Monday, February 23, 2009

Nancy Pelosi on the Real Presence (updated)

Update: The article doesn't make it entirely sure whether Nancy Pelosi does or does not accept the doctrine of the Real Presence; her daughter (the grandchild's mother) is the one quoted as saying the elements of the Eucharist "represent the Body and Blood". I've included the next paragraph from the article which provides Nancy Pelosi's explanation.

I read a blog post from Diane (at Te Deum laudamus) that saddens me, but doesn't really surprise me. It's about Nancy Pelosi, her daughter, and her granddaughter, and the Real Presence:
Relaying an exchange with the girl, her mother and Grandma Nancy, the congresswoman writes that the girl announced that she wanted to explain that “‘it is the BODY and BLOOD of Christ. When we go to church, IT IS THE BODY AND BLOOD OF CHRIST.’”

Her mother corrected the girl: “‘Yes, the host and the wine REPRESENT the body and blood of Christ.’”

But Nancy’s granddaughter protested, God bless her: “‘NOT represent. IS, it IS the body and blood of Christ.’”

Pelosi writes, “My granddaughter was buying into it.”

[Update: I've added this paragraph so as not to misrepresent Nancy Pelosi's position.]

Pelosi goes on to explain: “Okay. But it is hard. Every Sunday for me it’s hard. Christ has died; Christ is risen; Christ will come again. Now think of it; we say that every week. Do I really believe he’s coming again? Yes, I believe he’s coming again. Christ has died; Christ is risen; Christ will come again. This is my body; this is my blood. They’re asking a lot. In my era, we didn’t question any of it.
Sigh. [Update: I've added the following commentary.]

I'm not sure what she's saying here. It sounds like the granddaughter believes what she has been taught (by her parish), that the elements of the Eucharist truly become the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ. It sounds like the child's mother (Nancy's daughter) does not believe in the Real Presence (saying the elements represent the Body and Blood). Nancy Pelosi, though, seems to juxtapose belief in the Second Coming with belief in the Real Presence: she believes that Jesus is coming again, but then regarding the Eucharist, she says "they're asking a lot" and that when she was growing up, "we didn't question any of it".

Do we question it now? Well, sure, of course we do. It's part of our nature to question what we're told. But sincerity demands that what we question, we investigate. So, has she investigated the Church's belief in the Real Presence? What are her findings? What does she believe? (I hope it turned out better than her "investigation" of the Church's teaching on abortion.)


Anonymous said...


Weekend Fisher said...

Kinda sad. Tricky question: how do we deal with public figures who publicly claim the same confession, but publicly disown it and disparage it? The bogey-man version of religiosity is that "What, you think somebody should force her to think those things??" Of course not; but we have to question, given that she *doesn't* think those things, why does she self-identify into a group where that's part of the identity?

Take care & God bless
Anne / WF

Anonymous said...

Note well that the formula "Christ will come again," pronounced at this juncture in the Mass, tends to contradict the fact that Jesus is ALREADY present on the altar at this time.

For shame, ye concocters of the Novus Ordo! For shame! Before God, for shame!

Patrick Cullinan, Jr.
Brooklyn, NY

Jeffrey Pinyan said...

Patrick, first of all (as I'm sure you know), the "Christ has died, Christ is risen, Christ will come again" option for the Memorial Acclamation is peculiar to the US translation of the Mass; it is not, then, the "concocters of the Novus Ordo" who are to blame. It doesn't appear in the "study text" of the new translation of the Ordo Missae.

It does seem to be draw attention away from the Real Presence of Jesus Christ on the altar; it is in the third person (unlike the other Memorial Acclamations), which complicates the matter further.

However, the eschatalogical nature of "Christ will come again" is not opposed to (nor fulfilled by) the enduring presence of Christ found in the Most Blessed Sacrament. Jesus is "with [us] all days, even to the consummation of the world" and yet he is coming again definitively.

To be frank, I don't like this Memorial Acclamation (or the innovation of the Memorial Acclamation in general). If there has to be an acclamation after the consecration, I'd much rather see the Sanctus-Benedictus divided in two: Sanctus before the Eucharistic Prayer, Benedictus as the acclamation after the consecration.

Boonton said...

I'm a bit confused here. The girl is Pelosi's granddaughter. The 'correction' is coming from her mother. And then Pelosi says it is hard to believe Christ has died, risen and will come again.

It sounds like the person challenging the young girl is not Pelosi the House Speaker but either Pelosi's daughter or daughter-in-law.

Jeffrey Pinyan said...

Boonton, Pelosi's "it's hard to believe" comment follows her quoting of Jesus' words "This is my body, this is my blood".

She says she "really believe[s] he's coming again", which would lead me to believe she does believe Christ died and was raised.

It sounds like Pelosi's daughter questions the Real Presence; Pelosi herself, though, I don't know for sure.