Eucharist as a Celebration of Forgivenesss by Francis J. Moloney, SDB. New York, Paulist Press, 2017.
Key to an understanding of this book and the theology of Fr. Moloney is a clear grasp of the concept of doctrine and the concept of teaching. Doctrine is related to creed and faith. Teaching is related to magisterium and teaching authority. Also important to the theme of this book is the tendency to exclude people from the Eucharist and the more generous view of the Eucharist as a spiritual food and needed for the very life of Christians. Pope Francis has pointed out in this context that the Eucharist is not a reward for one’s holiness or good works, but a necessary nourishment for sinners which all Christians are except for Jesus Christ and the Immmaculate Virgin Mary.
Fr. Moloney introduces his theme In the book’s preface and spends two chapters of the four composing the book on scriptural texts beginning with the gospels, and followed by the Acts of the Apostles and Letters of St. Paul. A third chapter richly makes the historical argument for the more inclusive origin of eucharistic theology in the patristic writings of the Christian churches of the East and West. This ressourcement supports the author’s thesis.
The fourth and last chapter makes a final argument from the liturgy (lex credendi statuat legem orandi) and the kerygma of the Church for a thousand years before the Gregorian reform under Gregory the VIIth. Finally, pages 101-124 are devoted to endnotes and pages 125-132 to bibliography.
Fr. Moloney served on the International Theological Commission of the Holy See (1984-2002) formerly he was the dean of the School of Theology and Religious Studies of the Catholic University of America and is currently Senior Professional Fellow at Catholic Theological College in the University of Divinity, Melbourne, Australia. He is the author of numerous scholarly and popular works on the New Testament and a world renowned biblical scholar with expertise in the theology of the Eucharist. Fr. Moloney wrote A Body Broken for a Broken People which was published by Paulist Press in 2016.