Thursday, October 06, 2005

Revisionist "Orthodoxy"

There goes that George Pell, flipping the bird to the Magisterium again... John Allen writes from the Synod

In the open session Wednesday night, Cardinal George Pell of Australia voiced concern that talk about “various presences” of Christ, such as in the community, in scripture, and in the individual believer can blur the centrality of the real presence in the Eucharist.

“We are not pantheists,” he warned the synod.

This is a reiteration of something Pell went on about in June, a story covered exclusively here....

Some weeks ago, I'm told, His Eminence was present at a symposium in Sydney on the Eucharist. Much was made of the following exposition from Sacrosanctum Concilium, paragraph 7:

[Christ] is present in the sacrifice of the Mass, not only in the person of His minister, "the same now offering, through the ministry of priests, who formerly offered himself on the cross," but especially under the eucharistic species. By His power He is present in the sacraments, so that when a man baptizes it is really Christ Himself who baptizes. He is present in His word, since it is He Himself who speaks when the holy scriptures are read in the Church. He is present, lastly, when the Church prays and sings, for He promised: "Where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them" (Matt. 18:20) .

[A]t the end of the conference, Pell got up, thanked the presenters, etc. He then launched into an assault on the paragraph quoted above, working from a belief that the Central Commission of the Council was hijacked by moderates, that many of the threads of the Council as promulgated were not the intent of the Fathers of Vatican II, and basically that the four-fold presence was hogwash.

He closed with the favored distinction, "This is just my personal opinion, I'm not speaking as archbishop of Sydney or for the Church."

As it's an academic symposium, the distinction can be respected. And the charade would've held if the good Cardinal, on a following Sunday, decided not to give a homily at one of the Sydney mega-parishes at Fairfield basically reiterating the exclusive presence of Christ in the Eucharist alone, using his teaching authority to discount the Magisterium.
Somebody tell His Eminence that the cafeteria is closed.



Blogger Jeff said...

Cardinal Pell never said that Christ was exclusively present in the Eucharist alone. That's idiotic. And the fact that you say he did goes some way toward proving his real point.

The point is that Christ's presence in the Eucharist is sui generis, distinct, different, substantial, in the highest and most exalted way. This is pure Catholic doctrine in every authoritative statement, including the Catechism.

Pell is saying, along with that controversial Cathechism and Vatican Two, that Christ's is present in a special way in the Eucharist elements that MUST NOT BE CONFUSED OR CONFLATED with his other ways of manifesting himself. Your confusion and conflation is a perfect example of what he's warning against.

Watch, of course, for this document on the Eucharist to make these basic distinctions, just as every other one has.

6/10/05 14:18  
Blogger George Collie said...

Good point, Jeff. But did not Cardinal Pell refer to the other, less manifestations of the Real Presence as evidence of "pantheism"? In my mind, their is a big difference between the Real Presence and pantheism. One is the Truth and the other is heresy.

6/10/05 15:03  
Blogger Ben said...

Really the Eucharist should not be discussed when we are discussing how Christ is present in the other three areas. It basically deminishes the truth of the real presence. You can say Christ is present in the poor but that doesn't mean that we worship the poor. We don't worship the gospel book. We don't worship the priest. But Christ's presence in the Holy Eucharist is Real.. We WORSHIP the Eucharist. Most Catholics don't know this by evidence of recent polls. How sad. A wonder we have a priest shortage some places.

6/10/05 15:30  
Blogger Neil said...

The Eucharistic presence is "unique," as the Catechism has it. But I really don't understand why the presences of Christ aren't seen as reinforcing one another. The classical passages for this discussion, I think, are in St Augustine:

"The reason these things, brothers and sisters, are called sacraments is that in them one thing is seen, another is to be understood. What can be seen has a bodily appearance, what is to be understood provides spiritual fruit. So if you want to understand the body of Christ, listen to the apostle telling the faithful, You, though are the body of Christ and its members (1 Cor. 12:27). So if it's you that are the body of Christ and its members, it's the mystery meaning you that has been placed on the Lord's table; what you receive is the mystery that means you. It is to what you are that you reply Amen, and by so replying you express your assent. What you hear, you see, is The body of Christ, and you answer, Amen. So be a member of the body of Christ, in order to make that Amen true" (Sermon 272).

"However many loaves may be placed there, it's one loaf, however many loaves there may be on Christ's altars throughout the world it's one loaf. But what does it mean, one loaf? He [St Paul] explained very briefly: one body is what we, being many, are. This is the body of Christ, about which the apostle says, while addressing the Church, But you are the body of Christ and his members (1 Cor 12:27). What you receive is what you yourselves are, thanks to the grace by which you have been redeemed; you add your signature to this, when you answer Amen. What you see here is the sacrament of unity" (Sermon 229).



6/10/05 16:34  
Blogger Jeff said...


Yes, I think Ben answered you, though. The other kinds of presence are different in KIND. That's why we don't worship the Church, for example. But there has grown up a practical theology that almost DOES seem to want to worship the Church, or the World in which God manifests his presence.

Many things show forth God, including the Heavens. He works in and abides in other things. But Christ IS God. And so is the Eucharist. There's an absolute identity there. It's a matter of foundations. You have to start with the Presence and the Sacrifice and build up from there. A building with no fourth floor may need improvement. A building with no foundation is a pile of ruins.

6/10/05 17:31  

Post a Comment

<< Home