By Father Bernard Holzer, AA
“Ninety-seven (97%) of Filipino Catholics believe that the Holy Eucharist is actual body and blood of Christ”
This was the result of the Veritas Truth Survey conducted by Church-run Radio Veritas.
When I was reading these news, I remembered one of my sharings with Dom Helder Camara, Archbishop of Olinda and Recife, serving from 1964 to 1985, during the military dictatorship in Brazil.
"One day, grieving faithful came to inform me that thieves had broken the tabernacle in one of the churches, had stolen the ciboriums and spread the consecrated hosts on the ground. They asked me to preside over a celebration of atonement. During this celebration, I asked this question: "How is it that we are so outraged by the desecration of consecrated hosts and so little by the inhumane living conditions of slum dwellers? Aren't they also the body of Christ? »
Saint John Chrysostom in the fourth century already challenged his faithful in the same way: “Do you wish to honor the body of the Savior? Do not despise him when it is naked. Do not honor him in the church with silk vestments while outside he is naked and numb with cold.”
(Quoted by Pope Francis in “Fratelli Tutti”, §74)
During this pandemic, where many of us were deprived of the Eucharist, did we encounter Christ in the suffering and in the poor?