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Heriberto Rosario wrote:
Hi guys,

I have another series of questions and per your request, I have limited them to below five per e-mail.

I recently heard about Edward Cardinal Egan's hospitalization on the news.

My first question is:

  1. Being that Cardinal Egan receives Jesus Himself in the Eucharist, how is it possible for him to get sick?
  2. Also why does the substance of the consecrated host leaves the body after fifteen minutes?

Secondly, in Clement's Epistle to the Corinthians, Petrine succession is nowhere directly mentioned. I understand the first-person plural and many variants of it, but Paul used similar language in reference to himself and the rest of the Apostles.

  1. Similarly, could it be that Clement's use of this speech refers to the successors of the Apostles in general?

Finally, my father has a Good Friday custom which consists of forbidding my brother and myself to listen to music of any kind during that day.

  1. Is this right or is listening to music (like rock music) permissible so long as the subject matter isn't blasphemous, anti-religious, or otherwise profane?

Thank you.


  { Can you answer questions on the Eucharist, Clement's use of speech, and Good Friday customs? }

Mary Ann replied:

Dear Heriberto,

  1. The Eucharist gives us eternal life with God in Heaven, not eternal life on Earth! While Christ in the Eucharist sometimes heals, usually He is present for our spiritual nourishment.

  2. The host does not leave the body after 15 minutes. What you are referring to is this:

    Some theologians say that when the form of the bread/host is gone by decomposition, then the substantial presence of Christ in the host is gone. This is certainly true for a consecrated host that is not consumed. However, a host that is consumed as food retains its form of bread as long as the accidents, the properties of bread, remain however long that may be, perhaps until the wheat is broken down into constituent elements.  The substantial presence of Christ remains at least until that time.

  3. Paul writes as Paul. Clement is writing as the Church at Rome. Paul's authority is that of an Apostle and founder of churches. Clement is asserting the authority of the Church that sojourns at Rome, not his own authority.

  4. It is a pious custom not to listen to profane music on Good Friday, and even to keep silence from 12:00 noon to 3:00pm. It is not a law and it is not necessary but it is God's law that you obey your father!

    You could discuss this with him, of course, and maybe come to a compromise (12pm - 3pm, for instance). It is better to do as he asks, especially since the music can affect the entire home, and since families should be able to celebrate Good Friday together.

    The Cross was about obedience.

Thank you for the questions.

Mary Ann

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