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Monday, November 15, 2004

You may have heard this one before.

Oswald Sobrino addresses an argument you hear occasionally from the Correct Catholic circles: Jesus' presence in scripture and and His presence in the Eucharist are the same thing.

It's also often combined with the hypothesis that Jesus is equally present in the gathered community at Mass.

Oooookay. Not that there isn't truth in both comparisons, of course. But Jesus said things about the Eucharist that He didn't say about His presence in scripture or in gatherings of His faithful.

An instant refutation comes from application of the hypothesis to a hot-button issue still confronting the Church, post-Kerry--denial of communion to pro-abortion politicians. Confront the proponent with a real world application:

"OK, sounds good. Actually, it's great! Your argument neatly solves the problem of denial of communion to pro-abortion Catholic politicians. After all, if Christ is equally present in the Word (and the gathered community), then we deny the politician nothing by refusing him the Eucharist. He is still able to "receive" Jesus equally well in the proclaimed scriptures and the presence of the eucharistic community. Simply catechize him or her with this understanding and this thorny issue will be history. No more theatrical fretting about confrontations at the (almost certainly nonexistent) communion rail--Senator/Congressman/Representative Kissling will still be getting Jesus. Right?"

The certain refusal of the proponent to be persuaded by the logical conclusion of his own theological freewheeling will be the finest refutation you could ask for.

The Eucharist is different. Even those who try to deny it know this, in their heart of hearts.

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