07:09 Wednesday, June 8, AD 2022 GMT
Lately in the Roman Catholic (RC) Church, there has been a tiny disagreement between supporters of Speaker Pelosi (D-San Francisco) and those of the Archbishop of San Francisco, Salvatore Cordileone.
Roman Catholics critical of Abp. Cordileone are pissed for two reasons. First, he denies Marriage to LGBTQ+ people. Second, he denied Speaker Pelosi admission to Holy Communion.
In addition, His Eminence, Luis Cardinal Ladaera, SJ, Prefect for the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF), has expressed concern that denying Holy Communion to pro-abortion politicians might cause division within the Order of Bishops.
On top of that, pro-abortion VP Joe Biden told reporters that the Pontiff told him to “keep receiving communion”. The Vatican would neither confirm nor deny that, citing that is was a private conversation. So it is possible that VP Biden was lying. If so, at least we can say that he knows the narrative.
Catholics critical of Speaker Pelosi complain that she walks all over the Church’s longstanding and perennial opposition to abortion, while she brags that she is Catholic. We are glad that someone from the holy Episcopacy disciplined her. We think that she was out-of-control. I was so glad, that I started working on an apology for Abp. Cordileone.
As I was researching, I found that one of the more popular defenses of Pelosi is that, yes, she is a sinner, but all of us are. They say that the Holy Eucharist “is the Bread of sinners”. It is exactly what we sinners need, wherein we have problems of any kind: problems with the holy Episcopacy, with RC teaching, with ourselves, whatever. We just need to go get “the Bread of sinners”, and we’re on our way to better things.
It’s really cool, the Bread of sinners. And how could that evil archbishop be so mean as to deny poor Nancy admission to this Bread? Why did he say to the bedraggled Nancy, in effect, You need not wonder why, there’s no time left for you!?
It’s my theme song for whole topic of denying admission to the Holy Eucharist. That’s because, to Abp. Cordileone’s credit, he denied admission to her only after a very lengthy process, which involved asking the faithful to pray for her, sending oodles of roses to the U.S. Capitol Building as a symbol of hope for her conversion, and repeated efforts to reach out and minister to her. It was in fact only after she “vowed to codify the Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade decision in federal law...”, that the archbishop said, in effect, No time left for you.
There really is no reason to wonder why.
So I kept writing. But there was something weird about the timing. Why did we get this really cool and novel definition that the Holy Eucharist “is the Bread of Sinners”, just when many U.S. Bishops were thinking about denying admission to Holy Communion to prominent, pro-abortion politicians in our so-called Eucharistic community?
I found that the cool and novel definition came from the highest levels of the Vatican. It was from an Angelus on the Feast of Corpus Christi in 2021, wherein the Pontiff said:
When we receive the Eucharist, Jesus does the same with us: he knows us; he knows we are sinners; and he knows we make many mistakes, but he does not give up on joining his life to ours. He knows that we need it, because the Eucharist is not the reward of saints, no, it is the Bread of sinners.” (Francis on Corpus Christi, 2021)
I did not pay any attention that Angelus in 2021. As a rule, I do not wait with baited breath to hear Angeluses. I live in Oregon, where I keep an ear to the ground, in case the stones cry out. They might do so, if Apostles of the Lamb “hold their peace” (See Luke 19:40).
So far, no word from the stones, which I interpret as a sign that Apostles are still preaching the Gospel. And I think that we really do not want to be hearing from the stones. Their usual way of crying out is by earthquakes.
Suffice it to say that, after much thought, I have come to the conclusion that it is probable that God caused this whole denial of Holy Communion v. no denial of Holy Communion controversy to arise, specifically to draw our attention to Francis’ novel definitions of the Holy Eucharist. We have neglected to pay sufficient attention to them.
So here I tear them down and look at what they are made of.
I think it’s very important to do so. That’s because the Holy Eucharist is the center of our religion. And it is unwise to let anyone define the Blessed Sacrament willy-nilly, or novelly. That’s because Holy Communion has specific definitions in Sacred Scripture, and we depart from those at our own peril. That, in turn, is because Jesus is the Holy Eucharist, and He knew exactly how to define Himself as such. When our ordained Priests define Him in the Mass to be our Sacrament, They must do so as Jesus did.
We do not know better than Jesus what He is. He is the expert on what He is. Our mission, that we have accepted, is to bring Him authentically, as He defined Himself—and nothing less—to the faithful.
I find that Francis’ definitions of the Holy Eucharist are something less, and as such, unworthy. Let’s see why.
The Pontiff defined not only that the Holy Eucharist, “is the Bread of sinners”, but also that it, “is not the reward of saints”.
However, the Holy Eucharist is Jesus, and Jesus is a reward of saints. Consider this passage:
Now when these things were done, the word of the Lord came to Abram by a vision, saying: Fear not, Abram, I am thy protector, and thy reward exceeding great. (Genesis 15: 1)
For the whole life of the Church, the Holy Eucharist has been a reward of saints, because it was Jesus. Part of the reward was, “that if any man eat of it, he may not die” (from John 6:50). That’s nice. Who wants to die?
His Presence is itself is a blessing, which can be thought of as a reward.
For instance, when Mary chose to sit at the feet of Jesus, to hear Him, rather than help Martha with preparations, Jesus said to Martha,
... Martha, Martha, thou art careful, and art troubled about many things:
But one thing is necessary. Mary hath chosen the best part, which shall not be taken away from her. (Luke 10: 41-42)
Mary saw Jesus as a reward. So did Mary Magdalene. He actually was and is a reward of saints.
Also, Jesus never said, “I am not the reward of saints.”
So, why this novel definition: “the Eucharist is not the reward of saints, no ...”?
It’s flat erroneous. But that is not its only problem, or its worst.
Another is that we cannot actually define the Holy Eucharist to be the negation of something. That is because the Holy Eucharist is God. And God never defined Himself to be the negation of something. On the contrary, God is always an affirmation. What am I talking about here?
Definitions of the Holy Eucharist are very concise, almost Boolean. And in Boolean logic, the word not serves to negate whatever comes after it. We say things like, If not x then y, If not x and not y then z, if not x or not y then z, and so on. God is never defined as not x. And like the Holy Eucharist, definitions of God are also very concise, almost Boolean.
The one that I have in mind is from the Book of Exodus. The Lord did not say to Moses, “I Am Who Am Not”, or, “I Am Not Who Am”, but,
God said to Moses: I AM WHO AM. He said: Thus shalt thou say to the children of Israel: HE WHO IS, hath sent me to you. (Exodus 3:14, Douay OT)
The more concise that a definition is in Scripture, the less you can alter it without corrupting it. You definitely corrupt a definition by inserting a not in it. A definition like, “I AM WHO AM” cannot be altered in the least without corrupting it. We can legitimately re-translate Scriptures, so that the re-translation is more faithful to literal meanings in the original documents. Other than that, we corrupt Scriptures inasmuch as we alter them.
The Holy Eucharist is God, and God cannot be defined to be “not ____________________” [fill in the blank]. So, if the Holy Eucharist were “not the reward of saints”, then it would not be God. The Holy Eucharist must be something that “is”, as in, “it is the Bread of sinners”. That formulation is logically OK, because it defines the Holy Eucharist as an affirmation, a thing that is.
However, “it is the Bread of sinners” is not OK Scripturally, because Jesus never said, “I am the bread of sinners.” He said, “I am the bread of life”, “I am the living bread that came down from heaven”. He also said that He was, “the bread of the children” (Matth. 16:22-26 and Mark 7:25-27), “the true bread from heaven” (John 6:32) and “the bread of God” (John 6:33).
Any of those would be OK. But no. Francis came up with a novelty, “the Bread of sinners”. Why? Are the Words of Jesus no longer cool enough for us?
I think so. Francis comes up with novelties that he thinks are cooler. But they are too cool. That is because Jesus already is cool. We don’t make Him cooler. Nor do we need to. Who is cooler than Jesus? Tell me.
Who else left a paradisaical life in Heaven to come to a population of wretched humans, to preach to them truths of His Kingdom, and to be cruelly executed for their sins, so that they might accept divine Forgiveness, and enjoy eternal life with Him, Who was the “reward exceeding great” of Abram?
No one can out-cool Jesus. Don’t even try, because it’s vanity. He is the coolest.
I realize that the Pontiff was not announcing novel Eucharistic dogma at that Angelus. He was talking about the Holy Eucharist in a way that he thought was cool, a way that perhaps felt right to him. However, even if we assume that “the Bread of sinners” is only a metaphor, it is still powerful, because it carries the approbation of the Pontiff. People invoke it left and right, in defense of Catholics that walk all over the Church’s opposition to abortion. Those people believe that the Holy Eucharist “is the Bread of sinners”, just as the Pontiff defined, and that it “is not the reward of saints”.
So what can we do, except take these novel definitions seriously?
Continuing in this vein, then, the Holy Eucharist can also be an I am. That’s because, “... Jesus said to them: I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall not hunger: and he that believeth in me shall never thirst” (from John 6: 35). He did not say, “... I am not the bread of life”.
Again we see that the Holy Eucharist cannot be a not. That’s because God cannot be a not. His essence is that He Is. Even when the world executed Him, trying to make Him a not, He proved that He cannot be made a not; He rose from the dead. He is an is, or an I am.
The Pontiff’s novel, dual definitions apparently mean that sinners cannot become saints, and still receive Holy Communion. That’s because, once they become saints, Holy Communion becomes for them, “not the reward of saints”. Again, Holy Communion cannot be a not. It must be an is or an I am. So, if a saint receives Holy Communion, he or she receives a not, which cannot be God. So, had the saint better become a sinner again, before receiving Communion, so that when he or she receives, it will be for him or her an is: “it is the Bread of sinners”?
What do you think?
“Mike, you don’t get it. Look, Saints are sinners that God has forgiven. So they don’t have to become sinners again to receive a Holy Communion—one that is, rather than one that is not. Since they are sinners, they also partake of the Bread of sinners at Holy Communion. And they are good to go.”
I disagree, because the Pontiff says that the Holy Eucharist is “not the reward of saints”. And we are talking about saints here.
“Yeah but Mike, saints are sinners, so they’re covered. Besides, the first definition is a negation and is not valid. We have to delete it.”
You’re right. Okay we are left with, “The Holy Eucharist is the Bread of sinners.” Will that fly?
“It flies on Earth, as we see by the enthusiasm for it from some. But I doubt that it flies in Heaven. That is because God gave us holy Names for the Holy Eucharist in Sacred Scripture. Inasmuch as we neglect to use those Names, preferring merely human formulations, we sort of thumb our noses at Sacred Scripture. I think that God does not appreciate that, as He went to a lot of trouble to give us the Scriptures, and so did the writers of Scripture. We need incorporate the Word into our lives as Church. Doing so honors the Author of the Word, the Holy Spirit.”
I see. Okay then, let’s go with The Bread of Life.
“That’ll work. That’ll fly.”
What about the consecrated Wine?
“That we may call, the Chalice of the Lord, as did the Apostle in First Cor. 10:21 and 11:27. We may also call it, the Chalice of Salvation, after Psalm 116:13 [115:4], or as the Church does, the Chalice of Eternal Salvation.”
Great! Now when Episcopates decide whether to deny admission to the Holy Eucharist, They might at least invoke valid and efficacious names of the Holy Eucharist. That is, if They read this.
Appendix A: some sites that agree with what Abp. Cordileone did: