The Real Presence and "New Saint Joseph Missal"

I’ve been using a “New Saint Joseph Sunday Missal” for Sunday Mass for about a year now. I enjoy reading the Mass Themes and Biblical Commentaries provided for each mass, but sometimes the commentaries seem a little “off”; today especially. I was hoping to get some input or feedback.

As a Catholic, I believe in the Real Presence, of course. See the following highlighted commentary (I apologize for the crude image):

It doesn’t seem to me the author of this commentary, Rv. John C. Kersten, believes in the Real Presence. I feel secure in my faith, but I imagine how someone who isn’t quite sure about the doctrine of transubstantiation might be confused by these comments. Should this sort of commentary be part of a Catholic publication? Next week’s commentary is even worse, IMHO. I could post it if anyone is interested.

I agree. I don’t think there is anything in there that would offend a Baptist! :eek:

Also see his commentary on the readings for feast of the Body and Blood of Christ (Corpus Christi).

Shaky for a Lutheran too. What does the comment on Wisdom say?


I had trouble reading the highlighted areas so I cannot comment.

Gospel Jn 6:41-51 [Jesus, the Living Bread]
Using the symbolism of bread, Jesus indicates that we need him on our journey through life. “I [Jesus] am the bread of life…Whoever eats this bread will live forever.” In other words, a person closely related to Jesus Christ will not die the death of alienation from God. (See comment on Wisdom at 13th Sunday in Ordinary Time–B, p. 902.) The essential condition for this is faith (trust) in the Lord Jesus: “Whoever believes has eternal life.”

Christians see the Eucharistic bread and wine, signs of Christ’s mysterious presence to us, as a viaticum, “food for our journey” to the mountain where we hope to meet God (First Reading). Gratefully, we should “take and eat it” as the Lord has told us to do."

Hmmm, my first thought was to never read anything written by that author, particularly about the Eucharist.

This made me curious and I found the following at

Fr. Long was especially concerned with heterodox teaching on the Eucharist and with the baneful influence of a popular post-conciliar catechism. He must have rejoiced after the publication of his book when informed of the official statement issued by Bishop Leo T. Maher, then Bishop of San Diego.

"It is forbidden to use the book entitled 'Bible Catechism' by Rev. John C. Kersten, SVD. Its full title is : 'New Revised - Vatican II edition, A Meaning for Man's Existence'. This book is heretical in reference to the Eucharist and should not be used at any time." (The Southern Cross, December 31, 1981)

It seems Bishop Maher wasn’t happy with Kersten’s writings on the Eucharist even 30 years ago. I don’t doubt that the good reverend is a holy man, just that his teaching is missing some orthodoxy. The choice of this author by the editors of the “New Saint Joseph Missal” seems poorly considered.

According to even the Baltimore Catechism “a sacrament is an outward sign instituted by Christ to give grace.” Being a sign is not a denial of real presence.

I would just like to comment on the second highlighted text and not particularly the part about viaticum but about the eucharistic bread and wine being signs of Christ’s mysterious presence. As a poster has remarked from the Baltimore Catechism, a sacrament is an outward sign instituted by Christ to give grace. The eucharistic bread and wine are indeed signs under which is hidden substantially the body and blood of Christ. In the doctrine of transubstantiation, there is a change of the substances of the bread and wine into the substances of Christ’s body and blood, while the appearances or accidents of the bread and wine remain. These appearances or accidents of the bread and wine do not inhere in the substances of Christ’s body and blood. They are appearances or accidents of what once was bread and wine but which remain after the consecration by divine power since the substances of the bread and wine are changed into the body and blood of Christ. The body and blood of Christ lies hidden and invisible under the appearances of the bread and wine. The appearances of the bread and wine are the signs under which lies hidden substantially and truly the body and blood of Christ.

Now, whether the Rv. John C. Kersten believes that the eucharist is only a sign or not I don’t know. If he believes it is only a sign under which the body and blood of Christ are not truly and substantially present, than he would be in serious error.

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