Unity not Polarization
Dear Parishioners of Saint Andrew:
Last week, the Catholic Bishops of the United States – during a virtual meeting due to the COVID pandemic – voted to proceed with the drafting of a teaching document on the meaning of the Eucharist in the life of the Church. This decision and the forthcoming document have been the object of much speculation in the media, Catholic and non-Catholic alike. Archbishop José Gomez, Archbishop of Los Angeles and President of the US Bishops’ Conference, has wisely said:
“The Eucharist is the heart of the Church and the heart of our lives as Catholics…As bishops, our desire is to deepen our people’s awareness of this great mystery of faith, and to awaken their amazement at this divine gift, in which we have communion with the living God. That is our pastoral purpose in writing this document.”
This document will not be disciplinary in nature, nor will it targeted at any one individual or class of persons. It will reiterate the Church’s consistent teaching on the responsibility of every Catholic to live in accordance with the truth, goodness and beauty of the Eucharist we celebrate. It is anticipated that the bishops will discuss the draft document at their next meeting in November.
At this stage, I ask all of you to join me in praying for our bishops as they exercise their ministry as teachers of the faith. As Archbishop Gomez has said, let this be “a time for all of us in the Church to reflect on our own faith and readiness to receive our Lord in the Holy Eucharist”. Let us resist the partisanship that the news media and social media want to impose on this topic. As you know well, the Holy Eucharist is the sacrament of our unity in faith and charity. We must resist any temptation from any source to make the Holy Eucharist a point of polarization, as so often happens with political and social issues in our society today.
On an unrelated matter, this week I begin my annual summer vacation. The weekly “Pastor’s Message” will resume when I return. I wish all of you a restful, peaceful and safe summer.
May the Eucharistic Lord continue to bless you and your families with His love!
Monsignor Michael A. Souckar