Friday, January 21, 2011

Built on the Wrong Foundation

Francis Beckwith explains (in a blog entry / column titled: "Transubstantiation: From Stumbling Block to Cornerstone"):
The Catholic doctrine of the Eucharist is a real stumbling block to some Protestants who are seriously considering Catholicism. It was for me too, until I explored the subject, historically and scripturally.
Transubstantiation is one of those Roman dogmas that spectacularly fails the tests of history and Scripture, so it was interesting to read what Beckwith wrote. It was particularly interesting because Beckwith views transubstantiation as a cornerstone, whereas for us (Reformed), the cornerstone of our theology is the Word of God.

Beckwith begins by allegedly setting for the doctrine of transubstantiation:
Catholicism holds that bread and wine literally become the body and blood of Christ when they are consecrated by the priest celebrating the Mass. Oftentimes non-Catholics get hung up on the term transubstantiation, the name for the philosophical theory that the Church maintains best accounts for the change at consecration.
There's a tiny problem that Beckwith hasn't accurately represented his church's position. The position of Rome is that:
And this faith has ever been in the Church of God, that, immediately after the consecration, the veritable Body of our Lord, and His veritable Blood, together with His soul and divinity, are under the species of bread and wine; but the Body indeed under the species of bread, and the Blood under the species of wine, by the force of the words; but the body itself under the species of wine, and the blood under the species of bread, and the soul under both, by the force of that natural connexion and concomitancy whereby the parts of Christ our Lord, who hath now risen from the dead, to die no more, are united together; and the divinity, furthermore, on account of the admirable hypostatical union thereof with His body and soul. Wherefore it is most true, that as much is contained under either species as under both; for Christ whole and entire is under the species of bread, and under any part whatsoever of that species; likewise the whole (Christ) is under the species of wine, and under the parts thereof.

And because that Christ, our Redeemer, declared that which He offered under the species of bread to be truly His own body, therefore has it ever been a firm belief in the Church of God, and this holy Synod doth now declare it anew, that, by the consecration of the bread and of the wine, a conversion is made of the whole substance of the bread into the substance of the body of Christ our Lord, and of the whole substance of the wine into the substance of His blood; which conversion is, by the holy Catholic Church, suitably and properly called Transubstantiation.
- Trent, Session XIII, Chapters 3-4

Notice what is actually involved:

1) The bread becomes not just the body of Christ, but the body, blood, soul, and divinity of Christ, and no longer remains bread.

2) The wine becomes not just the blood of Christ, but the body, blood, soul, and divinity of Christ, and no longer remains wine.


These can perhaps be seen in the first three canons that Trent set forth in the same session:
CANON I.-If any one denieth, that, in the sacrament of the most holy Eucharist, are contained truly, really, and substantially, the body and blood together with the soul and divinity of our Lord Jesus Christ, and consequently the whole Christ; but saith that He is only therein as in a sign, or in figure, or virtue; let him be anathema.

CANON II.-If any one saith, that, in the sacred and holy sacrament of the Eucharist, the substance of the bread and wine remains conjointly with the body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ, and denieth that wonderful and singular conversion of the whole substance of the bread into the Body, and of the whole substance of the wine into the Blood-the species Only of the bread and wine remaining-which conversion indeed the Catholic Church most aptly calls Transubstantiation; let him be anathema.

CANON III.-If any one denieth, that, in the venerable sacrament of the Eucharist, the whole Christ is contained under each species, and under every part of each species, when separated; let him be anathema.
Notice that is not simply viewed as "the best explanation." It's so central to the Roman faith that if you deny it, you are under Trent's anathema. It's as central as the divinity of Christ is, to a Christian.

Beckwith argues:
There are several reasons why it would be a mistake to dismiss transubstantiation simply because of the influence of Aristotle on its formulation. First, Eastern Churches in communion with the Catholic Church rarely employ this Aristotelian language, and yet the Church considers their celebration of the Eucharist perfectly valid. Second, the Catholic Church maintains that the divine liturgies celebrated in the Eastern Churches not in communion with Rome (commonly called “Eastern Orthodoxy”) are perfectly valid as well, even though the Eastern Orthodox rarely employ the term transubstantiation. Third, the belief that the bread and wine are literally transformed into Christ’s body and blood predates Aristotle’s influence on the Church’s theology by over 1000 years. For it was not until the thirteenth century, and the ascendancy of St. Thomas Aquinas’ thought, that Aristotle’s categories were employed by the Church in its account of the Eucharist. In fact, when the Fourth Lateran Council (1215) employed the language of substantial change, St. Thomas had not even been born!
I answer:

First, the primary reason to reject transubstantiation has nothing to do with Aristotle. The primary reason to reject transubstantiation is that it is not taught by Scripture. In fact, the teachings of Scripture contradict transubstantiation.

Second, it is unclear what relevance Beckwith thinks that the approval of Eastern-rite liturgies that don't use the term "transubstantiation" is. Even the Latin-rite New Order of the Mass doesn't use the term "transubstantiation." (as can be seen by reviewing this pdf). Those points are totally irrelevant to the question.

Third, yes - the term "transubstantiation" (transsubstantiatio) was used by the 4th Lateran Council, 10 years before Aquinas was born. But the 4th Lateran Council affirmed much less than what Trent affirmed:
There is one Universal Church of the faithful, outside of which there is absolutely no salvation. In which there is the same priest and sacrifice, Jesus Christ, whose body and blood are truly contained in the sacrament of the altar under the forms of bread and wine; the bread being changed (transsubstantiatio) by divine power into the body, and the wine into the blood, so that to realize the mystery of unity we may receive of Him what He has received of us.
(Fourth Lateran Council, Canon 1)

Notice that there is nothing there about each species being the whole Christ, nothing there about the soul and divinity being present, and nothing about the substance of the bread being absent. No doubt the teachings of the Fourth Lateran Council were in error, but they were not as extreme as Trent was.

As for the claim about "1000 years," it's a hollow claim. He continues that claim this way:
It was that third point that I found so compelling and convinced me that the Catholic view of the Eucharist was correct. It did not take long for me to see that Eucharistic realism (as I like to call it) had been uncontroversially embraced deep in Christian history. This is why Protestant historian, J. N. D. Kelly, writes: “Eucharistic teaching, it should be understood at the outset, was in general unquestioningly realist, i.e., the consecrated bread and wine were taken to be, and were treated and designated as, the Savior’s body and blood.” I found it in many of the works of the Early Church Fathers, including St. Ignatius of Antioch (A.D. 110), St. Justin Martyr (A.D. 151), St. Cyprian of Carthage, (A. D. 251), First Council of Nicaea (A. D. 325), St. Cyril of Jerusalem (A. D. 350), and St. Augustine of Hippo (A. D. 411) . These are, of course, not the only Early Church writings that address the nature of the Eucharist. But they are representative.
The problem is that Beckwith has been convinced to accept the Roman view despite the evidence. The evidence of "Eucharistic realism" is one thing, and perhaps it is an important thing to the Roman position.

Nevertheless, there is no teaching during the first 800 or so years of the church that has these characteristics:

1) The bread becomes not just the body of Christ, but the body, blood, soul, and divinity of Christ, and no longer remains bread.

2) The wine becomes not just the blood of Christ, but the body, blood, soul, and divinity of Christ, and no longer remains wine.


Yet that is what Trent teaches and makes central to the Roman faith. You may find fathers who echo the Scriptural metaphor of the bread being the body and the cup being the blood. You may even find some fathers who go further, and insist that the relationship is more than a mere symbol, but instead is a symbol with power. You may find fathers that talk about a spiritual presence. But you won't find what Trent teaches.

I openly challenge the Roman apologists to bring forth any example of a church father who says that after the consecration the bread is the blood of Christ, much less any church father that teaches both (1) and (2) as explained above. In short, any father of the church that teaches what Trent makes central to the faith.

Two of my favorite example of the metaphors of the fathers are from Ignatius:
You, therefore, must arm yourselves with gentleness and regain your strength in faith (which is the flesh of the Lord) and in love (which is the blood of Jesus Christ).
Greek text: Ὑμεῖς οὖν τὴν πραϋπάθειαν ἀναλαβόντες ἀνακτίσασθε ἑαυτοὺς ἐν πίστει, ὅ ἐστιν σὰρξ τοῦ κυρίου, καὶ ἐν ἀγάπῃ, ὅ ἐστιν αἷμα Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ.
See J. B. Lightfoot and J. R. Harmer, eds. and trans., The Apostolic Fathers: Greek Texts and English Translations of Their Writings, 2nd. ed., The Letters of Ignatius, To the Trallians, Chapter 8 (Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1992), p. 163.

And again:
Ignatius (@ 110 AD): I take no pleasure in corruptible food or the pleasures of this life. I want the bread of God, which is the flesh of Christ who is of the seed of David; and for drink I want his blood, which is incorruptible love.
Greek text: Oὐχ ἥδομαι τροφῇ φθορᾶς οὐδὲ ἡδοναῖς τοῦ βίου τούτου. Ἄρτον θεοῦ θέλω, ὅ ἐστιν σὰρξ Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ, «τοῦ ἐκ σπέρματος Δαυίδ», καὶ πόμα θέλω τὸ αἷμα αὐτοῦ, ὅ ἐστιν ἀγάπη ἄφθαρτος.
See J. B. Lightfoot and J. R. Harmer, eds. and trans., The Apostolic Fathers: Greek Texts and English Translations of Their Writings, 2nd. ed., The Letters of Ignatius, To the Romans, Chapter 7 (Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1992), p. 175.

And, of course, there are fathers who seem to have taken a view that is inconsistent with the crassly carnal view of Rome, such as Tertullian:
Then, having taken the bread and given it to His disciples, He made it His own body, by saying, 'This is my body,' that is, the figure of my body.
ANF, Vol. 3, Against Marcion, 4.40.

Beckwith doesn't really make a Biblical argument. He does reference the Bible though, and he does so in this way:
This should, however, not surprise us, given what the Bible says about the Lord’s Supper. When Jesus celebrated the Last Supper with his disciples (Mt. 26:17-30; Mk. 14:12-25; Lk. 22:7-23), which we commemorate at Holy Communion, he referred to it as a Passover meal. He called the bread and wine his body and blood. In several places, Jesus is called the Lamb of God (John 1: 29, 36; I Peter 1:19; Rev. 5:12). Remember, when the lamb is killed for Passover, the meal participants ingest the lamb. Consequently, St. Paul’s severe warnings about partaking in Holy Communion unworthily only make sense in light of Eucharistic realism (I Cor. 10:14-22; I Cor. 11:17-34). He writes: “The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not a participation in the blood of Christ? The bread which we break, is it not a participation in the body of Christ? . . . Whoever, therefore eats and drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of profaning the body and blood of the Lord.” (I Cor. 10:16; 11:27)
But, of course, nowhere does Scripture confuse the symbols and call the bread his blood or the cup his body. Nowhere does the Scripture deny that the bread is still bread or that the cup still contains actual food.

Moreover, Scripture is rich in metaphor - including metaphor:
  • in which the body of Christ is called "true meat" and his blood is called "true drink" (John 6:55 For my flesh is meat indeed, and my blood is drink indeed.)
  • in which Christ is called the "bread from heaven" (John 6:32 Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Moses gave you not that bread from heaven; but my Father giveth you the true bread from heaven.)
  • in which Christ is called the "bread of Life" (John 6:35 And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst.)
as well as other metaphors in which Jesus is a vine (John 15:1 I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman.), a door (John 10:7 Then said Jesus unto them again, Verily, verily, I say unto you, I am the door of the sheep.), and a shepherd (John 10:11 I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.). But, of course, no amount of evidence that metaphor is abundant or that exactly the opposite metaphors are also used, will persuade those who seek to impose their heretical doctrine on Scripture.

Beckwith concludes:
In light of all these passages and the fact that Jesus called himself the bread of life (John 6:41-51) and that he said that his followers must “eat the flesh of the Son of man and drink his blood” (John 6:53), the Eucharistic realism of the Early Church, the Eastern Churches (both in and out of communion with Rome), and the pre-Reformation medieval Church (fifth to sixteenth centuries) seems almost unremarkable. So, what first appeared to be a stumbling block was transformed into a cornerstone.
Notice how blindly Beckwith cites John 6! That metaphor ("Bread of Life") is exactly the opposite of the metaphor ("This is my body"), but yet Beckwith seems to easily grasp one metaphor while stumbling over the other as though it were intended quasi-literally (I don't say "literally" because literally that would mean that both the accidents and substance of a body were present - this "substance-only" idea is not "literal").

Beckwith fails to consider that Jesus explains his hard words that he uttered in John 6:53, only a few verses later:

John 6:61-63
When Jesus knew in himself that his disciples murmured at it, he said unto them, Doth this offend you? What and if ye shall see the Son of man ascend up where he was before? It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.

And if Beckwith had studied Augustine more, he would have seen that Augustine explains this the same way:
It seemed unto them hard that He said, “Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of Man, ye have no life in you:” they received it foolishly, they thought of it carnally, and imagined that the Lord would cut off parts from His body, and give unto them; and they said, “This is a hard saying.” It was they who were hard, not the saying; for unless they had been hard, and not meek, they would have said unto themselves, He saith not this without reason, but there must be some latent mystery herein. They would have remained with Him, softened, not hard: and would have learnt that from Him which they who remained, when the others departed, learnt. For when twelve disciples had remained with Him, on their departure, these remaining followers suggested to Him, as if in grief for the death of the former, that they were offended by His words, and turned back. But He instructed them, and saith unto them, “It is the Spirit that quickeneth, but the flesh profiteth nothing; the words that I have spoken unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.” Understand spiritually what I have said; ye are not to eat this body which ye see; nor to drink that blood which they who will crucify Me shall pour forth. I have commended unto you a certain mystery; spiritually understood, it will quicken. Although it is needful that this be visibly celebrated, yet it must be spiritually understood.
NPNF1: Vol. VIII, St. Augustin on the Psalms, Psalm 99 (98), §8.

So, while there may be some vague "Eucharistic realism" out there in the fathers, that does not convert Jesus' metaphors into the Tridentine absurdity, in which the bread is said to be not only the body of the Lord, but his blood, soul, and divinity as well - and not at all to be bread, except as to appearances. Had Beckwith founded himself on the Word of God, rather than on the traditions of men, he would not be led into this error. Since he has rejected, however, the Word of God, he has a new cornerstone for himself.

-TurretinFan

105 comments:

louis said...

"Jesus is called the Lamb of God... Remember, when the lamb is killed for Passover, the meal participants ingest the lamb."

But they don't ingest the blood, right? And the lambs are cooked first. What kind of parallel is he trying to draw here? Obviously Christ is called the Lamb of God because of his sacrificial death, not because people eat him. These people throw all kinds of mud against the wall hoping something will stick.

Turretinfan said...

Transubstantiation of the lamb, perhaps?

The "hope it will stick" explanation is best.

Truth Unites... and Divides said...

"The primary reason to reject transubstantiation is that it is not taught by Scripture. In fact, the teachings of Scripture contradict transubstantiation."

Obviously I agree.

And the Catholic defender will say that only the Magisterium is the Infallible Interpreter of Scripture and they interpret the Scriptures to teach Transubstantiation.

Turretinfan said...

Yes, TU&D - that is the last line of defense of their irrationality.

Anonymous said...

I believe that all of it overwhelmingly supports the Catholic view. It's very interesting that you refuse to hold the same criteria for whether or not Christ had one or two wills. I know, I know, it is way too easy just to ignore that fact. Perhaps you are reminded about how White had his goofy theories dismantled by Sungenis when this was brought up in debate.

Anonymous said...

One thing RC's do not address is the implicit contradiction between transubstantiation and the Christology of the 4th Ecumenical Council at Chalcedon, vis:

“One and the same Christ, Son, Lord, only-begotten, acknowledged in two natures which undergo no confusion, no change, no division, no separation; at no point was the difference between the natures taken away through the union, but rather the property of both natures is preserved and comes together into a single person and a single subsistent being; he is not parted or divided into two persons, but is one and the same only-begotten Son, God, Word, Lord Jesus Christ, just as the prophets taught from the beginning about him, and as the Lord Jesus Christ himself instructed us, and as the creed of the fathers handed it down to us.”

If, as the bishops declared, Christ’s human nature underwent “no confusion, no change . . . at no point was the difference between the natures taken away through the union, but rather the property of both natures is preserved” – then, the institution of the Lord’s Supper could not allow Christ’s physical body and blood to be present in the form of bread and wine in the way transubstantiation claims.

That the apostles did not teach transubstantiation is clear from Paul’s own words in 1 Corinthians 11, where he repeatedly speaks of eating the bread and drinking the cup – not eating the body and drinking the blood, as some Catholic priests insist their parishioners must speak of the Eucharist.

Blessings,
Lojahw

herb said...

TurretinFan-
The first time I ever attended a Catholic Mass, I tapped my wife in the leg and said "Let's go." I did this just after the priest held up the host, saying "This is Jesus." At that point, I couldn't take any more of what I saw to be superstitious, unBiblical confusion. Later, though, when I faced the fact that Jesus actually did say "This is my body" instead of "This is a symbol of my body" I had to rethink some things. It was then that I saw the words of the priest as an echo of the very words of Christ. Within that context, what had first appeared to me to be blasphemy, was recognized as a priceless gift of Christ.

Also, what really hit me right between the eyes was the fact that when many left Jesus (John 6), He didn't say "Wait, I'm speaking metaphorically!" He let them go. As a teacher, would it not be incumbent upon Him to correct the misunderstanding of His confused disciples? Only if they understood Him as He'd intended them to (and rejected His teaching out of hand) can I make any sense of the passage.

When I brought these issues to my pastor at the time (who was/is a 5 point Calvinist), he didn't really speak to my concerns/questions Biblically. He simply said "You're bringing up the typical Roman Catholic arguments..." And I was thinking "ok. I don't care how typical they are. I care about whether or not they're valid points." From that point on, it went downhill fast.

Truth Unites... and Divides said...

Hey Herb,

Take a look at these passages:

Matthew 26:26 "And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and blessed it, and brake it, and gave it to the disciples, and said, Take, eat; this is my body."

Mark 14:22 "And as they did eat, Jesus took bread, and blessed, and brake it, and gave to them, and said, Take, eat: this is my body."

Luke 22:19 "And he took bread, and gave thanks, and brake it, and gave unto them, saying, This is my body which is given for you: this do in remembrance of me."

And finally, 1 Corinthians 11:24 "And when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me."

Hey Herb, question for ya:

When the disciples took the piece of bread from Jesus did they think they were literally and physically eating a part of Jesus's body when He said, "Take, eat; this is my body"?

What's your answer Herb?

herb said...

Truth Unites... and Divides,

First of all, I don't consider Christianity to be a "religion of the book." So my personal understanding of a Biblical text doesn't figure into the equation definitively. The Scribes and Pharisees had the Scriptures, too. Lots of good it did them, the brood of vipers that they were. This is why Christ promised the Holy Spirit to guide the Church into all truth. He didn't promise a text. Because a text, by its very nature, can provide no such safeguard any more than a smattering of letters to and from our Nation's Founders could have taken the place of the Constitution itself, with its specific prescriptions for governance.

Also, I consider myself to be a person who's in the position of the pupil, not the teacher. That's why I'm here listening and commenting, not to teach you all, or to appoint myself as an official representative of the Catholic Church... but to learn a thing or two about what divides christians. If you want to know what the Catholic Church teaches, why, you may go and pick up a Catechism for $8.

What's more important to me is the way Christians have always understood a text. And there's really no dispute there at all. Christians, for as long as there's been a record, have understood that a miraculous transformation takes place at Communion and that what was once bread and wine had become Christ.

Simply for the record, I am happy to share with you the fact that I don't believe that the 12 understood their actions to be literally cannibalistic. Nor do I believe the texts you pasted to suggest that. Further, neither do I consider participation in the Mass today to be cannibalistic in nature. But like the early non-christians, i can see how someone might misunderstand Communion in such terms.

Concerning the Last Supper, as was the case often, it was in recalling certain words and deeds of Our Lord that the 12 realized the significance of what had taken place. This is why St. John, whose Gospel was written specifically with a Jewish audience in mind provides us with the clearest Eucharistic teaching to be found in the Scriptures.

And to add a little more of an attempt at a direct response to your question, let me say this: No, the 12 didn't believe they were, as you put it "literally and physically eating a part of Jesus's body" at the Last Supper any more than a Catholic today believes s/he's eating Christ's finger at Mass.

Thank you, Truth Unites... and Divides.

Truth Unites... and Divides said...

There's a disconnect somewhere.

Herb: "let me say this: No, the 12 didn't believe they were, as you put it "literally and physically eating a part of Jesus's body" at the Last Supper any more than a Catholic today believes s/he's eating Christ's finger at Mass."

Compare and contrast with:

TFan: "that does not convert Jesus' metaphors into the Tridentine absurdity, in which the bread is said to be not only the body of the Lord, but his blood, soul, and divinity as well - and not at all to be bread, except as to appearances."

Herb, you're saying that Catholics don't believe in "the Tridentine absurdity" then. I am encouraged by that.

Thanks Herb.

louis said...

"He didn't say 'Wait, I'm speaking metaphorically!'"

Actually he said something very similar. “When many of his disciples heard it, they said, ‘this is a hard saying; who can listen to it?’ But Jesus… said to them… ‘It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh is no help at all. The words that I have spoken to you are spirit and life.’” (vv.60-63).

Notice also the parallel between verses such as 51, 47, 53, 35. Eating is equated with believing. Augustine said as much: "he who believes, eats."

You should have searched harder for the truth, rather than making shipwreck of your faith because some pastor gave you an inadequate answer. You have made yourself one of those who could not take Christ's words and thus turned back.

herb said...

Truth Unites... and Divides,

First of all, I've been a Catholic for a mere 3 years. What follows is MY understanding (which is certainly quite limited) of these matters. As I said, a Catechism is available at the local bookstore for $8. I have mine sitting right here. What I'm trying to say to you is that a Catholic doesn't believe (and I don't want to sound disrespectful to Our Lord here) that he's eating, for example, Christ's actual ear or Christ's actual finger. That is not what the Apostles thought they were doing at the Last Supper, either. As a Catholic, I certainly accept the Council's teaching concerning the Eucharistic Presence of Christ's real body, blood, soul and divinity. The sacramental presentation of Our Lord in the Eucharist is certainly substantially Him. But it is not "accidentally" identical in form to the finger or the ear which was attached to His pre-Resurrection body. Do you see the distinction I am attempting to make?
more here:
http://catholicaudio.blogspot.com/2008/07/fr-hardon-sj-transubstantiation.html
Thanks, Truth Unites... and Divides

herb said...

Truth Unites... and Divides,
Louis referenced St. Augustine, which brings to mind the question you posed to me about Jesus feeding the Disciples "a part of His Body." In his Reflections on the Psalms, St. Augustine had this to say:
"Unless he shall have eaten My flesh he shall not have eternal life. [John 6:54-55]' [Some] understood this foolishly, and thought of it carnally, and supposed that the Lord was going to cut off some parts of His Body to give them ... But He instructed them, and said to them: `It is the spirit that gives life; but the flesh profits nothing: the words that I have spoken to you are spirit and life' [John 6:64]. Understand spiritually what I said. You are not to eat this Body which you see, nor to drink that Blood which which will be poured out by those who will crucify Me. I have commended to you a certain Sacrament; spiritually understood, it will give you life. And even if it is necessary that this be celebrated visibly, it must still be understood invisibly."
Maybe I failed in clarifying that difference between participating in Communion and literally eating a piece of Our Lord's pre-Resurrection body. In that case, hopefully St. Augustine's words shed a little light! thanks again...

Truth Unites... and Divides said...

Hi Herb,

I've read that there are a number of Catholics who don't believe in the Real Presence in the Elements of Mass; they don't believe in Transubstantiation.

Question for ya: For those Catholics who don't believe in the Real Presence and who still partake of Holy Communion nonetheless, do they still receive the Real Presence in the Elements even though they don't believe in it?

herb said...

Louis,
If you mean to suggest that "Wait, I was speaking metaphorically!" is synonymous with Christ's words "It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh is no help at all. The words that I have spoken to you are spirit and life," I'm confused. If what you're suggesting were the case, then why did the grumblers leave anyway? Why didn't His words put the grumblers concerns to rest the way they seem to put yours to rest- despite Martin Luther's words here?:

Not one of the Fathers of the Church, though so numerous, ever... said, It is only bread and wine; or, the body and blood of Christ is not there present... Surely, it is not... possible, since they often speak, and repeat their sentiments, that they should never (if they thought so) not so much as once, say, or let slip these words: It is bread only; or the body of Christ is not there... Certainly, in so many Fathers, and in so many writings, the negative might at least be found in one of them, had they thought the body and blood of Christ were not really present: but they are all of them unanimous.”

As for this:
"Notice also the parallel between verses such as 51, 47, 53, 35. Eating is equated with believing. Augustine said as much: "he who believes, eats."

Certainly I agree with you (and St. Augustine)... but not to the exclusion of the other truths revealed in the passage, namely, that Christ is unambiguously revealing something to His followers that, without the benefit of hindsight, was utterly scandalous, but which now can be seen, Scripturally and historically, as a foretelling of that Sacrament of Sacraments: Holy Communion. IMHO you're unnecessarily pitting the "belief in" against the "reality of" Christ's Real Presence in the Sacrament. Your grasping a hold of the elements of John 6 which affirm your preconceptions, to the exclusion of the other parts of John 6 which speak unambiguously in terms of flesh and blood, grinding and chewing ("phago" to "trogo"). Yes, with St. Augustine I "believe in" Christ's words here. But also, with St. Augustine, do I "partake of" the flesh of which Christ speaks.

Finally, if you're suggesting that the Lord's "It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh is no help at all. The words that I have spoken to you are spirit and life." are to be read in an almost gnostic manner, dismissive of human carnality, why, then, you've proven too much in that your statement reviles the Incarnation itself, not to mention the Lord's Bodily Resurrection.

Again, all of what I say should be understood as one guy's attempt at making sense of things. If you want to know what the Catholic Church actually teaches (not how one guy synthesizes things) please go to the Catechism.

herb said...

Truth Unites... and Divides,
I can't help but sense that you're trying to "trap" me (So again, I'll refer you to the Catechism if you're genuinely curious). But for the sake of sharing MY UNDERSTANDING of what's takes place at Holy Communion, the answer to your question is a resounding "yes." Even if someone disbelieves in the Real Presence, due to the fact that consecration has taken place, what WAS bread and what WAS wine has indeed become, objectively speaking, Our Lord.

Truth Unites... and Divides said...

Hi Herb,

Thanks for your answer. Suppose the Catholic priest confecting the Elements does not believe in the Real Presence, do the Elements still have the Real Presence for the parishioners even though the priest who confected them doesn't believe in transubstantiation?

herb said...

Truth may unite and divide. But in this case, the only thing that's causing division are your attempts to bait me into saying something which is doctrinally unsound so that, I fear, you can then ridicule my ignorance. Maybe I'm misreading you. But I don't get the sense that you're genuinely curious about these things, especially considering the doctrinally nuanced question you've just posed. I would love to carry on a discussion if you wish, but not if that discussion consists only of your attempts to illustrate my presumed ignorance.

Truth Unites... and Divides said...

Herb,

I have no idea what the answer is. That's why I asked you.

If a Catholic clergyman doesn't believe in Transubstantiation or the Real Presence when he confects the Elements, do the Elements still get the Real Presence?

If no, then the parishioners are being short-changed when they take Holy Communion, aren't they?

What do you think Herb? Do the parishioners still get the Real Presence even if their clergyman who confected the Elements doesn't believe in transubstantiation when he confected the Elements?

What's the answer?

Truth Unites... and Divides said...

Me: "For those Catholics who don't believe in the Real Presence and who still partake of Holy Communion nonetheless, do they still receive the Real Presence in the Elements even though they don't believe in it?"

Herb: "But for the sake of sharing MY UNDERSTANDING of what's takes place at Holy Communion, the answer to your question is a resounding "yes." Even if someone disbelieves in the Real Presence, due to the fact that consecration has taken place, what WAS bread and what WAS wine has indeed become, objectively speaking, Our Lord."

So let's assume that you're right. And unless and until the Magisterium says you're wrong, I think it's reasonable to assume that you're right, Herb.

So given that Catholic parishioners still receive the Real Presence whether or not they believe in the Real Presence when they partake of Holy Communion, what's all the fuss and hullabaloo and big deal about believing in the Real Presence for lay Catholics?

After all, they get it anyways regardless of whether they believe in it or not according to you.

Turretinfan said...

TU&D:

The belief of the priest is not important, from what I understand.

What is important, according to some sources, is the formula of consecration. Ironically, the "New Order of Mass" originally promulgated after Vatican 2 had a bad translation in the formula. So, some people have argued that the hosts consecrated using that formula were never consecrated, and the people who worshiped the unconsecrated bread were engaging in idolatry, unwittingly.

But, of course, that's not really germane to this post.

Herb:

You wrote: "Later, though, when I faced the fact that Jesus actually did say "This is my body" instead of "This is a symbol of my body" I had to rethink some things. "

That's the difference between a metaphor (what Jesus used) and a simile (what you offered as an alternative).

But consider didn't say "This is my body, blood, soul, and divinity, and not really bread." Had said that, we would agree with you on this point.

But, of course, because the Bible doesn't remotely come close to teaching transubstantiation, none of the "Protestant" churches believe it.

-TurretinFan

Truth Unites... and Divides said...

"The belief of the priest is not important, from what I understand.

What is important, according to some sources, is the formula of consecration."


The formula. The formula? The Formula!!

Weally? What if the priest wasn't careful and didn't utter the formula exactly and as precisely as the "recipe" called for?

What if the aging priest started experiencing cognitive impairments and he altogether forgot to use The Formula when passing out the Elements to his parishioners? I.e., he gave out unconsecrated Elements to his parishioners. What then?

No Formula, No Real Presence.

Wrong Formula, No Real Presence.

The parishioners are getting jacked up through no fault of their own. That's not fair.

"Ironically, the "New Order of Mass" originally promulgated after Vatican 2 had a bad translation in the formula. So, some people have argued that the hosts consecrated using that formula were never consecrated, and the people who worshiped the unconsecrated bread were engaging in idolatry, unwittingly."

May God have mercy on their ignorant souls for unconsecrated bread idolatry. It really wasn't their fault. Someone messed up The Formula.

"But, of course, that's not really germane to this post."

In a way it is. Look at the title of your post:

"Built on the Wrong Foundation"

If Wrong Formula, then Wrong Foundation, Then No Real Presence.

Not good.

TFan, I did not know that it's all in The Formula. Reminds me of Colonel Sanders and Kentucky Fried Chicken where it's all in the secret recipe ("formula").

herb said...

Truth Unites... and Divides,

Trust me. I'm not in the position to be some sort of Q and A guy. But if you're sincere, I can look up the answers for you and refer you to trustworthy sources. Or I can just share with you, off the top of my head, the teachings of the Church, as I understand them and you can check them elsewhere. As I understand it, the proper form and proper intention must be present in order for a sacrament to be valid. In other words, even if a priest were personally struggling with his faith (concerning the Real Presence), as long as he intended to serve the Faithful according to his priestly office, and he followed the proper form, the sacrament is valid. Speaking of St. Augustine once again, he dealt with this and related issues as he worked to counter the false teachings of the Donatists. Again, that's just my off-the-cuff understanding of things. And finally, I'll add that I did hear of a period of time during which some portion of Japanese Catholics, I believe, were receiving invalid sacraments due to some weird circumstances that had arisen. However, though we're bound by the Sacraments, God isn't. And His grace abounds especially in the face of corruption/confusion within His Church.

Truth Unites... and Divides said...

Herb: "But for the sake of sharing MY UNDERSTANDING of what's takes place at Holy Communion, the answer to your question is a resounding "yes." Even if someone disbelieves in the Real Presence, due to the fact that consecration has taken place, what WAS bread and what WAS wine has indeed become, objectively speaking, Our Lord."

And

"In other words, even if a priest were personally struggling with his faith (concerning the Real Presence), as long as he intended to serve the Faithful according to his priestly office, and he followed the proper form, the sacrament is valid."

Herb, I'm perfectly okay with you doing fallible private interpretation of Magisterial teaching.

So what you've said is that even if the priest/bishop doesn't believe in the Real Presence and even if some of his parishioners don't believe in the Real Presence, the confection of Elements is still valid and the parishioners get the Real Presence anyways even if they don't believe it.

That being the case, then it really doesn't matter whether a Catholic believes in the Real Presence in the Eucharist.

So why all the big fuss about many of the Catholic laity not believing in the Real Presence? Who cares?

Truth Unites... and Divides said...

Catholic: "Do you believe in the Real Presence in Communion?"

Protestant: "No."

Catholic: "Well, there are many Catholics who don't believe in the Real Presence either, but they still receive it anyways when they take Communion."

Protestant: "Oh. I guess it doesn't really matter then whether a Catholic believes in the Real Presence then."

Catholic: "?"

herb said...

TurretinFan- You said:
That's the difference between a metaphor (what Jesus used) and a simile (what you offered as an alternative)."

What I offered was not a "simile" (a comparison using like or as).

You said:
But consider (the fact that He) didn't say "This is my body, blood, soul, and divinity, and not really bread." Had (He) said that, we would agree with you on this point.

If you were exclusively arguing against the 3 "extra" components included in the definition of Trent (blood, soul, divinity), while affirming the presence of Christ's body, I would see why you'd say that. As it is, though, you don't accept the presence of the body (even though Christ explicitly said it). Had Christ mentioned all 4, His body, blood, soul and divinity, would you not interpret them all as metaphorical allusions?

You also said:
"But, of course, because the Bible doesn't remotely come close to teaching transubstantiation, none of the 'Protestant' churches believe it."

Luther's "consubstantiation" is anything but easily distinguishable from "transubstantiation" and orthodox Lutherans obviously still teach it. Interestingly, as an Anglican (an Ulster Protestant through and through) CS Lewis said that the Communion host was the only thing that would be presented to your senses that was holier than your neighbor (my paraphrase). What he was saying, then, was that what many think of as mere bread is really and truly holy. Also, I know evangelicals who claim to believe that Christ is truly and really present in their non-denominational Communion services.

herb said...

Truth Unites... and Divides,

At the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, it's Christ at work. Christ doesn't rely upon the fickle, fleshly minds of men to achieve His divine purposes. What matters isn't what the laity are doing, or what struggles a particular priest is facing. What matters is that through His Church, Christ dispenses His graces to the Faithful. So what matters isn't peoples' opinions, but what is true. I am not sure I understand your dialogue above. Any Catholic who receives Communion while in a state of disbelief should refrain from receiving communion. We don't judge a sacrament according to the practices of those who violate it any more than we judge medicine according to the symptoms of those who don't take it (Frank Sheed said something like that).

You also said:
... the confection of Elements is still valid and the parishioners get the Real Presence anyways even if they don't believe it. That being the case, then it really doesn't matter whether a Catholic believes in the Real Presence in the Eucharist. So why all the big fuss about many of the Catholic laity not believing in the Real Presence? Who cares?

What matters is what's true. What matters is what Christ left with His Church, not the things about which frail human minds are confused. Catholics in open defiance of Church teaching (formal heresy) are not to receive the Sacrament of Communion. If they do so, it's a sacrilege. And to the degree each communicant is or isn't guilty of a sacrilege, only God knows. That's why St. Paul calls each of us to personal reflection prior to reception of Holy Communion. I am not sure I'm following this conversation. At first it seemed like you were challenging Catholic teaching. Now it seems like, rather than refuting it with Scripture and Reason (the 2 things to which Luther appealed at Worms), you're just blowing the whole thing off as pointless. Earlier above, Louis charged me with neglecting to seek the truth sufficiently before becoming Catholic. He says I made a shipwreck of my faith b/c a pastor gave me inadequate answers to my questions concerning Catholic teaching. If Louis is right, I invite you, him, and anyone else to help me to see things rightly.

Anonymous said...

Truth Unites and Divides wrote: “So what you've said is that even if the priest/bishop doesn't believe in the Real Presence and even if some of his parishioners don't believe in the Real Presence, the confection of Elements is still valid and the parishioners get the Real Presence anyways even if they don't believe it.

“That being the case, then it really doesn't matter whether a Catholic believes in the Real Presence in the Eucharist.

“So why all the big fuss about many of the Catholic laity not believing in the Real Presence? Who cares?”

Greetings in the Lord, Truth Unites and Divides!

Here’s what Augustine said about it being the body and blood of the Lord regardless of the recipient:

“For as Judas, to whom the Lord gave a morsel, gave a place within himself of the devil, not by receiving what was bad, but by receiving it badly, so each person, on receiving the sacrament of the Lord, does not cause that it is bad because he is bad himself, or that he has received nothing because he has not received it to salvation. For it was none the less the body of the Lord and the blood of the Lord, even in those to whom the apostle said, ‘He that eateth unworthily, eateth and drinketh condemnation to himself’ (cf. 1 Cor. 11:27, 29)” (On Baptism, Against the Donatists, Bk. 5, Ch. 8).

Your Papist friend in Christ,
Pete Holter

Truth Unites... and Divides said...

"Any Catholic who receives Communion while in a state of disbelief should refrain from receiving communion."

#1. Is that your private fallible interpretation?

#2. A Catholic could disbelieve in Transubstantiation but still believe in Jesus Christ as his or her's Lord and Savior. Are you saying the transubstantiation-denying Catholic "should refrain from receiving Communion"?

Anonymous said...

Herb wrote: “And to add a little more of an attempt at a direct response to your question, let me say this: No, the 12 didn't believe they were, as you put it "literally and physically eating a part of Jesus's body" at the Last Supper any more than a Catholic today believes s/he's eating Christ's finger at Mass.”

Greetings my brother in Christ! Here’s a little help for you:

“Here the pastor should explain that in this Sacrament are contained not only the true body of Christ and all the constituents of a true body, such as bones and sinews, but also Christ whole and entire” (Catechism of the Council of Trent: http://www.cin.org/users/james/ebooks/master/trent/tsacr-e.htm).

You might want to add fingers to this list. :)

With love in Christ,
Pete Holter

Truth Unites... and Divides said...

"Greetings my brother in Christ! Here’s a little help for you:

“Here the pastor should explain that in this Sacrament are contained not only the true body of Christ and all the constituents of a true body, such as bones and sinews, but also Christ whole and entire” (Catechism of the Council of Trent: http://www.cin.org/users/james/ebooks/master/trent/tsacr-e.htm).

You might want to add fingers to this list. :)

With love in Christ,
Pete Holter"

Herb,

Please take note of this helpful correction from Pete Holter.

For if you do not have this Magisterial Tridentine belief, you may very well be eating the Host unworthily.

You might even consider refraining from taking Communion until you truly believe that "in this Sacrament are contained not only the true body of Christ and all the constituents of a true body, such as bones and sinews, but also Christ whole and entire” which would necessarily include fingers and other body parts.

With grateful acknowledgment to my new Papist friend in Christ, Pete Holter.

Turretinfan said...

Let's try to keep this a little more G-rated, guys.

herb said...

Pete & Truth Unites... and Divides,
I am happy to be corrected whenever I'm mistaken. And I appreciate Pete's having gone out of his way to do what I told you I was happy to do, namely, go out and find the Magisterial statements pertaining to your questions. As far as this is concerned, however:

“Here the pastor should explain that in this Sacrament are contained not only the true body of Christ and all the constituents of a true body, such as bones and sinews, but also Christ whole and entire”

I don't believe it represents a correction to anything I stated. I never denied that Christ's true body and true blood was present in the Eucharistic species. What I said is perfectly in line with the Eucharistic species "containing" all those components implied by my use of the term "body." When I affirm the Eucharistic species as Christ's body, what I mean by the word "body" is just that, His body... However, my distinction, which is discussed further at the link Pete provided stands, and that was this: Under Sacramental form, the commmunicant receives Christ Himself. And the sacramental form is something "accidentally" other than Christ's finger or ear. Any single portion of the consecrated host is indeed substantially,(and to use the wording of Trent) concomitantly the whole, entire Christ. The Tridentine wording (sinews, etc.) is included, as I understand it, to stress the Lord's incarnation. However, by stating that the consecrated species "contain" the whole Christ including both His divine and His human nature, one isn't to understand the Eucharist in non-sacramental terms (such as those denoting a literal finger or ear), which is exactly what St. Augustine spoke to in my previous comment.

As far as this comment is concerned:
"For if you do not have this Magisterial Tridentine belief, you may very well be eating the Host unworthily."

One mustn't thoroughly understand and comprehend ALL Catholic teaching to a tee in order to become Catholic. One simply receives, through Christ's authority, by faith, the whole teaching of the Church. thanks.

Anonymous said...

Hello again, brother!

It is my understanding that we receive Christ’s body, composed of ears, fingers, etc., but we do not chew His body parts up individually since He is everywhere wholly present. I think we’re on the same page, but let me know if we’re not. :)

“Perchance some one of you would wish to be like them, to hold the feet of Jesus; ye can even now, and not His feet and His hands only, but even lay hold on that sacred head, receiving the awful mysteries with a pure conscience” (John Chrysostom, Homily 89 on Matthew).

In Christ,
Pete Holter

Turretinfan said...

I had written: "That's the difference between a metaphor (what Jesus used) and a simile (what you offered as an alternative)."

You replied: "What I offered was not a "simile" (a comparison using like or as)."

I'd rather not quibble - he expressed the figure implicitly, whereas you offered an explicit formulation. That's the difference between metaphor and simile.

I had written: "But consider (the fact that He) didn't say "This is my body, blood, soul, and divinity, and not really bread." Had (He) said that, we would agree with you on this point."

You replied: "If you were exclusively arguing against the 3 "extra" components included in the definition of Trent (blood, soul, divinity), while affirming the presence of Christ's body, I would see why you'd say that. As it is, though, you don't accept the presence of the body (even though Christ explicitly said it). Had Christ mentioned all 4, His body, blood, soul and divinity, would you not interpret them all as metaphorical allusions?"

That would be a very unnatural metaphor. Indeed, has anyone taken Trent metaphorically?

It's not like us Bible-believers have any problem with the supernatural. If that's what it said, we would believe it.

I wrote: "But, of course, because the Bible doesn't remotely come close to teaching transubstantiation, none of the 'Protestant' churches believe it."

You wrote: "Luther's "consubstantiation" is anything but easily distinguishable from "transubstantiation" and orthodox Lutherans obviously still teach it."

It's pretty easy to distinguish consubstantiation from transubstantiation.

You continued: "Interestingly, as an Anglican (an Ulster Protestant through and through) CS Lewis said that the Communion host was the only thing that would be presented to your senses that was holier than your neighbor (my paraphrase). What he was saying, then, was that what many think of as mere bread is really and truly holy. Also, I know evangelicals who claim to believe that Christ is truly and really present in their non-denominational Communion services."

C.S. Lewis' theology is pretty worthless (his Juvenile Fiction is pretty excellent, however). That said, the holiness or not of the elements isn't transubstantiation - though of course those who hold to transubstantiation must consider Christ holy.

-TurretinFan

Fredericka said...

According to a survey taken by the Pew organization, "More than four-in-ten Catholics in the United States (45%) do not know that their church teaches that the bread and wine used in Communion do not merely symbolize but actually become the body and blood of Christ." (http://pewforum.org/other-beliefs-and-practices/u-s-religious-knowledge-survey.aspx). Should those people refrain from taking communion?

Turretinfan said...

Fredericka,

It probably depends whom you ask. If they are in "mortal sin" they are not supposed to partake of the sacrament.

But then what is the sacrament supposed to do for them? If they are supposed to have removed all of their sins through confession and penance before they partake, how is the sacrament supposed to be propitiatory or expiatory for them? How does it forgive sins for them, if their sins are already forgiven before they come?

Roman theology is a mess.

-TurretinFan

Truth Unites... and Divides said...

Herb et al,

Here's something to read and reflect upon:

"I think it bears noting that the first generations of Reformers, including the authors of the Belgic Confession and Heidelberg Catechism, were raised in the Roman Catholic Church. They were very familiar with what the Roman Catholic Church taught, probably a lot more than many modern day Protestants and Roman Catholics. The Reformation happened for a reason — Rome did not make its case on the basis of the Bible, nor did it evidence a love for a Christ-obsessed and Christ-saturated gospel. Rome forsook the narrow path and opted for an eclectic mix of teachings which diluted the monergistic and God-glorifying doctrines of the apostles and prophets. If a person truly believes (rests and trusts) in Jesus Christ alone for his or her salvation and well-being for now and eternity, that person does not belong in the Roman Catholic Church where such a belief is condemned. The Catholic Church is not found at the Vatican."

Read the rest at Letter to a Friend which briefly highlights the differences between Roman Catholicism and Reformed theology.

Truth Unites... and Divides said...

TFan: "What is important, according to some sources, is the formula of consecration. Ironically, the "New Order of Mass" originally promulgated after Vatican 2 had a bad translation in the formula. So, some people have argued that the hosts consecrated using that formula were never consecrated, and the people who worshiped the unconsecrated bread were engaging in idolatry, unwittingly."

TFan, what is this all-important "Formula" that the Catholic priest utters or chants to consecrate the Host?

Truth Unites... and Divides said...

TFan, Herb, Pete Holter, et al, what is the all-important Holy "Formula" that the Catholic priest utters or chants to consecrate the Host?

Fredericka said...

Truth wrote, "what is the all-important Holy "Formula" that the Catholic priest utters or chants to consecrate the Host?"

'Hocus-pocus!' Or so they used to say. In the Vulgate for Matthew 26:26 Jesus says, "...hoc est corpus meum" (this is my body). The priest repeats these words, with an added 'enim.' The stage magician's nonsense formula 'hocus-pocus' was offered in admiring though clumsy emulation.

Truth Unites... and Divides said...

'Hocus-pocus!' Or so they used to say. In the Vulgate for Matthew 26:26 Jesus says, "...hoc est corpus meum" (this is my body). The priest repeats these words, with an added 'enim.' The stage magician's nonsense formula 'hocus-pocus' was offered in admiring though clumsy emulation.

Are you kidding me?

You're pulling my leg, right?

Turretinfan said...

Yes. The question about the New Order of the Mass relates to whether "this is my body" and "this is my blood" is enough, or whether the formula needs to include "which is shed for many, for the remission of sins."

"Hoc est Corpus," (Latin for "this is Body") is the basis for "Hocus Pocus."

-TurretinFan

herb said...

TurretinFan-
You said:
"It's not like us Bible-believers have any problem with the supernatural. If that's what it said, we would believe it."

But TF, as far as the body goes, it does say that! You read it as a metaphor when the Scriptures suggest otherwise contextually, linguistically, patristically, historically, and logically. All I'm saying is that, by extension, I don't see why you'd change your entire paradigm to accept His word non-metaphorically whether He included 2, 3, or 4 more allusions within the Bread of Life Discourse. Further, all of the other metaphors employed by Christ (vine, door, etc.) have clear, readily-understood meanings. However, if He was speaking metaphorically in this case, what on earth did His metaphor mean? Sure, there's the whole thing Louis referenced above concerning the "equation" of belief with the partaking of Our Lord in a sense. However, to LIMIT Christ's words strictly to that nuanced, possible interpretation of the text to the exclusion of the clearly literal terms He employed, seems to deny the most obvious message of the text for the sake of one possible aspect of Our Lord's message. And as far as I see it, considering all of the evidence against it, all of this due to a priori philosophical limitations imposed upon the text by the reader.

And about Luther's consubstantiation, I realize (on a basic level) what the distinction was that he made, namely that the bread and wine remain while the Lord's Real Presence accompanies them "in and under" their form. My point in appealling to Luther's doctrine simply represented an effort on my part to counter your claim that "no Protestants teach it." Sure no protestants teach "transubstantiation in Tridentine terms. But I'm trying to stress the fact that, as far as the Lord's Real Presence is concerned, Luther affirmed it staunchly, going so far as to deride anyone who'd deny it. TurretinFan, obviously I'm no scholar, but this doctrine was central to me as I considered the claims of Catholicism. When push comes to shove, my reception into the Church hinged almost entirely on this doctrine. Because if He's there in the Catholic Church, where else could I go? thanks...

Turretinfan said...

"But TF, as far as the body goes, it does say that!"

If it meant that literally, the bread would no longer have wheat DNA and would instead have human DNA. We both know that's not the case. So, a strictly literal sense of what it says is out.

Metaphor is the only other sense that you can get from the text.

You wrote: "You read it as a metaphor when the Scriptures suggest otherwise contextually, linguistically, patristically, historically, and logically."

That's just not true.

You wrote: "All I'm saying is that, by extension, I don't see why you'd change your entire paradigm to accept His word non-metaphorically whether He included 2, 3, or 4 more allusions within the Bread of Life Discourse."

My entire paradigm of what? Unlike you, I don't have to make the text of Scripture mean something that my church teaches. What's the paradigmatic barrier here?

You wrote: "Further, all of the other metaphors employed by Christ (vine, door, etc.) have clear, readily-understood meanings."

So does this one.

You wrote: "However, if He was speaking metaphorically in this case, what on earth did His metaphor mean?"

It means that we live by Christ's death.

You wrote: "Sure, there's the whole thing Louis referenced above concerning the "equation" of belief with the partaking of Our Lord in a sense. However, to LIMIT Christ's words strictly to that nuanced, possible interpretation of the text to the exclusion of the clearly literal terms He employed, seems to deny the most obvious message of the text for the sake of one possible aspect of Our Lord's message."

Except you don't think that it is literally Christ's body. If you did, we could scientifically investigate your claim. You mean that it is Christ's body under the accidents of bread. But that's not the "literal" sense of the word. And you also believe that it is the blood of Christ on the accidents of "bread" and the soul and divinity too, and none of the real substance of bread.

None of that is taking Jesus' words "literally."

[cont'd in part 2]

Turretinfan said...

[cont'd from part 1]

You wrote: "And as far as I see it, considering all of the evidence against it, all of this due to a priori philosophical limitations imposed upon the text by the reader."

What limitation is that? That text should be read without imposing extrinsic ideas on it?

You wrote: "And about Luther's consubstantiation, I realize (on a basic level) what the distinction was that he made, namely that the bread and wine remain while the Lord's Real Presence accompanies them "in and under" their form."

Good.

You wrote: "My point in appealling to Luther's doctrine simply represented an effort on my part to counter your claim that "no Protestants teach it.""

Why not just admit that I'm right? Why do you feel the need to counter the truth?

You wrote: "Sure no protestants teach "transubstantiation["] in Tridentine terms."

Right - and the reason why is because the Bible doesn't remotely teach what Trent teaches.

You wrote: "But I'm trying to stress the fact that, as far as the Lord's Real Presence is concerned, Luther affirmed it staunchly, going so far as to deride anyone who'd deny it."

Indeed. And yet, of course, that would still have left him under Trent's condemnation, had Trent finished before Luther died.

Your church's theology makes transubstantiation a matter of de fide dogma. Luther's view is heresy.

But what's more startling is that neither you nor anyone else on your side of the Tiber can find us even one church father who taught what Trent teaches.

You might be able to find some that affirmed the Real Presence, like the Reformed and Lutheran churches do - but none that affirm transubstantiation as Trent teaches it.

You again: "TurretinFan, obviously I'm no scholar, but this doctrine was central to me as I considered the claims of Catholicism."

Well - then you made a serious error of judgment.

You again: "When push comes to shove, my reception into the Church hinged almost entirely on this doctrine."

See above.

You again: "Because if He's there in the Catholic Church, where else could I go? thanks... "

And if transubstantiation is a lie (and it is), then you should be aware that your church is practicing widespread idolatry by worshiping the bread with the worship of latria.

-TurretinFan

herb said...

TurretinFan- Through it all, I consider you to be a very kind person. So thanks. I'll continue considering your claims. If I have made serious error in judgment, I am relying upon God's grace to forgive me and guide me. As it stands, though, I am convinced of the claims of the Catholic Church. I will keep listening. My grandpa's brother taught at Calvin... my family isn't exactly Catholic! I'll keep listening. And He'll keep working on my heart. Thanks again.

Jeph said...

""They said therefore unto Him, What shall we do, that we may work the works of God?" For He had said to them, "Labor not for the meat which perishes, but for that which endures unto eternal life." "What shall we do?" they ask; by observing what, shall we be able to fulfill this precept? "Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He has sent." This is then to eat the meat, not that which perishes, but that which endures unto eternal life. To what purpose do you make ready teeth and stomach? BELIEVE, AND YOU HAVE EATEN ALREADY. Faith is indeed distinguished from works, even as the apostle says, "that a man is justified by faith without the works of the law:" (Romans 3:28)

~ St. Augustine, Tractates on the Gospel of John, 25:12

louis said...

"Chapter 16.— Rule for Interpreting Commands and Prohibitions.

24. If the sentence is one of command, either forbidding a crime or vice, or enjoining an act of prudence or benevolence, it is not figurative. If, however, it seems to enjoin a crime or vice, or to forbid an act of prudence or benevolence, it is figurative.

"Unless you eat the flesh of the Son of man,” says Christ, “and drink His blood, you have no life in you.” John 6:53

This seems to enjoin a crime or a vice; it is therefore a figure, enjoining that we should have a share [communicandem] in the sufferings of our Lord, and that we should retain a sweet and profitable memory [in memoria] of the fact that His flesh was wounded and crucified for us."

(On Christian Doctrine, Book III, http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/12023.htm

Truth Unites... and Divides said...

"If I have made serious error in judgment, I am relying upon God's grace to forgive me and guide me."

Obviously, Protestants do think you have made a serious error in judgment...

And at the same time Protestants do pray that you receive God's grace, forgiveness, and guidance.

FWIW, here's a recent post that might be helpful for you:

Why Roman Doctrines Can't Be Compared to Protestant Doctrines.

herb said...

Fellas-
Thanks for the references. I will certainly look them up. Also, TurretinFan's recent 2-part response to what I'd written really deserves a follow-up from me. But I don't think this is the place for that. Pretty soon the scope of the conversation gets too broad to follow in a combox like this. About a month ago I created a blog and at this point I'm planning on using it to attempt to respond (according to my fallible, private interpretations of Magisterial pronouncements...) to what TurretinFan sent my way. If you're interested, stop by... And as always, I'll be open to any further references, challenges, and insights you may have to offer.
thanks.

Turretinfan said...

Sounds good, herb! I'm looking forward to it!

Anonymous said...

TurretinFan wrote: “But what's more startling is that neither you nor anyone else on your side of the Tiber can find us even one church father who taught what Trent teaches.

“You might be able to find some that affirmed the Real Presence, like the Reformed and Lutheran churches do - but none that affirm transubstantiation as Trent teaches it.”

We believe that Cyril of Jerusalem sufficiently taught what we believe concerning Transubstantiation where he says that “Since then He Himself declared and said of the Bread, ‘This is My Body,’ who shall dare to doubt any longer? And since He has Himself affirmed and said, ‘This is My Blood,’ who shall ever hesitate, saying, that it is not His blood?” For “is it incredible that He should have turned wine into blood” when already before “He once in Cana of Galilee, turned the water into wine”? “Wherefore with full assurance let us partake as of the Body and Blood of Christ: for in the figure of Bread is given to thee His Body, and in the figure of Wine His Blood”. “For thus we come to bear Christ in us, because His Body and Blood are distributed through our members; thus it is that, according to the blessed Peter, ‘we become partakers of the divine nature’ (2 Pet. 1:4).” “Consider therefore the Bread and the Wine not as bare elements, for they are, according to the Lord’s declaration, the Body and Blood of Christ; for even though sense suggests this to thee, yet let faith establish thee. Judge not the matter from the taste, but from faith be fully assured without misgiving, that the Body and Blood of Christ have been vouchsafed to thee.” He calls the bread and wine “figures” because the “seeming bread is not bread, though sensible to taste, but the Body of Christ; and that the seeming wine is not wine, though the taste will have it so, but the Blood of Christ.” All of these quotations come from Catechetical Lecture 22: http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/310122.htm.

If Christ’s Body and Blood are not really in the consecrated Bread and Wine, but are only in heaven to be apprehended by faith at the time of participation in a spiritual transaction, then Christ’s Body and Blood cannot be, as Cyril said, “distributed through our members” when we partake of them. Cyril’s statement requires an objective change in the nature of the bread and wine (in a fashion similar to the objective change from water to wine at Cana) and an understanding that we actually receive His Body and Blood into our bodies at the Eucharistic celebration. :)

With the love of Christ,
Pete Holter

Anonymous said...

TurretinFan wrote: “But what's more startling is that neither you nor anyone else on your side of the Tiber can find us even one church father who taught what Trent teaches.

“You might be able to find some that affirmed the Real Presence, like the Reformed and Lutheran churches do - but none that affirm transubstantiation as Trent teaches it.”

We believe that Cyril of Jerusalem sufficiently taught what we believe concerning Transubstantiation where he says that “Since then He Himself declared and said of the Bread, ‘This is My Body,’ who shall dare to doubt any longer? And since He has Himself affirmed and said, ‘This is My Blood,’ who shall ever hesitate, saying, that it is not His blood?” For “is it incredible that He should have turned wine into blood” when already before “He once in Cana of Galilee, turned the water into wine”? “Wherefore with full assurance let us partake as of the Body and Blood of Christ: for in the figure of Bread is given to thee His Body, and in the figure of Wine His Blood”. “For thus we come to bear Christ in us, because His Body and Blood are distributed through our members; thus it is that, according to the blessed Peter, ‘we become partakers of the divine nature’ (2 Pet. 1:4).” “Consider therefore the Bread and the Wine not as bare elements, for they are, according to the Lord’s declaration, the Body and Blood of Christ; for even though sense suggests this to thee, yet let faith establish thee. Judge not the matter from the taste, but from faith be fully assured without misgiving, that the Body and Blood of Christ have been vouchsafed to thee.” He calls the bread and wine “figures” because the “seeming bread is not bread, though sensible to taste, but the Body of Christ; and… the seeming wine is not wine, though the taste will have it so, but the Blood of Christ.” All of these quotations come from Catechetical Lecture 22.

With the love of Christ,
Pete Holter

Anonymous said...

In considering Cyril’s presentation, I offer the following thoughts:

If Christ’s Body and Blood are not really in the consecrated Bread and Wine, but are only in heaven to be apprehended by faith at the time of participation through a spiritual transaction, then Christ’s Body and Blood cannot be, as Cyril said, “distributed through our members” when we partake of them. Cyril’s statement requires an objective change in the nature of the bread and wine (in a fashion similar to the objective change from water to wine at Cana) and an understanding that we actually receive His Body and Blood into our bodies at the Eucharistic celebration. :)

In Christ,
Pete

Turretinfan said...

Pete:

You wrote: "We believe that Cyril of Jerusalem sufficiently taught what we believe concerning Transubstantiation ... "

You might think it is sufficient, but he didn't teach what Trent teaches.

You make transubstantiation a de fide dogma, but not one father believed it (as far as we know, based on the absence of any fathers affirming what you teach).

Even leaving aside the problem of the authorship of the lecture you're quoting from (and that is a real problem, if you want to insist that this is really Cyril of Jerusalem): when he says “in the figure of Bread is given to thee His Body, and in the figure of Wine His Blood” it does look pretty much like he's affirming that the bread is a figure of his Body and the wine is a figure of his Blood.

That's clarified further when in the very next paragraph he states: "Christ on a certain occasion discoursing with the Jews said, Except ye eat My flesh and drink My blood, ye have no life in you [John vi. 53.]. They not having heard His saying in a spiritual sense were offended, and went back, supposing that He was inviting them to eat flesh."

So, not only does Pseudo-Cyril (or Cyril(?) if you prefer) not affirm Transubstantiation, his teachings are actually more like those of the Reformers (though, of course, how alike or unlike may be an interesting question).

-TurretinFan

Anonymous said...

TurretinFan wrote: “Even leaving aside the problem of the authorship of the lecture you're quoting from (and that is a real problem, if you want to insist that this is really Cyril of Jerusalem): when he says ‘in the figure of Bread is given to thee His Body, and in the figure of Wine His Blood’ it does look pretty much like he's affirming that the bread is a figure of his Body and the wine is a figure of his Blood.”

Hi brother!

I invite you to reconsider Cyril’s meaning. What Cyril actually says is that the bread and wine are mere figures of bread and wine, but what they really are are Christ’s Body and Blood. This meaning is [tran]substantiated further down in his lecture where he reiterates that the bread is only “seeming bread” but not bread: rather, it *is* the Body of Christ; and the wine is only “seeming wine” but not wine: rather, it *is* the Blood of Christ. This is Transubstantiation as famously sung by Matt Maher: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4v-nEc2JEiY

:)
Love,
Pete Holter

Anonymous said...

TurretinFan wrote: “That's clarified further when in the very next paragraph he states: ‘Christ on a certain occasion discoursing with the Jews said, Except ye eat My flesh and drink My blood, ye have no life in you [John vi. 53.]. They not having heard His saying in a spiritual sense were offended, and went back, supposing that He was inviting them to eat flesh.’”

We would hold that Cyril is here rejecting the mentality of the disciples, their notion that Christ was inviting them to come up to Him right then and there and start eating His flesh like a cannibal. But Christ was referring to His flesh as He would give it sacramentally in the Eucharist. As Augustine said, “They indeed understood the flesh, just as when cut to pieces in a carcass, or sold in the shambles” and that Jesus “was determined upon this, namely, to distribute the flesh with which the Word was clothed, piecemeal, as it were” (Tractate 27 on John).

Turretinfan said...

"Spiritual sense" seems pretty clear. It is Christ's body in a spiritual sense, according to Pseudo-Cyril.

-TurretinFan

Anonymous said...

TurretinFan wrote: “ ‘Spiritual sense’ seems pretty clear. It is Christ’s body in a spiritual sense, according to Pseudo-Cyril.”

Hail brother!

Here are my thoughts on this.

Roman Catholics pray at Mass that the wine may “become our spiritual drink.” And Christ’s body is itself a “spiritual body” (1 Cor. 15:44). John Paul II calls the Eucharist our “spiritual food” in Ecclesia de Eucharistia, as does Paul VI in Mysterium Fidei, as does the Council of Trent.

Cyril uses “spiritual sense” in contrast with the carnal sense held by the offended disciples. It has to do with being spiritually minded. I refer you back to my previous post and the quotes from Augustine. The disciples understood “eat My flesh” as meaning that Jesus was inviting them to become cannibals, and this is why Cyril tells us that they “were offended.” They certainly weren’t offended because they understood from His words the doctrine of Transubstantiation! :)

But if Cyril held to a mere spiritual presence of Christ, then how could he say that the bread only seems to be bread but is not bread? He does not say that it is “not mere bread”; he says that it is “not bread.” According to Cyril, something is taken away from the constitution of the bread in order for something else to take its place. Since the bread has no spiritual reality and would not need to have anything lost to it in order to gain a spiritual dimension, we say that like reality is replaced with like reality, and that it is the “is”-ness of the bread that is being traded out for the “is”-ness of Christ’s Body.

Only transubstantiation makes sense of everything that Cyril says.

With the love of Christ,
Pete Holter

Turretinfan said...

"Only transubstantiation makes sense of everything that Cyril says."

That's plainly not true, since (to take just two examples) Pseudo-Cyril does not say that the bread becomes the blood of Christ, or that the cup becomes the body of Christ.

So, even if Pseudo-Cyril meant that the event was more than merely spiritual (though he's pretty explicit that it is spiritual, not carnal), it could still be explained by something less than transubstantiation.

Moreover the same paragraph you cite that says "seeming bread" and "not bread" explains the matter spiritually:

Having learnt these things, and been fully assured that the seeming bread is not bread, though sensible to taste, but the Body of Christ; and that the seeming wine is not wine, though the taste will have it so, but the Blood of Christ; and that of this David sung of old, saying, And bread strengtheneth man’s heart, to make his face to shine with oil [Ps. civ. 15.], “strengthen thou thine heart,” by partaking thereof as spiritual, and “make the face of thy soul to shine.” And so having it unveiled with a pure conscience, mayest thou reflect as a mirror the glory of the Lord [2 Cor. iii. 18.], and proceed from glory to glory, in Christ Jesus our Lord:—To whom be honour, and might, and glory, for ever and ever. Amen.

If you do not impose transubstantiation on Pseudo-Cyril, you will not find it in his writings.

-TurretinFan

Anonymous said...

Pete wrote: “Only transubstantiation makes sense of everything that Cyril says.”

TurretinFan wrote: “That's plainly not true, since (to take just two examples) Pseudo-Cyril does not say that the bread becomes the blood of Christ, or that the cup becomes the body of Christ.

“So, even if Pseudo-Cyril meant that the event was more than merely spiritual (though he's pretty explicit that it is spiritual, not carnal), it could still be explained by something less than transubstantiation.”

I respond: Greetings in the LORD!

Transubstantiation is the change of the substance of the bread into the substance of Christ’s Body and of the substance of the wine into the substance of Christ’s Blood. The bread does not become the Blood and the wine does not become the Body.

But that Cyril also believed in the real presence of the whole Christ is indicated where he says that “in the New Testament there is Bread of heaven, and a Cup of salvation, sanctifying soul and body; for as the Bread corresponds to our body, so is the Word appropriate to our soul,” i.e., we receive Jesus the Word when we receive His Body. We receive “a King” when we receive the King’s Body (Lecture 23).

That the Blood is present with the Body, and the Body with the Blood, can be gathered from Cyril’s teaching in Lecture 23 where he says that the “sacrifice of propitiation” offered at Mass is a “bloodless service,” i.e., the Sacrifice of the Mass does not involve the death of Christ even though we do “offer up Christ sacrificed.” Since death is the time when the body, blood, and soul are all separated from each other, and Christ’s death which was “once for all” is excluded by the bloodless nature of the sacrifice of the Mass, we understand from Cyril’s words that we receive the living Christ Himself, whole and entire, in either the bread or the wine: body, blood, soul, and divinity.

Anonymous said...

TurretinFan wrote: “Moreover the same paragraph you cite that says "seeming bread" and "not bread" explains the matter spiritually.”

In Lecture 23 Cyril refers to the Eucharistic offering as our “spiritual sacrifice,” but this does not denote a nonphysical spiritual reality; neither do we maintain that Christ’s “spiritual body” is nonphysical.

When Cyril says to partake “thereof as spiritual,” and refers to the bread as the “spiritual bread” and to the wine as the “spiritual wine,” he is comparing “spiritual bread” etc., with what is plain bread, etc. And he tells us exactly what he means by “spiritual bread.” He tells us of “spiritual bread” that “the seeming bread is not bread but the Body of Christ.” Just as the “spiritual man” has a physical presence, so also spiritual Bread, i.e., “the Body of Christ,” has a physical presence. In Lecture 23 he also refers to the “spiritual bread” as “substantial.” And he says to “Trust not the judgment to thy bodily palate; no, but to faith unfaltering; for they who taste are bidden to taste, not bread and wine, but the anti-typical Body and Blood of Christ,” which “is distributed into thy whole system for the benefit of body and soul.” The antitype is the *real* thing, not the spiritual nonphysical thing.

The fathers at Trent taught that we receive Christ in the Eucharist both “sacramentally and spiritually,” and by sacramentally they meant “really” or “substantially.” The Catholic Church accepts everything that Cyril teaches about the Eucharist. The Reformed and the Lutherans, on the other hand, do not admit and even reject Cyril’s teaching that the bread is not bread. Only someone who believes in Transubstantiation will say that the bread is not bread. :)

May God bless you!
Pete Holter

Turretinfan said...

PH:

You wrote: "Transubstantiation is the change of the substance of the bread into the substance of Christ’s Body and of the substance of the wine into the substance of Christ’s Blood. The bread does not become the Blood and the wine does not become the Body."

You're mistaken about what your church teaches. See my quotations from Trent in the post itself.

You continued: "But that Cyril also believed in the real presence of the whole Christ is indicated where he says that “in the New Testament there is Bread of heaven, and a Cup of salvation, sanctifying soul and body; for as the Bread corresponds to our body, so is the Word appropriate to our soul,” i.e., we receive Jesus the Word when we receive His Body. We receive “a King” when we receive the King’s Body (Lecture 23)."

The issue isn't whether the presence of God is real - the issue is whether Pseudo-Cyril held to transubstantiation. The most the text suggests is a spiritual presence.

You wrote: "That the Blood is present with the Body, and the Body with the Blood, can be gathered from Cyril’s teaching in Lecture 23 where he says that the “sacrifice of propitiation” offered at Mass is a “bloodless service,” i.e., the Sacrifice of the Mass does not involve the death of Christ even though we do “offer up Christ sacrificed.” Since death is the time when the body, blood, and soul are all separated from each other, and Christ’s death which was “once for all” is excluded by the bloodless nature of the sacrifice of the Mass, we understand from Cyril’s words that we receive the living Christ Himself, whole and entire, in either the bread or the wine: body, blood, soul, and divinity."

Assuming the same Pseudo-Cyril wrote the 23rd lecture, this would provide further evidence of the non-transubstantial view. After all, if the cup is really blood, then the mysteries would not really be bloodless. However, if they cup is really wine, then the mysteries are bloodless.

Now, I know that Roman theology continues to use the expression "bloodless" in reference to the Mass, although this makes no sense in view of the dogma of transubstantiation. Nevertheless, there is no reason to think that Pseudo-Cyril had the same inconsistencies as Rome does.

Moreover, the sacrifice of Christ involves the death of Christ. If the Mass really makes the sacrifice present, there is death. If it does not, ok - but that's simply yet another inconsistency in Roman theology.

[cont'd in part 2]

Turretinfan said...

[cont'd from part 1]


You continued: "In Lecture 23 Cyril refers to the Eucharistic offering as our “spiritual sacrifice,” but this does not denote a nonphysical spiritual reality; neither do we maintain that Christ’s “spiritual body” is nonphysical."

You shouldn't attribute your inconsistencies to Pseudo-Cyril. Better to just take him at his word when he calls it a spiritual sacrifice, and not change his position to that of transubstantiation.


You wrote: "When Cyril says to partake “thereof as spiritual,” and refers to the bread as the “spiritual bread” and to the wine as the “spiritual wine,” he is comparing “spiritual bread” etc., with what is plain bread, etc. And he tells us exactly what he means by “spiritual bread.” He tells us of “spiritual bread” that “the seeming bread is not bread but the Body of Christ.” Just as the “spiritual man” has a physical presence, so also spiritual Bread, i.e., “the Body of Christ,” has a physical presence."

That seems pretty strained. It seems that, in context, he's saying that he's speaking spiritually, not carnally. He's drawing a distinction between physical food and spiritual food, not saying that spiritual food has a physical presence.

You continued: "In Lecture 23 he also refers to the “spiritual bread” as “substantial.” And he says to “Trust not the judgment to thy bodily palate; no, but to faith unfaltering; for they who taste are bidden to taste, not bread and wine, but the anti-typical Body and Blood of Christ,” which “is distributed into thy whole system for the benefit of body and soul.” The antitype is the *real* thing, not the spiritual nonphysical thing."

It seems strange to deny that the spiritual thing is not "real." But yes - Pseudo-Cyril is very specific that it is something spiritual.

You wrote: "The fathers at Trent taught that we receive Christ in the Eucharist both “sacramentally and spiritually,” and by sacramentally they meant “really” or “substantially.” The Catholic Church accepts everything that Cyril teaches about the Eucharist. The Reformed and the Lutherans, on the other hand, do not admit and even reject Cyril’s teaching that the bread is not bread. Only someone who believes in Transubstantiation will say that the bread is not bread. :)"

I've already addressed that last point. It would be pretty hard for Pseudo-Cyril to say anything that would cause you to say that he rejects the Roman view. If he calls the bread "bread" after the consecration, that won't do it for you - if he calls it "spiritual" - that won't do it for you. I suspect that if he said it is a figure or symbol, that wouldn't do it for you either, because Rome claims it is all that and more.

But the problem for your position is that the and more is missing from Pseudo-Cyril.

-TurretinFan

Anonymous said...

TurretinFan: “You're mistaken about what your church teaches. See my quotations from Trent in the post itself.”

Pete: ‘Brother!

‘Trent defines Transubstantiation for us. Using the bread as an example, the presence of the blood and human soul is due to “natural connection” and “concomitancy,” and the presence of His Divinity is on account of the Hypostatic Union. Transubstantiation is only the change of substance from bread to Body and from wine to Blood.’

TurretinFan: “Assuming the same Pseudo-Cyril wrote the 23rd lecture, this would provide further evidence of the non-transubstantial view. After all, if the cup is really blood, then the mysteries would not really be bloodless. However, if they cup is really wine, then the mysteries are bloodless. […] You shouldn't attribute your inconsistencies to Pseudo-Cyril. Better to just take him at his word when he calls it a spiritual sacrifice.”

Pete: ‘I reaffirm what you’ve already pointed out, that Trent also teaches that the sacrifice of the Mass is “unbloody.” Pope Paul VI quotes this precise section from Cyril in Mysterium Fidei. John Paul II also identifies the sacrifice of the Mass as a “spiritual sacrifice” in Ecclesia de Eucharistia, and Trent affirms that it is both unbloody and propitiatory, all of which Cyril affirms. :) The Reformed tradition, however, explicitly rejects both its sacrificial nature and that it is propitiatory.’

TurretinFan: “I suspect that if he said it is a figure or symbol, that wouldn't do it for you either, because Rome claims it is all that and more.

“But the problem for your position is that the and more is missing from Pseudo-Cyril.”

Pete: ‘I hold that the “and more” is missing only from your interpretation of Cyril, not from Cyril himself. I’ve exhibited several affirmations of Cyril that are explicitly rejected by the Reformed tradition, and I’ve also demonstrated, not to your satisfaction of course, that all of what the Roman Catholic Church teaches is either stated explicitly by Cyril or implied by him.’

I hope you have a blessed night!

In Christ,
Pete Holter

Anonymous said...

TurretinFan: “You're mistaken about what your church teaches. See my quotations from Trent in the post itself.”

Pete: ‘Brother!

‘Trent defines Transubstantiation for us. Using the bread as an example, the presence of the blood and human soul is due to “natural connection” and “concomitancy,” and the presence of His Divinity is on account of the Hypostatic Union. Transubstantiation is only the change of substance from bread to Body and from wine to Blood.’

TurretinFan: “Assuming the same Pseudo-Cyril wrote the 23rd lecture, this would provide further evidence of the non-transubstantial view. After all, if the cup is really blood, then the mysteries would not really be bloodless. However, if they cup is really wine, then the mysteries are bloodless. […] You shouldn't attribute your inconsistencies to Pseudo-Cyril. Better to just take him at his word when he calls it a spiritual sacrifice.”

Pete: ‘I reaffirm what you’ve already pointed out, that Trent also teaches that the sacrifice of the Mass is “unbloody.” Pope Paul VI quotes this precise section from Cyril in Mysterium Fidei. John Paul II also identifies the sacrifice of the Mass as a “spiritual sacrifice” in Ecclesia de Eucharistia, and Trent affirms that it is both unbloody and propitiatory, all of which Cyril affirms. :) The Reformed tradition, however, explicitly rejects both its sacrificial nature and that it is propitiatory.’

Anonymous said...

TurretinFan: “I suspect that if he said it is a figure or symbol, that wouldn't do it for you either, because Rome claims it is all that and more.

“But the problem for your position is that the and more is missing from Pseudo-Cyril.”

Pete: ‘I hold that the “and more” is missing only from your interpretation of Cyril, not from Cyril himself. I’ve exhibited several affirmations of Cyril that are explicitly rejected by the Reformed tradition, and I’ve also demonstrated, not to your satisfaction of course, that all of what the Roman Catholic Church teaches is either stated explicitly by Cyril or implied by him.’

I hope you have a blessed night!

In Christ,
Pete Holter

Anonymous said...

Truth Unites and Divides wrote, “When the disciples took the piece of bread from Jesus did they think they were literally and physically eating a part of Jesus’s body when He said, ‘Take, eat; this is my body’?”

John Chrysostom wrote, “And He Himself drank of it. For lest on hearing this, they should say, What then? do we drink blood, and eat flesh? And then be perplexed (for when He began to discourse concerning these things, even at the very sayings many were offended), therefore lest they should be troubled then likewise, He first did this Himself, leading them to the calm participation of the mysteries. Therefore He Himself drank His own blood” (Homily 82 on Matthew: http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/2001082.htm).

In Christ,
Pete the Romish Papist Holter

:)

Fredericka said...

Pete Holter wrote, "...he reiterates that the bread is only “seeming bread” but not bread: rather, it *is* the Body of Christ; and the wine is only “seeming wine” but not wine: rather, it *is* the Blood of Christ."

So are you saying that "the Blood of Christ," post-consecration, seems to be wine, i.e., presents the 'accidents' associated with wine? If that is what you're saying, it makes a lot more sense than transubstantiation.

Anonymous said...

Pete Holter wrote, "...he reiterates that the bread is only “seeming bread” but not bread: rather, it *is* the Body of Christ; and the wine is only “seeming wine” but not wine: rather, it *is* the Blood of Christ."

Fredericka wrote, “So are you saying that "the Blood of Christ," post-consecration, seems to be wine, i.e., presents the 'accidents' associated with wine? If that is what you're saying, it makes a lot more sense than transubstantiation.”

Hi Fredericka!

I’m not sure if I understood your question, sorry. Cyril and the Catholic Church teach that the wine is only apparent wine, but is not wine. Rather, the wine has become the Blood of Christ.

I hope you have a blessed day!
Pete Holter

Fredericka said...

Hi Peter. My question is, what is it that is seeming wine? Is it blood, the blood of Christ, that seems to be wine, i.e., displays the 'accidents' of wine? Do you really want to say that?

Anonymous said...

Fredericka wrote, “Hi Peter. My question is, what is it that is seeming wine? Is it blood, the blood of Christ, that seems to be wine, i.e., displays the 'accidents' of wine? Do you really want to say that?”

Oh, thank you for explaining, Fredericka. The liquid that retains all of the properties of wine and which presents itself to our physical senses is what is seeming wine. But by faith we believe that the “is” or the “reality” of the wine has been replaced by the reality of the Blood of Christ.

With the love of Christ,
Pete

Fredericka said...

Pete wrote, "The liquid that retains all of the properties of wine and which presents itself to our physical senses is what is seeming wine."

Hi Pete. "The liquid that retains all of the properties of wine and which presents itself to our physical senses..."? What is a "liquid" but a 'substance'? So there is some substance in the world, a "liquid," that presents the 'accidents' of the wine post-consecration, that is to say it looks like wine and tastes like wine?

Anonymous said...

Hi Fredericka!

We’re using the word “substance” in different ways.

When we talk about substances in this context, we are talking about the essence of the thing. It is the reality of the thing that makes something what it is and that gives rise to perceivable attributes. The liquidness of wine is a property of wine, but not its substance.

As an example, we say that we have eyes, brains, a particular DNA structure, etc. *because* we are human. A human isn’t human because she has these attributes; rather, she has these attributes because she is human. It’s the “humanness” that would be the substance in this example. Our ability to perceive and identify the attributes of a human helps us to recognize that the object we’re considering is indeed human, even though we cannot directly observe her humanness.

Differentiating between substances and attributes in this way is a way for us to understand how it can be true that “This *is* My Body” even though we do not perceive that it is true with our bodily senses.

Your brother in Christ,
Pete Holter

Fredericka said...

Hi Pete, thank you for your answer. I would guess that if you try to define what 'wine' is, at some point you will have to bring in the category of 'liquid' because there is nothing that is solid which is also wine.

The reason I'm asking about your "liquid" which you say bears the 'accidents' of wine, post-consecration, is because Thomas says there is no such thing. He says there is no "subject" which bears those 'accidents:' "...I answer that, The species of the bread and wine, which are perceived by our senses to remain in this sacrament after consecration, are not subjected in the substance of the bread and wine, for that does not remain. . .Furthermore it is manifest that these accidents are not subjected in the substance of Christ's body and blood, because the substance of the human body cannot in any way be affected by such accidents; nor is it possible for Christ's glorious and impassible body to be altered so as to receive these qualities. [..] Therefore it follows that the accidents continue in this sacrament without a subject." (Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologica, Third Part, Q. 77, A(1)).

In all candor, I like your answer on this point a lot better than I like his. You say that there is a subject which carries the 'accidents' of wine, and that said subject is a "liquid," correct? Would it be fair to call a "liquid" a "subject," at very least? This "liquid," you have said, retains the 'accidents' of wine; does it 'retain' them because it had them before? Is it in fact wine, or is it blood, or is it neither blood nor wine but some third thing?

Anonymous said...

Fredericka wrote, “In all candor, I like your answer on this point a lot better than I like his. You say that there is a subject which carries the 'accidents' of wine, and that said subject is a "liquid," correct? Would it be fair to call a "liquid" a "subject," at very least? This "liquid," you have said, retains the 'accidents' of wine; does it 'retain' them because it had them before? Is it in fact wine, or is it blood, or is it neither blood nor wine but some third thing?”

Actually, this teaching from St. Thomas was adopted by the Catechism of the Council of Trent: “the accidents which present themselves to the eyes or other senses exist in a wonderful and ineffable manner without a subject. All the accidents of bread and wine we can see, but they inhere in no substance, and exist independently of any; for the substance of the bread and wine is so changed into the body and blood of our Lord that they altogether cease to be the substance of bread and wine.”

I would still classify “liquid” as an accident in the sense of being descriptive of the “category” that wine falls into, as you hinted at in your last comment. Similarly, you might classify me as a primate, but I have a human substance.

To go back to your original question, I guess it would be better to just say that the apparent wine is wine if referring to the accidents, and the apparent wine is Jesus if we are talking about the substance.

Thank you for asking and may God bless you and your loved ones!

In Christ,
Pete

Fredericka said...

Hi Pete, thanks for your answer.

"I would still classify “liquid” as an accident in the sense of being descriptive of the “category” that wine falls into, as you hinted at in your last comment."

The 'category' that something falls into isn't categorized as an 'accident.' Aristotle was way into categorizing things you know. 'Accidents' are what can be different, yet the thing still be the same. You cannot still remain the same thing if you hop out of your category and into another one. If somebody was working up a category-system for the food industry, starting with 'consumables' then at the first break diverging into 'food-stuffs' and 'beverages,' I've a suspicion that 'liquid' or 'liquid at room temperature' would figure somewhere as a distinguishing mark of the genus 'beverage.' I thought maybe you had some substrate of 'liquid' changing from wine to blood, which would still be an improvement over transubstantiation.

If Cyril or Pseudo-Cyril or whoever he is thought that blood was "seeming wine," and flesh "seeming bread," then his views diverge from Thomas and from Trent, because they say, not that 'blood is seeming wine,' but '[no subject] is seeming wine.' How serious is this divergence? Should he count as a transubstantiationist if he thinks the 'accidents' of bread and wine do inhere in a subject?

Anonymous said...

Fredericka wrote, “I've a suspicion that 'liquid' or 'liquid at room temperature' would figure somewhere as a distinguishing mark of the genus 'beverage.' I thought maybe you had some substrate of 'liquid' changing from wine to blood, which would still be an improvement over transubstantiation.

“If Cyril or Pseudo-Cyril or whoever he is thought that blood was "seeming wine," and flesh "seeming bread," then his views diverge from Thomas and from Trent, because they say, not that 'blood is seeming wine,' but '[no subject] is seeming wine.' How serious is this divergence? Should he count as a transubstantiationist if he thinks the 'accidents' of bread and wine do inhere in a subject?”

I’m sorry I said “liquid.” I take it back so that you are not misled by my poor choice of words. :)

The Church has the is of the wine, the substance of the wine, the reality of the wine, etc. changing into the substance of the Blood of Jesus. The accidents of bread and wine cannot inhere in the Blood of Jesus because Jesus’ Blood is neither bread nor wine; and it is the bread and wine that are changed at the consecration, not Jesus. But we say with Cyril that what looks like wine and tastes like wine, etc. is not wine; it’s the Blood of Jesus.

In Christ,
Pete

Fredericka said...

Pete wrote, "But we say with Cyril that what looks like wine and tastes like wine, etc. is not wine; it’s the Blood of Jesus."

Hi Pete. But isn't that just exactly what you are not supposed to say? When you say that "it's the Blood of Jesus" that "looks like wine and tastes like wine," aren't you saying that the 'accidents' of bread and wine ('white, flaky,' 'red') belong to the flesh and "the Blood of Jesus?" Thomas and Trent say together, No they don't. Those 'accidents' have been marooned and are unclaimed property.

Anonymous said...

We say that “after the consecration of the bread and wine, our Lord Jesus Christ, true God and man, is truly, really, and substantially contained under the species of those sensible things… the species only of the bread and wine remaining.”

The concern of the Catechism of Trent seems to be to protect against the idea that Jesus is united with the bread. Even though the dimensional attributes of the wine are coextensive with the presence of the substance of Jesus’ Blood, there is no union of the two into one.

It’s OK to say that the Blood of Jesus tastes like wine if you are not saying that the taste of wine is a property of Jesus’ Blood, but a property of what used to be wine; and that the Blood of Jesus in this statement refers to the substance while the taste belongs to the perceivable accidents of what used to be wine. What Cyril and I have said would be wrong if taken in the way you have interpreted it.

I’m no philosopher. Maybe you can find a better way to express it. :)

Your brother in Christ,
Pete Holter

Turretinfan said...

P.H.:

You wrote: "It’s OK ... if you are not saying that the taste of wine is a property of Jesus’ Blood, but a property of what used to be wine"

Here's the problem. What used to be wine?

You either have to say "Jesus' Blood," you have to say "nothing," or you have to invent a third category between accidents and substance.

-TurretinFan

Fredericka said...

Hi Pete!

"The concern of the Catechism of Trent seems to be to protect against the idea that Jesus is united with the bread."

I think actually Thomas thought it was against nature for flesh to display the accidents of bread and for wine to display the accidents of blood. Thomas, following Aristotle, was big on 'nature.' Thomas thought it was more natural for [no subject] to display the accidents of wine.

"It’s OK to say that the Blood of Jesus tastes like wine if you are not saying that the taste of wine is a property of Jesus’ Blood, but a property of what used to be wine;..."

When people used to to talk about 'the recording artist formerly known as Prince,' it wasn't the reflex reaction of those who heard them to say, 'there is no recording artist.' When you talk about "what used to be wine," that would imply there is a "what" there, but there ain't. There is no wine, neither did the blood used to be wine.

When people who are explaining transubstantiation start by saying 'it's really very simple,' what comes next is almost never formally accurate. But then you say, that's OK, because sometimes when they say 'wine' they mean the substance, sometimes the accidents, etc. Will you allow me the same rubber-band elasticity of meaning? I say, 'the wine remains wine, and the bread remains bread.' The first 'wine' I mean substance, the second I mean accidents, heh-heh. I can say that, right?

Anonymous said...

I wouldn’t typically use a sentence like that myself, the one I presented. I was just using it as an illustration because of the way you were interpreting Cyril of Jerusalem’s words.

I’m sorry I don’t see the fine point you guys are trying to make.

There used to be wine. But the substance of the wine was changed into the substance of Jesus. Since only the substance was changed, but not the accidents, they’re still there and we see them. But we believe that it is Jesus’ Blood contained under the veil of the accidents of wine.

TurretinFan. Thank you for letting me post here.

With the love of Christ,
Pete

Anonymous said...

Here are some thoughts from John Chyrsostom:

“Let us then in everything believe God, and gainsay Him in nothing, though what is said seem to be contrary to our thoughts and senses, but let His word be of higher authority than both reasonings and sight. Thus let us do in the mysteries also, not looking at the things set before us, but keeping in mind His sayings.

“For His word cannot deceive, but our senses are easily beguiled. That has never failed, but this in most things goes wrong. Since then the word says, ‘This is My body’ (Matthew 26:26), let us both be persuaded and believe, and look at it with the eyes of the mind”

Great quote for the infallibility of the Scriptures, by the way! :)

Here John tells us to not let our eyes deceived because they present bread to us; but to believe with faith that what looks like bread really is Christ’s Body.

“How many now say, I would wish to see His form, the mark, His clothes, His shoes. Lo! you see Him, Thou touchest Him, you eat Him. And thou indeed desirest to see His clothes, but He gives Himself to you not to see only, but also to touch and eat and receive within you.

“...[B]eing entrusted with a spring not of water, but of blood and of spirit, if you see any having on them sin, which is more grievous than earth and mire, coming unto it, are you not displeased?” (Homily 82 on Matthew).

He says that “He gives Himself” to us, not just His Body or His Blood, but Himself. He distinguished blood from spirit by saying that we have been entrusted with a spring “of blood and of spirit,” which demonstrates that he sees the blood as actual blood and involving something more than a spiritual presence.

In Christ,
Pete

Anonymous said...

“Therefore also He says, ‘With desire I have desired to eat this passover’ (Luke 22:15), that is, to deliver you the new rites, and to give a passover, by which I am to make you spiritual.

“And He Himself drank of it. For lest on hearing this, they should say, What then? do we drink blood, and eat flesh? And then be perplexed (for when He began to discourse concerning these things, even at the very sayings many were offended), therefore lest they should be troubled then likewise, He first did this Himself, leading them to the calm participation of the mysteries. Therefore He Himself drank His own blood. (Homily 82 on Matthew).

I posted this earlier, but here it is again to keep all of his thoughts together.

“Let us also then touch the hem of His garment, or rather, if we be willing, we have Him entire. For indeed His body is set before us now, not His garment only, but even His body; not for us to touch it only, but also to eat, and be filled. Let us now then draw near with faith, every one that has an infirmity. For if they that touched the hem of His garment drew from Him so much virtue, how much more they that possess Him entire? Now to draw near with faith is not only to receive the offering, but also with a pure heart to touch it; to be so minded, as approaching Christ Himself… Of His own holy flesh He has granted us our fill; He has set before us Himself sacrificed” (Homily 50 on Matthew).

In the Eucharist we approach “Christ Himself” where “He has set before us Himself sacrificed.”

Anonymous said...

“Those men then at that time reaped no fruit from what was said, but we have enjoyed the benefit in the very realities. Wherefore it is necessary to understand the marvel of the Mysteries, what it is, why it was given, and what is the profit of the action. We become one Body, and ‘members of His flesh and of His bones.’ Let the initiated follow what I say. In order then that we may become this not by love only, but in very deed, let us be blended into that flesh. This is effected by the food which He hath freely given us, desiring to show the love which He hath for us. On this account He hath mixed up Himself with us; He hath kneaded up His body with ours, that we might be a certain One Thing, like a body joined to a head. For this belongs to them who love strongly; this, for instance, Job implied, speaking of his servants, by whom he was beloved so exceedingly, that they desired to cleave unto his flesh. For they said, to show the strong love which they felt, ‘Who would give us to be satisfied with his flesh?’ Wherefore this also Christ hath done, to lead us to a closer friendship, and to show His love for us; He hath given to those who desire Him not only to see Him, but even to touch, and eat Him, and fix their teeth in His flesh, and to embrace Him, and satisfy all their love” (Homily 46 on the Gospel of John)

In the Eucharist, we fix our teeth in His flesh, and He “giveth out Himself.” I keep pointing out “Himself” because to say that we receive “a man himself” suggests something more than to receive “of a man himself.” “Of Himself” would seem more appropriate if John only ever had only Christ’s Body or Blood in view. But he seems to be saying more than that. The reason we are blended into “a certain One Thing” with Him by partaking of His Flesh is that He is united with His Flesh and this is why when He sets His Flesh out before us we should understand that we are “approaching Christ Himself.”

Anonymous said...

To return to our discussion on Cyril of Jerusalem and what it means to understand the Eucharist in a “spiritual sense”… John Chrysostom explains to us that to understand the Eucharist in a “spiritual sense” does not equate to a spiritual presence. “Most certainly,” he tells us, His flesh is flesh and, we may conclude from his line of reasoning, is a carnal thing. Said again: John says that to understand the Eucharist in a spiritual sense is to believe that it is a carnal thing. Here are his words:

“It was carnal to question how He came down from heaven, to deem that He was the son of Joseph, to ask, ‘How can he give us His flesh to eat?’ All this was carnal, when they ought to have understood the matter in a mystical and spiritual sense.”

[…]

“Now as in this passage He said ‘spirit,’ instead of ‘spiritual,’ so when He speaketh of ‘flesh,’ He meant not ‘carnal things,’ but ‘carnally hearing,’ and alluding at the same time to them, because they ever desired carnal things when they ought to have desired spiritual. For if a man receives them carnally, he profits nothing. ‘What then, is not His flesh, flesh?’ Most certainly. ‘How then saith He, that the flesh profiteth nothing?’ He speaketh not of His own flesh, (God forbid!) but of those who received His words in a carnal manner. But what is ‘understanding carnally’? It is looking merely to what is before our eyes, without imagining anything beyond. This is understanding carnally. But we must not judge thus by sight, but must look into all mysteries with the eyes within. This is seeing spiritually. He that eateth not His flesh, and drinketh not His blood, hath no life in him. How then doth ‘the flesh profit nothing,’ if without it we cannot live? Seest thou that the words, ‘the flesh profiteth nothing,’ are spoken not of His own flesh, but of carnal hearing?” (Homily 47 on the Gospel of John)

With the love of Christ,
Pete Holter

Fredericka said...

Pete wrote, "I’m sorry I don’t see the fine point you guys are trying to make."

Hi Pete, perhaps your enthusiasm for transubstantiation would be more contagious if you would state it accurately? If you go back and look at your comments on the nuts and bolts of transubstantiation, you'll find remarks like,

"To go back to your original question, I guess it would be better to just say that the apparent wine is wine if referring to the accidents, and the apparent wine is Jesus if we are talking about the substance."

But according to the theory of transubstantiation, the "apparent wine," i.e. the surviving but orphaned 'accidents' of wine, are neither wine nor Jesus! They are however sort of in the same place. Which kind of makes you wonder how 'accidents' dissevered from their subject can be in any place at all. They say that a good salesman first sells himself on the merits of the product, then he can go out and sell the product to others. May I suggest first finding out what the doctrine of transubstantiation teaches, and only then going out and pitching it to others? It could be that in finding out, you will lose your enthusiasm for the product.

Congratulations, you are finding the range now:

"There used to be wine. But the substance of the wine was changed into the substance of Jesus."

I don't think you're supposed to say "changed" but I can't remember why. I think you're supposed to say 'converted.' Conversion, not change.

"Since only the substance was changed, but not the accidents, they’re still there and we see them."

This sounds very matter-of-fact, but when does it ever happen that we encounter 'accidents' without any 'substance' to support them? The vocabulary of 'substance' and 'accidents' was developed to make it possible to talk about change. The pre-Socratic philosopher Heraclitus said 'you can't step into the same river twice.' But from the time of Socrates people realized that this focus on change was draining meaning from language. So they posited a continuing subject of change: substance. 'Substance,' however defined, is the continuing thing, not the changing thing: the 'accidents' change. Yet here we have 'accidents' that outlive the 'substance' which supported them. They have survived the calamity of the dissolution of their parent substance, and are startled to realize they don't need any subject, they can just be themselves, all by themselves. They are like liberated slaves who leap for joy to realize they don't need any master. When did Aristotle ever say such a thing could ever happen?

Anonymous said...

Fredericka wrote, “Hi Pete, perhaps your enthusiasm for transubstantiation would be more contagious if you would state it accurately? If you go back and look at your comments on the nuts and bolts of transubstantiation, you'll find remarks like,

“ ‘To go back to your original question, I guess it would be better to just say that the apparent wine is wine if referring to the accidents, and the apparent wine is Jesus if we are talking about the substance.’

“But according to the theory of transubstantiation, the ‘apparent wine,’ i.e. the surviving but orphaned 'accidents' of wine, are neither wine nor Jesus! They are however sort of in the same place.”

Pete wrote: Greetings in the LORD, Fredericka!

The Matt Maher song wasn’t contagious enough?

If you reread my sentence I didn’t actually say that the apparent wine is wine or Jesus. The predicates were “wine if referring to the accidents” and “Jesus if we are talking about the substance.” But I think this is a moot point.

If I say in other places, as with Cyril, that the apparent wine *is* the Blood of Jesus, the *is* should be taken as referring to the substance because this is how Jesus Himself put it: “This *is* My Blood,” referring to the reality, but not to what we see.

And if I call the apparent wine, wine, then this should be taken as referring to the accidents. It’s necessary for Catholics to acknowledge that it is ok to talk in this way because Paul referred to the consecrated bread as bread and, following him, so does the Catholic Church. One of the proclamations of the Mystery of Faith said during Mass after consecration draws from Paul’s words: “When we eat this bread and drink this cup, we proclaim Your death, Lord Jesus, until You come in glory” (cf. 1 Cor. 11:26).

With love,
Pete

Anonymous said...

Fredericka wrote, “Which kind of makes you wonder how 'accidents' dissevered from their subject can be in any place at all. They say that a good salesman first sells himself on the merits of the product, then he can go out and sell the product to others. May I suggest first finding out what the doctrine of transubstantiation teaches, and only then going out and pitching it to others? It could be that in finding out, you will lose your enthusiasm for the product.

“ ‘Since only the substance was changed, but not the accidents, they’re still there and we see them.’

“This sounds very matter-of-fact, but when does it ever happen that we encounter 'accidents' without any 'substance' to support them? […] When did Aristotle ever say such a thing could ever happen?”

Pete wrote: If I have presented anything erroneous touching the Catholic Christian faith, I’m really sorry. I’ll admit, I’ve always been a terrible salesman!

The Church, at this point in the discussion, simply acknowledges that the existence of the accidents of bread and wine without a subject is “contrary to physical laws” (Catechism of Trent), and that this is the case on account of the miraculous nature of the Eucharist. Pope Leo XIII explained the miraculous nature of the Eucharist in this way:

“And this miracle, itself the very greatest of its kind, is accompanied by innumerable other miracles; for here all the laws of nature are suspended; the whole substance of the bread and wine are changed into the Body and the Blood; the species of bread and wine are sustained by the divine power without the support of any underlying substance; the Body of Christ is present in many places at the same time, that is to say, wherever the Sacrament is consecrated” (Mirae Caritatis).

In Christ,
Pete

Anonymous said...

Fredericka wrote: “Congratulations, you are finding the range now:

“ ‘There used to be wine. But the substance of the wine was changed into the substance of Jesus.’

“I don't think you're supposed to say ‘changed’ but I can't remember why. I think you're supposed to say 'converted.' Conversion, not change.”

I better be careful about my choice of words around you! I don’t think it really matters, change or conversion. Maybe this is technical parlance for you, but these words are just synonyms in the layman’s dictionary. :) The English translation of the Decree of Trent as found in John Paul II’s Ecclesia de Eucharistia, for example, uses the word “change.” The Catechism of the Catholic Church uses “change” as well. If God ever grants you the grace of embracing the Catholic faith (and may He do so!), I am thinking that you should be a canon lawyer.

I hope you have a blessed night!

With the grace and love towards man of our Lord Jesus Christ,
Pete Holter

Turretinfan said...

PH:

You wrote: The Church, at this point in the discussion, simply acknowledges that the existence of the accidents of bread and wine without a subject is “contrary to physical laws” (Catechism of Trent), and that this is the case on account of the miraculous nature of the Eucharist.

The problem is not simply that it is contrary to physical laws. Every miracle is contrary to physical laws. The problem is that is an incoherent concept.

Likewise, you wrote: "And if I call the apparent wine, wine, then this should be taken as referring to the accidents. It’s necessary for Catholics to acknowledge that it is ok to talk in this way because Paul referred to the consecrated bread as bread and, following him, so does the Catholic Church."

But, of course, there's no reason to think that Paul believed in transubstantiation. So, for him there is no problem of incoherence, and the most logical, honest, and straightforward way of reading what he wrote is to understand him as saying that it is still bread.

-TurretinFan

Fredericka said...

Hi Pete,

"The Church, at this point in the discussion, simply acknowledges that the existence of the accidents of bread and wine without a subject is “contrary to physical laws” (Catechism of Trent), and that this is the case on account of the miraculous nature of the Eucharist."

I agree that they explain how the accidents can survive the demise of their proper substance by saying 'It's a miracle!' But which of the Lord's miracle signs was anything like this? Jesus' wonders were "signs:" "Now when he was in Jerusalem at the passover, in the feast day, many believed in his name, when they saw the miracles [semeia] which he did." (John 2:23). Semeion is a sign, mark, token. People saw with their own two eyes the lame walk, the blind see, and dead come to life. They got the message about the Kingdom because they knew that these things were prophesied, "Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf shall be unstopped. Then shall the lame man leap as an hart, and the tongue of the dumb sing: for in the wilderness shall waters break out, and streams in the desert." (Isaiah 35:5-6).

The Lord's miracles were about what people do see not what they don't. How else could they perform their function as "signs." A "sign" that is invisible does not signify. But the doctrine of transubstantiation gives us a daily miracle to explain why we don't see what is there. Doesn't that invert the pattern of a Biblical miracle?

Constantine said...

Anonymous wrote: But that Cyril also believed in the real presence of the whole Christ is indicated where he says...

But Real Presence does not equal transubstantiation. I found this piece from a very old work entitled, “The History of Popish Transubstantiation”, dating from the 16th century by John Cosin, D.D., Lord Bishop of Durham. Cosin examines all the ECF's on this issue and here is one take on Cyril of Jerusalem, whom Anonymous is fond of:


“Cyril, bishop of Jerusalem, of the same age with St. Athanasius, treating of the chrism wherewith they then anointed those that were baptised, speaks thus: “Take heed thou dost not think that this is a mere ointment only: for as the bread of the eucharist, after the invocation of the Holy Ghost, is no longer ordinary bread, but is the body of Christ, so this holy ointment is no longer a bare common ointment after it is consecrated, but is the gift or grace of Christ, which, by His divine nature, and the coming of the Holy Ghost, is made efficacious; so that the body is anointed with the ointment, but the soul is sanctified by the holy and vivifying Spirit.” Can any thing more clear be said? Either the ointment is transubstantiated by consecration into the spirit and grace of Christ, or the bread and wine are not transubstantiated by consecration into the body and blood of Christ. Therefore as the ointment retains still its substance, and yet is not called a mere or common ointment, but the charism, or grace of Christ; so the bread and wine remaining so, as to their substance, yet are not said to be only bread and wine common and ordinary, but also the body and blood of Christ. “Under the type of bread” saith he, “the body is given thee, and the blood under the type of the wine. This doth captiously and unfaithfully interpret the appearances of bread and wine: for those mere appearances, or accidents subsisting without a subject, never so much as entered into the mind of any of the ancients.”

So the quandary of using Cyril is that one must affirm the transubstantiation of the anointing oil of baptism with a transubstantiated eucharist or otherwise acknowledge a non-transubstantiated Real Presence in both. Interesting.

Peace.

Anonymous said...

TurretinFan wrote, “The problem is not simply that it is contrary to physical laws. Every miracle is contrary to physical laws. The problem is that is an incoherent concept.”

Good evening!

To my mind, our faith touching the Eucharist is very similar to our faith touching the Trinity and the Incarnation. How can there be Three Persons in One God? How can the Three Persons be consubstantial and yet it also be true that only the Second Person of the Trinity was Incarnated? How can there be Two Natures in One Person? If Jesus says or does something unsuitable to divinity, then we refer it to His Human Nature. If Jesus says or does something unsuitable to humanity, then we refer it to His Divine Nature.

Noting these types of parallels was helpful for me.

With the love of Christ,
Pete Holter

Anonymous said...

Fredericka wrote, “But which of the Lord's miracle signs was anything like this? Jesus' wonders were "signs:" "Now when he was in Jerusalem at the passover, in the feast day, many believed in his name, when they saw the miracles [semeia] which he did." (John 2:23). Semeion is a sign, mark, token. People saw with their own two eyes the lame walk, the blind see, and dead come to life. They got the message about the Kingdom because they knew that these things were prophesied, ‘Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf shall be unstopped. Then shall the lame man leap as an hart, and the tongue of the dumb sing: for in the wilderness shall waters break out, and streams in the desert.’ (Isaiah 35:5-6).

“The Lord's miracles were about what people do see not what they don't. How else could they perform their function as "signs." A "sign" that is invisible does not signify. But the doctrine of transubstantiation gives us a daily miracle to explain why we don't see what is there. Doesn't that invert the pattern of a Biblical miracle?”

Good evening! Here is another way to think about it. The visible miracles of Jesus were aimed at bringing people to faith in the unseen miracle of the Incarnation (cf. John 10:25, 10:37-38, 14:10-11). Similarly, the prophetic offering of Melchizedek; and the visible miracles of the Manna, the wine at Cana, the multiplication of the loaves, the opening of the eyes and the vanishing at Emmaus, and the illnesses and the deaths at Corinth; and the words of Jesus all serve to provoke us to faith in the unseen miracle of the Eucharist.

In Christ the Lord,
Pete

Anonymous said...

Constantine wrote, “So the quandary of using Cyril is that one must affirm the transubstantiation of the anointing oil of baptism with a transubstantiated eucharist or otherwise acknowledge a non-transubstantiated Real Presence in both. Interesting.”

The peace of Christ be with you! I do like Cyril! My wife took Cyril of Jerusalem as her Saint when she was confirmed into the Catholic Church this past year. :)

There are parallels between the two consecrations. A change happens in both cases such that what was ordinary before is now extraordinary. The crucial difference to be noted in the comparison is the underlying reality. In the case of the Chrism, the underlying reality is only Spiritual. But in the case of the Eucharist, It is Corporeal. So when the physical ointment receives the Spiritual realities, the coming together of the two will result in a different interaction than what we will have when two objects, both having a corporeal reality, come together.

To help bring out this distinction, we can note that in the case of the Chrism, Cyril only goes so far as to say that it is not merely or simply ointment. But he never goes all the way to say that it is altogether not ointment. It is ointment, and more than ointment! But in the case of the Eucharist (Lecture 22), he goes beyond saying that it is not merely bread or wine, to saying, without qualification and “fully assured,” that it is simply not those things.

To all who have interacted with me, thank you! And thanks again to TurretinFan for letting me post here. If I don’t make it back to respond to any further points that might be made, I guess you all win (cf. Proverbs 18:17)! :) May God nevertheless grant to you all the grace of the Catholic faith!

Herb, it was nice meeting you, my Catholic brother!

With the love of Christ,
Pete Holter

Turretinfan said...

As for the Cyril quotation via Cosin, Cyril's point is that a physical sign conveys a spiritual blessing. He thinks that's true in the case of the anointing and the Eucharist.

As for the point about the Trinity, we believe that Jesus is God, the Father is God, the Spirit is God, that Jesus is not the Father, the Father is not the Spirit, the Spirit is not Jesus, and that there is only one God, because the Scriptures teach these things.

The doctrine of the Trinity may be hard for some people to understand, but (a) it's not incoherent and (b) Scripture teaches it.

-TurretinFan

Blackie said...

You wish fella.
http://blackieschurchmilitant-apocalypsis.blogspot.com/2007/06/eucharist-is-scriptural_23.html

Blackie said...

You wish fella. You either don't know or won't acknowledge scripture and history's support of the Eucharist.

http://blackieschurchmilitant-apocalypsis.blogspot.com/2007/06/eucharist-is-scriptural_23.html

Blackie said...

You're dead wrong. Either you do not know (unlikely) or willfully do not wish to accept the facts of both scripture and history.

The Eucharist IS Scriptural
I offer as evidence the following passages of Scripture:

John 6:31-70

1st Corinthians 10:16-17

1st Corinthians 11:23-30

If there is no real presence in the Eucharist, then how can St.Paul warn us not to take it unworthily lest we become guilty of the body and blood of the Lord? That "spiritualization" makes complete nonsense not only of the 6th chapter of John, but of 1st Corinthians 10:16-17 "16 The chalice of benediction, which we bless, is it not the communion of the blood of Christ? And the bread, which we break, is it not the partaking of the body of the Lord? 17 For we, being many, are one bread, one body, all that partake of one bread."

Now, how can one become guilty of the body and blood of the Lord IF THAT BODY AND BLOOD OF THE LORD IS NOT REALLY THERE? Now if I make a symbol of a person and then I decide to do bad things to that symbol. I may indeed be guilty of abusing that symbol of the person, but am I guilty of his body and blood? Silly question...of course not! Why? BECAUSE THAT PERSON IS NOT REALLY PRESENT IN THAT SYMBOL is he?

In addition to these passages of the New Testament I would also like to add this very clear quote from St. Ignatius of Antioch, who was a close friend and disciple of St. John the evangelist , the bishop of Antioch and a martyr for the faith.

CHAP. VII.--LET US STAND ALOOF FROM SUCH HERETICS.

They abstain from the Eucharist and from prayer,(7) because they confess not the Eucharist to be the flesh of our Saviour Jesus Christ, which suffered for our sins, and which the Father, of His goodness, raised up again. Those, therefore, who speak against this gift of God, incur death(11) in the midst of their disputes. But it were better for them to treat it with respect,(13) that they also might rise again. It is fitting, therefore, that ye should keep aloof from such persons, and not to speak of(15) them either in private or in public, but to give heed to the prophets, and above all, to the Gospel, in which the passion[of Christ] has been revealed to us, and the resurrection has been fully proved.(16) But avoid all divisions, as the beginning of evils.

Blackie

Turretinfan said...

Blackie,

Thanks for stopping by, but I don't think you read the post.

First suggestion, try to understand the difference between Christ being really present and Christ being transubstantiated. The former claim is something less than the latter claim. The latter involves Christ being really present, but it involves a lot more than that.

I go into that in my post. It's a good post, you should read it!

Turretinfan said...

PH:

I'm not sure why you jump from Cyril to Chrysostom, but it seems Chrysostom share Cyril's spiritual understanding.

-TurretinFan

Anonymous said...

Hey TurretinFan!

I was just taking it one Father at a time. But, I ran out of time before I could make a full presentation of Chrysostom’s view. Maybe we can come back to this at another time???

By the way, the dogma of faith that I’ve spent the most time researching is the inerrancy and inspiration of the Holy Bible. If you’d like a collection of quotes from the Fathers and Doctors on this dogma, send me an email at pholter@amrl.net and I’ll send them your way. Some of the quotations require explanation so if you get the list and wonder why I included this or that quote, you can either delete it or check with me for my reasoning. The list is fairly extensive and I add to the list as I continue reading through the Fathers, so you might want to subscribe to receiving annual updates. :)

I also have highlighted Word documents of Augustine’s Against Julian and Of Faith and Works, if you’d like a copy of either of them.

May Augustine’s writings and prayers help bring you home to the Catholic Church of Jesus Christ!

In Christ the LORD,
Pete