Amidst all the hubbub of last week's U.S. bishops' meeting, one thing that didn't get a lot of attention was this little gem: In order to promote Church teaching on the Eucharist, the bishops' three-year plan comes along with $28 million price tag.
True to its roots as a bureaucratic swamp, the very first response to the devastating news that more than three out of every four Catholics doesn't believe in the Real Presence was to form a committee.
That committee will then do some studies, and those studies will next be submitted to boards for review, and plans will be developed based on the review of the studies by the committee.
Of course, all of this requires the hiring of attorneys and, of course, insurance agents as well as marketers to produce pamphlets and flyers and posters — all aiming to produce a big, one-time event three years from now in Indianapolis. That eucharistic revival event is what has the pricey $28 million figure attached to it.
So the USCCB's answer to the profound loss of faith in the Real Presence of Our Blessed Lord in the Eucharist is to first fundraise and then spend $28 million on an event three years from now.
It's incredible that, given the bishops' response, that even 30% of Catholics still believe in the Real Presence. In fact, with leaders like this, it's actually astonishing anyone believes anything about the Faith.
As the news was announced that $28 million was going to need to be raised, murmuring began among the bishops. Loss of faith is one thing, but money? Please — no one said we'd need to chip in money.
One of them even had the courage to point out the optics of the whole thing.
Scandal is a word — a fitting word — so on that matter, score one for the archbishop. This situation is beyond beyond.
Ignored in all this is the very fair and pointed question: Just exactly how did the Church in the United States get to this point? Seventy percent of Catholics didn't just wake up last week and stop believing in the Real Presence. They've been conditioned by the clergy over decades to stop believing, and the only explanation for that can be because a huge portion of the clergy doesn't actually believe.
It's not complicated. People do and say what their leaders do and say. That's kind of the working definition of a leader — someone who is followed.
Church Militant recognized this issue more than a decade ago, almost from the instant of our founding back in 2006. It's the reason we began producing an enormous amount of theological programs right out of the gate 15 years ago. And those programs had a heavy concentration on the Eucharist. For example, we dedicated an entire season of our flagship show, The One True Faith, specifically to the Eucharist. The fourth season of The One True Faith devotes 13 one-hour episodes to the Source and Summit of the Faith — the Blessed Sacrament.
Likewise, in our Basic Training apologetics class, we have another two hours of catechesis and explanation of the most profound of the sacraments. Some comments from viewers of the material:
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