Whom Does Christ Exclude?

Who should accept the eucharist ritual? And what does it have in common with the “Pledge of Allegiance?”

Sally, and only Sally, can say whether she should or should not have received communion at Tim Russert’s funeral mass. From how she herself described it, my own answer is an emphatic yes. But since the sacraments belong to Christ rather even than to Christianity and certainly to Christianity rather than just to Roman Catholicism nobody would have had the right to refuse her. What God has brought together in Christ, do not dare to put asunder in Church.

When you ritually recite the “Pledge of Allegiance” are you pledging your life to a piece of multi-colored cloth. Of course not. Are you pledging your life to the republic for which it stands? Well, yes and no. Yes, definitely yes, if you mean “liberty and justice for all.” But no, definitely no, if you are merely thinking about a huge area of land between Canada and Mexico.

Ritual participation may be offhand, distracted, unintentional, and meaningless. It may be sheer unthinking habit or mere contagious emulation of others. But that pledge is very, very straightforward. I pledge myself to liberty and justice for all. You will understand, therefore, why we prefer to debate whether “under God” should or should not be included as a magnificent red herring to distract us from asking whether we have the slightest intention of promoting liberty and justice for all.

Who can or should recite that pledge? Anyone who believes in it and intends to live by it. Would a non-American visitor who lived by that faith have more right to it than an American citizen who did not? My answer is: emphatically yes. Rituals have meaning and, therefore, intentional participation in them is either vital commitment or something between vacuity and hypocrisy.

The Christian Eucharist has two intertwined layers. First, it is bread and wine, the standard summary of a Mediterranean meal, the normal synthesis of Mediterranean eating. It is, in other words, about food. Throughout his life, Jesus insisted that food, as the material basis of life, was to be fairly and equitably distributed to all God’s children around God’s table. He imagined God-as-Householder (he said “Father” but that was patriarchal normalcy) of the House-World or Homemaker of the Home-earth. And his question was — as in any well-run family — whether everyone had enough or some members had far too much while others had far too little.

Second, none of that was about compassionate charity but about distributive justice. (The Roman Empire did not crucify you for insisting on the former but for insisting too much on that latter.) So Jesus, having lived for non-violent justice died from violent injustice. When one dies an ordinary death, we speak of the separation of body and soul. But a violent death — like crucifixion — involves a separation of body and blood.

In forging the magnificent eucharistic ritual, those twin layers were inextricably linked together to proclaim this: if you live for justice very strongly you could die from injustice very swiftly. When those earliest Christians participated in that ritual, they understood all too well what it meant and to what they were committing themselves. They were pledging themselves to a way of life by participating in the life (definitely) and death (possibly) of Jesus.

They did not have time to debate about the exact mechanics of the “transubstantiation” of bread and wine into the body and blood of Christ (watch for red herrings, always watch for red herrings) because they were too acutely aware of their own “transubstantiation” from Roman citizens to Christian traitors.

Finally, then, we can face our question. In general: who should accept the eucharistic ritual? Those and only those who are intentionally, self-consciously, and publicly committing themselves to live like Jesus and, if unfortunately ever necessary, to die like Jesus. That is, of course, an on-going lifelong process and it is precisely such eucharistic participation that initiates, continues, and consummates it. The eucharist both proclaims and empowers a life, as Paul would say, “in Christ” or, better “in the body of Christ.”

 

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  • Christian

    Your title, “Whom Does Christ Exclude?” can be answered simply — no one. Jesus died for all. However, He is the way, the truth and the life, and no man comes to the Father but through Him. So the only person who is excluded is the person who rejects Christ.

  • Concerned The Christian Now Liberated

    Professor Crossan,Your message of what it means to be truly Christian continues. Keep up the good work!!!

  • Anonymous

    CCNL:I don’t get your post here. Where are all your criticisms of fee for service Paul, whom Fr. Crossan quotes? What about the meaninglessness of wafer and cheap wine?Change your mind rather suddenly?

  • VICTORIA

    “They did not have time to debate about the exact mechanics of the “transubstantiation” of bread and wine into the body and blood of Christ (watch for red herrings, always watch for red herrings) because they were too acutely aware of their own “transubstantiation” from Roman citizens to Christian traitors.” what in the world is he talking about? does this make sense to anyone at all?

  • Farnaz

    Victoria:I think Fr. Crossan is using the word “transubstantiation,” brilliantly, I think, in the sense usually reserved for “transformation.” In accepting Christ, the earliest Christians were, did become traitors to Rome.

  • Concerned The Christian Now Liberated

    Anon, Anon, Anon,You are referring to Christian Economics 101 no doubt. I do believe Professor Crossan would agree with the historical aspects:The Baptizer drew crowds and charged for the “dunking”. The historical Jesus saw a good thing and continued dunking and preaching the good word but added “healing” as an added charge to include free room and board. Sure was better than being a poor peasant but he got a bit too zealous and they nailed him to a tree. But still no greed there.Paul picked up the money scent on the road to Damascus. He added some letters and a prophecy of the imminent second coming for a fee for salvation and “Gentilized” the good word to the “big buck” world. i.e. Paul was the first media evangelist!!! And he and the other Apostles forgot to pay their Roman taxes and the legendary actions by the Romans made them martyrs for future greed. Paul was guilty of minor greed?Along comes Constantine. He saw the growing rich Christian community and recognized a new tax base so he set them “free”. Major greed on his part!!An added note: As per R.B. Stewart in his introduction to the recent book, The Resurrection of Jesus, Crossan and Wright in Dialogue, ( Professors Crossan and Wright are On Faith panelists). “Reimarus (1774-1778) posits that Jesus became sidetracked by embracing a political position, sought to force God’s hand and that he died alone deserted by his disciples. What began as a call for repentance ended up as a misguided attempt to usher in the earthly political kingdom of God. After Jesus’ failure and death, his disciples stole his body and declared his resurrection in order to maintain their financial security and ensure themselves some standing.”

  • Farnaz

    CCNL:Good to see you on this thread. And does Fr. Crossan actually use the word “scribes” for the scholars, learned men (except, perhaps, for J), for those who wrote the the Tanakh? You do understand at least this much, do you not, CCNL–these men were not transcribers?And what does he say about the J writer, whom Bloom thinks was a woman, and whom others now think is possible? About Deborah, whose fictionality is increasingly in doubt?Does he call Moses the “Tablet-Man”?Jesus an illiterate Jewish peasant? Does Fr. Crossan not know that there was no peasant class in existence in Jesus’ time?How does he know that Jesus was illiterate?

  • Peter Huff

    The point missed by many in Roman Catholicism is in partaking of the Lord’s supper we do so in I liked and agreed what [email protected] had to say although I have not looked at his site yet as concerning Sally Quinn’s participation in the Eucharist. To Christian (post @ 4:14) I would ask from a Reformed perspective who are the “all” spoken of in the Bible? Every single man, woman and child on the face of the earth or all that the Father gives Him (the Son), all that He (the Son) came to die for? “For HE SHALL SAVE HIS PEOPLE from their sins.” Does God have a specific people? Look throughout the Scriptures and see who does the saving, see who has the ability.In other words, was the atonement a sacrifice that only made salvation possible, or was the atonement a sacrifice that secured the salvation of all it was intended for? Does God save, or does God only make salvation possible and it is dependent on more than His gift, on our ability to believe and therefore on us? If it depends on our ability, then it depends on what we do, on our works, does it not? Why do so many not hear the word of God, for faith comes through hearing and hearing through the word? A clue is found in 1 Corinthians 2:14 or Ephesians 2:1-9. Jesus said, “Let him who has ears hear the word of God.”

  • LDS Mark

    “Whoever, therefore, eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of profaning the body and blood of the Lord” (1 Corinthians 11:27).That does not mean that she was unworthy. Only her and the lord can attest to that.However, respect for catholic doctrine when in a catholic church should be maintained.You will not , however, be refused in an LDS sacrament meeting. Your worthyness is between you and God.mark

  • Yael Chen D.D.

    Farnaz:Very good, Farnaz. Very good, indeed. Sfardic, yes? So am I, of course. Read Prof. Crossan if Catholicism interests you. He’s a bit of a radical, not as radical as one might like, but radical enough. I would have liked to chat with you, but I’ll be leaving the country in a few hours. I enjoyed your comments.Yael

  • Anonymous

    Farnaz, Farnaz, Farnaz,Again, being an atheist why be so defensive about Judaism? Other than the OT, there is no outside attestaion that Moses existed. Tis the reason so many Conservative Jews and their rabbis believe he was mythical. I gave him the nickname “Tablet Man” to emphasize the point. As per many bible exegetes, the Ten Commandments were derived from other human lists of rules such as the code of Hammarabi. And who wrote down the OT? Hmmm”Jewish Scribes”/ prophets/fortune tellers/ rabbis/. Apparently there are a lot of questions about the authorship and translations with most experts believing there was a least some written form of the Torah around 450 BC. With respect to the illiteracy of Jesus:See There is only one place in the NT that suggests Jesus could read i.e. Luke 4:16. This passage is not attested to in any other NT passage or in any other related document making it a later addition or poor translation as per most NT scholars’ analyses. See also Professor Bruce Chilton’s commentary in his book, Rabbi Jesus, An Intimate Biography, pp 99-101- An excerpt:”What Luke misses is that Jesus stood in the synagogue as an illiterate mamzer in his claim to be the Lord’s anointed”. It is very unfortunate that Jesus was illiterate for it resulted in many gospels and epistles being written years after his death by non-witnesses. This resulted in significant differences in said gospels and epistles and with many embellishments to raise Jesus to the level of a deity to compete with the Roman gods and emperors. See Raymond Brown’s 878 page book, An Introduction to the New Testament, (Luke 4:16 note on p. 237) for an exhaustive review of the true writers of the gospels and epistles.Most NT exegetes agree that the none of the Apostles authored any of the NT.

  • Concerned The Christian Now Liberated

    Ooops, the last commentary was from me. And it should be the Code of Hammurabi not Hammarabi.One added item, Professor Crossan’s excellent review/book of the historic Jesus is entitled The Historical Jesus, the Life of a Mediterrean Jewish Peasant. Farnaz, You will have to read the book to read all about said peasant class in first century Palestine. Might also want to check: Economics in First Century Palestine, K.C. Hanson and D. E. Oakman, Palestine in the Time of Jesus, Fortress Press, 1998.

  • pebbles

    Upon reviewing this article ( as well as the controversy that invoked its creation), one gathers great insight in how to keep high offices and sustain the daily supply of comforts such offices provide.That is to say: “always adopt the stance that the current controversial affair (or any controversial affair, for that matter) may be reduced to a private concern.” But there is a problem with this: it doesn’t work when the controversy revolves around Institutionalized, cannonized religions that have codes and laws to follow.The question whether SQ’s act was right or wrong was not answerd by this well informed person, nor shall it be, although it can be. Too much earthly comfort can be lost, if it is answerd.All this article has shown is the “compromising” ethos of the writer, which as far as I can tell, has no root in any religion I know. The writers resume is grandly impressive but the ethical path required to obtain it, is not.

  • Farnaz

    CCNL:Scribes: Sorry, I didn’t really answer your question about what to call the Tanakh writers. Rabbis (teachers) is what is generally used. This is accurate. They would have had to be teachers. There is no early tradition in Judaism of solitary thinkers, scholars, working alone, etc. Maimonides was the first such solitary, but even he had a “day job,” more than one, actually, was constantly corresponding, fending off visitors, until he found himself with a student he couldn’t shake off, didn’t want to, came to love. So…I guess even Maimonides wasn’t a solitary scholar.

  • FRIEND

    Thank you, Professor Crossan, for you contributions to this forum. I love to read your perspective on the different issues.

  • pat

    Thank you, Professor Crossan, for taking the time to share your words with us. Your viewpoints on the meanings of ritual are pertinent to my own struggle to find the foundation of truth that supports not only spirituality but social activism and, especially now, political activism. I have struggled with the Pledge of Allegiance, just as I have struggled with other rituals, especially within the church. I appreciate hearing your perspective.

  • [email protected]

    In answer to your question “Whom Does Christ Exclude?” the Bible is clear. Jesus would exclude from salvation whom the Father would exclude. Your “eucharist” theology aside, as it is not in the Canon Bible, we would have to consider that unless a person has the fruits of Salvation then we cannot then accept their profession of faith in Jesus, their profession of repentance. James is clear that we can know who is who in the determination of who can receive the elements in that tradition Jesus initiated to proclaim His body given for us, His blood spilled for us. Only those who are His may participate.

  • B-man

    Has anyone ever heard of “host desecration?”. That’s when you abuse the communion host.During WWII entire towns of Jews were put to death for essentially torturing crackers.This whole topic is insane.

  • Farnaz

    CCNL:Thanks, I tried, but the pages in question are not included excluded. Crossan seems to be using peasant for small farmer. I don’t know, but not to worry. I’ll get to it at some point.You know, it was the strangest experience for me skimming through some of this, seeing Josephus used as a highly credible source. I wonder about the literacy business. See Hillel and Akiva on Wikepedia. Not the greatest articles, but it is true that these were poor, very much so, yet they had to have been literate, as you’ll see, and there historical existence is not in doubt, not the case with all that is written abot them, of course. Scribes: Although I don’t think the word “scholar” is right, it is preferrd over rabbi in most texts, so who I am to object. Some texts use scholar and rabbi interchangeably, but scholar is primary.

  • Reasonable not hateful

    CCNL:You can post on these hacks all you want. The point is, THEY WERE NOT THERE. None of us were. You can do some analysis on those times, but in the end you have to read the gospels and Paul’s writings and take them on face value or not. Crossan has NO IDEA about Jesus’ body- speculating that his body was torn apart by the dogs.Generally, I don’t reply anymore to your drivel but I could not help myself this time. You are predicable in your posts and are no better than the rest of the militant atheists that post around here.I like what I found on the web about the Jesus Seminar…..”The Jesus Seminarians are the Pharisees and Sadducees of our present generation. They seek to destroy the Gospel, the Church, and the Truth about Jesus. They want His authority over our lives to be diminished, and they desire that their own intellect and opinions be exalted above anything that is reported about Jesus in the Gospels”This is them and YOU, wrapped all into one paragraph. Jesus is the Messiah- you can accept him or reject him, its your choice, dude. Your knee will bow to him, but will it because you want to, or have to?

  • artistkvip

    i couldn’t have said better myself..thankyou

  • spiderman2

    It is thru that stupid ritual that Catholicism was able to fool much of the world and led them to believe that the power is in the BISCUIT and NOT IN THE WORD OF GOD, THE BIBLE. ***It’s not the intention of God or Jesus Christ that people will worship biscuits or treat them as holy. As you know, Christ always speaks in metaphor.The Bread of Life is always and has always been the Word of God, the Bible.It’s very funny that Catholicism ban the distribution of the Bible in it’s long history but worship the biscuit.Ms. Quinn taking the communion (it’s not holy) is like a lost person wanting to take part to a mad ritual and the mad people getting angry because somebody who’s not totally mad is taking it.Let the madness continue, the more you eat the biscuit, the more holy you think you are. NOBODY GOES TO HEAVEN BECAUSE OF EATING BISCUITS. Just open the Bible and be filled with it, the true bread of God. STUPIDITY, STUPIDITY, STUPIDITY. When will stupidity be out of religion? A qoute from Jose Rizal:”Oh what blindness!! What Lack Of Undersatnding!!”” Consider well that kind of religion that they are teaching you. See whether it is the will of the God or according to the teachings of Christ that the poor be succored and those who suffer alleviated. Consider what they are preaching to you, the object of the sermon, what is behind the masses, novenas, rosaries, scapularies, images, miracles, candles, belts, etc., etc.; which they daily keep before your minds; ears and eyes; jostling, shouting, and coaxing, INVESTIGATE whence they came and WHETHER THEY GO and then compare that religion with the pure religion of Christ and SEE whether the PRETENDED OBSERVANCE of the life of Christ does not remind of the fat milk cow or the fattened pig, which is encouraged to grow fat not through love of the animal, but for grossly mercenary motives. “***It is thru that stupid ritual that Catholicism was able to fool much of the world and led them to believe that the power is in the BISCUIT and NOT IN THE WORD OF GOD, THE BIBLE.

  • Roy

    It´s time to leave alone the ¨wounded¨ Cathotics who think they have god in their own little box. They´re not going to change. My solution is when one goes to a Catholic church walk out during Communion turning one´s back to both the Priest and the congregation so they won´t be offened by the ¨non-saved¨ in their presence. Their table is not Christ´s table or it would be open to all like Christ is and like the example he taught us.If they want to torture their own with manipulative guilt and exclusion, so be it. Just keep this in mind as their political agenda next time you think about voting for a Catholic.

  • spiderman2

    It is thru that stupid ritual that Catholicism was able to fool much of the world and led them to believe that the power is in the BISCUIT and NOT in the word of God, the BIBLE. Keeping them from having the Bible would SEAL their authority over the ignorant people. It is no wonder then that for many centuries, the Bible was inaccessible to the people.Ignorance by the people of the Bible was the reason why Catholicism was able to act like LITTLE GODS themselves, making RULES and DOGMAS saying that these rules are from God. They can easily DUPE any person once that person believes that there is power in that biscuit when there is really NONE. They have TRANSFORMED the metaphor of Jesus to be an INSTRUMENT to PROPAGATE IGNORANCE. ***It’s not the intention of God or Jesus Christ that people will worship biscuits or treat them as holy. As you know, Christ always speaks in metaphor.The Bread of Life is always and has always been the Word of God, the Bible.It’s very funny that Catholicism ban the distribution of the Bible in it’s long history but worship the biscuit.Ms. Quinn taking the communion (it’s not holy) is like a lost person wanting to take part to a mad ritual and the mad people getting angry because somebody who’s not totally mad is taking it.Let the madness continue, the more you eat the biscuit, the more holy you think you are. NOBODY GOES TO HEAVEN BECAUSE OF EATING BISCUITS. Just open the Bible and be filled with it, the true bread of God. STUPIDITY, STUPIDITY, STUPIDITY. When will stupidity be out of religion? A qoute from Jose Rizal:”Oh what blindness!! What Lack Of Undersatnding!!”” Consider well that kind of religion that they are teaching you. See whether it is the will of the God or according to the teachings of Christ that the poor be succored and those who suffer alleviated. Consider what they are preaching to you, the object of the sermon, what is behind the masses, novenas, rosaries, scapularies, images, miracles, candles, belts, etc., etc.; which they daily keep before your minds; ears and eyes; jostling, shouting, and coaxing, INVESTIGATE whence they came and WHETHER THEY GO and then compare that religion with the pure religion of Christ and SEE whether the PRETENDED OBSERVANCE of the life of Christ does not remind of the fat milk cow or the fattened pig, which is encouraged to grow fat not through love of the animal, but for grossly mercenary motives. “

  • Farnaz

    Reasonable Not Hateful:If the Jesus Seminarians are the Pharisees of your era, you are fortunate indeed. The Pharisees wrote the Talmud. On the Pharisees, see Catholic theologian Rosemary Reuther, “Faith and Fratricide.” Since no Pharisees would have made the statements ascribed to them in the NT, the discourse being so inconsistent with the Judaism of the period, it has recently been suggested that the NT redactors were referring to the Sadducees. Some, not all, of what is attributed to the Pharisees, could have been uttered by some Sadducees, who, for example, wished to maintain a priestly caste of sorts. The Pharisees emphatically did not. See Wikepedia on Hillel, the Tannai’m, etc.The Tannai’m were remarkable men. As new men would join their ranks, if they showed more brilliance than others, those others, made way for them, deferred to them, learned from them. Akiva, whose teachers, once they saw he had surpassed him, became his students. This is not to say that egos weren’t bruised along the way. We know they were. Normative Judaism had no saints. Still, I would give a great deal to be involved in a “seminar” such as those Pharisees created. Ego which permeates most discussions, politics which corrupts so many scholarly enterprises, is everywhere evident in religious institutions, in interfaith communication, and in whatever this blog is supposed to be.

  • Farnaz

    Dear Fr. Crossan,Thank you very much for answering my question.Farnaz

  • Farnaz

    Reasonable Not Hateful:In rereading my previous post to you, I see I may have been a little confusing. The Sadducees were Jews. However, they grew increasingly unpopular in the Jewish world. Their commitment to a priestly caste went to a certain elitism that the Pharisees were anxious to purge from Judaism. Of course, all of what we know of the Sadducees comes from the Pharisees, as we have no Sadducee writings, and the sect seems to have vanished after 70 A.D., a signal year. It does appear they were open to Hellenization, or at least to some aspects of Greek culture, a great source of contention among the Pharisees, who were horrified by the amorality they saw among the Greeks, the babarity, the cruelty of the Romans.It was later concluded by the Talmudists that humanity needs the Greeks, for beauty, science. But Hebrews must always know first that justice is foundational for humanity (Judaism doesn’t radically separate justice from mercy; justice is merciful). Truth is not beauty, nor is beauty truth.

  • John Dominic Crossan

    Dear Farnaz: For me, a “peasant” is not just a small farmer but an exploited or oppressed farmer whose surplus is appropriated by others. Here, for example, are two definitions used in The Historical Jesus: The Life of a Mediterranean Jewish Peasant, with full references given there: (1) From George Foster: “the primary criterion for defining peasant society is structural – the relationship between the village and the city (or state) – the critical com¬mon denominator is that peasants have very little control over the conditions that govern their lives … Peasants are not only poor, as has often been pointed out, but they are relatively powerless.” (2) From George Dalton: “peasants of all times and places are struc¬tured inferiors. In traditional peasantries, their inferiority is structured legally and reinforced via de¬pendent land tenure.” I called Jesus a peasant because he came from a peasant hamlet and was probably a peasant laborer. Although, of course, if it looks like a duck, walks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, it might be a camel in disguise.

  • Dwight

    what sally did was a sin, would she go into a mosque without her head covered and start praying with the boys, probably not, she would be hurt…she should be gratefull Catholics are not into violence…

  • Dwight

    what sally did was a sin, would she go into a mosque without her head covered and start praying with the boys, probably not, she would be hurt…she should be gratefull Catholics are not into violence…

  • Kacoo

    Jesus did not serve communion to Judas, so without regard to the reasons, there is precedent to refuse communion to non-believers, or, as in Judas’s case, another Christian. The question of whether Judas was a Christian is subject to debate though, except not debate here. That is because this site isn’t able to tackle any but the most sub-moronic questions.

  • Reasonable not hateful

    Well, I knew this would make CCNL froth at the mouth.Crossan is a theological liberal( a hack) who does not believe in Christianity as it is spelled out in the gospels and by Paul.Crossan’s rantings about what is and what is not mean nothing, because he does not believe in the Jesus – who was and is God incarnate. Like to know, there CCNL- how was Jesus able to know about the scriptures so well if he was able to QUOTE them all the time? Crossan’s analysis of who Jesus was and is faulty, and anything else he says is to thrown in the trash heap, along with your frothing at the mouth.

  • Patrick

    I just hope that hijacking and desecrating our religious symbols will sate your religious bigotry but if history is any guide it will only whet it.The bigger question though is why even start down the road of religious bigotry and hatred? Hasn’t history shown clearly at this point that the only thing that lies at its end are the bones of history’s most evil men atop the mountains of bones of their victims?

  • bandmom

    Sally Quinn, by her own admission, does not believe in God and therefore could not believe in Jesus Christ. Since she has no intention in following in Christ’s footsteps, in believing in his teachings, in perhaps dying for him, then she has no business taking Communion.What she did insults Catholics, believers, Christians, the Russert family and most importantly, the memory of Tim Russert, whom she purportedly was there to honor. It was bad enough she went to Communion, it was worse for her to use it as the basis for an article for her own self aggrandizement.Sally Quinn needs to disappear from the public eye, once and for all.

  • Dennis Doelger

    Chirst himself all are welcome to the table of my father done with the debate now?

  • Frank

    I’m an Orthodox Christian. I’ve always found the topic of who can and can’t receive communion interesting. In the ancient Christian church of the 1st and 2nd century (around the times of the Apostles), there was a common practice as pertains to taking part in the Eucharist. If I lived in one part of Christendom (Damascus for example)and was traveling to another part (Jerusalem for example), there would be certain requirements in order for me to partake. 1) I’d have to have a letter from the Bishop in my hometown addressed to the Bishop in the town I was visiting saying that I was a Christian and I had the blessing to take communion. 2) I’d have to have 3 people in the new community who new me in my old community vouch for me and tell the Bishop about my life in my old town. 3) I’d have to live among the Christians in the new town for three years and live a decent Christian life. And this is the way it was throughout all of Christendom at that time.So there is Apostolic prescedent for the idea of the priests withholding communion under certain circumstances.

  • joekonn

    Nonsense, Jesus would deny the Eucharist to no one. It is a symbol of our oneness with God and the rejection of sacrifice as a means to serve God. Living like Jesus is not trying to copy His life, rather He was an example for us to be ourselves, no matter the consequence. Jesus was no lamb going to the slaughter, rather He was a a true warrior unwilling to deny his true Self. God don’t make no junk, our challenge is to be who we were born to be and not be distracted or persuaded or even tortured into being someone else. Christ excludes no one, that is what churches do. By Nicaea the authoritarians had begun to change the requirement from loving Christ, to having the ‘correct’ relationship to Him, back to the Pharisees and Sadducees, back to the priests. The Reformation brought back a small amount of diversity, but clearly the arguments about theology and the territorial squabbling have nothing to do with Christ. Christ brought a message of inclusion, the Apostles, just men and women, began arguing (Paul called Peter a hypocrite) and 2000 years later men are still trying to understand the conditions necessary for unconditional love. Conditional love can be withheld by priests, ministers and so on, unconditional love is just part of the ground of our Being. The Eucharist is the symbol of an unbreakable communion.

  • Bill

    Paul in 1 Corinthians chapter 11 instructs on the method of taking communion. He criticized those who took it just as a meal instead of in remembrance of the death and resurrection of Christ. First he quotes Jesus’ words when Jesus presided over the last supper: “”This is my body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of me. . ., This cup is the new covenant in my blood; do this, whenever you drink it, in remembrance of me.” Paul then states: “For whenever you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes. Therefore, whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of sinning against the body and blood of the Lord. A man ought to examine himself before he eats of the bread and drinks of the cup. For anyone who eats and drinks without recognizing the body of the Lord eats and drinks judgment on himself.” Thus, those who administer communion should not give it to someone who with reasonable certainty does not follow the above procedure of Paul. A person who receives communion is first obliged to examine himself or herself before eating of the bread and drinking of the cup, and further is obliged to recognize the body of the Lord while doing so, as otherwise he or she drinks judgment upon himself or herself. Of course the person administering communion is not a mind reader. Most of the time he’s not going to be able to tell what the person taking communion is really thinking. But if the person taking communion is an avowed atheist or otherwise makes it plain that he or she is taking communion for improper purposes, then they are properly denied communion in accordance with the teaching of 1 Corinthians 11.

  • Michael

    All this energy about whether Ms. Quinn should have had crackers and wine. Aren’t there more important things to address?

  • Anonymous 2

    The historical-critical method employed by Crossan and others does not explain the peace and perception of the Sacred that I experience with Christ, and that others have been reporting for 20 centuries. Auto-suggestion and a vivid imagination are another explanation but they doesn’t explain why, in my case, it started all of a sudden, intensely and enduring for years, after a specific Christian event.I don’t experience myself as brain damaged, epileptic, etc. either….Regarding,communion, what is confusing is that if one accepts that one must be reconciled to God and to one’s Christian brother or sister prior to participating, then it would seem that Christians and Catholics are not celebrating it as instructed. Are we supposed to believe that we have succesfully reconciled with each other within Catholicsm or Christianity prior to each celebration?Furthermore, if one believes that individual acts of charity are not sufficient to cure structural injustice, then one’s participation in the Eucharist is questionable specially if one is living with perhaps more than what is most basically needed, while others don’t have enough or are dying.I believe Christ is the Eucharistic host even after the celebration is over, but it’s hard to believe that he could be too happy about what is happening between us.

  • mavepu

    Fr. Crossan makes an excellent case about the emotional disposition one should have to receive communion. But what about the rational disposition? I don’t mean anything so fussy as understanding the theology of transubstantiation. Christ didn’t come to save professors. But I do mean that one should believe that the eucharist is what the church says it is, the body and blood of Christ. If Fr. Crossan means to imply that publicly committing oneself to non-violent justice and living “like” Christ is the same thing, I’m not sure I agree. I have many atheist friends whose sense of justice I admire greatly, and whom I welcome at my table, and whom, I’m sure, Christ would welcome at his table. But there must be some spiritual sense at least that Christ is our savior. Even the good thief on the cross, who surely had little churchin’, did have, I think, the belief that Jesus was the Christ come to save mankind. I’m not big on refusing communion to anyone, but Paul does tell us that taking communion when we don’t believe can compound our sin. So the spirit is extremely important, yes, but there is some role for the church to supply sound doctrine, and to imply that it’s optional, if Fr. Crossan in any way meant to imply that, troubles me. Red herrings, always watch for red herrings.

  • dr noh

    any religion which contains hypocritical hatred,immoral deception,sexual advance under the cover of God shall be banned as “cult” or shall be taxed as ” non-religious community nuisance property”.

  • PJ

    So a ‘former priest’ is now telling us to hang loose with the teachings of the Church? Thanks anyway, Johnny boy, but I think I’ll hang with the Pope. The sacrament of the Eucharest belongs ONLY to Catholics who are in a state of grace – - not to the Sallys of the world who just want to hang with the crowd.

  • Miguel

    Oh please, stop this delusion. This debate is a total nonsense. Religion teaches ignorance, arrogance, division, and hate amongst other things. Those who are not allowed to take communion wake up, it does not matter and who cares. Move on and learn the atrocities the bible teaches and lift the veil of ignorance from your eyes. The world would be a much better place without religion.

  • Elijah P.

    If we are honest with ourselves we will recognize that Jesus of Nazareth lived as a pious Jew and died as a pious Jew. He was converted several hundred years after his death into the incarnation of the Jewish Deity. This would have completely shocked his basic Judaic conception of ineffable completely incorporeal Deity. It would have further shocked him to imagine that his followers would be convinced they were drinking his blood. In fact, he would have been shocked that his followers were being encouraged to drink any blood at all, as that is completely in contradiction to Jewish law as he would have understood it. In addition, the transformation of any material substance into the Deity would have seemed to him bizarre indeed.Let us not ask what the historical Jesus would have thought of communion.

  • Viejita del oeste

    Thank you for that, Elijah P. The Jewish concept of the Mashiach (as distinct from God’s physical offspring, which is a pagan concept) is a subject I’d like to see taken seriously on this page.And now would somebody please sneak into CCNL’s computer and clear the memory so he will stop posting — or is that pasting — the same lengthy response to every question….

  • Dave

    I am Roman Catholic (from the “craddle).I respect your faith. Please respect mine.When I have (and will) attend Baptist, Jewish, Lutheran etc. services, I play by your rules.When you attend Catholic services, please play by ours. (Wedding? Funeral? Doesn’t matter).Please do *NOT* attend Catholic Holy Communion/Eucharest unless (Ms. Quinn, are you reading?):1. You have accepted JESUS CHRIST as lord and saviour.2. You have received Trinitarian Baptism. (“I3. You have been properly catechised as I was in grades K thru 8. Adult wishing to convert? Attend RCIA (“Rite of Christian initiation for adults” at a local Catholic church). Thereafter, “swim the Tiber” and formerly be accepted into the Catholic church. This is quite frequently …. but not always ….. done on the Easter vigil.4. Partake in the sacrament of Reconcilliation ……. get into the confessional before receiving Communion. Sorry …… ain’t no short cuts! 5. Partake in Catholic Communion. If numbers 1 – 4 above are missing, please do *NOT* partake in Catholic communion.Again, I respect YOUR faith. Please respect mine.Prof. Crossan is entitled to his opinions BUT HE DOES NOT SET THE DOCTRINE OR CONDITIONS, nor do I.The above are set by the Magisterium (teaching authority of the Pope and Bishops) of which Prof. Crossan and I are not members.

  • glfcst

    I’m confused? Where does one go after death but before the final judgment day? The soul leaves the body at death the nuns told me. But you can’t get to heaven or hell til the judgment day. What do we do til then?

  • Dave

    To followup on my below post, the following is taken from the very inside cover of “Today’s Missal.” Numerous copies are found in every pew of any Catholic church. Ms. Quinn (and Prof. Crossan) are you reading? For all, Prof. Crossan is entitled to his opinion but he does not set conditions. The Magisterium does. (1 Tim ” ….. the Church, the pillar and foundation of the truth!”). Otherwise, CHAOS! No thanks!”Guidelines for the reception of (Catholic) communion.””For our fellow Christians””We welcome our fellow Christians to this celebration of the Eucharest as our brothers and sisters. We pray that our common baptism and the action of the HOLY SPIRIT in this Eucharest will draw us closer to one another and begin to dispel the sad divisions which separate us. We pray that these will lessen and finally disappear, in keeping with CHRIST’S pray for us (my emphasis)***”THAT THEY MAY ALL BE ONE”*** (John 17:21).Because Catholics believe that the celebration of the Eucharist is a sign of the reality of the oneness of faith, life, and worship, members of those churches with whom we are not yet fully united are (my emphasis) ***NOT ADMITTED TO HOLY COMMUNION.*** Eucharistic sharing in exceptional circumstances by other Christians (Ms. Quinn!!!) ****requires permission according to the directives of the diocesan bishop and provisions of canon law (canon 844-4).**** Members of the Orthodox churches, the Assyrian Church of the East, and the Polish National Catholic Church are urged to respect the discipline of their own churches. According to Roman Catholic discipline, the Code of Canon Law does not object to the reception of communion by Christians of these churches (canon 844-3).””For non Christians””We also welcome to this celebration those who do not share our faith in JESUS CHRIST. While we cannot admit them to Holy Communion, we ask them to offer their prayers for peace and the unity of the human family.”For all …….. Prof. Crossan and I don’t set the conditions. The Magisterium does.Please respect my faith as I do your’s.

  • Anonymous

    I find it most ironic that the only blogger Professor John Dominic Crossan has ever responded to is an ATHEIST JEW, who doesn’t believe Jesus ever existed and the Quran is a more reliable Scripture than the New Testament!

  • Anonymous

    Is it sheer coincidence that the only two Catholics representing the Catholic Church on this panel presently are critics of the Catholic Church?Is the whole idea to present what is wrong with the Catholic Church from insiderWe do not read Muslim panelists write against Islam, Jewish panelists write against Judaism or any other panelist write against their own religions or Christian denominations.

  • Anonymous

    “Between 1950 and 1969, he was a member of a 13th-century Roman Catholic religious order, the Servites..”How did he get back and forth from the Middle Ages?Seriously, was he not a member of a religious order FOUNDED in the 13th-century?

  • The_Mick

    “Between 1950 and 1969, he was a member of a 13th-century Roman Catholic religious order, the Servites..”How did he get back and forth from the Middle Ages?Seriously, was he not a member of a religious order FOUNDED in the 13th-century?

  • Anonymous

    If the idea is to promote interfaith dialogue is having strong critics of the Catholic Church from within, which only adds fuel to the longstanding fire of anti-Catholicism, the way to go?

  • janye

    If Jesus lived today, he would be concerned about a lot of things

  • Anonymous

    Panelist Timothy Shriver is faithful to the Catholic Church, but he is not a religious scholar who can defend the Church from a theological perspective.

  • Steve in Philadelphia

    Extraordinary — a brilliant and eloquent statement about the difference between mindful commitment and mindless participation in ritual. The problem, I think, is that religious and political agencies in power fear true mindfulness; their security is temporal, and they feel it depends on mindless obedience and loyalty. The problem with mindfulness, in their view, is that it does not guarantee loyalty to them.

  • John Dominic Crossan

    To Anonymous:This statement of yours is not factually true:”I find it most ironic that the only blogger Professor John Dominic Crossan has ever responded to is an ATHEIST JEW …”On threads that involve me I answer always to direct or indirect questions of fact that concern what I have said or written. Check, for example, my response to Farnaz earlier in tbis very thread.

  • mobedda

    My bet is that Jesus would not have to deny communion for others. Rather, I believe he would reject most every incarnation of the church as it exists today. The churches that resemble his consist of ascetics who do not share much with society, and those churches well integrated with society tend to be materialistic and do little to challenge the greedy and selfish lives we lead.

  • Bill Mosby

    “Those and only those who are intentionally, self-consciously, and publicly committing themselves to live like Jesus and, if unfortunately ever necessary, to die like Jesus.”Sounds like those qualified to participate in the ritual are few and far between.

  • Farnaz

    Elijah P.: If we are honest with ourselves we will recognize that Jesus of Nazareth lived as a pious Jew and died as a pious Jew. He was converted several hundred years after his death into the incarnation of the Jewish Deity. This would have completely shocked his basic Judaic conception of ineffable completely incorporeal Deity. It would have further shocked him to imagine that his followers would be convinced they were drinking his blood. In fact, he would have been shocked that his followers were being encouraged to drink any blood at all, as that is completely in contradiction to Jewish law as he would have understood it. In addition, the transformation of any material substance into the Deity would have seemed to him bizarre indeed.From the beginnings, as far as I know, Jews did not consider the deity to be like unto a man. I cannot imagine any Jew thinking of the deity as becoming “incarnate.” Which leads us to–”In addition, the transformation of any material substance into the Deity would have seemed to him bizarre indeed.”Thus it would have seemed to all Jews.

  • wardropper

    “Would Jesus refuse Communion?”I call that goddam blasphemous.

  • Fate

    Crossan, What you do not understand Crosan is that the question of Sally’s communion with respect to christianity has nothing to do with her decision to take communion knowing that it was not allowed for Sally in the RC church. It was, in short, being rude.Now you can discuss whether Christ would have given communion to Sally, or whether the church has a right to withhold it. But that is not the point. The point is that Sally was rude to the church Russert loved. She may have upset Russert’s family and friends, I don’t know, but what I do know is that when you go to someone else’s house you are under their hospitality and should abide by their rules, whether you personally like them or not. Anything else is arrogant and rude. As an atheist, I realy don’t care whether communion is for RC’s only or all christians, I realy do not care, but we live in a society where we respect others and their rules in their house. Sally not only did not respect the RC’s rules, she went out of her way to do so.

  • Farnaz

    Anon/JAC:I would like to clarify a point on saying Kaddish.

  • rao

    I agree with Dave (JULY 13, 2008 6:22 AM). My wife is Catholic, I am not; so I attend Mass, but do not partake of Holy Communion. The Catholic Church has expressly defined who should not be receiving Communion, and that includes those who have not Confessed.The Catholic Church has the right to define their rules and apply them.

  • Farnaz

    Posted on July 13, 2008 17:55 Viejita del oeste: What or who is Mashiach? For some, he is a human being, a descendant of the Davidic king. For others, he is not a he, but a concept. For some, he is the Messianic Age itself. In the Messianic Age, Jews believe war, disease, all the evil and ailments of man will cease. The world will reveal itself in all its loveliness.

  • Mary

    Thank you for your common sense commentary. Sadly, we have become a church of men who value rules over the message that Jesus left us – love one another, as I have loved you.

  • DoTheRightThing

    What a classic and classically-confused “Sixties” article on a Catholic topic. I’ll give just one example of the classical confusion rampant in the article. “…sacraments belong to Christ rather even than to Christianity and certainly to Christianity rather than just to Roman Catholicism…” And the writer was a Catholic priest at one time? Apparently, he’s still wearing his “do-your-own-Catholic-thing” thinking cap. The religious and social damage he and his like did to the generations they were supposed to religiously educate was and is still staggering. It makes one wonder what the writer thinks Jesus Christ meant when He said to Peter, “Whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven…”[Mt16:19].

  • Jim F

    A person not in the state of grace who receives Holy Communion commits sacrilege. Which is not good for that persons soul. An examination of conscience before Communion must have no Mortal sins not forgiven in Holy Confession before receiving the Host. In most cases the people we are discussing have a high degree of intellect. Most are congressman. There is no excuse for them to use I didnt know phylosophy approach. Stupidity is not a good excuse either. At the last supper Judas most likely received the consecrated bread. He didnt have this pre catachism knowledge we have now. But even then, he committed sacriledge. But just remember, Jesus doesnt forget.

  • To FARNAZ

    Farnaz:Anon and PaganPlace,I realize that Jews cannot be read. So, try to pretend I’m one of your Christian/Catholic people.Read my posts, and try to grasp this. Historians, Jewish and otherwise (you can read the otherwise) have made this point over and over again.The EuroChristians/Catholics, not Adolf all by himself, not “the Germans” perpetrated the Holocaust.Again, imagine me to be one of your secular and/or religious C people, and try to grasp what I’m saying.Sincerely,July 2, 2008 12:10 AM

  • Farnaz on C Hoffman G Carlin Blog

    Farnaz:PaganPlace:How did Nazi Germany happen?People *let it.*Sorry, but they didn’t “let it,” they made it happen. Again, I recommend Leon Poliakov. Part of the problem with European history is that it doesn’t view its inaugural racism, antisemitism, as European history, but as Jewish history. It treats its mass murders beginning in the Middle Ages the way American history books treated slavery.Further, it is of the utmost importance that Jew slaughtering in the 1930s was not a German phenomena. It spread to Austria, Rumania, Poland, Hungary, the then various slavic republics, Russia, Ukraine, Serbia (sorry, but, yes), Croatia, Greece, France, etc., etc.Frequently the native Christian/Catholic church goers started the killing, torturing, raping, baby bashing against walls, long before the nazis arrived. In all of these countries Jews were second-class citizens with limited rights. This is not a matter of hypothesizing, arguing, guessing, opinion. It is a matter of historical fact, of the historical record.July 1, 2008 11:55 PM

  • Farnaz on C Hoffman G Carlin Blog

    Farnaz:Anon writes:his lumping together of all religions makes for perfectly politically correct “communications.” It adds no differentiated knowledge or meaningful criticism….Agree absolutely. The differences among Judaism, Christianity, and Islam are enormous. Those between Judaism and Christianity make the two systems almost opposite. As any religious studies, Judaic Studies, or Islamic Studies scholar will tell you, Judaism and Islam have far more in common with each other than either does with Christianity.Both Judaism and Islam are ways of life; neither is a confessional religion. A significant amount of the Shariah was derived from the Torah. Anti-idolatry begins with Moses and is carried into Islam.The list goes on, and, here I am only addressing three monotheistic religions, what the Vatican calls Abrahamic. IN MY VIEW, JUDAISM AND ISLAM ARE, INDEED, ABRAHAMIC. I CAN’T SEE ABRAHAM IN CHRISTIANITY. (Capitals mine for emphasis.)July 1, 2008 9:04 PM

  • Farnaz on C Hoffman G Carlin Blog

    Farnaz:Christian Anon,Re: PakistanJust saw report from Pentagon on Pakistani military incursions into FATA: A complete failure.Pentagon Assessment: Situation bad. Majority of extremists entrenched in FATA. The danger to the US is much greater than it was four or five years ago. Only a large military presence that rids FATA area by area, holding each area as it proceeds can work. In the meantime, there are defenseless civilians there, including a former student of mine.Most of my life, I thought the world’s end would begin in the Middle East. A lot of my friends thought it would be Kasmir, never on my list of contenders. Pakistan is in the worst situation I have seen in my lifetime, with even the average Pakistani, typically unflappable, more and more unnerved. Benazir murdered, no judiciary, FATA under siege.What will happen? What is next?July 1, 2008 4:20 AM ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^Comment – Farnaz’s concern for Pakistan

  • Farnaz on C Hoffman G Carlin Blog

    Farnaz:Anon,Your Anglican church will not save Pakistan. The Saudi funded Maddrassahs outnumber you by far. Christians have been, can and will be imprisoned and/or killed if their presence is felt too strongly. I don’t know the last time you were in Islamabad. I don’t know if you are keeping up with events in Pasur.Unless and until the Judciary is restored, nothing and no one is safe. The majority of Pakistanis want democracy. Too late, this government has decided that it would be easier for them to manipulate democracies than to manipulate dictatorships.Yes, and yes, regarding the American Civil Rights movement. One cannot expect the speed of amelioration in India that was witnessed in America. More activism in India would help though. Outspokeness by Indians here would help. One does hear this from Pakistani academics here. Interesting.I wonder if things would have been different for us Middle Eastern Jews, three million in exile, countless dead, if someone had spoken out loudly.June 30, 2008 11:30 PM^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^Comment – Farnaz’s in-depth knowledge of Pakistan as a result of having lived and taught there explains her strong sympathies for Islam.

  • Mike McDermott

    Anyone who seeks Christ should never be refused, no matter the role of the receiver or the giver.

  • Anonymous 2

    Initially, Dr. Crossan defends Ms. Quinn’s right to participate in the Eucharist: ” Sally, and only Sally, can say whether she should or should not…From how she herself described it, my own answer is an emphatic yes.”At the end he paradoxically concludes: “In general: who should accept the eucharistic ritual? Those and only those who are intentionally, self-consciously, and publicly committing themselves to live like Jesus and, if unfortunately ever necessary, to die like Jesus.”Is Dr. Crossan thus suggesting that this is what Sally Quinn has done, that she has committed herself to dying for Christ? Is he suggesting that he knows this from what she has declared?

  • Anonymous 2

    Dr. Crossan then adds: “That is, of course, an on-going lifelong process and it is precisely such eucharistic participation that initiates, continues, and consummates it.”So then anyone who is curious about Christ should participate in the Eucharist?In a sense, I understand his argument. By participating, the person will get to know Christ. That the person is in a state of sin might, in a sense, be irrelevant to Christ’s interest in Communing with the person, since that is precisely what He wants to redeem the person from. That a person is curious about Christ, or merely wants to share a memory of love with a departed one, in a sense, grace.Thus Dr. Crossan’s argument may be pondered further.

  • Farnaz on Susan Jacoby’s blog – Notes of a free-speech junkie

    Farnaz:the whole idea Muslims needed another country based on their religion doesn’t reflect Indian history and Hindu generosity in living peacefully with people of other faiths, until the suggestion was made for the first time in 1930 by a Muslim, which later became a demand.There are a lot of Pakistanis who would agree that partition never should have happened. However, a phrase like “Hindu generosity,” does cause me to reflect. Should the US speak of its “generosity” in allowing people of different ethnicities/religions to exist here?Then, too, when I consider the fact that the Muslims still enjoy second-class status in INdia…. True many Muslims are very well off, but that is far, far from the point.HINDu generosity? Tell that to the dead Mulsims of Gujurat.NONE of “us” as ethnic/religious identities, has been particularly generous.It’s worth a trip there for Christians to hear it. Breaks the m mirror of self-congratulation.June 23, 2008 7:30 AM^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^Comment – Farnaz’s take on partition of India from a Pakistani Muslim viewpoint

  • Roger Bullard

    I welcome your acceptance of Quinn’s participation, but I think it’s fair to say that such acceptance is not the position of the Church. I would not have participated, because I would have felt like an intruder.I have a distinctly uncomfortable feeling attending worship services of any kind – Catholic, Orthodox, Pentecostal, whatever – where I feel like an observer rather than a participant. It makes me feel guilty somehow, watching other people go about sacred business in ways unfamiliar to me. I know that I would be perfectly welcome in a Catholic church, and my presence appreciated, but even though I would want to join fellow Christians in worship, the Eucharist is the central act, and in that I would be excluded. I would be probably be welcomed at a mosque, but not being a Muslim, I would be more of a spectator, and I don’t consider worship an appropriate spectator activity. I’m a Baptist, and we used to be like that, too. There used to be Baptist churches, and in certain rural areas of the South may still be, where before communion was observed, everyone who was not a member in good standing of that particular congregation would be asked to leave. No known sinners were allowed.How much better the example told of by a Scottish writer – it may have been John Baillie – of a woman of the streets who found her way into a church and sat in a dark, unobtrusive spot. Communion was passed around, and she refused, but an old gentleman sitting near told her, “Take it, lassie. It’s for you.”

  • Roger Bullard

    I welcome your acceptance of Quinn’s participation, but I think it’s fair to say that such acceptance is not the position of the Church. I would not have participated, because I would have felt like an intruder.I have a distinctly uncomfortable feeling attending worship services of any kind – Catholic, Orthodox, Pentecostal, whatever – where I feel like an observer rather than a participant. It makes me feel guilty somehow, watching other people go about sacred business in ways unfamiliar to me. I know that I would be perfectly welcome in a Catholic church, and my presence appreciated, but even though I would want to join fellow Christians in worship, the Eucharist is the central act, and in that I would be excluded. I would be probably be welcomed at a mosque, but not being a Muslim, I would be more of a spectator, and I don’t consider worship an appropriate spectator activity. I’m a Baptist, and we used to be like that, too. There used to be Baptist churches, and in certain rural areas of the South may still be, where before communion was observed, everyone who was not a member in good standing of that particular congregation would be asked to leave. No known sinners were allowed.How much better the example told of by a Scottish writer – it may have been John Baillie – of a woman of the streets who found her way into a church and sat in a dark, unobtrusive spot. Communion was passed around, and she refused, but an old gentleman sitting near told her, “Take it, lassie. It’s for you.”

  • mmackinm

    Of course Jesus was Catholic. Do you think he started the Hindu religion when he said, “upon this rock I will build my church”Have we no interest in the meaning of words? Was he Lutheran when he said, “eat my flesh” and now the don’t even follow his wishes.God started a Church to exist until the end of time. It is the Holy Roman Catholic Church. God love you.

  • Roger Bullard

    I welcome your acceptance of Quinn’s participation, but I think it’s fair to say that such acceptance is not the position of the Church. I would not have participated, because I would have felt like an intruder.I have a distinctly uncomfortable feeling attending worship services of any kind – Catholic, Orthodox, Pentecostal, whatever – where I feel like an observer rather than a participant. It makes me feel guilty somehow, watching other people go about sacred business in ways unfamiliar to me. I know that I would be perfectly welcome in a Catholic church, and my presence appreciated, but even though I would want to join fellow Christians in worship, the Eucharist is the central act, and in that I would be excluded. I would be probably be welcomed at a mosque, but not being a Muslim, I would be more of a spectator, and I don’t consider worship an appropriate spectator activity. I’m a Baptist, and we used to be like that, too. There used to be Baptist churches, and in certain rural areas of the South may still be, where before communion was observed, everyone who was not a member in good standing of that particular congregation would be asked to leave. No known sinners were allowed.How much better the example told of by a Scottish writer – it may have been John Baillie – of a woman of the streets who found her way into a church and sat in a dark, unobtrusive spot. Communion was passed around, and she refused, but an old gentleman sitting near told her, “Take it, lassie. It’s for you.”

  • spiderman2

    Taken from As a young boy, Hitler attended school in a Catholic Benedictine Monastery. The ancient monastery was decorated with carved stones and woodwork that included several swastikas.Hitler would say the solemn pageantry of the high mass and other Catholic ceremonies was quite intoxicating and left a very deep impression. As a young boy he idolized the priests and for two years seriously considered becoming a priest himself. He especially admired the Abbot in charge, who RULED his black-robbed monks with SUPREME AUTHORITY.***The young Hitler just probably copied his DICTATORIAL kind of leadership from this Catholic Benedictine School.For sure Hitler would have thought he is holy for taking part in EATING “HOLY” BISCUITS. Never mind teaching him about the true BREAD OF LIFE, the BIBLE which says :”And I will bless them that bless thee (Jewish people), and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.” (Genesis 12:3)For having NOT “eaten” the TRUE bread of life, but replaced it instead with BISCUITS, the man became a monster who was responsible for the death of millions of lives.THE STUPIDITY CONTINUES TO THIS DAY.

  • Farnaz

    ANON/JAC POSTS; the whole idea Muslims needed another country based on their religion doesn’t reflect Indian history and Hindu generosity in living peacefully with people of other faiths, until the suggestion was made for the first time in 1930 by a Muslim, which later became a demand.—————-I AM AWAITING YOUR SUMMARY ON BISHOP HUDAL, ANON/JAC, SELF-PROCLAIMED, THOUGH DUBIOUS, CATHOLIC. I AM AWAITING THE PASTING OF MY BIBLIOGRAPHY.I FIND IT VERY DIFFICULT TO BELIEVE YOU ARE CATHOLIC.

  • Anonymous 2

    –Continuation of my reflection in 2 previous posts–Even so, I could not participate in the Eucharist if I did not believe it was Jesus Christ or if I had not examined my conscience as best as I could and asked for His forgiveness.I could not do this anymore than I could hurt someone and then invite him or her for supper, without recognizing or repenting from my sin and seeking reconciliation first.It would be utter hypocrisy if I did.That is why the Catholic church, with all of its shortcomings, has steps to the Sacraments.Even the Amazonian indigenous people have steps prior to participation in their encounters with Mystery. They do not approach it lightly.

  • Concerned The Christian Now Liberated

    Why the concern? Baptism does not cleanse the soul since there is no original sin to cleanse i.e. the sinning parents did not exist.Confirmation- Holy Spirit and his winged representations do not exist- The Trinity is more theological mumbo jumbo invented by early theologians who had too much time on their hands.Eucharist- already put the myth box as being nothing more than low calorie wafers and inexpensive wine. Holy Orders- All the NT passages supposedly setting up said priesthood have been judged by many NT exegetes as being bogus. Reconciliation/Confession- All the NT passages supposedly setting up said sacrament have been judged by many NT exegetes as also being bogus. Last Rites/Annointing of the sick – vitiated by the previous comments about said “sacraments”. Marriage – only sacrament established by the historical Jesus as per most NT exegetes- easy annulments vitiate most of its importance- e.g. Catholic woman married 18 years to a Catholic man (ex-seminarian). They had seven children. Woman was given an annulment after the husband left with another woman in the 18th year.

  • Arianrhod’s Son

    This thread explains why I have nothing to do with the book, whatsoever. You folks make of it whatever you like, one way and the other, and use it against people for the flimsiest of reasons (talk about ethics; hypocrisy is more like it). Poor old Yeshua. He did his best and look where it got all of you.

  • Concerned The Christian Now Liberated

    Reasonable not hateful:Tis obvious you have no desire to search for the truth. At least now you know where to find it.

  • Anonymous 2

    Arianrhod’s Son:It is true that people make of the ‘book’ whatever they like and use it against others for all kinds of reasons, emphasizing what may be convenient and omitting what may not.Such for example is the case with the 2 versions of the Sermon of the Mount (Matthew and Luke — “Blessed are the poor…”). Some spiritualize it altogether and forget ‘distributive justice’ arguing that wealth is just fine regardless of Jesus’ condemnation of it according to Luke and Mark. Others reduce it to only material poverty, omitting spiritual poverty, as if poverty was just a logistics problem or egotism not the deepest sin. Seems that even Matthew and Luke had somewhat different readings. Maybe Jesus wanted all of to consider things just a little more deeply each time and unlike you, I believe He is accomplishing it, notwithstanding resistance everywhere.

  • jacob

    thank you Mr. Crossan for clarifying the difference

  • Anonymous

    Anonymous:I find it most ironic that the only blogger Professor John Dominic Crossan has ever responded to is an ATHEIST JEW, who doesn’t believe Jesus ever existed and the Quran is a more reliable Scripture than the New Testament!July 13, 2008 7:09 AM————————John Dominic Crossan:To Anonymous:This statement of yours is not factually true:”I find it most ironic that the only blogger Professor John Dominic Crossan has ever responded to is an ATHEIST JEW …”On threads that involve me I answer always to direct or indirect questions of fact that concern what I have said or written. Check, for example, my response to Farnaz earlier in this very thread.July 13, 2008 8:30 AM——————————–Dear Professor Crossan:Thank you for your response. If I may raise an objection, when you cut my comment mid-sentence as you did at JEWISH ATHEIST… it gives the very false impression that I’m an antisemite, for the real focus of my comment was the part you omitted: “…who doesn’t believe Jesus ever existed and the Quran is a more reliable Scripture than the New Testament!”I’m exactly the opposite of an antisemite. It is Farnaz’s denial of the existence of Jesus and His Jewish connection and her claim that Islam is Abrahamic while Christianity is not, that is the point of contention. To my knowledge, Abraham was known as Abram when Ishmael was born, and was given the name Abraham later. Judaism had not really started when Ishmael and his Egyptian mother was sent away. God promised only the children of Sarah His special blessings. So I’m confused about Farnaz’s interpretation. Maybe you could shed some light for my sake and Farnaz’s?If in your opinion Abraham didn’t I find Farnaz’s position as a Jew most unusual. I tend to think many well known Jews have a different opinion to Farnaz. Eg Rabbi David Wolpe etc etc. I find Farnaz’s stand a mystery, especially her strong Pakistani Muslim loyalties. (Ref her comments on Claire Hoffman’s blog on George Carlin and Susan Jacoby’s June/July 08.)

  • Anonymous

    Anonymous:I find it most ironic that the only blogger Professor John Dominic Crossan has ever responded to is an ATHEIST JEW, who doesn’t believe Jesus ever existed and the Quran is a more reliable Scripture than the New Testament!July 13, 2008 7:09 AM————————John Dominic Crossan:To Anonymous:This statement of yours is not factually true:”I find it most ironic that the only blogger Professor John Dominic Crossan has ever responded to is an ATHEIST JEW …”On threads that involve me I answer always to direct or indirect questions of fact that concern what I have said or written. Check, for example, my response to Farnaz earlier in this very thread.July 13, 2008 8:30 AM——————————–Dear Professor Crossan:Thank you for your response. If I may raise an objection, when you cut my comment mid-sentence as you did at JEWISH ATHEIST… it gives the very false impression that I’m an antisemite, for the real focus of my comment was the part you omitted: “…who doesn’t believe Jesus ever existed and the Quran is a more reliable Scripture than the New Testament!”I’m exactly the opposite of an antisemite. It is Farnaz’s denial of the existence of Jesus and His Jewish connection and her claim that Islam is Abrahamic while Christianity is not, that is the point of contention. To my knowledge, Abraham was known as Abram when Ishmael was born, and was given the name Abraham later. Judaism had not really started when Ishmael and his Egyptian mother was sent away. God promised only the children of Sarah His special blessings. So I’m confused about Farnaz’s interpretation. Maybe you could shed some light for my sake and Farnaz’s?If in your opinion Abraham didn’t exist at all, it is even worse for Mohammad and his connection to Abraham.I find Farnaz’s position as a Jew most unusual. I tend to think many well known Jews have a different opinion to Farnaz. Eg Rabbi David Wolpe etc etc. I find Farnaz’s stand a mystery, especially her strong Pakistani Muslim loyalties. (Ref her comments on Claire Hoffman’s blog on George Carlin and Susan Jacoby’s June/July 08.)

  • Jim the Pinko

    Paul C. writes:”I agree that Jesus beckons everyone to him. The Catholic church facilitates that by allowing ANYONE to participate in Mass. It is a truly universal church and allows anyone to join. Why is it unreasonable, however, to require preparation, training and commitment prior to a person receiving the eucharist. Isn’t that required for it to be truly meaningful? Otherwise, for the recipient might mistake the host to be just “just a biscuit” as suggested by some here.”So what? Does that make it less the body of Christ for everyone else? Isn’t it okay for someone to have half a spiritual experience or even a quarter rather than none at all?

  • Another Anonymous

    Anonymous: 1. “Faranz’s posts are for Professor John Dominic Crossan’s edification, so that he may be better informed about the background and may thus be enabled to post more in-depth responses to Farnaz on this blog. For further information read Farnaz’s comments on Susan Jacoby’s blogs of June/July 08.” 2. Farnaz asked you to paste “If you can find anything in which I said that the Q’ran was a more reliable source of scripture than the NT, then please paste it here.” (He didn’t use the word “prayer” btw.)What you pasted has nothing to do with what you accused her of. On several threads you accused her of this Quoran vs. scripture stuff and she’s said she never made such a claim. Where did she say this? She also answered you about about the existence of Jesus. You just go on accusing her. I don’t know why she bothers with you since you never read what she writes to you about anything including Pakistan and India. IMO no one should bother with you and this is the last time I’m going to.1. YOU’RE SICK AND DISGUSTING. See a doctor and get help. Farnaz posted responding to your comments and also said that she wouldn’t have raised the topic of anti-Semitism and the Holocaust if you hadn’t. I believe her because she didn’t mention it until you started attacking her and pasting her comments from another thread. You attacked her and she responded to you. You’ve done this again and again. You also only paste those things that support your undecipherable points. I could give a lot of examples, but I will only mention that you omit what Farnaz posted about Trocme. In fact, she raised the subject of Trocme on the Carlin thread.Also, Farnaz never posted to Crossan. Farnaz posted to CNNL. Crossan posted to Farnaz and Crossan explained why. You’re jealous of Farnaz and I agree with Farnaz. I think you’re anti-Semitic and I don’t believe you’re Catholic. You just don’t want any Jews on this blog. You write like a jealous, psychotic three year old child.Don’t bother to post back because I won’t read anything you write and I won’t post back to you. I sincerely hope Farnaz never posts to you again either. She’s way above your stupid level.You’re sick and disgusting and you aren’t Catholic. Get help.

  • Anonymous

    Another Anonymous — your unfounded accusations don’t bother me in the least. You might consider the fact that more than one Anonymous is involved in the exchanges with Farnaz and one of them who accused her of bigotry and clinging to the Holocaust was a Jew who had lost many family members in Holocaust. So there, don’t jump into conclusions.Jealous of Farnaz? You’ve got to be kidding. What about being indignant as a Christian for her take on Christianity and her rants about Christians roasting Jewish babies etc? Her claim that Judaism and Islam are Abrahamic but Christianity is not?

  • Another Anonymous

    “Another Anonymous — your unfounded accusations don’t bother me in the least. You might consider the fact that more than one Anonymous is involved in the exchanges with Farnaz and one of them who accused her of bigotry and clinging to the Holocaust was a Jew who had lost many family members in Holocaust. So there, don’t jump into conclusions.Jealous of Farnaz? You’ve got to be kidding. What about being indignant as a Christian for her take on Christianity and her rants about Christians roasting Jewish babies etc? Her claim that Judaism and Islam are Abrahamic but Christianity is not?”You’re lying again. No one on that thread said they were Jewish. Have you read anything about the Holocaust? I don’t think so. I’m Catholic but know what she said is true. Catholics and Christians did what she said, may God have mercy on their souls. I’ve read a couple of the books she listed and some others. You haven’t read anything. You didn’t even follow the link she gave you on that creep Hudal.You could learn from Farnaz but never do. I never knew about all the non-Jews who died in the Holocaust or much about the T4 program until she wrote about some things a couple of months ago. I followed up and what she said was correct.If you were interested in what she thought you could ask her but you’re not interested. You’re just an anti-Semite. I also notice that you didn’t deny you aren’t Catholic.You’re jealous of Farnaz. She doesn’t rant like you said. You’re the only one who rants. You’re sick. GET HELP. I’m through with you.

  • Soja John Thaikattil, Sydney, Australia

    Dear Professor CrossanI agree with what you wrote:”Finally, then, we can face our question. In general: who should accept the eucharistic ritual? Those and only those who are intentionally, self-consciously, and publicly committing themselves to live like Jesus and, if unfortunately ever necessary, to die like Jesus. That is, of course, an on-going lifelong process and it is precisely such eucharistic participation that initiates, continues, and consummates it. The eucharist both proclaims and empowers a life, as Paul would say, “in Christ” or, better “in the body of Christ.”This is how I look at the issue: Jesus had many followers in His lifetime. Yet, it was only during the Last Supper with His twelve (eleven after Judas left) that He instituted the Eucharist. The Eucharist was not for the guest hearers of His public preaching but for only those who were really His followers. Even in the early Churches only those who had joined the Christian community participated in the breaking of bread. The Eucharist was not distributed during public preaching to bring non-Christians to Jesus.Luckily I’m a lay liberal Catholic who does not have to make decisions about which non-Christian/non-Catholic/or even Catholic (not eligible under the present Canon Law) may be given Communion in exceptional circumstances, for I would give Communion to anyone who asked for it and leave the rest to God.

  • Yes, AND…?

    Paul C mused:”I agree that Jesus beckons everyone to him. The Catholic church facilitates that by allowing ANYONE to participate in Mass. It is a truly universal church and allows anyone to join. Why is it unreasonable, however, to require preparation, training and commitment prior to a person receiving the eucharist. Isn’t that required for it to be truly meaningful? Otherwise, for the recipient might mistake the host to be just “just a biscuit” as suggested by some here.”Paul, just to be clear: If someone has received preparation, training and shown lifelong commitment in a Lutheran or Episcopal church, for example, prior to receiving the eucharist, then it IS OK to recceive communion at a friends Roman Catholic funeral, wedding, etc.? Or is it “just a biscuit” if they are raised in a different Christian tradition than yours?

  • Concerned The Christian Now Liberated

    Again, why the concern? Baptism does not cleanse the soul since there is no original sin to cleanse i.e. the sinning parents did not exist.Confirmation- Holy Spirit and his winged representations do not exist- The Trinity is more theological mumbo jumbo invented by early theologians who had too much time on their hands.Eucharist- already put the myth box as being nothing more than low calorie wafers and inexpensive wine. Holy Orders- All the NT passages supposedly setting up said priesthood have been judged by many NT exegetes as being bogus. Reconciliation/Confession- All the NT passages supposedly setting up said sacrament have been judged by many NT exegetes as also being bogus. Last Rites/Annointing of the sick – vitiated by the previous comments about said “sacraments”. Marriage – only sacrament established by the historical Jesus as per most NT exegetes- easy annulments vitiate most of its importance- e.g. Catholic woman married 18 years to a Catholic man (ex-seminarian). They had seven children. Woman was given an annulment after the husband left with another woman in the 18th year.

  • To Another Anonymous

    From Claire Hoffman’s blog on George Carlin as proof several Anonymous are posting and at least one of them is a Jew —Anonymous:Settle down- Farnez!My family lost two-thirds of our members to the Holocaust. Stop regurgitating book lists.We were a large active family of musicians, novelists, doctors and scientists. I feel certain you would recognise several names. There is no need to educate me. My education came in my parent’s loss and learning to survive.You need to quit your urgent need to reiterate your bias and begin to regain your life.July 2, 2008 5:01 PM

  • Another Anonymous

    Anonymous:Give it up. You’re sick, jealous, anti-Semitic, and not Catholic. Get help.

  • Kevin Orlin Johnson, Ph.D.

    Sir, have you forgotten the nature of the Eucharist, or was it never explained to you? Have you forgotten the laws of your Church that govern its distribution, or were they never taught to you?

  • Anonymous

    July 14, 2008 5:04 AMAnother Anonymous:Anonymous:Give it up. You’re sick, jealous, anti-Semitic, and not Catholic. Get help.^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^You are responding on behalf of Farnez.You are troubled. Maybe you are the one who needs help.I’m neither sick nor am I jealous.I’m anything but anti-Semitic. I assure you a thousand percent that it is true. I admire the Jews for their nobility in suffering, for their incredible achievements.I will not respond to Farnaz again. I had no idea she was so troubled. I was only angry about her anti-Christian and pro-Muslim rants. Be at peace. You have nothing to fear from me. I feel terribly ashamed now that I upset you. My profoundest apologies. Please accept it as sincere.

  • Another Anonymous

    Anonymous: “From Claire Hoffman’s blog on George Carlin as proof several Anonymous are posting and at least one of them is a Jew”You never read anything right. Read your own post. The blogger never said he’s Jewish. Read my post. Farnaz wrote a couple of months ago about a lot of non-Jews who were killed during the Holocaust.You sure aren’t Catholic. I wonder what you really are besides being a sick, jealous, ignorant anti-Semite who can’t read. Like I said before you take things out of context and never paste anything that doesn’t support your undecipherable points. You’re a bigot. GET HELP.

  • Anonymous 2

    No one is forced to believe in our Catholic faith or to receive communion. Yet some non-believers are adamantly reluctant to respect our faith and sacraments. It has always been that way.Ironically, their violations will probably attract people of conscience to Christ. The seed is crushed to the ground before it resurrects.I have no doubt Christ foresaw this.

  • ep thorn

    “I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.” -GhandiIf there is a God, he should have known better, being omnipotent and all, than to trust anything, especially ‘His Word’, in the hands of men. Look at what they do with it now.

  • Gasmonkey

    Just one more reason that the Catholic Church should be denied tax exempt status. It is not primarily a religious organization, it is primarily a political organization. If they want to play in politics, why should they get the tax-exemption shield of pure religion?

  • Anonymous 2

    ep thorn:It’s our belief that the incarnation of the Word was and is intended for everyone: Gandhi, you, atheists, everyone. Accordingly, everyone should be asking themselves what they are doing with or about It, not just Catholics/Christians.

  • Dennis Ferrara

    That Prof. Crossan’s peculiar views on the sacraments contradict Catholic doctrine and theology in the most blatant manner will be evident to anyone with even a rudimentary knowledge of the subject. By his reckoning, everything transpires between Christ and the recipient of Holy Communion, so that essentially the church need not exist at all. There is, of course, that pesky New Testament passage where Christ makes Peter the rock of his future church and gives him the keys to the kingdom and the power to bind and loose, though no doubt Crossan can provide a scholarly argument around this. Funny, though, how some scholars can always find a way to show that a text doesn’t really say what it clearly does say.A telling case in point is Crossan’s own account of the Pledge of Allegiance, where he argues that the Pledge is directed to the apple pie and motherhood values of “liberty and justice for all”. In plain fact, however, the Pledge is directed not to values, but to the flag as a symbol of the “republic”, that is, the USA. It is first and foremost a citizen’s act of allegiance to his or her country, to the “one nation”, and to American values only on the presupposition of America itself. As in the case of Crossan’s upside-down theology, this will be evident to anyone who actually reads the words of the Pledge in their natural sequence.

  • Anonymous

    “Saint Paul” was a misogynist and you should tread lightly when listening to “his” message. He was a great figure in the spread of Christ’s message mainly known for his conversion on “the road to Damascus”.

  • Anonymous 2

    Dennis Ferrara:Do you think that when Jesus tells Peter “Feed my sheep” he really meant: “Feed my sheep under certain conditions and only after they have confessed their sins only to those you appoint, and only the latter have forgiven them in My name. Let no one else except those you appoint feed them in my name. Everyone who disobeys this: anathema”?

  • John Turkal

    I take it that Sally isn’t Catholic. If the Priest gave her communion that’s his decisin not hers. Other than that, this whole dicussion is a Red Herring.

  • Anonymous

    John Turkal:I take it that Sally isn’t Catholic. If the Priest gave her communion that’s his decisin not hers. Other than that, this whole dicussion is a Red Herring.July 14, 2008 8:18 AM^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^Chances Sally knew she wasn’t Catholic was much greater than the priest who gave her Communion. Red Herring.

  • Frank

    *****************************************************************************The greater question should be “Why would someone want to receive Communion from a church that executed a man for saying that Earth revolved around the Sun?” The Catholic church also once regularly executed people just for not being fully “Catholic.” And, I ask forgiveness from GOD, not some creepy dude sitting in a wooden porta-potty.The Vatican, the pope, and all those child-molesting priests are all pretty much irrelevant to me.*****************************************************************************

  • JC

    My understanding is that Christ welcomed all. Therefore, anyone should be allowed to receive communion at any church. My problem with Christianity is that it teaches that only Christians will get to “heaven.” But that’s true of other religions as well.

  • candide

    It’s pretty silly for Crossan to say that Jesus would give Sally Quinn communion when the thrust of Crossan’s scholarship denies Jesus ever did any of the things mentioned in the Gospels. Crossan’s Jesus is the Jesus of the Gospel of Thomas and of Q — not the Jesus made up by the Gospel writers.

  • captn_ahab

    JC:I’m not sure that other religions are pushing the same concept of “heaven” and “eternal life” as Christianity. Certainly the root religion of Judaism does not. Eternal life is certainly a big selling point in Catholicism. Some scholars have pointed out that one of the big draws of Mormonism is its even stronger assurances of life after death than mainstream Christianity. I guess whatever floats your boat, or works for you. It is interesting that in the 21st century with a robotic probe on Mars baking Martian ice and sending its composition back to earth in digital bits at the speed of light that people are still drawn to Medieval concepts. That’s people for you.

  • Love

    All the legalistic chattering aside. I believe Jesus would welcome all. Heck, I’ll even go out on a limb to say he loves everyone unconditionally. Even Sally Quinn.

  • Fuji

    John, John, John.What do you care? You don’t believe the whole “Jesus as Messiah” thing anyway. You disavow yourself of any established churches. What dog do you have in this fight?

  • pbm75

    I’ve found these blog posts on Sally’s interaction with the Eucharist useful. I was raised evangelical and am currently something of an Episcopalian. Part of what drew me to the Episcopal church was the centrality of the Eucharist and the open table. Evangelical churches I’ve belonged to acknowledge “this is not our table, this is God’s table,” but limit the invitation to baptised evangelicals. At Catholic services, the message is sometimes explicit, usually implicit.

  • captn_ahab

    PBM75:”I don’t think so, but part of my role as a Christian, seeking reconciliation, is to respect other traditions.”AMEN.

  • Jack

    Some of you sure have a gift for getting way off topic – the topic is the Eucharist and apparently the issue is being brought up by an ex-priest who is no longer catholic but claims to be in position to be a fair abitrator of whether communion should be denied to sinners or non-believers or people of other faiths.Unless a priest knows that a person is in the state of mortal sin or a non-believer denying communion to people coming up to receive is a messy business. Since most priests don’t know the individuals receiving well they should give communion to almost all people who wish to receive it. After all Christ is not injured by the sinner’s reception – only the sinner.However, if there are satanic cults in a given area that wish to desecrate the blessed sacrament then caution is warranted.

  • Jim the Pinko

    This entire thread is a demonstration of the futility of all religious doctrine.Find yourself a spiritual path that feels right to you and then walk it without trying to drag everyone else along with you.

  • Jim the Pinko

    This entire thread is a demonstration of the futility of all religious doctrine.Find yourself a spiritual path that feels right to you and then walk it without trying to drag everyone else along with you.

  • Jim the Pinko

    This entire thread is a demonstration of the futility of all religious doctrine.Find yourself a spiritual path that feels right to you and then walk it without trying to drag everyone else along with you.

  • Jim the Pinko

    This entire thread is a demonstration of the futility of all religious doctrine.Find yourself a spiritual path that feels right to you and then walk it without trying to drag everyone else along with you.

  • Jim the Pinko

    Sorry for the repeats. Balky connection :(

  • paul c

    I agree that Jesus beckons everyone to him. The Catholic church facilitates that by allowing ANYONE to participate in Mass. It is a truly universal church and allows anyone to join. Why is it unreasonable, however, to require preparation, training and commitment prior to a person receiving the eucharist. Isn’t that required for it to be truly meaningful? Otherwise, for the recipient might mistake the host to be just “just a biscuit” as suggested by some here. For those who understand, however, it truly is the body of Christ.

  • Farnaz

    That last post with the bibliography was mine. I FIND IT VERY DIFFICULT TO BELIEVE THAT ANON/JAC IS CATHOLIC.

  • Reasonable not hateful

    CCNL-Well, you’ve made the choice it appears. This is why You are immersed in your own “liberal theologian” folly.Jesus is waiting for you. I hope you come around.

  • Bruce

    As I recall, Christ gave Peter and the other apostles “I will give you the keys to the kingdom of heaven. Whatever you prohibit on earth will have been prohibited in heaven, and whatever you permit on earth will have been permitted in heaven.” The apostles passed this right to their successors, which the right by its very nature allows. The Catholic Church, by this right and its concomitant obligation, defines the rules, not Sally or some amorphous “Christianity”.

  • Anonymous

    Farnaz, I posted only in answer to your “prayers.” So you are not happy that I took the trouble to answer your “prayer?” O well…

  • Mike

    I’m Lutheran and my wife is Roman Catholic. As an offshoot of the Catholic religion I go up and receive the Eucharist. This is one of those “Flat Earth” traditions that goes against Christ’s teachings. Follow at your own peril.

  • Concerned The Christian Now Liberated

    The continuing problem here is the what did the historic Jesus really say and do.Did he establish the Catholic Church via Gos. Thom. 13; (2a) Mark 8:27-30 = Matt 16:13-20 = Luke 9:18-21; (2b) Gos. Naz. 14; (2c) John 6:67-69.)According to many contemporary historic Jesus and NT exegetes (e.g. Professors Crossan, Borg and Frederiksen- members of the On Faith Panel), he did not since these passages fail to meet historic requirements of attestations and stratums.Did he establish the sacrament of the Eucharist?(1a) 1 Cor 10:14-22Again, according to many contemporary historic Jesus and NT exegetes (e.g. Professors Crossan, Borg and Fredericksen- members of the On Faith Panel), he did not since these passages fail to meet historic requirements of attestations and stratums.A good summary of the last days of Jesus’ life:From Professors Crossan and Watts’ book, Who is Jesus.”That Jesus was crucified under Pontius Pilate, as the Creed states, is as certain as anything historical can ever be.“ The Jewish historian, Josephus and the pagan historian Tacitus both agree that Jesus was executed by order of the Roman governor of Judea. And is very hard to imagine that Jesus’ followers would have invented such a story unless it indeed happened. “While the brute fact that of Jesus’ death by crucifixion is historically certain, however, those detailed narratives in our present gospels are much more problematic. ““My best historical reconstruction would be something like this. Jesus was arrested during the Passover festival, most likely in response to his action in the Temple. Those who were closest to him ran away for their own safety. I do not presume that there were any high-level confrontations between Caiaphas and Pilate and Herod Antipas either about Jesus or with Jesus. No doubt they would have agreed before the festival that fast action was to be taken against any disturbance and that a few examples by crucifixion might be especially useful at the outset. And I doubt very much if Jewish police or Roman soldiers needed to go too far up the chain of command in handling a Galilean peasant like Jesus. It is hard for us to imagine the casual brutality with which Jesus was probably taken and executed. All those “last week” details in our gospels, as distinct from the brute facts just mentioned, are prophecy turned into history, rather than history remembered.”

  • ex-papist

    Thomas Baum – the rest of humanity awaits a direct revelation from the Holy Spirit.

  • Thomas Baum

    EX-PAPISTAs Jesus told us, “No sign will be given this wicked and perverse generation except the sign of Jonah.We have been told and I have been chosen to announce to the world that God wins, satan loses, a tie is unacceptable, the captives shall be released and the dead shall rise.The night of the sixth day is coming but the dawning of the seventh day shall surely arrive in due time, God’s Time.Take care, be ready.Sincerely, Thomas Paul Moses Baum.

  • ex-papist

    Prof. Crossan is merely putting the Eucharist in an historical context while emphasizing the allegorical nature of the ritual. All public rituals can be said to be both symbolic and allegorical…whether or not something happens of a supernatural nature (such as transubstantiation) cannot be established, but the declared symbolism of the actual ceremony or act is phenomenological – this can be quite easily experienced by participants. On the other hand, spiritual transformation is a personal act and an individual experience….as the 18th century philosopher David Hume said, ‘knowledge can only be established through first-hand experience’ – all else is based on faith.

  • Anonymous

    Thomas, “talker to god” and Moses of the NT, Baum,Take a break from “thumping the NT” and read some of the books listed at earlychristianwritings.com/theories.html

  • Thomas Baum

    J. D. CROSSANYou wrote, “Ritual participation may be offhand, distracted, unintentional, and meaningless.”, how true if all it is, is just a ritual and not something that someone either believes in or knows to be true.You also wrote, “Second, none of that was about compassionate charity but about distributive justice. (The Roman Empire did not crucify you for insisting on the former but for insisting too much on that latter.)”Actually, Jesus was not crucified for what you implied in the above statement but so that there would not be a riot or revolt from the people who were worked up into such a frenzy.Another thing that you wrote, “They did not have time to debate about the exact mechanics of the “transubstantiation” of bread and wine into the body and blood of Christ (watch for red herrings, always watch for red herrings)”. This was in reference to the earliest Christians.Coming up with a fancy word like “transubstantiation” did not occur until later when Jesus at the Last Supper said, “This is MY BODY” it was very simple and to the point and He meant exactly what He said.I was not there at the time of earliest Christianity but the people that called themselves “Christian”, I would imagine were taught that Jesus said what He meant and meant what He said.I happen to know that the Catholic Eucharist is Jesus because the Holy Spirit revealed it to me but before that I believed it to be True.Take care, be ready.Sincerely, Thomas Paul Moses Baum.

  • ex-papist

    Thomas Baum – it’s exceedingly odd that the Holy Spirit would choose only one person to relay a message to humanity. Communications have improved in the last 2000 years, but are far from perfect. There are billions that have yet to log on to this blog alone – so how will they know? I think you may have an inflated sense of your own mission. At least you’re not a

  • Thomas Baum

    ANONYMOUSYou wrote, “Thomas, “talker to god” and Moses of the NT, Baum,Take a break from “thumping the NT” and read some of the books listed at earlychristianwritings.com/theories.html”, sounds like you are CCNL and forgot to put your “name” in. I am not “thumping the NT”, I am just doing, the best that I can, the “job” that God chose me for.I imagine that “early christians writings” that you refer to was back not long after Jesus died, I happen to be alive now and I have my “job” to do. God works in my life the way that He works in my life how He or satan works in other people’s life is not my concern, I can not and do not even try to live other people’s life.Take care, be ready.Sincerely, Thomas Paul Moses Baum.

  • Anonymous

    Farnaz and Anonymous and a few other characters are all the same person. They often disagree with each other.

  • Prometheus

    Capn Ahab: “I guess whatever floats your boat, or works for you. It is interesting that in the 21st century with a robotic probe on Mars baking Martian ice and sending its composition back to earth in digital bits at the speed of light that people are still drawn to Medieval concepts. That’s people for you.”Strange lot.

  • Thomas Baum

    EX-PAPISTYou wrote, “Thomas Baum – it’s exceedingly odd that the Holy Spirit would choose only one person to relay a message to humanity. Communications have improved in the last 2000 years, but are far from perfect. There are billions that have yet to log on to this blog alone – so how will they know?”I am not saying that I am the only person but I am saying that I have been chosen to “speak” and I am trying to “speak” in whatever way that I can and it is up to God to see me thru.You ask, “How will they know?”, I don’t know, my “job” is to ‘speak’ whatever way I can and as I have said, it is up to God to see me thru. God is God, I am merely a messenger.You also wrote, “I think you may have an inflated sense of your own mission.”, not really, but I do take it very seriously.Then you wrote, “At least you’re not a As I have previously said numerous times, “The night of the sixth day is coming” exactly how that will be, I don’t know, “but the dawning of the seventh day will arrive in due time, God’s Time”.God’s Plan is for ALL to be with Him in the Kingdom, the new heavens and the new earth. Jesus instructed us to “Proclaim the Gospel”, Gospel means “Good News” and if that “Good News” is not for everyone then it is not “Good News” at all.There seems to be some who not only settle for but actually want what I refer to as the “good enough news” as in as long as they get to the “good place” then that is good enough, well it isn’t.Take care, be ready and remember, God is a searcher of hearts and minds not of religious affiliations or lack thereof and it is important what one does and why one does it and also what one knows.Sincerely, Thomas Paul Moses Baum.

  • james warren

    POINT ONE:Is there specific evidence where Dr. Crossan claims to be in a position to be a fair “abitrator” (sic) of Catholic communion?POINT TWO:Is this a fair arbitration of Catholic communion?POINT THREE:Does this match the information you presented in “POINT TWO”?