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Lack of belief in Real Presence has roots in culture

Letter to the Editor


02/21/2020 | Comments

Although, as Bishop Michael Sheridan correctly stated, poor catechesis is certainly to blame for the lack of Catholic understanding of the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist, there is another cause for this tragic phenomenon (“Demonstrating our reverence for Christ in the Eucharist,” The Bishop’s Voice, Jan. 17).

As the Bishop wrote, of the “50 percent who claimed to know the teaching of the Church, a third of them did not believe it.”  Since sunlight is the best disinfectant, I suggest readers purchase Anne Roche Muggeridge’s trenchant book, “The Desolate City:  Revolution in the Catholic Church.” 

As Kenneth Baker, S.J., Editor, “Homiletic and Pastoral Review,” wrote, “Muggeridge pulls no punches. The book is written with . . . Passion, always under the control of reason . . . [She] is a thoroughly convinced Roman Catholic and a tenacious fighter for what she loves.  Anne Roche Muggeridge is a Catholic ‘Contra’ . . . opposing the Modernist revolutionaries who have taken over most of the Catholic Church.”

This well-researched book will bring into stark relief the past several decades, during which our beloved Church was undermined from within, with able assistance from a culture nascently wedded to moral relativism.

I recall as a young boy studying the Latin Mass in the mid-1960s, in preparation for becoming an altar boy, which was held in high esteem among my Catholic friends. In retrospect I recognize a kind of Chestertonian spiritual joy as all the parts of the Mass fell into a marvelous —yes, miraculous — harmony.  At the core of that was the deeply solemn ritual of knowing that I was receiving the body of Christ at Communion.

My parents, of devout Catholic German and Italian ancestry, inculcated in their eight children a profound reverence for the Eucharist. Sadly, and dovetailing with my reference to Muggeridge’s book, only two of them — myself and my sister who is a Benedictine nun — are still practicing Catholics.

Although one can’t overestimate the importance of catechesis, I lay a profound measure of the blame on our culture. Combined with a hyperactive Supreme Court which, without constitutional foundation, proscribed God from our public schools, it has led to the secular humanists’ dream of heaven on earth — sans God.

What they failed to understand is that as you remove God from our cultural and civic landscape, you also sweep away centuries of embedded moral teachings.  The result is the pandemic amoralism we’re witnessing, an unchecked cultural license to breach every rule that our forebears rightly understood were the bonds that held our Republic together — and were the best guarantor of our personal salvation.

Philip Mella

Woodland Park


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