On Tabernacles…or lack thereof

“Get along” has been the key phrase for years now. Get along with Protestants, get along with Muslims, get along with atheists. Just get along and don’t cause any offense. Particularly prevalent in this desire to get along has been the removal of Tabernacles from Catholic sanctuaries by the liberal “just-help-the-poor-and-forget-about-the-religion” priests. Such priests build Catholic churches that really don’t have any semblance of Catholicism. Unlike the churches which had gone before them with high altars and beautiful Tabernacles to reserve the Blessed Sacrament, and altar rails, stations of the cross, and statues of Our Lord, Our Lady, and the other saints, the sanctuaries churches built by these 1960s-era priests had only the following in them: pews without kneelers and a table-esque altar. There was nothing to differentiate them from the local Protestant fellowship building, and in many cases this was entirely intentional. One priest I know specifically made his church look vanilla so that, if necessary, it could be used by other groups for purposes besides Mass.

If he wanted to call it the Ecumenical Fellowship Building for the Happy Clappy Crowd, that’d be bad enough. Unfortunately, though, it’s always been called a Catholic church. “Resurrection”, to be exact. Another “don’t-offend-by-differences” title. Resurrection isn’t lacking a Tabernacle entirely. There is one, a boring wooden little box, hidden off in a little chapel where hardly anybody goes. Thus, Our Lord is left alone, imprisoned in a hideous structure, while the belief that He is truly present has been allowed to fade to devastating lows.

The removal of the Blessed Sacrament from sanctuaries is a common occurrence of our time. Granted, there are some churches where the Tabernacle, though hidden, is at least ornate. But ornateness should be a given when it comes to Tabernacles. There should be absolutely no question about that. I’d say that if the Tabernacle isn’t in the sanctuary, it should be even more ornate than it would be otherwise. If you’re going to hide the Lord away, at least give Him glory in some other way.

It would be best, however, if the Tabernacle were both ornate and in the sanctuary, and near the altar at that, plainly visible by all the faithful who are present. Is that too much to ask? I’m honestly asking that. Why is that hard?

The Lord deserves far better than He’s been given in the last generation or two.

His blessings to you, carissimi.

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