Is this a dogma?

Is substantiation a dogma or just one way of explaining what happens at Mass with the bread and wine?

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The Council of Trent declared it, so I guess that makes it dogma:


On Transubstantiation.

And because that Christ, our Redeemer, declared that which He offered under the species of bread to be truly His own body, therefore has it ever been a firm belief in the Church of God, and this holy Synod doth now declare it anew, that, by the consecration of the bread and of the wine, a conversion is made 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; which conversion is, by the holy Catholic Church, suitably and properly called Transubstantiation.

There’s been subtle differences in how it is explained over the centuries but it is dogmatic. ‘Transubstantiation’ started being used in the 11th century to specifically identify the change that occurs during Mass and this is how it was used at the 4th Lateran Council.


I am aaking if one must agree with what Thomas Aquinas wrote about it.
There must be other ways of explaining it.

Why are you saying this (and asking your initial question) ? Is there something which does not make sense to you ?

I don’t think I’m in a position to answer that questions precisely, but the doctrine of the real presence is a pillar of the Catholic Church, and the Church teaches that the best way to explain what happens is by using the word “Transubstantiation”. Is there something specifically about Transubstantiation that you find difficult to believe?

It’s transubstantiation. @Stephen_says & @TK421, :+1::+1:

The dogma of transubstantiation does not embrace any philosophical theory in particular. It affirms that the body and blood of Christ are present not only by means of a sign and of the efficacy of the Sacrament, but also in the very reality and truth of their nature and substance.

Isn’t it based on the writings on St Thomas?
If Transubstantiation is the only accepted way of talking about it we have certain philosophical terms that we must accept as true.
All Catholics would have to believe that the bread and wine has substance and accidents which would be Catholic dogma.

CCC 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.’

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That is a good question, but not the original question. I would think it at least possible someone will, in the future, find a different way of phrasing or seeing transubstantiation. I do not doubt that in Heaven St. Thomas will seem only as an elementary understanding of what was happening. So, as long as one believes in the change of substance, which is the dogma, there may be another way of understanding it.

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So the Eastern Catholic have to use the language of St Thomas when talking about the Eucharist?

IIRC, St. John Chrysostom used the term “metaousion”, which means “change of substance” in Greek. I wouldn’t be surprised if St. Thomas cited St. John Chrysostom in his Summa.

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Read Mysterium Fidei by Pope Paul VI. It answers your question.

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