(Split) Statistical disparity of belief in the Real Presence

I have a question: Are the Forty-five percent of Catholics that do not know their church teaches that the consecrated bread and wine in holy communion are not merely symbols, but actually become the body and blood of Christ still in better shape than Protestants? Or is not knowing just as bad as not believing?

When the host is presented the Priest asks, "Body of Christ? Then the recipient replies “Amen” which means I agree.

But according to these statistics it seems as if it’s become routine?

when you say 45 percent Catholics you must be referring to the 1.2 billion Catholics worldwide but that survey was done in the United states so the 45 percent of the catholic population present there you were referring to is approx 34 mil people.

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Catholic_Church_by_country

Quote from that survey

“Researchers from the independent Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life phoned more than 3,400 Americans and asked them 32 questions about the Bible”

Okay, but that doesn’t answer my question?

dronald.

You stated:

I have a question: Are the Forty-five percent of Catholics that do not know their church teaches that the consecrated bread and wine in holy communion are not merely symbols, but actually become the body and blood of Christ still in better shape than Protestants? Or is not knowing just as bad as not believing?

But according to these statistics it seems as if it’s become routine?

I apologize for this scandalous statistic dronald.

I sadly have been part of the problem.

But I would say a couple of things.

To focus on the “people” in the Catholic Church is to miss other whole dimensions, such as the Eucharist and the teachings of the Church.

Don’t get caught up in Judas when Jesus also gives us the “good guys” like St. John the Baptist or men like St. Peter, St. James (both of them), St. John, St. Philip, St. Andrew, and eventually St. Paul, etc. And all of the martyrs that were (and still are) the seed of the Church.

Jesus gave us Judas to teach us something too.

Don’t look at the Catholics who do not live their faith (By their fruits you will know THEM—not their religion).

Rather look at the ones who DO live it out. Of course Jesus in the ultimate sense as True God and True man, but even the Saints insofar as they DO live out the faith are worth looking at (see Acts 15:26 or as St. Paul said: “Be imitators of me as I am of Christ” in 1st Corinthians 11:1 for example).

[LIST]
*]The way or template that the Church lays out us (or in a fuller sense the Eucharist Who IS The Way)
[/LIST]
[LIST]
*]The unblemished Teachings of the Church (or in a fuller sense the Eucharist Who IS the Truth)
[/LIST]
[LIST]
*]The LIFE giving “wheat” among the weeds such as our parents but in the fullest sense, the Wheat HIMself (The Eucharist Who IS the Life)
[/LIST]

We as Catholics may be held much more accountable because as Dr. Scott Hahn reminds his fellow Catholics quoting Scripture, “to whom much is given, much will be required”.

But the glory is greater too in such as the obedient servant or the virgins and martyrs and “elders” or Priests as seen in the Book of Revelation.

There is a proportionality to hell for the condemned but a proportionality for those in Heaven too as 2nd Corinthians 5:10 and elsewhere reminds us.

And God wants us to strive for the good (ultimately strive for Him) just because it is His will for us: “Be perfect as your Heavenly Father is perfect”. Someday with His grace, all in Heaven will be brought to perfection in conformity with that “proportionality”.

So there is a scandalous situation of the under-catechized Catholic. And an even greater problem of rebelliousness to God.

But a lot of Catholics today are “fixin’ to change this” problem of Catholics being unaware of their own faith. Turning a ship around is a big process and in this case, needs a lot of grace.

Sadly this poor catechesis is brought on us in part as a punishment and has been seen in other ages and places too.

The REASON WHY this punishment has been brought upon us is our own rejection of God’s gifts. This has serious consequences.

The late St. Anthony Mary Claret talked about this phenomenon (especially as it concerned his diocese in Cuba). He was relating it to clergy (I would relate it to us laity too in a secondary sense, perhaps even moreso).

ST. ANTHONY MARY CLARET I know by experience that the greatest punishment that can befall a people is a bad priest! It is best to leave a town without a priest than send one unworthy. If God does not send me men who are truly called, God Himself will have to take care of the people and souls by means of the angels. A call is God’s gift. I must not bring the unworthy into the sheepfold to destroy it, instead of tending it.
—p. 161 (The Miracles of St. Anthony Mary Claret by Fr. Juan Echevarria [can be found [URL=“https://tanbooks.benedictpress.com/index.php/page/shop:flypage/product_id/361/”]here])

Also from a different but closely related book, The Life of St. Anthony Mary Claret . . . .

Never would he ordain young men whose disinterested love of religion and moral integrity and intelligence were open to question. “It was a guiding maxim with him that it was preferable to leave the parishes priestless than to send them unworthy pastors. For he had observed from experience that there was a better compliance with the natural law, and— once Christian marriage had regularized their illegitimate unions during the missions—the people were more likely to be preserved in grace in places with no priests whatsoever than in towns directed by bad priests, where depraved customs invariably prevailed. If God doesn’t send me true vocations,’ he contended, ‘He will protect the [neglected] souls by means of His angels. It is He Who gives the call; and not for me to introduce unworthy [pastors] into flocks they will devour rather than feed.’ "
—p. 151 (The Life of St. Anthony Mary Claret by Fanchon Royer [can be found [URL=“http://www.amazon.com/The-Life-Anthony-Mary-Claret/dp/0895552884/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1385536359&sr=8-2&keywords=The+Autobiography+of+St.+Anthony+Mary+Claret”]here])

All is I can say to the scandal of us lousy Catholics like me is “I repent” to God and “I am so sorry” to those around me. And I also beg Jesus to strengthen me in the Holy Eucharist while I continue to plead the mercy and blood of my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and ask Him to use me to right these wrongs and be a better example and friend to those around me (as has been said, “They don’t care what you know, until they know that you care”).

As long as they are in a State of Grace (ie, no mortal sin) they are better to receive without understanding than to not receive at all. Our understanding is not required for the Sacrament to be effective.

The problem with statistics like these is that a LOT of people identify themselves as Catholics, even though they haven’t been to Church in ages, don’t understand it’s teachings, and are really only Catholics the way they are “Irish.”

So to take statistics like these and make a big issue out of numbers is useless without understanding WHO makes up these numbers.

If you Questioned good practicing Catholics you’re not going to come up with a number like 45%!

What does the Bible tell you doc? :wink:
We do know that the making of a disciple was through “baptizing…and teaching…all I have commanded” and that “whoever hears you hears me” and that the early church was “devoted to” the Eucharist and that their disciples spoke of the Eucharist in exactly the same terms that the Catholic Church does to this day. The testimony of the lives and miracles of canonized Saints is certainly powerful.
Ultimately it is unknown who is “better”, whatever you mean by that. I cannot see an advantage to reducing the Eucharist to a mere symbol - I cannot see a “devotion” to a mere symbol. What is clearly best is to trust in God with humility and accept by faith what you cannot fully understand - exactly as the Apostles did at the end of John 6.

blessings

Some people here are missing what exactly I’m asking.

I’m not trying to start a discussion on John 6 or how to interpret Christ’s words or who’s interpretation is better. Rather, I’m asking that if almost half of Catholics have no clue what they’re taking when taking part in communion, and truly do think that it’s symbolic then is that any different than Protestants accepting it as symbolic in the first place?

Or is the mere fact that it was transformed but the Catholic has no idea and partakes in it anyways greater than the one who isn’t Catholic but takes communion with the same conscience?

Certainly. But that isn’t what I’m getting at. No doubt practicing Catholics know what they’re doing, but many don’t. That’s not what this discussion is about.

From your article:

Researchers from the independent Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life phoned more than 3,400 Americans and asked them 32 questions about the Bible, Christianity and other world religions, famous religious figures and the constitutional principles governing religion in public life.

Which means less than 3,500, lol.

And you want to adjudicate this sample to the 1 billion Catholics in the world…

I don’t have a math degree but the difference here is astounding…

I’m not even getting into the credibility issue…

:popcorn:

I just prayed for this 45% to have understanding of the eucharist if they are really active Catholics (I suspect they were raised Catholic and are now lapsed or fallen away) - as we don’t know if they are active and receiving communion from this ridiculously small sample.

So to answer your question properly I would need a properly done survey.

IMHO, it is worse for the CAtholics who partake unworthily. Being a Catholic is like the parable of the Talents. Catholics have been given a great gift. If they bury that gift then they will be found to be evil stewards and condemned by Christ.

I have no doubt, that just as Jesus foretold to the Jews, that people would come from the East and West and sit with Abraham, Moses and the Prophets in the Kingdom of Heaven, while the children of Israel were shut out, so too, would he be able to make the same analogy with Catholics and Protestants. Being a Catholic places a corresponding responsibility to the greatness of the gift.

I might be mistaken, however I do not believe this is close to what the survey said.

The survey said that 40% of the survey respondents said the bread and wine actually become the body and blood, 52% said it was symbolic and 8% did not know. The survey asked the questions of 3412 people, of whom only 24% were Catholic.

Since the survey did not break out the number of Catholic respondents who answered this question correctly or incorrectly, no conclusions can be drawn.

See here for the raw data (question 44 is the one you reference). pewforum.org/files/2010/09/religious-knowledge-topline.pdf

As with most general media religion articles, much ado about nothing (and three year old nothing to boot).

Fair enough.

Rather, I’m asking that if almost half of Catholics have no clue what they’re taking when taking part in communion, and truly do think that it’s symbolic then is that any different than Protestants accepting it as symbolic in the first place?

There is no difference between a symbolic belief and a symbolic belief. Is that really what you wanted an answer to?

Or is the mere fact that it was transformed but the Catholic has no idea and partakes in it anyways greater than the one who isn’t Catholic but takes communion with the same conscience?

I’m sorry, but that is not a coherent sentence that can be answered. I have no idea what clause the term “greater” above modifies. Did you mean to ask it is a greater sin for a non-believing Catholic to partake in the Eucharist vs a Protestant or did you mean to ask which receives a greater benefit? Either way, as I answered the first time around, it’s best to believe and receive. The rest of the considerations of which is the better of two bad choices (ignorant Catholic vs standard Protestant) are pretty meaningless IMHO - they are both bad.

Blessings

On that note, I have to share a story. Sorry Dronald, this has nothing to do with your post.
I got a phone call recently asking for my opinion on the ObamaCare. I said OK so she asked me “prequalifier” questions, about 12 of them, asking my income, level of education, how “professional” (my word) my wife and my job were and 3 questions about my cell phone. After answering the questions, except income, she told me I didn’t qualify for the poll. I said “wait, you didn’t ask me anything about healthcare only about my income and level of professionalism and whether I paid my own phone bill”. She explained that she didn’t know why but the computer prequalifying screening questions disqualified me. So I asked, “If I said I was on welfare and had an Obamaphone, would I qualify then?” She hung up on me. Now that gave me a great deal of insight about opinion polls. I was irritated at the time, but after a while I thought it was a bit funny.

Assuming that a Protestant believes that communion is symbolic and takes part in it with their Church. A Catholic takes the Eucharist but believes such is symbolic because of ignorance.

My question is what is worse? Being an ignorant Catholic or a non-believing Protestant?

It seems to me (I might be wrong) but your question is evolving a little. I understand what you mean by protestant belief of symbolism. There is a difference between a Catholic that doesn’t truly understand the sacrament (possibly poor catechism ) or truly believes in symbolism (again possibly poor catechism); we are assuming these to both be of ignorance, right? If the Catholic was rejecting known teaching, it would be sinful to partake. The ignorance shows no intent to offend God through rejection, it would not be a sin. As to the protestant rejection of the Real Presence, St. Paul tells us that God is the judge of that, as they are “without the Church”; which is not the answer you’re looking for.

It worries me, to be truthful. It bothers me to see people reject Jesus’ gift to us. John 6 very succinctly links non-believers as deserters. So to have knowledge of scriptures, early father’s teachings, centuries of constant teaching and to still reject Jesus is not invincible ignorance, but willful. So yes, rejection is worse than ignorance. The second paragraph is my opinion, which you are welcome to reject. As I said, St. Paul tells us to mind our own business and neither you nor I can reject St. Paul:)

I disagre here. The Priest is not asking a question he is stating a fact.

In the Eucharistic prayer the priest is using Jesus words when he says— take this all of you and eat of it, for this IS MY BODY, which will be given up fr you.
.

amen means trully or so be it not I agree

All things being equal, it is better to be in the Catholic Church than outside of it.

Another way to ask your question is, “Would a Catholic ignorant of the real presence be better off in a Protestant Church?” The answer is no.

It is better to be within the one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church than not.

-Tim-

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