Wednesday, 9 September 2009

Opposition to Eucharistic Adoration persists

Several bloggers have picked up on Fr McBrien's comments in opposition to the adoration of the Blessed Sacrament outside of Mass. Fr McBrien says:
Notwithstanding Pope Benedict XVI's personal endorsement of eucharistic adoration and the sporadic restoration of the practice in the archdiocese of Boston and elsewhere, it is difficult to speak favorably about the devotion today.

Now that most Catholics are literate and even well-educated, the Mass is in the language of the people (i.e, the vernacular), and its rituals are relatively easy to understand and follow, there is little or no need for extraneous eucharistic devotions. The Mass itself provides all that a Catholic needs sacramentally and spiritually.

Eucharistic adoration, perpetual or not, is a doctrinal, theological, and spiritual step backward, not forward.
This is a surprising attack on the practice of Eucharistic Adoration which has become so popular, especially among young people. Normally one would expect liberal theologians to write against traditionalism in the liturgy of the ordinary form of the Mass, or against the freeing-up of the extraordinary form, but characterising Eucharistic Adoration as a "step backward" is something of an extreme position given the widespread popularity of this devotion in parishes and the warm encouragement given to it by Pope John Paul, Pope Benedict, and every Vatican Dicastery that has spoken about the promotion of vocations, the new evangelisation, or generally about the growth of faith in the young.

Are we to believe that Pope Benedict is taking a step backward here?

I thought that opposition to the adoration of the Blessed Sacrament was now more or less finished, but it seems that liberal theologians persist in their attacks on one of the most unambiguous expressions of Catholic faith in the Holy Eucharist.
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