Richard Dawkins has given an address in Dublin on the eve of the International Eucharistic Congress in which he said that Catholics who don’t believe in transubstantiation should be honest and admit that they are no longer Roman Catholics.
Richard Dawkins was responding to this week’s Irish Times/Ipsos MRBI poll showing almost two thirds (62 per cent) of Catholics believed the bread and wine which was blessed during Mass “only represents the body and blood” of Christ.
Just 26 per cent said they believed the bread and wine transformed into Christ’s body and blood in accordance with the doctrine of transubstantiation.
“If they don’t believe in transubstantiation then they are not Roman Catholics,” Prof Dawkins said. “If they are honest they should say they are no longer Roman Catholics.”
Protect the Pope comment: For the first time Protect the Pope agrees with Prof. Dawkins on something. If the Irish Times/Ipsos MRBI is accurate then tragically around 60% of Irish Catholics are no longer in full communion with the Catholic Church. And it is a tragedy when one considers the suffering and sacrifice of previous generations of Catholics to uphold this central truth of the Faith against the persecution and hostility of Protestants, who likewise rejected this central doctrine of the apostolic faith.
The question has to be asked, what has happened to catechesis in Ireland that would result in over 60% of Catholics agreeing with the statement that the bread and wine ‘only represents the body and blood of Jesus’? For twenty years Irish priests and catechists have had access to the Catechism of the Catholic Church which clearly sets out the Eucharistic doctrine of the Real Presence, so there is just no excuse for this ignorance.
The summary of the Holy See’s Irish visitation report recommended an overhaul of Irish schools and Irish catechetics. In the light of this shocking poll of Irish Catholics it is obvious that what is needed is a radical root and branch reform of diocesan catechetical departments.