Acknowledging evidence that “for several generations” the Catholic Church has not sufficiently taught its core truths, Bishop Daniel R. Jenky has called for all ministries of the Diocese of Peoria, Illinois, to be “intentionally centred” on the Real Presence in the holy Eucharist.
The bishop’s 2,100-word teaching document, titled “The Real Presence,” was released Sept. 16, six weeks after the publication of a Pew Research Center survey showing that a majority of Catholics in the United States do not believe that the bread and wine used at Mass become the body and blood of Christ.
“This failure in faith and conviction has happened despite the fact that the received teaching goes back to apostolic times and has always been held as foundational to our Catholic identity,” wrote Bishop Jenky. “So as your bishop, I believe it is a grave personal obligation for me to try to state as clearly as I am able some basic truths about the Blessed Sacrament.”
Bishop Jenky outlined “persistent evidence” of the Real Presence found in Scripture, the Catechism of the Catholic Church and the witness of the saints.
“It is a defined dogma of the Catholic Church, revealed by the Holy Spirit and preserved from any possibility of error, that the body and blood, soul and divinity of Jesus Christ are truly and substantially present in the most holy Eucharist,” he wrote. “This is not an opinion to be measured against any opinion poll, but rather divine revelation as expressed by the absolute authority of Scripture and tradition.”
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With thanks to Catholic News Service (CNS) and Tom Dermody, where this article originally appeared.