A response to ‘Where’s the transparency?’
Letter to the Editor | Monday, March 8, 2021
To The Observer Editorial Board,
I agreed with most of the points made in your editorial, “Where’s the transparency?” However, I was disheartened to see that you chose to throw in an unnecessarily mocking comment about Masses on campus when you asked, “Does a tabernacle help prevent coronavirus transmission?” I understand you made this comment to illustrate that it is unfair to prevent clubs from meeting when Masses can have similar numbers of attendees. I am not attempting to refute that claim. But why belittle the Blessed Sacrament when making your point?
I imagine you don’t genuinely think that Mass-goers on this campus believe themselves to be immune to disease when in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament. In that case, it must be that you were attempting to make a joke. I think this was an unwise decision. The Real Presence of the Lord Jesus Christ in the Blessed Sacrament is already an object of scorn for many outside the Catholic Church, and according to polls, only one-third of Catholics in America believe in the Real Presence. Why contribute even further to mockery of our Lord?
The Catechism of the Catholic Church (article 1509) states the following: “‘Heal the sick!’ The Church has received this charge from the Lord and strives to carry it out by taking care of the sick as well as by accompanying them with her prayer of intercession. She believes in the life-giving presence of Christ, the physician of souls and bodies. This presence is particularly active through the sacraments, and in an altogether special way through the Eucharist, the bread that gives eternal life and that St. Paul suggests is connected with bodily health.”
The Catechism does not claim that the Eucharist will prevent transmission of disease. But it does assert that the Eucharist is a healing remedy for the spiritual ailments brought upon humanity by sin, and is indeed the most fitting remedy since it allows us to receive the Divine Physician himself. I believe that it is contrary to the message and spirit of the Catechism to mock the idea of the Eucharist providing healing and protection.
TL;DR: It’s fine to criticize the University’s COVID policy. But please don’t bring the Eucharist into it.
The views expressed in this Letter to the Editor are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.