Killing It Softly


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At the end of the first day’s proceedings and after extended debate, America’s bishops, in their semiannual meeting, voted on action item No. 7: the approval of the drafting of a formal statement on the meaning of the Eucharist in the life of the Church.

The man who pulled the trigger on the shot heard all the way to the Vatican was Los Angeles’ Abp. José Gomez, who sent a letter to the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on Doctrine asking members to put action item No. 7 on the agenda.

Bp. Kevin Rhodes: “There was a consensus among the members of the committee on doctrine that one cannot discuss the centrality of the Eucharist as the source and summit of the Christian life without addressing those actions that inflict damage to the honor due the sacrament.”

The first few bishops weighing in after Rhodes’ opening statement voiced their support for drafting such a document.

Bishop Joseph Strickland of Tyler, Texas made two important points, the first on the urgency of addressing Eucharistic consistency. 

Bp. Strickland: “I further urge that we work to develop a culture of Eucharistic revival immediately. We can’t wait for a document, as necessary as that may be.” 

The second was on the Eucharist’s the Eucharist’s tie to the sacrament of confession.

Bp. Strickland: “I urge that this document must make clear the connection between the sacrament of confession and receiving the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ.”

Chicago’s Cdl. Blase Cupich was the first to voice direct opposition, among other things, falsely characterizing the motivation behind the call for a statement of clarification. 

Cdl. Cupich: “Those who are insisting that we need to do it immediately really reveal what this is about; they want us to make statements to do something about politicians who hold positions that are contrary to our teaching.”

Rhodes stood his ground on behalf of the committee on doctrine.

Bp. Rhodes: “I don’t think we should ignore what is the actual discipline of the Church.”

Some of the bishops’ objections centered on the need for more dialog.

Bp. Mitchell Rozanski: “I would ask that at this meeting we allow time for each bishop for each bishop to speak on this important topic.”

Death-by-procedure seems to be one of the hierarchy’s preferred methods of avoiding action or clear teaching. This current controversy about the Eucharist is no different. 

— Campaign 32075 —

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