Thoughts and happenings around the Belgian Free Christadelphian Ecclesia Brussels-Leuven – Gedachten en gebeurtenissen rond de Ecclesia Brussel-Leuven van de Broeders in Christus
Manifests for believers #4 Eucharist
In the previous article Manifests for believers #3 Catholic versus Protestant we pointed already at the idea of the opponents of the Manifest for believers Manifest Gelovigen nemen het woord (Religiuously or Believers take the word)who do find that a lay men can not bring a sermon and also should not be allowed to say the sacred words of the consecration, nor hand out the bread and wine at the Holy Communion!” The conservative Catholics say. Also the “gegraai” or the groping in the tabernacle (the goblet), that we see now always more, is a real plague! “Women must remain with their hands from the tabernacle!” Asking that women should be able to become priests is something they do not believe the writers of the manifest are really asking. Though in the manifest Gelovigen nemen het woord is written: “We plead in favour that within the shortest time as well married men as women shall be permitted the priest office. We, religious, need them now very badly.
A delegation of the study Group Kerkenwerk (Churchwork) on Thursday 9 February, in Malines (Mechelen) handed over the Manifesto “Religiously take the word” to the Flemish bishops and has given them the list of the names of the signatories.
The Manifesto, that is a call at the Flemish bishops to break through the impasse, in which the Churches in Flanders is been found, through reformation, is endorsed by 8235 religiously, mainly via the internet, some also written.
Emmanuel Van Lierde has the impression that petitions, it appears to be well a new trend in the Flemish church. A first observed petition was that ‘for a credible and liberating church’. Ends 2010 signed 6,800 religiously that signal to encouragement in full peadofilicrisis. More recent there were petitions ‘against the secular dictatorship’ with about 3,000 signatures, against the abstraction of the service of the Brussels Saint-Kathelijnekerk with more than 6,100 signatories and on the manifesto Religious take the word followed the counter action Religious accept the word with a 200 signatories.
According to the study Group Kerkenwerk the plea to let married men and women come into the priest office, has to be seen in the frame to make it possible to have the Church grow in these difficult times in which we do need more diversification in which creatively should be sought to new roads round the multiplicity of talents and to utilize better the engagement of many religious people.
That some of the signing members of the manifest also do not believe in transubstantiation, meaning that the piece of bread given to the believers, is really the body of Christ, is pure heresy and apostasy according the opponents. For the conservatives it is clear that men as Dekimpe praise no longer the transubstantiation! They do forget that Pope Innocent III had recognized (1215) the doctrine of transubstantiation, which resulted in the public and general worship of the consecrated host. The doctrine, first elaborated by theologians in the 13th century, was incorporated into documents of the Council of Trent. In the mid-20th century, some Roman Catholic theologians interpreted it as referring to a change of meaning rather than a change of substance, but in 1965 Paul VI called for the retention of the original dogma. According to the conservative Catholics the writers of the manifest ignore the fact of the Real Presence, which is, indeed, the central dogma every Catholic should hold on.
Although the manna, a type of the Eucharist, was indeed eaten with the mouth, it could not, being a transitory food, ward off death. The second food, that offered by the Heavenly Father, is the bread of heaven, which He dispenses hic et nunc to the Jews for their spiritual nourishment, inasmuch as by reason of the Incarnation He holds up His Son to them as the object of their faith. If, however, the third kind of food, which Christ Himself promises to give only at a future time, is a new refection, differing from the last-named food of faith, it can be none other than His true Flesh and Blood, to be really eaten and drunk in Holy Communion. This is why Christ was so ready to use the realistic expression “to chew” (John 6:54, 56, 58: trogein) when speaking of this, His Bread of Life, in addition to the phrase, “to eat” (John 6:51, 53: phagein).*
“I am the living bread that came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live for ever. This bread is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.” Then the Jews began to argue sharply among themselves, “How can this man give us his flesh to eat?” Jesus said to them, “I tell you the truth, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day. For my flesh is real food and my blood is real drink. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me, and I in him. Just as the living Father sent me and I live because of the Father, so the one who feeds on me will live because of me. This is the bread that came down from heaven. Your forefathers ate manna and died, but he who feeds on this bread will live for ever.”” (John 6:51-58 NIV)
Idolatry of the Blessed Sacrament or a Holy Host as the Body of ChristCatholics do believe that Jesus is God who gives his blood and body daily to those members of the Holy Roman Catholic Church, the highest form of civilization, who come to His table. Only believers liberated from their sins by the confession are allowed to take this manlike god in their mouth but may not chew on him, because mastication of God would be a big sin. Here we can see again an other pagan idolatry and Christian image-worship. The host has lost the symbol of the bread being a representation of the ‘Bread of Life’. The Catholics take it to be really the Holy sacred body of God, and in many churches you can find relic-worship of this consecrated host being put in golden receptacles, called the monstrance. In lots of Roman Catholic Churches it is exposed for the adoration of the people.
In older times we did find already reactions against this adoration of a piece of bread.
As late as 1820 a great jubilee was celebrated at Brabant in commemoration of the desecration of the host at Enghien in 1370. This festival lasted eight days, during which sixteen hosts studded with diamonds were borne in solemn procession through the streets. Fifty years later (1870), while a committee and the clergy of Brussels were making preparations for this ancient festival, an article appeared in the “Revue Belgique,” entitled “Le Jubilé d’un Faux Miracle,” etc., which proved by the original sources that, although three Jews had been burned in 1370 on the charge of having stolen a host, “pro sacramentis punice et furtive captis,” the original document had been changed sixty-five years later to read “pro sacramento puncto et furtive accepto,” in order to fabricate an accusation of desecration of the host. Other falsifications being discovered in the document, Pope Pius IX felt obliged to stop the festival. In the Church of Sainte-Gudule, Brussels, are several Gobelin tapestries containing representations of the supposed desecration of the host in 1370.**
The refutation of the so-called Sacramentarians, a name given by Luther to those who opposed the Real Presence, evinces as clearly the impossibility of a figurative meaning. Once the manifest literal sense is abandoned, occasion is given to interminable controversies about the meaning of an enigma which Christ supposedly offered His followers for solution. *
Only ordained people who abstain from sex can bless the bread of the Lord’s Supper and say “This is my body” after which they may hand out the body of Christ, god the son, the conservative Catholics say. Asking to allow women to be able to say this is degrading the Holy Sacrament and blasphemy.(***)
The writers of the Manifest not speaking of the wine miraculously becoming the blood of Christ and the bread miraculously becoming the body of Christ seem to offend many.
But Jesus does speak of the symbology of our taking the wine and the bread as representing our unity with one another and with us being involved with the sacrifice of Christ. As Jesus said in Matthew 10:38 “whoever does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me” and Paul in Romans 6:5-13
For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we shall certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his. (6) We know that our old self was crucified with him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin. (7) For one who has died has been set free from sin. (8) Now if we have died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. (9) We know that Christ, being raised from the dead, will never die again; death no longer has dominion over him. (10) For the death he died he died to sin, once for all, but the life he lives he lives to God. (11) So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus. (12) Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, to make you obey its passions. (13) Do not present your members to sin as instruments for unrighteousness, but present yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life, and your members to God as instruments for righteousness.
*Proof from Scripture – The real presence as a fact > The Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist
**Defiling the host or sacred wafer of the mass: desecration of host
(***) God can not die, but Jesus, being a man could die but only once. A “re-sacrifice” of Jesus Christ for our sins, or a “re-offering / re-presentation” of His sacrifice is not necessary. Scripture says, that Jesus died “once for all” and does not need to be sacrificed again (Hebrews 10:10; 1 Peter 3:18). Hebrews 7:27 declares, “Unlike the other high priests, He (Jesus) does not need to offer sacrifices day after day, first for his own sins, and then for the sins of the people. He sacrificed for their sins once for all when He offered Himself.” The bread and the wine are symbols of the body and blood of Jesus, but are not a representation of God nor His body or his blood (Because God is a ghost and has no body or blood as human beings.) The bread Jesus was breaking represented what he was going to do. The same for the wine he gave them – his blood hadn’t yet been shed, but the wine represented the blood that would be shed. These words were not meant to be taken in a literal sense then, nor are they now.
Touch Jesus and be healed through faith (cinhosa.wordpress.com)
During The Eucharist, The Church teaches that the host and wine are consecrated by the priest. After the consecration, they become the body and blood of Jesus Christ through transubstantiation. So that Catholics (and other Christian denominations) believe that upon receipt the Blessed Sacrament, we touch Jesus – literally.
For additional reading, the Real presence of Christ in the Eucharist contains an overview of various Christian denominations and their belief (or not) in transubstantiation. The Catholic Encyclopedia has a reference article for additional information.
Audio for Eucharist (lettersonorthodoxy.wordpress.com)
Here’s some additional audio resources regarding the Eucharist
Eucharist : Communion or Discrimination?? (catholicakauniversal.wordpress.com) Eucharist has been a controversial topic, specially in a multicultural and multi-religious continent like Asia.
In the Hindu temple they offer the devotees Prasada food offering made to a god and then shared among the people, to both Hindus and non-Hindus.
we can Evangelize better if we understood the real concept of the Eucharist that Christ explained to us. This is something that has to be considered instead of arguing whether we should receive communion directly on hand or tongue. It would be more meaningful if we call everyone for a fellowship, a real communion without discriminating others with the sentence announced during the mass “Non-Christians are not allowed to receive Communion!” And I hope that they will dawn someday Till then, Eucharist is only for the Baptized Christians!
The Holy Eucharist – The Bread of Life (catholicsview.wordpress.com)
The mysticism of the Christian faith has been eaten away by society. Despite miracles being recorded throughout history, as people of God we have lost faith in them. The mystery of transubstantiation (bread and wine becoming the body and blood of Jesus) is one of these miracles that occur at each Mass across the world. Non-catholic churches that used to believe in the Eucharist have gone from believing in transubstantiation to, “If you think it’s real for you, then it is real” and “it is only a symbol” in order to conform to societies’ ideals and beliefs.
Contraception, Spilling One’s “Seed” and the Obama Health Care Ruling (woodgatesview.com)
Ahh Catholicism. What fond memories I have about my first Communion, Confirmation, serving my first Mass as an alter boy and best of all, my awareness of sin. Without sin in our lives there is chaos. There can be no understanding for our purpose on earth and what lies in store for us afterwards without a sense of our sinful life.
Catechistic Introduction (boyd41.wordpress.com)
Catechistic Notes includes posts on Christian Faith and Worship. These posts comprise paraphases, quotes, references, and personal impressions from several catechistic documents.
A Bunch of Ignorance and a Mammoth of Delusion (esoriano.wordpress.com)
If what is in the cup is the real blood of Jesus, how can the mass be an unbloody sacrifice? If what is in the cup is only symbolic blood, it is also symbolically bloody, doesn’t it follow?
Praying and praising His name is symbolic of the incense which is pure sacrifice that will reach the throne of the Almighty! It is not something material, for then, not everyone would have access to it. It is not something readily found in those who prefer to delude themselves by way of ascribing spiritual presence to bread and wine that they call Christ’s body and blood – which they offer again and again.