Expert Answer Forum
communion QUESTION from Nancy Price May 21, 2000 I was raised Lutheran. When I am told communion in the body and blood of Christ I'm a little confused. I believe that is how I was taught. However, exactly what does that mean? How does that differ from the symbolic representation that many protestants have been taught?
ANSWER by John-Paul Ignatius, O.L.S.M. on June 17, 2000 Dear Mrs. Price:
Only Catholics and Eastern Orthodox, and perhaps a few other groups that left the Catholic Church in the sin of schism, believe in the Real Presence effected in transubstantiation.
Anglicans, I think, and Lutherans believe in a consubstantiation.
Other Protestants don't believe in either of the above. For them the bread and wine is merely a symbol and nothing more.
Consubstantiation, or also called impanation is a theory that the bread and wine coexist with the Body and Blood of Christ in the Eucharist. This theory was asserted by Luther during the Great Revolution. The theory of consubstantiation was rejected by the Church at the Council of Trent and thereby the Council clarified Apostolic Teaching on the Eucharist known as transubstantiation.
Transubstantiation means change of substance of the bread and wine into the Body and Blood of Christ.
The Body and Blood is NOT just existing alongside the Bread and Wine like a hitchhiker, but the bread and wine are in themselves, in their very substance, transformed into the Body and Blood of Christ.
The term, transubstantiation was first used to describe this miracle at the Fourth Lateran Council in 1215. The Council of Trent reinforced thus because of the heretical challenge of Luther.
Only a validly ordained priest can confect the Eucharist. Since Anglican Holy Orders have a broken line of succession, Anglican Priests are generally not valid priests. Lutheran ministers, as with all Protestant ministers, are also not validly ordained priests and thus they cannot confect the Eucharist.
Because the bread and wine are TRANSFORMED into the Body and Blood of Christ when consecrated, it is no longer proper to call it the bread and wine after consecration. It is rather, the Body and Blood of Christ.
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