Lay-driven coalition launched to help ‘restore belief’ in the Real Presence of the Eucharist – LifeSite

(LifeSiteNews) – A new laity-driven coalition has been formed to provide valuable input to the U.S. Catholic bishops in their task of renewing Catholics’ faith in the Real Presence of Our Lord Jesus Christ in the Most Holy Sacrament of the Altar.

The Real Presence Coalition (RPC) launched today, Monday, July 1, the feast of the Most Precious Blood. According to its website, the Coalition is “an informal group of influential Catholics working to restore belief in Jesus Christ’s Real Presence in the Holy Eucharist.”

Consisting of theologians, newspaper and magazine editors, lay organizations and clergy, notably LifeSiteNews’ own John-Henry Westen, The Remnant’s Michael Matt, Crisis’ Eric Sammons, OnePeterFive’s Timothy Flanders, and Regina Magazine’s Beverly De Soto, U.S. Grace Force’s Doug Berry, Dr. Scott Hahn, Michael Hichborn and Vicki Yamasaki, the Coalition’s members also include authors Dr. Peter Kwasniewski and Dr. Taylor Marshall as well as Bishops Joseph Strickland and Athanasius Schneider, Fr. Donald Calloway and Fr. Chad Ripperger. (A full membership list may be found here.)

As its first contribution, RPC has released a survey for American Catholics to better understand the potential reasons for their dwindling faith in the Real Presence.

Father Ripperger reinforces the importance of the survey to discover the reasons why so many Catholics no longer believe in the Real Presence.

“The Blessed Sacrament is the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Christ, and for this reason the Sacred Tradition has always labeled it THE mystery of faith. Hence, as the bishops have set in motion a program to draw greater attention to the belief in the Eucharist, it is important to know the causes of the decline in the belief in the Real Presence.  I encourage all Catholics to take the survey so that Real Presence Coalition can assist the bishops in obtaining accurate information to the bishops.”

“Faith in the inseparably united dogmas that the Mass is a true and proper sacrifice and that in the Holy Eucharist we worship the Real Presence of the body, blood, soul, and divinity of Jesus Christ continues to be weak and even non-existent among a vast number of Catholics,” Kwasniewski told LifeSiteNews via email.

Flanders pointed to a lack of reverence for the loss of faith.

“The loss of faith in the Real Presence is a direct result of liturgical iconoclasm and crimes against Eucharistic reverence by priests and people,” Flanders stated via email.

He believes that, to help reverse the decline, all “faithful Catholics must make reparation to Our Eucharistic Lord, as the Angel of Fatima said.”

Like the three-year National Eucharistic Revival organized by the American bishops, the impetus for the founding of the Real Presence Coalition was the August 5, 2019, release of a Pew Research Center study that found that 69% of the self-described Catholics polled did not believe the bread and wine consecrated at Mass were the Lord but “symbols of the body and blood of Jesus Christ.” Only 31% professed that the consecrated species contained the Real Presence. Meanwhile, 22% of those polled knew but rejected the Church’s teachings regarding transubstantiation, the conversion of the bread and wine to the Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity of Our Lord Jesus Christ.

De Soto was not shocked by the findings.

“The Pew findings are no surprise to any Catholic who attends Mass,” she told LifeSiteNews by email. “Casual behavior and dress abound. Catechesis from the pulpit is poor or nonexistent. This conveys one thing: The priests do not believe. If they don’t believe, why should the laity?”

The problem is much more widespread among Catholics who do not go to Mass than among the ones who do. According to Pew, “About six-in-10 (63%) of the most observant Catholics — those who attend Mass at least once a week — accept the church’s teaching about transubstantiation.” However, “even among this most observant group of Catholics, roughly one-third (37%) don’t believe that the Communion bread and wine actually become the body and blood of Christ.”

Attorney and children’s activist Elizabeth Yore told LifeSiteNews via email that her “grave concern” over the Pew poll inspired her to join the Real Presence Coalition. She believes that the Eucharist is the “spiritual antidote to the satanic evil infesting … our culture.”

“Note that Bishop Strickland led a Eucharistic procession against the blasphemic Perpetual Sisters of Indulgence at Dodger Stadium,” she wrote. “Bishop Strickland also calls the Eucharistic Presence as the “preeminent issue of our faith.” He is personally leading the faithful back to a reverence and understanding of the Eucharist by processions and adoration of Our Lord. “

But, of course, Bishop Strickland is not alone in that endeavor, as the Coalition acknowledges. On its website, the group cites the U.S. Catholic bishops’ response to the Pew report and pledges its willingness to assist them.

“U.S. bishops responded by launching a three-year Eucharistic Revival campaign which includes a National Eucharistic Congress in July 2024,” they wrote. “This is also the year for the conclusion of the Synod on Synodality in which Pope Francis stated that ‘the synodal Church is a Church of listening.’”

“It is in this spirit of synodality that a group of Catholics has launched a survey to assist the bishops in understanding the root causes that have contributed to the loss of faith in the Real Presence.”

For inquiries or further information, feel free to reach out to Yamasaki, spokesperson for the Coalition, at [email protected].

Previous ArticleNext Article