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Author Topic: what's wrong with Transubstantiation?  (Read 9653 times) Average Rating: 0
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idontlikenames
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« on: January 20, 2005, 12:21:36 PM »

I'm sorry if this topic has already been discussed but I didn't feel like searching for hours.....

My question:  what is all the fuss about Transubstantiation?  Coming from the Orthodox Church, I have no problem with it.  I mean....all it says is that "the substance changes while the accidents remain the same."  behind all the scholastic hibbidy-jibbidy all that means is that the bread and wine still taste and look like bread and wine, but in reality it is the Body and Blood of the Lord Jesus Christ.  but isn't that precisely what is taught also in the Orthodox Church?  The Orthodox church says that "it tries to explain how the transformation happens whereas we leave it as a mystery".  but I don't see the "how" in Transubstantiation.....all I see is a "what".
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« Reply #1 on: January 20, 2005, 12:49:56 PM »

Good question. 
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« Reply #2 on: January 20, 2005, 01:23:15 PM »

idontlikenames,
It took me all of 30 seconds to do a search and find our member Brendan03's explanation in another board:

"(W)e don't get into the Thomistic metaphysical categories as to substance, and therefore don't use the term "transubstantiation".  We believe that the bread and wine become the body and blood of Christ in the Divine Liturgy, truly and really, not merely symbolically or representationally.  How that happens is not of interest to us, while the fact that it does happen is firmly believed by us."

Demetri
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« Reply #3 on: January 20, 2005, 01:44:55 PM »

The Orthodox Church borrowed the terms of the west in its councils in the 16th century because the West was the dominant culture--just like the Ottomon Turks borrowed the western military uses in the 17th century to "catch up."

The Orthodox used terms like purgatory to discuss the state of waiting for the resurrection that ALL men must undergo, indulgences to describe a bishop's right to lessen a penance, transubstantiation to describe "the change" of the gifts, etc.  The Orthodox did not accept by and large the underlying Lating theology, but merely the vocabulary.

We can argue about why Thomistic vocabulary is wrong all day and night, but the fact of the matter is the Orthodox employed it for convenience's sake.  The basic Orthodox belief is "it was bread, now it is not."  But the Orthodox realize that you can still get drunk off of the Sacred Blood, so that means something is "left over."  If it's not the wineanymore, it still must maintain something of the "property" of wine for that to happen. Hence, substance vs. accidents.  Really it should cause no consternation!

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« Reply #4 on: January 20, 2005, 05:49:56 PM »

I have to disagree with you on one thing here, Anastasios.  I think that, to the Orthodox, the bread and wine do truly become the body and blood of Christ, but at the same time they remain bread and wine.  Otherwise, the whole point of what sacraments are about becomes divorced from the matierial world and the Holy Mysteries are just some kind of magical talisman. This is precisely why, I think, that the whole substance and accidents thing is a quite nonsensical.   Of course, I think  you have some patristic arguments on your side......I believe that Cyril of Jerusalem would take your point of view more than mine.

Bob
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« Reply #5 on: January 20, 2005, 06:13:06 PM »

The basic Orthodox belief is "it was bread, now it is not." But the Orthodox realize that you can still get drunk off of the Sacred Blood, so that means something is "left over." If it's not the wine anymore, it still must maintain something of the "property" of wine for that to happen. Hence, substance vs. accidents.

I've wondered something, Anastasios...have any Orthodox fathers dealt with this sort of "physical properties of bread/wine" thing? 

It does seem like something of an admission to say, "Even though it's now really, REALLY, REALLY the Body and Blood of Christ, it still does, admittedly, taste just like bread and wine."

Is it, as Bob, guesses, still ALSO bread and wine, somehow?

Oh, damn this hyper-analytical mind of mine!   Embarrassed
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« Reply #6 on: January 20, 2005, 06:27:00 PM »

No, it is not still bread and wine, that would be consubstantiation which is a heretical lutheran teaching.

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« Reply #7 on: January 20, 2005, 06:27:50 PM »

I have to disagree with you on one thing here, Anastasios. I think that, to the Orthodox, the bread and wine do truly become the body and blood of Christ, but at the same time they remain bread and wine. Otherwise, the whole point of what sacraments are about becomes divorced from the matierial world and the Holy Mysteries are just some kind of magical talisman. This is precisely why, I think, that the whole substance and accidents thing is a quite nonsensical. Of course, I think you have some patristic arguments on your side......I believe that Cyril of Jerusalem would take your point of view more than mine.

Bob

Bob,

I'm sorry to say that this is consubstantation, a heretical Lutheran doctrine. It either is the body of Christ or it is not, it seems to me.  I don't see how believing that the body and blood literally become the body and blood of Christ divorces them from the material world--Christ's body and blood are obviously part of the material world.  As far as magical talisman, it's not becoming that; its what allows us to truly be one with Christ's body; if it was still bread and wine we would become one with bread and wine, not Christ.

Anastasios
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« Reply #8 on: January 20, 2005, 07:30:34 PM »

Fwiw...

Quote
When these words have been said, the whole sacred rite is accomplished, the offerings are consecrated, the sacrifice is complete; the splendid Victim, the Divine oblation, slain for the salvation of the world, lies upon the altar. For it is no longer bread, which until now has represented the Lord's Body, nor is it a simple offering, bearing the likeness of the true offering, carrying as if engraved on it the symbols of the Savior's Passion; it is the true Victim, the most holy Body of the Lord, hwich really suffered the outrages, insults and blows, which was crucified and slain, which under Pontius Pilate bore such splendid witness...It is that Body and Blood formed by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, which was buried, which rose against on the third day, which ascended into heaven and sits on the right hand of the Father" - St. Nicholas Cabasilas, A Commentary on the Divine Liturgy, 27

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"In the Mystery of the Eucharist, at the time when the priest, invoking the Holy Spirit upon the offered Gifts, blesses them with the prayer to God the Father: 'Make this bread the previous Body of Thy Christ; and that which is in this cup, the precious Blood of thy Christ; changing them by Thy Holy Spirit'--the bread and wine actually are changed into the Body and Blood by the coming down of the Holy Spirit. After this moment, although our eyes see bread and wine on the Holy Table, in their very essence, invisibly for sensual eyes, this is the true Body and true Blood of the Lord Jesus, only under the 'forms' of bread and wine.

Thus the sanctified Gifts 1) are not only signs or symbols reminding the faithful of the redemption, as the reformed Zwingli taught; and likewise, 2) it is not only by His 'activity and power' ('dynamically') that Jesus Christ is present in them, as Calvin taught; and finally 3) He is not present in the meaning only of 'penetration,' as the Luterhans teach (who recognize co-presense of Christ 'with the bread,under the form of bread, in the bread'); but the sanctified Gifts in the Mystery are changed or (a later term) 'transubstantiated'[5] into the true Body and true Blood of Christ, as the Savior said: 'For My flesh is meat indeed, and My Blood is drink indeed' (John 6:55).

This truth is expressed in the Encyclical of the Eastern Patriarchs in the following words: '...so that after the sanctification of the bread and winde, the bread is changed, transubstantiated, converted, transformed, into the actual true Body of the Lord... and the wine is changed and transubstantiated into the actual true Blood of our Lord, which ast the time of His suffering on the Cross was shed for the life of the world. Yet again, we believe that after the sanctification of the bread and wine there remains no longer the bread and wine themselves, but the very Body and Blood of the Lord, under the appearance and form of bread and wine.'


[5] The term 'transubstantiation comes from medieval Latin scholasticism: following the Aristotelian philosophical categories, 'transubstantiation' is a change of the 'substance' or underlying reality of the Holy Gifts without changing the 'accidents' or appearance of the bread and wine. Orthodox theology, however, does not try to 'define' this Mystery in terms of philosophical categories, and thus perfers the simple word 'change'." (emphasis his) - Fr. Michael Pomazansky, Orthodox Dogmatic Theology, pp. 279-280
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« Reply #9 on: January 20, 2005, 10:03:15 PM »

Would a better term then be Tranmutation?  I have heard in some translations of the Liturgy when the priest is consecrating the elements "And make this bread the precious Body of Thy Christ, and that which is in this cup, the Precious Blood of Thy Christ, transmuting them by Thy Holy Spirit......ect."

It mystically becomes the Body and Blood of Christ Jesus.  Yet it does not become human flesh, as the doctrine of transubstantiation seems to point to, because that would be disgusting and inedible.  I think once a Roman Catholic friend of mine pointed out that once on the alter several hundred years ago, the consecrated bread actually became human flesh, and the wine became blood.  He also said that there is scientific proof that there have been heart cells present in the Host. 

What do you all make of this?  I have heard of no such thing in the Orthodox Church. 

Not wanting to bring up controversy.  Just a thought. Wink

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« Reply #10 on: January 21, 2005, 12:44:39 AM »

I'm sorry to say that this is consubstantation, a heretical Lutheran doctrine. It either is the body of Christ or it is not, it seems to me. I don't see how believing that the body and blood literally become the body and blood of Christ divorces them from the material world--Christ's body and blood are obviously part of the material world. As far as magical talisman, it's not becoming that; its what allows us to truly be one with Christ's body; if it was still bread and wine we would become one with bread and wine, not Christ.

Anastasios,

I know about consubstantiation, but that's not what I'm trying to say. I will have to look up some things and come back to this.


Paradosis,

The quote from Cabasilas is a good point, and well taken. Without wishing to offer offence on this pont, I would not personally regard Fr. Micahel Pomazansky as being an authoritative writer on this subject.

Bob
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« Reply #11 on: January 21, 2005, 01:14:29 AM »

Pravoslavbob,

Are you OCA? I ask because Bp Tikhon has on several occasions recommended Fr Michael Pomazanksy's dogmatic textbook as an excellent dogmatics textbook.  But if you don't want to argue about Fr Michael's work I can respect that Smiley

Anastasios
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« Reply #12 on: January 21, 2005, 10:04:30 AM »

I don't see the point of arguing over it. It's a mystery; the bread and wine become Body and Blood. We eat it as food and drink, because we are hungry for bread and for God, and in the Eucharist this is united. It is both a "spiritual and bloodless sacrifice" and truly the most pure Body and precious Blood of Christ. We shouldn't argue over it as if it were a "thing"; it's not a "thing" but the Life of the World to Come. It's clear from the writings of the Fathers that many have said things like "it is no longer bread" and at the same time have referred to it as bread and wine (and even St. Paul did the same in1 Corinthians 10 and 11.) Clearly it is not bread and wine in any normal sense of the word (i.e. within our fallen world.)

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« Reply #13 on: January 21, 2005, 10:14:58 AM »

I think I found a plausible explanation for believing that it becomes the Body and Blood of Christ while yet remaining bread and wine:

Bread and wine are made up of Carbon, Oxygen, Hydrogen, and Nitrogen atoms (and some other nominal ones)

The Body and Blood of Christ are made up of Carbon, Oxygen, Hydrogen and Nitrogen atoms (and some other nominal ones---same as bread and wine due to both being biochemical substances)

These said-atoms go from being the C, O, H, and N atoms of bread and wine to the C, O, H, and N atoms of the Body and Blood of Christ.  They are still the same atoms, but now they are the possessees of the Body and Blood of Christ rather than the possessees of bread and wine.

btw....I meant no disrespect to referring to Our Lord Jesus Christ in this crude manner Afro
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« Reply #14 on: January 21, 2005, 10:37:54 AM »

Quote
Roman Catholic friend of mine pointed out that once on the alter several hundred years ago, the consecrated bread actually became human flesh, and the wine became blood.  He also said that there is scientific proof that there have been heart cells present in the Host.


yes actually I can find that link for you...but if you could wait until I find it....


anyways...there was a preist who had doubts about the true pressence...this was of course after the reformation period...and there were thoughts "maybe it is just a symbol"...and at that moment when he was holding the bread that is when it turned into flesh with blood...and ever since then...that priesnt NEVER question the Eucharist again.
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« Reply #15 on: January 21, 2005, 11:08:07 AM »

anyways...there was a preist who had doubts about the true pressence...this was of course after the reformation period...and there were thoughts "maybe it is just a symbol"...and at that moment when he was holding the bread that is when it turned into flesh with blood...and ever since then...that priesnt NEVER question the Eucharist again.

This is impossible since it supposedly occurred in a Roman Catholic Church. Roman Catholics separated themselves from the True Church of Christ and therefore do not participate in a level of Grace required for such an event to occur.

Please spin these fairy tales on a Roman Catholic board.

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« Reply #16 on: January 21, 2005, 11:13:18 AM »



This is impossible since it supposedly occurred in a Roman Catholic Church. Roman Catholics separated themselves from the True Church of Christ and therefore do not participate in a level of Grace required for such an event to occur.

Please spin these fairy tales on a Roman Catholic board.



excuse me?  The RCC broke away from you?  You do know that the RCC says that it was the orthodox who was the one who broke away.  When we were one church we shared the Pope...the RCC still has a pope...

in any case...I was just responding to a poster...there is no need to offend my belief for I am NOT critizing what you believe in....you call it fairy tale...I call it the power of God.
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« Reply #17 on: January 21, 2005, 11:19:50 AM »

excuse me? The RCC broke away from you? You do know that the RCC says that it was the orthodox who was the one who broke away.

The evil one is a liar -- by their fruits you shall know them. Can a church under the influence of the evil one do anything else?

When we were one church we shared the Pope...the RCC still has a pope...

As the first among equals -- not as the "god" he wanted to be worshipped as.
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« Reply #18 on: January 21, 2005, 11:26:08 AM »



The evil one is a liar -- by their fruits you shall know them. Can a church under the influence of the evil one do anything else?



As the first among equals -- not as the "god" he wanted to be worshipped as.



Jesus promised that He wouldnt leave us orphans, He promised that he would be with His church til the end of time.  He gave the keys to Peter who was the first pope and it was MEANT to be passed down....I think I would believe Jesus' promise than a person.


Do what you will....you are showing enough fruits....and it is actually deplieting my purpose in why I am here.

so I think I will just withdraw myself from this negativity....

I am not here for people to give out misconceptions of another's belief nor hear any bashing on it either. 

I am here to communicate at a respecitable level, and also to learn from the source of what the Orthodox believes in....I can understand how you differe and what you think but it can be at a level where it isnt cringing my face....

so if you will excuse me...I am stepping back...have a good day, my friend.
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« Reply #19 on: January 21, 2005, 12:57:38 PM »


The evil one is a liar -- by their fruits you shall know them. Can a church under the influence of the evil one do anything else?

That's kind of mean, Tom.  There are many good fruits of Roman Catholicism.  Only the most bigoted anti-Catholics would suggest otherwise. 

Quote
As the first among equals -- not as the "god" he wanted to be worshipped as.

Papal infallibility is not about "worship." 

Seriously, Tom, sometimes you sound just like those Jack Chick idiots. 
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« Reply #20 on: January 21, 2005, 01:34:14 PM »

That's kind of mean, Tom. There are many good fruits of Roman Catholicism. Only the most bigoted anti-Catholics would suggest otherwise.

There are no good fruits of Roman Catholicism. Only the good fruits of godly people who just happen to still BE Roman Catholics.

However, I will give you this, since I used the "New Posts" function, I did not notice that this thread was located in the "Orthodox/Roman Catholic" board. I should have noticed that and not posted here. I am sorry for that.
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« Reply #21 on: January 21, 2005, 02:23:24 PM »



excuse me? The RCC broke away from you? You do know that the RCC says that it was the orthodox who was the one who broke away. When we were one church we shared the Pope...the RCC still has a pope...

in any case...I was just responding to a poster...there is no need to offend my belief for I am NOT critizing what you believe in....you call it fairy tale...I call it the power of God.

I know that this is off-topic but there were at one time five (5) patriarchs in the One,Holy,Catholic and Apostolic Church.  One patriarch breaking away from the remaining four not the other way around.  How does 4 break away from 5 and be considered in schism?  Personally, when the Roman church excommunicated the church of Constantinople she in effect excommunicated herself because the Roman church had no jurisdiction over the eastern patriarch and legally could not do what it did.  But this is a topic for another thread.

JoeS 
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« Reply #22 on: January 21, 2005, 02:43:34 PM »

Tabby,

Don't take Tom personally.  He has his days Smiley

The Orthodox believe that the Catholics broke from them. You are right that there was a Pope in Rome before the split but there was also a Pope in Alexandria (and still is) over the Coptic Church. Before the Split the Pope did not have a position of universal authority (from our point of view).

Anastasios
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« Reply #23 on: January 21, 2005, 02:45:43 PM »

Not to mention the Greek Orthodox also have a Pope of Alexandria, still.
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« Reply #24 on: January 21, 2005, 02:58:37 PM »

Let me get this straight....

Quote
You are right that there was a Pope in Rome before the split but there was also a Pope in Alexandria (and still is) over the Coptic Church

So there were two popes at one time?

Or was it three popes at one time? 

Quote
Not to mention the Greek Orthodox also have a Pope of Alexandria, still.
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« Reply #25 on: January 21, 2005, 03:40:05 PM »

Let me get this straight....

So there were two popes at one time?

Or was it three popes at one time?


As no one has yet answered you...the answer is 'Yes" to two. Before the schism of 451 the undivided See of St Mark (Alexandria) was headed by a bishop who had (still does) the title of 'Pope'. After that see split into the Greek Orthodox Church of Alexandria and the larger Coptic Orthodox Church, there existS three bearing the title "Pope".
To confuse you yet further:
Pope (Latin: Popa, Greek: Papas. +á+¦-Ç+¦-é) simply means "Father". Technically every Greek Orthodox priest and bishop is a +á+¦-Ç+¦-é.
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« Reply #26 on: January 21, 2005, 03:48:17 PM »


So there were two popes at one time?

Or was it three popes at one time?

It can get confusing.  To answer your question, yes and no.  Yes, more than one patriarch has used the title "pope." pope is a derivative of "father."  But no, there was only one bishop of Rome and patriarch of the western Church.  In Orthodox theology, the bishop of Rome is the first among equals.  So in the early Church the bishop of Rome held a special place in the Church that was not 'matched' by the other patriarchs who use the title "pope." 

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« Reply #27 on: January 21, 2005, 03:53:30 PM »

hmmm...ok....even though I am still foggy on this...but if you say so.

thanks anyways...
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« Reply #28 on: January 21, 2005, 04:02:33 PM »

hmmm...ok....even though I am still foggy on this...but if you say so.

thanks anyways...

It is probably "foggy" because you are thinking these popes all have/had the authority that the Bishop of Rome has now.
In that light the answer is then "No" - no pope or bishop had the authority now wielded by today's Popes of Rome, not even the Pope of Rome back then, despite being the first see in respect "then".
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« Reply #29 on: January 21, 2005, 05:22:33 PM »

I'm sorry to say that this is consubstantation, a heretical Lutheran doctrine. It either is the body of Christ or it is not, it seems to me. I don't see how believing that the body and blood literally become the body and blood of Christ divorces them from the material world--Christ's body and blood are obviously part of the material world.

The problem with talking like this is that all you are really doing is pushing the paradox off where you can't see it well enough to be offended by it.

First of all, you've hit the wrong point with trans-/cons-; both say, flatly, that it "is" the body of Christ. The offending issue is the perception of bread/wine. Well, how would you know normally that it is bread or wine? Perception! So the cons- position is willing to say, "it can be both bread and body, because I perceive materially that it is bread and spiritually that it is body."

By contrast, it seems to me that the trans- version is essentially committing itself to the Body "fooling" the material into perceiving bread. Why would you ever want to think such a thing? Because the notion of it being two "things" at once is offensive. OK, so what's the substance of bread and flesh? Molecular structures composed of various atoms composed of subatomic particles. Ditto for blood and wine. So-- do the hemoglobin molecules in the Blood somehow misregister as sugar molecules on the tongue? Does the lysozyme enzyme in the mouth somehow break up the myosin molecules in the Body as if they were starches instead of proteins?

I'm looking at a Thomist explanation and finding that the answers it is giving in this wise are not very satisfactory. For one thing, it starts out by characaturing the scientific position as being reductionist. But after that, in its "cat" example, it flatly ignores the scientific answer: that the substance of cat is (in origin) cat cells, and that every other "accident" (as they list them) derives from the cat originating in these cells, which have certain features in common with the cells of other cats, and certain features differentiating them from the cells of other animals; and that certain of the accidents of a particular cat that distinguish it from other cats originate in differences within those same cells. This of course begs the question, in a way, because cat cells are (as living matter) composed of more basic substance, and so forth. But appealing to this is cheating; Aristotle couldn't see inside a cell.

What exactly the Lutherans are supposed to hold, by the way, is exceedingly controversial. There's quite a bit of commentary on this on the WELS website, and in particular they reject the word "consubstantiation". They then proceed to define "real presence" in terms which plenty of Anglicans would identify as a particular subspecies of consubstantiation.

It's painfully clear that once everyone gets the Zwinglian view out of the way, there is an abject refusal to work together in a common philosophical language. Looking at this Wikipedia article on the Eucharist, they think that the Lutherans and Orthodox fall into the same camp. I think they're pushing that a bit, because there are clearly strongly held opinions on both sides the rather belie their label of "pious silence". But Anastasios, your characterization of the Lutheran position appears to me to be inaccurate, and I think you're slipping into a "they're heretics; therefore what they believe is wrong if it isn't word for word the position I state" mode of argument.
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« Reply #30 on: January 21, 2005, 05:27:08 PM »

Keble,

I grew up Lutheran and I went through Lutheran catechesis (my family belonged to all three synods due to moving).  We were taught consubstantiation in the Missouri Synod explicitly and after communion was over the remainder was thrown out.  I'll respond to the rest of your post later.

Anastasios
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« Reply #31 on: January 21, 2005, 05:53:02 PM »

I grew up Lutheran and I went through Lutheran catechesis (my family belonged to all three synods due to moving). We were taught consubstantiation in the Missouri Synod explicitly and after communion was over the remainder was thrown out.

Well, I was taught a Zwinglian perspective as a Presbyterian, even though that's "officially" wrong.

And I'm looking at what I take to be an official LCMS document and it plainly doesn't teach consubstantiation under that name. (The "throwing out" aspect is also specifically covered.)

I'm also looking at this official FAQ response and note that it doesn't use the word "consubstantiation"; and not only that, it presents a position that, with sufficient sophistry, can be made consistent with transsubstantiation!
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« Reply #32 on: January 21, 2005, 07:10:06 PM »

Bob,

I'm sorry to say that this is consubstantation, a heretical Lutheran doctrine. It either is the body of Christ or it is not, it seems to me. I don't see how believing that the body and blood literally become the body and blood of Christ divorces them from the material world--Christ's body and blood are obviously part of the material world. As far as magical talisman, it's not becoming that; its what allows us to truly be one with Christ's body; if it was still bread and wine we would become one with bread and wine, not Christ.

Isaiah saw a coal (IS 6.6), but a coal is not plain wood, but wood united to fire.  In like manner, the bread of communion is not plain bread, but bread united to divinity.  But a body which is united to divinity is not one nature, but has one nature belonging to the body and another belonging to the divinity which is united to it, so that both together are not one nature but two.

St. John of Damascus
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« Reply #33 on: January 21, 2005, 07:12:54 PM »

Pravoslavbob,

Are you OCA? I ask because Bp Tikhon has on several occasions recommended Fr Michael Pomazanksy's dogmatic textbook as an excellent dogmatics textbook. But if you don't want to argue about Fr Michael's work I can respect that Smiley

That's interesting, Anastasios. Thank you, I do prefer not to argue.   Smiley
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« Reply #34 on: January 21, 2005, 08:38:15 PM »

I don't see the point of arguing over it. It's a mystery; the bread and wine become Body and Blood. We eat it as food and drink, because we are hungry for bread and for God, and in the Eucharist this is united. It is both a "spiritual and bloodless sacrifice" and truly the most pure Body and precious Blood of Christ. We shouldn't argue over it as if it were a "thing"; it's not a "thing" but the Life of the World to Come. It's clear from the writings of the Fathers that many have said things like "it is no longer bread" and at the same time have referred to it as bread and wine (and even St. Paul did the same in 1 Corinthians 10 and 11.) Clearly it is not bread and wine in any normal sense of the word (i.e. within our fallen world.)

Good points, Marjorie. (Anastasios, I hope that this post will interest you too.) In one sense, you are of course correct, and that is that it little profits us to squabble over semantics. We should just get down to the serious business of "working out our salvation in fear and trembling." However, how we see this Mystery can greatly affect how we go about working out our salvation.

It seems to me that the whole acceptance of the "substance and accidents" theory in the Latin Church has helped to lead them down a slippery slope. We should not follow them down this slope. The bread and wine are not incidental. Christ chooses to give himself to us as food, whatever hunger we have is ultimately a hunger for God. Christ even said "I am the true bread which comes down from heaven." And many other things besides about his flesh being real food, and his blood real drink. My point is that God has always used the material in creation to reveal himself to us. The feast of Theophany, which we have just celebrated, and which is a very important feast of the Church, is riddled with references to Christ sanctifying the waters of the Jordan, in order to make water again for us a means of communion with God. God wants the whole material creation to be what it was meant to be again, and that is a means to achieve to communion with Him, instead of a dead (emphasis on dead) end. And indeed, all of the Mysteries (Sacraments) of the Church are linked to the material world. The water of baptism. The oil and other things in Holy Chrism. The oil used in anointing the sick . And of course, the bread and wine used in the Eucharist. The ultimate way that God shows us the (potential) sanctity of matter, of course, is by the incarnation of Christ.

It seems to me that the whole "substance and accidents" thing is really part of the whole divorce of the sacrament from transfigured life and from the liturgy itself. One moment it is bread, and then voila, it is no longer bread in any way. I just looks like it and has all the chemical attributes of bread. I call this magical thinking. It is the same kind of thinking that (in part) makes it possible for some Roman Catholics to believe that if a priest comes up to a bread truck and say "this is my body..." , then all the bread inside will be consecrated hosts. And some Roman priests, even today, will still say the so-called "words of institution" over some extra hosts (outside of the context of the anaphora) when they find that they have run out of enough consecrated hosts to give to the people, and they have no problem doing this. I know that you are not Roman Catholic in your thinking, and I know that the same thing is true of other Orthodox on this forum, I am just illustrating one of the problems that might come about if we think that transubstantiation ( or something related to it) is perfectly okay to use as an explanation of what happens to the Gifts.

Your point about the bread not being just plain bread once consecrated is excellent. It is of course the "ulimate" bread, Christ Himself, if I may put it this way. Church Fathers (such as Maximus the Confessor, I believe) often refer to the bread and wine as being the "antitypes" of the body and blood of Christ. What is meant by this? IMHO, it means that the symbols (the bread and wine) are united to that which they represent. (anti="up against". typos= "thing that is bringing the imprint".....like in typography...something that brings the seal). This is what John of Damascus is paralleling in the quote I provided in an earlier post.  Of course, here I go opening a whole new can of worms... the whole thing about how the West has distorted the meaning of the word "symbol". In the orginal meaning of the word, it did not mean something that points to something else but is not that thing; it meant something that points to something and is united to the very thing that it points to. So..... as I said before, the bread and wine are not incidental. They are central. The West is missing the whole point when they argue about whether the gifts are "symbols" or "real". To the East, "symbol" is not opposed to "real".

I think that's enough of a rant for now. Far be it from me, a bear of very little brain and a poor sinner at that, to know the mind of the Fathers, but I think that this is part of what they are saying about this subject.

Bob


BTW, it's curious to me how Cabasilas uses the word "symbol" in the Western sense in the post provided earlier by Paradosis.  Perhaps this is something that was overlooked or obscured by the (Anglican?) translators.  Or perhaps Cabasilas and other Orthodox theologians had by this time already lost the ancient knowledge of the meaning of the word? (This would seem kind of incredible, but you never know.)  Maybe someone who is really up on their Greek could help enlighten us?
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« Reply #35 on: January 21, 2005, 08:49:56 PM »

btw....I meant no disrespect to referring to Our Lord Jesus Christ in this crude manner Afro

I know you don't, my brother. But IMHO, I think you should look to the Fathers and some good commentaries on their work for explanations regarding this important subject. Speaking as one who has been led astray by vain speculation in the past, I think that we really have to submit ourselves to the mind of the Holy Church for answers to questions like this.

Sorry, I don't mean to sound patronizing.  Forgive me if I come across this way.

In Christ,

Bob
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« Reply #36 on: January 21, 2005, 10:19:15 PM »

Brethren,

Just because someone is outside of the chruch does not mean that God has abandoned them. Though we belive (and I believe) that we hold the Christian faith to its fullest in Orthodoxy, we cannot say that God's grace in only given to those in the chruch. God is above all creation, and even in our rights and wrongs, he is still with us. His grace is ever present. Indeed, our theology on heaven and hell is a great example thereof. Christ dies so that everyone would recieve the gift of eternal life and the resurrection from the dead. The question lies as to where we spend that eternity: in his divine live, or out of it. And it is our choice. Being Orthodox does not make the burden lighter. Instead, it makes it harder, because we are called to uphold the fullness of the faith, not to approach the Chalice unworthily, and to consider every step. But we belive the journey to be worth the destination, if we pay attention.

Ultimately it is God's decision to whom He will send His grace. Person to person, on an individual basis, can this be, as well as in a body of believers. There are many in our church who have erred and been diposed. There are many outside the church with the most loving hearts imagineable, and have been divinely rewarded. If there is Love, there is God. For God is love and cannot be denied.  Whether we be Orthodox, Roman Catholic, Protestant, Evangelical, or anything else, if we have failed to let Love penetrate our hearts, souls and minds and ultimately be willing to forgive the mistakes of the past, then God is not in us. It does not mean that we approach these things with mushy hands, and forgetfullness of who we are and what we believe. It does mean, however, that in the end, we will, if we ever hope that we may all be one, we will all have to fall on our faces and ask God and eachother for forgiveness. Putting Christ first, and putting all other things on the backburner, focusing on hsi Eternal and unorigionate light in all things is all it takes. Amazing how taxing it is on the human soul caught in a world of sin, eh?  

Name-calling, yelling, screaming, and limiting have to cease if there is to be understanding. Its great that we can vent our frustrations and share our theological veiwpoints here. I like that personally. It get us closer and closer to the heart of the matter, if we dont close ourselves off. Facts are discovered like this, as well as falsehood rooted out. But it does no good to attack. Then we just stop listening and start the hate and misunderstanding again.  It's really lack of communication and understanding why this whole mess happened in the first place.

As good a some arguments are, one does not win one with a cattle prod. It is only the beginning of war if we look at it like that. We are all prodigals, and have all messed up. As the Father embraces, so we should as well. As we have our sins burned away by Him, so we must be willing to take that step and love.

Dont mistake this for altruism or a naive attitude towards the differences. I know we have issues to work out. But we have to do away with the pride that keep us apart. It begins there, and ends in Heaven, ultimately. Let us hope that we can at least approach it from this angle. Peace Brothers and Sisters.

The worst of sinners,

Ian Lazarus :grommit:

Ps: Tabby, I'd ike that link to read on it. Just out of my own curiosity.        
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« Reply #37 on: January 22, 2005, 09:28:48 AM »



This is impossible since it supposedly occurred in a Roman Catholic Church. Roman Catholics separated themselves from the True Church of Christ and therefore do not participate in a level of Grace required for such an event to occur.

Please spin these fairy tales on a Roman Catholic board.




Here's a quote from "Catholic Apologetics Today" by Father William G. Most (Copyright @1986 by  TAN Books and Publishers, Inc.--ISBN 0-89555-305-8....Chapter 3)

"Around 700 A.D., in the church of St. Legonziano in Lanciano, Italy, a priest was celebrating Mass.  He began to doubt the Presence of Jesus in the Host and chalice.  Then it happened.  Most of the Host changed to flesh (the center kept the appearance of bread), and the Liquid in the chalice became five clots of blood.  The treasure was guarded over the centuries by monks.
     "Finally, in November 1970, the authorities of the Church gave permission for a study.  A team of biological and medical scientists gathered.  They took small samples of the flesh and the blood and put them through a full battery of tests.  They found that the flesh really was human flesh, a part of the heart, and the clots were human blood.  The proteins in the blood were the normal ratio contained in fresh blood.  Other features of the chemistry were normal.  The type of the blood in the clots was the same as the blood in the flesh.  Yet, no trace of any preservative or embalming agent was found.  Obviously, flesh and blood would ordinarily begin to decay in a day or two - yet after so many centuries, and right up to today, they have not decayed."

How is this you may ask?  Remember that at the Synod of Carthage in 411 A.D., it was established by Blessed Augustine and his blessed homies that all Sacraments are valid as long as the priest received a valid ordination and the form of the sacramental rite was correct.  It matters not one single iota what the priest believes or what sin he is involved in.  Therefore, ALL sacraments of the RCC are valid.  This also includes the Anglican Church, which has valid ordination practices (remember....it's the form that matters) and uses the Eucharist prayer over the Host.  (Yes....even sacraments performed by the homosexual bishop are valid).  Sure, the doctrines may be incorrect (sorry, Catholics....but I am Orthodox, after all Wink), but that has no bearing on the validity of the sacraments...otherwise we have sunk to neo-Donatism.

Granted....Carthage 411 was not an Ecumenical Council.  But neither were any of the Donatist Councils considered Ecumenical.

And anyway....this event happened long before the Great Schism....so it was still one Church anyway.
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« Reply #38 on: January 22, 2005, 09:45:16 AM »

I still consider it nonsense.

Why? Because Faith does/should not require signs. If you believe because it was proved to you then it is no longer Faith - it is FACT.
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« Reply #39 on: January 22, 2005, 10:06:40 AM »

Ohhhhh.....I thought the reason you had a problem with it was because of its validity in a heretical church (sorry, Catholics).  I see now the reason why you had a problem with it.  I apologize for the misunderstanding.

Incidentally, even though Lutherans believe in the Real Presence, they do not have it because all their clergy has invalid ordinations.

Here is my understanding of Luther's "consubstantiation": Luther was somewhat of a monophysite (i.e. he confused the Divine Nature with the Human Nature of Christ)....he believed that one of the properties that got "distributed" was the omnipresence of God...i.e. that the Divine omnipresence now became also the property of the humanity of Jesus.  Therefore, the Body and Blood of Christ is literally omnipresent.  The Presence in the Host is merely a logical conclusion of that.  But, of course, this would make the "host" nothing special in as much as the Coke I'm drinking right now also contains the bodily presence of Christ.  Post-Lutherans (or Church history buffs): correct me if I'm wrong.
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« Reply #40 on: January 22, 2005, 11:19:39 AM »

How is this you may ask? Remember that at the Synod of Carthage in 411 A.D., it was established by Blessed Augustine and his blessed homies that all Sacraments are valid as long as the priest received a valid ordination and the form of the sacramental rite was correct. It matters not one single iota what the priest believes or what sin he is involved in. Therefore, ALL sacraments of the RCC are valid. This also includes the Anglican Church, which has valid ordination practices (remember....it's the form that matters) and uses the Eucharist prayer over the Host. (Yes....even sacraments performed by the homosexual bishop are valid). Sure, the doctrines may be incorrect (sorry, Catholics....but I am Orthodox, after all Wink), but that has no bearing on the validity of the sacraments...otherwise we have sunk to neo-Donatism.

idontlikenames,

Sorry, but I don't believe that the position you are stating here is the Orthodox one. The sin of the priest doesn't matter, but his faith certainly does. Otherwise, apostolic succession becomes a matter of "magic hands." To us, the physical and formal aspects of ordination are important, but just as important is the ecclesial/faith context. Although at times Orthodox have used the word "validity" to talk about sacraments, I think that this is really a western borrowing and is quite alien to our ecclesiology. Anglican orders, by the way, are suspect even from the Roman perspective of vallidity, although they do seem to have a good case also, from this perspective. In the case of a homosexual bishop, if he is a practicing homosexual and thinks that this is just fine with the Church and God, this would be enough on its own to render the eucharist he presides at suspect, to say the least. (This again touches on faith and ecclesiology.) My own personal opinion is that the Roman Church is not without Grace, but that is only my opinion. As Orthodox, we can say we know where the Church is, but we cannot say where it is not. (This is really as far as we can go in terms of "recognition" of other Churches.)

The rest of your post is very interesting. Perhaps it goes a long way towards refuting my argument about the Eucharist and confirming that of others and Marjorie's especially, who has said that we just don`t know about the nature of the change of the elements or what is going on at all. At moments like this, I always think of St. Paul's words (forgive my patchy and inaccurate paraphrase): "I know of a man who was caught up into the seventh(?) heaven, whether in the body or out of the body I do not know, God knows....." God knows. I don`t know.

Bob


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« Reply #41 on: January 22, 2005, 11:36:10 AM »

The sin of the priest doesn't matter, but his faith certainly does.

I hope that quote-method worked....

Let's say that hypothetically speaking, there were a bunch of bishops and priests who received their ordinations from Nestorius, Patriarch of Constantinople (him being one of the three in the "bishop" case).  Nestorius' faith was obviously wrong.  Does that invalidate all the priests and bishops that he helped ordain?  If so, then that poison would follow its way down to even modern times....and therefore, there would be bishops and priests now who ultimately have no valid ordination because of a weak link in the chain over 1500 years ago.  What do you think?

About the Thomistic part in "transsubstantiation":  I still don't see the "how" in this doctrine....I only see the "what".  Granted, "substance" and "accident" are Aristotetian/scholastic categories....but what matters is what is behind those terms used, not the terms themselves.  Or is there even something wrong with the meaning behind the terms?
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« Reply #42 on: January 22, 2005, 12:25:33 PM »

Let's say that hypothetically speaking, there were a bunch of bishops and priests who received their ordinations from Nestorius, Patriarch of Constantinople (him being one of the three in the "bishop" case). Nestorius' faith was obviously wrong. Does that invalidate all the priests and bishops that he helped ordain? If so, then that poison would follow its way down to even modern times....and therefore, there would be bishops and priests now who ultimately have no valid ordination because of a weak link in the chain over 1500 years ago. What do you think?


In this case, if I understand you correctly, there may well have been no problem, because all of these people or their successors have returned to the Orthodox understanding of the faith. I don't know how they would have returned....simply by being penitent, or denouncing the error of Nestorius and making an Orthodox proclamation of faith, or being chrismated fully or partially to heal the break.....My gut feeling is that they would not have to be re-ordained. When it comes to Bishops who have left the Orthodox faith and then desire to return, I don't know, sometimes things might well be much more dicey. I suppose it may depend on how much they have wilfully espoused heretical doctrine.(This is only my thought....I'm sure that someone like Anastasios could offer us some help on this point.) Even today, depending on the situation/jurisdiction etc., priests from, say, the Byzantine Catholic Church may be received into communion with the Orthodox Church simply by being vested by an Orthodox bishop and then concelebrating the Divine Liturgy with him. This is by no means a universally accepted practice, but I am using it to make a point.

This whole "validity" thing can be a cloudy issue. You are right in one sense. I believe I saw an article written in the sixites by an Orthodox theologian who said that we should not use the word "validity", but rather another word that has something to do with "potetential reality" or some such thing.....

Another tidbit of interest on this whole thing. Bp. Kallistos Ware once said, I believe, in his book the Orthodox Church, that if Anglicans returned to a more apostolic understanding of the faith, re-ordaining Anglican clergy who want to enter the Orthodox Church MIGHT(underline might) not be necessary. The present Orthodox practice demands that Anglican clergy be received as laymen and then receive Orthodox ordination.

Bob
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« Reply #43 on: January 22, 2005, 12:28:27 PM »

About the Thomistic part in "transsubstantiation": I still don't see the "how" in this doctrine....I only see the "what". Granted, "substance" and "accident" are Aristotetian/scholastic categories....but what matters is what is behind those terms used, not the terms themselves. Or is there even something wrong with the meaning behind the terms?

The posts here try to touch on this issue.  Have a look and see what you think.
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« Reply #44 on: January 22, 2005, 12:59:57 PM »

Bob,

Thank you so much for your post. I agree with basically everything you said. Can't think of anything else to say!

Ian Lazarus,

Very good reminder, and beautifully stated. Smiley

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