Can you be Catholic, or are you Catholic, yet do not believe in Transubstantiation?
I always thought that was central to being Catholic, something that it is literally impossible to disbelieve and remain Catholic. Granted, it’s hard for our human minds to wrap itself around for some of us, but the fact remains that the Church teaches it as true. I have been surprised by the number of Catholics that state that they don’t believe in it, yet profess Catholicism and as a full Catholic in agreement with the Church.
Well, I am pretty sure that you have to accept transubstantiation to be Catholic. However, there are many many people who identify as Catholic and either don’t believe in it or claim that they were never taught it.
No offense, but you’re falling into the common Roman error of excluding the poor Eastern Catholics from your definition of “Catholicism”. They do not believe the philosophy behind Transubstantiation and never have, but they are Catholic. Our Latin Rite hierarchy has not asked the eastern brethren to believe in this theology and never will, but they will remain Catholic.
It is perfectly permissible to be Catholic and believe that the Holy Mysteries are - and should remain - holy mysteries. Ironically, I believe transubstantiation is true.
A Catholic who denys transubstantiation is in open rebellion against the church. He would be considered a formal heretic and a cafeteria catholic. One can not be a true catholic without affirming transubstantiation.
Transubstantiation was infallibly defined by Trent, Session 13, Chap. VIII, Canon II, and it is de fide (of faith):
CANON lI.-If any one saith, that, in the sacred and holy sacrament of the Eucharist, the substance of the bread and wine remains conjointly with the body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ, and denieth that wonderful and singular conversion of the whole substance of the bread into the Body, and of the whole substance of the wine into the Blood–the species Only of the bread and wine remaining–which conversion indeed the Catholic Church most aptly calls Transubstantiation; let him be anathema.
While the canonical penalty of *anathema *no longer applies, the “obstinate post-baptismal denial” of a de fide teaching is still heresy, and may result in excommunication latae sententia (1983 CIC, Can. 1364 §1), depending on the heretic’s culpability (e.g., whether the heresy was formal or only material).
Any Catholic that denies Transubstantiation is either ignorant of their Faith or is in rebellion against the Church. In the later case, they are committing a grave sin.
Transubstantiation is basic to Catholicism and belief in it is mandatory for all Roan Rite Catholics. Disbelief in it is the basis of Protestantism
The “Latin Rite” doesn’t teach. The Catholic Church teaches, and all Catholics of all rites are bound to believe all de fide teachings, even if they have a different theology and canon law than the Latin Church.
As noted in my profile and above every post, I am Roman Catholic. Therefore, it is easy to tell it’s a Roman Catholic question, especially as how there is a separate message board for Eastern Catholicism, in order to avoid confusion, which was not put in place by me, but by CAF.
So, if you are ROMAN CATHOLIC…(resume the poll/question)
Garry Willis, a Catholic author, publicly denied transubstantiation on The Colbert Report. This article on America’s website states:
Mr. Colbert asked the author why the priesthood is a failed tradition. Mr. Wills responded: “Well, they continue to pretend to turn bread and wine into the body and blood of Jesus, which doesn’t happen.” When Mr. Colbert mentioned that the Eucharist is “a mystery,” Mr. Wills responded: “No, it’s a fake.” A very awkward three-second pause ensued.
Some longtime watchers of the show noticed that a shocked Mr. Colbert, a devout Catholic in real life, nearly broke character. But Mr. Wills wasn’t finished: In the remaining two minutes of the interview, he went on to say that the priesthood and the papacy should be abolished and that the sacrament of the sick is “an invented sacrament.”
To my knowledge Mr. Wills has never been formally excommunicated or anything for his views, but as the article suggests his opinions are heterodox and heretical.
So, are they wrong in considering themselves Catholic then, if they disbelieve what the Catholic Church (ROMAN, if you can’t tell) teaches?
Sadly, my dad, a convert from Protestantism when he married my mom 50 years ago and Catholic ever since, told me recently that he doesn’t believe in it. I think it’s because he doesn’t understand the Church’s explanation of it. He had some form of ‘RCIA’ and even TAUGHT (eeek) RCIA later on. I believe it’s because he wasn’t taught it by the priest, misunderstood it, or something like that. It just really bothers me. Also sadly, my cousin, who was raised Catholic and went to CCD in a bigger city than I, is now non-denominational, but insists to me that her church has communion which is the same as the Catholic Eucharist. I didn’t understand if she meant we didn’t have transubstantiation, or that she thinks that they do. Either way, she is mistaken. These are not discussions I’m equipped to get into with either of them at this time, but have had it on my mind ever since they separately told me this.
I’ve also came upon ‘Catholics’ (online and in person) who deny transubstantiation, deny Confession as necessary, especially private confessions (my mom, an otherwise devout cradle Catholic, thinks only penance services should be held. Again, a conversation I’m unable to have for various reasons, with her). Each of us has broken commandments, fallen short of the Glory of God, but the Sacraments, to me, are basic and necessary to our Faith.
I personally think that if you are going to be Catholic, you need to believe in the Catholic Faith as put forward for the last 2000 years, especially the Sacraments. It’s different than breaking the commandments (we believe in them, but still fall)…not agreeing/believing with the Church (choosing to disbelieve/follow, but still identifying).
That was appalling. However, just because an author claims something, doesn’t make it true. Also, I don’t think that there is a listing of all excommunications, whether formal or implied, for most public figures, or any private figures. He wasn’t there to represent the Church; he was there representing himself, and in the process, lost more than a few Catholic fans, I’m sure.
It doesn’t make one not Catholic but IMO he shouldn’t be receiving communion if he doesn’t believe that he’s receiving the Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity of Christ. Ideally he should be reflecting on that and shouldn’t even be thinking of bread and wine.
Furthermore, IMO it would be objectively illogical for a Roman Catholic to deny transubstantiation yet receive Communion anyway. Maybe I feel that way because I do believe in transubstantiation, however.
there are many BIG theologies to prove that you can’t be a Catholic without believing in the transubstantiation.
But what are you doing as a Catholic in the first place without the transubstantiation? if you can’t believe it there is no need being a Catholic because it is the SOUL of the church. pick one of the many protestant alternatives who do not believe it too. if you carry the Catholic identity, you must also carry the Catholic beliefs.