the Catholic Faith
in the declaration
About the threat of excommunication.
St. Thomas Aquinas
on the Eucharist
The Holy Eucharst
is The Whole Christ
In Italy in 2001
Bishop Roman Danylak's letter
October 19, 2005
A Review of Archbishop Youn's declaration
Another deviation from the Truth on the
Fr. Ri's new theology of the Holy Spirit and the Church
The Messages and Signs in Naju are powerful antidotes
The Eucharistic miracles in Naju are not in conflict with the Church Teaching
In Defense of the Truth and Teaching Authority in the Church
An Essay on the Holy Eucharist and the Eucharistic miracles in Naju
On Pilgrimages to Naju, Korea
Pilgrims to Naju need not worry about the threat of excommunication.
IN DEFENSE OF THE TRUTH AND TEACHING AUTHORITY IN THE CHURCH
A Review of Archbishop Youn's Declaration
His Excellency Victorinus Kong-Hee Youn of the Archdiocese of
Kwangju(=Gwangju) in Korea made it official as of January 1, 1998, that his position on
"the events arising in Naju" is negative. His grounds for this position
were that (1) the messages "lacked genuineness and credibility," (2)
"the phenomena alleged to be Eucharistic miracles were contradictory to the
doctrine of the Catholic Church," and (3) "various strange phenomena
arising from the statue of the Blessed Mother and Juliaís body produced no
evidence that could prove that they were truly supernatural and thus from
God." Based on this judgment, the Archbishop issued pastoral instructions
that prohibited public services and promotional materials regarding Naju in his
As in all cases of the successors of Christís Apostles
exercising their teaching authority, we read Archbishop Younís Declaration with
filial love and respect. We also understand that his pastoral directives are
being faithfully implemented in his Archdiocese.
At the same time, we could not help noticing some
interpretations and applications of the Church teachings contained in the
Declaration that seem to be incorrect. The Church says that her teaching
authority is to be obeyed by the Christian faithful (Code of Canon
Law, #212, Section 1), but also that this authority is not superior to
the Word of God, but is its servant (Catechism of the Catholic
Church, #86). In other words, the proper function of the teaching
authority in the Church in discerning matters concerning faith and morals is not
to confer truthfulness or falsehood on them but to find out whether they truly
originate from God or not. For this reason, the authority in the Church must be
exercised in the spirit of humility and faithfulness to the Will of Christ, Who
entrusted His authority to His Apostles and their successors so that His Truth
may be transmitted without distortion throughout Church history. Christ protects
His Church by preserving the Holy Father and the bishops of the world in union
with the Holy Father from errors, when they pronounce official teachings. This
also means that individual bishops must make constant efforts to remain in
communion with the successor of Peter, the Bishop of Rome (Catechism of
the Catholic Church, #85) and with other bishops who are in union with
the Bishop of Rome in order to avoid deviating from the true spirit of Christ.
The faithful have the obligation to be obedient to their bishops, but, at the
same time, expect from them spiritual nourishment that is free from errors. For
this reason, the Church states that the faithful have the right and, sometimes
even a duty, to make known to their sacred pastors and fellow Christians their
spiritual needs and opinions for the good of the Church (Code of Canon
Law, #212, Sections 2 and 3).
It is in the spirit of respect and obedience to the teaching
authority in the Church, desire to be faithful to the Truth, and concern for the
good of the Church that this review is written. The following are the major
areas of our concern regarding the Statement.
MISREPRESENTATION OF THE CHURCH
DOCTRINE ON THE EUCHARIST (1)
It is indicated in the Statement that "the phenomenon of the
Eucharist changing into a lump of bloody flesh in Juliaís mouth is in conflict
with the doctrine of the Church that says that even after the bread and wine are
transubstantiated into the body and blood of Christ with the formula of priestsí
consecration, the species of bread and wine remain." (The underline
is added.) In the original Korean text of the Statement, the underlined portion
is presented as "the species of bread and wine should remain." The
English text does not have the word "should," but implies the same by the
context in the Declaration. This addition of "should," which is not part
of the Church doctrine, seems to have been intended to deny the possibility of
Eucharistic miracles. It is a grave matter to insert a meaning that is not
contained in the words of the doctrine and, thereby, alter the original meaning
of the doctrine.
The true meaning of this doctrine is that, at the moment of
consecration by a priest, the substance of bread and wine changes into the
substance of Christís Body and Blood, but the accidents or appearances of bread
and wine remain unchanged.. This doctrine explains the effects of the
consecration by a priest and does not explain what is to happen after the
consecration. It certainly does not say or imply anything about the possibility
of Eucharistic miracles performed by God Himself after the consecration by a
priest and, therefore, must not be used to preclude that possibility. Also, if
we deny the possibility of miracles, we are also denying that God is
all-powerful, which is another Church doctrine. The Declaration, therefore,
seems to be in conflict with two Church doctrines, one regarding the Holy
Eucharist and another regarding Godís omnipotence. Also, if the doctrine really
means that the external appearances of bread and wine must not change after the
consecration, then, what about the change of the Sacred Host in our body after
Communion? Can the change of the Sacred Host in our body also be in conflict
with the Church doctrine?
In order to help the faithful accept the inner reality of the
Eucharist, God has allowed Eucharistic miracles many times throughout Church
history. Many of them have already been officially recognized by the Church: the
miracles in Lanciano, Italy (the 8th Century), Santarem, Portugal
(early 13th Century), Bolsena-Orvieto, Italy (1263), Paris, France
(1274 and 1290), Siena, Italy (1330 and 1730), Morrovalle, Italy (1560),
Bordeaux, France (1822), and many more. If what is mentioned in the Declaration
were correct, all of these Church approvals would have been contradictory to the
Church doctrine. All the actions taken by the Popes such as granting indulgences
to pilgrims to the sites of Eucharistic miracles and making visits to such
places themselves would have been mistakes also.
MISREPRESENTATION OF THE CHURCH
DOCTRINE ON THE EUCHARIST (2)
It is also mentioned in the Declaration that "the phenomenon
alleged as a miracle of the Eucharist fallen from heaven is contradictory to the
doctrine of the Church that says that only through the legitimately ordained
priestís consecration does the sacrament of the Eucharist begin to
Against the Waldensians, who rejected the hierarchy and claimed
equal powers for all the faithful, the Fourth Lateran Council (1215) declared,
"Surely no one can accomplish this sacrament except a priest who has been
rightly ordained according to the keys of the Church which Jesus Christ Himself
conceded to the Apostles and to their successors." (DS 802) Against the
Reformersí teaching of the general lay-priesthood, the Council of Trent defined
the institution of a special priesthood, to which the power of consecration is
reserved solely. What this doctrine means is that people who are not
validly-ordained priests cannot and ought not consecrate this Sacrament (DS
794). It certainly does not imply preclusion of direct intervention by God
Himself. The Eucharist is not a lifeless object but the living Christ Himself,
Who is in Heaven with His full Humanity and Divinity. We have no right to limit
what God wills to do and can do. Jesus in Heaven is identical to Jesus in the
Blessed Sacrament except the external appearances. It is not necessary for Jesus
in Heaven to undergo any substantial change to directly come to us in the form
of the Eucharist. Transubstantiation of bread and wine into Christ'sí Body and
Blood, on the other hand, requires consecration by a priest.
On two occasions (July 1, 1995 and July 1, 1996), Julia saw the
image of Jesus on the Crucifix in the Chapel in Naju turn into the live Jesus,
Who was bleeding from His Seven Wounds (two hands, two feet, head, side and
Heart). Soon, Julia saw the Precious Blood changing into white Hosts and coming
down. On July 1, 1995, seven Sacred Hosts landed on the altar in front the
Blessed Motherís statue and, on July 1, 1996, the Hosts entered Juliaís mouth.
One of the seven Hosts that was received by Julia on July 2, 1995 turned into
visible Flesh and Blood in her mouth, confirming that these Hosts were truly the
Body and Blood of Christ. It is noteworthy that, sometimes, the Sacred Host
turned into visible Flesh and Blood in Juliaís mouth and, some other times, the
Precious Blood turned into white Sacred Hosts. In both cases, the changes that
occurred were changes in the external appearances only, even though the
directions of the changes were opposite ó sometimes from the Sacred Hosts to
visible Flesh and Blood and other times from the Precious Blood to the Sacred
Hosts. By miraculously changing the external appearance of Himself, Christ is
reminding us that He and the Eucharist are identical in substance despite the
different external appearances.
Sometimes, the Eucharist was also brought by an angel from a
church as in Fatima. According to Archbishop Giovanni Bulaitis, who visited Naju
as the Apostolic Pro-Nuncio in Korea and personally witnessed two Eucharistic
miracles on November 24, 1994, the Sacred Host in Juliaís hands was already
broken into two parts and one part had a corner part missing. Archbishop
Bulaitis says that this corresponds to the breaking of the Host and placing of
the fragment into the Chalice in the Mass before Communion, which seems to
indicate that the Host was brought from a church. Julia received a message from
the Blessed Mother that the Sacred Host was indeed brought by St. Michael the
Archangel from a priest.
INCORRECT UNDERSTANDING OF THE MESSAGES
IN NAJU (1)
In connection with the subject discussed above, the Declaration
also states that the Sacrament is validly celebrated, even when the celebrating
priest is in grave sins according to the Church doctrine. This is a correct
understanding of the Church teaching, but is not properly applied to what
happened in Naju on November 24, 1994, when the Apostolic Pro-Nuncio experienced
Eucharistic miracles. The Declaration asserted that "the events in Naju,"
referring to what happened on that day, contradicted this doctrine. However, St.
Michael the Archangel brought the Sacred Host after consecration by a priest
and, therefore, valid consecration of the Host was never questioned.
INCORRECT UNDERSTANDING OF THE MESSAGES
IN NAJU (2)
The Declaration also indicates that the part of the messages in
Naju (July 16, 1995) "that seems to delay the final time" by the Father
is in conflict with the Church teaching which says that the final time is
already set and is known to the Father only.
According to Juliaís writing, she was in severe suffering,
almost dying, on that day. She attended Mass in Fr. Raymond Spiesí chapel lying
on a sofa. During the Mass, her soul was taken to Purgatory. Jesus asked Julia
if she was willing to walk through the fire in Purgatory, as she had repeatedly
tried to lay down her cross despite her promise to live a life of reparation.
Julia said, "Yes," and walked through the fire, which she said was
indescribably hot and painful. Then, Julia was taken to Heaven and stood before
God the Father, Who asked Julia if she wanted to see an immediate chastisement
of the world because it was so filled with sins. Julia was frightened and begged
God the Father not to punish the world, promising to work harder to spread the
messages and offer up reparations. Juliaís soul was sent back to the world, and
she woke up from the ecstasy.
It is clear from Juliaís description that God the Father was
only reminding her of the seriousness and urgency of the situation in the world
and was encouraging her to continue working hard. It is a distortion of facts to
say that God the Father was postponing the final time for the world which had
already been set.
It was not mentioned in the Declaration, but the messages in
Naju have been criticized by some of the committee members for frightening
people with predictions of an impending end of the world. The term "end of
the world" was not mentioned or implied in the messages in Naju. If one
focuses attention on when and how the world will end or when and how the
chastisement will come and on how to prepare for it, he is missing the true
essence of the messages, which is repentance of our sins and sanctification of
our lives. Of course, the messages in Naju warn us of Godís punishment, if we
persist in sins and rejection of the Faith, but this is a teaching in the
Gospels also. The messages in Naju are full of hope, as they mention that
"new buds will sprout even on the burnt ground," "everything will become
beautiful again," and "the Second Pentecost will come." They seem to
coincide with Our Ladyís prediction in Fatima that a period of peace will be
granted to the human race after the triumph of her Immaculate Heart. The
messages in Naju does refer to the present age as "the end time," but it is
obvious from the above-quoted messages that this only means the end of an era
before the opening of a new era.
INVOCATION OF THE AUTHORITY
OF THE MAGISTERIUM
IN THE STATEMENT IS INAPPROPRIATE
In Item 2.3 of the Declaration, the authority of "the
Magisterium" was invoked in requesting obedience from "people around
Julia." "The Magisterium" refers to the Holy Father and all bishops
in union with the Holy Father who can exercise the charism of infallibility in
official teachings on faith and morals. A bishop can participate in this
infallibility by remaining in union with the Holy Father and other bishops in
the Church. The full authority of the Magisterium, however, cannot be invoked by
an individual bishop.
BISHOP DOES NOT HAVE TO "PROVE" THE
OF PRIVATE REVELATIONS
In Item 1.3 of the Declaration, it is said that the "various
strange phenomena which happened to Julia and in her circumference produce no
evidence which prove that they are truly supernatural and thus from God.
Perhaps, they can be said to show some preternatural power." This remark
discounts the importance of all the signs in Naju. The fact of the matter,
however, is that a bishop is not called to prove anything with regard to private
revelations. An official recognition of a private revelation does not mean that
the bishop is positively confirming actual occurrences of certain apparitions,
messages, and miracles. It only means that the bishop recognizes (1) the absence
of anything in the reported events that contradicts the teachings of the Church
or any other evidences that indicate insanity, pride, frauds or diabolic
involvement and (2) the likelihood of such events to produce positive fruits for
the spiritual advancement of the faithful. This is why positive decisions on
private revelations do not impose an obligation on the faithful to accept them
as articles of faith. An official recognition of a private revelation still
leaves room for individuals to deal with it as a personal matter between
themselves and God. Private revelations do not bring us new truths, but function
as catalysts for revitalizing our faith and invigorating our efforts to sanctify
our lives and spread the Truth. The contents of the private revelations must not
only conform to the official teachings in the Church but also reinforce them and
expedite their implementation in the lives of the faithful. As such, private
revelations are essential parts and signs of the unfolding of Godís Plan for
Human Salvation. A good example of this is the conversion of almost ten million
people in Mexico from idolatry to the Catholic Faith in the 16th
Century, when the local bishop and the faithful accepted the miraculous image of
Our Lady and her messages as true signs from God.
QUESTIONS CONCERNING THE SOUNDNESS OF THE
In the case of Betania, Venezuela, the local Bishop and his
investigating committee interviewed thousands of people about their experiences.
The Bishop was able to make his conclusion, when a Eucharistic miracle finally
occurred. The Sacred Host on which some bleeding occurred is being preserved in
a monstrance. The events in Betania were officially approved.
In the case of Naju, only fourteen people were interviewed. The
committee members made just one brief visit to the Chapel in Naju. The test
results from the medical laboratory at Seoul National University regarding
samples of cloth that had absorbed tears of blood from the Blessed Motherís
statue were never considered. Neither were the doctorsí statements on Juliaís
stigmata examined. The committee did not order any new scientific examinations,
Some of the Eucharistic miracles in connection with Naju and
Julia were personally witnessed by Archbishop Giovanni Bulaitis, the Apostolic
Pro-Nuncio in Korea (November 24, 1994), Bishop Roman Danylak (September 22,
1995), Bishop Dominic Su (September 17, 1996), Bishop Paul Kim (June 12, 1997),
a monsignor from the Vatican (July 13, 1997) and Father Raymond Spies (August
27, 1997), but their opinions were not sought. Bishop Roman Danylak and Bishop
Dominic Su already issued written statements acknowledging what they personally
witnessed as "Eucharistic miracles." Archbishop Giovanni Bulaitis has repeatedly
spoken and written favorably on the revelations in Naju. Bishop Paul Kim has
also been consistently positive about Naju. While the Blessed Mother was still
shedding large amounts of tears of blood from her statue in Naju, Bishop Daniel
Chi of the Wonju Diocese in Korea stayed several days in Naju and wrote his
testimony before leaving: I clearly saw and firmly believe.
In September 1995, the Holy Father sent Msgr. Vincent Thu, his
personal secretary, to Naju to comfort Julia. About a month later, on October
31, 1995, Julia visited the Vatican and attended Mass celebrated by the Holy
Father in his private chapel. During Holy Communion, another Eucharistic miracle
occurred through Julia which involved a change of the Sacred Host into visible
Flesh and Blood of Our Lord. The Holy Father saw this miracle and gave blessing
to Julia. Later, the Holy Father reportedly said to several bishops that he had
seen the Eucharistic miracle through Julia. He also said to the visiting Korean
bishops in the spring of 1996 that he wanted the Koreans to share this wonderful
grace with others in Asia.
In addition, there are many other bishops and priests around
the world who accept the messages and signs in Naju as authentic revelations
from God. The number of people who experienced healings of their souls and
bodies may be hundreds of thousands. All these fruits were ignored by the
Also, Item 1.3 of the Declaration hints a possibility of
"the various strange phenomena" in Naju such as tears, tears of blood,
fragrant oil, stigmata, and Eucharistic miracles occurring by "some
preternatural power." When a question of such a grave nature remains
unanswered, the investigation must continue until a satisfactory finding can be
obtained. A conclusion based on a suspicion or unconfirmed accusation cannot be
objective. Our Lord Himself was accused of performing miracles by the power of
the devil (Matthew 12:24).
GOD SENDS US MIRACULOUS SIGNS TO
STRENGTHEN OUR FAITH
There seems to be a tendency among many to discount the
importance of miracles, even when they are genuine signs from God. Of course,
our focus should always be on the correct understanding and faithful practicing
of the eternal truths revealed through Christ. At the same time, we need to be
open and alert to the continuing signs from God, because God uses them to
strengthen our faith and stimulate our efforts to reform our lives. To be able
to appreciate the value of the miraculous signs from God, we must make efforts
to penetrate their fascinating external aspects and understand Godís messages
contained in them. If they are genuine signs from God, the meanings contained in
them will clearly and beautifully resonate with the eternal teachings that Our
Lord entrusted to His Church for the sake of the whole human race. Saying that
our faith is healthy, while rejecting the signs from God, may be a symptom of
our pride and, ironically, lack of faith. The Church teaches us on the meaning
of the miraculous signs:
In order that the "obedience" of our faith should be "consonant
with reason," God has willed that to the internal aids of the Holy Spirit there
should be joined external proofs of His revelation, namely: divine facts,
especially miracles and prophecies which, because they clearly show forth the
omnipotence and infinite knowledge of God, are most certain signs of a divine
revelation, and are suited to the intelligence of all. Wherefore, not only Moses
and the prophets, but especially Christ the Lord Himself, produced many genuine
miracles and prophecies; and we read concerning the apostles: "But they going
forth preached everywhere: the Lord working withal and confirming the word with
signs that followed" (Mark 16:30). (The Vatican Council, 1869-1870: DS
The Church also emphasizes the need for discernment of the
special graces among her members as well as the need for keeping and protecting
the genuine ones for the common good in the Church:
Charisms are to be accepted with gratitude by the person who
receives them and by all members of the Church as well. They are a wonderfully
rich grace for the apostolic vitality and for the holiness of the entire Body of
Christ, provided they really are genuine gifts of the Holy Spirit and are used
in full conformity with authentic promptings of this same Spirit, that is, in
keeping with charity, the true measure of all charisms. It is in this sense that
discernment of charisms is always necessary. No charism is exempt from being
referred and submitted to the Churchís shepherds. Their office is not indeed to
extinguish the Spirit, but to test all things and hold fast to what is good, so
that all the diverse and complementary charisms work together for the common
good. (Catechism of the Catholic Church, #800 and
THE FAITHFUL ARE IN NEED OF
ASSISTANCE FROM THE CHURCH
Thus, many of the faithful are finding themselves in a painful
dilemma between the need to be obedient to the teaching authority in the Church
and the need to be faithful to the Truth. Discrediting the words and decisions
by the Church leaders is the last thing they want. At the same time, they do not
want to compromise the Truth, because, if they do, they will be betraying the
Lord, from Whom all Truth originates. St. Paul emphatically reminds us that
misrepresentation of the Church teachings is a serious matter and is not
acceptable, whether they come from humans or even an angel:
"Even if we or an
angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one that we preached to
you, let that one be accursed!" (Galatians 1:8)
The faithful need an explanation of how the contents of the
Statement on Naju can be in conformity with the Church teachings. If they are
not, a re-investigation of Naju is necessary ó hopefully, at the Vatican level
to minimize the risk of prejudice and errors and as urgently as possible,
because too much precious time has been wasted already. The Blessed Mother said
in her message on July 13, 1997 that the signs in Naju are for the whole world
and the entire Church. Then, it will be most fitting that the subject of Naju be
considered and responded to at an international level.
The Blessed Motherís tears are signs for the Church. They
testify to the fact that there is a Mother in the Church and the world.
Oh, the Mother of tears! Look down with your mercy upon the
sufferings in the world and see those who are in agony, forgotten and in
despair. Wipe away tears from the eyes of those who have become victims of all
forms of cruelty. Intercede for all for the grace of tears so that they may
experience a new surge of Godís Love, open their hearts, repent their sins and
resolve for a new life. Help all so that they may shed tears of joy after
experiencing the deep love in the Motherís Heart.
Praise be to Jesus Christ! Amen!
ó Pope John Paul II, while visiting Syracuse, Italy, on November
Maryís Touch By Mail
P. O. Box 1668
U. S. A.
February 11, 1998
The Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes
Another Deviation from the Truth on the
Fr. Ri presents a new theology of the Eucharist in an attempt to defend Archbishop
Younís Declaration on Naju
Fr. Sun-Song Ri, who is the secretary general of the Naju Investigating Committee and a theology professor at Kwangju Archdiocesan Seminary, contributed an article to the March 1998 issue of "The Pastoral Care," a monthly magazine published by the Korean Bishopsí Council. The title of his article is (translated from Korean) "A Correct Understanding of Ďthe Transubstantiation in the Blessed Sacramentí mentioned in the Kwangju Archbishopís Declaration." This article is of a special importance and will undoubtedly attract much attention, because it is the first theological defense of Archbishop Younís recent declaration on Naju by a leading member of the Naju Investigating Committee. The importance of this article is further enhanced by the fact that it appeared in a magazine published by the Korean Bishopsí Council.
The focus in Fr. Riís article is on the concept of "the Transubstantiation in the Blessed Sacrament." He makes it clear that the Eucharistic phenomena in Naju involving changes in the Eucharist into visible Flesh and Blood are incompatible with his understanding of "the Transubstantiation."
The questions that promptly arise in the readersí minds are what Fr. Riís theological explanation of "the Transubstantiation" is and whether or not it conforms to the official Church teaching on the Eucharist. If it does, Fr. Ri has a strong case in support of Archbishop Younís declaration. If it does not, his article will further weaken the credibility of the Archbishopís declaration.
Fr. Ri directs our attention to the many debates on the Eucharist in the past and present
Fr. Ri devotes six of the ten pages of his article (in Korean) to a narration of many different theories on the Eucharist including the views of Ratramnus in the 9th Century, Berengarius in the 11th Century, and Luther, Zwingli and Calvin in the 16th Century. Fr. Ri notes that the dogma of "the Transubstantiation" was defined by the Fourth Lateran Council in 1215 and reconfirmed by the Council of Trent in 1551, but also adds that this dogma did not include a detailed philosophical and theological explanation. He says that debates on the Eucharist are still continuing even among Catholics. At the end of his narration of the different theories on the Eucharist, Fr. Ri makes the following conclusion:
If there exists today a foundation for a comfortable meeting between Catholics and Protestants, it must be their common understanding of Christís Real Presence in the Eucharist. Both (Catholics and Protestants) have reached a deeper understanding that the Real Presence does not refer to any object but is a personal presence. In addition, both share a common view that Christ is present in the Eucharist not only as the giver of salvation but as the gift of salvation itself, which is unique to the Eucharist.
Fr. Ri adds that theologians are looking for more appropriate ways of explaining the Real Presence without rejecting the traditional doctrine of the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist.
Fr. Ri emphasizes unity
Fr. Ri also states the following:
The Transubstantiation in the Eucharist of course requires faith as the premise but is something that needs to be understood theologically. It certainly has "unity among Christians," that is, unity between Catholics and Protestants and among all Catholics, as the major premise. In the Kwangju Archbishopís Declaration, it is stated that the phenomena of the Eucharist changing into lumps of flesh and blood in Juliaís mouth are in conflict with the Church teaching that says that the external appearance of the Eucharist must remain unchanged even after the Transubstantiation through the consecration by a priest. This expression must be understood in the above-mentioned theological context. However, many people still do not have the correct understanding of "the Transubstantiation" and, thereby, are leaning toward disunity in faith. The purpose of this writing is simple. It is unity between Catholics and Protestants and among all Catholics in the faith and theological understanding of the Eucharist.
A CRITIQUE OF FR. RIíS ARTICLE
1. Unity among people at the expense of the truth?
Fr. Ri says that unity between Catholics and Protestants and among all Catholics is the major premise in the theological consideration of the Eucharist. In other words, a good theology of the Eucharist is one that is acceptable to both Catholics and Protestants. How is this possible? Can we say that we do not deny Our Lordís physical presence in the Eucharist but, at the same time, say that Christís presence is only a personal or spiritual one? God is infinitely truthful and infinitely simple. He cannot contain conflicts in Himself or reveal conflicts to creatures. He does not expect us to be double-minded, either. Our Lord said, "Let your ĎYesí mean ĎYes,í and your ĎNoí mean ĎNo.í Anything more is from the evil one" (Matthew 5:37). Our Lord also said that He came to the world not to give peace but to give division (Matthew 10:35-36; Luke 12:49-53). What Our Lord means is that peace for the sake of peace and unity for the sake of unity at the expense of truth are false. To Pilate who was asking the Lord if He was the king, He answered, "I came into this world to testify to the truth" (John 18:37). He climbed Mt. Calvary and was crucified instead of pleasing the world at the expense of the truth.
Fr. Riís basic error lies in that he regards "unity among people" instead of the teaching authority in the Church as the basis for determining the authenticity of supernatural truths. It is even possible that the question of authenticity does not mean much to Fr. Ri, because "unity among people" can hardly be a source of any supernatural authenticity. Or is Fr. Ri forgetting about the supernatural nature of the truths regarding the Eucharist?
2. Fr. Riís new theology denies the physical presence of Christ in the Eucharist
Fr. Ri says that he does not deny "the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist" but is rejecting that bread and wine turn into real flesh and blood of Christ through the consecration by a priest. To him, Christ is really present in the Eucharist but only in a personal and spiritual way. Is this what the Church teaches about the Eucharist? Is this what Christ said to His disciples? Our Lord said, "I am the living bread that came down from heaven; whoever eats this bread will live forever; and the bread that I will give is my flesh for the life of the world Ö For my flesh is true food, and my blood is true drink" (John 6: 51, 56). Many of Our Lordís followers understood this literally and complained among themselves: "This saying is hard; who can accept it?" (John 6:60) They left Jesus and no longer accompanied Him (John 6:66). If Our Lord only meant His "flesh" and His "blood" in a symbolic or spiritual way, He would have called the Jews back, explaining that they misunderstood Him. But He didnít call them back, and even challenged His twelve apostles to leave, if they could not accept His words: "Do you also want to leave?" (John 6:67) Throughout the 2,000-year history of Church, it has always been the authentic understanding of Our Lordís words that He meant His physical presence in the Blessed Sacrament by means of His flesh and blood. Also, because His flesh and blood are living flesh and blood, His soul and Divinity necessarily exist together with His flesh and blood. This is how the totality of the Person of Christ exists in the Eucharist. Therefore, this personal presence of Jesus is not merely a spiritual one but is through His physical presence, just as God the Son became physically present in the world through the human nature of the Baby born of the Virgin Mary. Our Lord said, "Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me and I in him" (John 6:56). There cannot be a separation between Our Lordís personal presence and His physical presence in the Eucharist.
If one cannot believe in Christís physical presence in the Eucharist, it will be impossible for him to accept Eucharistic miracles, because they are signs of Christís physical presence in the Eucharist through His Flesh and Blood.
3. Can theologians alter Church teachings?
The proper role for theologians is to study and explain the meaning and implications of the revealed truth as clearly as possible. In doing so, they can utilize scientific reasoning and even speculation but they must humbly follow the enlightenment by the Holy Spirit and remain obedient to the teaching authority in the Church. Their reasoning and speculation cannot take on their own authenticity but are subject to discernment by the teaching authority in the Church. Our Lord has entrusted the charism of infallible teaching not to theologians but to Peter and his successors and to other apostles and their successors in union with Peter and his successors. If theologians cross over this line, they are in revolt against the Divine authority.
4. There is nothing new about the new theology
The implication of Fr. Riís new theology does not end with rejecting Eucharistic miracles. The primary effect of the new theological thinking is to dilute and destroy our recognition of Our Lordís physical presence in the world ó in other words, the reality of God the Sonís Incarnation. According to the new theology, God is present among us only in a spiritual way. Two thousand years ago, many people were believers in God, but did not recognize God when He physically came down to the world and began dwelling among them as one of them. The reality of Godís Incarnation was revealed to those who were simple in heart, but remained hidden to those who were spiritually blind because of their self-righteousness. Those who only saw the humanity of Jesus became indignant at His claim to Divinity and crucified Him. It was only the beginning of human rejection of Godís Incarnation, which is continuing even today.
In the 16th Century, the Protestant reformers believed in Christ as the Savior, but denied His continuing physical presence and redemptive work through the Church. They also rejected what is derived from and connected with this physical presence of God among us, such as the infallible teaching authority, seven Sacraments (except baptism), the essential role of the Blessed Mother for our salvation, the communion of the Saints, the need for penance, the rosary, statues, and so on. To Protestants, Christ came to the world, but left soon afterwards without establishing any means of continuing His physical presence and redemptive work on earth. They believe in Christ as the Savior but do not recognize His physical presence on earth prior to His Second Coming. The Catholic Church is the sole bearer and witness of Christís physical presence, divine teaching authority and redemptive work on earth continuing until the end of the world. Especially, the Holy Eucharist is the focal point of Christís physical presence. Through this Sacrament, the reality of God the Sonís Incarnation among us is essentially the same now as two thousand years ago. It is no wonder that the Eucharist has been the prime target of the devilís attacks throughout Church history. To the devil, God the Sonís physical presence and activity in the world is the greatest threat to his efforts to control and ruin humans. So, he employs all the possible means to promote doubts about and denials of Christís physical presence in the Eucharist.
St. John gives us the following admonition as a reminder that the reality of God the Sonís Incarnation among us forms the foundation for Godís Plan of Human Salvation:
Beloved, do not trust every spirit but test the spirits to see whether they belong to God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world. This is how you can know the Spirit of God: every spirit that acknowledges Jesus Christ come in the flesh belongs to God. (1 John 4:1-2)
5. We cannot appreciate the signs in Naju, until we truly return to Godís Teachings
The messages and signs in Naju do not add any new truths to or alter any of what the Church already received from her Founder. They are, however, powerful reminders, warnings and encouragement for us to return to the truths in the Church. So many of us are still resisting, not because the events in Naju are in conflict with Church teachings, but because we have fallen away from loyalty to the true teachings of Our Lord through His Church. Dogmas are no longer studied or believed in a faithful way. Liturgies and church buildings have become more and more deprived of what inspires our yearnings for God and His supernatural gifts. Traditional devotions have been deemphasized. What is going on is a compromise with the secular spirit. It is a denial of the reality of Godís Incarnation and of the supernatural destiny that God has conferred on humans.
Naju could be quickly approved and, then, pushed into history and neglect, like many other heavenly signs in the past (that have been authenticated). Maybe it is better that Naju remains unapproved, unless we truly repent and kneel before the Lord, begging for His mercy. God and Our Lady do not want to see it wasted this time. The problem is that we may be running out of time.
ó From Mary's Touch, Special Issue 1998 #2
Fr. Ri's New Theology of the Holy Spirit and the Church
Fr. Sun-Song Ri, who is a theology professor at Kwangju(=Gwangju) Catholic University and the secretary general of the Naju Investigating Committee, contributed another article to the Theological Outlook (the spring 1998 issue) published by the same university. The title of the article is (translated from Korean): The Relationship between the Holy Spirit and the Church. The following are excerpts from this rather long, 15-page article.
Fr. Sun-Song Ri:
ĎRuahuí (a Hebrew word found in the Old Testament), which can be translated into Ďthe Spirit of God,í created Adam and gave him life. It is a breath that creates everything and keeps it alive. It is the source of life.Ē
ďThe life-giving power of Ruahu is a mysterious one that cannot controlled by anything in nature. The presence of Ruahu can be recognized by its sign of wind. Godís Ruahu is a power of creation. It is the power of God that cannot be resisted by anything.Ē
ďWe must understand that Godís Ruahu and Godís Word are necessarily united with each other and work together.Ē
ďThe theology of Bellarmine (Fr. Ri says ĎBellarmineí instead of ĎSt. Bellarmineí) has much influenced the understanding of the relationship between the Church and the Holy Spirit both theoretically and practically even until the Second Vatican Council and still remains influential. According to his theology, the Church was established by Jesus Christ and faithfully performs the functions stipulated by Him. The central vehicle for this performance is the hierarchy, through which the Holy Spirit ratifies, sanctifies and gives power and authority to its activities. In other words, whatever the Church stipulates and does is done by the Holy Spirit.
If oneís mind is permeated by this theology, a preposterous misunderstanding can result. The activities stipulated and performed by humans are believed to have a seal of approval by the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is made responsible for what humans do. Until now, the Church has been under the influence of this theology. If the relationship between the Church and the Holy Spirit is discussed without being liberated from this theology, the Holy Spirit cannot be recognized as the Founder or Creator of the Church or the cause of what the Church stipulates and does. To use an extreme expression, the Holy Spirit is not in that Church. The Church only thoroughly uses the Holy Spirit for the purpose of justifying herself.
We, on the other hand, firmly believe that the Holy Spirit is the Creator of the Church. This faith does not rely on the theology of Bellarmine and the like and, especially, not on the traditional theology of the Trinity, but is based on the revelation.Ē
ďThe writers of the New Testament emphasize that the Holy Spirit is superior to Jesus Christ as a divine being and is the one who fills Jesus Christ (with His life-giving power).Ē
ďThe Holy Spirit first forms the apostles and, through them, the community. This community is not a community of students who study the catechism taught by the Apostles or a group of newcomers who just entered the church organization. Members of the community undergo new experiences for themselves. Each community is formed by the people who share experiences with the Holy Spirit.Ē
ďThe Gospel according to Luke clearly shows that the Church did not originate directly from Christ or from His activities during His lifetime, when He was mortal.Ē
ďThe origin of the Church was prepared not by Jesus, who resurrected and appeared to the disciples, but by the Holy Spirit Whom the disciples experienced as a real being and began living by.Ē
ďIf one tries to understand the Church only according to the stipulations about the Mystical Body, there will be left no room to talk about the role of the Holy Spirit.Ē
ďChristís mission in history is that the Holy Spirit come, be poured upon all flesh and, through communion with the eternal life, revitalize all beings that are mortal, transform them in the eternal light, and fill them with the all-embracing love. On the other hand, the Holy Spiritís mission in history is to revive everything eschatologically toward the eternal glory and, thus, recreate it. In other words, the communion between the Holy Spirit and Christ that can be understood in the Mystery of the Trinity is essentially the origin as well as the end of creation.Ē
ďThe Church has been created to reveal the Word and the Holy Spirit and let Them be experienced. Through the Church one begins his relationship with the Holy Spirit who alone gives life. Therefore, the Church is the sign and instrument of the Spirit who gives life.Ē
ďTherefore, the Church must thoroughly understand that the Church cannot monopolize the activities of the Holy Spirit; that the Holy Spirit is not limited by the Church; and that what is important to the Holy Spirit is not the Church but rebirth and re-creation of all creatures in Godís Kingdom together with Israel and the Church. In other words, the activities of the Holy Spirit are not dictated by the activities of the Church. The Holy Spirit blows in whatever direction He wants to, not according to what the Church wants. Therefore, the Church must follow the Holy Spirit who blows in whatever direction He wants to blow. The Church can find her place only in that following.Ē
ďThe Church should not be an entity that wants to remain comfortably as an organized church for which so many people criticize her. The Church is not a society of classes that insists on the order of ranks which so many people criticize as clericalism. The Church is not a body that clings to her organization which numerous people prophetically deplore as an absolute monarchy, a dictatorship and an Ďun-Churchlikeness.í If the Church insists on remaining as such an entity, she will be committing the most typical sin against the Holy Spirit. A sin against the Holy Spirit is an attempt to use the Holy Spirit for pursuing oneís own interest, thus, blocking the activities of the Holy Spirit, His creative power, life-giving power, vitality and guiding power, and, thereby, distorting the truth. In the Third Millennium, the Church must become the people of God of her own accord and lead a life of obedience to the Holy Spirit alone.Ē
(The above is excerpted from Fr. Sun-Song Riís article: The Relationship between the Holy Spirit and the Church.)
FR. RIíS THEOLOGY IS INCOMPATIBLE WITH THE CHURCH TEACHINGS
Fr. Sun-Song Ri already published another article: A Correct Understanding of Ďthe Transubstantiation in the Blessed Sacramentí mentioned in the Kwangju Archbishopís Declaration (in the Pastoral Care magazine, the March 1998 issue published by the Korean Bishopsí Council in Seoul) as a theological defense for Archbishop Younís negative judgment on the Eucharistic miracles in Naju. In that article, Fr. Ri says that Christís Real Presence in the Holy Eucharist does not refer to any object but a personal presence and that this ďcorrectĒ understanding will promote unity not only among Catholics but also between Catholics and Protestants. In other words, Christís Real Presence in the Eucharist does not really involve a substantial change of the bread and the wine into Christís flesh and blood but is only a personal and spiritual presence and, therefore, the Eucharistic phenomena in Naju could not be approved. This new theology of Fr. Ri is clearly in conflict with the Church Teaching and also contradicts what is stated in The Decree on Ecumenism (Unitatis Redintegratio) issued by the Second Vatican Council: ďNothing is so foreign to the spirit of ecumenism as a false irenicism which harms the purity of Catholic doctrine and obscures its genuine and certain meaning.Ē
Fr. Riís new theology of the Real Presence in the Eucharist prompts us to suspect that his basic mindset about all of the Church teachings probably does not resonate with the mind of the Magisterium. The contents of Fr. Riís new article: The Relationship between the Holy Spirit and the Church confirm that such suspicions are more than just suspicions. Because his writings have already been published, they no longer concern Fr. Ri only but the whole Church.
PROBLEMS IN FR. RIíS NEW THEOLOGY OF THE HOLY SPIRIT
Fr. Ri quotes many verses in the Old Testament to arrive at the conclusion that the Holy Spirit is the sole source of the life-giving power. Then, he bases his whole theology of the Holy Spirit and the Church on that conclusion. He says that the Holy Spirit is not only the Creator of the universe but also the Creator of the Church and the one who continuously gives vitality to the Church. The following is a brief critique of Fr. Riís article.
1. Fr. Riís assertion that the Holy Spirit alone gives life is in conflict with the Church teaching that the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit are not three principles of the creature, but one principle (Council of Florence, DS 1331).
2. Fr. Riís theology that the Holy Spirit is the sole giver of life ignores the reality that humans lost their supernatural life through sin and need redemption by Christ for restoration of the supernatural life.
3. Fr. Ri denies that the Church is the Mystical Body of Christ that was established by Christ to continue the reality of His Incarnation and Redemptive Work until the end of the world. He also ignores that all the graces that the Holy Spirit bestows upon us are fruits of the infinite merits that Christ earned through His sufferings. That the Church was established by Christ is a dogma (The First Vatican Council, DS 3050) and was reconfirmed by Pope Pius XII (Mystici Corporis Christi). Fr. Ri does not accept this teaching.
4. Fr. Riís denial of the Church being the Mystical Body of Christ leads him to reject the hierarchy and teaching authority in the Church. Fr. Ri says that we must obey the Holy Spirit only. Against the Protestant reformers of the 16th Century, the Church defined that, in the Catholic Church, a hierarchy has been instituted by divine ordinance, which consists of the bishops, priests, and ministers (The Council of Trent, DS 1776).
The Archbishop of Kwangju declared a negative judgment on Naju in the name of his teaching authority, based on the recommendation by his Naju Investigating Committee. Now, the secretary general of that committee, who is also a key theologian in the committee, rejects the divine origin of the hierarchy and the teaching authority in the Church. He even says that the Holy Spirit is not in a church that relies on the hierarchy. This is an outright inconsistency.
5. Wherever the fact of the Incarnation of God the Son is obscured, so is the role of the Blessed Mother. This is because the Incarnate God and the Blessed Mother are inseparable from each other. God could have used a different method to send the Savior, but He didnít. He chose to send His own Son as our Savior through the Blessed Mother. The Blessed Motherís role was not limited to Christís Conception and Birth. She was Christís most intimate companion and helper throughout His life on earth, even until the moment of His Death on the Cross. Now, she is the mother to all who love and follow Christ and is, therefore, the Mother of the Church. She is the essential channel and associate in God the Sonís Incarnation and Redemptive Work. That we love and follow the Blessed Mother is the surest sign that we accept, love and follow Christ, the Incarnate God and His Church. However, we do not find any mentioning of the Blessed Motherís role in the articles published as theological support for the negative declaration on the Blessed Mother of Naju. It cannot be a coincidence.
A CORRECT UNDERSTANDING OF GODíS PLAN OF HUMAN SALVATION AND A CORRECT UNDERSTANDING OF NAJU GO TOGETHER
The reason why many people still do not understand what the Blessed Motherís efforts in Naju seems to be that they do not have a firm comprehension of Godís Plan of Human Salvation. If they clearly understand that the reality of God the Sonís Incarnation and Redemptive Work is continuing through the Church and also accept what Jesus said: Whoever wishes to come after me, must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me (Matthew 16:24), they will not have much difficulty in understanding the essence of the messages and signs in Naju: the need for self-renunciation, sacrifices, reparations and love; the meaning of the tears and tears of blood that the Blessed Mother sheds especially for her children who still refuse to accept the Incarnate God and His Mother; and the Blessed Motherís repeated pleas that priests be holy and remain loyal to the Holy Father. They will also be grateful to God for the repeated Eucharistic miracles in Naju as Godís help for us to more firmly believe in Christís Real Presence in the Eucharist instead of belittling them as ďphenomena that promote confusion in faith.Ē
Therefore, the understanding of the eternal truths from God and the understanding of what has been happening in Naju go together. Through such an understanding, we should be able to stem the trend of secularization in the Church and enkindle anew the spirit of a true missionary and a martyr in defense of the eternal truths from God. This must also be how we can be truly faithful to the Holy Spirit.
Sang M. Lee
April 16, 1998
Messages and Signs in Naju are powerful antidotes
against Modernism in the Church
From a reliable source we hear that the Vatican has good favor
towards Naju. We have no doubt that Naju will be eventually approved by the
Church and will become a shining star of Godís love for people all over the
world. Filled with hope, let us continue praying and spreading the truth. Julia
is refraining from public activities at this time. She continues a life of
fervent prayers and severe sufferings for the converison of sinners. She
received messages from Our Lord and Our Lady on January 4 (reported in the
Special Issue 1998 #1), February 2, and April 12 (both reported in
this issue) of this year. Many pilgrims are still coming to Naju, even though
there are no services. In Naju, they can attend Mass in the parish church and
pray in the Chapel. The spot on the floor in the Chapel where the Eucharist
landed on August 27, 1997, continues to give off a strong fragrance of roses. As
of May 1998, nine months after the miracle, the fragrance is as strong as on the
first day of the miracle. On April 8, 1993, the Blessed Mother said that this
fragrance is a gift from God and represents her presence, love and friendship
More information is becoming available about how the negative
judgment on Naju was made by the Kwangju(=Gwangju) Archdiocese, as the key members of the
Naju Investigating Committee have published articles with the intention of
defending the Declaration. As already discussed in this paper, Fr. Sun-Song Ri,
the secretary general of the Committee, said that the Eucharistic miracles in
Naju could not be approved, because they contradicted his theology of the
Eucharist, according to which Christís Real Presence in the Eucharist is not
through His physical Body and Blood but is a personal and spiritual one. In
another article, Fr. Ri rejected the hierarchy in the Church on the ground that
the Church should be a community of people who obey the Holy Spirit only
(Theological Outlook, spring 1998 issue). It is ironic that a
negative judgment on Naju was made in the name of the teaching authority in the
Church, and, at the same time, the key theologian of the Investigating Committee
is refusing to recognize the hierarchy and teaching authority in the Church.
In still another article, Fr. Ri said that the shamanistic
rituals in Korea could be incorporated into the Catholic Liturgy
(Theological Outlook, winter 1996 issue). Fr. Je-Min Ri, another
key member of the Committee and also a theologian at the Kwangju(=Gwangju) seminary,
supported the female priesthood (Theological Outlook, spring 1998
issue), which the Holy Father had already rejected in a definitive way. These
may be just a few examples of widespread problems in the Church all over the
world, which are threatening to destroy our true faith. What we are facing is
not just the question of Naju being approved or not approved, but a question
about the condition of the whole Catholic Church. The approval of Naju, the
strengthening of our loyalty to the traditional teachings of the Church, and the
eradication of modernism, secular spirit, and all other errors from the Church
are all connected together.
Then, what is our duty? In Naju, the Blessed Mother wept tears
and tears of blood for a total of 700 days as powerful signs of her love for us
and her sorrows over our sins. If we are her true children, we cannot possibly
ignore these signs. Some say that the Blessed Mother is in Heaven and,
therefore, cannot suffer any more. Of course, she cannot suffer in Heaven, but
she was assumed into Heaven with both her soul and her body and now, without
leaving Heaven, is present among us with her soul and body. This makes the
Blessed Motherís presence on earth somewhat different from the apparitions of
the angels and other Saints. The Blessed Mother used the expression that she
came to Korea, her youngest child. She came with both her glorified soul and
body united together in order to be with us and to help us. This is how she can
actually weep, sweat, suffer, give us fragrant oil and have live pulses through
her statue. Her tears, blood and oil are not just symbols but a physical reality
of her sorrows, pains, joys, mercy and love. The Blessed Mother suffers the
cruel pains of her Divine Sonís Crucifixion again and again, whenever we commit
sins and refuse to return to God. And, she wants us to be united to her presence
and her Heart and, through this union, become united with her Sonís Physical
Presence and Redemptive Work through His Church. The supernatural reality in
Naju can be a powerful antidote against the venom of false teachings that tempt
us to move away from the reality of God the Sonís Incarnation and Redemptive
Work. By waking up to the messages and signs in Naju, we will also wake up to
Godís teachings for our salvation.
Therefore, we must stop being spectators. At the time of
judgment, God will not ask us how much we know or how much we received but how
we actually responded to the graces from Him. We may think of ourselves and our
world doing just fine. But the Blessed Mother, who knows far better, is weeping
tears of blood. We need to wake up and conform ourselves to the Blessed Motherís
requests. On January 4, 1998, the Blessed Mother told us through
You will see my Immaculate Heart surely achieving victory
through my invisible presence and with help from you who are my
The keys to Our Ladyís victory are her presence and our help.
ó From Mary's Touch, Special Issue 1998
The Eucharistic Miracles in Naju are not in conflict with the Church Teaching
There have been numerous reports of supernatural phenomena throughout Church history. Only those which seemed to have a special significance have been investigated by the Church. Some have been approved, while others have not. When negative decisions were made, the usual reason cited was that, despite investigations, it was not possible to recognize supernatural origin of the alleged phenomena.
The case of Naju, Korea, seems to be unique in that the events in Naju were rejected in the local diocese without any substantial investigation by the committee on the ground that they already contradicted the Church teaching. A Korean monsignor said soon after the Declaration: Whatís the point in investigating (the events in Naju), when they are in conflict with the Church teaching?
If something truly contradicts the Church teaching, it has no place in the Church, because the supreme mission of the Church is to propagate the eternal truth from her Founder without errors. When the Church declares that certain messages, apparitions, miracles, theories, assertions, devotions or liturgical practices do not conform to the authentic teachings of the Church, it normally means a definite end to them as far as their standing in the Church is concerned.
In fact, the current atmosphere regarding Naju in Korea is serious. There is a perception among many Korean Catholics that Naju is not to be visited, promoted, studied, or even discussed. Some Korean pastors even threaten their parishioners saying that they must go to Confession after they come back from Naju. Being associated with Naju in any way is a sin against the faith and obedience according to many in Korea.
But the essential question to ask here is whether the teaching authority in a local church can be exercised while lacking unity with the universal Church and conformity with the authentic teachings of the Church. Why did the diocese in Kwangju hastily make the negative decision on Naju without consulting with the Holy Father and five other bishops who personally witnessed Eucharistic miracles in connection with Naju and Julia and without interviewing most of the many priests and lay people who also witnessed the signs in Naju? The Catechism of the Catholic Church says:
The bishopsí authority must be exercised in communion with the whole Church under the guidance of the Pope, (#895)
This Magisterium is not superior to the Word of God, but is its servant. It teaches only what has been handed on to it. (#86)
The Declaration in Kwangju misrepresents the Church doctrines
(1) It was stated in the Declaration in the Kwangju(=Gwangju) Archdiocese: The alleged phenomenon, that as soon as Mrs. Julia Youn received the Eucharist, it was changed into a lump of bloody flesh in her mouth is also contrary to the doctrine of the Catholic Church that says that even after the bread and wine are transubstantiated into the body and blood of Christ with the formula of priestsí consecration, the species of bread and wine remain. Such phenomena do not enhance the faith of people in the Eucharist existing under the species of bread and wine. On the contrary, they seem to act as an element which causes a great confusion and embarrasses the peoplesí faith in the Eucharist. (underline added)
Thus, the Declaration in Kwangju(=Gwangju) says that it is a Church doctrine that the species, in other words, the appearances and other external characteristics, of bread and wine must remain unchanged even after the consecration by the priest (Note: The word "must" is not in the English text of the Declaration but is in the original Korean text. In the English text also, the meaning of this word is clear by the context). Therefore, the Declaration concludes that the changes of the Eucharist into visible flesh and blood in Juliaís mouth contradict this Church doctrine. Our question, then, is if this really is what the Church teaches about the Holy Eucharist. Does the Church really say that the Eucharist must remain unchanged in its appearance and other external properties even after the priest has completed the consecration of bread and wine? Then, what about the change that occurs to the Eucharist inside our body after we receive Communion? What about the slow but gradual change in the Sacred Hosts, when they are stored in the tabernacle for a very long period of time? What about all the Eucharistic miracles involving the change in the external appearances of the Eucharist into those of flesh and blood, many of which have already been recognized by the Church and several sites of which have been visited by the Popes? (For example, in 1976, Pope Paul VI visited the shrine of a Eucharistic miracle in Bolsena, Italy, and raised it to the level of a Minor Basilica. ó Eucharistic Miracles, Joan Carroll Cruz, Tan Books & Publishers)
The correct Church doctrine on this subject reads as follows:
If anyone says that in the sacred and holy sacrament of the Eucharist there remains the substance of bread and wine together with the body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ and denies that wonderful and singular conversion of the whole substance of the bread into the body, and of the entire substance of the wine into the blood, the species of the bread and wine only remaining, a change which the Catholic Church most fittingly calls transubstantiation, let him be anathema. (Council of Trent, DS 1652)
The portion of this doctrine that says: the species of the bread and wine only remaining means that, even though the Eucharistic consecration has the effect of changing the substances of bread and wine into the Body and Blood of Our Lord, it has no effect on the species of bread and wine. This phrase does not contain the meaning that the species of the bread and wine must remain unchanged after the consecration. Therefore, if a change occurs in the species of bread and wine after the consecration through a special intervention by God, it does not contradict this doctrine at all. During the Eucharistic miracle in Lanciano, Italy, in the 8th Century, the species of bread and wine changed into those of flesh and blood as soon as the priest said the words of consecration (Eucharistic Miracles, Joan Carroll Cruz). This has never been considered a conflict with the Church teaching. As St. Thomas Aquinas said, such miracles are no deceptions but represent the truth that Christís Body and Blood are truly in the Blessed Sacrament (Summa Theologica, Part III, Question 76, Article 8).
The problem in the Declaration in Kwangju(=Gwangju) lies in that (i) it adds to the Church doctrine on the Eucharist a new meaning that the species of bread and wine must remain unchanged after the consecration, as though the consecration has two effects ó one changing the substances of bread and wine and another keeping the species of bead and wine from changing ó and (ii) it applies the Church doctrine that explains the effects of the Eucharistic consecration to the condition of the Eucharist after the consecration. The truth of the matter is that the Church has never stated any doctrine that explains what should happen to the condition of the Eucharist after the consecration and that, therefore, precludes the possibility of Eucharistic miracles that involve changes in the external appearances of the Eucharist after the consecration.
(2) The Declaration in Kwangju(=Gwangju) also states: The phenomenon alleged as a miracle of the Eucharist fallen from heaven is contradictory to the doctrine of the Catholic Church that says that only through the legitimately ordained priestís consecration does the sacrament of the Eucharist begin to exist.
When the Fourth Lateran Council (1215) declared, "Surely no one can accomplish this sacrament except a priest who has been rightly ordained according to the keys of the Church which Jesus Christ Himself conceded to the Apostles and to their successors" (DS 802), its purpose was to refute the Waldensians, who rejected the hierarchy in the Church and claimed equal powers for all the faithful. Against the Reformersí teaching of the general lay-priesthood, the Council of Trent defined the institution of a special priesthood, to which the power of consecration is reserved solely (DS 1764). What this doctrine means is that people who are not validly-ordained priests cannot and ought not pretend to consecrate this Sacrament. It certainly does not imply preclusion of direct intervention by God Himself. The Eucharist is not a lifeless object but the living Jesus Christ Himself, Who is in Heaven with His full Humanity and Divinity. In other words, the Eucharist and the living Jesus Christ in Heaven are identical, except that in the Eucharist on earth the glory, beauty, majesty and power of Our Lord are hidden. The Eucharist is not something that carries the presence of Jesus but is Jesus Himself. At the Last Supper, Our Lord did not say, "This bread contains My Body," or "This wine contains My Blood," but "This is My Body," and "This is My Blood of the new covanent" (Matthew 26:26,28). Saying that the Eucharist begins to exist only through a priestís consecration ignores this fact that the Eucharist is Our Lord Himself and also contradicts Our Lordís omnipotence.
Regarding the Eucharistic miracles in Naju that involved the descent of the Holy Eucharist, there may be three possible explanations:
(i) The Eucharist was brought by an angel from a tabernacle in a church. This was the case when a large Sacred Host suddenly appeared between Juliaís fingers during the Apostolic Pro-Nuncioís visit to Naju on November 24, 1994. The Blessed Mother confirmed in her message that the Eucharist was brought by St. Michael the Archangel from a Mass.
(ii) Our Lord Himself consecrated bread and wine into the Eucharist. This would be no problem to Our Lord, as He is the Supreme and Eternal Priest, Who established the Holy Eucharist.
(iii) Our Lord in Heaven came by assuming the external appearance of the Sacred Host. In this case, a priestís consecration would not be necessary, as there was no transubstantiation involved. For example, on July 1, 1995, Julia saw Our Lord on the Crucifix turning into the live Jesus, bleeding from His Seven Wounds. Then, she saw the Blood turning into seven white Hosts, which landed on the altar before the Blessed Motherís statue. Many people in the Chapel saw the falling Hosts and heard the sounds of the Hosts landing on the altar. In obedience to the local Archbishopís instruction, the seven Sacred Hosts were consumed the next day. The last one received by Julia turned into visible Flesh and Blood on her tongue. Fr. Francis Su from Malaysia dipped his finger in the Blood and wiped it on a white cloth. Later the blood stain on the cloth was put to a DNA test at a medical laboratory in Seoul and was found to be human blood.
The assertion that the Hosts which descended in Naju were unconsecrated hosts does not stand on any valid ground but on a conjecture which lacks faith and trust in the power and love of God. It can also involve a risk of sacrilege. The only way for this assertion to be valid would be to establish that the descents of the Host in Naju were fabricated by humans. There isnít even remote evidence of that. That Our Lord came to us directly in the form of the Eucharist represents a solemn act on His part of coming to us. When the Lord comes, we are free to welcome or reject Him, but will not be free from the consequences of our choices. Throughout Church history, there have been numerous cases of miraculous receptions of the Eucharist. The following are just a few examples (Eucharistic Miracles, Joan Carroll Cruz):
(i) St. Clement, Bishop of Ancyra (4th Century), received Communion from Our Lord, while in prison awaiting martyrdom.
(ii) St. Bonaventure (1274) received Communion from an angel.
(iii) St. Catherine of Siena (1380) received Communion from Our Lord and also from angels.
(iv) St. Pascal Babylon (1592) received Communion from an angel many times.
(v) St. Mary Magdalen de Pazzi (1607) also received Communion from Our Lord.
(vi) In Fatima, an angel brought a chalice and a Sacred Host to the three children (1917).
(vii) The Eucharist miraculously appeared on the tongue of Therese Neumann (1962) on numerous occasions.
These miracles seem very similar to the descent of the Eucharist to Juliaís mouth on November 24, 1994, and July 1, 1996. Other miracles in Naju which involved the descent of the Eucharist to the altar in the Chapel or to the floor in the Chapel seem to be unique, because the Sacred Hosts in these miracles came down in a form in which they could be preserved, even though some of them have been consumed. Two small pieces of the large Eucharist and the whole of the small Eucharist that came down during the Apostolic Pro-Nuncioís visit to Naju on November 24, 1994, are being preserved in Fr. Raymond Spiesí chapel in Gwachon near Seoul. The large Sacred Host that came down during Bishop Paul Kimís visit on June 12, 1997, and another identical Sacred Host that descended during Fr. Spiesí visit on August 27, 1997, were taken to the Kwangju Archdiocesan office.
Another factor that reinforces our belief that the Eucharist that came down in Naju is truly the Eucharist is Godís infinite truthfulness. When the Eucharist descended to the Chapel in Naju with no natural explanation whatsoever, the only possible understanding in the minds of the people who were present there was that it was from God. If God sent us unconsecrated hosts under such circumstances, He can be said to have misled us. Why would God confuse us by sending unconsecrated hosts when the circumstances were such that people could only perceive the hosts as the true Eucharist? What would be the point in Godís sending us unconsecrated hosts? God will never send us signs that are meaningless for our salvation or are misleading. Saying that God sent unconsecrated hosts contradicts the Church doctrine that God cannot deceive or be deceived (DS 3008).
The doctrinal misrepresentation in the Declaration in Kwangju is not a trivial matter. The official teaching of the Church is Godís teaching for His people through the Church and cannot contain any error. Individual bishops, priests, theologians, or anyone else have no authority to change the Church doctrines or the interpretation thereof. The doctrinal errors in the Kwangju Declaration need to be corrected urgently and unambiguously. The faithful should be obedient to the teaching authority in the Church, but also expect purity of the faith in the exercise of this authority.
It is the modernist forces in the Church that are resisting and blocking Naju
Rev. Sun-Song Ri, who is a professor of dogmatic theology at the major seminary in Kwangju(=Gwangju) and the secretary general of the Naju Investigating Committee, published an article in the March 1998 issue of The Pastoral Care, a monthly magazine published by the Korean Bishopsí Conference, in an attempt to present a theological defense for the Declaration. Its title was, "A Correct Understanding of Ďthe Transubstantiation in the Blessed Sacramentí mentioned in the Kwangju(=Gwangju) Archbishopís Declaration." In this article, Fr. Ri denied the physical presence of Our Lord in the Eucharist and justified his position by saying that it would promote unity between Catholics and Protestants. He seems to need a reminder of the Vatican II document on ecumenism, Unitatis Redintegratio:
Nothing is so foreign to the spirit of ecumenism as a false irenicism which harms the purity of catholic doctrine and obscures its genuine and certain meaning.
In another article published also in the spring of 1998, Fr. Ri rejected the hierarchy and teaching authority in the Church, saying that the Church is a community of people who obey the Holy Spirit only ("The Relationship between the Holy Spirit and the Church" in Theological Outlook published by the Kwangju major seminary). The Naju Investigating Committee relied on the teaching authority of the Church to block Naju, but Fr. Ri and other leading members of the Committee are rejecting the teaching authority in the Church.
Fr. Je-Min Ri, another leading member of the Naju Investigating Committee and former professor at the Kwangju major seminary, also published an article titled: "Is the Catholic Church Catholic?" in the May 1998 issue of The Common Good magazine in Korea, defiantly repeating his modernist ideas despite repeated warnings from the Holy See.
Modernist inclinations are deeply rooted in Korea (and around the world). While there also are many clergy, religious and lay people who remain faithful to the authentic teachings of the Church and loyal to the Holy Father, they have usually been overpowered in many dioceses and parishes by those who are determined to continue liberal reforms based on their incorrect interpretations of the Vatican II documents. These modernist forces continue advocating female priesthood, which the Holy Father already rejected in a definitive way, abolition of celibacy for priests, mixing the Catholic Liturgy with shamanistic rituals, and many other measures to make the Church more acceptable to the secular world. They continue insisting that the Church dogmas must change as the world conditions change and infusing in peopleís minds the idea that morality is a personal matter, making such concepts as sin, repentance and reparation meaningless. Accordingly, the meaning of sanctity has also become obscured. To the modernist priests and their followers, Naju is nothing but an obstacle, because the messages and signs in Naju constantly draw us to the authentic teachings and devotions in the Church.
The Church on earth is the Church Militant. A constant, fierce spiritual battle is inevitable between the army led by the Blessed Mother and the other army led by the devil. At stake is the eternal fate of countless souls. It seems that this spiritual war is now nearing its climax. To participate and assist in the Blessed Motherís coming victory over evil, we must arm ourselves with fervent prayers, self-denial, and the purity of the faith and devote ourselves totally to serving Our Lord and Our Lady. As the Blessed Mother said in Naju, there is no time to hesitate (October 7, 1998).
Even among some of those who are favorable toward Naju, there seems to be a perception that the events in Naju are just another help for our personal devotion. Actually, they are much more, as the focus in Naju is not just on the repentance of sins and amendment of life at the individual level but also on overcoming a major crisis of faith and morals in the whole Church. By means of the many messages and signs in Naju, God is giving us a stern warning as well as an effective cure. Our Lord seems to be saying to us what He already said to St. Francis in the 13th Century, "Rebuild my Church." He does not mean a new Church but His same Church that is in need of purification from the secular spirit and restoration of the splendor of truth and holiness that can only come from Our Lord Himself through the Blessed Mother. Whether there will be a terrifying chastisement or an outpouring of Godís blessings depends on how we respond.
ó from Maryís Touch, Special Issue - 1998 #3
In Defense of the Truth and Teaching Authority in the Church
As many of our readers know already, the local Archbishop in
the Naju area made it official on January 1, 1998, that the events in Naju
contradicted the Church doctrines and, therefore, could not be recognized as
true revelations from God.
Serious questions remain, however, because it has become clear
that the Naju Investigating Committee in the Kwangju(=Gwangju) Archdiocese did not conduct
any substantive investigation and based its negative recommendation on an
incorrect presentation of the Church teaching (See our Special Issues,
1998 #1, #2 and #3 for more details). No one is questioning the legitimacy
of the teaching and pastoral authority of the bishop in Kwangju in his diocese
and his responsibility to the universal Church. Regardless of the current
situation, we have a deep respect and love for him as a true successor of Our
Lordís Apostles. However, we cannot keep our consciences closed, when we see the
Lordís truth misrepresented and the facts ignored. When Our Lord was condemned
by the religious and civil authorities two thousand years ago, most of His
followers ran away, which caused more pain to Our Lord. We must not fear
criticism, because the truth comes from God and must be defended at all
By seeking conformity between the exercise of the teaching
authority and the authentic teachings of the Church, we can truly defend the
teaching authority in the Church, because deviation from the true teachings of
God is so harmful to the integrity of the teaching authority. The Church
teaches that the role of the teaching authority in the Church is to
guarantee the faithful the objective possibility of professing the true faith
without error (The Catechism of the Catholic Church, #890) and
that the teaching authority is not superior to the Word of God, but is its
servant; it teaches only what has been handed on to it (#86). The Church
also states that the faithful have the right and even at times a duty to
manifest to the sacred pastors their opinion on matters which pertain to the
good of the Church, and they have a right to make their opinion known to the
other Christian faithful (Code of Canon Law, Article 212, #2
The subject of Naju still is the responsibility of the bishop
in Kwangju(=Gwangju) and also the Korean Bishopsí Conference under the guidance of the
Holy See. Of course, the episcopal authority is always subject to the supreme
authority of the Pope. Through several channels, we have learned that the Holy
See is very well informed of the situation in Korea and is deeply concerned. We
have no doubt that the current problems will be corrected with the unfailing
help of Our Lady.
However, this does not mean that we can relax and just wait for
the official action to be taken by the Church. It is essential that we continue
responding to the Blessed Motherís requests, practicing and spreading her
messages. Without devoted work and fervent prayers by the faithful, Godís
blessings through His signs as well as the official recognition by the Church
can be delayed. Active participation in this work is needed not only in Korea
but in all parts of the world. On July 13, 1997, the Blessed Mother made it
clear that the signs in Naju are for the whole Church. In fact, until now, the
Blessed Motherís messages and signs in Naju have been better accepted outside
The Kwangju Declaration in effect rejects all of the
Eucharistic miracles in Church history
As explained in our recent Special Issues, the
Kwangju(=Gwangju) Declaration states that the species of bread and wine must remain
unchanged even after the consecration of bread and wine by priests and,
therefore, that the Eucharistic miracles in Naju do not conform to the Church
doctrine. By distorting the authentic Church teaching, this assertion precludes
the possibility of divine intervention to reveal the true reality of the Blessed
Sacrament, which is the substantial presence of the Lordís Body and Blood
together with His Soul and Divinity in the Eucharist and, therefore, in effect
rejects all of the Eucharistic miracles in Church history. If all the
Eucharistic miracles are rejected, peopleís faith in the Church teaching on the
Real Presence of Our Lord in the Eucharist will also weaken. Thus, the Kwangju(=Gwangju)
Declaration on Naju contains an encroachment on the Church teaching on the
In fact, the leading theologian of the Naju Investigating
Committee revealed the true motive behind the Committeeís rejection of the
Eucharistic miracles in Naju in an article published soon after the Declaration
(See our Special Issues - 1998, #1, #2 and #3). He did not reject
the term: "the Real Presence," but interpreted it only as a personal and
spiritual presence. He defended his view saying that it would promote unity
between Catholics and Protestants. This kind of assertion clearly contradicts
the authentic Church teaching on the Eucharist, which explains Our Lordís Real
Presence in the Eucharist as a substantial and total presence of Our Lord
including His true Body and Blood. Pope Paul VI stated that Our Lordís presence
in the Eucharist is a "physical reality" and a "bodily presence"
(Mysterium Fidei, September 3, 1965). Through the Eucharist in the
Church, the awesome reality of God the Sonís substantial presence with us in our
physical world, which began at the moment of His Incarnation through the Virgin
Mary, still continues.
Also, on January 26, 1996, when Julia was summoned to the
Committee in Kwangju(=Gwangju), a leading member of the Committee questioned her, "To
come down to earth, the Blessed Mother will have to come through the sky. But
how can she, when it is so cold up there?" It sounds like he does not accept
any of Our Ladyís apparitions. The Kwangju(=Gwangju) Declaration states that the "strange"
phenomena (such as shedding tears and tears of blood and oozing the fragrant
oil) that happened to the Blessed Motherís statue were "perhaps by some
preternatural power." The Committee could say the same thing about all other
similar miracles in Church history, some of which have already been officially
approved. Of course, we should not forget that several priests in the Kwangju(=Gwangju)
Committee remain firmly loyal to the Church teachings and positive on Naju, but
their views were overridden by the liberal priests in the Committee.
ó From Mary's Touch, January 1999 Newsletter
An Essay on the Holy Eucharist and the Eucharistic miracles in Naju
1. THE CONTINUING NEGLECT OF THE HOLY EUCHARIST
A few months ago, during a Marian conference in California, a lady gave a photograph of a Eucharistic miracle in Naju to a priest who was one of the speakers. The priest thanked her and walked away. A few minutes later, someone else saw the same priest tearing the photograph into pieces and throwing them away.
A few years ago, a Catholic publisher told me on the phone: "A bleeding Eucharist is the most superstitious phenomenon in Catholic history." A few days later, when we were talking again on the phone, he said that he was a former priest and asked for prayers.
Almost fifty years ago, in late June 1950, when North Korea invaded the South, some of the Communist soldiers entered Myoungdong Cathedral in Seoul and desecrated the Holy Eucharist by trampling the Sacred Hosts which they took out of the tabernacle.
Our Lord, Who comes to us in the form of bread and wine because He loves us so much, continues to be neglected and humiliated even by many Catholics. On July 2, 1995, Julia Kim of Naju, Korea, wrote down what she saw in a vision:
Many priests were celebrating the Mass in the state of sin. Many of the religious and lay people were eating up the Eucharist without any reverence, not even being conscious of the sinful state of their souls!
Surveys in Korea and elsewhere show that fewer than 30% of the Catholics go to Sunday Mass and even fewer believe in the true, substantial presence of Our Lord in the Eucharist. That there is a serious lack of knowledge of the catechism among Catholics nowadays is a well-known fact, but this problem seems to be particularly acute regarding the Holy Eucharist. Numerous people are approaching the Blessed Sacrament in a careless manner, out of habit, because they do not clearly understand the most important Sacrament in the Catholic Church.
The confusion about the Holy Eucharist actually began two thousand years ago when Our Lord explained it to the Jews for the first time. The Scripture tells us that many of His disciples, after hearing His announcement about the Eucharist, murmured among themselves, "This is a hard saying; who can listen to it?" (John 6:60) and they returned to their former way of life and no longer accompanied him (John 6:66). This is also mentioned in the Catechism of the Catholic Church (#1336):
The first announcement of the Eucharist divided the disciples, just as the announcement of the Passion scandalized them. . . The Eucharist and the Cross are stumbling blocks. It is the same mystery and it never ceases to be an occasion of division. "Will you also go away?" (John 6:67): the Lordís question echoes through the ages. . .
Disagreements about the Holy Eucharist have surfaced again and again in Church history and still are a major cause of division among Christians. Much of the debate on Naju is also about the Holy Eucharist. The Declaration in the Kwangju(=Gwangju) Archdiocese rejected the Eucharistic miracles in Naju, because, according to the doctrinal presentation in the Declaration, the eucharistic species must remain unchanged even after the consecration. The leading theologian of the Naju Investigating Committee revealed that the real reason for rejecting the Eucharistic miracles in Naju was to promote unity between Catholics and Protestants. His remark seems to be an admission that the theologians in Kwangju(=Gwangju) were more eager to be accommodating to the Protestants than to determine the genuineness of the Eucharistic miracles in Naju. The debates on the Holy Eucharist are of vital importance to individual Catholics as well as the entire Church. The scope of deviation among many Catholics from the traditional Church teaching on the Eucharist is alarming. However, Our Lord guaranteed that the gates of hell would not prevail against His Church (Matthew 16:18). Therefore, we need not doubt that the truth will be preserved and triumph.
2. CHURCH TEACHINGS ON THE HOLY EUCHARIST
Do the widespread disagreements regarding the Holy Eucharist mean that the Church has not clearly defined and explained her teaching on the Holy Eucharist yet? We can see that such is not the case by reviewing the Church documents. The following are the key doctrines on the Eucharist declared by the Council of Trent (1551) with the authority of infallibility, which all Catholics are to accept with the obedience of faith.
a. If anyone denies that in the sacrament of the most holy Eucharist there are truly, really, and substantially contained the body and blood together with the soul and divinity of our Lord Jesus Christ, and therefore the whole Christ, but shall say that He is in it as by a sign or figure, or force, let him be anathema (DS 1651).
b. If anyone says that in the sacred and holy sacrament of the Eucharist there remains the substance of bread and wine together with the body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ, and denies that wonderful and singular conversion of the whole substance of the bread into the body, and of the entire substance of the wine into the blood, the species of the bread and wine only remaining, a change which the Catholic Church most fittingly calls transubstantiation: let him be anathema (DS 1652).
By this doctrine, the contention by Luther that bread and wine coexist with the body and blood of Christ in the Eucharist was rejected. Also, the opinion adopted by several theologians in the 17th and 18th Centuries (Emmanuel Maignan, John Saguens and others), which denied the physical reality of the species of bread and wine in the Eucharist and claimed that they were mere illusions, could be rejected based on this doctrine.
c. If anyone denies that the whole Christ is contained in the venerable sacrament of the Eucharist under each species and under every part of each species, when the separation has been made: let him be anathema (DS 1653).
By this doctrine, the views of the Hussites as well as the Protestant reformers, who demanded Communion under both species, were rejected. This doctrine also means that we must treat every little piece of the Sacred Host and every drop of the Sacred Blood with utmost reverence and care. If one lacks faith in the true, substantial presence of Our Lord in the Eucharist and in every part of the eucharistic species, he is likely to treat the Eucharist carelessly.
d. If anyone says that after the completion of the consecration that the body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ is not in the marvelous sacrament of the Eucharist, but only in use, while it is taken, not however before or after, and that in the hosts or consecrated particles, which are reserved or remain after communion, the true body of the Lord does not remain: let him be anathema (DS 1654).
e. If anyone says that in the holy sacrament of the Eucharist the only-begotten Son of God is not to be adored even outwardly with the worship of latria (the act of adoration), and therefore not to be venerated with a special festive celebration, nor to be borne about in procession according to the praiseworthy and universal rite and custom of the holy Church, or is not to be set before the people publicly to be adored, and that the adorers of it are idolators: let him be anathema (DS 1656).
The traditional teachings of the Church on the Eucharist were reconfirmed in Pope Paul VIís encylical, Mysterium Fidei (1965), in which Christís Presence in the Eucharist is referred to as "a new reality" in which "Christ, whole and entire, in His physical Ďrealityí is bodily present". Paul VI also warned against the modernist view which was silent about the Transubstantiation and tried to explain the changes in the bread and wine as changes in significance and goals only. According to this view, the changes in bread and wine are not real but symbolic, like a kitchen knife becoming a tool of crime if used by a robber and a white towel becoming a sign of surrender or truce, if waved during a war. This modernist view is basically the same as the Calvinists.
3. THE REALITY OF GOD THE SONíS INCARNATION CONTINUES THROUGH THE BLESSED SACRAMENT
The essence of the Church teaching on the Holy Eucharist is that, even though the Eucharist has the external properties of bread and wine, it is not bread or wine at all but truly the whole, living Jesus Christ with His divinity, soul, body and blood. This teaching lies at the heart of the Catholic Faith.
This doctrine also means that we need not envy the Lordís disciples who were with Him two thousand years ago, because we can also be with Him in a true, physical, and intimate way. Of course, there is a difference in the ways Our Lord was physically present then and is now. Our Lord in the Holy Eucharist does not conduct any external physical activity, as it is not the purpose of this sacrament to extend His external activity on earth. He already completed His mission on earth two thousand years ago, revealing all the supernatural truth that is necessary for our salvation, sanctifying human life by living it Himself, suffering and dying in reparation for human sins, and overcoming death by resurrection. However, these historical works of Christ did not fade away into the past but are made present to every human being in all ages (cf. Catechism of the Catholic Church, #1085). Through the Holy Eucharist, Our Lordís substantial presence continues for an intrinsic union with us; through the Mass, His Sacrifice on the Cross becomes present for us, with the graces from it flowing into our souls; in the Sacrament of Confession, our sins are truly forgiven by the merit and authority of Christ; and, His teachings with divine authority and purity are available to us through the Church. In this perpetual reality of God the Sonís Incarnation and Redemptive Work through His Church, the Holy Eucharist occupies the central position.
4. THE REASONS WHY OUR LORD IN THE EUCHARIST HAS THE APPEARANCES OF BREAD AND WINE
Why does Our Lord conceal His true appearance behind the species of bread and wine in the Holy Eucharist? There may be two reasons.
First, the Eucharist is God the Son Who became incarnate in our world. The infinite dignity proper to His divinity demands that we approach Him with the deepest possible respect and faithfulness. In the Blessed Sacrament, however, Christ is concealing His glory and dignity behind the humble appearances of bread and wine, because He does not want to appeal to our vanity and selfishness but to our genuine faith and love. He is presenting Himself to us in a simple way, because He seeks a childlike response which is not motivated by self-interest but by total trust and love. When we really trust and love the Lord, we can easily overcome the lowliness of the appearances of bread and wine and recognize the most beautiful, holy, and loving Lord with our spiritual eyes. Also, if we have failed to love Him by violating any of His Commandments, it will be our courtesy worthy of Him to make up for it through sincere repentance and Confession before receiving Him in Communion.
Second, Our Lord has the appearances of bread and wine to make it easier for us to receive Him. As bread and wine are foods for our bodies, it seems appropriate that our spiritual food is represented by the signs of bread and wine.
5. THE EUCHARIST AS A PERPETUAL MIRACLE
When Archbishop Giovanni Bulaitis, the former Apostolic Pro-Nuncio in Korea, came to Naju on November 24, 1994, the Blessed Mother gave us the following message:
Today I called you, whom I love most dearly, in a special way to this place where you will experience the Lordís presence and mine as heroic and faithful witnesses so that the Mystery of the Holy Eucharist may be made known all over the world. So, help me hurriedly to save the sheep that have been lost.
I have repeatedly said that the Mystery of the Holy Eucharist, which is the Bread of Life from Heaven, is a spring that never dries and a medicine that gives you salvation. But only very few are making preparation before receiving Him. If my numerous children only knew that the Eucharist is truly the Life, the everlasting spring, the Manna and a perpetual miracle that is no less than the miracles of the Creation of the Universe and of the Redemption, they would not be walking toward hell. . . .
The Holy Eucharist is the center of all the supernatural events, but is being trampled by so many children through sacrilege, insult and humiliation. Therefore, my messages of love must be spread all over the world more vigorously so that the time of the Lord, Who is present in the Eucharist, and of the New Pentecost may be advanced.
A concept in the above message that is considered here is that the Eucharist is "a perpetual miracle" or "a continuing miracle." How is the Eucharist a perpetual miracle? A miracle is a phenomenon in the physical world that occurs by the power of God in a manner that surpasses the natural laws of the physical world. During every Mass, a great miracle occurs at the time of the priestís consecration of bread and wine, when the substances of bread and wine turn into the substances of Our Lordís Body and Blood. This phenomenon is not visible to our eyes, but is a true physical reality that occurs by the power of God, which is totally beyond natural laws or human capabilities. These miraculous conversions of bread and wine into Our Lordís Body and Blood are phenomena of changes that occur instantaneously, resulting in a new physical reality. Then, what is meant by "a perpetual miracle"?
Normally, the appearance (by the appearance or the species is understood everything that is perceived by the senses, such as size, extent, weight, shape, color, taste, and smell) of bread is inseparable from the substance of bread; and the appearance of wine is inseparable from the substance of wine. In easier words, bread looks like bread and wine looks like wine. In the Blessed Sacrament, however, the appearances of bread and wine continue, while the substances of bread and wine are absent, because the substances of bread and wine have been replaced by the substances of Our Lordís Body and Blood. The appearances of bread and wine cannot be said to inhere in and be sustained by the substances of Our Lordís Body and Blood, because the appearances of bread and wine are not proper to the substances of Our Lordís Body and Blood. Therefore, the appearances of bread and wine in the Eucharist continue without a subject (The Roman Catechism II 4, 13), which is naturally impossible. This amazing condition is made possible only because it is being sustained by a special intervention by God, not just for one moment or a short period of time but as long as the appearances of bread and wine in the Eucharist continue. In other words, the external signs of bread and wine in the Blessed Sacrament are not sustained naturally but by a special and continuing intervention by God. It seems to be in this sense that the Blessed Mother in Naju referred to the Eucharist as "a perpetual miracle". Therefore, when we are before the Blessed Sacrament, we should have a profound sense of awe and gratitude, because we are facing an ongoing miracle of God Who calls us to overcome the external appearances of bread and wine with faith and recognize and accept the incarnate God the Son with love and adoration.
So, when a Eucharistic miracle occurs, it may be thought of as "a suspension of the perpetual miracle in the Eucharist." In other words, during a Eucharistic miracle, God discontinues to sustain the appearances of bread and wine in the Eucharist in order to expose the inner reality of the Sacrament, which is the Body and Blood of Our Lord. Thus, a Eucharistic miracle is a sign from God as His own testimony to the awesome true reality of the Eucharist. St. Thomas Aquinas wrote on this subject as follows:
This is not deception, because it is done to represent the truth, namely, to show by this miraculous apparition that Christís body and blood are truly in this sacrament. (Summa Theologica, Part III, Question 76: Of the Way in Which Christ is in This Sacrament, Article 8)
6. DO THE MIRACULOUS CHANGES IN THE EUCHARISTIC SPECIES CONTRADICT THE CHURCH TEACHING?
The Declaration on Naju by the Kwangju(=Gwangju) Archdiocese included the following statement regarding the Eucharistic miracles in Naju:
The alleged phenomenon, that as soon as Mrs. Julia Kim received the Eucharist, it was changed into a lump of bloody flesh in her mouth is also contrary to the doctrine of the Catholic Church that says that even after the bread and wine are transubstantiated into the body and blood of Christ with the formula of priestsí consecration, the species of bread and wine remain. (cf. Pope Paul VIís Mysterium Fidei; DS. 782, 802, 1321, 1640-1642, 1652) (Underline added)
Among the Church documents mentioned above as the grounds for rejecting the Eucharistic miracles in Naju, the most relevant one is the doctrine declared by the Council of Trent (DS 1652):
If anyone says that in the sacred and holy sacrament of the Eucharist there remains the substance of bread and wine together with the body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ, and denies that wonderful and singular conversion of the whole substance of the bread into the body, and of the entire substance of the wine into the blood, the species of the bread and wine only remaining, a change which the Catholic Church most fittingly calls transubstantiation: let him be anathema. (Underline added)
The validity of the negative judgment on the Eucharistic miracles in Naju by the Kwangju
Archdiocese crucially depends on whether the above-quoted doctrinal presentation in the Kwangju Declaration conforms to the above-quoted doctrine by the Council of Trent. The following is a discussion of the probable problems.
(1) The Kwangju Declaration says that the species of bread and wine remain even after the transubstantiation of bread and wine into the body and blood of Christ by the priestís consecration. The doctrine issued by the Council of Trent says that the entire substances of bread and wine change into the body and blood of Christ, the species of the bread and wine only remaining. Are these two statements essentially the same? They can be, if no other connotations are added that alter the original meaning of the doctrine.
In the Kwangju Declaration, the connotation that the species of bread and wine must remain after the consecration is present. In the Korean text of the Declaration, the Korean equivalent of "must" is in the sentence itself, while it exists only in the context in the English text. In both texts, the meaning that the species of bread and wine must continue to be unchanged even after the consecration is clear, because the miraculous changes in the eucharistic species in Naju were rejected on the basis of this doctrinal presentation in Kwangju.
Then, is this meaning of "must" present in the doctrine issued by the Council of Trent? The correct answer has to be "No". This doctrine was intended to explain the effects of the priestís consecration, which are the changes in the substances only without any changes in the species. The doctrine means that the appearances of bread and wine remain unchanged despite the consecration. In other words, the consecration does not have the power to alter the species of bread and wine. Obviously, this is different from saying that the species of bread and wine must continue even after the consecration. If this latter statement were correct, even the natural changes in the Eucharist inside our bodies after Communion may also have to be denied.
(2) In the 8th Century, a priest was celebrating Mass in Lanciano, Italy, while strongly doubting the presence of Our Lord in the Eucharist. As soon as he said the words of consecration, the appearances of the Eucharist changed into those of flesh and blood. This miracle has been officially approved by the Church. It would, however, be in conflict with the Church teaching as presented in the Kwangju Declaration, because the species of bread and wine did not remain after the consecration in that miracle in Lanciano. If the changes in the eucharistic species occurred by the power of the priestís consecration, that would violate the Church doctrine. However, if such changes occurred by a special intervention by God, they cannot be in conflict with the Church teaching.
Likewise in Naju, the Eucharistic miracles cannot be said to have violated the Church doctrine, because it has never been claimed or perceived that these miracles involving changes in the eucharistic species occurred by the power of the priestís consecration. It is not right to reject the possibility of Godís special work on the basis of a Church doctrine that explains what normally happens in a Sacrament. Or is it a reluctance to recognize that God sometimes does use miracles as special ways of communicating with His people? Such a reluctance is not mentioned in the Kwangju Declaration, but there seems to be an inclination to deny even the possibility of Eucharistic miracles, because, according to the doctrinal presentation in the Kwangju Declaration, all of the Eucharistic miracles in Church history would violate the Church teaching. A reluctance to be open to the possibility of miracles would be a reluctance to accept the following Church doctrine issued by Vatican Council I:
If anyone shall have said that miracles are not possible, and hence that all accounts of them, even those contained in Sacred Scripture, are to be banished among the fables and myths; or, that miracles can never be known with certitude, and that the divine origin of the Christian religion cannot be correctly proved by them, let him be anathema (DS 3034).
(3) The Kwangju Declaration does not contradict the Church teaching that Our Lord is truly, substantially present in the Eucharist, as the doctrine of transubstantiation is mentioned in the Declaration. However, the Declaration seems to represent a weakening of the faith in the traditional Catholic teaching on Christís substantial presence in the Eucharist, because it rejects the miracles that reveal the true inner reality of the Blessed Sacrament and also says: Such phenomena do not enhance the faith of people in the Eucharist existing under the species of bread and wine. On the contrary, they seem to act as an element which causes a great confusion and embarrasses the peoplesí faith in the Eucharist. Besides, the leading theologian in the Naju Investigating Committee said in an article in Pastoral Care, a monthly Catholic magazine in Korea that the real reason for the rejection of the Eucharistic miracles in the Kwangju Declaration was to promote unity between Catholics and Protestants. Therefore, it seems that the Kwangju Declaration had been influenced by a thinking that does not correctly defend the traditional Catholic Faith in the Eucharist.
7. CAN THE SACRED HOSTS THAT DESCENDED TO THE CHAPEL IN NAJU BE UNCONSECRATED HOSTS?
There has been another kind of Eucharistic miracle in Naju, involving descents of the Sacred Hosts. On November 24, 1994, during the visit to Naju by Archbishop Giovanni Bulaitis, the Apostolic Pro-Nuncio in Korea at that time, the Eucharist descended twice in the Chapel. Most of the first Eucharist was consumed by the people present in the Chapel. A small remaining part and the whole second Eucharist are being preserved in the chapel at Fr. Raymond Spiesí residence near Seoul. On July 1, 1995, during the overnight prayer meeting, seven Sacred Hosts descended together. On July 1, 1996, several Sacred Hosts descended and entered Juliaís mouth. During Bishop Paul Kimís visit on June 12, 1997, a large Eucharist descended and later on the same day was taken to the Kwangju(=Gwangju) Archdiocesan office. On July 13, 1997, a large Eucharist descended again, this time while a monsignor from Rome was visiting. This Eucharist was consumed by the monsignor. On August 27, 1997, a large Eucharist descended during Fr. Spiesí visit and was later taken to the Kwangju Archdiocesan office. This last descent of the Eucharist was videotaped with two cameras on the ceiling in the Chapel, which are turned on when there are important events like overnight prayer meetings and visits by bishops. All together, the Eucharist descended seven times in Naju between July 1, 1995 and August 27, 1997.
A question has been raised regarding whether what came down in the Chapel in Naju were unconsecrated hosts. First, if the descents of the hosts were fabricated by humans, they can be unconsecrated hosts. However, according to hundreds of witnesses and the video recordings and still photos taken during the miracles, there is no indication whatsoever that these descents of the hosts were human works. Second, could it be the devilís work? It is unthinkable that the devil brings the real Eucharist. Then, can he bring unconsecrated hosts? It seems improbable that God will allow such confusing events to happen, but the possibility cannot be rejected entirely. Has there been any evidence for believing that the descents of the hosts in Naju were not caused by the devil?
The seven hosts that descended on July 1, 1995, were consumed the next day in obedience to the Kwangju Archbishopís instruction. The host that was received by Julia turned into visible flesh and blood in her mouth a few seconds after she received it. When a priest dipped his finger in the blood on Juliaís tongue and blessed a dying baby girl in her motherís arms, she was cured. Some of the blood stains collected on a piece of white cloth was later subjected to a DNA test in a medical laboratory at Seoul National University and was found to be human blood.
Also, usually immediately prior to a descent of the Eucharist, Julia saw Our Lord suffering and bleeding on the Cross and His Blood turning into white Sacred Hosts, which then descended to the Chapel. The descent of the Sacred Hosts was witnessed by many in the Chapel.
In the Kwangju Declaration, it is stated that the hosts that descended in Naju cannot be recognized as the real Eucharist, because there is no evidence that they were consecrated by priests. However, according to the above-mentioned vision seen by Julia, Our Lordís Blood turned into the Eucharist, which was a change in the species only without any change in the substance. This change in species was not a transubstantiation. Therefore, it did not require consecration by a priest. It is also possible that the Eucharist was brought from a tabernacle by angels as happened in other similar miracles in Church history.
Lastly, if the miracles in Naju occurred by the power of God, is it possible that He sent unconsecrated hosts? This would be impossible in view of Godís truthfulness. If unconsecrated hosts were sent when people would perceive them as the real Eucharist, confusion would have resulted. This would contradict the dogma that God is infinitely truthful and is the truth itself.
Therefore, the only reasonable conclusion regarding these miracles is that true Eucharist came down to the Chapel in Naju.
8. WERE THE EUCHARISTIC MIRACLES IN NAJU "INTENTIONAL"?
Some say that the alleged Eucharistic miracles in Naju are suspected of being intentional, because some of them occurred in the presence of the Pope and Bishops. Then, do they mean that miracles can be genuine only when they occur accidentally and randomly to anybody? We are not talking about just "strange phenomena" but the signs which occur by the Providence of God Who is leading the history of human salvation. Then, in order for the signs and miracles to be genuine, they must occur by Godís Will, namely, His Intention. Apart from Godís Will and Plan, there cannot be genuine miracles. The Incarnation of God the Son, the miracle in Cana, the coming back to life of Lazarus, Our Lordís Resurrection and Ascension, the Blessed Motherís Assumption, the Blessed Motherís apparitions in Paris, Lourdes and Fatima, . . . none of these were accidental or apart from Godís intention. It should not be difficult for anyone to understand why God has been showing special signs to the Pope, Bishops and priests who are pastors of His people. Through Moses, God showed miracles repeatedly to Pharaoh, the King of Egypt. Through Juan Diego in Guadalupe, God gave the Miraculous Image of Our Lady to Bishop Zumarraga. We need not suspect the special signs that God sent to His ministers because they seemed to be "intentional."
9. THE CHURCH ALLOWS FREEDOM OF CHOICE TO THE FAITHFUL REGARDING HOW THEY RECEIVE COMMUNION
It was about 1,200 years ago, the 9th Century, when Catholics began receiving Communion on the tongue only, receiving Communion in the species of bread only, and using unleavened bread out of their deep respect for the Blessed Sacrament and the priesthood. Only a few decades ago, the Apostolic See gave permission to the bishopsí conferences in several countries allowing Communion in the hand. The intention was not to discourage the traditional way of Communion on the tongue but only to allow Communion in the hand as another way of receiving Communion. In some countries like Korea, however, Communion in the hand has practically become the rule. Those who try to receive Communion on the tongue, even including visitors from abroad, are asked to receive Communion in the hand instead. Pope John Paul II remarked about this practice in his encylical: Dominicae Cenae, February 24, 1980, addressed to all the Bishops in the world:
In some countries the practice of receiving Communion in the hand has been introduced. This practice has been requested by individual episcopal conferences and has received approval from the Apostolic See. However, cases of a deplorable lack of respect towards the eucharistic species have been reported, cases which are imputable not only to the individuals guilty of such behavior but also to the pastors of the church who have not been vigilant enough regarding the attitude of the faithful towards the Eucharist. It also happens, on occasion, that the free choice of those who prefer to continue the practice of receiving the Eucharist on the tongue is not taken into account in those places where the distribution of Communion in the hand has been authorized. . . To touch the sacred species and to distribute them with their own hands is a privilege of the ordained, one which indicates an active participation in the ministry of the Eucharist. It is obvious that the Church can grant this faculty to those who are neither priests nor deacons. . .
The greatest task facing us in the Church now is to expel the modernist errors and tendencies from the Church and restore the splendor of the authentic Catholic Faith. The first requirement in achieving this goal would be to re-establish a firm trust in the revealed truthónamely, the authentic Church teachings. The totality of these teachings must be recognized as gifts from God Himself rather than human works. Especially the widespread confusion about the Holy Eucharist must be overcome. At the same time, a profound trust in and love for the Blessed Mother, who is the essential companion to the Lord in His Work of Human Salvation, must be restored. God willingly chose Mary as the (secondary and, yet, essential) principle of Godís the Sonís Incarnation. Then, we must accept Godís will and follow His way by also relying on Mary in following Christ and His teachings and in pursuing an intimate union with Him in our daily lives. A lady belonging to a Protestant denomination told her Catholic friend: "When I get sick, I go to a doctor, not to his mother." However, we go to a doctor in this world for a limited purpose of receiving treatment of our physical illness. Our relationship with doctors, lawyers, technicians, businessmen, and so on is a limited, businesslike one. Our relationship with the Lord, on the other hand, involves total dedication, love and trust. God is our Father, our Lord and our everything. Also, Godís world is a kingdom and a family. In a kingdom, there are a king and a queen as well as subjects. In a family, there are a father and a mother as well as children. If we can imagine the emptiness and lack of warmth in a family without the mother, we should also be able to understand how necessary the Blessed Mother is to each one of us in the Church, which is truly Godís family. Besides, God has so filled the Blessed Mother with His Love and Holiness that she has become the surest help and guide for us to come closer to God. If we truly believe that the Eucharist is Our Lord, it should not be difficult for us to realize that Our Lady is the Mother of the Eucharist.
óSang M. Lee
(from Mary's Touch, October 1999 newsletter)
On Pilgrimages to Naju, Korea
The official stand of the Catholic Church concerning all the events which have occurred at Naju until now is contained in a letter from the secretary of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) issued on April 24, 2008. It states that the phenomena have "not been proven to be of supernatural origin (Non Constat de Supernaturalitate)Ē. On February 24, 2009, the Archdiocese of Kwangju openly published a Korean translation of the letter from the CDF entitled "The Position of the Archdiocese of Kwangju in relation to 'the Matter of Julia Youn of Naju and its related Phenomenaí.
In another document entitled ďDecree by the Archdiocese of KwangjuĒ issued in January 2008, a ban of excommunication was to be laid on anyone in the world who visits Naju. This extreme penalty imposed by the Korean Church is not in accordance with the "Non Constat de Supernaturalitate" statement in the letter from the CDF. It is understood that this declaration by the CDF means that the Church will continue to observe and evaluate further developments at the concerned location. This further implies that activities such as privately initiated pilgrimages, prayer meetings, celebration of the Sacraments of the Church, testimonies, or distributions of newsletters published by Naju are not prohibited but are freely allowed until the Catholic Church adopts an official stance concerning all the events occurring at Naju as "proven to be not supernatural (Constat de Non Supernaturalitate)Ē.
If all the activities held in Naju were prohibited, the Catholic Church in Korea would have great difficulties investigating the phenomena continuously and observing which fruits have been born through Naju. Thus, prohibition of all activities in Naju is completely inconsistent with the true meaning of ďNon Constat de SupernaturalitateĒ as declared by the CDF.
Because matters concerning Naju are still under investigation by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, which has never banned pilgrimages officially, numerous faithful Catholics continue to flock to Naju. According to the official position of Catholic Church disseminated through the CDF, the faithful believe that pilgrimages to Naju are not prohibited until a decisive and final declaration is issued by the Church.
All the pilgrims who love the Blessed Mother of Naju