Wednesday, September 16, 2009

ELCA Lutherans Join Episcopalians in Perfidy: Fr. Richard Mc Brien Denounces Eucharistic Adoration

The largest Lutheran denomination, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) through its “Churchwide Assembly,” last month, adopted multiple resolutions which; affirmed the moral goodness of stable same-sex relationships, validated cohabitation as an acceptable Christian lifestyle and removed any impediments for homosexual persons in same-sex relationships in order that they might freely exercise the pastoral ministry within the ELCA. As many readers are aware the Protestant Episcopal Church has already appointed an openly homosexual (one who lives with another man as a homosexual couple) male Bishop.

These Protestant heretical sects continue to devolve further away from the one True Faith of Jesus Christ at an ever increasing rate of speed. Unfortunately, the conciliar church has many adherents who are actively pushing in the same direction not a small number of whom advocate normalizing homosexual relationships/unions, non-marital heterosexual activity/unions and in so-doing demonstrate their utter contempt for Traditional Catholic moral precepts.

It is clear that Christianity is in deep trouble particularly Protestant "Christianity" but not exclusively so. The conciliar church in many ways has apostatized from the true faith. For a recent example of the kinds of heresies which are openly tolerated by the conciliar Vatican, Fr. Richard Mc Brien now claims that Eucharistic Devotion is anachronistic:

"...Notwithstanding Pope Benedict XVI's personal endorsement of eucharistic adoration and the sporadic restoration of the practice in the archdiocese of Boston and elsewhere, it is difficult to speak favorably about the devotion today.

Now that most Catholics are literate and even well-educated, the Mass is in the language of the people (i.e, the vernacular), and its rituals are relatively easy to understand and follow, there is little or no need for extraneous eucharistic devotions. The Mass itself provides all that a Catholic needs sacramentally and spiritually.

Eucharistic adoration, perpetual or not, is a doctrinal, theological, and spiritual step backward, not forward."

----National Catholic Reporter, "Perpetual eucharistic adoration" by Richard McBrien, Sep. 08, 2009. available HERE...

Better if he had said that Eucharistic Adoration is idolatrous so his true intentions might be readily appreciated--it would have been intellectually more honest.

In typical conciliar fashion, Fr. Mc Brien makes either contradictory or ambiguous statements. For example,

"Now that most Catholics are literate and even well-educated, the Mass is in the language of the people (i.e, the vernacular), and its rituals are relatively easy to understand and follow, there is little or no need for extraneous eucharistic devotions."

Without explaining exactly what he means by "extraneous" Eucharistic devotions he implies that non-extraneous Eucharistic devotions may be acceptable, whatever they might be. Moreover he strongly suggests that the reason for the popularity of Eucharistic devotion in the past was primarily due to the illiteracy of the people including their lack of education and inability to understand the Latin language of the Mass. This is absolutely preposterous.

Prior to Vatican II, virtually all Catholics believed in the "real presence of Christ" in the Eucharist--the Traditional Catholic Dogma, now when people are supposedly so well-educated and literate, well less than 50% do. If the difference is a matter of education, literacy and or the vernacular "mass", please let us return to the Latin Mass before no one is left in the conciliar church who believes in the "real presence." The main reason for Eucharistic devotion of course is because Christ is actually present there in a way which is not the case anywhere else in this world. Faithful Catholics who wish to adore Him can do so in no more efficacious way. For Fr. Mc Brien to allege that Eucharistic devotion was a pious anachronism practiced by the uneducated and illiterate who could not understand the Latin Mass is not only false but extremely insulting to the generations of faithful Catholics and Saints who embraced the devotion.

Perhaps the most egregious statement made by Fr. Mc Brien is his assertion that Eucharistic devotion "perpetual or not is a doctrinal, theological, and spiritual step backward, not forward." This demonstrates as clearly as anything else his utter disgust for the idea that Christ is substantially present; body, blood, soul and divinity in the Eucharist. Anyone who believed what the Church has always taught on this crucial doctrine could not possibly make such a statement. In the days of Pope Pius V and Pope Pius X when Pontiff's protected the flock from ravenous wolves, Fr. Mc Brien would have been accused of heresy forthwith for writing what he did. Not now.

Moreover, nowhere in his article which also discusses the nature of Eucharistic consecration does Fr. Mc Brien utilize the actual wording which the Roman Catholic Church taught for centuries--that the bread and wine become the body, blood, soul and divinity of Jesus Christ in substance, while the accidents of bread and wine remain in form. The term transubstantiation is the word which describes the fact that the substance of bread and the substance of wine are transformed into the substance of our Lord Jesus Christ's body and blood. This is the classical Thomistic formulation which the Church has taught for almost 1000 years, was codified at the Council of Trent and held sway until Vatican II. In it's wake, St. Thomas Aquinas who had been the most celebrated Doctor of the Church was relegated to the dustbin of Church History by the conciliar church. It is therefore not surprising that Fr. Mc Brien who is an enthusiastic supporter of all things heterodox would fail to use the Traditional Catholic terminology.

It is actually a Protestant belief which states that in consecrating the bread and wine there is a "sacramental" change or "union" only; rather than a "substantial" change hence the term--consubstantiation by which many Lutheran's mean the presence of the bread, the wine and sacramentally, but not substantially the body and blood of Christ all together The Lutheran doctrine specifically rejects a physical presence of Christ's body and blood in order presumably to avoid the charge of cannibalism. For that reason in fact some Lutheran's object to the term consubstantiation which according to one definition technically refers to a physical presence of Christ's body and blood along with the bread and wine.

In any case, all Lutherans appear to accept the terms "sacramental union" which they see as a theological rather than philosophical explanation. This helps explain why Protestants believe it is sacrilegious to adore the consecrated host as in perpetual Eucharistic Adoration. In the above referenced article Fr. Mc Brien utilizing the Protestant formulation states that in the Catholic Eucharistic consecration a "sacramental change" occurs and not a physical change. He is correct that no physical change occurs but a substantial change occurs nonetheless according to Traditional Catholic teaching, a term which he judiciously avoided.

These are the kinds of statements ("Eucharistic adoration, perpetual or not is a doctrinal, theological, and spiritual step backward, not forward") which are currently left unchallenged by the conciliar Vatican. They are not uncommon. To the contrary, they occur frequently without a proper response from Rome. Fr. Mc Brien is a full professor of Theology at a "Catholic" University and despite a plethora of heretical pronouncements over the years continues to teach Theology there. He has never been formally disciplined by the Church.

--Dr. J. P. Hubert

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