Bishop Barren isn't wrong but he misses the mark in his commentary why so many Catholics, up to 80%, no longer believe in the Real Presence of Christ in the Most Blessed Sacrament. Bishop Barron says, “It represents a massive failure on the part of Catholic educators and catechists, evangelists and teachers.”
It goes deeper then that Bishop Barren! Let me explain.
I have always been an observer of people's behavior since before I entered elementary school. This is especially true of what I observed in my Catholic parish, the Chapel at Fort McPherson, Georgia between 1957 and 1960.
I knew something important was taking place by the demeanor of the people. There was silence in the Church and a great deal of kneeling at Mass. When it came to Communion time, the choir came down from the loft first and processed toward the altar as the priest was receiving Holy Communion. When the priest turned as said "Ecce Agnus Dei" the choir immediately knelt on the hard floor of the aisle. Then everyone went to receive Holy Communion at the altar railing. I take that back, not everyone, but a small percentage of the congregation went to receive.
The demeanor of the communicants exuded reverence, belief and fear and wonder. When they returned to their pews they knelt down, some laying their head on the forearms which were on the pew in front of them. Other had their hands over their faces as though they were crying or were sad.
Even before I knew anything theological about the Mass or Holy Communion, I knew that there was something important that everyone believed at Mass.
Fast forward to the mid 1970's. What does a child who is not actually catechized observe at Mass?
Not a lot of quiet or sacred silence.
At Communion time, everyone ques up, and that means everyone, to receive Holy Communion from an array of Communion ministers dressed in a variety of tasteful and distasteful ways with secular clothing. No one kneels to receive. Children pop the Host into their mouths and keep moving. There is a lot of grabbing and a multiplicity of ways people actually receive.
In some places, the laity are instructed to remain standing at the pew when they return from receiving Holy Communion until everyone has received!
What does this say to a Catholic child just beginning his awareness of what Holy Communion is or to the atheist who might be visiting that day?
The pre-Vatican II emphasis on reverence sacred silence and the manner in which the Host is treated at Communion time and who can touch it with their hands is the solution to the malaise that is infecting the Catholic Church for the past 50 years.
Are bishops who should be united on this topic willing to go beyond Vatican II political correctness as it regards the wrong headedness of so many reforms. Will there be no Cardinal Ratzingers or Pope Benedict's to tell us the truth and the way back to Catholic sanity as it regards the Mass and how Holy communion is received?