Can someone explain this to me?


“Eucharistic devotion such as is noted in the silent visit by the devout in church must not be thought of as a conversation with God. This would assume that God was present there locally and in a confined way. To justify such an assertion shows a lack of understanding of the Christological mysteries of the very concept of God. This is repugnant to the serious thinking of the man who knows about the omnipresence of God. To go to church on the ground that one can visit God who is present there is a senseless act which modern man rightfully rejects.”
Source: Die Sacramentale Begrundung Christliche Existenz by Joseph Ratzinger

Can someone explain this? Please?


I’ve never see the context of that. He may have been countering the idea that Eucharistic adoration was the only way to converse with God.

Another possibility is he was just wrong. He has a similar background to Pope Pius IX in that both were quite liberal in their early days, and then traumatic effects caused by liberalism led them into staunch orthodoxy. For Pius IX it was the violent revolutions in Italy and especially in the papal states and for Pope Benedict it was the revolt of the students at the university he was a professor at.


Do you have a date when this was written - and the full context (book name, entire article, etc.)


As others have said, context is important. But I think you have the key to the context, even without finding the original document in the statement I put in red above.

Basically, IF one is going to Eucharistic Adoration because it is the only way one can “visit” or talk to God, is wrong since we know that God is omnipresence, everywhere, and we can “visit” God at anytime.

It is an admonition against turning Eucharistic Adoration into Idol worship, in my opinion.

God Bless,


Perhaps he was condemning those who say such things. When the Church issues condemnations it is often presented that way.
(EG. If anyone say, “Eucharistic devotion…” let him be anathema.)

We need a link to the whole article, Drunken Master. I subscribe to L’Osservatore and I can assure you Pope Benedict XVI promotes Eucharistic adoration.



Have you read the entire book, or are you quoting this from somewhere else? If so, why did you not tell us where you saw this?

I’ve seen this quote before, and while I haven’t read the book either I’m pretty sure that as Nita suggested he is quoting people with whom he disagrees. Theologians and other scholars generally try to summarize what their opponents are saying at some length and as fairly as possible before offering their own, differing views. This frequently confuses people (and some people maliciously exploit this for purposes of misrepresentation) who are not used to opposing views being treated with such respect, and who are not taking the trouble to read the entire discussion carefully. In other words, you may pick up a work of theology and read an entire paragraph or more which represents views not those of the author–you only know that it doesn’t if you bother reading the whole chapter or section.

I could imagine Ratzinger (particularly in his earlier, more “liberal” phase) writing the first few sentences, maybe. But I don’t see how he could possibly have written the last sentence (as his own opinion).



Everything he says is correct. God is not confined only to the Church. He is present everywhere. He is saying that if you believe that the only place you can pray to God (conversing) is Church then you are wrong. Believing that God is only present in the Church denies the fact that he is omnipresent. Nothing wrong with his statement at all.


Certainly, Eucharistic adoration is not the only way to worship God, but how could you turn Eucharistic adoration into idol worship?


Idol worship: Our Father, who art localy present in a confined way…

B16 is a very patient man to refute stuff like that. :thumbsup:


Instinctively, I felt certain this quote was misapplied by one or another sedavacantist websites, and sure enough, it was. One doesn’t even need to delve into links to realize what is being promoted there.

My friend, either someone duped you with this and you innocently swallowed it, or it is your challenge to us to refute what you already believe.

It is useless for any of us to attempt that challenge, since these websites are notorious for subversion and do not fail to print outright lies to deceive others. In this case, the quote was used to deny the valid election of Pope Benedict.

Can a heretic be a valid Pope of the Roman Catholic Church?
No. The Papal Bull Cum ex apostolatus officio of Pope Paul IV teaches that: if anyone was a heretic before the Papal election, he could not be a valid pope, even if he is elected unanimously by the Cardinals

However, in case you were innocently misled, I ask you to consider the source, and insist on reading Ratzinger’s “quote” in context. I have often seen these types of statements, and when searching the actual document, learned that it was a deliberate attempt to deceive.


By believeing that the only way one can converse with Him is during Eucharistic adoration. It would be akin to thinking the only way one could ask the saints to pray for us would be if you had a statue in front of you to talk to. A person is placing supreme importance on the physical object while denying the omnipresence of God to be everywhere. It is like placing God inside a statue like the pagans did with their false Gods.

God Bless,


It wouldn’t quite be akin Maria.

It doesn’t work to compare a tabernacle containing the Eucharist to a statue, because the statue does not contain the saint, whereas Jesus is in the tabernacle. So, assuming the person knows it’s Jesus in the tabernacle/monstrance and is speaking with Him, it’s impossible for that to ever be idolatry.

I don’t know about you, but even if there’s a statue of the saint I’m praying to, I never talk to the statue. Now, talking to the statue, or talking to the gold tabernacle/monstrance (and not Jesus in the host), that might be idolatry.

To believe that the “only way one can converse with Him is during Eucharistic adoration” would be a wrong/false belief, but it wouldn’t be idolatry.



Thanks to all who participated in this discussion.
This thread is now closed.

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