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Moderated Forums => Orthodox-Other Christian Discussion => Orthodox-Catholic Discussion => Topic started by: idontlikenames on January 20, 2005, 12:21:36 PM

Title: what's wrong with Transubstantiation?
Post by: idontlikenames 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".
Title: Re: what's wrong with Transubstantiation?
Post by: Doubting Thomas on January 20, 2005, 12:49:56 PM
Good question. 
Title: Re: what's wrong with Transubstantiation?
Post by: Αριστοκλής 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
Title: Re: what's wrong with Transubstantiation?
Post by: Anastasios 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!

Anastasios
Title: Re: what's wrong with Transubstantiation?
Post by: Pravoslavbob 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
Title: Re: what's wrong with Transubstantiation?
Post by: Fr. David 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!   :-[
Title: Re: what's wrong with Transubstantiation?
Post by: Anastasios 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.

Anastasios
Title: Re: what's wrong with Transubstantiation?
Post by: Anastasios 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
Title: Re: what's wrong with Transubstantiation?
Post by: Asteriktos 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

Quote
"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
Title: Re: what's wrong with Transubstantiation?
Post by: Ian Lazarus 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. ;)

Pazi,

Ian Lazarus :grommit:

Title: Re: what's wrong with Transubstantiation?
Post by: Pravoslavbob 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
Title: Re: what's wrong with Transubstantiation?
Post by: Anastasios 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 :)

Anastasios
Title: Re: what's wrong with Transubstantiation?
Post by: Marjorie 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.)

Marjorie
Title: Re: what's wrong with Transubstantiation?
Post by: idontlikenames 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 O0
Title: Re: what's wrong with Transubstantiation?
Post by: Tabby 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.
Title: Re: what's wrong with Transubstantiation?
Post by: TomS 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.

Title: Re: what's wrong with Transubstantiation?
Post by: Tabby 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.
Title: Re: what's wrong with Transubstantiation?
Post by: TomS 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.
Title: Re: what's wrong with Transubstantiation?
Post by: Tabby 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.
Title: Re: what's wrong with Transubstantiation?
Post by: Jennifer 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. 
Title: Re: what's wrong with Transubstantiation?
Post by: TomS 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.
Title: Re: what's wrong with Transubstantiation?
Post by: JoeS 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 
Title: Re: what's wrong with Transubstantiation?
Post by: Anastasios on January 21, 2005, 02:43:34 PM
Tabby,

Don't take Tom personally.  He has his days :)

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
Title: Re: what's wrong with Transubstantiation?
Post by: Αριστοκλής on January 21, 2005, 02:45:43 PM
Not to mention the Greek Orthodox also have a Pope of Alexandria, still.
Title: Re: what's wrong with Transubstantiation?
Post by: Tabby 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.
Title: Re: what's wrong with Transubstantiation?
Post by: Αριστοκλής 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.
Title: Re: what's wrong with Transubstantiation?
Post by: Jennifer 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." 

Title: Re: what's wrong with Transubstantiation?
Post by: Tabby 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...
Title: Re: what's wrong with Transubstantiation?
Post by: Αριστοκλής 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".
Title: Re: what's wrong with Transubstantiation?
Post by: Keble 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 (http://www.saintaquinas.com/primer.html) 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" (http://www.wels.net/cgi-bin/site.pl?1518&cuTopic_topicID=58&cuItem_itemID=2273). 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 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/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.
Title: Re: what's wrong with Transubstantiation?
Post by: Anastasios 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
Title: Re: what's wrong with Transubstantiation?
Post by: Keble 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 (http://www.lcms.org/graphics/assets/media/CTCR/Theol_lord_supper1.pdf) 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 (http://www.lcms.org/pages/internal.asp?NavID=2615) 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!
Title: Re: what's wrong with Transubstantiation?
Post by: Pravoslavbob 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
Title: Re: what's wrong with Transubstantiation?
Post by: Pravoslavbob 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 :)

That's interesting, Anastasios. Thank you, I do prefer not to argue.   :)
Title: Re: what's wrong with Transubstantiation?
Post by: Pravoslavbob 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?
Title: Re: what's wrong with Transubstantiation?
Post by: Pravoslavbob on January 21, 2005, 08:49:56 PM
btw....I meant no disrespect to referring to Our Lord Jesus Christ in this crude manner O0

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
Title: Re: what's wrong with Transubstantiation?
Post by: Ian Lazarus 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.        
Title: Re: what's wrong with Transubstantiation?
Post by: idontlikenames 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 ;)), 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.
Title: Re: what's wrong with Transubstantiation?
Post by: TomS 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.
Title: Re: what's wrong with Transubstantiation?
Post by: idontlikenames 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.
Title: Re: what's wrong with Transubstantiation?
Post by: Pravoslavbob 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 ;)), 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


Title: Re: what's wrong with Transubstantiation?
Post by: idontlikenames 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?
Title: Re: what's wrong with Transubstantiation?
Post by: Pravoslavbob 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
Title: Re: what's wrong with Transubstantiation?
Post by: Pravoslavbob 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.
Title: Re: what's wrong with Transubstantiation?
Post by: Marjorie 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. :)

Marjorie
Title: Re: what's wrong with Transubstantiation?
Post by: Pravoslavbob on January 22, 2005, 01:09:21 PM
Thanks, Marjorie.  I'm happy that you liked what I had to say. :)
Title: Re: what's wrong with Transubstantiation?
Post by: Mor Ephrem on January 22, 2005, 01:24:58 PM
Remember that at the Synod of Carthage in 411 A.D., it was established by Blessed Augustine and his blessed homies...

Nothing of significant value to inject into this discussion (I fall in the "Orthodox for Transubstantiation" camp, if you want to call it that), I just wanted to say that I love this!  "His blessed homies".  I have to use that one day. 
Title: Re: what's wrong with Transubstantiation?
Post by: Ian Lazarus on January 22, 2005, 11:37:46 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. :)

Marjorie

My humble thanks, Sister. You are quite eloquent yourself. ;D



Nothing of significant value to inject into this discussion (I fall in the "Orthodox for Transubstantiation" camp, if you want to call it that), I just wanted to say that I love this! "His blessed homies". I have to use that one day.

Mor,

Please remind me to step away from you in a lightning storm when you do! :happy2: :Spam:

I joke, I joke. :P


Peace

Ian Lazarus :grommit:
Title: Re: what's wrong with Transubstantiation?
Post by: Matthew777 on January 25, 2005, 01:02:12 AM
Didn't protestants reject transubstantiation because of the heady Greek philosophy wrapped up in this doctrine?
Title: Re: what's wrong with Transubstantiation?
Post by: Ian Lazarus on January 25, 2005, 10:06:47 PM
When I myself was Protestant, my ministers were heavy into the wording in Luke that says "Do this in remembrance of Me". They would use it to disqualify the validity of the sacrament and make it simply into a "memorial meal", and not the actual Body and Blood of Christ. The "in memoria mei", from the Latin vulgate, can be confusing. I wonder if they translated the Greek word animensis in the same manner, or had access to Greek texts? I need to take a look back at my Calvin again, because his thoughts on the subject seem to be ambiguous at best. Its later on in the movement tht people began to theorize about it and make it to be a mental thing rather than a spiritual thing.

It never made sense then why we did it. If it was just a memorial, and all we were doing was remembering Christ, and we could do that by reading the Bible, why do it? Why did we need to pass the crackers and the grape juice down like offering plates down the aisle? It really just seemed that it was a left-over ritus from the Catholic days.

As I studied further, I discovered that the Greek meant to relive. I began to see a new reveence for it, and kneew it to be the Body and Blood. I give God the credit for that.

Ian Lazarus :grommit:  
Title: Re: what's wrong with Transubstantiation?
Post by: Tabby on January 25, 2005, 11:01:02 PM
Catholic and orthodox is the ONLY religion that I know of who takes the Eucharist as real presence.  All the other relgions i have been to (and I have been in alot) is a symbol...a remeberence...that is it nothing more.
Title: Re: what's wrong with Transubstantiation?
Post by: Jennifer on January 25, 2005, 11:19:32 PM
Catholic and orthodox is the ONLY religion that I know of who takes the Eucharist as real presence. All the other relgions i have been to (and I have been in alot) is a symbol...a remeberence...that is it nothing more.

Anglo-Catholics also believe in the Real Presence.  See  this entry (http://pontifications.classicalanglican.net/index.php?p=648#comments) on the Pontifications blog. 

Title: Re: what's wrong with Transubstantiation?
Post by: aurelia on January 26, 2005, 08:34:02 AM


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! :-[


Well, we (my Fr and I) touched on this very thing in my first session with him (remember i am going through preparation to be crismated in the GO church) and that is pretty much the conclusion we got to. He emphasised the fact that it IS the Body and Blood, and he goes "now what do you suppose that tastes like? I said" um...wine with bread, and it sorta depends on the wine you used" and he sorta laughed and said "bingo" but the reverence and light in his face when he talked about it was something to see, as he re-emphasised the point of the BEING of the Body and Blood. Maybe you would have had to be there. :)

Did that make sense, and sorry for coming in so late, there are so many threads and issues here!
Title: Re: what's wrong with Transubstantiation?
Post by: Αριστοκλής on January 26, 2005, 08:50:29 AM
Sounds as if you are in good hands, aurelia

Yes, makes sense
Title: Re: what's wrong with Transubstantiation?
Post by: mathetes on February 01, 2005, 03:35:33 AM


Nothing of significant value to inject into this discussion (I fall in the "Orthodox for Transubstantiation" camp, if you want to call it that), I just wanted to say that I love this! "His blessed homies". I have to use that one day.

What do the Orthodox say about celiac disease, a condition aggravated by gluten in wheat? The Associated Press has run stories about some Catholics frustrated that they can't have bread made from rice instead of wheat. From what I've read, virtually all these Catholics must take only wine during Mass. One story mentioned a girl who joined the United Methodist Church because it was willing to serve her rice wafers.

Wouldn't celiac disease suggest that the bread remains even after consecration?

In asking this question, I'm not trying to be inflammatory or divisive. I guess I'm saying the oft-heard adage "All truth is God's truth"; thus, if people with celiac disease are getting sick from gluten eaten at Communion, that's God's way of telling us, through medical science, that the wheat's still there.

In Christ,
Mathetes
Title: Re: what's wrong with Transubstantiation?
Post by: Anastasios on February 01, 2005, 03:39:44 AM
Quote
Wouldn't celiac disease suggest that the bread remains even after consecration?

No, because the properties of wheat are still there. God does not turn the bread into body in a plainly physical sense because it would be difficult to eat plainly physical flesh, and the plain transformation would nullify the faithful's acceptance by faith of what is happening.

Anastasios
Title: Re: what's wrong with Transubstantiation?
Post by: mathetes on February 01, 2005, 03:57:55 AM

... 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 ), 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.

It's hard to believe that God, who insists on being sanctified among his people and who slew Nadab and Abihu for their offering of strange fire ( Leviticus 10 ), would allow an apostate, perverted priest to give a valid sacrament. If such a priest gave such a sacrament and partook of it, wouldn't he be partaking unworthily and be at risk of the judgments ( sickness, death ) that the apostle Paul warned of ( 1 Corinthians 11: 29, 30 )? If such a priest continues partaking unharmed year after year, wouldn't that suggest his sacraments are no good?
Title: Re: what's wrong with Transubstantiation?
Post by: mathetes on February 01, 2005, 04:03:47 AM


No, because the properties of wheat are still there. God does not turn the bread into body in a plainly physical sense because it would be difficult to eat plainly physical flesh, and the plain transformation would nullify the faithful's acceptance by faith of what is happening.

Anastasios

Anastasios, it seems that you're reacting the way Galileo's critics did.  How can the wheat's properties be there apart from the wheat?
Title: Re: what's wrong with Transubstantiation?
Post by: TomS on February 01, 2005, 09:20:44 AM
How can the wheat's properties be there apart from the wheat?

Why are you trying to hold God to the physical laws of this world?
Title: Re: what's wrong with Transubstantiation?
Post by: EkhristosAnesti on February 01, 2005, 11:45:49 AM
Someone mentioned a story earlier about a priest doubting belief in the divine presence, and the the body and blood all of the sudden turning into flesh and blood.

Something similar happened in Egypt at a Coptic Orthodox church - a Muslim lady sneaked into the liturgy, she was very sick and she was heard from somewhere that the Eucharist has magical healing powers. As she watched the priest starting to break the bread, she started screaming at the top of her lungs, shouting that she saw a baby in the plate and that the priest was about to rip apart the baby. Im not 100% on the details, i believe my uncle told me this story.
Title: Re: what's wrong with Transubstantiation?
Post by: EkhristosAnesti on February 01, 2005, 12:44:11 PM
Quote
It's hard to believe that God, who insists on being sanctified among his people and who slew Nadab and Abihu for their offering of strange fire ( Leviticus 10 ), would allow an apostate, perverted priest to give a valid sacrament. If such a priest gave such a sacrament and partook of it, wouldn't he be partaking unworthily and be at risk of the judgments ( sickness, death ) that the apostle Paul warned of ( 1 Corinthians 11: 29, 30 )? If such a priest continues partaking unharmed year after year, wouldn't that suggest his sacraments are no good?

Here's another story from the Coptic Orthodox church. There was a saint, i forgot his name, he was part of a church where the priest had become very corrupt in his dealings. One day whilst serving in the altar as a deacon, and thinking to himself, how such a priest can handle the precious body and blood of the Lord, he saw, just before the part of the liturgy where the priest starts breaking the bread, an angel come down from heaven, taking the priest and tying him up from the roof of the altar by his legs, as the angel took the form of the priest and finished off the liturgy.
Title: Re: what's wrong with Transubstantiation?
Post by: Arystarcus on February 01, 2005, 11:42:13 PM
Quote
What do the Orthodox say about celiac disease, a condition aggravated by gluten in wheat?  The Associated Press has run stories about some Catholics frustrated that they can't have bread made from rice instead of wheat.  From what I've read, virtually all these Catholics must take only wine during Mass. One story mentioned a girl who joined the United Methodist Church because it was willing to serve her rice wafers.

What is wrong with only partaking of the Precious Blood? In the Orthodox Church when infants receive and partake of the Heavenly Banquet they are served only the Precious Blood from the spoon.

It regards to that girl who left the Catholic Church because she could not receive the "wafer", although it is said that she cannot partake of it due to her condition, what is sadder still is that she is no longer receiving the True Body and Blood of Christ! It sounds like her or her parents were just hung up on receiving the wafer. If they had knowledge of the teachings of the Catholic Church then they would know that they are not receiving anything but a plain old wafer at the Methodist Church, and their daughter would be receiving the TRUE Sacrament at the Catholic Church, even if only received from the chalice.

In Christ,
Aaron
Title: Re: what's wrong with Transubstantiation?
Post by: Arystarcus on February 01, 2005, 11:43:39 PM
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Here's another story from the Coptic Orthodox church. There was a saint, i forgot his name, he was part of a church where the priest had become very corrupt in his dealings. One day whilst serving in the altar as a deacon, and thinking to himself, how such a priest can handle the precious body and blood of the Lord, he saw, just before the part of the liturgy where the priest starts breaking the bread, an angel come down from heaven, taking the priest and tying him up from the roof of the altar by his legs, as the angel took the form of the priest and finished off the liturgy.

That is quite a story! If you happen to find any more details about this, would you please post a followup? I'd be interested in hearing more about it.

In Christ,
Aaron
Title: Re: what's wrong with Transubstantiation?
Post by: Νεκτάριος on February 02, 2005, 02:38:54 AM
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what is sadder still is that she is no longer receiving the True Body and Blood of Christ! It sounds like her or her parents were just hung up on receiving the wafer.

Since the the "communion" in question is from a schismatic body and not the Orthodox Church how is it the "True Body and Blood" of Christ"?
Title: Re: what's wrong with Transubstantiation?
Post by: Ian Lazarus on February 02, 2005, 02:02:27 PM
MAT 18:20 " For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them."

Personally, I think it's in the asking. Protestants do not generally ask God that the bread and wine become the Body and Blood of Christ. But the majority of Christians do. We ask and believe, as was shown to us by the Apostles, that the Real Presence be in the Eucharist to sustain us and to purify us. That is why it is effectual. Not to say that God cannot do it even if we don't ask. But the fact that we do, and ask God to act makes it so. We do these things in the confidence and the knowledge that He will be good to His word and what He as shown. We ask, He gives, we get, we become. Both the Eastern and the Oriental Orthodox, as well as the Roman Catholics, believe in the True Presence and take it with the seriouness it derves as it is God and, as the Greeks put it in their final confession before Communion, "Recieve Fire", that being the Holy Spirit directly. Though we may not recognize their "communion" as it deals with their jurusdiction, can we deny God is present to those who ask for His presence? Just a thought.

Along with this, I have to ask our Anglican/Episcopalian contingent on this site at least their understanding of the Eucharist. When I was Episcopalian, I was told by afew priests something like Luther taught about consubstantiation, and yet afew others that it was merely asymbol, but if I wanted to believe in the true presence It was "OK". I have to say it confused me. I don't ask this to insult or drill you guys, but I wanted to know with similar statements being made by clergy and heriarchs in the Anglican Communion in the past. If it has been answered before, forgive me.


Gratefully,

Ian Lazarus :grommit:

Title: Re: what's wrong with Transubstantiation?
Post by: Asteriktos on February 02, 2005, 03:24:10 PM
Mathetes,

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What do the Orthodox say about celiac disease, a condition aggravated by gluten in wheat?

I think it would be necessary to first establish that this problem exists within the Orthodox Church, before we would have to deal with what it implies about our sacraments (and sacramental theology). Since we don't believe that sacraments outside the Church are effectual or have grace (unless one holds to an Augustinian view on the matter), it would not come as a suprise that something like what you mentioned would happen in the Catholic Church.
Title: Re: what's wrong with Transubstantiation?
Post by: Arystarcus on February 02, 2005, 07:42:48 PM
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Since the the "communion" in question is from a schismatic body and noth the Orthodox Church how is it the "True Body and Blood" of Christ"?

I say this because although the Catholic Church is in schism from us, they are also of apostolic succession and their belief in the True Presence of Christ in the Eucharist has never wavered, despite the fact of our obvious seperation.

I do not adhere to the idea of judginging who is graceless and who is not, because I honestly do not know - only God does.

I realize that some do not agree, but I am not asking anyone to share my opinion.

In Christ,
Aaron
Title: Re: what's wrong with Transubstantiation?
Post by: Jakub on February 02, 2005, 08:05:27 PM
I'm with Majorie, its a mystery plain & simple period. Man in his infinite wisdom just loves to try to explain & so he can validate his theory.

james

Title: Re: what's wrong with Transubstantiation?
Post by: Mor Ephrem on February 02, 2005, 08:34:18 PM
Since we don't believe that sacraments outside the Church are effectual or have grace (unless one holds to an Augustinian view on the matter), it would not come as a suprise that something like what you mentioned would happen in the Catholic Church.

So are you saying that a (pick your jurisdiction of choice) deacon would not get drunk if he had to consume a lot of the Holy Gifts after the Liturgy? 
Title: Re: what's wrong with Transubstantiation?
Post by: Asteriktos on February 02, 2005, 08:59:05 PM
Touche. :)
Title: Re: what's wrong with Transubstantiation?
Post by: mathetes on February 02, 2005, 10:20:34 PM
Sorry to have been away, Paradosis.  You wrote in part:

... we don't believe that sacraments outside the Church are effectual or have grace (unless one holds to an Augustinian view on the matter. ...

Could you tell me how Orthodoxy's view of sacraments outside the Church differs from St. Augustine's?  Would the difference pertain to the question whether the bread and wine blessed by an apostate, perverted priest actually becomes our Lord's body and blood?

Thanks.
Mathetes
Title: Re: what's wrong with Transubstantiation?
Post by: mathetes on February 02, 2005, 10:27:57 PM


Here's another story from the Coptic Orthodox church. There was a saint, i forgot his name, he was part of a church where the priest had become very corrupt in his dealings. One day whilst serving in the altar as a deacon, and thinking to himself, how such a priest can handle the precious body and blood of the Lord, he saw, just before the part of the liturgy where the priest starts breaking the bread, an angel come down from heaven, taking the priest and tying him up from the roof of the altar by his legs, as the angel took the form of the priest and finished off the liturgy.

Like Arystarcus, I'd very much like to hear more details -- the who, what, when, where, why, and how of the story. Also interesting would be to learn whether the corrupt priest was aware of being tied up while the angel completed the liturgy.

In Christ,
Mathetes

Title: Re: what's wrong with Transubstantiation?
Post by: Νεκτάριος on February 02, 2005, 10:37:02 PM
But for the sake of clarity it ought to be pointed out that the Orthodox Church has taught since the early days that heretics ands schismatics are not part of the Church and that the grace of the mysteries is within the Church. 
Title: Re: what's wrong with Transubstantiation?
Post by: Νεκτάριος on February 02, 2005, 11:02:42 PM
Also I would like to add the text of the ROCOR Anathema against Ecumenism:

Those who attack the Church of Christ by teaching that  Christ's Church is divided into so-called  "branches" which differ in doctrine and way of  life, or that the Church does not exist visibly, but will be  formed in the future when all "branches" or sects  or denominations, and even religions will be united into one  body; and who do not distinguish the priesthood and mysteries  of the Church from those of the heretics, but say that the  baptism and eucharist of heretics is effectual for salvation;  therefore, to those who knowingly have communion with these  aforementioned heretics or who advocate, disseminate, or  defend their new heresy of Ecumenism under the pretext of  brotherly love or the supposed unification of separated  Christians, Anathema!
Title: Re: what's wrong with Transubstantiation?
Post by: Arystarcus on February 02, 2005, 11:16:51 PM
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But for the sake of clarity it ought to be pointed out that the Orthodox Church has taught since the early days that heretics ands schismatics are not part of the Church and that the grace of the mysteries is within the Church.

Nektarios,

Where can I read more about this?

Quote
Also I would like to add the text of the ROCOR Anathema against Ecumenism:

Those who attack the Church of Christ by teaching that  Christ's Church is divided into so-called  "branches" which differ in doctrine and way of  life, or that the Church does not exist visibly, but will be  formed in the future when all "branches" or sects  or denominations, and even religions will be united into one  body; and who do not distinguish the priesthood and mysteries  of the Church from those of the heretics, but say that the  baptism and eucharist of heretics is effectual for salvation;  therefore, to those who knowingly have communion with these  aforementioned heretics or who advocate, disseminate, or  defend their new heresy of Ecumenism under the pretext of  brotherly love or the supposed unification of separated  Christians, Anathema!

I am no fan of ecumenism, nor do I believe in a branch theory of the Church.

In Christ,
Aaron
Title: Re: what's wrong with Transubstantiation?
Post by: Asteriktos on February 02, 2005, 11:28:21 PM
Augustine's idea was that if you followed a set pattern (consecration "properly" done, demonstrable line of succession to the apostles, etc.) that made your apostolic succession (and therefore, the sacraments) valid. That way, in his mind, you'd never have to worry about whether the priest was a sinner and the sacraments you were taking were invalid. In Orthodoxy, outside the true faith and true Church it doesn't matter how proper your consecration was, or who consecrated you. Apart from the proper faith, the "proper form" means nothing. Thus Catholics can trace their line back to Peter, but (as far as grace in the sacraments go) it means about the same thing as the guy in Nebraska who also claims to have apostolic succession because he was consecrated by a guy who was consecrated by a guy who was consecrated by a Catholic bishop in 1923. For that matter, the guy in his garage in Nebraska might even be closer to Orthodoxy in thought; but that's irrelevant. If I have misunderstood either Orthodox or Catholic thought, I am open to correction; but just so you know, I'm not looking to get into a debate on grace, or what the implications of what I'm saying are (whereas most modern Fathers tend to take a position of agnosticism, the early Fathers seemed to react violently to the idea that you would even ask questions about such things since it would be total speculation. Most of the quotes I've seen put forth a thought process like this one: there is only sacramental grace in the Church. Period. Now shut up and don't ask questions and let God deal with the rest.)

Btw, I just want to clarify something about all of this. I just saw a woman in a chat room say that she could never say that the Catholics or Baptists don't have grace because then she'd be condemning them to hell. Obviously a distinction needs to be made. I certainly am not condemning anyone to hell. The very fact that people convert demonstrates that God's grace works among non-Orthodox and even non-Christians. I'm only talking about sacramental grace. Just wanted to clarify.