Ask a Question

Some folks who have been away for a while have questions and concerns to express. (Even Catholics who have never been away have many questions!) Please feel free to use the comments section of this blog to ask questions and state concerns. All of us who contribute to this blog are pleased to answer questions and address your concerns. Your questions will help this blog to get its wings and really fly. Ask and ye shall be answered!

5 Replies to “Ask a Question”

  1. Is the bread and wine consecrated at the very point of saying the words “This is my Body” “This is my Blood” or is it consecrated when lifted up during the proclamation the mystery.

    1. The Bread and the wine are consecrated at the very moment the priest says the words, “Take this all of you and eat it, This is my body which will be given up for you.” and likewise over the chalice “Take this all of you and drink from it, this is the cup of my Blood, the Blood of the new and everlasting covenant. It will be shed for you and for all so that sins may be forgiven. Do this in memory of me.” Hence, when the priest shows the host and chalice to the faithful he is showing it them for their adoration since they now behold the Lord himself. The second time the priest lifts the paten and chalice together (often with the assistance of the deacon) there is something different taking place, this lifting up of the elements is not to show them to the people but to offer them to the Father with the doxology “Through Him with Him….”

      Hence, to answer your question again the consecration takes place at the words of consecration (cf Catechism 1377).
      That said, many liturgists today like to emphasize that the whole of the Eucharistic Prayer is in some sense “consecratory.” THis does not change the answer to your question but makes it clear that it would be wrong for a priest ever to utter the words of consecration apart from the full proclamation of the Eucharistic Prayer. It is meant to be proclaimed as a whole, though it remains true that the exact moment of consecration comes at the words of consecration as stated above.

  2. Some churches in the Archdiocese, including the Cathedral, offer a Latin Mass. Some have a “traditional” Latin Mass. Someone told me they’re different, but couldn’t say how. Can you explain it?

  3. Hi Msgr. Pope; great posts so far.

    Perhaps it’s just the circles I travel in, but every time I mention Catholicism, it isn’t long before someone mentions the many, many sex abuse scandals that have been uncovered in the Church over the last few years, some going back decades. We’re asking why Catholics don’t evangelize. Having to explain that to other people makes what is a tough job even tougher, because it gives people a canned excuse not to listen. I know that much of it is stereotypes and bad information, but these scandals just feed the stereotypes and make them harder to counter. The scandal is, unfortunately, the elephant in the room for Catholics

    The implicit challenge is “Why should I follow this faith when the people who are in charge of it turned a blind eye to these abuses? Why should I follow these rules on sex and morality when the people who preach them can’t seem to?” I don’t have a good answer for their challenges. I would be most grateful to hear your perspective on why the happened, what measures have been taken to ensure it doesn’t happen again, but most importantly, what answers we can give when talking about our faith and get this challenge. I realize it’s a tough question, but it seems this is the place for those. Thank you in advance.

    1. Yes it is surely tough. I suppose we can only take solace in the fact that Jesus didn’t send us forth to preach only when things were good. He just said, “Go therefore unto all the nations.” The sad situation can only be seen as a call to radical trust in Jesus who will bring a fruitfulness to our evangelizing even when it seems impossible. I am mindful of out Lady of Guadalupe who was able to bring 12 million into the Church despite the troublesome fact the this was the very faith of those who came as conquerors. In the end we ar ecalled to be faithful and God will grant the increase. We just preach faithfully and God will call forth the fruits. As for the scandal, you are right, it wasn’t just the crime it was the cover-up, the blind eye. I don’t have an easy answer either except that the first 12 apostles didn’t have a perfect record either. 1 Betrayed, 10 fled. In a way, the Church is a miracle. If it were all depending on us how long would it have lasted? 20 minutes…max! But here we are 2000 years later. So it seems clear, God must be in charge. There have been worse times than these….But God has continued his miracle of not allowing the Gates of Hell to prevail. Maybe I’m just saying that when you get lemons, make lemonaide. Marvel at how the Lord has sustained the Church much despite human sin and shortcoming.

      As for how this happened I cannot definitvely say. Much ink has been spilled on the matter and most of it centers on a problem of leadership. However, for the sake of balance I think it is worth recalling that traditionally the Chruch has been in the business of reconciling sinners. We have always hoped that sinners could, by God’s grace, experience remarkable healing. If we sinned, and we we did, I don’t think it was malicious, it was rooted in our deepest traditions of trying to reconcile sinners. I say this by way of explanation, not excuse. We have to protect our Children and other vulnerable people. This Archdiocese has had very strong measures in place to protect children. These measure were established by Cardinal Hickey and in place long before the scandals emerged in early 2000s. I think we currently have the proper balance. You can view the child protection policy here:

      I suppose the bottom line to your question is that when people ask you about it to recall some of what I have already written plus the perspective that the abuse involved slighlty less than 2% of priests. But for you internally, have confidence. God is in charge of your evangelization efforts and He will call forth fruits in spite of human failings.

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