Our archdiocese (Cincinnati, OH) uses the CNS and their “columnists” for the bulk of its newspaper - The Catholic Telegraph.
One of the regular columnists is Fr. John Dietzen, a retired priest in Peoria. Recently he answered a question about the physical presence of Christ in the Blessed Sacrament of the Altar.
To me, it seemed that the good father spoke of every form of Jesus’s presence in liturgy and exegetical things, but failed miserably in stating the teachings of the Catholic Church. He made a statement about Christ’s presence in the Sacred Scripture as being on par with Christ’s presence in Eucharist.
Now, correct me if I am wrong, but do I have to go to confession in order to the read Bible when I fall into sin? (Yes, I know too many people go to Communion in the wrong state of grace, but the teaching is pretty clear.)
Well, I wrote to my Archbishop --Daniel Pilarczyk and quoted the portions of the article that I found troubling. I got a reply that I was too harsh in my judgement of Fr. Dietzen and then here is the big line “All sacraments are symbols”
I quoted the late, great Fr. John Hardon, SJ with “While all the sacraments confer grace, only the Eucharist contains the author of grace himself, Jesus Christ”.
I use that quote as part of my PEA’s newsletter masthead.
What have I misunderstood that makes saying the sacraments are symbols compared with sacraments as outward signs, instituted by Christ as a means for transmitting sanctifying grace being contradictory in nature?
Please tell me that I haven’t had psychotic breaks when I thought Jesus, present in the Eucharist – just after consecration – called me by name and asked me when I would come to His banquet table. Because if the Eucharist is just a symbol, obviously I have lied to myself or had a break with reality.