Priest columnist on use of the terms "Bread" and "Wine"

Hi:
Our archdiocesan newspaper regularly publishes a question and answer column by Fr. John Dietzen. Today's was about whether the host was considered more sacred than the precious blood.
Throughout his answer, Fr. Dietzen always used the term bread. While in the main part of his answer he referred to the "cup", this is the last paragraph in his response:
"Before I receive a flood of letters protesting my use of the words "bread" and "wine" for the consecrated precious Blood and Body of the Lord, let me recall that Catholic tradition has always done this. Even our eucharistic prayers have these words several times for the consecrated species. The Church properly assumes that everyone participating in the eucharistic mysteries will know exactly what is meant."

He has referred to these elements thus in previous columns as well.

IMHO it seems that the laity DON'T know exactly what is meant or else we wouldn't have those surveys that say that Catholics in the pews don't believe in the real presence.
What do you folks think? I'm tempted to write him, but then I am just an ignorant jane in the pews and he is a priest whom we should hold up in prayer and support.

His disclaimer is quite clear, and what he says is pretty much correct. But if you feel the need, why not simply send him a note respectfully saying exactly what you said here?

[quote="carmelitenovice, post:1, topic:186637"]
Hi:
Our archdiocesan newspaper regularly publishes a question and answer column by Fr. John Dietzen. Today's was about whether the host was considered more sacred than the precious blood.
Throughout his answer, Fr. Dietzen always used the term bread. While in the main part of his answer he referred to the "cup", this is the last paragraph in his response:
"Before I receive a flood of letters protesting my use of the words "bread" and "wine" for the consecrated precious Blood and Body of the Lord, let me recall that Catholic tradition has always done this. Even our eucharistic prayers have these words several times for the consecrated species. The Church properly assumes that everyone participating in the eucharistic mysteries will know exactly what is meant."

He has referred to these elements thus in previous columns as well.

IMHO it seems that the laity DON'T know exactly what is meant or else we wouldn't have those surveys that say that Catholics in the pews don't believe in the real presence.
What do you folks think? I'm tempted to write him, but then I am just an ignorant jane in the pews and he is a priest whom we should hold up in prayer and support.

[/quote]

Fr. John Dietzen is not the best "teacher". Many of his answers leave a lot to be desired.

[quote="malphono, post:2, topic:186637"]
His disclaimer is quite clear, and what he says is pretty much correct.

[/quote]

[post=1704415]I agree[/post].

tee

[quote="carmelitenovice, post:1, topic:186637"]

IMHO it seems that the laity DON'T know exactly what is meant or else we wouldn't have those surveys that say that Catholics in the pews don't believe in the real presence.
What do you folks think? I'm tempted to write him, but then I am just an ignorant jane in the pews and he is a priest whom we should hold up in prayer and support.

[/quote]

This is my take on the matter...

I think one of the failings of Catholic religious education since Vatican II has been that educators (clergy, religious, and other lay people) lost sight of the fact that the truths of the Faith are not transmitted by osmosis any more so than is knowledge that they are loved by God. And known truths that are not continuously emphasized are often forgotten or considered unimportant.

We now do a fairly good job of telling young Catholics that God really does love them. But such knowledge does not, unfortunately, inspire all people to seek God's ways and truths. Love alone does not inspire obedience and self sacrifice.

I've heard too many sermons and lectures by clergy who seemed to take it for granted that Catholics knew the fundamentals of the Faith and therefore spent their time focusing on more esoteric matters. Unfortunately too many Catholics listening to those lectures did/do NOT know the fundamentals and instead have bits of tangential knowledge which give a distorted picture of Catholicism since they lack the context of the basics.

[quote="carmelitenovice, post:1, topic:186637"]
IMHO it seems that the laity DON'T know exactly what is meant or else we wouldn't have those surveys that say that Catholics in the pews don't believe in the real presence.

[/quote]

I am not sure that surveys *say that Catholics in the pews don't believe in the real presence *-- Are you sure they do not say: "Self-identifying Catholics don't believe in the real presence" (without distinguishing those *in the pew *from those who do not attend except for Christmas, Ashes, Palms, and Easter)?

And I expect few such Catholics are at risk of damage from reading the archdiocesan paper. :rolleyes:

tee

\IMHO it seems that the laity DON'T know exactly what is meant or else we wouldn't have those surveys that say that Catholics in the pews don't believe in the real presence.
What do you folks think?\

**I think that the average faithful layman has more sense than you give him credit for here, especially one that regularly reads the archdiocesan paper.

Specifically, I think he has enough sense to understand the context in which "bread" and "cup/wine" are used, and know how these words are to be taken when.

And I think that the priest in this case is speaking to reasonably intelligent people.

As far as cultural/casual Catholics, it's not the writer's fault they don't know any better.

That's what I think.**

[quote="SMHW, post:5, topic:186637"]

This is my take on the matter...

I think one of the failings of Catholic religious education since Vatican II has been that educators (clergy, religious, and other lay people) lost sight of the fact that the truths of the Faith are not transmitted by osmosis any more so than is knowledge that they are loved by God. And known truths that are not continuously emphasized are often forgotten or considered unimportant.

We now do a fairly good job of telling young Catholics that God really does love them. But such knowledge does not, unfortunately, inspire all people to seek God's ways and truths. Love alone does not inspire obedience and self sacrifice.

I've heard too many sermons and lectures by clergy who seemed to take it for granted that Catholics knew the fundamentals of the Faith and therefore spent their time focusing on more esoteric matters. Unfortunately too many Catholics listening to those lectures did/do NOT know the fundamentals and instead have bits of tangential knowledge which give a distorted picture of Catholicism since they lack the context of the basics.

[/quote]

Your point is well taken, but how do you catechize people who are just barely evangelized and only sacramentalized--let alone expect them to grow in holiness (as we call it in the East, theosis)?

The alternative would be to have the priest preach three sermons aimed at different levels of knowledge of the faith.

Hardly practical.

Or do we now think that every sermon in the world for the rest of time needs to start over with questions 1, 2, and 3 from the Baltimore Catechism lest someone misunderstand something?

If there are people in your parish who are very confused about the alternative use of the words bread, wine, host, cup then for the sake of the Church I believe we can rise to the occasion and not wait for the priest to educate others. Those in the know can help in the formation of other people in the Catholic faith. Let's just make sure we teach the right doctrines.

[quote="Ferds_Guiang, post:9, topic:186637"]
If there are people in your parish who are very confused about the alternative use of the words bread, wine, host, cup then for the sake of the Church I believe we can rise to the occasion and not wait for the priest to educate others. Those in the know can help in the formation of other people in the Catholic faith. Let's just make sure we teach the right doctrines.

[/quote]

The key here is when you are teaching in print you have to be very careful in your wording because people that may have questions can't just raise their hands and ask them. "The Breaking of the Bread" is a correct term used in the early centuries of the Church . BUT it takes careful explaination when using it.

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