Safe bet majority of Catholics believe in ‘Real Presence’
To the editor:
The Jan 9, 2023 Salena Zito column ‘New generation of Catholics discovers Latin Mass 60 years after Vatican II’, described the Latin Mass as rich, mysterious, strictly arranged, Gregorian chants and periods of profound silence play out while plumes of incense float through the nave. “The priest conducts the Mass with his back to the congregation. He’s facing the Eucharist — Body and Blood of Christ himself and the central act of Christian worship.”
Not mentioned was the way everybody received Holy Communion. People went to the front and knelt down at the communion rail, the Sacred Host being placed on their tongue by the priest, while the altar boy held a gold plated paten under the person’s chin to catch any Particles or the Host should they fall. At that time it was considered a sacrilege for a lay person to handle the Host. After communion, the priest gathered up all Particles from the paten and any found laying on the altar and consumed them so that Our Lord would not be stepped on or thrown in the garbage.
In today’s English Mass, the priest still gathers up all Particles on the altar, but the people now handle the Host and feed themselves while standing up. No provision is made for avoiding desecration of Our Lord, to be stepped on.
The move to let people receive communion in the hand in the U.S.A. was introduced by the late Cardinal Joseph Bernadin, president of the National Council of Catholic Bishops in 1975, it failed to get the 2/3 votes for passage by the council. Another try in 1976 failed. In 1977 after it failed again, a new move was initiated that polled absentee bishops after the council and thereby gained the votes for passage. Several canon lawyers confirmed that this move was illegal, as did Bishop Blanchette in the National Catholic Register (June 12, 1977), along with Fr. John Hardon.
Recent polls tell us the vast majority of Catholics do not believe in the ‘Real Presence’ (God makes Himself look like a little piece of bread). I consider this odd in light of Eucharistic miracles like Lanciano that defy all scientific explanation (do online search).
By stark contrast, it’s a safe bet that the vast majority of Catholics attending the Latin Mass today, do believe in the ‘Real Presence’.