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April 2006

Bagomumbo-Jumbo

THE EDITOR

Easter usually finds the physical Resurrection of Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ subject to heightened attacks by neo-pagans and neo-Modernists, for whom the Risen Christ is a mere phantom; His Resurrection a self-serving myth conjured up to stiffen early Christian spines against Roman persecution.

This time around, however, in response to such hackneyed jibes, let us proclaim the historical fact of the glorified body of the Risen Lord via that other physical reality of Christ inextricably linked to the Resurrection - His bodily presence in the Most Holy Eucharist.

Today, as never before, we are called to safeguard this miraculous Gift: above all from internal attacks. Witness the insidious contribution to last October’s Synod on the Holy Eucharist by Nigerian Bishop Joseph Bagobiri.

Pursuing classic Modernist methodology (feigning support for Catholic teaching while undermining it) and citing a sociological survey of "animist Religions" as his reference point, His Lordship called on the Synod to "develop a theology of presence" that interprets the "real presence" as sacramental rather than physical.

As the following transcript of his synodal intervention attests, the teachings of Popes and Councils and writings of Saints and Fathers on the Real Presence have all passed him by. Instead, to appease and woo the pagans, the Bishop advocates a "more tolerant use" of heretical terms such as "transignification" and "transfinalization" - formulations long condemned which deny the mystery of transubstantiation, whereby the words of consecration at Holy Mass turn "the whole substance of the bread into the Body and the whole substance of the wine into the Blood of Christ": to wit the bread is no longer bread and the wine is no longer wine, having become truly, physically, Our Lord Jesus Christ.

It is a travesty that Bishop Bagobiri was not called to order and corrected on the spot, and a scandal that his erroneous views now soil the Vatican website. Yet it is hardly surprising given the massive erosion of belief in Church teaching on the Real Presence among Catholics high and low.

The dreaded term transubstantiation is just too philosophically precise - too scholastic - to accommodate Modernist desires to subjectivise, ecumenise and decorporealize the Blessed Sacrament. Moreover, the very notion is an embarrassment for post-conciliar pseudo-sophisticates. Quite simply, they find the whole business of conjuring up flesh and blood out of bread and wine as fantastic and superstitious as did the heretics of old, who coined the blasphemous phrase "hocus pocus" to mock the words of consecration: Hoc est corpus meum ["This is my Body"].

In muddying the pristine waters of Catholic doctrine on the Holy Eucharist, however, Bishop Bagobiri has unwittingly coined his own catchphrase to describe every similar attempt to undermine Church teaching with subversive Modernist cant and sociological verbiage: it’s all just "Bagomumbo-jumbo".

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