In this week’s article we will look at paragraph 83 in Pope (Emeritus) Benedict XVI’s 2007 Apostolic Exhortation on the Holy Eucharist and discuss Eucharistic Consistency. Eucharistic Consistency reflects the Church’s role, particularly the bishops, of maintaining that those who are in political office or who delegate legislator must remain faithful to the Church’s teachings on important issues; especially respect for human life, it’s defense from conception form conception to natural death, the family built upon marriage between a man and a woman, the freedom to educate one’s children and the promotion of the common good between all persons.
Why is all of this so important? It’s important because the worship of God (reception of the Eucharist) is never just a private matter, without consequences for our relationships with others. It demands a public witness of our faith. The values mentioned above are not negotiable, Pope Benedict reminds us that “Catholic politians and legislators, conscious of their grave responsibility before society, must feel particularly bound, on the basis of a properly formed conscience, to introduce and support laws inspired by values grounded in human nature.”
When we receive the Holy Eucharist we proclaim, by that very act, that we believe and conform to all that the Church teaches. Therefore, when a Politician or someone who has influence in civil society receives the Eucharist and refuses to conform their words and actions in their daily lives, it creates great scandal. Scandal creates confusion, doubt and eventually people walking away from the One True Faith. The Eucharist is meant to give these civil servants the grace to be able to stand up for truth and the natural and moral law, and fight against the subjective and relativistic trends of society.