Washington D.C., Aug 10, 2019 / 14:32 pm
After a recent survey found that two-thirds of Catholics do not believe Church teaching about the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist, Catholic commenters are stressing the importance of better faith formation.
“We should never assume that ‘everyone here knows the basics.’ We have to constantly reiterate the basics and take every advantage that we have to catechize,” said John Bergsma, a professor of Theology at Franciscan University of Steubenville.
A recent Pew Research study found that just 31% of U.S. Catholics they surveyed believe that the bread and wine used in the Eucharist, through a process called transubstantiation, become the body and blood of Jesus— a fundamental teaching central to the Catholic faith, known as the Real Presence.
Sixty-nine percent of Catholics that Pew surveyed reported their belief that the bread and wine used during the Eucharist “are symbols of the body and blood of Jesus Christ.” This mindset made up a majority in every age group surveyed.
“Most Catholics who believe that the bread and wine are symbolic do not know that the church holds that transubstantiation occurs,” Pew reported Aug. 5.
“Overall, 43% of Catholics believe that the bread and wine are symbolic and also that this reflects the position of the church. Still, one-in-five Catholics (22%) reject the idea of transubstantiation, even though they know about the church’s teaching.”
Interestingly, a small percentage of those surveyed— 3%— claimed to believe in the Real Presence despite not knowing that this is what the Church teaches.
Los Angeles Auxiliary Bishop Robert Barron said the study made him angry because it showed poor formation for generations in the Church.