Some of you might wonder why bother putting up Bosco’s post? The answer is that although he might be a particularly crass example of anti-Catholic bigotry, he simply says more crudely what others say with more guile.
The method is one with which we are all familiar. In the first place there is never, even once, a reference to any Catholic document more recent than Trent, and usually no reference to any Catholic document at all. Where a Catholic source is used, it will be cited in no context and whatever it says will be taken as authoritative. So, from some website or other, Bosco came across a reference to Fr O’Brien’s Faith of the Millions’ as though it were the Catechism. Let us see what authoritative Catholic teaching says about the priesthood:
876 Intrinsically linked to the sacramental nature of ecclesial ministry is its character as service. Entirely dependent on Christ who gives mission and authority, ministers are truly “slaves of Christ,”392 in the image of him who freely took “the form of a slave” for us.393 Because the word and grace of which they are ministers are not their own, but are given to them by Christ for the sake of others, they must freely become the slaves of all.394
Why does Bosco not use such public sources from the teaching authority of the Church? Because he can’t twist those sources to fit what he has been taught he ought to think. I doubt he has ever seen a copy of Fr O’Brien’s book, but he found a quotation on the internet which fitted his prejudice and cited it as though it is Catholic teaching. Sad or bad? The product of ignorance or prejudice? Who can tell? The truth is easy to discover, so what are we to make of an adult who, rather than trying to discover it, opts for a random quotation which matches his own prejudices? That such a person should claim to be inspired by a ‘new spirit’ is worrying; what sort of ‘spirit’ leads a man to a well of lies?
Another trope of anti-Catholic polemic is to misrepresent Catholic teaching, and to provide no references to the real thing. Thus we find Bosco saying:
‘The scriptures say that without the shedding of blood, there is no remission of sin. The catholic church says its Mass is a bloodless sacrifice.’
The Church teaches that Calvary was the once and for all sacrifice offered for our redemption. Every Mass sees that ‘re-enacted in wonderful fashion and is constantly recalled, and its salvific power is applied to the forgiving of the sins we commit each day.’ So easy to find what the Church teaches, so again, one wonders about the motive of someone who cannot do a basic internet search to discover that.
Bosco’s next target is that statement that
‘ one must believe Jesus is truly and bodily in the wafer, or Host, I think, and another being that one must believe what they say about anything, or they are damned.’
Jesus tells us to eat his body and blood in John 6:52-59, and we see a lot of his followers turning away, because, like Bosco, they could not take what he said literally. As the Church teaches:
18. The scholastic Doctors made similar statements on more than one occasion. As St. Thomas says, the fact that the true body and the true blood of Christ are present in this Sacrament “cannot be apprehended by the senses but only by faith, which rests upon divine authority. This is why Cyril comments upon the words, This is my body which is delivered up for you, in Luke 22, 19, in this way: Do not doubt that this is true; instead accept the words of the Savior in faith; for since He is truth, He cannot tell a lie.” [(6)Summa Theol. III,(a) q. 75, a. 1, c.]
In short, there is good Biblical warrant for believing, as the Orthodox and Catholics do that Christ is present in the Eucharist. One might, in good faith, argue over the meaning, but to argue, as he does, that there is something unBiblical in Catholic teaching is to show oneself ignorant of both Scripture and history.
As is usual one misrepresentation os followed by another, and, again, typically, the allegations become odder and odder, Bosco’s version of this is as follows:
This Romanish practice of bringing down Christ from heaven to sacrifice him again and again in order to relieve those in attendance from their sins means the Romanish religion says that Christs sacrifice on Calvary wasn’t enough.
The problem with this is it is made up by Bosco and those like him. Catholic teaching is clear:
1367 The sacrifice of Christ and the sacrifice of the Eucharist are one single sacrifice: “The victim is one and the same: the same now offers through the ministry of priests, who then offered himself on the cross; only the manner of offering is different.” “And since in this divine sacrifice which is celebrated in the Mass, the same Christ who offered himself once in a bloody manner on the altar of the cross is contained and is offered in an unbloody manner. . . this sacrifice is truly propitiatory.”190
No anti-Catholic polemic would be complete without an allegation that the early Church was not liturgical in its worship. As ever, Bosco’s offering is oddly expressed:
Then in around 70 AD, the temple was destroyed, the alter was destroyed, the records of all the Levite priests were destroyed. All of that symbolic stuff was gone. We don’t need it anymore. the born again are priests and Kings in the Kingdom of heaven. God used to dwell in Solomon’s temple, but now he dwells in heaven and no more will dwell in tabernacles made by human hands.
The authority for the statement ‘all that symbolic stuff was gone’ seems to be Bosco’s unaided reason. The Didache, which dates from after AD 70 suggests that the early Church continued a liturgical form of worship. But as Bosco knows no history, but knows what he wants to think, he makes a bold statement offering no evidence and denies all other evidence.
These things usually end up in a very odd place, and this is Bosco’s:
The Romanish religion, not satisfied with Christs one time sacrifice, has built alters and temples and some golden cage that they claim God crawls into for their amusement. Levites were the priests. But the Church on Vaticanus Hil has its own false priest, its own false alters and its own false tabernacles.
Bosco offers no evidence for the statement that we claim ‘God crawls into’ a cage, nor that the Pope is a false priest. By this stage, the polemicist is so drunk on his own infallibility he ceases to offer even the slightest evidence; rant is all we get. All very sad and predictable.
Naturally, no anti-Catholic bigotry would be complete without an unreferenced mention of Queen Mary I of England. So we get this:
Queen Mary of England, a devout catholic, and with the smiling approval of the Holy Father on vaticanus Hill, burned to death anyone caught saying that Christ was not really the “real” presence in the Catholic Euchrist, or monsterance, or what ever that thing they have during their re sacrifice of the Risen Lord. Not to mention she went about to confiscate every bible the people had in their native tongue.
For those interested in some facts, there is a post here basing itself on the latest historical research. If Bosco’s purpose had been to show us that in the past people did horrible things to each other in Christ’s name, that would be one thing, but to suggest it was only the Catholics is, alas, dishonest.
As one might expect from the source, Bosco manages to finish with a flourish
The Romanish religion claims that this unbiblical Mass is the pinnacle, the height of its devotional life. And this is where God is encountered. Not enough to be at the height of blasphemy, it tells little children that to miss one of these blasphemous rituals is to bring downs Gods wrath upon them in the form of a eternity in hell. This alone is inexcusable.
Unbiblical? I suppose Bosco has not read the accounts of the Last Supper. St Paul believed that Jesus was present in the Mass, and we do so too. If Bosco could provide chapter and verse for us telling little children they will go to hell for missing a Mass, it would be useful.
But then, of course, none of this stuff has any anchoring in reality. It is the product of centuries of anti-Catholic bigotry. Bosco will not stop, but then in five years here he has established only one thing, that to the bigot, nothing is as dear as the bad ideas lodged in a narrow understanding. In the end, he is a case for the psychologist. What odd imperative drives someone to repeat the same old discredited charges again and again?