The church and alcoholism


#1

Can anyone shed some light on the church's view on alcoholism or alcohol as a disease as suggested by Alcoholics Anonymois?

For example; to my knowledge the church views homosexuality a dis-order in God's human program for man and woman to procreate. Thus, homosexual activity goes against God's devine purpose in conjunction but not related to sex outside of marraige. However, the Catholic church can neither agree or disagree that there is a "homosexual gene" and cannot trace the exact "root" to homosexuality.

I guess a lot of the same could go for the alcoholic in the sense "a disorder" so to speak. But I pose another view, "if an alcoholic person who cannot have alcohol in any sense. And I mean, tried time and time again but fails miserably to control his drinking. To the point that causes a profound problem in his life legally, amongst family, financially, etc. What does one mere sip of wine do in communion? Is it biologically impossible based on a genetic composition that the individual cannot drink alcohol? Or does God, present in communion literally curve him from his proclivity"?


#2

Alcohol abuse constitutes a near occasion of sin. If the individual cannot drink without abusing acohol, then the answer is to not drink. Matt. 18:9


#3

What does one mere sip of wine do in communion? Is it biologically impossible based on a genetic composition that the individual cannot drink alcohol?

In early sobriety, it is best to not take of the Sacrament in both forms. Later, simply wetting one's lip is sufficient, and proof of the strength of the Sacrament itself. Paradox.


#4

[quote="Jerusha, post:3, topic:285459"]
In early sobriety, it is best to not take of the Sacrament in both forms. Later, simply wetting one's lip is sufficient, and proof of the strength of the Sacrament itself. Paradox.

[/quote]

Curious as to why you stated that in early sobriety one shouldn't take the sacrament in both forms. I've been sober for many years and I can't come up with a single reason why someone just getting sober wouldn't receive the body of Christ.


#5

I am talking about not receiving the Blood of Christ.


#6

There are a lot of questions in the OP, so many that it's a little unclear what the real question is.

May I suggest clarifying a little?


#7

[quote="Mgray82, post:1, topic:285459"]
Can anyone shed some light on the church's view on alcoholism or alcohol as a disease as suggested by Alcoholics Anonymois?

[/quote]

My friend, let's start at the beginning. All addictions are a form of obsessive behavior. To the degree that the person's control is diminished, the culpability proportionality diminished until there is no culpability.

Under this vision fall all addictions including alcoholism, pornography, masturbation, drugs and a few others. Nine out of ten times the loss of freedom or self-control is an indicator of some psychological or biologic event taking place.

It is not the place of the Church to compete with medicine. She listens to medicine and she accepts what is reasonable and moral.

For example; to my knowledge the church views homosexuality a dis-order in God's human program for man and woman to procreate. Thus, homosexual activity goes against God's devine purpose in conjunction but not related to sex outside of marraige. However, the Catholic church can neither agree or disagree that there is a "homosexual gene" and cannot trace the exact "root" to homosexuality.

Here again, we have to be honest. Traddom loves the word disorder, because many people can use it to justify their homophobic and often abusive behavior toward homosexual people. Some of these folks assume an attitude that says, "I thank God that I'm not made like the rest of men." I have yet to hear one of these folks on forums or blogs admit to the fact that there are many disordered behaviors among straight people. On the contrary. The speak of homosexuals as aberrant and heterosexuals are never mentioned or considered capable aberrant behaviors.

The Church's use of the term "disorder" comes from a very ancient term that had fallen out of use for more than 1,000 years and has been resurrected after Vatican II, which meant out of compliance with the norm or in plain English, ayptical. She is not using the term in a medical sense or even a moral sense. It's an anthropological use of the world "disorder". This is not typical. Which is true.

Sexual activity, gay or straight has to be evaluated against the purpose of human sexuality. Human sexuality has two equally important ends: unitive and procreative. One does not outdo the other, as some people like to think, just because the unitive was not stressed in Pre-Vatican II documents. Pre-Vatican II documents did not express is, because it was not a public issue. Promiscuity was very common, but it was very discrete, unlike today where it's a sport.

When a person engages in sexual activity outside of marriage, the unitive dimension of sexuality is being ignored. When a person engages in sexual activity that has no possibility of life, not even through some miracle, the second purpose of sexuality is violated.

We have to add a disclaimer here. Thee are people who for biological reasons out of their control cannot conceive. These persons are not engaging in sexual activity that that is outside of the possibilities of conception, if all the other health issues were resolved.

In the case of two people of the same gender, there is nothing that needs resolving. The inability to conceive is not to due to a health problem, but to an incompatibility problem. Conception is incompatible sex between to people of the same gender.

But I pose another view, "if an alcoholic person who cannot have alcohol in any sense. And I mean, tried time and time again but fails miserably to control his drinking. To the point that causes a profound problem in his life legally, amongst family, financially, etc. What does one mere sip of wine do in communion?

It is strongly discouraged. One must always choose the higher good. The higher good is to abstain from the chalice. You have received Christ's body and blood in the consecrated host. Even priests who are alcoholics do not use wine to consecrate. Their is a type of "wine", which is really grape juice that is on the edge of fermenting that can be used in place of wine. Don't ask me to go into the mechanics and chemistry of it all. It's not necessary. Just accept it. There is such a product and it can be consecrated.

Is it biologically impossible based on a genetic composition that the individual cannot drink alcohol? Or does God, present in communion literally curve him from his proclivity"?

The precious blood retains all of the properties of wine, without being wine. If it did not, then the act of drinking the precious blood could be a form of cannibalism. We know that's not true.

Since it retains all the properties of wine, even though it is no longer wine, ti will have the same biological effects on a person who has the alcoholism illness.

Fraternally,

Br. JR, FFV :)


#8

[quote="JReducation, post:7, topic:285459"]
...............The precious blood retains all of the properties of wine, without being wine. If it did not, then the act of drinking the precious blood could be a form of cannibalism. We know that's not true........

[/quote]

Dear Bro. please correct me if I am wrong but here I strongly disagree with you on the statement that I put in a bold font.

My first argument is based on my perception of your statement, it seems to imply that properties of the wine must be retained. If that were true the same would apply to the accidents of bread; however, we know that Eucharistic miracles do happen. I agree that we should still expect the accidents to be retained and it would be contrary to reason to expect the opposite.

My second argument is based on the assertion of cannibalism if the accidents were different. I am confused on how accidents could affect the substance. That assertion seems to imply that because of the change of accidents we would be receiving a dead incomplete body; however we know that we can break a host in ten pieces and each piece is still the complete living body of Christ.

I apologize for being picky, but I value every statement that you make and usually if we differ in understanding I tend to assume that I am wrong and that you are right. This is why I am trying to clarify things, I keep learning more and more from you.


#9

[quote="Mgray82, post:1, topic:285459"]
Can anyone shed some light on the church's view on alcoholism or alcohol as a disease as suggested by Alcoholics Anonymois?

For example; to my knowledge the church views homosexuality a dis-order in God's human program for man and woman to procreate. Thus, homosexual activity goes against God's devine purpose in conjunction but not related to sex outside of marraige. However, the Catholic church can neither agree or disagree that there is a "homosexual gene" and cannot trace the exact "root" to homosexuality.

I guess a lot of the same could go for the alcoholic in the sense "a disorder" so to speak. But I pose another view, "if an alcoholic person who cannot have alcohol in any sense. And I mean, tried time and time again but fails miserably to control his drinking. To the point that causes a profound problem in his life legally, amongst family, financially, etc. What does one mere sip of wine do in communion? Is it biologically impossible based on a genetic composition that the individual cannot drink alcohol? Or does God, present in communion literally curve him from his proclivity"?

[/quote]

I am a recovering alcoholic with 26 years of sobriety. Alcoholism is a disorder. I dont take communion under both species as Christ is fully present, body and blood , in the host. I like alcohol way too much to even venture a sip


#10

[quote="estesbob, post:9, topic:285459"]
I am a recovering alcoholic with 26 years of sobriety. Alcoholism is a disorder. I dont take communion under both species as Christ is fully present, body and blood , in the host. I like alcohol way too much to even venture a sip

[/quote]

That sounds like me with cigarettes. I quit more than 20 years ago but still today, when I smell second hand smoke, something in my brain goes off in the search for nicotine. I am just glad that burning incense does not release nicotine. :o


#11

[quote="Mgray82, post:1, topic:285459"]
However, the Catholic church can neither agree or disagree that there is a "homosexual gene" and cannot trace the exact "root" to homosexuality.

[/quote]

It is not the Church's job to discover whether such a gene exists for homosexuality or alcoholism and/or to modify its moral teachings should science identify such a thing. We have the Old and New Testaments, the Word of God, as well as the Apostolic teachings that clearly condemn homosexual behavior. Since our moral law comes from God, you have to accept that God has willed, gene or no gene, that many will carry this cross.

Alcoholism is a sin of excess/addiction and the severity of the sin can only be assessed and absolved by one's confessor. Finding a gene or another physiological cause may benefit in the treatment but will not alter the morality.


#12

[quote="giuseppeTO, post:11, topic:285459"]
It is not the Church's job to discover whether such a gene exists for homosexuality or alcoholism and/or to modify its moral teachings should science identify such a thing. We have the Old and New Testaments, the Word of God, as well as the Apostolic teachings that clearly condemn homosexual behavior. Since our moral law comes from God, you have to accept that God has willed, gene or no gene, that many will carry this cross.

Alcoholism is a sin of excess/addiction and the severity of the sin can only be assessed and absolved by one's confessor. Finding a gene or another physiological cause may benefit in the treatment but will not alter the morality.

[/quote]

I am absolutely convinced that alcoholism is disease and it is hereditary. Having said that I also believe "so what" Being predisposed to commit a certain type of sin does not give us the right to commit that sin.


#13

[quote="Cristiano, post:8, topic:285459"]
Dear Bro. please correct me if I am wrong but here I strongly disagree with you on the statement that I put in a bold font.

My first argument is based on my perception of your statement, it seems to imply that properties of the wine must be retained. If that were true the same would apply to the accidents of bread; however, we know that Eucharistic miracles do happen. I agree that we should still expect the accidents to be retained and it would be contrary to reason to expect the opposite.

My second argument is based on the assertion of cannibalism if the accidents were different. I am confused on how accidents could affect the substance. That assertion seems to imply that because of the change of accidents we would be receiving a dead incomplete body; however we know that we can break a host in ten pieces and each piece is still the complete living body of Christ.

I apologize for being picky, but I value every statement that you make and usually if we differ in understanding I tend to assume that I am wrong and that you are right. This is why I am trying to clarify things, I keep learning more and more from you.

[/quote]

Let's start by putting miracles aside, because the reason that they are called miracles is precisely, because they defy natural law. The Eucharistic miracles are no exception.

The easiest explanation that I have heard to date on this question was by Pope Benedict XVI. I've heard other explanations that say the same thing, but too verbose.

When asked if we consume flesh and blood at Communion, Pope Benedict explained that we consume the Glorified Body of Christ, which is not limited by human conditions.

Secondly, he explained that the idea of consuming human flesh and blood is cannibalism and Holy Communion is not cannibalism.

He explained that the consecrated species change in substance, but not in appearance. Therefore, they retain the properties of bread and wine, while substantially, it's not bread or wine.

However, barring a miracle, in a laboratory test, we would find all of the elements of bread and wine. In this case, the consecrated wine would include a certain percentage of alcohol.

In other words, we are unable to physically perceive the Glorified Body of Christ through our natural senses, which St. Thomas actually says in Pange Lingua or is it in Tatum Ergo? Anyway, it's in one or the other. "What our senses fail to see . . ."

The Holy Father's point was that the appearance of bread and wine is
retained, precisely to protect the sacrament from becoming an act of cannibalism.

Does this help?

Fraternally,

Br. JR, FFV :)


#14

im currently struggling with alchohol -

and during lent I gave it up for 40 days - and I did have the wine at church- and yes it was tempting and delicious

but my will was strong, but Im trying to quit currently for good and I think i might pass on the wine at church for a bit until im certain it wont tempt me to have more


#15

[quote="mab23, post:14, topic:285459"]
im currently struggling with alchohol -

and during lent I gave it up for 40 days - and I did have the wine at church- and yes it was tempting and delicious

but my will was strong, but Im trying to quit currently for good and I think i might pass on the wine at church for a bit until im certain it wont tempt me to have more

[/quote]

You don't have to receive under both species. Just receive the host for the rest of your life. That's what alcoholic priests and deacons do. Of course, they use a special type of "wine".

Fraternally,

Br. JR,FFV :)


#16

[quote="JReducation, post:13, topic:285459"]
Let's start by putting miracles aside, because the reason that they are called miracles is precisely, because they defy natural law. The Eucharistic miracles are no exception.

The easiest explanation that I have heard to date on this question was by Pope Benedict XVI. I've heard other explanations that say the same thing, but too verbose.

When asked if we consume flesh and blood at Communion, Pope Benedict explained that we consume the Glorified Body of Christ, which is not limited by human conditions.

Secondly, he explained that the idea of consuming human flesh and blood is cannibalism and Holy Communion is not cannibalism.

He explained that the consecrated species change in substance, but not in appearance. Therefore, they retain the properties of bread and wine, while substantially, it's not bread or wine.

However, barring a miracle, in a laboratory test, we would find all of the elements of bread and wine. In this case, the consecrated wine would include a certain percentage of alcohol.

In other words, we are unable to physically perceive the Glorified Body of Christ through our natural senses, which St. Thomas actually says in Pange Lingua or is it in Tatum Ergo? Anyway, it's in one or the other. "What our senses fail to see . . ."

The Holy Father's point was that the appearance of bread and wine is
retained, precisely to protect the sacrament from becoming an act of cannibalism.

Does this help?

Fraternally,

Br. JR, FFV :)

[/quote]

Not really. I think that we agree on all the basics; however my idea is that theophagy is completely different from cannibalism even if to the ignorant ones it could appear the same depending on the accidents. My definition of cannibalism is based on eating parts of dead flesh and that is in antithesis of the Eucharist (the whole living God).

I am loss here because my take is that the True Presence (substance) is not defined by the accidents otherwise when we are in the presence of a miracle the resulting effect is that the True Presence is gone as soon as the accident changes. However, normally when the accidents disappear the substance (True Presence) is not there anymore either and that contradicts my previous statement. I guess that for now I will just take for what it is: a mystery of our faith.


#17

[quote="Cristiano, post:16, topic:285459"]
Not really. I think that we agree on all the basics; however my idea is that theophagy is completely different from cannibalism even if to the ignorant ones it could appear the same depending on the accidents. My definition of cannibalism is based on eating parts of dead flesh and that is in antithesis of the Eucharist (the whole living God).

I am loss here because my take is that the True Presence (substance) is not defined by the accidents otherwise when we are in the presence of a miracle the resulting effect is that the True Presence is gone as soon as the accident changes. However, normally when the accidents disappear the substance (True Presence) is not there anymore either and that contradicts my previous statement. I guess that for now I will just take for what it is: a mystery of our faith.

[/quote]

:thumbsup:


#18

[quote="JReducation, post:13, topic:285459"]
Let's start by putting miracles aside, because the reason that they are called miracles is precisely, because they defy natural law. The Eucharistic miracles are no exception.

The easiest explanation that I have heard to date on this question was by Pope Benedict XVI. I've heard other explanations that say the same thing, but too verbose.

When asked if we consume flesh and blood at Communion, Pope Benedict explained that we consume the Glorified Body of Christ, which is not limited by human conditions.

Secondly, he explained that the idea of consuming human flesh and blood is cannibalism and Holy Communion is not cannibalism.

He explained that the consecrated species change in substance, but not in appearance. Therefore, they retain the properties of bread and wine, while substantially, it's not bread or wine.

However, barring a miracle, in a laboratory test, we would find all of the elements of bread and wine. In this case, the consecrated wine would include a certain percentage of alcohol.

In other words, we are unable to physically perceive the Glorified Body of Christ through our natural senses, which St. Thomas actually says in Pange Lingua or is it in Tatum Ergo? Anyway, it's in one or the other. "What our senses fail to see . . ."

The Holy Father's point was that the appearance of bread and wine is
retained, precisely to protect the sacrament from becoming an act of cannibalism.

Does this help?

Fraternally,

Br. JR, FFV :)

[/quote]

The Holy Father's point was that the appearance of bread and wine is
retained, precisely to protect the sacrament from becoming an act of cannibalism.

Yea, I kinda don't think he said or implied that.
Thanks for a good example of internet information.


#19

1 Corinthians: 6: 9-10

*Do not err: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, 10 Nor the effeminate, nor liers with mankind, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor railers, nor extortioners, shall possess the kingdom of God. *

I think that covers both drunkards and homosexuals.

If these acts keep you from "the kingdom," that implies the acts are a CHOICE.

God would not damn someone over something which was beyond the person's control.

Regardless of what pop psychology would have you believe.


#20

[quote="JReducation, post:7, topic:285459"]
My friend, let's start at the beginning. All addictions are a form of obsessive behavior. To the degree that the person's control is diminished, the culpability proportionality diminished until there is no culpability.

Under this vision fall all addictions including alcoholism, pornography, masturbation, drugs and a few others. Nine out of ten times the loss of freedom or self-control is an indicator of some psychological or biologic event taking place.

[/quote]

So a disorder takes place... And we should be careful not to demonize people with disorders of all likes, which is why it bothers me how society tries to exclude gays from being "disordered" -as if having a disorder is the worst thing in the world... :shrug: We all have disorders of one kind or another, we all have addictions, we all have weaknesses, we're all imperfect...

[quote="JReducation, post:7, topic:285459"]

Here again, we have to be honest. Traddom loves the word disorder, because many people can use it to justify their homophobic and often abusive behavior toward homosexual people. Some of these folks assume an attitude that says, "I thank God that I'm not made like the rest of men." I have yet to hear one of these folks on forums or blogs admit to the fact that there are many disordered behaviors among straight people. On the contrary. The speak of homosexuals as aberrant and heterosexuals are never mentioned or considered capable aberrant behaviors.

The Church's use of the term "disorder" comes from a very ancient term that had fallen out of use for more than 1,000 years and has been resurrected after Vatican II, which meant out of compliance with the norm or in plain English, ayptical. She is not using the term in a medical sense or even a moral sense. It's an anthropological use of the world "disorder". This is not typical. Which is true.

Br. JR, FFV :)

[/quote]

That seems odd -to use a common term, and then claim that the meaning of the term is not the common one but an ancient meaning.

But i still dont get why is it so important to avoid having a "disorder"..? Are those with disorders any less human than those without? I think sometimes they are, and that's the real problem we face.


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