I need an offical answer

Dear friends and brothers in Christ.

I would like it very much if one of you could give me the official RC view on 1 Cor 10:16.
To me, the verse implies consubstantiation - but I would imagine you guys read it as transsubstantiation.

I would say that the word “koinonia” implies a unity without substitution, because Paul also uses the word or derived forms in contexts where it is clear that so substitution takes place (e.g 10:20).

My question is: What is the official RC basis for seeing transsubstantiation here, and not con-substantiation?

Thank you :slight_smile:


1 Cor 10:16 The cup of blessing that we bless, is it not a participation in the blood of Christ? The bread that we break, is it not a participation in the body of Christ?

Consubstantion is the belief that the substance of Christ is present in the Holy Eucharist with the substance of the bread and wine.

Transubstantion is the belief that the substance of the bread and wine changes into the substance of Christ.

It can’t be consubstantion because Jesus Christ said, “This is really My Body” and “This is really My Blood.” Just as He changed the water into wine and fed the five thousand, so too, He changes the wine into His Blood and He feeds us with His Body. If the substance of Christ was present with the substance of the species, than it would not be a miracle, for anyone cay point out that the bread and wine has not changed, and, moreover, in the Eucharist the bread and the wine would be worshipped by the believers together with Jesus. One could not say, “I do only worship Jesus,” nor “I worship Jesus in the bread and wine,” for the former ignores the fact that the bread is still bread and the wine is still wine ad the latter ignores the fact that Jesus is not in the bread and wine but present together with it.

This is what the Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches:

1376 The Council of Trent summarizes the Catholic faith by declaring: "Because Christ our Redeemer said that it was truly his body that he was offering under the species of bread, it has always been the conviction of the Church of God, and this holy Council now declares again, that by the consecration of the bread and wine there takes place a change of the whole substance of the bread into the substance of the body of Christ our Lord and of the whole substance of the wine into the substance of his blood. This change the holy Catholic Church has fittingly and properly called transubstantiation."206

This is what the older Catechism of the Council of Trent says:

Question XXXVIII- Why the Eucharist is also called Bread, even after Consecration.

But here let pastors admonish, that we should not at all be surprised, if after consecration, it is also called bread; for the Eucharist was wont to be called by this name, both because it has the appearance of bread, and because it still retains the quality natural to bread, of supporting and nourishing the body. That the usage of sacred Scripture is to call things by what they appear to be, is sufficiently shown from what is recorded in Genesis, that Abraham saw “three men,” who, notwithstanding, were three angels (Gen. xviii. 2); and the two who appeared to the Apostles, at the ascension of the Lord into heaven, although they were called angels, are called “men” (Acts, i. 10).

Hope this helps! :tiphat:

According to the Catholic Encyclopedia article on “Consubstantiation”, the doctrine of Consubstantiation was condemned by Church councils held at Rome (1050, 1059, 1078, 1079), Vercelli (1050), Poitiers (1074), Fourth Lateran Council (1215), the Council of Constance (1418), and the Council of Trent (1551).

In the article, the teaching of St. Cyril of Jeruslam, writing about A.D. 350, on this matter is also referenced. The following seems to be what they had in mind:
Having learned these things, and being fully convinced that the apparent Bread is not bread, even though it is sensible to the taste, but the Body of Christ; and that the apparent Wine is not wine, even though the taste would have it so; (Catechetical Lectures, 22 (Mystagogic 4), 9)

I don’t think the Catholic Church requires anyone to read those passages that way. You are free to interpret them. Transubstantiation is the only formally approved philosophical explanation for how the bread and wine become the Body and Blood…but what is important is belief in the Real Presence (regardless of how one philosophically might understand or explain it).

The basis is all the other Scripture passages that speak of the Eucharist. The Church does not take just one passage about a particular topic, and interpret it independently of other passages on the same topic.

In regards to the Eucharist, 1 Cor 10:16 would be interpretted in a manner that conformed to other passages about the “cup” and drinking Our Lord’s “blood” – eg. :

  1. Our Lord’s words at the Last Supper “THIS IS My Blood”. (“THIS” - that is, what Our Lord was holding in His hand; “IS” - not “is present with”, or “symbolizes”, but “is”. Contemplate the meaning of “is”).
    Also, Paul’s words in 1 Cor 11:25 & 27-29.
  2. Our Lord’s teaching in John 6: 53, 56.

One should also submit oneself to what Jesus said – this is My Body, this is My Blood.

It was not until the Reformation that the subject was thrown into doubt as widely as it became.

In most of the sacrifices described in Leviticus, the sacrifices are eaten, either just by the priestly class (priests and their families), or more generally the sacrifices were the start of a meal. And, in places in Leviticus, you read that the sacrifice was not valid unless it was eaten.

This foreshadowing shows that Jesus the Victim and Sacrifice is consumed by the means that He established and commanded. Because the consecrated species still have the appearance of bread and wine misleads many, until we take to heart what Jesus said.

The whole issue was trumped up to challenge the teaching of the Catholic Church, which was Martin Luther’s obsession. He not only questioned that, but he questioned that there was a priesthood that could confect that sacred species.

I seem to notice that Protestants are loathe to believe in “doctrines of men”, so I can understand a skepticism about a seemingly man-made doctrine like transsubstantiation. OK, then what did Jesus say, in the first place? Believe that and believe the Church that has always maintained what Jesus said.

Crumpy, for my own education, might one inquire if the subject was in doubt, on a similar level as the Reformation, when the Church was arguing the nature of the Christ? What I mean is, those who claimed Christ was not divine cannot accept the literal interpretation of His words and those who claimed He was not human in nature might also argue that physical bread cannot contain God.

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