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By David Martin
Jesuit theologian Fr. Francisco Taborda, speaking at a study seminar at the Vatican on Feb. 25-27, raised the possibility that the upcoming Amazonian Synod scheduled for next October should consider changing the matter of the Holy Eucharist, allowing the use of a South American vegetable called yuca instead of wheaten bread.
The Vatican seminar, which was attended by some of Pope Francis’ close collaborators including Cardinal Lorenzo Baldisseri and Cardinal Claudio Hummes, did nothing to censure Tarboda’s proposal but stood in support of the forthcoming synod where this issue of the “vege” Eucharist will be deliberated.
Experts including Cardinal Raymond Burke and Bishop Athanasius Schneider warn that changing the matter of the Eucharist from unleavened wheat bread to yuca would invalidate the sacrament and create a “new religion.”
Schneider said this change would be “tantamount to inventing a sacrament, alien to the one established by Our Lord, which has been preserved unchangingly by the bi-millennial tradition of the entire Church in East and West.” He argued, “To celebrate the Eucharist with yuca would mean introducing a kind of a new religion.”
The plan indeed appears to reflect a change of deities. It is an attempt to get man to bow to the planetary idol of “mother earth.” Instead of our partaking of Christ they are proposing that we partake of the planet symbolized by this “green” Eucharist. The global serpent, seeing that the Eucharist is the center-piece of the Christian Faith, knows that he can shift our focus from things eternal to things terrestrial if he can present the Eucharist as something green.
This ties with Pope Francis’ ecological encyclical Ladauto Si, which exhorts man to turn to his environmental surroundings and be one with the planet. Just the name of the upcoming synod, “Amazonia: New Paths for the Church and for an Integral Ecology,” indicates that this proposed innovation has grown out of the pope’s encyclical on the environment.
It appears that they are using the coming synod as a trial balloon for this plan, but eventually, without due outcry, it is feasible that they could propose similar changes for the rest of the Church in keeping with Francis’ idea of a “green” church.
Taborda told Crux that climate issues warrant the change. He argued that high humidity during the Amazonian rainy season turns wheaten hosts into a pasty mush, adding that “in the Amazon, bread is made out of yuca,” a shrub native to South America.
Cardinal Burke doesn’t buy this excuse. “There is something more involved than a problem of keeping the hosts fresh,” he observed. “The use of some local food, which is like bread but is not the kind of bread which Our Lord used at the Last Supper, reflects a totally horizontal view of the Holy Eucharist, in which the Holy Eucharist is the action of the community which gathers instead of the action of Christ Who gathers the community.”
Burke points out that “the ancient custom of the Church, according to which only wheaten bread may be used for the Eucharistic Sacrifice, was confirmed at the Council of Florence (Bull of Union with the Armenians Exsultate Deo, November 22, 1439).”
He assures us that “If any other matter is used, the Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist is not validly confected.” Approval of the plan would indeed constitute another leap into apostasy.
The proposal is the latest in an ongoing litany of attacks on the Holy Eucharist that we have seen since Vatican II, though it appears that the post-conciliar secularization of the Church may have now brought us to the threshold of mass idolatry. Only strict adherence to orthodox rules and regulations can foil this sinister plan.
Bishop Schneider reminds us that “the Council of Trent, Pope Pius XII and John Paul II taught that the Church has no power to change the substance of the sacraments.”
“The Church did not establish the matter of the Eucharist, he argues. “It was established by Our Lord Jesus Christ Himself, who likewise established that water be the matter of Baptism.”
The Amazonian synod in October will also consider the matter of married priests.