From the March 2020 edition…
A Lent challenge: Do I really believe?
I believe in miracles … do you? That’s the powerful question asked by Archbishop Tartaglia this month as Lent begins in earnest.
In a powerful interview with Flourish, Glasgow’s Archbishop calls for a new effort at fostering devotion to the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist and a renewed sense of the sacred.
The Archbishop spoke after a recent survey in the US showed only 30 per cent of Catholics fully accepted the doctrine of transubstantiation, namely the bread and wine offered at Mass truly become the body and blood of Christ at the moment of consecration.
Archbishop Tartaglia speaks frankly in the interview about the liturgical and catechetical mistakes which followed Vatican II and acknowledges that “the Church has gone through testing times in the post-conciliar period, much of it self-inflicted. There has been bad catechesis and bad theology around the Eucharist, with the result that many people cannot articulate the Church’s faith in the Eucharist even in simple terms.”
He adds starkly: “Many supportive elements of our practice, like fasting and genuflection and kneeling, and devotional prayers and practices, have been neglected. None of this has helped to nourish the faith of the People of God in the Most Holy Eucharist.”
But the Archbishop is clear that the answer is not a return to the past or a rejection of the liturgical changes of Vatican II. He says: “The Novus Ordo, the ‘new’ Mass, is not a defective form of the Mass. Its structure is based soundly on the great liturgical tradition. Its theology is orthodox. Like any other form of the Mass, when celebrated well, it more fully achieves God’s purpose. When celebrated poorly, it obscures God’s purpose.”
And he reminds readers that the teaching of the Church has been clear and unchanging in recent decades: “There has been good and faithful catechesis and teaching on the Eucharist during the post-Vatican II era, starting from Pope St Paul VI. His successors Pope St John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI taught firmly and beautifully on the Mass and on the Real Presence of Jesus Christ in the Most Holy Eucharist.
“Pope Francis summed up the Church’s teaching simply and powerfully last year on the feast of Corpus Christi: ‘Whenever we approach the altar to receive the Eucharist, we must truly renew our ‘amen’ to the Body of Christ… It is Jesus, it is Jesus who saved me, it is Jesus who comes to give me the strength to live. It is Jesus alive.’”
And he ended his interview with a cry of hope … “There is no pastoral plan that can fix this situation without insisting upon a renewed and profound faithfulness to Christ and to his Gospel. The answer will depend on much more faithful preaching and teaching at all levels which will lay out for the faithful the truth, beauty and wonder of the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist so that they may receive him in Holy Communion with faith and devotion for the salvation of their souls.
• It will be expressed in more obedient and authentic liturgy.
• It will be accompanied by a much greater response to Vatican II’s universal call to holiness from all sectors of the Church.
• It will demand a true conversion to the moral and social teaching of the Church.
• It will be based on a much more frequent and respectful practice around Mass, the Sacraments and an increased sensitivity to the sphere of the sacred.
• It will be supported by much more prayer, devotion and penance.
Its source and outcome will be a greater faith, hope and charity. It may well take a miracle of grace and conversion to restore our Eucharistic faith … but thankfully, I believe in miracles.”
Big push for WEE BOX
Archbishop Tartaglia has urged Catholics to get behind this year’s SCIAF WEE BOX appeal with every pound given between 21th February and 20th May this year doubled, thanks to the UK government’s Aid Match scheme.
The annual appeal raises vital funds for the charity’s life-changing work helping people in some of the poorest countries in the world who struggle to survive due to hunger, poverty, conflict and natural disasters.
Archbishop Tartaglia said: “The WEE BOX appeal has become a staple feature of Lent in households across Scotland. It is a popular and simple way of fundraising. This year, I would encourage everyone to be especially generous – maybe put some silver coins in with the coppers, and maybe even a bank note or two!
“The pledge from the UK Government to double the amount raised during the appeal is an extra incentive to be generous, in the sure and certain knowledge that donations given this year will help some of the world’s neediest people.”
The 2020 appeal will focus on SCIAF’s work with thousands of women and girls affected by sexual violence in the Democratic Republic of Congo. The money from the UK government will provide healthcare, surgery and trauma counselling, legal support to prosecute their attackers and help to become financially independent so they can support themselves and their families.
As part of the Lenten Campaign St Andrew’s Cathedral will host a special exhibition this month by award winning photographer, Angela Catlin, which shows the work of the SCIAF with women and girls in the DR of the Congo.
The free exhibition Hear Their Cry, Respond in Love will be at the Glasgow Cathedral from the 6 to the 13 March. and it will then be on display at Wolfson Medical Centre, University of Glasgow, 23–27 March.