the saints of the Church who in their lives show the importance of spending time in the presence of Jesus, having  just received Him.

“The Bishops of Scotland have agreed to suspend the choice of distributing and receiving Holy Communion on the tongue during the current pandemic for reasons of infection control. This is not an attempt to change liturgical laws. It is a reasonable temporary measure to adopt in this pandemic.” – letter  sent by email to me from Philip Tartaglia, 20th August 2020.

You Bishops have no right, no such power  to remove people’s choice to receive Holy Communion on the tongue!

It is for people to choose, not you to dictate things contrary to the teaching and rules of Mother Church.

Is Jesus, who is using the priest, with whom He has shared His priesthood, going to pass disease through their giving of Holy Communion? Again I quote, When the Son of Man comes will He find any faith on earth?” 

According to Scripture in the Office of Readings of the last few weeks, the Lord asks of His shepherds, on numerous occasions, through the Prophets, and very precisely here: “When the upright man renounces his integrity to do evil and I set a trap for him, he too shall die for his sin and the integrity he practised will no longer be remembered; but I will hold you responsible for his death.” –  Ezekiel  2:20

By publishing this letter, as a priest who is struggling in the present situation, I truly believe I am acting in obedience to God’s will, pleasing the Father and following the prompting of the Holy Ghost by giving clarity through Christ’s words, not mine. I believe that by my quotes from the Gospels, I have declared myself for Jesus in the presence of men as Jesus commands and, I believe, a true shepherd should.  (Matt, 10:32)

To you, the people of the Body of Christ in Scotland, the One Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church I ask your prayers, especially before the altar of God. I am a sinner with faults and failings, some say many faults and failings.  Many will assure you “that you definitely won’t see a halo over  Dunn’s head!”  However, even with such weakness and faults,  I believe that I have a duty  to make this letter available to you, in obedience to God, Father, Son and Holy Ghost, to address grave failings and incorrect directives from our Scottish Bishops.

To those whom I accuse, I say reflect, realise what Christ wishes of we Shepherds, and like the Prodigal Son, come back to the Father – remembering that Christ tells us, ”There will be more rejoicing in heaven over one repentant sinner than ninety-nine good men who are in no need of repentance.” – Luke, 15.

And as individuals,  let  none of us forget:  “Remember dear Christian:   You have but one soul to save, One God to love and to serve, one Eternity to expect, Death will come soon, Judgement will follow, And then, Heaven or Hell for all Eternity!”  (St Teresa of Avila).

Yes, we priests have many souls to save, and because more has been entrusted to us in priesthood, the greater our Judgement!

God Bless you all, and may we all be united in Christ Jesus to carry out His will.

Christ’s brother in priesthood,

Fr Stephen Dunn
Priest of 26 years of the Archdiocese of Glasgow.
stephen.dunn@rcag.org.uk 

Comment:

Father Stephen Dunn has honoured Catholic Truth by permitting us to publish the above letter.  We thank him for this, and I have already assured him that our readers and bloggers will be praying for him.  It takes courage for any priest to speak out in this way. 

Father Dunn regularly offers the Traditional Latin Mass.  He learned the Mass on publication of Summorum Pontificum, and at that time his main reason for wanting to learn the old Mass was because his father, Dr John Dunn RIP, a supporter of Catholic Truth from the beginning of our publication, had stipulated that his funeral Mass must be offered in the Traditional rite.  Father has come to fully appreciate the old rite, especially in its reverence, and he now offers it as often as possible.

Please express your support for Father in the comments below, and remember to pray for him because, as we know, while dissenting priests are protected and promoted in the Church at this time of apostasy, loyal priests who preach and defend the Faith are, sadly, more often than not punished at some level – we have all been following such cases, most notably, recently, the case of the American priest, Father James Altman.  

1st May: Feast of St Joseph the Worker – Welcome to the Lovely Month of Mary!

And to mark the Feast of St Joseph the Worker…

Comment: 

Share your favourite prayers, hymns etc for St Joseph’s Feast and to mark the Month of Mary.  Discuss any relevant issues, and post any jokes to mark the Feast/month in the usual spirit of good clean fun. 

Happy Feast of St Joseph, everyone!  Welcome to the Month of Mary! 

Pope Francis: I’m Not The Vicar of Christ or Successor of the Apostles!

Pope Francis drops ‘Vicar of Christ’ title in Vatican yearbook
The title ‘Vicar of Jesus Christ’ stems from Holy Scripture where Jesus grants St. Peter the power of the keys in the Church

April 2, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – In a surprise move, Pope Francis has dropped the historic and essential title “Vicar of Christ” from the 2020 Pontifical Yearbook, the Holy See’s annual directory, relegating the title to a footnote, calling it a “historical title.”

While previous yearbooks listed the title “Vicar of Christ” and the name of the reigning Pope under that title, this year’s annual directory simply lists the name “Jorge Mario Bergoglio,” the name of the man who became Pope Francis in 2013.

Cardinal Gerhard Müller, former prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, called the change “theological barbarism.”

As the German Rome Correspondent, Guido Horst, reported today for the newspaper Die Tagespost, this new entry has astonished well-informed Vatican experts. He writes that this year’s Annuario Pontificio has “banned” the Pope’s title ‘Vicar of Christ,’ making it a “historical title” that now belongs to a footnote.

The Annuario Pontificio is published every year. It updates statistical data concerning the Catholic Church. Usually, the presentation of the members of the Church’s hierarchy – College of Cardinals, bishops of the world and the Vatican’s dicasteries – starts with the Roman Pontiff, under the title “Vicar of Jesus Christ” (“Vicario di Gesù Cristo”). Then follow the additional titles of the Pope, all of which carry a “different or even no dogmatic significance” as does the first title, according to Horst. These are: Successor of the Prince of the Apostles, Supreme Pontiff of the Universal Church, Primate of Italy, Archbishop and Metropolitan of the Roman province, Sovereign of the State of the Vatican City, and Servant of the Servants of God.

The title “Vicar of Jesus Christ,” however, “stems from Holy Scripture, in which Jesus has granted St. Peter the power of the keys in the Church,”  Ar these additional titles, there usually then would come the name of the current pontiff, a short biography of him, as well as the dates of his election and inauguration.

However, the new entry about the Pope starts now – instead of the title “Vicar of Jesus Christ” – with the following title: “Jorge Mario Bergoglio.” This title is followed by a short biography and the dates of his election and inauguration. Finally – and this after a line indicating that the “footnotes” (in the words of Guido Horst) are now coming – there come, under the subtitle “historical titles”: Vicar of Jesus Christ, Successor of the Prince of the Apostles, Supreme Pontiff of the Universal Church, Primate of Italy, Archbishop and Metropolitan of the Roman province, Sovereign of the State of the Vatican City, and Servant of the Servants of God.

According to Horst, such a change of the presentation of the Roman Pontiff in the Annuario Pontificio “could only have happened upon request by Francis himself.”

In comments to the Tagespost, Cardinal Gerhard Müller points out that in the new presentations of the titles of the Pope, there are mixed together titles with dogmatic significance with those that do not bear such weight and who have a historical background (such as “Sovereign of the State of the Vatican City”).

The German cardinal goes on to speak about the “embarrassment” that the Annuario Pontificio has “demeaned essential elements of the Catholic teaching on the primacy [of the Pope] as mere historical appendix.” He insisted that it is “a theological barbarism to demean as historical burden the titles of the Pope ‘Successor of Peter, Representative of Christ, and visible head of the entire Church.’” He stated that the bishops, as successors of the Apostles, “together with the ‘Successor of Peter, Representative of Christ, and visible head of the entire Church, rule the house of the Living God.” (Lumen gentium 18)

“No Pope or Ecumenical Council,” the German prelate continued, “could, with reference to their highest authority over the Church, do away with the primacy, the episcopacy, or the Sacraments, or to re-interpret them in their essence.”

A commentator quoted by Guido Horst noted that the change in the yearbook denotes a “defective understanding of the office,” pointing out that important titles such as “Successor of the Prince of the Apostles” have also been downgraded as mere historical titles.

Professor Armin Schwibach, the Rome Correspondent for the Austrian website Kath.net, commented on Twitter: “It seems that they continue to dismantle everything.”

In 2006, Pope Benedict made a change to the usual presentation of the Roman Pontiff in the Annuario Pontificio when removing altogether the papal title “Patriarch of the West.” At the time, this decision was interpreted as an act of “evidently hoping to eliminate one possible obstacle to ecumenical progress with the Orthodox world.”   Source – Lifesitenews

Comment: 

As the final paragraph reveals, the shedding of the titles indicating papal authority, has its roots in ecumenism.  These top churchmen don’t seem to get it.  Nothing they can do – from destroying the Mass to make it acceptable to Protestants, to chucking out papal titles – will bring about Christian unity.  Christ bequeathed unity on His Church from the beginning, when He prayed: “That they all may be one, as Thou Father in me, and I in thee; that they also may be one in us; that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.” (John 17:21)

Any “dialogue”, therefore, with our separated brothers and sisters (or should that be “sisters and brothers” 😀 ) must take the tried and tested missionary form of inviting them to return to the Church founded by Christ.  If Pope Francis can’t see that, and instead continues on the senseless path of trying to destroy what is left of Catholicism, we can only reflect on those sobering words of St Paul:  “God will not be mocked.” (Galatians 6:7) 

Immaculate Heart of Mary, pray for us!

  

Trump: Truth & Lies in Politics – Whistleblower or Blowhard?

Comment:

The anti-Trump news commentators here in the UK are in their element reporting on (and hoping for)  Nancy Pelosi’s threatened impeachment of Donald Trump in the wake of the (entirely contrived) “Ukraine scandal”.  But why?  Why do they hate him so much when, by objective standards, he seems to have done quite a bit to improve life for the American people.  What’s behind it all? 

Take a look at the video clip below and ask yourself – is this what’s behind it all? 

Abortion: Time to End “Woman’s Right to Choose” … Let Public Choose – Now!

Comment: 

Daily, we hear the mantra that we need a second BREXIT referendum because we know so much more now that we did in 2016 when we voted to leave the EU. 

Well, if that is true about BREXIT, it is true, also, about abortion because there is no question that we know MUCH more about life in the womb today than we knew when the Abortion Act was passed in 1967.  

If Rachel Riley’s comments in the above interview about the behaviour of her baby in the womb don’t convince you, check out the several 3D videos available on YouTube where you can see for yourself the activity of unborn babies.  Very busy little people, no question about it! 

For the record, I saw Rachel Riley interviewed on this subject on Sky News where the female interviewer was clearly – it seemed to me – taken aback by her remarks, and none too pleased, realising, no doubt, the implications for the “pro-choice” lobby of what Rachel Riley was saying.  However, try as I have done, I can’t find it on YouTube.  Thus, the above clip from the BBC news will have to suffice for now. 

So, what, now?  Should there be a national debate –  and a referendum – on the concept of the woman’s right to choose, now that we have SO much more information about life in the womb than we did back in 1967, when there were actually campaigners claiming that the foetus (Latin word for “offspring”) isn’t human at all.   Of course, gradually that position was dropped in favour of the “pro-choice” – the woman’s right to choose to kill her baby if that is what she decided – argument , with that right set to be extended until the moment of birth or immediately after birth (infanticide) which is already legal in the USA.   The pro-abortion MPs in Parliament are pushing for that here, using the euphemism “decriminalisation” of abortion.  They are among the anti-BREXIT MPs demanding a second referendum “because we know so much more now than when we voted to leave the EU in 2016.” I’ve written to a number of them putting the same argument for a national abortion debate and, needless to say, not one of them has replied. 

Over to you – are we justified in calling for a referendum on abortion, now that we can actually see for ourselves that there is a truly human life in the womb, more active than certain folk outside the womb… (think lazy teenagers!)   

USA: Dramatic Loss of Belief in Real Presence – What About UK Catholics? 

Transubstantiation – the idea that during Mass, the bread and wine used for Communion become the body and blood of Jesus Christ – is central to the Catholic faith. Indeed, the Catholic Church teaches that “the Eucharist is ‘the source and summit of the Christian life.’”

But a new Pew Research Center survey finds that most self-described Catholics don’t believe this core teaching. In fact, nearly seven-in-ten Catholics (69%) say they personally believe that during Catholic Mass, the bread and wine used in Communion “are symbols of the body and blood of Jesus Christ.” Just one-third of U.S. Catholics (31%) say they believe that “during Catholic Mass, the bread and wine actually become the body and blood of Jesus.”

In addition to asking Catholics what they believe about the Eucharist, the new survey also included a question that tested whether Catholics know what the church teaches on the subject. Most Catholics who believe that the bread and wine are symbolic do not know that the church holds that transubstantiation occurs. Overall, 43% of Catholics believe that the bread and wine are symbolic and also that this reflects the position of the church. Still, one-in-five Catholics (22%) reject the idea of transubstantiation, even though they know about the church’s teaching.

The vast majority of those who believe that the bread and wine actually become the body and blood of Christ – 28% of all Catholics – do know that this is what the church teaches. A small share of Catholics (3%) profess to believe in the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist despite not knowing the church’s teaching on transubstantiation.

About six-in-ten (63%) of the most observant Catholics — those who attend Mass at least once a week — accept the church’s teaching about transubstantiation. Still, even among this most observant group of Catholics, roughly one-third (37%) don’t believe that the Communion bread and wine actually become the body and blood of Christ (including 23% who don’t know the church’s teaching and 14% who know the church’s teaching but don’t believe it). And among Catholics who do not attend Mass weekly, large majorities say they believe the bread and wine are symbolic and do not actually become the body and blood of Jesus   Click here to read more...

Comment: 

This latest research (which confirms previous similar studies in the USA) reveals lots of things, notably the failure to teach the Faith in Catholic schools and pulpits.  This failure is every bit as true here in the UK as it is – manifestly so – in the USA. 

Catholics who reject the dogma of Transubstantiation show ignorance of Sacred Scripture because it was Christ Himself who said:  “For My flesh is real food and my blood is real drink….”  (John 6:56)  He did not even mention “symbols” of His Body, Blood, Soul & Divinity.  He gave us Himself as real food and real drink to sustain us on our spiritual journey and, from the very beginning, this was the belief of all Christians.  

How can this state of affairs be put right, then?  You can’t force someone to believe something but maybe somebody in authority should tell unbelieving Catholics that they are not free to reject any dogma of the Faith and still call themselves Catholics.  That might be a start?  

Since none of us is above temptation, we ought to frequently reflect on the glorious miracle that is Transubstantiation.  Feel free, then, not only to offer your comments on the Pew Center Research findings – especially as it relates to the UK – but post, as well, meditations on the Real Presence, quotes from the saints, favourite hymns and prayers, all with the aim of deepening our awareness and understanding of this wonderful gift from God, which, all too often, as we approach for Holy Communion, we may tend to take for granted.  Do we actually treat the Blessed Sacrament as a mere symbol?  Worth thinking about…