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WASHINGTON (ChurchMilitant.com) - Catholics and even non-Catholics are telling the U.S. bishops that only by restoring reverence toward the Blessed Sacrament will they restore belief in the Real Presence. The bishops, however, are offering catechetical booklets.
Following a poll showing 7 out of 10 baptized Catholics do not believe that the Eucharist is Christ, U.S. bishops are asking the public for a solution.
On Friday, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops posted the following question on its official Facebook page: "A recent PEW study revealed that only 1/3 of Catholics believe in the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist. What are some ideas to solving this issue? We want to hear your opinion."
The bishops' post received more than 1,200 responses. The vast majority say faith in the eucharistic Lord can only be ignited by treating Him reverently in countless ways. Specific advice to bishops included
- Masses should be said ad orientem
- Communion rails should be restored
- Tabernacles should be front and center
- Ordained priests and deacons should distribute Holy Communion
- Communicants should receive while kneeling and on the tongue
- Communion in the hand should be banned
- Communicants should dress appropriately
- Gregorian chant, sacred music and Latin at Mass should be restored
- Sacred silence at Mass should be restored
- Eucharistic adoration should be promoted
- Homilies should teach the Real Presence
- Remind communicants to receive only in a state of grace
- Encourage confession and make it available before Mass
- Pro-abortion politicians must not receive Holy Communion
Even a non-Catholics like Tim Kline, who responded to the bishops' inquiry, see how this last point makes sense. Kline observed that when priests and bishops offer Holy Communion "to unrepentant sinners (such as pro-choice politicians), you're telling the world that the Eucharist is meaningless."
Kline added, either you "don't believe what you teach" or "you believe" but cruelly allow people to "eat and drink judgment on themselves."
As responses continue to pile up, the bishops are offering reading material as their solution to the problem. They posted
on Facebook an advertisement for "Sacrament of the Eucharist Bundle."
These catechetical booklets that can be purchased
for $8.75. In their Facebook post, the bishops tell
Catholics to read about "how Jesus wants to transform your life through this sacrament of his Body and Blood.
Traditionally minded Catholics, however, aren't buying their solution.
Father Richard Heilman, whose blog Roman Catholic Man is greatly appreciated by thousands of Catholics, remarked in the bishops' Facebook thread, "We cannot 'read' our way out of this."
Heilman added that he's restored reverent liturgy at his church and "young families are pouring into our parish."
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