Real Presence Not Until 12th Century?

There is a website called Contender Ministries that claims “The Mass did not change from a celebration meal of thanksgiving to a ceremonial encounter with the literal body and blood of Jesus until the 12th century”. I know this is not true and I’ve tried to discuss it with the author but she was not receptive to any evidence I provided.

Is there any convincing evidence that what she claims is untrue?

Has anyone dealt with this website previously?

St.Paul and his warnings over the discernment of your soulbefore partaking in the Eucharist.But most of all what Jesus said,to deny that is to call him a liar.People walked away,if Jesus was talking symbolically he would have had to tell them that,he didn’t.He would have decieving them for not correcting what he said.God can not decieve.God Bless

[quote=Titanites]There is a website called [contenderministries.org/Catholicism/eucharist.php]Contender Ministries]([color=#000000) that claims “The Mass did not change from a celebration meal of thanksgiving to a ceremonial encounter with the literal body and blood of Jesus until the 12th century”. I know this is not true and I’ve tried to discuss it with the author but she was not receptive to any evidence I provided.
[/quote]

Is there any convincing evidence that what she claims is untrue?
Has anyone dealt with this website previously?

The first 3 centruies are a pretty good place to start. The early Church martyrs were not going to death over street preaching. They were dying over the Mass and the eucharist.

Probably one of the better Early Church historical treatment of the liturgy is in "The Slave-Byzantine Liturgy of St John Chrysostom, By Casimir Kucharek. He covers the liturgy prior to the east and west split (liturgical) in the 4th century better than any other I have read to date.

-Ted

If there was no Real Presence until the 12th century, then why do Orthodox, Coptic, Persian and other ancient churches believe in a Real Presence?

the opposite is true–no one denied the Real presence until the 11th century-Berengarius of Tours–then he recanted—it wasnt until the 16th century that more questions arose–so for 1100 years the real Presence wasnt questioned—and when itwas questioned there was outrage—which points to its validity–

[quote=Titanites]There is a website called Contender Ministries that claims “The Mass did not change from a celebration meal of thanksgiving to a ceremonial encounter with the literal body and blood of Jesus until the 12th century”. I know this is not true and I’ve tried to discuss it with the author but she was not receptive to any evidence I provided.

Is there any convincing evidence that what she claims is untrue?

Has anyone dealt with this website previously?
[/quote]

So, what, exactly was the evidence you provided?
Then we can go from there.

Below is a link to a website that explains the early church fathers’ view of the Eucharist.
catholicfaithandreason.org/fathersoneucharist.htm

This site mentions the view of Ignatius, Iraneus, Justin Martyr and many more. These men were alive around the 2nd, 3rd, 4th centuries, so I’m thinking that 2,3,and 4 come before 12!

Good Luck, I hope this helps.

God Bless,
Elizabeth

It’s pretty clear that the Early Church did indeed believe in the literal body and blood of our Lord in the Eucharist. Here are some Church Fathers writing in the 2nd Century:

Ignatius of Antioch

“I have no taste for corruptible food nor for the pleasures of this life. I desire the bread of God, which is the flesh of Jesus Christ, who was of the seed of David; and for drink I desire his blood, which is love incorruptible” (*Letter to the Romans *7:3 [A.D. 110]).

“Take note of those who hold heterodox opinions on the grace of Jesus Christ which has come to us, and see how contrary their opinions are to the mind of God. . . . They abstain from the Eucharist and from prayer because they do not confess that the Eucharist is the flesh of our Savior Jesus Christ, flesh which suffered for our sins and which that Father, in his goodness, raised up again. They who deny the gift of God are perishing in their disputes” (*Letter to the Smyrnaeans *6:2–7:1 [A.D. 110]).

Justin Martyr

“We call this food Eucharist, and no one else is permitted to partake of it, except one who believes our teaching to be true and who has been washed in the washing which is for the remission of sins and for regeneration * and is thereby living as Christ enjoined. For not as common bread nor common drink do we receive these; but since Jesus Christ our Savior was made incarnate by the word of God and had both flesh and blood for our salvation, so too, as we have been taught, the food which has been made into the Eucharist by the Eucharistic prayer set down by him, and by the change of which our blood and flesh is nurtured, is both the flesh and the blood of that incarnated Jesus” (*First Apology **66 [A.D. 151]).
More can be found in the Catholic Answers tract here.

It’s pretty clear that her position is in error, and if she won’t accept this evidence, then her heart is hardened and all you can do is pray for her.

As God provides :D, I was just reading a portion of the Didache for another purpose. Maybe this will help:

**THE TEACHING OF THE TWELVE APOSTLES – unknown, 100 to 150 A.D. ** (DIDACHE) ewtn.com/library/PATRISTC/ANF7-17.TXT

THE LORD’S TEACHING THROUGH THE TWELVE APOSTLES TO THE NATIONS.
CHAP. XIV.(11)–CHRISTIAN ASSEMBLY ON THE LORD’S DAY.

<1> But every Lord's day(12) do ye gather yourselves together, and break bread, and give thanksgiving after having confessed your transgressions,(13) that your sacrifice may be pure.(14) <2> But let no one that is at variance(15) with his fellow come together with you, until they be reconciled, that your sacrifice may not be profaned. 

<3> For this is that which was spoken by the Lord: In every place and time offer to me a pure sacrifice;(16) for I am a great King, saith the Lord, and my name is wonderful among the nations.(17)

**There are many references to the fact that the Eucharist-Thanksgiving was sacred. Sacred-------- the word Sacred says that is not just Bread and Wine, for Bread and Wine are of human making-------hmmmmmm. Look to the phrase “Pure”. There is only one **Pure Sacrifice ** and that is the Sacrifice of Christ Jesus. Hope this helps.

Remain in the Peace of Christ **

Consider this. If their claim was true, then somehow the entire Church, both east and west, was converted from the symbolic-only view to the Real Presence view at some point (they say the 12th century, but this argument applies to any date). Where is the evidence of this? Where are the writings of learned theologians discussing, and in many cases objecting, to this change? Where are the Church councils that fought over this change? Where did the change start, and how did it spread, or did it overtake the entire Church at once (sounds like a miracle!)?

Given the later claims by people who believe in the symbolic-only view that the Real Presence is akin to cannibalism and vampirism, why would the Church have accepted these things (these vile heresies, from the standpoint of the symbolic-only view) without a peep? Where are the opposing armies and the battles fought? Where are the towns sacked? Where are the heretics burned on either side over this matter? Where are the holdout areas who didn’t go along with the new teaching but stuck with the old? All these things happened during the Protestant Reformation, so why didn’t they happen over such a fundamental (and heretical, if you believe the symbolic view) change in dogma?

As soon as you ask the question you see their claim is preposterous. The change they claim happened would have been every bit as cataclysmic as the Protestant Reformation (maybe more, since they claim it happened to the entire Church, not just the Church in the west). We certainly have the evidence that the Protestant Reformation happened. Where’s the equivalent evidence of the “Real Presence Coup”?

As I say, it’s a preposterous claim.

I just wanted to add to my last post, imagine the situation today, or in the 19th century or the 18th or the 17th, if the entire Protestant world was told by their leaders that they must reject the symbolic-only view and adopt the Real Presence understanding. Would they go along unanimously, without a peep, without a drop of evidence of the change left to history? Then why would anybody believe that this exact thing happened to the Church in the past?

Well, it may be a preposterous claim - but it is what I was taught and believed until last year. It seems commonly believed in protestant teaching that the real presence is a late invention, only the date of the “invention” changes.

Then I made the mistake :wink: of reading parts of early Christian writings. Ignatius of Antioch, Justin Martyr and all the others. Oops, there was the real presence stated in plain language. My false belief collapsed. Then there was Clement and even before that the writings of Paul. And the sayings of Jesus. Then I read other early documents that spoke of the apostolic succession. D’oh! Another false belief of mine dashed. And just how could I think of baptism solely as a symbol of salvation given what the Bible actually says?

However, I have the same trouble as others here - the evidence of the early church isn’t taken as proper evidence by people. It probably wouldn’t have been by me either if God hadn’t paved the way for me first. Just because the real presence is obvious in Christian writings 2 centuries before the Nicene creed was written, that isn’t good evidence. We must, I suppose, continue to pray that people’s eyes are opened to the witness of the church.

Ah, the pinger rings. Lunch time.

from that article on Contenders Ministries:

The early church never practiced these traditions. The Mass did not change from a celebration meal of thanksgiving to a ceremonial encounter with the literal body and blood of Jesus until the 12th century. The doctrine of transubstantiation was decreed in AD 1215 at the fourth Lateran Council.

AD 1215 was not in the 12th century.

And what does Contender Minstries say of the writings of the Early Church Fathers which have been shared on this thread? What of Justin Martyr’s “First Apology”?

Contender Ministries ignores them entirely. This is the favored tactic of those who disagree with the Church: ignore the historical record.

Thanks for your perspective, Asteroid. I believe that is what I’m up against. I’ve provided quotes from the early Church Fathers but the response I get is that it is revisionist history. I’m not sure that there is much that can be done for people who refuse to remove the scales from their eyes.

You should read some of the other stuff on their site. It is pretty “revisionist”. The owners of the site seem like decent people but the errors they purport are pretty shocking. I just wish I could get them to see. It’s probably just a waste of time.

I’ve often wondered what those who hold to a symbolic interpretation of the Eucharist do with St. Paul’s writing in 1 Cor 11:

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.

[font=Arial][size=2]This is certainly not the language of someone who thinks the Eucharist is a symbol. “Guilty of the body and blood of Christ”? “eats and drinks judgement to himself”? How can this make any sense if it is in reference to a metaphor?
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[quote=asteroid]Well, it may be a preposterous claim - but it is what I was taught and believed until last year. It seems commonly believed in protestant teaching that the real presence is a late invention, only the date of the “invention” changes.

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Yes, it is required to believe this if a group wants to hold to the symbolic-only view, but I don’t think they consider the ramifications if such a change were actually made in the entire Church, both east and west. It would have been every bit as big as the Protestant Reformation. We’d know about it from history, yes we would.

What’s preposterous is the assertion that a council got together, decided to change a core dogma of the Church, and the entire Christian world just went along without so much as a squeak. Imagine if, e.g. Vatican Council II had pronounced the opposite, that the Real Presence was false and that the symbolic-only view was correct. Think everybody in the entire Church would go along without any objection? Think there’d be any historical evidence of this earth-shaking change left to future generations? I think so. :slight_smile:

I was remembering the last time I was confronted with the claim of the True Presence of Christ being a 12th century invention. All I did was ask what source the person was using for their claim…her answer was “Ask Jeeves”.

Enough said :cool:

Be in the Peace of Christ,

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