re Da Vinci Code
It’s pretty hard to put up a stout defense when one hand is tied behind your back, one eye is closed, and your mouth is taped shut. Such is the net effect of Fr. Mark Massa’s so-called defense of the truth about Our Lord in your May editorial on the DaVinci Code.
Massa, seeking to explain the popularity of Dan Brown’s book, proposes that the Church’s corporate culture is alien to Americans and therefore a source of suspicion. This is odd when one considers that many if not most Americans work for corporations. Even odder that, while the Church’s clergy is indeed hierarchical, no laity in the pew considers the priest his supervisor, gets paid for attending Church and receiving sacraments, or gets sick leave and vacation leave from his Catholic obligations.
The most disturbing notion proposed by Massa, however, is his statement that “In the story of salvation, in a very un-American sense, the community is more important than the individual.” This in a nutshell is the root cause of the corrupted post-Conciliar Church: that “community” is more important than the state of our individual soul and our personal relationship with Christ. Massa takes this even further, implying that “community” is the keystone of salvation!
I defy Fr. Massa to show me where the Magisterium states that community is a sacrament. This is nothing more than the same tired old Marxist gibberish that has dogged and desacralized the American Church for decades. It is not surprising that it came from the mouth of a Jesuit, or appeared in Commonweal. But if Pope Benedict shakes his head because hardly any Catholic believes in the Real Presence any more, he should listen carefully to Fr. Massa.