Years of Christianity: Battle of the Sword and Cross in Mactan, Part 11
“The Holy Eucharist is the perfect expression of the love of Jesus Christ for the man.” – St. Maria Goretti
At a tender age of 11, Maria Goretti of Italy, was stabbed to death 14 times by her neighbor who also tried to rape her. She died a virgin and is now known as “The Little Saint of Great Mercy.” Forgiveness and mercy are the very essence of the Holy Eucharist, of Jesus Christ being present in the bread and wine received during communion.
What was supposed to be partaken by the people of God, the Catholic bishops of America want to deprive the Holy Eucharist to people they don’t believe deserve them. St. Goretti admonished that “the Holy Eucharist is the perfect expression of the love of Jesus for the man.” Jesus himself made the ultimate sacrifice so mankind will be forgiven, but his blood and body, if these bishops will have their way, are to be denied to the president of the United States and the Speaker of the House.
The bishops’ actions stem from their zealous desire to purify the Church and deny the Holy Communion to those who support abortion and gay marriage. Call them the Puritans of the Catholic Church, traditionalists, zealots who voted to ban the Holy Communion for certain public officials but backtracked when faced with severe criticisms.
They clearly wanted the Holy Eucharist weaponized to score a political point against a devout Catholic president “to clarify the meaning of traditions.” They were clearly pointing to one of the papal decrees institutionalized by the Council of Trent. The exercise was clearly what Pope Francis alluded to when he said, “God calls us to be free from fear, worldly power and hypocritical outward show,” that the bishops exhibited with their push for a policy declaration.
In the 16th century, the Council of Trent made the Holy Communion a sacrament and declared that the doctrine of transubstantiation is a dogma of faith and that “by the consecration of the bread and wine, the whole substance of the bread and wine becomes the substance of the body and blood of Christ.
The Synods defined the mass as a true sacrifice in amplifying the Canons established by the Fourth Council of the Lateran. Lateran IV defined the teaching of the Catholic Church on transubstantiation. Ironically, one of the canons decreed was Canon 18 on clerical morality prohibiting the clergy “to take part in matters connected with judicial tests and ordeals.” In today’s context, the American Catholic bishops who are trying to influence policy of abortion and gay marriage, are prohibited from such exercise.
Abortion and gay marriage are legal in the United States but former president Donald Trump’s appointment of a Catholic justice to the Supreme Court has created a supermajority that could overturn Roe vs. Wade, the landmark decision on abortion. There are now cases before the court that could change government policy on abortion and the bishops are clearly angling for it.
Canon 14-17 of Lateran IV, declared irregularities of the clergy such as drunkenness, to be immoral. One of the puritans who are part of the cabal pushing for such policy change is Bishop Salvatore Cordileone, the Archbishop of San Francisco. Cordileone chastised Speaker Nancy Pelosi, a parishioner in the archdiocese, for receiving the Holy Communion during the installation of Pope Francis and wanted her excluded from receiving the Holy Eucharist.
Bishop Cordileone was the Auxiliary Bishop of San Diego when he was arrested and booked for driving while under the influence (DUI) of alcohol – the very prohibition by Lateran IV on clerical immorality. His public avowal along with the majority of bishops of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops wants to preempt from God, the essence of forgiveness and mercy as envisioned by Lateran IV and the Council of Trent.
Lateran IV Canon 21 emphasized the rule “Omnis utriusque sexus” that every Christian who reached the years of discretion (age 7, also age of reason) to confess all his/her sins at least once a year, as a requisite for receiving the Holy Communion. The council of Trent made the Holy Communion a sacrament.
Irony of ironies, Lateran IV (13th century) and the Council of Trent (16th century) were both convened by the reigning popes to reform the Catholic Church and stamp out heresy. Both Councils framed a profession of faith to affirm the doctrines of the faith against heresies of their times. These modern day crusaders are aiming their inquisitions on what they believed as modern-day heretics.
Lateran IV decreed the Creed of “Caput Firmiter” that launched the crusade and inquisition against heretics of North Italy and Southern France and declared Frederick II as the Holy Roman Emperor. Council of Trent launched the Counter Reformation against the heresies of Reformation led by what would later be called the Protestants.
Both Councils espoused political solutions to confront enemies of the Church. The Firmiter made it official the Church doctrine that “God, creator of all visible and invisible things, from the beginning of time created each creature from nothing, spiritual and corporal, angelic and mundane, and human in the likeness of God.” The conflict was whether Lateran IV meant that creation was made at once, or allowed it (long ages) to evolve that the Modernist (i.e. heretics) interpreted.
In plain language, it was tradition (creation) versus science (evolution) and the modernists were heretics. The Firmiter made it clear that God created everything, good (Archangel) and evil (Lucifer), body and soul. The Doctrine of Transubstantiation became one of the doctrines that Protestants disagreed with. Protestants’ believe that Jesus is present in the service (consubstantiation); and the bread and wine are symbols of such presence. Such disagreement was one of the reasons for the Council of Trent being convened.
In both instances, the concept of transubstantiation was hotly debated. Thus, the current issue at hand in Washington once again muddies the water regarding traditions of the Catholic Church and the supremacy of the Pope. The overzealous bishops clearly are being insubordinate to the Jesuit pope. Pope Francis’ “Gaudete et Exsultate’” calls for holiness and points to “ideologies striking at the heart of the Gospel” that lead to harmful errors.
Abortion is anathema but equally important to defending the life of the unborn, are the lives of the poor, those already born, the homeless, among others, according to the pope. He chided those who think that “the only thing that counts is one particular ethical issue or cause that they themselves defend.”
Times have changed since Lateran IV and Trent. Powerful Catholic bishops are openly picking a fight with the pope, in demonizing the second Catholic president of the United States who defeated a non-Catholic president (Trump). When Trump was the “king,” these bishops stayed silent while Trump went after immigrants, Muslims, and women; and ignored Trump’s betrayal of other church sacraments in the altar of political expediency.