Beware: Sacramental Presence is Always Person-to-Person, by Dr. Jeff Mirus

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By Dr. Jeff Mirus, Catholic Culture, April 16, 2020

 Jeffrey Mirus holds a Ph.D. in intellectual history from Princeton University. A co-founder of Christendom College, he also pioneered Catholic Internet services. He is the founder of Trinity Communications and See full bio.


In recent weeks, a number of writers have expressed concern about the long-lasting impact of substituting live-stream and recorded Masses for the actual attendance of real people at real Masses. These concerns have been raised, among many other places, on But nobody here is suggesting that it is a bad thing to watch a Mass on TV or the Internet when one is not able to attend Mass, and nobody is suggesting it is a bad thing for bishops and pastors to enable those who are shut in to recall the wonder of the Mass in this way. Rather, the concern is that neither our shepherds nor ourselves should blur the line between recalling or thinking about the Mass (or about any sacrament) and actually participating in or partaking in the sacrament itself.

This is not a distinction without a difference. It is a distinction which recognizes an infinite difference—a difference that is greater by far than anything else in the world. ….

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