A friend has been having discussions with a protestant friend of hers concerning the Eucharist, and she wants some help with one thing. I’ve given a few ideas, but I need some more concrete back-up.
Here’s the quote from her e-mail:
“He’s SO close to believing the Catholic teaching, but his thing is this: if transubstantiation is true, why isn’t it the real Body and Blood at any church’s service? If it is a gift of God, then why would He deny it to his “protestant” children? He basically believes that communion well-received at any church, Catholic or not, is the equivalent of the body and blood of Christ.”
I think the guy is hung up on apostoilic succession more than anything, even though my friend says she hasn’t had much luck with that route. Could anyone give me any advice? Maybe some scripture/CCC/other references?
Ignatius of Antioch(disciple of John the Apostle, died AD107) talks about the Eucharist several times in his letters. He also talks about maintaining union with the bishop. Here is one thing he says when telling them to maintain union with the bsihop.
" Let that be deemed a proper56 Eucharist, which is [administered] either by the bishop, or by one to whom he has entrusted it. Wherever the bishop shall appear, there let the multitude [of the people] also be; even as, wherever Jesus Christ is, there is the Catholic Church. It is not lawful without the bishop either to baptize or to celebrate a love-feast; but whatsoever he shall approve of, that is also pleasing to God, so that everything that is done may be secure and valid.57 " [Ignatius to the Smyrnians]
The implication of this statement is that what is not in communion with the bishops is not a proper Eucharist.
Further, I would ask this person what is required in order for there to be a true presence in a protestant Church. Do they need one person to believe it? Half? Two thirds plus 1? Does the pastor need to believe it is the true presence? Can a Satan worshiper consecrate the Eucharist with intent to destroy it? Who gives the authority to the pastor to have this supper? As Ignatius says, it is the bishop and those who have his permission who can have the Eucharist.