Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Fr. McBrien: Literate Catholics have no need of Eucharistic adoration

Notre Dame's dissident par excellence seems to have outdone himself. 

In an article appearing today on the National Catholic Reporter website (no surprise there), Fr. Richard McBrien  dismisses Eucharistic adoration as a "step backward," "notwithstanding Pope Benedict XVI's personal endorsement " of the devotion.

The not-so-good Father even goes so far to imply that only illiterate Catholics would feel any need for this "extraneous eucharistic devotion."

The practice of eucharistic adoration began in the 12th century, when the Real Presence of Christ was widely rejected by heretics or misunderstood by poorly educated Catholics. The church saw eucharistic adoration as a way of reaffirming its faith in the Real Presence and of promoting renewed devotion to it.

However, as time went on, eucharistic devotions, including adoration, drifted further and further away from their liturgical grounding in the Mass itself.

Notwithstanding Pope Benedict XVI's personal endorsement of eucharistic adoration and the sporadic restoration of the practice in the archdiocese of Boston and elsewhere, it is difficult to speak favorably about the devotion today.

Now that most Catholics are literate and even well-educated, the Mass is in the language of the people (i.e, the vernacular), and its rituals are relatively easy to understand and follow, there is little or no need for extraneous eucharistic devotions. The Mass itself provides all that a Catholic needs sacramentally and spiritually.

Eucharistic adoration, perpetual or not, is a doctrinal, theological, and spiritual step backward, not forward.

Thank you, Fr. McBrien, for letting me know that I'm too well educated to sit for an hour and adore Our Lord.

I'm sure Jesus appreciates it, too.

13 comments:

Ben Anderson said...

"Now that most Catholics are literate and even well-educated, the Mass is in the language of the people (i.e, the vernacular), and its rituals are relatively easy to understand and follow, there is little or no need for extraneous eucharistic devotions."

I love it when it's assumed we orthodox are an uneducated bunch. It pretty much invalidates all his other claims. I have sent the CC many emails stating objections to Fr. McBrien's column - it is a disgrace to publish his stuff in a diocesan paper.

Dr. K said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Mr. (note I refuse to use the title "Father") McBrien continues to amaze with his arrogance and superior attitude. He continues to place himself and his pride-filled opinion above that of the Holy Father. We should pray for him (perhaps in adoration!). I presume (hope and pray) that we shall no longer have to suffer Mr. McBrien in the Courier come summer of 2012.

Mike said...

Anon. 12:09,

No matter what he may say or do, Richard McBrien is "a priest for ever after the order of Melchizedek" (Psalm 110).

As Fr. Corapi is fond of saying, I don't have a better idea than God.

But I do have to admit that, as a spiritual father, he does come up awfully short.

Anonymous said...

And literate catholics have no need of Richard McBrien.

Lee Strong said...

I'm reminded of all the "intellectuals" who dismissed devotions and ethnic religious celebrations, forgetting that many of those these were still meaningful to many of the faithful (even if they are uneducated). I know I find Eucharistic devotions a wonderful way to focus and pray. Why sometimes I even say the rosary or a litany while there (wonder what he'd make of that?).

Mike said...

Lee,

I suspect he'd consider you a throwback to the Middle Ages when theological illiterates like Bonaventure and Aquinas roamed the halls of academe.

Nerina said...

And we continue to carry this priest's column in the Catholic Courier?! Ben, I've written several letters of complaint about Fr. McBrien (obviously to no avail). Sigh.

I believe his thought about adoration is well entrenched here in the DOR. It was very difficult to get it started in my church even on a very limited basis. One leader in our church called it "the show."

I love how one minute the faithful are labeled as "literate and even well-educated" and the next minute we are not capable of accepting the pending new Mass translations at least according to people like Fr. McBrien.

I would also say given the number of Catholics who don't profess a belief in the Real Presence, we are in desperate need of "extraneous eucharistic devotions."

Gabriella said...

'The practice of eucharistic adoration began in the 12th century, when the Real Presence of Christ was widely rejected by heretics or misunderstood by poorly educated Catholics'.

It certainly is still misunderstood by poor educated Fr. McBrien!

:(

Mike said...

Well said, Gabriella!

Mr. B said...

umm..umm...I'm speechless.

As Anon and Mike said, we should pray for Fr. McBrien.


Please Pray for Priests.

Dear Lord,

We pray that the Blessed Mother
wrap her mantle around your priests
and through her intercession
strengthen them for their ministry.

We pray that Mary will guide your priests to follow her own words,
“Do whatever He tells you” (Jn 2:5).

May your priests have the heart of St. Joseph, Mary’s most chaste spouse.

May the Blessed Mother’s own pierced heart inspire them to embrace all who suffer at the foot of the cross.

May your priests be holy,
filled with the fire of your love
seeking nothing but your greater glory and the salvation of souls.

Amen.

Saint John Vianney, pray for us.

God Bless

In the choir loft said...

The practice of eucharistic adoration began in the 12th century, when the Real Presence of Christ was widely rejected by heretics or misunderstood by poorly educated Catholics. The church saw eucharistic adoration as a way of reaffirming its faith in the Real Presence and of promoting renewed devotion to it.

Isn't the above exactly what is happening today. Only 30% of Catholics believe in the Real Presence. We need more not LESS Eucharistic Adoration. I just can't understand liberals sometimes.

Mary Kay said...

I wonder why anyone reads McBrien's writing. Actually, sometimes I think he gets kickbacks from the pharma companies that make high blood pressure pills.

It's mind-boggling how McBrien can acknowledge the Real Presence one minute and treat adoration with such contempt the next minute.

If that wasn't bad enough, McBrien makes it worse giving a false explanation of valid reforms, in effect adding a large layer of crud over the truth.