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The following post was originally published in my book, “From Illusions to Illumination”, page 175.  It is reprinted here in reaction to Thom’s … tongue-in-cheek comment on the previous post.

“Rome is still promoting relics, indulgences and the Rosary, ‘a resumé of the whole Gospel’, which we know to be a soporific and sophomoric mantra for the mentally retarded.  Incredibly, in a commentary on one of the pieces of iconography that adorn the text (of the Catechism), Ratzinger (future Pope Benedict XVI) explains, with a profound and incredibly original insight, in his introduction, that ‘today, more than ever, in the civilization of the image, the sacred image can express much more than the words themselves’ (Editor’s note : had he never heard the cliché “A picture is worth a thousand words” ?).  On the subject of Joos van Wassenhoven’s painting of ‘Jesus giving Communion to the Apostles’ – in the form of … wafers – we read that ‘St Thomas Aquinas had the habit, at midday, of going down to the Church, and, full of confidence and abandon (Editor’s note : and perhaps an apéritif or three ?), of placing his forehead against the tabernacle in an intimate colloquy with Jesus-Eucharist’.

“Headquarters has made it tough – embarrassing is too feeble a word – for priests and catechists in the field to make sense of what presumably is meant as an edification, if not an example, for contemporary Catholics.  How could someone as reputedly intelligent as the reigning Pontiff (Editor’s note : since retired), believe, condone, and worse, promulgate such stuff and nonsense ?”.

For readers who find my editorial notes over the top and unpardonably disrespectful, I make no excuses – except that at the time of writing the book I was far too lenient in underlining the blatant absurdity of “Jesus-Eucharist”.