How to understand Transubstantiation does not eliminate the risk of contagious diseases?

To start off let me make it clear that I sincerely and contritely believe that our Lord is fully present (Body, Blood, Soul, & Divinity) in the Most Holy Eucharist and it is not my intention to lead anyone to doubt that infallible truth that is at the heart of our faith.

We believe transubstantiation changes the host from bread and wine to the absolute Body & Blood of the Lord; however we do not believe that the presence of the Lord destroys all germs and health risks associated with drinking from the same cup. In recent years the most precious Blood, present in the Chalice, has not been offered to the faithful because of the risk of spreading H1N1 and other life threatening illnesses. How does one reconcile that the God of Life who is immortal is fully present in the Most Holy Sacrament leads our souls to eternal life through receiving the Eucharist, but this same Eucharist can carry pathogens that kill our bodies?

Dominus Vobiscum
The Lord Be With You

Does the Eucharisted Blood of Christ contain the pathogens, or are the pathogens viral traces left on the chalice itself?

Iwon’t presume to know if germs are eliminated from the Body and Blood by Transubstantiation, but I find it reasonable to assume that germs and viruses can be transferred from person to person on the chalice and on the cloth used to wipe the chalice after someone has received the Blood.

I can see that. I don’t think I will find an answer to this question, at least on this side of eternity, I just wanted to discuss my thoughts. Even though questions like this arise, If we continue to go forward in faith by trusting completely in God we will be better off than we ever imagined.

Even if we died as a result of receiving Holy Communion would it demonstrate that the Body and Blood of Christ are not present? The blessed martyrs took far greater risks than that…

I don’t understand why we imagine His Sacred Body and Precious Blood should somehow protect us from illness - HE certainly wasn’t immune from the usual human sufferings, including presumably illness, and death, after all, was He?

Exactly! And one cannot catch anything from the Host itself, one CAN catch something from the saliva left from a previously infected person.
this was discussed in the Liturgy and Sacraments section on this forum.

When Jesus instituted the Holy Eucharist He knew it would be desecrated but that didn’t deter Him. His love is so great He is prepared to take risks. We should be prepared to follow His example if we really love Him.

Bread and wine are transubstantiated, not germs or viruses - they remain as they are.

If, for example, I have HIV or SLE or any other immunocompromising disease, the last thing I think Jesus would want is for me to take a risk of getting MRSA or CMV or HSV from a cup. I would ask for my own if it mattered to me that much to receive eucharist. I don’t think because *he *was prepared to take risks, that immunocompromised people should literally take life-threatening risks.

It’s kind of like people with Celiac’s Disease. There’s gluten in the host, so they shouldn’t eat it. But there are other methods. Ask your priest to get gluten free host. If you’re immunocompromised, ask your priest for your own cup. In fact, I think everyone should get their own. It’s gross to see the wipe-and-turn. Who says Dixie cups are sacrilegious?

I agree with you that we’re not expected to take **unnecessary **risks if it serves no useful purpose. We’re not helping anybody if we become ill as a result of not taking precautions…

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