On the Eucharist from Richard Bennett:

I read this on on Richard Bennett’s web site, it’s called "the apostasy of Scott Hahn:

Scott Hahn Accepts Roman Catholic Eucharist Hahn moves immediately from teaching this heresy to John 6:55. His comment on it, “I had been trained to interpret that [verse] in a figurative sense; Jesus is using a symbol. Flesh and blood really is just a symbol of His body and blood. But the more I studied, the more I realized that that interpretation makes no sense at all….He [Jesus] didn’t mean it figuratively….[rather] we actually have to eat His flesh and drink His blood…I discovered that Jesus never used the word ‘covenant’ in His public ministry. He saved the one time for when He instituted the Eucharist and he said ‘This cup is the blood of the new covenant.’ If covenant means family, what is it that makes us family? Sharing flesh and blood. So if Christ forms a new covenant, that is a new family, what is He going to have to provide us with? New flesh and new blood. I began to see why in the early Church for over 700 years, nobody any place disputed the meaning of Jesus’ words.14 All of the early Church fathers without exception took Jesus’ words at face value and believed and taught the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist.” What Hahn teaches is simply false. It was in the ninth century that a Benedictine monk taught such a doctrine.15 Nonetheless the new doctrine fermented and grew in the Church of Rome. Finally the notion of “transubstantiation” was officially proclaimed as a dogma of faith, necessary for salvation, at the Lateran Council under Pope Innocent III in 1215 A.D. Present day Rome continues to teach this medieval tradition.

My focus was really on the bolded piece. How could anyone read even a fraction of history and write such rubbish? Especially from an ex-Catholic priest, he should know what the early Church said about the Eucharist. I found this amazing…

Here’s what Lateran Council IV actually says about the matter:

His body and blood are truly contained in the sacrament of the altar under the forms of bread and wine, the bread and wine having been changed in substance, by God’s power, into his body and blood, so that in order to achieve this mystery of unity we receive from God what he received from us.

I imagine that “changed in substance” is in Latin some form of the word “transubstantiation”. But only a fool (and I mean that) would suggest that the Church didn’t believe what I quoted from the beginning. Heck, ask the Orthodox (who weren’t in the Church in 1215) if they would agree with what I quoted. I know they would.

Irenaeus wrote that the eucharist was not carnel (this not of flesh) but that it is spiritual. He also called an antitype
Origen wrote that the euchurist is a “symbol of gratitude ot God”

If the Eucharist is merely symbolic, why did so many people desert Jesus in John 6, when he said we needed to eat his body and drink his blood if we were to have life within us?
Jesus did not modify the words used or say, “I only meant it symbolically.”

Iraneus said:
“If the Lord were from other than the Father, how could he rightly take bread, which is of the same creation as our own, and confess it to be his body and affirm that the mixture in the cup is his blood?” (Against Heresies 4:33–32 [A.D. 189]).

“He has declared the cup, a part of creation, to be his own blood, from which he causes our blood to flow; and the bread, a part of creation, he has established as his own body, from which he gives increase unto our bodies. When, therefore, the mixed cup [wine and water] and the baked bread receives the Word of God and becomes the Eucharist, the body of Christ, and from these the substance of our flesh is increased and supported, how can they say that the flesh is not capable of receiving the gift of God, which is eternal life—flesh which is nourished by the body and blood of the Lord, and is in fact a member of him?” (ibid., 5:2). "

And Origen said:
“Formerly there was baptism in an obscure way . . . now, however, in full view, there is regeneration in water and in the Holy Spirit. Formerly, in an obscure way, there was manna for food; now, however, in full view, there is the true food, the flesh of the Word of God, as he himself says: ‘My flesh is true food, and my blood is true drink’ [John 6:55]”

We should really stick to the OP’s specific question. What evidence is there that the Church denied that the Eucharist underwent a change of substance before 1215 or thereabouts?

Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist
Jn 6:35-71 - Eucharist promised
Mt 26:26ff (Mk 14:22ff., Lk 22:17ff.) - Eucharist instituted
1Cor 10:16 - Eucharist = participation in Christ’s body & blood
1 Cor 11:23-29 - receiving unworthily his body & blood
Ex 12:8, 46 - Paschal lamb had to be eaten
Jn 1:29 - Jesus called "Lamb of God"
1 Cor 5:7 - Jesus called "paschal lamb who has been sacrificed
Jn 4:31-34; Mt 16;5-12 - Jesus talking symbolically about food
1Cor 2:14-3:4 - explains what “the flesh” means in Jn 6:63
Ps 14:4; Is 9:18-20; Is 49:26; Mic 3:3; 2Sm 23:15-17; Rv 17:6, 16 -
to symbolically eat & drink one’s body & blood = assault

The Early Christians Believed in the Real Presence

[FONT=Times][FONT=Arial Black]St. Augustine’s Real Faith in the Real Presence


Allis Chalmers, it may seem, does not necessarily read all of the writings of Irenaeus:

From “Against Heresies” Bk 4, Chapter 17:

Again, giving directions to His disciples to offer to God the firstfruits of His own created things–not as if He stood in need of them, but that they might be themselves neither unfruitful nor ungrateful–He took that created thing, bread, and gave thanks, and said, 'This is My Body (Mt 26:26). And the cup likewise, which is part of that creation to which we belong, He confessed to be His blood, and taught the new oblation of the new covenant;

history has a way of repeating itself over and over again.just like in Jesus time when his disciples walked away from him over the teaching of his real prescence,todays disciples are still walking away…

Unfortunately, it’s not uncommon for those Catholic priests who have gone into Protestant Fundamentalism to boldly lie about what the Church teaches. I was witness to this personally when I attended a presentation by such a priest (a former and long-time Jesuit, no less). :frowning: It’s one thing to disagree with a given doctrine of the Church and a totally other thing to lie about the content of that doctrine in order to gain supporters - especially financial ones. :rolleyes:

Are you suggesting Christ meant in John 6 that people literally needed to eat his flesh and drink his blood?


“The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not a participation in the blood of Christ? The bread which we break, is it not a participation in the body of Christ? Because there is one bread, we who are many are one body, for we all partake of the one bread.”

-1 Cor. 10:16-17

“For I received from the Lord what I also delivered to you, that the Lord Jesus on the night when he was betrayed took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it, and said, ‘This is my body which is for you. Do this in remembrance of me.’ In the same way also the cup, after supper, saying, ‘This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.’ For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes. Whoever, therefore, eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of profaning the body and blood of the Lord.”

-1 Cor. 11:23-27

“So then, brethren, stand firm and hold to the traditions which you were taught by us, either by word of mouth or by letter.” (2 Thes. 2:15)

“And what you have heard from me before many witnesses entrust to faithful men who will be able to teach others also.” (2 Tim. 2:2)

and so we have followed the teachings of the Apostles and their successors for almost 2000 years…

Your question is disengenuous.

Bennett << What Hahn teaches is simply false. It was in the ninth century that a Benedictine monk taught such a doctrine. [15] Nonetheless the new doctrine fermented and grew in the Church of Rome… >>

What Bennett is referring to is the 9th century “controversies” between Radbertus and Ratramnus, although they weren’t over “transubstantiation” since that word wasn’t used specifically until the 11th century. From Wikipedia: “Ratramnus sought to reconcile science and religion, whereas Radbertus emphasized the miraculous. However the two agreed that Christ was present in the eucharist, Radbertus by miracle and reality and Ratramnus by faith and symbolism.” From Ludwig Ott: “Ratramnus, it is true, did not deny the Real Presence, but in contrast to Paschasius Radbertus (d. about 860), who maintained the complete identity of the sacramental body with the historical body of Christ, strongly emphasized the different way in which the Body of Christ was manifested in the Eucharist…” (Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma, page 371)

It was Berengarius of Tours (d. 1088) who was the first to truly deny transubstantiation and teach a symbolical / metaphorical view (ibid, page 371).

From Bennett’s article, footnote 15:

“Paschasius Radbert published a treatise in 831A.D., ‘Concerning the Body and Blood of Christ’. He held that the bread and wine used in the Lord’s Supper were by consecration converted into the body and blood of the Lord Jesus Christ…”

Bennett is wrong to imply Radbertus (or Radbert) was the first. The Church Fathers used clear “conversion” language well before the 9th century: the conversion view was championed by such great Western Fathers as St. Ambrose and defended as well by such Eastern Fathers as St. Cyril of Jerusalem, St. Gregory of Nyssa, St. John Chrysostom, St. Cyril of Alexandria and St. John Damascene. I would also recommend the Sungenis book Not By Bread Alone (page 195ff) which goes through all the main citations and language of the Fathers on the Eucharist.

Phil P


My focus was really on the bolded piece. How could anyone read even a fraction of history and write such rubbish? Especially from an ex-Catholic priest, he should know what the early Church said about the Eucharist. I found this amazing…He’s out in the cold on this one since St. Paul plainly teaches the Eucharistic Real Presence.

[FONT=“Palatino Linotype”]1st Corinthians 10:16-17

“16 The chalice of benediction, which we bless, is it not the communion of the blood of Christ? And the bread, which we break, is it not the partaking of the body of the Lord? 17 For we, being many, are one bread, one body, all that partake of one bread.”

1st Corinthians 11:23-30

"23 For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you, that the Lord Jesus, the same night in which he was betrayed, took bread. 24 And giving thanks, broke, and said: Take ye, and eat: this is my body, which shall be delivered for you: this do for the commemoration of me. 25 In like manner also the chalice, after he had supped, saying: This chalice is the new testament in my blood: this do ye, as often as you shall drink, for the commemoration of me.

26 For as often as you shall eat this bread, and drink the chalice, you shall shew the death of the Lord, until he come. 27 Therefore whosoever shall eat this bread, or drink the chalice of the Lord unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and of the blood of the Lord. 28 But let a man prove himself: and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of the chalice. 29 For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh judgment to himself, not discerning the body of the Lord. 30 Therefore are there many infirm and weak among you, and many sleep. "

Furthermore here has completely ignored the verifiable historic writings of the early church. Look here at the words of St. Ignatius of Antioch’s letter to the church at Smyrna. (BTW he has to do this or it becomes obvious that one he’s in contravention of the Word of God and that he does not share the same teachings and beliefs as the early church, which is often asserted by some modern n-Cs. :rolleyes: )


They abstain from the Eucharist and from prayer,(7) because they confess not the Eucharist to be the flesh of our Saviour Jesus Christ, which suffered for our sins, and which the Father, of His goodness, raised up again. Those, therefore, who speak against this gift of God, incur death(11) in the midst of their disputes. But it were better for them to treat it with respect,(13) that they also might rise again.

It is fitting, therefore, that ye should keep aloof from such persons, and not to speak of(15) them either in private or in public, but to give heed to the prophets, and above all, to the Gospel, in which the passion[of Christ] has been revealed to us, and the resurrection has been fully proved.(16) But avoid all divisions, as the beginning of evils. [/FONT]


This statement is itself false. “Benedictine Monks” as such were not considered to exist in the 9th century. As in the East, you were simply a monk or nun of a given monastery.

There are plenty of ways to take Bennett’s argument apart without this nit-picking. Western monks followed the Rule of St. Benedict by and large by the 9th century, so it’s quite fair to call them Benedictines.


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