Transubstantation


#1

I was amazed that while talking to my children all in their late 20’s and30’s they did know that the eucharist is the real body and blood of Christ. They went to Catholic schools but never heard of transubstantiation. They throught it was just a symbol of Christ. When I went to school and it was Sunday school once a week I was taught it. Who could forget such a big word?


#2

While I am not surprised that schools would think big words like transubstantiation should not be taught to children (particularly us 20 and 30-somethings; I hear things are getting better in this regard, that kids are actually being taught dates and facts again), I am very surprised that they did not even know about the true presence. I would imagine that they have at least heard of it but thought the person was speaking metaphorically, or something like that.

Still, this is really flabbergasting. If people are not taught the faith as children (or in RCIA), how can we be surprised if there is a crisis of orthodoxy and people leaving the Church today?

I hope your discussion with your children may have ignited an interest in learning more about their faith. I’m always surprised when people who went to Catholic schools or CCD (or whatever it’s called; I’m a convert and didn’t experience any of that) think they “know it all.” A priest I had in college used to say that children should have a child’s understanding of the faith, adolescents an adolescent understanding, and adults an adult understanding, so don’t try to go through your adult life with a childish or adolescent understanding of your faith.


#3

Around the time of V II, there was a trend by educational authorities in both public and parochial schools to “dumb down” the content of classes. I won’t speculate the reasons for this, because these reasons are all unpleasant.
Needless to say, someone in the parochial school your children attended thought that not only the word “transubstantation” was too hard for the children to learn, and the concept too complex for them…despite an almost 2000 year tradition of teaching Catholicism to children.
This is an excellent example of why parents should closely moniter what their children are learning in school - whether they attend public or parochial or private school. One cannot assume that children today are learning what we adults were taught when we were their age. It is indeed a shame that schools cannot be trusted “to do the right thing” today.


#4

Mark 10:13-15

People were bringing little children to him, for him to touch them. The disciples scolded them, but when Jesus saw this he was indignant and said to them, ‘Let the little children come to me; do not stop them; for it is to such as these that the kingdom of God belongs.
In truth I tell you, anyone who does not welcome the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.’

(NJB)


#5

In my RCIA class (about 13 years ago) transubstantion and the Real Presence weren’t even brought up.


#6

If you want to play that game, then 1 Cor 13:11:

“When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child; when I became a man, I gave up childish ways.”

We are to strive for childlike purity of heart, but not to keep ourselves in deliberate ignorance and immaturity as regards our faith.


#7

Nothing surprises me anymore.

If I were to judge by by Catholic school education, yes, I would have to agree with you. We knew in no uncertain terms that the priest changed bread and wine into the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ, and that it was no mere metaphor. How much they used the word, transubstantiation, I don’t remember at the grade school level, although I am sure they did use it, but most certainly they did make clear that the consecrated host was no longer bread, but had become the Body of Christ. There was even a lot of discussion of how the priest’s finger were consecrated and that he was only permitted to touch the host with those consecrated fingers-- that was before we had communion in the hand-- kind of dates me, doesn’t it? lol

Later on, especially after 1965, it does not surprise me that many critical truths were glossed over. For one thing, Catholic schools became increasingly taught by lay teachers instead of religious orders; one could not expect the first waves of lay teachers to have the same depth of training in the faith. For another, the Catholic Church in America, and I’m not criticizing the Second Vatican Council or the Novus Ordo, seemed more like the Protestant churches than before. There was less accent on statuary and stained glass windows, less use of incense, fewer novenas and benedictions, less stress on the Rosary, more participation by the laity which in some ways gave a sense of “democracy” in the parishes, the rise of the diaconate, lectors, modern church music, etc., and more accent on social justice issues and community. Many teachers of religion probably felt it was a good thing, ecumenically speaking, that Catholicism and Protestantism looked pretty much alike. Many probably felt that transubstantiation was less a dogma and more a theory, and had actually missed the boat in their own catechesis. I do remember times when non-Catholic ideas abounded in the Catholic Church, and this was pretty much tolerated until the Vatican began to put its foot down. These are all my perceptions, anyway, which may or may not accord with yours. I felt the many in the laity were going through a questioning period, a questioning of all that was traditionally taught by the Church. For many there was expectation of more change to come. The very nuns that handed me my faith in the traditional Church, itself became immersed in the feminism of the day. But thank God the sea has calmed, and though some dissenting winds are yet felt, the storm has subsided.


#8

Yes, but I believe Jesus was referring to their innocence and their trusting natures.

We should mature in understanding the faith we have been called to:

Brothers and sisters, I could not address you as people who live by the Spirit but as people who are still worldly—mere infants in Christ. I gave you milk, not solid food, for you were not yet ready for it. Indeed, you are still not ready. You are still worldly. For since there is jealousy and quarreling among you, are you not worldly? 1 Cor 3: 1-3


#9

Yes, and the change was rather sudden. It was almost as though one year children were getting a solid Catholic education, and the next year they were just singing songs, drawing pictures and being told to feel good about themselves. Many parents just assumed that their children were still being taught their religion when in fact they were not.

I recall teaching a CCD class sometime later. The volunteers were asked to rate several religion textbook series that were being considered. I gave a good review to a series which included solid doctrine, but it was not chosen. They picked the series that was full of fluff.

At least in my area, the situation is MUCH improved now, and children are once again being taught their Faith.


#10

Yes this is what I take it to mean as well.

God bless you. With respect Aelred Minor listening to and meditating on Christ’s word for me is a spiritual work rather than a game.

I was respectfully quoting our Lord to shed light on his wanting us to trust God with open and innocent faith.

Cultivating innocence of heart may be part of being reborn in Christ.

Pax et Bonum! +


#11

[quote="FrancisBenedict, post:10, topic:326536"]
Yes this is what I take it to mean as well.

God bless you. With respect Aelred Minor listening to and meditating on Christ's word for me is a spiritual work rather than a game.

I was respectfully quoting our Lord to shed light on his wanting us to trust God with open and innocent faith.

Cultivating innocence of heart may be part of being reborn in Christ.

Pax et Bonum! +

[/quote]

Blessed are the pure of heart, for they shall see God.

(Is that you, G__?)


#12

I seriously doubt they ever heard the word. I’m also willing to make book on the odds that they were actually taught that the Eucharist is a symbol. The bishops, priests, sisters, brothers and lay teachers from that era have a lot of explaining to do why they failed to teach the faith - or mal-taught it. I honestly think many of them didn’t themselves believe. Interestingly, the effort by so many of them to deflect blame to parents who sent their children to “catholic” schools for just such education is appallingly common.

They will, with a straight face, tell you it was your responsibility as a parent to make sure the children were catechized. Of course, you took the appropriate steps of sending the children to catholic school for just such education - they failed and now don’t have the integrity to accept the blame - let alone apologize to the kids or you for squandering the trust you placed in them.

I believe things are better - and getting better, too.


#13

Catechism starts at home from when the children are wee tiny things. If you discern insufficient religious knowledge or dubious theology being taught at school, in the presbytery or wherever your child receives their instruction, then only teach them yourself. An hour or two at the weekend isn’t a lot to ask for imparting the Truth.


#14

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