Eucharistic Coherence

The question of eucharistic coherence is not primarily about church law or appropriate discipline, but rather it is a question of love, a question of charity toward our neighbor.

A priest elevates the host during a Mass at St. Patrick's Cathedral in New York City in 2020. (CNS photo/Gregory A. Shemitz)

On April 14, 2021 America Magazine, as part of its ongoing “Conversations” in America Media, published an article I wrote entitled: “For the church to live in eucharistic coherence, we must be willing to challenge Catholics persisting in grave sin”. In that article I made a number of points.

First, I noted that the question of eucharistic coherence is not primarily about church law or appropriate discipline, but rather it is a question of love, a question of charity toward our neighbor. I referenced St. Paul who made it clear that there is danger to one’s soul if he or she receives the body and blood of our Lord in an unworthy manner. What St. Paul teaches is true for every Catholic, but it is particularly relevant regarding the false witness that many public officials sometimes maintain relative to the most fundamental truths of the human person. I accentuated that when the church minimizes the danger of an unworthy reception of the Eucharist, she fails to love properly those who continue to jeopardize their souls. It is especially negligent for me, as a bishop, to remain quiet when people I am called to love may be endangering their eternal souls.

Second, I discussed the question of personal conscience. Today, we often hear of the primacy of conscience in a person’s decision around the Eucharist. Yet, conscience does not excuse any decision simply because a person makes a personal judgment about good and evil. There is a prior obligation that the conscience be properly formed, so that good and evil can be properly discerned. A well-formed conscience submits the person’s heart, will and mind to the will of our loving Father. We must understand, too, that conscience can be erroneous if not formed, and it should never go against God’s law. God, not humanity—and most especially not the government—determines good and evil. As a bishop, I have the obligation to assist the faithful in my care to form properly their consciences, consciences that are in accord with the Gospel and the Church’s magisterial teaching. I take this responsibility very seriously, and this why I felt compelled to address the error that any baptized Catholic can receive Communion if he or she simply desires to do so. Thus, this formation of conscience is especially important within the present cultural context where many, even among Catholic politicians, support and promote abortion, euthanasia, same-sex marriage, and various forms of gender ideology.

Third, I concluded in my article by stating that there needs to be a Eucharistic coherence, that is, that those who receive the risen body and blood of Jesus in Communion must be in full communion with the Church and her teaching. The present ecclesial situation is an opportunity for me and all bishops to recommit ourselves to an unapologetic preaching of Jesus Christ. What should fill our churches is not a soft-pedaling of the Gospel but deep, authentic belief in Jesus rooted in our personal love for him as our Lord and Savior. The Church offers, in love, true life – freedom from sin and condemnation, and a holy life lived in Christ Jesus. I noted that the saints must be our model. They show us how faith in Jesus leads to a radical surrender to the will of the Father regardless of political or social consequences, no matter the cost, as even witnessed in the martyrs of today.

The responses I have received to my article has been overwhelmingly positive. However, one bishop expressed a concern. He thought that my article gave the impression that the grace available in the sacraments, particularly in the Eucharist, is dependent on the worthiness of the minister or the worthiness of the recipient. I quote his letter: “I respectfully note that to claim that we can do anything to diminish the Eucharist, or its effects, is contrary to the church’s longstanding teaching. Catholic sacramental theology is based on the premise that the sacraments are the work of Christ, which is the meaning of the Church’s affirmation at Trent (DS 1608) that the sacraments act ex opere operato, or, as St. Thomas wrote in the Summa, III, 68,8: ‘The sacrament is not wrought by the righteousness of either the celebrant or the recipient, but by the power of God.’ Owing to the nature of God, Christ and his works can never be diminished by any act on our part.”

In a response to the bishop I assured him that I made no such claim. Rather, I held, as does the Church, that grace is available ex opere operato, that is, the valid enactment of the sacraments makes available the grace of the sacraments. Thus, neither the minister of the sacrament or the person partaking of the sacrament can dimmish the grace of the sacrament. However, how it is received (ex opere operantis), that is, the benefit of receiving the sacrament, is dependent upon the condition of the subject’s spiritual disposition. Nonetheless, because of the confusion I may have caused, I promised the bishop that I would make a public clarification. The following, then, is my amplification of the point made by me.

The bishop’s quote, makes reference to St. Thomas Aquinas’s Summa Theologica, Part III, Article 68, question 8, where Aquinas states that Baptism “is not perfected by the righteousness of the minister or the recipient of Baptism.” I responded that I totally agreed with Thomas and intended nothing contrary to that true statement. However, I noted that Aquinas’ answer is complex. He emphasizes both in the body of the article and in his replies, that “right faith” is necessary for Baptism, not in the enactment of the sacrament, which is enacted ex opere operato, but in order for the person baptized to reap properly the salvific benefits of the sacrament. “Just as the sacrament of Baptism is not to be conferred on a man who is unwilling to give up his other sins, so neither should it be given to one who is unwilling to renounce his unbelief. Yet each receives the sacrament if it be conferred on him, though not unto salvation.” Baptism, while administered validly, is not “unto salvation” if “right faith” is absent. In other words, if someone does not profess the faith as found in the creed, that person, while validly baptized, does not obtain baptism’s salvific benefits.

This teaching is equally true concerning the Eucharist. Thomas writes that the attaining of glory is the benefit of the sacrament for one participates in Jesus’ salvific death and resurrection and partakes of his body and blood. However, “Just as Christ’s Passion has not its effect in them who are not disposed towards it as they should be, so also they do not come to glory through this sacrament who receive it unworthily. Hence Augustine observes: ‘The sacrament is one thing, the power of the sacrament another. Many receive it from the altar…and receiving die…’ … It is no wonder, then, if those who do not keep innocence, do not secure the effect of this sacrament” (S.T. III, 79, 2, ad 2 emphasis added.). Hence, both Thomas and Augustine make clear the unworthy reception of the Eucharist diminishes the effect of the sacrament.

Moreover, Vatican II’s Constitution on the Divine Liturgy encourages pastors to ensure that the faithful actively participate in liturgy:

But in order that the liturgy may be able to produce its full effects it is necessary that the faithful come to it with proper dispositions, that their minds be attuned to their voices, and they cooperate with heavenly grace lest they receive it in vain.  Pastors of souls must, therefore, realize that when the liturgy is celebrated, something more is required than laws governing valid and lawful celebration.  It is their duty also to ensure that the faithful take part fully aware of what they are doing, actively engaged in the rite and enriched by it. (LG, 11).

The Catechism of the Catholic Church is of the same mind. “From the moment that a sacrament is celebrated, the power of Christ and his Spirit acts in and through it, independently of the personal holiness of the minister. Nevertheless, the fruits of the sacrament also depend on the disposition of the one who receives them” (CCC, 1128).

As noted above, such an understanding is in keeping with Saint Paul himself: “Whoever, therefore, eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of profaning the body and blood of the Lord. Let a man examine himself, and so eat of the bread and drink of the cup. For anyone who eats and drinks without discerning the body eats and drinks judgment upon himself” (1 Cor 11:27-30, see also Council of Trent, 13th Session, chapter 7 and Canon 11, and the Catechism of the Catholic Church 1385 and 1457).

Lastly, in the light of Paul’s teaching, Thomas Aquinas offers a very telling argument concerning the receiving of Communion in the state of mortal sin. He writes:

In this sacrament, as in the others, that which is a sacrament is a sign of the reality of the sacrament. Now there is a twofold reality of this sacrament, as stated above (III:73:6): one which is signified and contained, namely, Christ Himself; while the other is signified but not contained, namely, Christ’s mystical body, which is the fellowship of the saints. Therefore, whoever receives this sacrament, expresses thereby that he is made one with Christ, and incorporated in His members; and this is done by living faith, which no one has who is in mortal sin. And, therefore, it is manifest that whoever receives this sacrament while in mortal sin, is guilty of lying to this sacrament, and consequently of sacrilege, because he profanes the sacrament: and, therefore. he sins mortally. (S.T., Part III, question 80, article 4)

When one partakes of the Eucharist, one is stating by one’s very action that one is in communion with Christ and his Church. However, if one is in mortal sin when receiving Communion, one is telling a lie, for, in being in a state of mortal sin, one is neither in communion with Christ nor his Church.

I hope, that in the above, I have clarified the intent and content of my original article. My deepest prayer is, both in my original article and now in this clarification, that this can be a moment when our Catholic faith can be proclaimed clearly and courageously, and people will come to encounter Jesus Christ most especially in the sacraments of the Church, and in the gift of the Eucharist. As I said at the onset, I take seriously my obligation, lest I be condemned, to proclaim clearly, fully and coherently what the Church believes and teaches, for only then am I feeding the faithful under my care the fullness of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.


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About Archbishop Samuel J. Aquila 1 Article
Most Rev. Samuel J. Aquila is the eighth bishop for the Archdiocese of Denver.

20 Comments

  1. Thank you, Bishop Aquila.

    Now take heed you other bishops and instruct the faithful under your care likewise lest they perish and God holds you partially responsible.

  2. Archbishop Aquila, thank you for this cogent and clear direction at a time when our beloved church is often seen as any other community organization that is open to innumerable nuances and debate. What we proclaim in the creed, we must live in our lives.

  3. Excellent clarification on the Eucharist and it’s fruits in the individual. God bless Bishop Aquila! That he was published in America magazine is quite amazing.

  4. Yet, what we hear from Archbishop Aquila is more about how we must continue to financially support our archdiocese and our parishes than about anything faith-related. I hear more often from “+Earl, Bishop of Lansing, Michigan” (and that’s the way he signs his Friday updates) than I do from Archbishop Aquila or my (now former) pastor. Where is the charity? It’s not solely (or souly) in the money we are able go provide. I agree that the Eucharist must be worthily received. One hopes that the clergy would address this subject at least as often as they do “financial support” of parishes and dioceses. The charge that the Church is “all about money” is looking to be valid.

    • ???
      I don’t see anything at all in either this letter or the letter from 14 April about money. Bishop Aquila refers to charity in it’s truest sense, that of love for our fellow adopted children of God.

  5. Yet, what we hear from Archbishop Aquila is more about how we must continue to financially support our archdiocese and our parishes than about anything faith-related. I hear more often from “+Earl, Bishop of Lansing, Michigan” (and that’s the way he signs his Friday updates) than I do from Archbishop Aquila or my (now former) pastor. Where is the charity? It’s not solely (or souly) in the money we are able to provide. I agree that the Eucharist must be worthily received. One hopes that the clergy would address this subject at least as often as they do “financial support” of parishes and dioceses. The charge that the Church is “all about money” is looking to be valid.

  6. Finally, a Bishop speaks the truth about receiving Communion. Only one part I disagree with and that would be the quote from Vatican ll on active participation. The Mass is a divine act and not a human act. Pope Benedict XVl said, “The priest does not need the Mass, the people do not need the Mass, God the Father needs the Mass”. The Mass is the reenactment of Christ’s passion and death. Christ did not sacrifice himself to us, but sacrificed Himself to the Father, in atonement for our sins. This exactly happens at every Mass. As for active participation, Pope Benedict XVl said it is active participation done in silence. This could be done best at a Tridentine Mass.

    • I need the Mass for forgiveness of venial sins but far more important is the sanctifying grace I receive to not commit sin and to abide in union with Jesus Christ who said “eat my Body and drink My Blood. He said He would not leave us orphans and sent the Holy Spirit to give us the grace to abide in Jesus on our journey home to the Father.

    • The Mass is the reenactment of Christ’s passion and death.(sic)
      The Mass is the re-presentation of the once and eternal sacrifice of Calvary, not a reenactment. Big difference.

  7. “From the moment that a sacrament is celebrated, the power of Christ and his Spirit acts in and through it, independently of the personal holiness of the minister. Nevertheless, the fruits of the sacrament also depend on the disposition of the one who receives them” (CCC, 1128)

    In other words, we receive grace when we have sincerity of heart before Him without which it is not possible to form a true relationship with Him as The Holy Spirit can only dwell within an honest/humble heart. We are taught to pray without ceasing, which could be described as trusting in God from moment to moment, we do this when we see ‘all’ through the eyes of faith, trust in God is not just about words, rather it is a movement of the heart, that induces a shared honest relationship with Him, and underpinning this relationship, is our humility before Him. (St Bernard, Humility; a virtue by which a man knowing himself as he truly is, abases himself)

    Many None’s perceive Christianity, as in, when you visit many Conservative Websites, there appears to be a self-righteous obsession with ‘Mortal Sin’, especially in others, inciting words to the effect of, ‘they will burn in Hell’, etc. Rather than seeing the full person, as with many cultural Catholics, some of whom are looking for a way back.

    For many cultural Catholics, it does not take a ‘strong act’ of will to commit a Mortal Sin, while a strong act of will against God, assumes hatred of Him; that is to want to extinguish the divine spark within one’s heart (The Sin against the Holy Spirit). That is a Mortal Sin, as it cannot be forgiven. By definition all other sins can be forgiven and, in this sense, they are not ‘truly’ mortal. But ‘all sin’ leads us away from the love of God.

    Jesus teaches in relation to the Commandments (Law) ‘not one iota’. While amplifying our understanding, as in, even to look at a woman with lust in your heart is to commit adultery with her, etc. Taking us several steps further into the reality of ‘sin’ which separates us from the Love of God, as in the First Commandment.

    “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind”

    My given understanding of sin is that sin is Anything we covet in preference to the love of God, and it is that what is within your heart that matters to Him, as He ‘alone’ sees (Judges) the heart. So, does our present understanding of sin (Venial/Mortal) need to be reflected upon as in this given statement on another site

    “For example, suppose while you stole a diamond pin you thought you were stealing a pin with a small piece of glass, of little value. You would not have had sufficient reflection and would not have committed a mortal sin till you found out that what you had stolen was a valuable diamond”

    But this analogy does not reflect the seriousness of sin as in “even to look at another woman with lust in your heart is to commit adultery with her” (Mortal Sin). Which is equivalent to ‘Coveting’ and then stealing another’s goods (Pin).
    The reality of stealing something with little monetary value, the loss of which to the owner, we can never fully comprehend, as in it been the straw that broke the camel’s back, or something that possesses great sentimental value or unknown significance to the owner. In effect to steal the Widows, Mite would be no different from stealing a diamond of great value from a wealthy merchant.

    I often attempt to make a case for the many cultural Catholics who are presently ‘entangled in sinful situations’ (Mortal Sin) with no way back to the Church. As the normal path to forgiveness of Mortal Sin is through the Sacrament of Reconciliation. That is what the Church teaches but she also acknowledges an Act of Perfect Contrition, which can take place at any time, if the heart is moved to do so. As with the Tax Collector in the temple

    “God will not despise a broken spirit and contrite heart”

    Jesus tells us, that he went home justified before God, (Not ‘MAN’). He was acceptable to Jesus, and it would be fair to say, that today he would be welcome to partake of His table.

    So, all sin is relative to our ‘on-going’ (Moment to Moment 70×7) personal relationship with Him. Please consider reading my post via the link before continuing

    https://www.catholicethos.net/catholic-teaching-assault-amoris-laetitia/#comment-199

    Has it now become more difficult, two thousand years later, to embrace the Lord?

    And for this reason, I believe the true divine Mercy Image, an image of man’s brokenness given by our Lord Himself to His Church, gives the Church the means to embrace “situations in which the damage cannot be repaired” through normal channels (The Sacrament of Reconciliation) the means to do so, and lead our brothers and sisters who are entangled in sinful situations, through an open door, so to say, to His table, and receive spiritual nourishment and hopefully, eventually, lead them to the full Sacrament of Reconciliation.

    ‘Sir,’ the man replied, ‘leave it alone for one more year, and I’ll dig around it and fertilize it’

    So, from my perspective, we should be the fertilizer (Active ingredient), as we work (Dig) around those who need help (Entangled in sinful situations), especially whenever promising buds (Change of heart/direction) occur, as in, to nurture them.

    The alternative as in ‘not to nurture others’, is to align oneself with those who think that they are righteous.

    “I have come to call not those who think they are righteous, but those who know they are sinners and need to repent.”

    kevin your brother
    In Christ

    • “For many cultural Catholics, it does not take a ‘strong act’ of will to commit a Mortal Sin, while a strong act of will against God, assumes hatred of Him; that is to want to extinguish the divine spark within one’s heart (The Sin against the Holy Spirit). That is a Mortal Sin, as it cannot be forgiven. By definition all other sins can be forgiven and, in this sense, they are not ‘truly’ mortal. But ‘all sin’ leads us away from the love of God.”

      No, that sin is not “a Mortal Sin”, as in the only one, as you imply here. A mortal sin is any sin that kills the grace of God in our souls, and while such sins can be forgiven, the relationship with God is severed until we repent and confess our sins, and receive absolution. (If in danger of death, a Christian can do so without going to confession, but must make a firm resolve to do so if possible if the danger is past.)

      The sin that cannot be forgiven is denial of the Holy Spirit, which some have identified as final impenitence. God cannot forgive us without our wanting to be forgiven by Him. That sin can take two forms, presumption and despair. Both deny God the ability to forgive the sinner.

      In your attempt to absolve the “cultural Catholics”, you seem to try to ignore the clear Apostolic teaching of St. Paul that those who eat and drink the Eucharist unworthily do so to their own destruction. You have compassion, yes; but not enough to stop them from committing another mortal sin on top of the rest. Your compassion is not Christ’s compassion as taught through His Church and her Magisterium, and as such, could be more of a danger to souls than a help to their salvation.

      Please pray for those who you call “cultural Catholics”, and realize that by saying they have no way back to the Church (unless they can receive the Eucharist unworthily_, you’re inadvertently limiting the Holy Spirit’s ability to save them, and encouraging them to profane the Sacrament of Our Lord’s Body and Blood.

      • Thank you for your comment Patti “Please pray for those who you call “cultural Catholics”, I believe that is what I am doing now in the present moment as manifest in advocating that The True Divine Mercy Image is an Image of Broken Man, given by our Lord to the Church which has within itself, the capacity to draw into communion, in humility,(St Bernard humility a virtue by which a man knowing himself as he truly is, abases himself) all those outcasts who our Saviour came to save.

        In the past and probably so today many Catholics move away from the Church as they commence their working life, never having truly committed themselves to the faith, they drift along. The Church is universal many Baptized Catholics (Cultural) know little of their religion, but a process/path has commenced that encompasses Hope, and for this reason, I believe that any child presented for baptism should be baptized no matter what the circumstances of their parents/guardians as it confers on the child, led by the Holy Spirit, an acknowledgeable recognition of given grace (Calling), within their own heart later in life, no matter how broken that life may be.

        I believe this stirring of the heart often occurs in life’s confounding moments of significance as in death/birth/loss etc. But sadly, this stirring (Hope) is stifled almost immediately, as they are often entangled within a sinful situation (Mortal Sin).

        Our life circumstances tend to influence our thinking and behavior, in my era many poorly educated people left school a very young age, with the basic rudiments of Christianity, many without making a true commitment to Jesus Christ. I remember one instance when some of the boys in my class, who came from a Children Home were about to be Confirmed, they were told that “if you are not Confirmed you will have to leave the Home”, at thirteen years of age, possibly for some the only home they had known. Then as school finished for them at fifteen years of age they would have to go out into the real world, often with no family connections whatsoever.

        Many cultural Catholics are poorly educated, but a man/woman can have a calling to the faith at any time in their life, in the early Church many converted to Christianity as adults. Indoctrinated uneducated children leaving school at fifteen were comparable to lambs without a Shepherd. If mistakes have been made Divine Mercy (an Image of Broken Man) demands a way back for the indoctrinated, as in an open door, even if they are entangled in an evil situation, (Mortal Sin) to lay damnation on these lambs (Now older) is a travesty of justice.

        The Church has tried to remedy the situation for some with Amoris Laetitia, which is flawed as it dismisses Christ’s commandment of the indissolubility of marriage, whereas it should be vigorously defended and reinforced. While understanding that God’ Divine Mercy cannot be codified. As

        “a broken and contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise”

        What I am proposing gives the Church the means to call all of her Children (Cultural Catholics, seen by some as the spiritual undeserving poor) home no matter what their present state (Entangled in sinful situations). Many of whom never truly committed themselves to the faith. To embrace publicly in humility their brokenness, in the present moment, before God and the faithful. If this act of humility is sincere (I believe for many it would be so) spiritual growth (Virtue/Grace) will accrue.

        Does not the Church accommodate the broken condition of Man presently via The Sacrament of Reconciliation as it heals/leads that brokenness in calling the sinner to a life of virtue?

        I have read that the final words of the Code of Canon Law are these: “the salvation of souls, which must always be the supreme law in the Church, is to be kept before one’s eyes” (Can. 1752)

        I take great comfort that God’s Mercy cannot be codified De internis non iudicat Ecclesia—“the Church does not pass judgment on the internal forum of men”
        As no matter how broken any child of God may be or how worldly a man’s heart may become, it could be said, that when true humility is found, in childlike wonder, we walk anew upon holy ground.

        kevin your brother
        In Christ

    • An addendum to my post, above on April 19, 2021 at 6:47 AM; as to the Pharisee and Tax Collector.

      Jesus creates a parable out of a customary real-life situation in the temple; “two men went ‘up’ to the temple to pray” and by necessity, later went home again to their occupations (Real-life situation)

      Many today appear to think that they own (the judgment of) God, similar to the Pharisee who had the authority of the Law and sees himself as a reflection of that law, he sees this because he makes sacrifices in almsgiving and regular fasting, a sign of penance, but it was not true repentance. We can discern that it was not sincere repentance because if it were, he would now possess a humble heart, creating compassion for his fellow man, fully understanding that we are ‘all’ sinners in ‘continual need of His Divine Mercy. With all the stress which they placed on externals, they missed the living heart of their religion, it was too much tradition and conformity to rules.

      We now turn our gaze to the Tax Collector a symbol of sin, a counterpart to a prostitute. He is honest with himself as he sees the reality of himself, he depends on nothing but God alone, for His Mercy and in doing so, he makes ‘an act of perfect contrition, he does not make a statement that he will sin no more, for to do so would make him a hypocrite, as he knows his own reality (Living Situation) in that he would go home to continue working for the enemy of his people, most probably now after his plea for mercy, he would not exploit his people for his own personal gain, but nevertheless, he is entangled in a sinful situation, one that involves working in collusion with the enemy, which would entail, dealing with informers, spies, intimidators and injustices. But an inward journey of spiritual growth has commenced.

      Jesus also knows his reality; nevertheless, He tells us that he went home justified before God, (Not ‘MAN’). He was acceptable to Jesus and it would be fair to say that today he would be welcome to partake of His table.

      So as stated above, it is sincerity of heart that sits at the base of Christ’s teachings and this state (Sincerity) I believe can be ‘ongoing’ even in a soul entangled in a sinful situation (Who cannot receive the full Sacrament of Reconciliation) because it is on the spiritual plane that we encounter God from moment-to-moment 70×7.

      A Catholic can still carry the intent to make an official Confession while living in this ‘ongoing’ state (Entanglement), so that when that sinful situation has been remedied he/she can ask for an official absolution of their sins.

      A contrite heart is a humble heart, not a perfect one, but a developing ongoing one and by its very nature regrets past sins and would be aware of its entanglement with evil and because of this, it would put its trust in God, while it is been transformed by The Holy Spirit into a compliant tender knowing compassionate one.

      Only God knows the true intent (Reality) of another. God cannot be deceived, so the Church must not fear encouraging those who are entangled in a sinful situation because to make a public verbal (Jesus I Trust in thee) acknowledgment that you are not as you should be before the Lord and the faithfully, just prior to receiving Communion, is not an easy option, and because of this, we would see the true intent (Sincerity) of the majority of recipients.
      As in a humble heart, one with the ongoing potential for spiritual growth, hopefully leading to full reconciliation with the Church.

      And that is why Jesus says what should be terrifying words for us to reflect upon
      “For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you” (When we also finally look for His Mercy)

      What I am proposing does not ‘give scandal’ as no one is deceived, rather it glorifies God before the laity and mankind, as it shows the merciful human face of Jesus Christ.

      So should we not want for others, that which we have been given ourselves, that is, the faith to live in His Divine Mercy, in “humility”, because isn’t that what being a Christian is all about.

      kevin your brother
      In Christ.

  8. Thank you Bishop Aquila. I was beginning to wonder if I had wandered into a different church than the one I was raised in. I am so tired of hearing theological opinions on teachings of our faith that I thought had been firmly established. “Blessed are they who follow the Law the Lord”. God Bless you for being faithful to your calling your excellency.

  9. His Grace, you deserve a big hug for speaking the Gospel truth of our faith in the Sacraments . We cannot bury this truth in act of complacency, and relativism. We need more of this write-ups. Granted that we all are sinners, and none of us can claim to be better than anybody; the truth of our our beliefs in the teaching of our Lord Jesus Christ expounded in our Catholic faith remains unalterable, regardless of who is in question. Truth cannot be buried or relativised, as the consequences when done can be quite catastrophic.

  10. An unworthy man may discern, from Matthew 7:6, the judgment which applies in his unworthy reception of Holy Eucharist:

    Give not that which is holy to the dogs.

    Calvinist theologian John Gill wrote:
    Dogs were unclean creatures by the law; the price of one might not be brought into the house of the Lord, for a vow, ( Deuteronomy 23:18 ) yea, these creatures were not admitted into several temples of the Heathens {h}. Things profane and unclean, as flesh torn by beasts, were ordered to be given to them, ( Exodus 22:31 ) but nothing that was holy was to be given them, as holy flesh, or the holy oblations, or anything that was consecrated to holy uses; to which is the allusion here. It is a common maxim F9 with the Jews,

    “(Myblkl Nlykahl Myvdqh ta Nydwp Nyav) , “that they do not redeem holy things, to give to the dogs to eat”.”

    That many post-modern Catholics appear not to understand something which an 18th Century Calvinist theologian understood is an indictment of Catholic catechesis and moral turpitude in its leaders and followers. With few exceptions, the shepherds are nothing more than hirelings. When incognizant figureheads of ineptocracies rear their bloody heads, licking the Blood of Christ from their paws and chops, the hirelings run.

  11. Thank you, Most Rev. Bishop, for teaching so clearly and so courageously and for caring for the souls of all your flock. May all who are ordained to preach and to teach do likewise. I am reminded that Judas was one of the twelve, taught by Jesus Himself for three years like the others and yet he betrayed Jesus. The Evil One will never stop until Our Lord Jesus returns. We must pray for our priests and our bishops that they remain faithful.

  12. I was surprised to discover that the main purpose of this article is for this article’s author, Archbishop Aquila, to defend what he wrote about the Eucharist in an earlier article that he had published in America magazine.

    Archbishop Aquilla tells us that, in response to that earlier article, “one bishop expressed a concern.”

    Then, in this present article, Archbishop Aquilla goes on to cite authoritative Catholic sources to prove that he, Archbishop Aquilla, had not wrongly taught Catholic teaching on the Eucharist in his earlier article.

    And I think any informed, honest, reasonable Catholic would readily agree that Archbishop Aquilla has always been accurately teaching the Catholic teaching on the Eucharist.

    So, all is well in the Church, then, right?

    No, I would not say so. All is not well in the Church. I think we all know that. Archbishop Aquilla’s article here solves little or nothing, I must say, with all due respect.

    For the past 60 years, ever since the open turmoil, conflict, confusion, and factionalism that developed during the proceedings of the Second Vatican Council, all has not been well.

    And the ongoing open turmoil, conflict, confusion, and factionalism that continued on after the Second Vatican Council has been documented and written about ad nauseum. And this turmoil and conflict continues in the Church to this day, at all levels of the Church. We see this turmoil and conflict alive in this dispute between Archbishop Aquilla and this unnamed fellow bishop of his who accused (and probably still accuses) Archbishop Aquilla of mis-teaching the holy faith.

    This fellow bishop of the archbishop’s who “expressed a concern” over Archbishop Aquilla’s earlier article is never named. But the name of the other bishop doesn’t matter, does it, since probably most of Archbishop Aquilla’s fellow bishops in the U.S. and Europe are in agreement with this “one bishop” who “expressed a concern.” And one of the two living popes is also probably in agreement with this “one bishop” who “expressed a concern.” Right?

    Well, enough, you surely see what I’m getting at.

    They say that in order to correct a problem you must first of all face the problem squarely face on, and recognize and admit the nature, source, and magnitude of the problem. Right?

    And so, we need Archbishop Aquilla to do that. And we need to do that. Right?

    Just quoting authoritative Catholic documents back at our fellow Catholics won’t suffice for what’s going on.

    Part of the problem is that, in this Vatican II Council era in which we now live and which we have been living for 60 years now, the other side, the liberal “primacy of conscience” side, also has paragraphs from authoritative Catholic documents to quote at us, and and these documents justify (or seem to justify) their liberal, do-you-please policies and theologies.

    Many Catholics believe that the problem lies in the Vatican II-era documents themselves, in that they contain contradictions and unresolved tensions and ambiguities at theologically deep levels. All this can be cured by new authoritative documents. The tradition is not irredeemably broken. But the fix must be done, by the highest authority. So far, in the last 60 years, the strong medicine needed has not been administered.

    Well, what I’ve written here is NOT original or well said. Plenty of others say this and say it better. But I noticed that this article doesn’t say it, and that none of the other commenters had said this. So, I thought I’d say it. May some good come of it, I pray to God.

  13. Interesting, but not unexpected, 95% of comments on this site are positive in favor of the AB’s clarification article. Just the opposite for the original article in America Magazine…Nothing to see here – move along, move along. Thank you Archbishop for speaking clearly with no fear! Sheep know the voice of their shepherd…and run from those who deceive!

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