What’s the greatest sacrament?

What’s the greatest sacrament?

Kelly Clark looksat the coming parish closing battles in Detroit. Get a load of the wisdom Detroit Catholics can expect.

And from the Rev. Norman Thomas:

“The greatest sacrament of all is community.”

This is from a Catholic priest. As Kelly points out, most Catholics would beg to differ. The greatest sacrament is not … us, it is the Eucharist, which is the Second Person of the Trinity, Jesus Christ. But hey what do we know?

Written by
Domenico Bettinelli
  • One of the most ancient aphorisms of the Church is “lex orandi, lex credendi,” which roughly translated means, “the manner in which we pray determines the manner in which we believe.”

    It is no surprise to me, anyway, that so many of today’s “faithful” believe such rot as that which Rev. Thomas spouts, since for the last forty-five years we’ve been singing it at Mass!

    I’m on vacation and went to Mass this past Sunday at a local church, where the Communion Song was titled, “I am the Bread of Life.”  Good enough, you’d think, except that the line in the chorus right after that title line was, “You and I together are the bread of life.”  NOT good!

    This stuff is emanating from a lot of musicians who, I think, are looking to chop up ingredients from several faith traditions (Methodist, Presbyterian, Unitarians even), put it in their musical blender, and pour us a nice frothing drink of . . . homogenized nothingness.  When they can sell their music to three, four or ten churches, they’re multiplying their income.

    We’re the ones to blame; our bishops should have told OCP and the other purveyors of musical blandness that this kind of stuff was not appropriate, and that they would life ecclesiastical approbation if it were not excised.  But they didn’t.  And now our people believe this foolishness.

  • Um, maybe he means in the sense that “we are Eucharist together”? That’s a popular aphorism among this sort of priest . . . not that it’s any better though.

    Dom, right now I’m looking at an ad here on your site for “A Day with Fr. Daniel Berrigan” with the Catholic Peace Fellowship! Doiks!! Hope you’re making some money for the new family!

  • Fr. Jim:  I travel a lot, and find the same thing.  At one parish, right down the street from the Maximillian Kolbe shrine in Libertyville, IL, the pastor starts the Mass with:  The Lord IS with you.  This alwasy strikes me a strange since he is the ONLY priest I’ve ever heard say it.

    I also here one priest I know quite well say:  May God Love You, rather than God Bless You (not during Mass).  This always struck me as bad theology, since we believe that God LOVES all his creatures.  So where does May God Love You come from.  He does love us!

    When you travel do you discuss this with those priests?  Being a priest yourself, it would go much further than someone like me.  I only get “blacklisted”.

  • This error is so common – it seems to me that it is the biggest single problem facing us. The mystical presence of Christ among us is quite different than the physical presence of Christ in the Eucharist. We, the Church, are the Body of Christ in a mystical (even allegorical) not a substantial sense. The consecrated eucharistic species are substantially the Body of Christ.

    Sayng that Christ is present when Deacon Bob baptises a child is completely different than saying that Deacon Bob is Christ – but this is where we are headed by equating the Eucharistic Real Presence with the mystical and spiritual presence of Christ.

  • “The greatest sacrament of all is community.”

    This point gets belabored over, and over and over at our local parish. It is being used to brainwash people and deceive children.

    This is actually Methodist orthodoxy as my sister repeats it consistently. Methodists are free of course to preach anything they want.

  • The closings are going to be nothing short of a long, bitter battle.  The previous closings in 1989-90 were handled badly, and the firestorm probably led to Cardinal Szoka’s rapid transfer to the Vatican—at his request. 

    In addition to the parishes that are outright closed, there are going to be a significant number of consolidations, with parishes sharing a priest, which also upsets the apple cart as to Mass and confession schedules, marriage prep, devotions, etc.  Our parish is a likely consolidation target, from what we keep hearing.

    It’s going to be a miserable autumn in Detroit.

    Actually, I hope Fr. Thomas’ parish in the Eastern Market stays open for two reasons:  (1) it’ll keep him far from us, and (2) it will increase the likelihood that the indult parish will remain open.

  • The problem is that some people have turned the theology of the Eucharist inside out.  It should go something like this:

    Consecration:  The Eucharist, true presence of Jesus Christ, body, blood, soul and divinity

    Communion:  The Eucharist in me, me in the Eucharist

    Post-Comminion:  We are united as a Church (read community) through our faith, worship and most especially in our common participation in the Eucharist.

    In the world:  We as a Church are the sacramental presence of Jesus Christ in the world.

    Thank you

  • We>The article then says that it didn’t have an effect on when they began having sex or condom use. I’m not surprised. For one thing, without strong support for complete abstinence at home or in church, if they go, then no school program can be completely effective. I am a little puzzled at what effect the writer thought it would have on condom use: more or less? It’s an abstinence program after all; if it’s successful it’s a moot point.

    You can almost hear the reluctance in the article to credit abstinence education with actually being at all effective, but this was a study and paper published in the American Journal of Health Behavior. Yet the researchers’ enthusiasm can’t be denied:

    Dr. Elaine Borawski, a public health researcher at Case Western Reserve University and lead author of the study, said she was surprised how much the program, funded with federal tax dollars, influenced sexually active adolescents.

    “Everyone says that kids who have had sex won’t find programs like this relevant,” said Borawski, who has reviewed Operation Keepsake’s programs in the past. “It did seem that it resonated with them more than we thought.”

    Of course the naysayers are given their time.

    But Earl Pike, executive director of the AIDS Taskforce of Greater Cleveland, said the study’s findings on condom use were disturbing. He said government funding should be curtailed until rigorous, long-term studies prove the programs work. “I wouldn’t be proud to promote that abstinence programs educate young people to avoid proven methods like condoms that we know reduce risk and save lives,” Pike said.

    Which is riskier? Not having sex or having sex with a condom? Which method is proven to provide a greater reduction in the chance of sexually transmitted disease: abstinence or sex with condoms? The mental and verbal gymnastics these people go through to avoid logic is astounding.


    2005-09-07 11:39:15
    2005-09-07 15:39:15


    2005-09-08 10:39:34
    2005-09-08 14:39:34
    Abstinence is 100% effective, condoms are not. 
    Abstinence is 100% moral, condoms never are.

    Somebody should remake those “this is your brain, this is your brain on drugs” but say, “This is your soul, this is your soul after mortal sin . . .”

    Thank you