Doubting Catholics 'not cathecised' in doctrine


TRANSUBSTANTIATION:A SENIOR Catholic Church figure has said the reason that only about a quarter of Irish Catholics told pollsters they believed in transubstantiation was “because maybe they never have been educated in that”.

Cardinal Oscar Rodríguez Maradiaga was asked about a finding in an Irish Times/Ipsos MRBI survey, published on Tuesday, which showed that just 26 per cent of Irish Catholics believed that bread and wine were transformed into the body and blood of Christ at consecration in the Mass.

The cardinal, who is also archbishop of Tegucigalpa in Honduras, said the theology of the Eucharist was “not easy” and “many people are not catechised enough in order to know about the mystery of the Eucharist”.

This was “the reason why, especially, the next synod [in Rome] that will start in October, will be [about] the transmission of the faith through education in the faith,” he said.

He believed “many people say they do not believe in transubstantiation in the Eucharist because maybe they never have been educated in that . . . ”

He hoped next week’s Eucharistic Congress in Dublin might help “prepare Christians in the theology of the sacrament”.

Asked whether Pope Benedict and the previous pope had worked against the spirit of the Second Vatican Council, he said: “The Holy Spirit is always inspiring the church and we are not going backward. The Holy Spirit is pushing us to go forward.”

He believed many aspects of Second Vatican Council “are still to be discovered”.

Many of the aspects of the council were waiting to be implemented, he said

Cardinal Maradiaga was speaking at the opening of an international theological symposium in Maynooth yesterday. It continues until Saturday.

Fr Brendan Leahy, professor of systematic theology at St Patrick’s College, Maynooth, said the focus of the symposium would be on “the ecclesiology of communion” after the opening of the Second Vatican Council 50 years ago.

Up to 400 would be attending, with 30 speakers and 25 “emerging scholars.

Cardinal Marc Ouellet, prefect of the Vatican’s Congregation of Bishops, spoke last night. He will be papal legate to the Eucharistic Congress next week.

Other speakers at the symposium include Cardinal Kurt Koch of the Vatican’s Council for Promoting Christian Unity and Metropolitan Emmanuel Adamakis of France, president of the Conference of European Churches.

Cardinal Maradiaga will address the symposium on Saturday.