Tuesday, March 1, 2005

MH - True Presence or False?

In a post last week, I alluded to the controversy over an episode of the NBC sitcom Committed, which is either anti-Catholic or just plain stupid or both, take your pick. Here's the press release by the Catholic League, here's the response from NBC, and here's a recap from Church of the Masses.

There really isn't much more I can add to this, besides echoing the observations of some that if this had been any religion but Catholicism, such a slur would have been unthinkable. But I do have this to offer: how many Catholics understand what the problem is? I wonder. Sadly, Catholics are probably more poorly informed about the True Presence than most. Do we all understand that that Host isn't merely a piece of "bread" but is, in fact, the true Body of Jesus? Do we behave accordingly when we enter the church, when we (hopefully) kneel in adoration during the Eucharistic Prayer, when we present ourselves for Communion? Do we think about it when we have the opportunity to go to Confession, do we ponder what it means when we stand on the verge of venial or mortal sin? Or is it just a symbol, a shared community meal, a nice social get-together? (Or, in the case of that L.A. mass I mention below, a night-club act.)

If we really understand what the True Presence is all about, we should be outraged about this. Unfortunately, the polls would suggest that we Catholics remain woefully ignorant, that we don't believe in the True Presence any more than our seperated bretheren, that in fact we're probably not any better educated than the writers who actually thought mocking this quaint superstition would be funny.

Taking NBC and the rest of society to task probably, although it needs to be done, probably isn't that effective when our own faithful don't really get it.

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