*BEST OF DTB #134* The Catholic defender: State of Grace

Posted by John Benko - January 29th, 2012

My hats off to the Catholic Priesthood that refuses to give Holy Communion to practicing homosexuals! The following is a report from the Chicago AP: CHICAGO (AP) – Roman Catholic gay-rights supporters wearing rainbow-colored sashes to Mass were denied communion Sunday, while dozens in Minnesota had to walk around protesters to receive the holy sacrament.

About 10 people wearing the sashes stood in line to receive communion at Holy Name Cathedral in Chicago, but priests refused to give them the Eucharist. One priest shook each person’s hand; another made the sign of the cross on their foreheads.

“The priest told me you cannot receive communion if you’re wearing a sash, as per the Cardinal’s direction,” said James Luxton, a Chicago member of the Rainbow Sash Movement, an organization of Catholic gay-rights supporters with chapters around the country.

An internal memo from Chicago Cardinal Francis George that became public last week instructed priests not to give communion to people wearing the sashes, which the group’s members wear every year for Pentecost. The memo says the sashes are a symbol of opposition to the church’s doctrine on homosexuality and exploit the communion ritual.

“The Rainbow Sash movement wants its members to be fully accepted by the Church not on the same conditions as any Catholic but precisely as gay,” George wrote. “With this comes the requirement that the Church change her moral teaching.”

Rainbow Sash Movement spokesman Joe Murray was among those denied communion in Chicago. He said members wearing the sashes should be seen no differently than a uniformed police officer or Boy Scout seeking communion.

“What we saw today in the cathedral is discrimination at the Eucharistic table, and that shouldn’t be happening,” Murray said. Those denied communion returned to their pews, but stood while the rest of the congregation knelt.

The movement, which started about five years ago in England, also has members in Dallas, New Orleans, New York and Rochester, N.Y.

In St. Paul, Minn., people wearing the rainbow-colored sashes were given communion Sunday despite protests from some parishioners who kneeled in front of the altar blocking their way.

The Rev. Michael Skluzacek said in a written statement that both sides were “mistakenly using the Mass and the Eucharist to make their own personal statements.”

Brian McNeill, organizer of the Rainbow Sash Alliance of the Twin Cities, said the local group has worn the sashes every Pentecost at St. Paul Cathedral since 2001, but the group had never experienced such a confrontation.

The Rainbow Sash Movement received an e-mail Tuesday from the Los Angeles Archdiocese inviting them to Mass on Sunday, but no one wearing sashes showed up for morning or midday Masses at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels, archdiocese spokesman Tod Tamberg said.

A Vatican doctrinal decree last year directed at Catholic politicians said a well-formed conscience forbids support for any law that contradicts “fundamental” morality, with abortion listed first among relevant issues. A second Vatican statement said it is “gravely immoral” not to oppose legalization of same-sex unions.

CFPA: Thank God the church is taking this stand. We only wish that all of those Catholics practicing homosexuality would wear that sash every time they go to Communion.

St. Paul writes, “Therefore, my beloved, avoid idolatry. I am speaking as to sensible people; judge for yourselves what I am saying. The cup of blessing that we bless, is it not a participation in the blood of Christ? The bread that we break, is it not a participation in the body of Christ? Because the loaf of bread is one, we, though many, are one body, for we all partake of the one loaf” (1 Corinthians 10:14-17).

St. Paul is clear that we are all part of the body of Christ and this is seen through the breaking of the bread. If anyone is living in sin, serious sin, they are warned of the gravity of recieving the Eucharist unworthily.

Concerning idolatry, St. Paul warns, “You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and also the cup of demons. You cannot partake of the table of the Lord and of the table of demons” (1 Corinthians 10:21).

St. Paul makes it even more clear writing, “For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the death of the Lord until he comes. Therefore whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord unworthily will have to answer for the body and blood of the Lord. A person should examine himself, and so eat the bread and drink the cup. For anyone who eats and drinks without discerning the body, eats and drinks judgment on himself. That is why many among you are ill and infirm, and a considerable number are dying” (1 Corinthian 11:26-30).

We are not to recieve God’s grace in vain (2 Corinthians 6:1) and to avoid mortal serous sin (Galations 5:19-21). We need to pray for our leaders (Hebrew 13:18-19) that they will be strong in their leadership (1 Peter 5:1-5).

We also need to pray for those who are wayward, running from their faith.

The Prodigals need to come home to the Catholic Faith where they can get that total healing of mind, body, and soul, and spirit.

Home page
DTB facebook Page
You Tube
Blog Talk Radio Show

* BEST OF DTB #62 * The Catholic Defender: The Mass in History

Posted by John Benko - February 12th, 2011

The Mass in history has changed very little beginning with Jesus at the Last Supper and the Church taking the Lord’s command to preach the gospel to every nation.

The Eucharist is the sign of the Lord’s promise,the Eucharist is the pure offering spoken of by the Prophet Malachi.

It is written, “For from the rising of the sun, even to it’s setting, my name is great among the nations; And everywhere they bring sacrifice to my name, and a pure offering: For great is my name among the nations, says the Lord of hosts.

I have had the opportunity to go to Mass in Latin America, all over the United States, Europe, Korea, the Middle East and no matter where I have been, the Lord’s Mass is totally unified with the Church of Rome. From Jesus through his apostles, it has always been this way.

“While they were eating, Jesus took bread, said the blessing, broke, and giving it to his disciples said, take and eat; this is my body. Then he took a cup, gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, Drink from it, all of you, for this is my blood of the covenant, which will be shed on behalf of many for the forgiveness of sins”.

St. Paul refers to this cup as “The cup of blessing” which was the third cup offering in the Passover celebration.

During the Last Supper, Jesus omits the 4th cup saving this for the cross.

Jesus intentionally ties the Last Supper with his passion and death.

After receiving wine offered on a hyssop branch, Jesus from the cross says ”It is finished” marking the end of the old Covenant and the beginning of the new Covenant.

As the Israelite were saved from the Angel of Death by the blood of innocent spotless lambs blood applied on the lintel and two doorposts using a hyssop branch, the spotless Lamb of God was crucified between two thieves shedding his blood on behalf of all the world.

From this point on the Mass have become the center of Christian worship. The means by which Gods people can renew the new and everlasting Covenant. From the earliest times, “They devoted themselves to the teaching of the apostles and to the communal life, to the breaking of bread and to the prayers” (Acts 2:42).

“On the first day of the week when we gathered to break bread…”, St. Paul raised Eutychus from the dead, then returned, “broke the bread, and ate; after a long conversation that lasted until daybreak, he departed” (Acts 20:7,11).

I often refer to this scene as the first recorded Midnight Mass! St. Paul refers to the “breaking of bread” and the cup of the “new covenant” saying, “For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the death of the Lord until he comes” (1 Corinthians 11:26).

From the very beginning, the Mass (liturgy of the word and the Eucharist) was the center of Christian worship.

The Church in the early years had to hold Mass in secret for fear of the Jews and then of the Romans.

Mass would be held at homes where people would gather. Catacombs and caves were other places that the Christians held Mass.

This 2nd/3rd century Catacomb is located in Salzburg Austria. I had the chance to visit this site where the early Christian celebrated Mass.

There is a grave site where the Priest, Father Maximus was martyred by the Romans.

They still have original utensils and altar used by the Christians when you go up into the Catacomb. I had the chance to go in there and you can feel the reverence of the praise of voices long ago.

This is the ancient stairway that leads to the main room where the Christians would meet. Out on the ground you can see from here where the Von Trapp Family hid from the Nazis. The scene from “The Sound of Music” was filmed on location.

This Catacomb is not far from there. What a great experience it was to have been able to see this place. This depicts the way it was during that time.

About 140 A.D., a convert to the Catholic Faith would write about his experience of the Mass. St. Justin Martyr wrote the following:

No one may share the Eucharist with us unless he believes that what we teach is true, unless he is washed in the regenerating waters of baptism for the remission of his sins, and unless he lives in accordance with the principles given us by Christ.

We do not consume the eucharistic bread and wine as if it were ordinary food and drink, for we have been taught that as Jesus Christ our Savior became a man of flesh and blood by the power of the Word of God, so also the food that our flesh and blood assimilates for its nourishment becomes the flesh and blood of the incarnate Jesus by the power of his own words contained in the prayer of thanksgiving.

On Sunday we have a common assembly of all our members, whether they live in the city or the outlying districts.

The recollections of the apostles or the writings of the prophets are read, as long as there is time. When the reader has finished, the president of the assembly speaks to us; he urges everyone to imitate the examples of virtue we have heard in the readings.

Then we all stand up together and pray.

The wealthy, if they wish, may make a contribution, and they themselves decide the amount. The collection is placed in the custody of the president, who uses it to help the orphans and widows and all who for any reason are in distress, whether because they are sick, in prison, or away from home. In a word, he takes care of all who are in need.

We hold our common assembly on Sunday because it is the first day of the week, the day on which God put darkness and chaos to flight and created the world, and because on that same day our savior Jesus Christ rose from the dead. For he was crucified on Friday and on Sunday he appeared to his apostles and disciples and taught them the things that we have passed on for your consideration.

Jesus says, “Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, then I will enter his house and dine with him, and he with me”(Revelation 3:20). We call this “Holy Communion”.

For more information on the Eucharist, please click here:

For more on the Mass, Please click here:

For more on the Eucharist, please click here:

For more on the Eucharist, please click here:

Blogtalkradio Show
You Tube Channel
Twitter Page

* BEST OF DTB #61* The moment of Consecration- the renewed test of faith.

Posted by John Benko - February 11th, 2011

Ask any protestant to define faith and they will usually give a sound answer like “faith is the belief in an unseen truth”. Defining faith and stepping out in it are two entirely different things. Protestants are, for the most part, people of faith only in the abstract but not in the practical.

Most protestants claim to be proponents of Sola Scriptura, a doctrine that stipulates that all truth must be found in the practical reading of Scripture. Nowhere in Scripture is this doctrine taught but that is almost beside the point. The reason is that the majority of protestants will even deny the plain words of Scripture because they simply lack the faith to accept them.

Nowhere is this more true than in the 6th chapter of John’s Gospel. This entire chapter is about the highest, most central act of Christian worship- the Eucharist.

The chapter begins with one of Jesus’ greatest miracles- the feeding of the five thousand. Notice that in verse 4, John explicitly ties the coming miracle to the Passover. This is no small thing. It is the Passover that points forward to this miracle, the Last Supper and the institution of the Eucharist. The allusion is clear, even if subtle.

The feeding of the five thousand is a glimpse into the sublime mystery of the Eucharist in several meaningful ways. First, there is this exchange between Jesus and Phillip and Andrew;

5* Lifting up his eyes, then, and seeing that a multitude was coming to him, Jesus said to Philip, “How are we to buy bread, so that these people may eat?” 6 This he said to test him, for he himself knew what he would do. 7 Philip answered him, “Two hundred denarii * would not buy enough bread for each of them to get a little.” 8* One of his disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, said to him, 9* “There is a lad here who has five barley loaves and two fish; but what are they among so many?”

If you ask most people what was the purpose of Jesus test, they might respond that Jesus was demonstrating that he could meet people in their temporal needs. That is not exactly the case. yes, Jesus does meet the temporal need of these people to eat- in an extraordinary way but He did so merely as as a stepping stone by which he drew them to a much deeper reality.

They clearly missed the point and Jesus admonished them for it.

25 When they found him on the other side of the sea, they said to him, “Rabbi, when did you come here?” 26 Jesus answered them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, you seek me, not because you saw signs, but because you ate your fill of the loaves. 27* Do not labor for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to eternal life, which the Son of man will give to you; for on him has God the Father set his seal.”

So, Jesus is saying that the miracle of the fish and loaves was not simply something that stood on it’s own but a foreshadowing of something better.

And, it turns out that this, as yet to be revealed reality is to be the penultimate test of faith.

To miss this would be tragic, so let’s examine the quote in both parts.

28 Then they said to him, “What must we do, to be doing the works of God?” 29* Jesus answered them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in him whom he has sent.” 30* So they said to him, “Then what sign do you do, that we may see, and believe you? What work do you perform?

Protestants often leave the second part off dishonestly. Jesus tells them that the true and ultimate test of faith is they believe in Him. They respond by asking specifically the sign that they should see and believe in. The answer is the very epicenter of faith and the very summit of worship.

31* Our fathers ate the manna in the wilderness; as it is written, ‘He gave them bread from heaven to eat.’” 32 Jesus then said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, it was not Moses who gave you the bread from heaven; my Father gives you the true bread from heaven. 33 For the bread of God is that which comes down from heaven, and gives life to the world.” 34* They said to him, “Lord, give us this bread always.”
35* Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; he who comes to me shall not hunger, and he who believes in me shall never thirst. 36 But I said to you that you have seen me and yet do not believe. 37* All that the Father gives me will come to me; and him who comes to me I will not cast out. 38* For I have come down from heaven, not to do my own will, but the will of him who sent me; 39* and this is the will of him who sent me, that I should lose nothing of all that he has given me, but raise it up at the last day. 40* For this is the will of my Father, that every one who sees the Son and believes in him should have eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day.”
41 The Jews then murmured at him, because he said, “I am the bread which came down from heaven.” 42 They said, “Is not this Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? How does he now say, ‘I have come down from heaven’?” 43 Jesus answered them, “Do not murmur among yourselves. 44* No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him; and I will raise him up at the last day. 45* It is written in the prophets, ‘And they shall all be taught by God.’ Every one who has heard and learned from the Father comes to me. 46* Not that any one has seen the Father except him who is from God; he has seen the Father. 47 Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes has eternal life. 48 I am the bread of life. 49 Your fathers ate the manna in the wilderness, and they died. 50 This is the bread which comes down from heaven, that a man may eat of it and not die. 51 I am the living bread which came down from heaven; if any one eats of this bread, he will live for ever; and the bread which I shall give for the life of the world is my flesh.”

Here, Jesus is showing that the Priestly Sacrificial offering, Passover meal, the Manna from Heaven and the miracle of the fish and loaves all pointed to an ultimate fulfillment in Him. Jesus would give us His own flesh and blood as spiritual food.

This revelation shocked the Jews but Jesus did not shrink from it one letter;

52* The Jews then disputed among themselves, saying, “How can this man give us his flesh to eat?” 53 So Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of man and drink his blood, you have no life in you; 54 he who eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day. 55 For my flesh is food indeed, and my blood is drink indeed. 56* He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood abides in me, and I in him. 57 As the living Father sent me, and I live because of the Father, so he who eats me will live because of me. 58* This is the bread which came down from heaven, not such as the fathers ate and died; he who eats this bread will live for ever.” 59* This he said in the synagogue, as he taught at Caperna-um.

For those who want to spirituality Jesus words, there just isn’t anywhere to go here, especially when one examines the actual exegesis of the passage! The word eats from John 6:54 comes from the greek word τρώγων (trōgōn) which literally means to gnaw, chew or grind between the teeth. Jesus is not only being literal here but graphically so. There is no wiggle room.
60 Many of his disciples, when they heard it, said, “This is a hard saying; who can listen to it?” 61* But Jesus, knowing in himself that his disciples murmured at it, said to them, “Do you take offense at this? 62* Then what if you were to see the Son of man ascending where he was before?
This is now a third time that Jesus emphasizes that He is not kidding. He is not peaking in metaphors. He is speaking a literal truth. Yet, there are some who insist that verse 63 shows that Jesus was speaking metaphorically and that His flesh, which He has now said half a dozen times is the bread from heaven for us to eat, is of no avail and that He was only speaking in metaphors.
63* It is the spirit that gives life, the flesh is of no avail; the words that I have spoken to you are spirit and life. 64* But there are some of you that do not believe.” For Jesus knew from the first who those were that did not believe, and who it was that would betray him. 65* And he said, “This is why I told you that no one can come to me unless it is granted him by the Father.”

Their interpretation is twisted to the point of breaking. What Jesus is saying here, to all present, is that their flesh is of no avail- that is, their fleshy senses. In verses 63 and 64, Jesus issues a stern and clarion challenge. Do not count what your senses and your human reasoning tell you, you either believe or you don’t.

Jesus does not admonish those offended for a lack of understanding. He never says ‘”no, no, no, you don’t understand!” or explains this parable (as He did with all His parables), He simply gives them a shocking choice, believe that we must eat His flesh and drink His blood to have life, or don’t believe and be condemned. In fact, verse 64 basically tells us that Judas betrayed Him over this very doctrine.

One of the most oft quoted verses of Scripture is 2 Corinthians 5:7 7 for we walk by faith, not by sight

Yet, how can we say that we walk by faith and not by sight, if the two are never in conflict?
This verse presupposes that, at least sometimes, what faith tells us is true in in direct opposition to what our eyes tell us to be true.

So, Are you going to believe Jesus or your own lying eyes? This is the very test, Jesus identifies as the ultimate test of your faith. Jesus conveys this truth in Mark 14:22-25 and Luke 22:14-20. Paul adds the exclamation point in 1 Corinthians 11:23-29, with frightening clarity.

Jesus lost 60 followers that day during the Passover season because they simply could not pass the test of faith. However, the true believers stayed.

66 After this many of his disciples drew back and no longer went about with him. 67 Jesus said to the twelve, “Do you also wish to go away?” 68* Simon Peter answered him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life; 69 and we have believed, and have come to know, that you are the Holy One of God.”

In each Mass, is the very center and summit of worship, when, through the Priest, Jesus tells us again; “Take and eat, this is my body” and “Take and drink, this is my blood”. In every single Mass, heard every single day, in every single place, the believer is challenged anew to pass this test.

As the minister holds the host up before you and proclaims ” [this is] the body of Christ”, the believer responds “Amen”.

Amen, indeed. It truly is the Body of Christ.

Blogtalkradio Show
You Tube Channel
Twitter Page