Tom McFeely is the National Catholic Register’s News Editor. He lives in British Columbia.
That’s the formal instruction of Bishop John D’Arcy of Fort Wayne-South Bend, Ind., in a statement posted at his diocesan website.
Bishop D’Arcy was front and center of the controversy that erupted over the University of Notre Dame’s decision to honor President Barack Obama at its commencement in May. As the Catholic college’s diocesan bishop, Bishop D’Arcy publicly denounced the university’s decision.
His statement promulgating norms for tabernacle placement in his diocese, instructing that it be placed in a central and visible location in diocesan churches, won’t excite the same kind of national controversy as the commencement scandal. For many faithful Catholics, though, it’s just as important to insist that the Blessed Sacrament be given the place of honor it deserves as it was to oppose Notre Dame’s improper bestowing of honors to the nation’s pro-abortion president.
Here’s an excerpt from Bishop D’Arcy’s statement:
To Priests, Deacons, Religious, and to All the Faithful,
The presence of Jesus Christ in the Blessed Sacrament is at the center of our faith and of the devotional life of our Catholic people.
In recent years, the place of the tabernacle in our churches has become a source of controversy. This should not be. The Eucharist, whether we are referring to its celebration or to the place of reservation, should always be a means of unity and communion, and never of division.
The place of the tabernacle in our church should reflect our faith in the real presence of Christ, and should always be guided by Church documents.