Tag Archives: Real Presence

His-2-Reap — Controversy in Middle Ages over ‘real presence’

CREDIT: REUTERS/Stefano Rellandini

Just discovered for the first time over on Alive! the origins of the word ‘transubstantiation’.

Controversy in Middle Ages over ‘real presence’

By Bro. Stephen Brackett

During the Middle Ages a major controversy about the Blessed Eucharist was stirred up by a French priest called Berengarius. Eventually it led to a big development in Eucharistic devotion, including adoration of the Blessed Sacrament.

Born at Tours in 999, Berengarius studied theology in Chartres and in 1029 took charge of the theology school in his home city of Tours.

Soon his reputation for learning was spreading throughout France and attracting some of the best minds of the time to his school. But already his views were causing concern.

In a much earlier controversy, in the 830s, the monk Radbert Paschasius had maintained that at the consecration of the Mass the bread is converted into the real body of Christ and the wine into the real blood of Christ.

Another monk in the same abbey, Ratramnus, denied this, saying that Christ was present in a spiritual way in the Eucharist, but there was no conversion of the bread and wine.

Berengarius sided with Ratramnus,but his views were condemned as false and heretical at a council being held in Rome in 1050.

The condemnation was repeated at several local councils, such as Paris and Tours, in the coming years. In 1059 Berengarius retracted his views at a council in Rome and signed a profession of faith.

On his return home, however, he attacked the formula he had signed. At this point his supporters began to desert him.

It was in this controversy that the word ‘transubstantiation’ was first used to stress the true and full presence of Jesus in the Eucharist.

It was a bid to make sure that the meaning of the Lord’s words when he said, “This is my body, this is my blood,” would not be watered down in any way.

Coined by the theologian Hildebert of Lavardin in 1079, transubstantiation meant that the whole substance of the bread and of the wine were changed into the body and blood of Christ.

The important theologians at the time were united in opposing the views of Berengarius, but the controversy continued for decades. Finally, in 1080, he was reconciled with the Church.

Pope Gregory VII gave instructions that no penalty should be imposed on him nor that he should be called a heretic.

The turmoil and confusion he had caused, however, continued for many years to come and were recalled at the time of the Protestant reformation.

On the other hand, the dispute led to a more explicit presentation of Catholic teaching on the Eucharist and to new devotion.

In time, to protect Catholic faith in the Eucharist, the Church instituted the feast of Corpus Christi.

The custom of raising the host and the chalice after the consecration of the Mass was also introduced, allowing the faithful to profess their faith in the real presence of Christ.

END OF POST

Already, the pendulum has swung to orthodoxy…

I do not know Mr. Joseph A. Wemhoff, but I sure do admire the way in which he arrests the “Spirit of Vatican II” in regard to the American Catholic Council in the following article …

Seeking fewer dissident Catholics

The 1,800 people at the recent American Catholic Council conference in Detroit compares with 1,840 at the first Call to Action meeting there 35 years ago. On the ACC meeting, the liberal National Catholic Reporter wrote (6/21/11): “well over half the participants were 65 or older and most of the rest were at least 50 … only a small scattering … in their 20s, 30s, or 40s … overwhelmingly white, with only a tiny black and Hispanic presence.”

The hierarchy need not portray these folks as “divisive, wild-eyed radicals and fringe loonies” — their own actions define them as such.

There is no right of dissent in the Catholic Church. One rejects the Church’s teachings and discipline at the peril of damnation. The Catholic Church never will be a democratic, human institution. It is a hierarchical, divine institution designed by its Founder to preserve the faith and save souls. Like the military, the Church is mission-driven. Like nature, form follows function.

The Detroit conference was a desperate attempt by ideologues to resurrect a dead movement. These closed-minded fanatics are in denial that their agenda is over, even as Anglicans beat a path to the orthodoxy of Rome. Francis Cardinal George wrote the epitaph on Feb. 27, 2001, at the Commonweal Forum when he said, “Liberal Catholicism is an exhausted project. … It no longer gives life” and has surrendered to the world.

Despite their tiny numbers, these heretics — and more so their fellow travelers in the clergy — have done incalculable damage to the Church from positions of power these past two generations by acting “in the spirit of Vatican II,” but contrary to its letter and actual intent. We faithful Catholics have seen our children abused spiritually (inverted order of first sacraments, poor catechesis, etc.); a false ecumenism belying our one, true faith; moral relativism; sacrilege toward the Sacred Species at Mass; invalid general absolutions; advocacy for the homosexual agenda; a contrived, artificial priest shortage; a refocus on humans instead of God; introduction of Masonic elements into our church buildings via needless “renovations”; willful misrepresentations of Church teachings; liturgical “innovations”; etc.

Through Alinsky tactics of deceit and intimidation, rebel clergy and laity have committed violence against faithful Catholics by denying us our rightful patrimony.

The fruits of this unbridled dissent are legion. Vocations have plummeted; only 25 percent of Catholics attend Sunday Mass; only one in three believe in the Real Presence. “Catholic” politicians support abortion and other evils. Bishops lack courage to enforce discipline, and “Catholic” colleges are anything but. The priestly homosexual abuse crisis is an abomination.

Ken is right in that we lay Roman Catholics must act — to help restore our Church. Already, the pendulum has swung to orthodoxy. In its 2,000-year history, under the protection of the Holy Spirit, the Catholic Church has always triumphed, and always will.

We pray that our heretical brothers and sisters will repent, convert, and save their souls.

Joseph A. Wemhoff

END OF POST

Communion in the Hand? — A website with answers…

CREDIT: REUTERS/Stefano Rellandini

EDITOR NOTE: The Orate Frates is delighted to preview and support a new website dedicated to promoting reception of Holy Communion according to the norms of the church, and in union with the will of the holy father, Pope Benedict XVI.  In the following article you will find explanations and answers to the question of whether or not one should receive Our Lord in the Eucharist by hand or tongue?, from priest or extraordinary minister?, standing or kneeling?… I encourage all to pass this information and new site on to all you know…. JME

Extraordinary Ministers

“Extraordinary ministers” are to be employed only in extraordinary circumstances

For close to two thousand years a multitude of Church apologists believed that only those fortunate few who were ordained had the right to touch the Body of Christ. Roughly eleven centuries ago the practice of communion-in-the-hand was forbidden, and for a thousand years the Real Presence was received exclusively on the tongue.

"Very Extraordinary" Eucharistic Ministers...

In the 1960’s the Catholic Church in Belgium and Holland accepted the Protestant idea that anyone could touch communion. These early adopters of communion-in-the-hand failed to realize that Protestants had nothing to lose: only those ordained in the Catholic Church are capable of turning bread and wine into the Body and Blood of Our Savior – transubstantiation.

Protestants don’t believe in the Real Presence and have nothing to lose by touching “communion.” It is merely bread and wine. On the other hand, Catholics have everything to lose by treating the Real Presence carelessly or irreverently. Roman Catholicism is the cradle of the Holy Eucharist, a gift from Jesus Christ Himself at the Last Supper – an incalculable treasure available to all those who believe in and adore the Real Presence, which is God Himself.

From Belgium and Holland the practice of laypeople receiving communion-in-the-hand soon spread to other countries. Desiring not to correct a bishop of the Church, Pope Paul VI concurred and – in 1969 – issued Memoriale Domini, allowing communion-in-the-hand under specific circumstances.

By 1977 the practice of communion-in-the-hand in the U.S. was successfully sponsored by then-Archbishop Joseph Bernardin, president of the National Conference of Catholic Bishops. By then Rome had introduced and allowed “extraordinary ministers,” laypeople who could distribute Holy Communion under “extraordinary” limited circumstances. The document authorizing the introduction of extraordinary ministers of the Eucharist is an Instruction of the Sacred Congregation for Divine Worship, issued on January 29, 1973, entitled Immensae caritatis. It authorizes the use of extraordinary ministers in “case of genuine necessity.”

What are those circumstances of genuine necessity? They are listed as whenever…

  • there is no priest, deacon, or acolyte;
  • these are prevented from administering Holy Communion because of another pastoral ministry or because of ill health or advanced age;
  • the number of the faithful requesting Holy Communion is such that the celebration of Mass or the distribution of the Eucharist outside Mass would be unduly prolonged.
  • The Instruction stipulates that:

    Since these faculties are granted only for the spiritual good of the faithful and for cases of genuine necessity priests are to remember that they are not thereby excused from the task of distributing the Eucharist to the faithful who legitimately request it, and especially from taking and giving it to the sick.

    The problem is the wording in Immensae caritatis – “unduly prolonged,” which could be 5 minutes or 55 minutes, and is completely arbitrary. Latching onto this excuse, some clergy flooded churches worldwide with volunteer extraordinary ministers. To shield the error, “extraordinary minister” was eventually dropped in favor of the more acceptable term “eucharistic minister.”

    Yet even this euphemism cannot hide the simple fact that the practice is reserved for “extraordinary circumstances,” and not for everyday usage. Thus the abuse of communion-in-the-hand was mirrored by laypeople who – in the vast majority of cases – should never be allowed to touch the Real Presence for the simple reason that circumstances seldom demand it. Their hands, simply put, are not ordained.

    Receive Holy Communion reverently on your tongue and, if possible, kneeling.  Never accept Holy Communion in your hand. No priest in the world has the right to deny communion on the tongue.

    Avoid receiving Holy Communion from “extraordinary ministers” except, possibly, in extraordinary times – which seldom occur. If necessary, switch lines. The example you set will encourage more and more people to reject this unfortunate Indult.

    If you agree that communion-in-the-hand is a grave error, please tell the world!
    Forward the www.communion-in-the-hand.org link to everyone you know.
    Post it everywhere you can think of.