Faith/Spirituality Forum: real presence
real presence QUESTION from FRANCIS February 2, 2001 In Mysterium Fidei ,Pope Paul VI enumerates several ways that Christ is present to us in His church;then,he goes on to say that in the sacrament of the Eucharist Christ is present to us in a manner that surpasses all the others.Christ is present in the fullest sense,He is substantially present ,the God-man ,Jesus Christ,wholly and entirely present.Pope Paul says that it is wrong to explain this real presence by saying that it is the glorified body of Christ which is present everywhere.
Is this statement saying infallibly that the Eucharist is not the glorified or risen body of Christ ?
ANSWER by John-Paul Ignatius, OLSM on April 26, 2001 Dear Mr. Francis:
The actual quotation is:
39. This presence is called real not to exclude the idea that the others are real too, but rather to indicate presence par excellence, because it is substantial and through it Christ becomes present whole and entire, God and man. And so it would be wrong for anyone to try to explain this manner of presence by dreaming up a so-called pneumatic nature of the glorious body of Christ that would be present everywhere; or for anyone to limit it to symbolism, as if this most sacred Sacrament were to consist in nothing more than an efficacious sign of the spiritual presence of Christ and of His intimate union with the faithful, the members of His Mystical Body. And in no 42:
...For the constant teaching that the Catholic Church has passed on to her catechumens, the understanding of the Christian people, the doctrine defined by the Council of Trent, the very words that Christ used when He instituted the Most Holy Eucharist, all require us to profess that the Eucharist is the flesh of Our Savior Jesus Christ which suffered for our sins and which the Father in His loving kindness raised again. (see St. Ignatius, Epistle to the Smyrnians, 7.1; PG 5.714) (my emphasis) This means that the teaching of the Eucharist as being the Real Presence of the flesh...which suffered for our sins and which the Father...raised again is an infallible teaching of the Ordinary Magisterium.
Even if this were not the case, the teaching would still fall under Definitive teachings and therefore bound for belief on all Catholic upon penalty of barment from the Eucharist.
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