Archbishop Thomas Wenski stressed that the most obvious mark of Catholic identity is to go to Mass religiously, on Sundays and holy days of obligation.
United States – Miami (07/07/2021 13:28, Gaudium Press) The Archbishop of Miami (United States), Most Rev. Thomas Wenski, published an article recalling that the Holy Mass is the center of the Catholic faith. For this reason, the faithful should once again participate in the Eucharistic celebrations in person.
Archbishop Wenski stressed that just as virtual encounters with our loved ones are no substitute for face-to-face encounters, “as a family of faith, a community of the baptized, virtual Masses cannot long substitute for ‘full, conscious and active participation’ at Mass in our parish churches.”
Pandemic accelerated drop in Mass attendance
Regretting that, despite the progress of vaccination in the country, churches remain empty, Archbishop Wenski stated that according to some experts, “the pandemic, which had people isolating themselves at home, accelerated the falloff in Mass attendance that was already evident before the pandemic and so, they say, many people will not be back.”
According to the prelate, the growing secularism of our time has weakened the religious identities of many Americans” and that “if ‘former Catholic’ were a religious denomination, it would be the second-largest religious group in America,” he noted.
One cannot claim God as Father without recognizing the Church as Mother
For him, currently, “Americans have become individual consumers of religion, choosing their religious identity à la carte, so to speak.” And he warned that people who define themselves as spiritual but not religious end up building creeds made to suit their tastes and do not believe in the Church.
“For Catholics the personal act of faith (what the theologian calls the fides qua creditor) cannot be divorced from the content of faith itself (the fides quae creditor). Or as one of the ancient Fathers of the Church said: ‘One could not claim God as Father without at the same time acknowledging the Church as Mother’,” he stressed.
Attending Mass is the main mark of Catholic identity
The Archbishop also stressed that the most obvious mark of Catholic identity is to go to Mass religiously, on Sundays and holy days of obligation. Holy Mass is “the central act of our faith and the highest manifestation therefore of Catholic spirituality is participation in the Holy Eucharist seen as the source and summit of the Christian life.”
In conclusion, Arch. Wenski assured that “the recovery of Eucharistic practice — with renewed coherence and wonder— must be the path forward as we emerge from this pandemic, for the Eucharist — the Body and Blood of Christ — is the source of our healing and hope.” (EPC)
With files from thefloridacatholic.org
Compiled by Gustavo Kralj