Catholics and Cannabalism


#1

One of the kids in our high school youth group last night asked if since we believe the bread and wine are really transformed into Jesus’ body and blood, are we not a religion based on cannabalism. I didn’t have any idea of how to answer that question and the person who did answer it did a REALLY bad job.

So my question…how would you have responded?


#2

[quote=tkdnick]One of the kids in our high school youth group last night asked if since we believe the bread and wine are really transformed into Jesus’ body and blood, are we not a religion based on cannabalism. I didn’t have any idea of how to answer that question and the person who did answer it did a REALLY bad job.

So my question…how would you have responded?
[/quote]

I would tell the kid that there is a distinct difference between following Gods instructions in the mass and eating an unwilling human victim for lunch. It’s about the sacrifice of Christ on the cross and his instructions at the last supper.

-D


#3

I would reply that there is nothing wrong with cannibalism. Christ declared all foods cleaned; this would include human flesh.

Thus, it is okay, in and of itself, to eat dead people. We typically don’t, out of respect, but in emergency situations we do so without impunity, moral or civil.


#4

[quote=tkdnick]One of the kids in our high school youth group last night asked if since we believe the bread and wine are really transformed into Jesus’ body and blood, are we not a religion based on cannabalism. I didn’t have any idea of how to answer that question and the person who did answer it did a REALLY bad job.

So my question…how would you have responded?
[/quote]

What did the person who explained it badly say?

Unfortunately, trying to explain the concepts of substance and accidents might be a bit beyond most modern high school students these days.

I think all they need to know is that the bread and wine become the real flesh and real blood of the Risen Christ in a sacramental way we cannot understand. The Risen Christ is who and what we are receiving not ordinary meat and blood. We can discern this for ourselves because we cannot taste, see, or feel any difference in them before or after the consecration.


#5

[quote=Della]What did the person who explained it badly say?

Unfortunately, trying to explain the concepts of substance and accidents might be a bit beyond most modern high school students these days.

I think all they need to know is that the bread and wine become the real flesh and real blood of the Risen Christ in a sacramental way we cannot understand. The Risen Christ is who and what we are receiving not ordinary meat and blood. We can discern this for ourselves because we cannot taste, see, or feel any difference in them before or after the consecration.
[/quote]

He essentially said that all things and foods are of God and that when we eat the Eucharist Jesus is asking us to specifically remember Him and His sacrifice. He basically did a very fancy dissertation that said the bread and wine aren’t really changed into the Body and Blood. I doubt a single other person in the room caught what he was saying because it was done in many words and explanations, but that’s basically what it came down to (or maybe just what I focused on).

I think you’re right - trying to explain substance and accidents wouldn’t work too well.


#6

But, Sacramentalist, this might give the kids the false impression that in communion we receive the a dead Christ. We don’t. We receive the Living Christ.

Do you see how your point might be misleading?

God Bless,
VC


#7

[quote=tkdnick]I think you’re right - trying to explain substance and accidents wouldn’t work too well.
[/quote]

Hi tkdnick,
In that case, I would suggest that you stress the fact that we receive the Whole, True, Living Christ in the sacrament.

When we say that Christ is present really and substantially in His **Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity, **we stress the fact that Christ is whole and entire in the sacrament. He is the ressurected Christ.

Cannibalism implies at least one, if not two things:

  1. The person is **diminished **by being eaten
  2. The person is dead (implied, but not necessarily)

In the Eucharist neither is true. Christ is not diminished. Although we truely eat and consume Him, we do not “subdivide” Him, we do not take bites of His flesh, and by so doing diminish or do violence to His bodily integrity.

All cannabilism results in a diminishment of the body, or bodily integrity of the victim.

Not so in the Eucharist. You receive Christ whole and entire, always.

What do you think?
VC


#8

[quote=Verbum Caro]Hi tkdnick,
In that case, I would suggest that you stress the fact that we receive the Whole, True, Living Christ in the sacrament.

When we say that Christ is present really and substantially in His **Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity, **we stress the fact that Christ is whole and entire in the sacrament. He is the ressurected Christ.

Cannibalism implies at least one, if not two things:

  1. The person is diminished by being eaten
  2. The person is dead (implied, but not necessarily)

In the Eucharist neither is true. Christ is not diminished. Although we truely eat and consume Him, we do not “subdivide” Him, we do not take bites of His flesh, and by so doing diminish or do violence to His bodily integrity.

All cannabilism results in a diminishment of the body, or bodily integrity of the victim.

Not so in the Eucharist. You receive Christ whole and entire, always.

What do you think?
VC
[/quote]

Not to speak for tkdnick, but I think your is a very good explanation. :thumbsup:


#9

Thank you Della. :tiphat:

VC


#10

There are some legitimate analogies. And some very fallacious ones. When I hear a non-Catholic complaining that the Eucharist is cannibalism-- I laugh inside and think-- they are a Catholic at heart and just don’t realize it yet. :wink:

God meant it to be that way to put an end to human sacrifice and cannibalism. Substituting things in opposition— personal self-sacrifice for the greater good, and us all becomng the Body of Christ through the Eucharist.


#11

First, it’s OK to point out to them that God directed us to do it, so it must be OK.

Because God requires something is a good enough reason, but it is a poor explanation. I would go on to say that cannibalism, by it’s very definintion, is like eating like. When we consume the Eucharist, we are consuming something that is not exactly the same as our own bodies. While Christ is really present in the consecrated elements, he is there sacramentally, with the *appearances * remaining those of bread and wine. God did this on purpose, among other reasons, a) so as not to scandalize unbelievers and b) so we wouldn’t get grossed out and thus avoiding partaking in this spiritual banquet.


#12

[quote=Della]Not to speak for tkdnick, but I think your is a very good explanation. :thumbsup:
[/quote]

Well, you spoke well for me. Good post Verbum!


#13

[quote=Fidelis]First, it’s OK to point out to them that God directed us to do it, so it must be OK.

Because God requires something is a good enough reason, but it is a poor explanation. I would go on to say that cannibalism, by it’s very definintion, is like eating like. When we consume the Eucharist, we are consuming something that is not exactly the same as our own bodies. While Christ is really present in the consecrated elements, he is there sacramentally, with the *appearances *remaining those of bread and wine. God did this on purpose, among other reasons, a) so as not to scandalize unbelievers and b) so we wouldn’t get grossed out and thus avoiding partaking in this spiritual banquet.
[/quote]

Ah! Another good point. We (human beings) aren’t eating a human being…we’re eating God, and thus it’s not cannibalism by definition.


#14

I would say that the charge of cannibalism denies both the Incarnation and the Resurrection.

Cannibalism is the eating of dead human flesh. The flesh of Christ is the living flesh of a Divine Person. The Eucharist is no more cannibalism than a mother breast-feeding her child is cannibalism.

Just as the mother is not dead when she feeds the child from the substance of her own body, neither is Christ dead when He feeds us from the substance of His own body. Just as the mother’s milk is intended by God as food, so Christ intends His flesh and blood as food.


#15

I’m not a historian, but isn’t it a historical fact that the earliest Christians were persecuted in the Roman Empire, for this very reason? Weren’t the Romans charging the Christians with cannibalism? If so, then it would make sense that today we are charged with the same thing, by people who simply don’t understand the teaching; much as the old Romans didn’t understand the teaching in their day.


#16

[quote=VociMike]I would say that the charge of cannibalism denies both the Incarnation and the Resurrection.

Cannibalism is the eating of dead human flesh. The flesh of Christ is the living flesh of a Divine Person. The Eucharist is no more cannibalism than a mother breast-feeding her child is cannibalism.

Just as the mother is not dead when she feeds the child from the substance of her own body, neither is Christ dead when He feeds us from the substance of His own body. Just as the mother’s milk is intended by God as food, so Christ intends His flesh and blood as food.
[/quote]

I think that this is a good explanation. It would probably work well with teenagers.


#17

[quote=VociMike] The Eucharist is no more cannibalism than a mother breast-feeding her child is cannibalism.

Just as the mother is not dead when she feeds the child from the substance of her own body, neither is Christ dead when He feeds us from the substance of His own body. Just as the mother’s milk is intended by God as food, so Christ intends His flesh and blood as food.
[/quote]

I just want to jump in to say this response made SO much sense to me. To me, it’s a beautiful explanation.


closed #18

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