I grew up Lutheran. I was admitted to Catholic Communion because I said publicly that I believed what the Catholic Church teaches.

raphael_disputa_large

I grew up Lutheran. It is of constant consternation and amazement to me that I have had to fight with Catholics over what the Catholic Church teaches about the Eucharist. I have met Lutherans who believe more about the Eucharist than a few of my seminary profs. I am not exaggerating.

As things rev up toward 2017 and the Lutherfest, much about Catholic Lutheran dialogue will be in the offing. You will read lots of blah blah about…

….intercommunion.

I say YES! I want intercommunion, too!

I want intercommunion between Catholics and former Lutheran converts to Catholicism.

Also, before everyone out there gets their underthings in a twist, I said “blah blah”.  Mark my words.  A lot of the blah blah about how wonderful we all are together in this warm envelope of fraternal dialogue and sky-filled fellowship of sharing with open-hearts and arms for the sake of the unity of Christians in one hope of charity which propels us forward, ever forward, to the heights despite our historic differences, with eyes and hearts fixed first on not on what separates but what brings together in the unity of united unitors united but not-yet-fully-unified…. yes… I can write ecumenical documents for hours …  A lot of the blah blah is really blah blah.  Everyone knows that it is blah blah.  We all smile at the blah. And we hope for more, rich, deeper sharing from the now heaped up blah in the future, for the sake of…  okay, I’m doing it again…

When I became a Catholic, I knelt in front of the Blessed Sacrament exposed and in Latin declared (grad school classical languages major that I was) aloud with many witnesses in a public rite:

I accept and hold in each and every part all that has been defined and declared by the Sacred Council of Trent concerning original sin and justification. I profess that in the Mass there is offered to God a true, real, and propitiatory sacrifice for the living and the dead; that in the holy sacrament of the Eucharist the body and blood together with the soul and divinity of our Lord Jesus Christ is really, truly, and substantially present, and that there takes place in the Mass what the Church calls transubstantiation, which is the change of all the substance of bread into the body of Christ and of all substance of wine into His blood. I confess also that in receiving under either of these species one receives Jesus Christ whole and entire.

I professed that and became, formally, a Catholic because I had come to believe it, through an intellectual and affective conversion.  Only then was I admitted to Holy Communion.

Lutherans don’t believe what Catholics believe about the Eucharist.  

I had to – formally – adhere to Catholic dogma.  I had to – formally – leave heresy, though I had left it a long time before.  I was admitted to Catholic Communion, and to the Catholic Communion, because I said publicly that I believed what the Church teaches.

Might I add an anecdote?

Once upon a time, I was sent to attend as a Catholic representative an ecumenical Thanksgiving Breakfast.  Yes.. as you spit your beverage on the screen.  I… I… was sent. Upon my entry, a young Lutheran pastor planted himself in front of me and said, “Are you the priest at St. Raphael who won’t give Communion to non-Catholics?”  “I am”, quoth I.  “THANK YOU!”, said he.  He continued, “We don’t have intercommunion among Lutherans!”  “I know!”, I responded.  “I used to be one of you!”  We sat together and had a great breakfast.  It was founded on honesty.  We didn’t gloss over anything.  We didn’t pretend that there were differences.

I saw this at LifeSite:

ZAGREB, Croatia, October 28, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) — It is “irreformable” dogma of the Catholic Church that only those who believe that Jesus Christ is truly present in the consecrated bread and wine are able to receive Holy Communion, stated Cardinal Raymond Burke. The Vatican cardinal said that St. Paul makes it clear that unless the person receiving recognizes the body of Christ, he “eats condemnation to himself.”

“This is a sacrilege. This is among the gravest of sins,” he said.

The cardinal was responding to a question on intercommunion with other Christian denominations asked by LifeSiteNews’ John-Henry Westen during the October 23 launch of the Croatian version of the cardinal’s book on the Eucharist in Zagreb, Croatia.

“No one can approach to receive the Holy Eucharist unless he believes that the host that he is receiving — even though it looks like bread, tastes like bread, and smells like bread — is in reality the body and blood of Christ. Only that person who believes in this way can approach the Blessed Sacrament, can approach to receive Holy Communion,” he stated.

[…]

I was thrown out of my seminary by the prof who, in class, explicitly denied the Church’s teaching on transubstantiation. I fought him in class when he stated that “no real change takes place”.

Shall I tell you about it?  It was a matter of great personal suffering.

This heretic stated in class that when the “ordained minister [we are all ministers, you see, some ordained and some non-ordained], says the words of institution [not consecration] over bread and wine “no real change takes place.”   Wait for it.   “No real change takes place.  It becomes [and this is word for word] a symbol of the unity of the community gathered there in that moment”.

How many things are wrong with that?

I had been good.  I had kept my head down.  Then… I raised my hand.

I asked about transubstantiation.

“How”, I asked, “does that reflect the Church’s teaching on transubstantiation?”

“The Church no longer teaches transubstantiation.”

“When did that happen?”, I asked.

He said, “With Vatican II.”

“Okay,”, I admitted, “let’s say that Vatican II did that.  Can you tell me how that harmonizes with what the Church used to teach on transubstantiation?”

He said that transubstantiation wasn’t a valid term, because we don’t adhere anymore to Aristotelean categories of substance and accident, form and matter, and all that.

I then asked him why Paul VI in his encyclical on the Eucharist, after Vatican II, said that we had to refer to transubstantiation, even when we use new ways to describe the Eucharist.

He became furious.

Purple, he ranted at me about outdated Aristotelean categories, blah blah blah.

I responded… and this, dear readers, was my Waterloo,…

“I grew up Lutheran. Even Lutherans believe more than you do!”

Soon after, the rector had a heart attack and he, rector of vice (not kidding, but that’s another story), became the rector.

The next day he threw me out of the hell on earth that was our seminary, back in the day.

Yep. I’ve been fighting this fight for a long time. I take this issue seriously.  Some of you younger priests and seminarians haven’t fought this fight yet.  You will.   In that day, find us older guys, with the scars.  We’ll help you.

(BTW… a now well-know Archbishop and St. Therese de Lisieux got me back in.)

May I suggest to all priests reading this to review the Church’s teaching on the Eucharist and preach it clearly and boldly?

May I suggest to all priests and bishops to revive the Forty Hours Devotion?

May I suggest to all lay people to ask, request, beg, cajole, demand, urge the return of devotions such as Forty Hours and frequent Exposition and Benediction?

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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73 Responses to I grew up Lutheran. I was admitted to Catholic Communion because I said publicly that I believed what the Catholic Church teaches.

  1. djc says:

    Thank you Father for sharing this.

    I have one question that I can’t answer that I hope you can help me with. What kind of religion persecutes ITS most fervent believers?

    Thanks.

  2. RichR says:

    If we run from our Catholic identity, “to whom shall we go?”

  3. ray from mn says:

    Thank you for sharing this, Fr. Z! Because of you, and others, I’ve been somewhat aware of the arguments for transubstantiation and had a real life experience a few weeks ago. I visit Catholic patients in a hospital where most of them haven’t been practicing the faith for a long time. So I generally go into a room with no expectation of having a real religious experience.

    But this one day, the patient started out by asking me if I really believed that Holy
    Communion was the real body and blood of Jesus Christ. I paused for a moment to consider his question and then replied, “Yes.” I wasn’t really prepared to go into much detail about the reason for my belief but I had read a bit about “substance” and “accidents”, without really understanding all of it. We had a short conversation after which we prayed and I promised him that I would bring him further information about transubstantiation. On my next visit I provided him with some proper information on transubstantiation and to make a long story short, after a week or so he requested that a priest visit him for Confession and Holy Communion.

    Thank you, Father, and the others who have educated me in my faith. It wouldn’t have happened without you.

  4. Faith says:

    I think I heard once, at a special celebration for the silver anniversary of a priest, the Mass celebrant say, “If you believe what we Catholics believe, that Jesus is truly present in this Eucharist, then you may come up for Communion…”
    No one else seemed to have heard it. I don’t think they were paying attention.
    My question is, can this be done? IOW, come and receive, if you believe in transubstantiation.

  5. Legisperitus says:

    Faith: It would seem to me that mere faith in the Eucharist wouldn’t be enough, not least because the whole question of proper disposition doesn’t just go away.

  6. truthfinder says:

    This may be a rabbit-hole, but Father, what you’ve written brings to light again a severe problem I have with RCIA programs. There is no longer the need to publicly reject one’s previous religion and publicly state that they now accept the dogmas of the Faith. There’s definitely been people that I’ve known of over the years who just sort of settle into Catholicism and kept their former understandings of sacraments or Communion from whatever congregation they came from before.

  7. edm says:

    Will it get any better now that Cardinals Burke and Pell are out of the congregation dealing with worship and Marini of papal liturgy fame is in? Lex orandi..

  8. Lepidus says:

    Faith: That seems like a dangerous solution. Fr. Z can correct my belief about (some?) Lutheran theology, but I think that a Lutheran hearing that statement might very well say “Yep. That’s what I believe. The Eucharist is that piece of round white bread, and Jesus is in that bread.” Which is not true, because there is no bread there. (Another reason why I don’t sing crappy music such as “Precious Body Precious Blood, here IN bread and wine”)

  9. joan ellen says:

    Thank you, Fr. Z.
    Sometimes I think the word transubstantiation is too big for people. But they can rattle off those dinosaur names quite readily from about age 5 and up.

    Surely, it seems, it is that the concept of transubstantiation is difficult to understand. Yet, it is, as Fr. Morlino, before Madison, taught a group of us in Kalamazoo one day, the Consecration is a miracle. Yet that does not seem to help either.

    Could the Sacrament of Confession have something to do with unbelief in the Eucharistic Lord? Among Catholics and non-catholics?

    It is difficult for me to receive Our Blessed Lord without that Sacrament. Surely, to believe that the Eucharist is truly the Body, Blood, Soul & Divinity of Jesus, does not seem possible…until one enters the Confessional. Then, ones heart knows the need for the Sacrament of Confession in preparation for receiving the Sacrament of Divine Love…God Himself.

  10. Long-Skirts says:

    “This heretic stated in class that when the “ordained minister [we are all ministers, you see, some ordained and some non-ordained], says the words of institution [not consecration] over bread and wine “no real change takes place.” ”

    “A Little Bread and Wine Does No Harm…” (Pope Francis)

    TWO
    TRUTHS

    To the Nuclear
    Plant I went
    With wafered host
    I was hell-bent.

    Exposed the wafered un-
    Consecrated host
    To radiation
    Now, nuked toast.

    Offered heretic
    “Taste and see.”
    “Oh no!” He cried
    “That’s not for me!”

    “But look, ” I said,
    “Nothing’s changed…
    A still white wafered
    Host arranged.”

    “Though looks the same,
    Could do much harm!”
    The heretic knew
    Exclaimed alarm.

    As Catholics know
    A spiritual radiation
    Daily at Mass
    Transubstantiation!

  11. robtbrown says:

    Fr Z says,

    I was thrown out of my seminary by the prof who, in class, explicitly denied the Church’s teaching on transubstantiation. I fought him in class when he stated that “no real change takes place”.

    He was someone who thought that everything changes except the bread and wine.

    And he was historically wrong about the history of the word Transubstantiation. It entered theological vocabulary in the 12th century, about 100 years before Aristotle had any influence on Catholic theology. It is also found in Lateran IV (1215–the year of Magna Carta).

    Further, although Aristotle’s long influence on the study of philosophy in seminaries is well known, I know of no official Church document that, when referring to Transubstantiation, pairs it with Accidents, its Aristotelian partner.

  12. Ivan Tomas says:

    I’m afraid, it will not be just blah, blah,…
    It will be worse, much worse than many blah’s.
    Assuming the words about what Catholics could learn from Lutherans, which this pope gave at his interview (on the RV ):
    – Speaking about the mutual enrichment possible between Christian communities, the Pope was asked what Catholics could learn from Lutherans.
    “Two words come to my mind: ‘reform’ and ‘Scripture’,” – Pope Francis said!

  13. rwj says:

    Wow Fr. Z! I’m really not sure how I would have handled that myself..but I could see my self just walking away at that point. Thank God you weren’t alone and the Theological Virtues were stronger in you the the heretic’s vices.

  14. THREEHEARTS says:

    I say, with every expectation of being banned, that the Gang of Forty in our vatican city (I use lower case deliberately) in Rome are still hell bent on erasing all the teachings of the Council of Trent on the sacraments. One defense I have used on the Eucharist is a hymn I sang as a young boy and I will give a qualification first. The Jews believe and the Old Testament supports that we should not and cannot look upon God. We can of course look at His Backside as the Bible writes indelibly on our minds Even their High Priest could only visit the Holy pf Holies once a year. So now the hymn children sang , “O Bread of Heaven beneath this veil, Thou dost my Very God conceal. My Jesus dearest treasure hail. I love Thee and adoring kneel.
    As the rather portly bishop said at vatican 2 we must get rid of these silly love songs and look at the drivel we now sing.
    One woman, quoted on the internet, said I am very traditional I sing on eagles wings.

  15. LorenzoCanuck says:

    Fr’s story actually highlights one good reason why the “Lutherfest” is worthwhile (and yes, I think it is. Bear with me): Catholics and Lutherans are, more often than not, allies in defence of traditional Christian teaching.

    Yes, we cannot have intercommunion with each other, but that’s actually a reason for solace, paradoxically: Our mutual belief in the requirement for doctrinal communion to exist before physical Communion is a sign of our commitment to ecclesial integrity. It’s a sign of our common belief that what is vital to the Gospel (despite our differences in interpretation) cannot be compromised, cannot be negotiated for the sake of being “open” to outsiders. If they shall enter the Church, let them profess the Faith in full.

    Consider this: how often have orthodox Catholics run into opposition from other Catholics (or “catholycs” as Fr. Z likes to call them)? How often have Lutherans and Catholics often allied on issues like abortion, same-sex marriage, etc, often against those same “catholycs” (OK, it’s more Evangelicals, but you get my drift)? When the progressives and “cultural Catholics” fall away the conservative Protestants will be the first to line up to enter into communion at last.

    Ivan: Let’s face it, your average Catholic still knows jack about the Bible, despite the efforts of some. Its definitely getting better though, thanks to, of course, converts from Protestantism bringing their extensive Biblical knowledge (back) into the Church.

  16. Serviam says:

    If I may, I would add that not only do we have to believe in the Real Presence but we must be in the state of grace. I believe in Christ’s True Presence in the Eucharist with all my heart, but there are many times I cannot receive because I need to go to Confession first, or didn’t fast for the full hour beforehand, etc, etc.

    Receiving our Lord unworthily is sacrilegious and what I call spiritual suicide, and what I have always believed, since my conversion to the Faith, the reason “so many are sick and dying” (1 Cor 11:30).

    God bless you Father Z, for helping to keep me sane in these crazy times. I thank the Lord for faithful priests like you!!

  17. THREEHEARTS says:

    Another addendum of a sorts. Even Benny Hin has just said that the catholics have many more miracles than the pentecostals. I wonder if I might claim this as a ringing endorsement.

  18. PostCatholic says:

    “rector of vice (not kidding, but that’s another story)”

    I believe it. I went to Maynooth for a spell.

  19. joan ellen says:

    1. Long-Skirts…thank you. Re: radiation…as a Junior in a High School Academy, we were privledged to have an Oratory downstairs with Jesus in a beautiful Tabernacle. Many nights I would go down to visit Him. About 10 to 15 feet before the door I was able to feel His Presence. (At the time I thought everyone did.) I do not experience that too much any more…but He Radiated significantly.

    2. Fr. , Your prof. & some others in the Church seem to not like distinctions. God does. He makes daisies, roses, violets, etc. Catholics have the distinctions, along with the Orthodox, of Succession. Sacraments. Saints. As in continuous Apostolic, Seven, & thousands…canonized & not…. Faith by Bible alone misses all of these Supernatural Helps to weather life storms.

    3. Knowing what is in the Bible is fine. The Jews did & do it. Jesus Christ brought us to a New Covenant. The Old Covenant is fine. It is about Obedience. The New Covenant brings us Supernatural Grace…so that when we are disobedient…we have a remedy.

    3. Continued… Bible reading on its own cannot & does not organize the passages, the information so that the passages are presented in a logical, sequential, faith & reason way. That is where Catholicism shines…where the whole Bible, or a goodly portion, is cited in a most coherent meaninful way. It makes the faith come alive. Catholicism, like Judaism, is an intellectual religion. They force us into higher thinking, way above any base or emotional thinking. That is not to say non-catholics don’t use higher thinking. It is to say the Church assists us in that endeavor. She makes it easy for us.

    3. Continued…At every Massa, Catholics learn the Bible. This learning follows a schedule…as the Jews follow a schedule in following the Old Testament.

    Finally…the Catholic Church offers each of us a “What to do Life.” “She tells us what to do so we know what to do.” (A Notre Dame priest.) That is a richness that is priceless. Couple that with the Joy received from the Sacraments while in the State of Grace…as said above…well, who needs more?

  20. teachermom24 says:

    Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU, Fr. Z! Thank you for your suffering and your continual testimony to the Truth of our holy Catholic Faith! I, too, am a convert from LutheranISM, called later in life than you, but so very, very thankful for the grace that led me to conversion.

  21. MikeJH says:

    Way To Go, Father! Glad you persevered. You’re in good company because Father Benedict Groeschel was thrown out of three seminaries for teaching the truths of the faith.

  22. Venerator Sti Lot says:

    THREEHEARTS (at 6:11 PM),

    The Hymn translation you quote was first published in Hymns and Verses on Spiritual Subjects: Being The Sacred Poetry of St. Alphonso Maria Liguori, edited by Robert A. Coffin (London: Burns and Lambert, 1863) with Imprimatur of Cardinal Wiseman. You can find the whole book scanned in the Internet Archive. Also to be found there are scans of his translations of The Mysteries of the Faith: The Holy Eucharist by St. Alphonso (London: Burns and Lambert, 1855) with Imprimatur of Cardinal Wiseman, and of The Oratory of the Faithful Soul, or, Devotions to the Most Holy Sacrament, and to Our Blessed Lady translated from the Works of the Vnereable Abbot Blosius [Louis de Bloy] (London- Richardson and Son, 1848) , ” Approbation” given by Thomas Walsh , titular Bishop of Cambysopolis, the Apostolic Vicar.

  23. Venerator Sti Lot says:

    My apologies: The Venerable! – Louis de Bloy or Blois: the 1907 Catholic Encyclopedia article about him is entitled “François-Louis Blosius” . That about “Robert Aston Coffin” (1908) says, “he followed Newman to Rome to prepare himself for the priesthood, and was ordained 31 October, 1847” and went on to be third Bishop of Southwark.

  24. Dave N. says:

    I think if you quizzed the average LCMS Lutheran and the average Catholic about what they believe about the Eucharist, their views wouldn’t be drastically different. Catholics and Lutherans shouldn’t believe the same thing about the Eucharist, but I think in practice, it’s awfully close.

  25. ChesterFrank says:

    I think us in the wacky northeast have seen evidence of this intercommunion thing brewing for a long time

  26. Diane says:

    Thank you Father Z. You’re the best!

  27. ray from mn says:

    Just what do people mean when they are referring to Lutheranism? ELCA, Free Lutherans, Missouri Synod, Wisconsin Synod? Are there more? Wiki says there are 39 branches of Lutheranism.

  28. katholos says:

    Ray from mn makes a good point. Not all Lutherans are members of the Lutheran World Federation nor did all Lutheran bodies sign on to the Joint Declaration on Justification. I grew up in Germany in a family of Lutherans and Catholics. Today some conservative Lutherans find they have more in common with Catholics than they do with other Lutherans of a more liberal bent. Nevertheless, twenty years ago I was received into full communion with the Catholic Church, the best decision I have ever made.

  29. gracie says:

    Ivan Thomas,

    “Asked what Catholics could learn from Lutherans: ‘Two words come to my mind: Reform and Scripture’ – Pope Francis said!”

    I wonder if Pope Francis includes the seven books Luther threw out of the Bible in the “Scripture” we’re supposed to study.

  30. Lucas Whittaker says:

    Non facilius manuducitur. Not all people are easily led by the hand through the process of their education. Apparently your prof was not easily so led during his own education. His words against Aristotle are a sign of the fact, since Aristotle and Thomas are sure guides. I am very sorry that your “lectio” took on more of the format of “disputatio” “tout court”.

  31. JimP says:

    This is sort of tangential, but I ran across this comment on an article on Pope Francis’s meeting with Lutherans in an online ‘c’atholic publication based in KC, MO:

    “The way of true reform is less in rehashing old arguments than it is in updating consciousness that informs relational realities, what religious living is about.

    We live in a universal, quantum-electric reality in constant process of evolving. We can commune with each other, with all other, in humility and outreach, or we can continue in persistent ignorance and hurt other by behaving arrogantly in consumptive self-interest.

    The Light of universal insight, above all else seriously tells us we are one in the ecology of nature, in the Sacrament of Natural Order, and our common future supposes altruistic sensitivity toward all other in the context of our common home – what is rightly characterized as being “eucharistic” in Godlike appreciation.

    We, as one people, have no hopeful future if we psychologically disconnect from the continuum of earth-life in our religious suppositions, as we have done in the past and continue to do in the present.

    First Church, is home belonging to all life.”

    Can someone translate?

  32. majuscule says:

    Can someone translate?

    Sure!

    Blah blah blah blah blah…

  33. Ave Crux says:

    Fantastic article. Thank you for everything you shared here, Father. Very inspiring.

    And thank you for your courage and fidelity to the Faith and your priesthood despite so much contradiction from its enemies.

    May God assist you mightily.

  34. Amateur Scholastic says:

    Your prof was semi-right about one thing. Without Aristotelian categories of substance and accident, there’s no transubstantiation. You can’t make sense of Trent’s teaching without them. That’s one reason the modernists were so hellbent on undermining Aristotle and St Thomas, and kicking them out of the seminary, despite pope after pope lauding their teaching to the skies.

    Trads: you need to understand at least the basics of Aristotle’s metaphysics, since it gives you intellectual armour against their lies. Aristotle’s metaphysics is not a ‘system’ or a ‘model’: it is truth. Without it, there is contradiction and ultimately insanity.

    And unfortunately for the modernists, the arguments against Aristotle’s metaphysics stink. Pick up a copy of Edward Feser’s The Last Superstition for the best introduction I’ve ever read to the subject. It attacks the new atheists rather than the modernists, but you need to read it to understand why Aristotle is so irrefutable.

    For a thorough explanation of how the neo-modernists have effectively changed doctrine by undermining Aristotle (thus changing the meaning of doctrine while keeping the words), see Garrigou Lagrange’s article Where is the New Theology Taking Us? . It’s available online.

    To repeat myself: trads, you need to understand Aristotle! Otherwise, you’re only attacking the branches of modernism, not its root.

  35. Filipino Catholic says:

    A translation of that preposterously New Age comment:

    “updating consciousness” — Getting with the spirit of the times
    “universal, quantum-electric reality in constant process of evolving” — There are no absolutes
    “commune with each other, with all other, in humility and outreach” — COEXIST
    “we are one in the ecology of nature” — Pantheism? Unsure here
    “our common future” — Everyone goes to Heaven

    What a load of waffle.

  36. comedyeye says:

    What is God trying to accomplish through the Pope in Sweden?

  37. Ivan Tomas says:

    gracie,
    I don’t think so. How less how better it is… for him.
    He read often more Herman Hesse and similar new age books, than the Holy Bible.
    You must read his preach, the preach of last friday in the dome of st Marta.
    Good GOD! He told the fellow Catholics that Jesus Christ is surely praying for us,…
    Not once or two times but 30 times!
    – Now, since my GOD is praying for me, I do not need to do anything, right?
    My LORD is not only unlimited merciful, but HE also prays for me, … so I am good than,… for eternity, right? Because, who can better pray than GOD Almighty?!
    It seems that we should never be worried about anything… just let’s GOD to be merciful, and let HIM pray for us!
    O tempora o mores!!!
    read a preach

  38. robtbrown says:

    Amateur Scholastic says,

    Your prof was semi-right about one thing. Without Aristotelian categories of substance and accident, there’s no transubstantiation. You can’t make sense of Trent’s teaching without them. That’s one reason the modernists were so hellbent on undermining Aristotle and St Thomas, and kicking them out of the seminary, despite pope after pope lauding their teaching to the skies.

    Did you read my comments above? If not, why not?

    If so, just refute what I wrote. Before, however, going on that path, please read the following:


    Contrary to current tendencies in the interpretation of Trent, an objective study of the Acts immediately shows that Trent maintained sobriety and fine elegance in the exposition of its doctrine. Yet very few have studied these proceedings.

    The Council’s abstention, for example, from the use of the term accidentes when speaking of transubstantiation deserves attention because it did not consider its doctrine to be scholastic. It preferred, instead, to use the term species.

    And if the Council used the term substantia, it did so for two reasons: a) because it is present in the tradition of St Ambrose and Faustus of Riez, passing through Councils such as the Fourth Lateran; b) because it was therefore used, well before the advent of hylomorphism in the scholastics.

    https://www.ewtn.com/library/Doctrine/EUCHTRNT.HTM

  39. Traductora says:

    I have been awaiting the Halloween Luther-fest with dread for some time, thinking that the Pope was probably going to say or do something to blow up the entire 2000 years of doctrine relating to the Eucharist. However, I realized that what he will do is simply more blah-blah, which has almost the same effect. Following his usual pattern, he’ll make one of his goofy statements about space and time (in fact, he’s already made one, and it sounded like someone in the last stages of a fatal delirium), give a few winks and nudges with his “ecumenical” gestures or off-hand plane interviews, and leave it to his minions to make the really heretical statements (which of course, he will not refute).

    I think he realizes that its very important to avoid any clear statement of heresy that can be directly attributed to him. Even though it is obvious that he rejects Catholic doctrine on the Eucharist and just about everything else, he’s still a little afraid of some of the few orthodox bishops and cardinals that remain and thus wants to claim plausible deniability. However, at the rate that he’s getting rid of or disempowering the orthodox (such as by removing and replacing all 27 members of their congregation…), he’ll soon have little to fear. In that case, he may become a little more forthright about it, because he really sees the Church as having a BB and AB – Before Bergoglio and After Bergoglio, and he believes that it is up to him to destroy whatever remains of the Church and usher in this new thing of his own creation. Luther and he could be twins.

  40. bernadette says:

    I am completely confused about how intercommunion between Catholics and Lutherans is possible. Lutherans have a different concept of sin. It is my understanding that they do not believe in mortal or venial sin and would completely reject the idea of Confession. Lutherans believe that one goes directly to God to ask forgiveness. Would intercommunion set up a double standard? Catholics must go to Confession before receiving Communion if in mortal sin but Lutherans don’t need to?

    Lutherans, at least some branches of Lutheranism have accepted same sex marriage, even pastors in so called same sex marriages. They also approve of abortion in some cases. Honestly, the possibility of intercommunion becoming reality is shaking my faith quite a bit.

  41. yatzer says:

    I marvel at your faithfulness to the call to be Catholic and a priest. My prayers for you: it’s got to be tough. I’m having my own problems now with this Lutheran Pope. When I wanted to become Catholic, the priest tried to convince me otherwise. He said that was just for family members who wanted all the family to be on the same page, so to speak. The book used was Christ Among Us, which I knew was drivel even then, and have since understood was heretical. I still don’t get why authorities in the Church act like this. Why would they want to be priests, professors, etc. in something they don’t believe in?

  42. Joseph-Mary says:

    “A Little Bread and Wine Does No Harm…” (Pope Francis)
    Did Francis really say this? Of course it is possible but if he did, then we can revisit the definition of heresy. There is NO ‘bread and wine’ after the consecration after all! He does not genuflect at Mass but kneels to wash feet of all sorts of persons or to receive a ‘blessing’ from a non-Catholic which means he can kneel. As to Lutherans: read The Cleaving of Christendom” by Warren Carroll if you would like a good look at history and what luther did which was to start a civil war, and he hated the pope and bishops, Jews, the Mass, etc.
    As to Lutherans: I have met with some pastors and the Missouri Synod does not like the Wisconsin synod which does not like the ECLA and so on. There is no unity there. Some are pro-abortion, pro-sodomy and the like. They do not believe in the Real Presence. We are NOT on the same page. This pope foments syncretism; I can see it no other way. A new Catholic came to me the other day and with pain in his heart asked me about all this. It is a scandal.

  43. The Masked Chicken says:

    The Thirteenth Session of Trent covered the Eucharist. You can read it, here:

    https://history.hanover.edu/texts/trent/ct13.html

    The passages that talk about Echaristic theology are chapters one and four. Chapter four, on transubstantiation says:

    CHAPTER IV.
    On Transubstantiation.
    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.

    Although accident is not mentioned (species is used) one might think that it is hiding behind the scene. What is the distinction between accident and species in this context? They refer, in different ways, to an external observation about some aspect of the bread and wine. They do not mean the same thing, exactly, but the two terms are not be in opposition. Substance and species will, also differentiate transubstantiation from Consubstantiation as well as substance and accident.

    The Chicken

  44. Raymond says:

    Thank God for the internet, then! When once only those in power had broadcast access to the media, now, a faithful and courageous bishop in obscure Kazakhstan could preach the Truth, refute heresy and have the whole world as his audience.

  45. katholos says:

    Until Lutherans heal the divisions among themselves they will be unable to speak with one voice in ecumenical discussions with Rome. Some Lutheran bodies still offer private confession and worship ad orientem but having lost apostolic succession and belief in the Eucharist as Sacrifice and Sacrament those issues are moot. The state Lutheran Church of Sweden uses high liturgical language which can sound very familiar to Catholics but has broken away from the Great Tradition by ordaining women, supporting abortion and other issues unacceptable to Catholicism. The same is true of some other Lutheran bodies worldwide. Thank God for prophetic voices such as those of Cardinal Sarah calling Catholics to stand firm.

  46. un-ionized says:

    JosephMary, While I too have reservations about the current Pope, I wouldn’t make too much over the relative numbers of times he kneels or genuflects. I have the same spinal condition as he and I can sometimes genuflect or kneel. This is one big thing that keeps me away from the traditional Mass, I am sure to offend people by my disability. At times I do genuflect or kneel and then regret it as I can’t seem to keep from crying out at that shot of nerve pain followed by throbbing and sometimes partial paralysis. We don’t know what the Pope has to do before he says Mass or does other things for a big public occasion. I hope he doesn’t use the same drugs that I do.

  47. Venerator Sti Lot says:

    robtbrown (7:11 AM) and The Masked Chicken,

    Thanks for the links and reflection. Is it nonsensical to ask in how far the language of ‘substance’ and ‘transubstantiation’ has to do with Analogia Entis?

    At the end of his long section about ‘transubstantiation’ (discussing things very much with reference to Aristotle) in On the Babylonian Captivity of the Church (Oct. 1520), Luther ends, “Nevertheless, in my view, other men must be allowed another opinion, e.g., that laid down in the decretal Firmiter” (Bertram Lee Woolf trans.), referring to the first Canon of the Twelfth Ecumenical Council,Lateran IV (1215):

    http://sourcebooks.fordham.edu/halsall/basis/lateran4.asp

    I don’t know enough to know if he maintained that combination of confidence and openness throughout his life or what his immediate successors did: the Council session noted was nearly six years after his death.

  48. JARay says:

    Unlike your good self Father I grew up in a faithful Catholic family. This came about because of the Eucharist and transubstantiation. My paternal grandfather was a practicing Anglican and one Sunday his Vicar spoke on the subject and upheld the protestant teaching that the communion bread was just that and merely represents a token of Jesus but is not actually Jesus himself. My grandfather was appalled at hearing this said in his church and he asked himself how this could possibly be true because the words of Scripture clearly says that Jesus told his Apostles at the Last Supper that he had changed that bread into himself and had changed that wine into his blood. With that firm understanding in his mind he said to himself that if the church which he attended actually denied what Scripture makes clear then he, my grandfather, would take himself off to a church which actually belives what Scripture says. So he became a Catholic, and found a young Catholic woman whom he married. Thus it is that I grew up in a devout Catholic family and I am so happy that my grandfather did what he did.

  49. Venerator Sti Lot says:

    Traductora says, “Luther and he could be twins.” With all the recent discussion of ‘thrillers’, this stirs me to imagine a possible cross between Jurassic Park and Dan Brown or whoever…

    I wonder if I’ll ever steel myself to try Kingsley Amis’s alternate history novel, The Alteration (1976), which (in the words of Wikipedia) imagines the world after a turn of events in which “Martin Luther was reconciled to the Roman Catholic Church and later became Pope Germanian I” and “Thomas More did not marry, and ascended to the Papacy as Pope Hadrian VII”?

  50. Venerator Sti Lot says:

    Ivan Tomas (5:47 AM) raises a matter I have never properly looked into: exactly how the “semper vivens ad interpellandum pro nobis” of Hebrews 7:25 and the “Christus Jesus, qui mortuus est, immo qui et resurrexit, qui est ad dexteram Dei, qui etiam interpellat pro nobis” of Romans 8:34 are understood (and so, whether they are indeed being (clumsily?) departed from).

  51. Amateur Scholastic says:

    Hi Robtbrown,

    Very briefly, I didn’t claim that Trent (or any other council or document) used the word accident. I said that there’s no way of making sense of its teaching without the categories of substance and accident. To put it another way: if we use the Tridentine language without the Aristotelian categories, the meaning of the language changes completely. Thus doctrine is distorted while language remains the same. (This is the point Garrigou-Lagrange makes in the article I referenced — it’s what the neo-modernists have been doing for the past 60 years.)

    So I’m afraid I don’t see what in your claim I need to refute.

    The article you linked to claimed that Trent didn’t consider its doctrine to be scholastic. I’m not a historian and I can’t comment intelligently on that. But I do know this is a minority view. I also know that Trent placed a copy of the Summa next to a copy of the Holy Scriptures, suggesting it considered itself pretty scholastic.

    What’s more, he makes what he knows must be a very controversial claim about the Council’s use of the word ‘substance’ almost as a throwaway comment, without any evidence. His philosophical discussion of substance has the vagueness typical of modernists. And he also claims that transubstantiation is not a miracle; that something is only a miracle if it is ‘tangible’. All this should ring alarm bells.

    As for Trent’s not using the word accident, this isn’t surprising. The sixteenth-century heretics didn’t claim that the accidents remained unchanged; they claimed that the substance didn’t change. So it’s not surprising Trent dealt with the latter claim and not the former.

    So you’ll forgive me if I’m not convinced.

  52. Amateur Scholastic says:

    “The sixteenth-century heretics didn’t claim that the accidents remained unchanged”

    Sorry, this should read ‘changed’, not ‘remained unchanged’.

  53. AnnTherese says:

    I spent time with a Catholic missionary team in Guatemala in the 90s. The aldeas or mountain villages in the region were visited once a year, and the community celebrated the sacraments of Reconciliation, Baptism, and Eucharist. What a joyful day for those Catholics! But imagine getting Communion just once a year!

    Today I took my 97 year old mother to Mass. It’s getting increasingly difficult for her to go, but she only gets Communion twice a month at her assisted living facility– a Mass and a Communion service –even though there are multiple priests living in our parish (in a small community). I wish I could bring her Communion, but I am not allowed because I am a lay person. Come winter, she won’t be able to go to church because the cold and ice are dangerous for her. I am sad for her, because it means so much to her, and it’s available, but not offered even weekly. I hope to find a pastor at another parish who will allow me to bring her Communion.

  54. jameeka says:

    Thank you very much, St Therese of Lisieux and a “now well-known Archbishop”

    Excellent suggestions, Father Z!

  55. teachermom24 says:

    “I am completely confused about how intercommunion between Catholics and Lutherans is possible. Lutherans have a different concept of sin. It is my understanding that they do not believe in mortal or venial sin and would completely reject the idea of Confession. Lutherans believe that one goes directly to God to ask forgiveness. Would intercommunion set up a double standard? Catholics must go to Confession before receiving Communion if in mortal sin but Lutherans don’t need to?”

    This is a correct assessment. Lutherans believe all sins are equal, in total depravity (same in Calvinism), and “faith alone” (i.e. believing Jesus forgives you) will get you to Heaven. There is no accountability or notion of penance. “Sin boldly but believe more boldly still.” It’s a dreadful system that leads nowhere. It will make you insane if you try to reconcile the contradictions. I chose instead to become Catholic. Deo gratias!

  56. Maineman1 says:

    Courtesy of Vatican II, aren’t validly baptized Protestants and other non-Catholic Christians already part of the mystical body of Christ, albeit imperfectly?

    If so, what’s the need for conversion anymore?

  57. robtbrown says:

    MC

    1. I think the author of the article makes a good point that the Church didn’t want want to tie dogma to any particular philosophical lexicon.

    2. Further, obviously I endorse St Thomas’ theology of the Eucharist, but I also realize that once Accidents are referred to, then the entire question becomes more complicated and the distinctions more technical. And that extends to an understanding of what is meant by substance: It is predicated differently according to whether it refers to a natural or man made substance–the former being unum simpliciter–having a substantial form); the latter, which includes bread, being unum per accidens–lacking a substantial form.

    There are other necessary distinctions found in St Thomas’ treatment of the Eucharist that I won’t mention.

  58. robtbrown says:

    Venerator Sti Lot says:

    Is it nonsensical to ask in how far the language of ‘substance’ and ‘transubstantiation’ has to do with Analogia Entis?

    At the end of his long section about ‘transubstantiation’ (discussing things very much with reference to Aristotle) in On the Babylonian Captivity of the Church (Oct. 1520), Luther ends, “Nevertheless, in my view, other men must be allowed another opinion, e.g., that laid down in the decretal Firmiter” (Bertram Lee Woolf trans.), referring to the first Canon of the Twelfth Ecumenical Council,Lateran IV (1215):

    Analogia Entis is the foundation for St Thomas’ philosophic thought. Unfortunately, there was much philosophy after the Council of Trent that employed Hylomorphic Theory while at the same time denying Analogia Entis (the basis of which is the Real Distinction). Francisco Suarez SJ, whose thought for years dominated the Company of Jesus, comes to mind. Also those Scotists of the past 400 years.

    More than once in his class Garrigou LaGrange is reputed to have referred to the Real Distintion maxim “Inter ens et non ens est ens in potentia”, saying that he would like it to be put to Gregorian Chant.

    The above inclination to deny the Real Distinction while nevertheless continuing with Hylomorphic Theory set the stage for men like Etienne Gilson and Cornelio Fabro to devote much of there work to reunite them philosophically.

    Also: One of my profs at the Angelicum insisted that the Protestantism was based on Nominalism.

  59. Venerator Sti Lot says:

    teachermom24 agrees with bernadette that “It is my understanding that they do not believe in mortal or venial sin and would completely reject the idea of Confession.” katholos notes, however, “Some Lutheran bodies still offer private confession”. “It will make you insane if you try to reconcile the contradictions” sounds perhaps both extreme and understandable! Who may now try to find out what Luther said or meant, contra the specifications of Leo X’s Exsurge Domine (wishing “all the writings […] to be regarded as utterly condemned, reprobated, and rejected” even if they contain only “any one” error “either heretical, scandalous, false, offensive to pious ears or seductive of simple minds”)? For, I would gladly know what Luther means when he writes (Oct. 1520), “a contrite heart is a matter of very great importance, but it is found only in connection with an ardent faith in God’s promises of reward and punishment. This faith, divining the unchangeableness of the truth of God, disturbs and reproves the conscience, and so renders it contrite; but, at the same time, it exalts and comforts the conscience, and so keeps it contrite. Wherever faith is found, the certainty of punishment causes contrition, and the trustworthiness of the promises is the means of consolation; and through this faith a man merits forgiveness of sin.” How ought one relate this to the definitions of the Fourteenth session of the Council of Trent (25 Nov. 1551: six years after Luther’s death)?

  60. katholos says:

    Teachermom24, a bit of clarification. It is true that Lutherans do not apply the classifications of mortal and venial sins but it is not on the basis of total depravity. The Book of James states that “whoever keeps the whole law but fails in one point has become guilty of all of it,” which Lutherans understand to mean sin is sin. Luther vigorously opposed Calvinism where it taught predestination and a mere spiritual presence of Christ in the Eucharist. Nor do Lutherans believe that “once saved, always saved.” That Catholics and Lutherans still have major issues to resolve goes without saying. I have always concurred with the late Father Richard John Neuhaus that it was as a Lutheran he first learned the Creed, prayer and the love of Christ and that nothing that was good and true in his Lutheran upbringing was lost when he became Catholic. That is my experience as well.

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  63. robtbrown says:

    Amateur Scholastic,

    1. Some years ago I read the Garrigou LaGrange article in French, “La Nouvelle Theologie ou va-t-elle?” Also De Lubac’s Surnaturel, which helped create the confusion with which G-L’s article deals, and probably produced DeL’s silencing. And of course, G-L is usually considered the author of Humani Generis, which more comprehensively addresses the same problem.

    Years later, DeLubac tried to get his theological arse out of a crack with “The Mystery of the Supernatural” (as far as I know, Surnaturel was never translated into English). By generally ignoring formal cause and overemphasizing Finality, MotS is unfortunately not inhospitable to Evolution.

    2. In my years at the Angelicum, where my graduate concentration was Thomistic Studies (1), the last gurus of St Thomas still were teaching, two of whom had been students of G-L. All retired before the turn of the century, and none is still living.

    3. I mentioned in a comment above the importance of the Real Distinction as the foundation for St Thomas’ thought. I think it also must be understood that the neo Scholasticism, against which DeLubac and others fought, was not St Thomas’ thought, even though it employed much of the same lexicon. Devoid of the Real Distinction, this Scholasticism let Rationalism enter by the back door. It was therefore inevitable that opposition would arise. With some that opposition attempted a return to the thought of St Thomas, cf. Fabro and Gilson. With others, Northern Europeans and Jesuits, it meant a turn away from St Thomas to German Existentialism. The latter tended to leap willingly across the border that distinguishes Revelation from merely subjective notions.

    4. In my response to MC I tried to provide a bit of insight into why Trent and other Conciliar documents avoid referring to Accidents, instead using species (appearance[s]) to state the dogma.

    (1) In addition to the usual Dogmatic, Moral, and Spiritual Theology concentrations, Thomistic Studies is also offered.

  64. robtbrown says:

    Also: I know of no theologian who thinks that the use of “species” (appearance) in any formal text is anything but a very simple expression of what is not Transubstantiated.

  65. Amateur Scholastic says:

    Hi Robtbrown,

    My understanding is that it is not whether a thing is man-made that determines whether it has a substantial form — that seems to me to (perhaps) confuse efficient with formal cause. Rather, it is whether a thing moves/changes/acts according to its own principles, or whether its movement is determined entirely by its constituent parts.

    So refined gasoline, though manmade, has a substantial form, because its ‘movement’ can’t be reduced to the movement of the hydrogen and carbon atoms that constitute it. A pile of rocks that has formed naturally at the bottom of a hill, though not manmade, has only an accidental form, because its movement _can_ be so reduced.

    Whether bread and wine have substantial or only accidental forms is an empirical question. It can’t be resolved by simply pointing to the fact that they’re manmade. My totally uneducated hunch is that bread does have a substantial form, because I can’t see how its ‘movement’ can be reduced to that of yeast, flour, etc. But I’m not a chemist or a baker, so I could be wrong.

    I would also politely suggest that to call Aristotle’s philosophy a ‘lexicon’ is virtually the same as dismissing it without argument. If it’s true, it isn’t a mere vocabulary. Rather, it describes the fundamental distinctions and divisions of reality itself. To describe it as a lexicon suggests that it’s essentially in the mind, and that it’s one way of looking at reality among many. This implies that the claims Aristotelians make about its fundamental truth (and contradictory philosophies’ falsehood) are wrong. Now many would say that they _are_ wrong of course! But this should be argued for, not connoted (no doubt unwittingly).

    I don’t know that the Church hasn’t favoured one philosophy — the 24 Thomistic theses, and the statements of various popes (esp Pius IX through to Pius XII), seem to suggest otherwise. But in any case, some dogmas will be understood completely differently depending on what one believes about metaphysics; hence it seems logical that the Church should have something to say about the matter, and do so with authority.

  66. hwriggles4 says:

    Fr Z:

    Very insightful post. I was 31 years old when during the Lenten Season (I think it was the 3rd Sunday in Lent) when I heard a homily at Mass given by a former Episcopal priest. Fr. Hart explained the Eucharist during this homily. It was one of the first times this teaching that the Eucharist is the Body and Blood of Christ gave me a better understanding of the Church teaching on the Real Presence.

    Fr Z: you, Fr. George Rutter, and Fr. Tyson Wood have quite a bit to share on this teaching. Thank you.

  67. surritter says:

    To Lepidus…

    Last year the publisher of the hymnals used at my parish (OCP) finally fixed that awful song, so that the lyrics are now “Precious Body Precious Blood, seen as bread and wine.” I don’t know if any other music publishers used that song but hopefully it was changed everywhere.
    Since OCP is in Portland I wouldn’t be surprised if Archbishop Sample himself put his foot down and required them to make that change!

  68. Amateur Scholastic says:

    Robtbrown,

    I missed your most recent comment for some reason.

    Anyway, my understanding is that point 3 is contentious. Is it really true that St Thomas was almost universally misunderstood from Trent until some 20th Century theologians worked out what he really meant? It seems suspiciously close to other things that were ‘rediscovered’ in the 20th Century.

  69. robtbrown says:

    Amateur Scholastic says:

    Robtbrown,
    Anyway, my understanding is that point 3 is contentious. Is it really true that St Thomas was almost universally misunderstood from Trent until some 20th Century theologians worked out what he really meant? It seems suspiciously close to other things that were ‘rediscovered’ in the 20th Century.

    I never said that St Thomas “was almost universally misunderstood”. He was almost universally understood by Dominicans.

    The Dominican life, which has a unique balance between contemplation and a preaching apostolate (contemplata aliis tradere), is especially conducive to understanding St Thomas. After the Council of Trent the study of St Thomas was taken up by very active orders and certain distortions of his thought followed.

  70. chantgirl says:

    Why do I have a sinking feeling that this 499th commemoration of the Reformation and next year’s 500th are like a repeat of the disastrous synods on the family followed by AL? I sense a pattern here. Float heretical idea, gauge how much potential resistance is out there, isolate or discredit the few critical voices, ramp up a propaganda campaign, trot out difficult cases to pull on everyone’s heartstrings, have various underlings engage in a whispering campaign to leak the outcome of the next meeting, and finally release a document that gives lip-service to Catholic doctrine all the while nodding and winking at those who want to be free of the rigid rules.

    After Amoris’, with its distortion of conscience, why should not those who are Lutheran, wiccan, practicing homosexuals, unrepentant abortionists, active pedophiles, etc. not approach Communion in a Catholic church? If their conscience tells them they are square with God, what is stopping them?

    It may be time to consider that the”religious deception offering men an apparent solution to their problems at the price of apostasy from the truth” is here. We are offered false unity at the expense of the truth, and in exchange for profanation of the Eucharist. How can we not be undergoing the Passion of the Church when the priests of God are asked to participate in the profanation of the Eucharist by the Pope himself?

    Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us.

    675 Before Christ’s second coming the Church must pass through a final trial that will shake the faith of many believers. The persecution that accompanies her pilgrimage on earth will unveil the “mystery of iniquity” in the form of a religious deception offering men an apparent solution to their problems at the price of apostasy from the truth. The supreme religious deception is that of the Antichrist, a pseudo-messianism by which man glorifies himself in place of God and of his Messiah come in the flesh.

  71. Venerator Sti Lot says:

    robtbrown (Sunday at 10:11 PM),

    Thank you!

  72. robtbrown says:

    My understanding is that it is not whether a thing is man-made that determines whether it has a substantial form — that seems to me to (perhaps) confuse efficient with formal cause. Rather, it is whether a thing moves/changes/acts according to its own principles, or whether its movement is determined entirely by its constituent parts.

    Man made things are not self-moving. If they were, they would be alive. Self-movement (operation) follows from the substantial form.

    So refined gasoline, though manmade, has a substantial form, because its ‘movement’ can’t be reduced to the movement of the hydrogen and carbon atoms that constitute it. A pile of rocks that has formed naturally at the bottom of a hill, though not manmade, has only an accidental form, because its movement _can_ be so reduced.

    Gasoline is not artificial. It exists in petroleum–refining separates it.

    Bread is the combination of two substances–flour and water.

    A good example of unum per accidens is a corpse. At death the substantial form leaves the body, and there is nothing to hold the various chemicals together–thus corruption begins.

    Whether bread and wine have substantial or only accidental forms is an empirical question. It can’t be resolved by simply pointing to the fact that they’re manmade. My totally uneducated hunch is that bread does have a substantial form, because I can’t see how its ‘movement’ can be reduced to that of yeast, flour, etc. But I’m not a chemist or a baker, so I could be wrong.

    Hunch is right. Metaphysics, however, is about certitude, not hunches. And Empirical has nothing to do with it.

    I never mentioned wine. Wine is simply the juice of grapes, whose fermentation can happen by soaking it it in the grape skins, on which there is yeast.

    Bread doesn’t move.

    I would also politely suggest that to call Aristotle’s philosophy a ‘lexicon’ is virtually the same as dismissing it without argument. If it’s true, it isn’t a mere vocabulary. Rather, it describes the fundamental distinctions and divisions of reality itself. To describe it as a lexicon suggests that it’s essentially in the mind, and that it’s one way of looking at reality among many. This implies that the claims Aristotelians make about its fundamental truth (and contradictory philosophies’ falsehood) are wrong. Now many would say that they _are_ wrong of course! But this should be argued for, not connoted (no doubt unwittingly).

    Lexicon simply means vocabulary. For you to think it somehow is an indication of Nominalism after I have noted above the importance of the Real Distinction is more than a bit silly.

    Do you know the difference between ens realis and ens rationis?

    There is a lexicon of Aristotle the foundation of which is the Four Causes. The assumption is that they are found in reality. St Thomas applies Aristotle’s actual and potential causes (e.g., form/matter; substance/accidents) to Being (Esse/Essentia). This existential distinction provides a basis in reason for what an Aristotelian assumes.

    I don’t know that the Church hasn’t favoured one philosophy — the 24 Thomistic theses, and the statements of various popes (esp Pius IX through to Pius XII), seem to suggest otherwise. But in any case, some dogmas will be understood completely differently depending on what one believes about metaphysics; hence it seems logical that the Church should have something to say about the matter, and do so with authority.

    There’s little doubt that the Church has officially elevated the philosophy of St Thomas. As I said before, the Church, however, has never officially applied those concepts to Transubstantiation. Although I think St Thomas’ explanation is best, it must be remembered that Transubstantiation is a Mystery.

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