Transubstantiation and Celiac Disease


#1

Here is the dilema...a person has what I would term severe celiac reactions. Much like those with peanut allergies. If he takes the host he has a reaction. If he takes the wine because of cross contamination he gets sick.

My question is not the what he can do but rather why does it happen?

We are taught that at the Consecration the bread and wine become the Body, Blood Soul and Divinity of Jesus. The essence is the Body of Christ. The accidents of bread and wine however remain. If the essence is Jesus Christ body blood soul and divinity, why does this person have a reaction when receiving the host? If the accidents that remain include the gluten, then how is this any different than the Lutheran teaching of Consubstantiation?

This is a sincere question in search of a sincere answer.

mptc


#2

As you said, 'the accidents of bread and wine remain" therefore also does the gluten within those 'accidents of bread and wine. You take the host into your hands with the accidents of bread, which you consume as tangible. If no accidents of bread remains then the host could simply disappear to human perception.


#3

Transubstantiation is a philosophical term for what we believe goes on during the consecration. The bread and wine's substance, it's "is-ness", or what it actually is as opposed to what it is observed to be, is being changed/transformed from the bread and wine into the body and blood of Jesus. In all scientific studies that would be done on the consecrated host and blood, it would show results saying it is bread and wine, but it is actually Jesus.

To understand this, consider your own self. You have a body and soul. If your soul and consciousness were swapped with someone else's, you would be you, but in someone else's body. On all scientific tests, it would say you were the other person, but what you really are is you!

This differs from the Lutheran teaching of consubstantiation in the fact that their belief is that nothing is transformed, but that Jesus is added to the substance bread and wine, so it is one physical thing with two substances, one being Jesus and the other being the bread or wine. Continuing with the example before, it would be as if your soul and consciousness were stuffed into someone else's body while they were still in it. So you both would be possessing the same body.

Both teach about the Real Presence, but one involves a transformation, the other involves an addition.


#4

[quote="mptc, post:1, topic:301029"]
If the accidents that remain include the gluten, then how is this any different than the Lutheran teaching of Consubstantiation?

[/quote]

It is not that that *the accidents ... include the gluten *-- Rather: Gluten is a constituent of bread (and, according to the judgment of the Church, is a necessary one, though it may be in a minute quantity). If a piece of bread is consecrated by a priest, the substance of the bread is replaced by the substance of Christ, but gluten remains a constituent of the article along wth the other constituents of the former bread -- They are now constituents of the Eucharist.

tee


#5

Here’s an easy way of looking at it:

The host is changed completely into the Body and Blood of Christ. However, it still looks and tastes like a regular piece of bread.

If your eyes and tongue think it’s bread, why wouldn’t your digestive system?


#6

Thank you all for your imput...great answers...

Now allow me to play the devil's advocate...

Bread being an inanimate object are not its accidents (i.e. it physical makeup) in fact its essence? What else is there to bread? If so, are we not back to consubstantiation if after the Consecration the accidents remain?

In Christ,
mptc


#7

[quote="mptc, post:6, topic:301029"]
Thank you all for your imput...great answers...

Now allow me to play the devil's advocate...

Bread being an inanimate object are not its accidents (i.e. it physical makeup) in fact its essence? What else is there to bread? If so, are we not back to consubstantiation if after the Consecration the accidents remain?

In Christ,
mptc

[/quote]

No, because the matter has two aspects: 1) its substance and 2) its accidents. The substance is what is changed. Before consecration the substance is bread. After the consecration the substance is the Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity of Christ. The accidents do not change.

In Catholic transubstantiation the substance is changed from bread to the Body of Christ. In Lutheran conssunstantiation the matter is added to. It changes from bread to bread and the Body of Christ.


#8

[quote="Matthew_Holford, post:7, topic:301029"]
No, because the matter has two aspects: 1) its substance and 2) its accidents. The substance is what is changed. Before consecration the substance is bread. After the consecration the substance is the Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity of Christ. The accidents do not change.

In Catholic transubstantiation the substance is changed from bread to the Body of Christ. In Lutheran conssunstantiation the matter is added to. It changes from bread to bread and the Body of Christ.

[/quote]

From what I understand the substance/accident distinction is not doctrine, though it is the most common explanation of the doctrine. It's a pretty big metaphysical commitment to make.


#9

Lutherans can believer or say whatever they want. Only a validly ordained priest can make Christ present in the bread and wine. Lutherans have no priesthood, valid or invalid. A Lutheran minister is nothing but a layperson who has been to a school of theology and has decided to serve as a minister to a Lutheran church. He may say and they may say he has been ordained. In their case it simply means he has been approved by a body of laymen to preach and celebrate some sacraments. He cannot bring Christ into the bread and wine, he cannot forgive sins, he cannot give the final blessing of the church, final annointing. All he can do is preach, baptize, and witness weddings. :thumbsup:


#10

[quote="Linusthe2nd, post:9, topic:301029"]
Lutherans can believer or say whatever they want. Only a validly ordained priest can make Christ present in the bread and wine. Lutherans have no priesthood, valid or invalid. A Lutheran minister is nothing but a layperson who has been to a school of theology and has decided to serve as a minister to a Lutheran church. He may say and they may say he has been ordained. In their case it simply means he has been approved by a body of laymen to preach and celebrate some sacraments. He cannot bring Christ into the bread and wine, he cannot forgive sins, he cannot give the final blessing of the church, final annointing. All he can do is preach, baptize, and witness weddings. :thumbsup:

[/quote]

As someone who is interested in the question, I'm not quite sure what you're trying to say here?


#11

The bread and wine are something and also appear as something. The appearance stays unchanged, only what they are changes (their substance, meaning essence) miraculously. Now, Luther did not accept transubstantiation of true bread to the Body and Blood of Christ.

Martin Luther**, **[size=2]Smalcald Articles, Part III, Article VI: [5]](“http://bookofconcord.org/smalcald.php#part3.6.5”) As regards transubstantiation, we care nothing about the sophistical subtlety by which they teach that bread and wine leave or lose their own natural substance, and that there remain only the appearance and color of bread, and not true bread. For it is in perfect agreement with Holy Scriptures that there is, and remains, bread, as Paul himself calls it, 1 Cor. 10:16: The bread which we break. And 1 Cor. 11:28: Let him so eat of that bread.

bookofconcord.org/smalcald.php

[/size]**

**


#12

Just trying to nail this down…

So what would be examples of the substance or essence of bread?

What would be examples of the accidents of bread?

In Christ,
mptc


#13

You accept a substance on your tongue that is tangible and that requires mouth enzymes to help digest the substance. That is the substance and essence of the bread itself. Through transubstantiation it is also a lot more, the Lord.

Personally, when battling with the consequences of being diagnosed as celiac I spoke to my Bishop who is a long-term friend as he used to be a priest in my parish. He said, with his cheerful smile, 'trust in God', intimating that is taken care of in faith and in the Sacrament. I've no reason to doubt him. However, already having consequences of undiagnosed celiac disease being permanent damage to thyroid and a galloping osteoporosis 3 times normal level (until I was diagnosed and adopted a complete gluten-free diet) I take the safer course. Call it effectively a lack of trust if you wish! :)

I'm not going to state that the gluten accidents in the wheaten host will cumulatively harm me or not... God knows... but as a daily Mass-goer I chose the cautious path. Gluten for a celiac not only causes discomfort, but also is prone to result in cancers and other illnesses, so I just stay with my choice, knowing that in receiving from the chalice I receive the Lord without any diminishment.

(Yes, I know I can acquire hosts that have negligible gluten though wheaten, it is a lifelong expense I can't afford, and it also means causing a need for extra attention from the priest and I don't like being what sometimes seems as a nuisance requiring special attention. I simply stay behind my pillar near the front and slip up to receive from the chalice without inconveniencing or confusing anyone)


#14

[quote="mptc, post:12, topic:301029"]
Just trying to nail this down...

So what would be examples of the substance or essence of bread?

What would be examples of the accidents of bread?

In Christ,
mptc

[/quote]

As has been said, accidents are anything that can be detected scienfically or with our senses. This is why someone would still experience an allergic reaction to the host if they have a gluten allergy.

The substance is what something really is, look at my first post in this thread, I try to explain the distinction.


#15

[quote="Trishie, post:13, topic:301029"]
You accept a substance on your tongue that is tangible and that requires mouth enzymes to help digest the substance. That is the substance and essence of the bread itself. Through transubstantiation it is also a lot more, the Lord.

[/quote]

Well, not quite. It is not "also" the Lord. after the consecration, it is *only *the Lord.


#16

I think there can be confusion on the topic because of there are multiple meanings of substance and accident: The red words pertain.

Merriam-Webster:

substance
2* a* : ultimate reality that underlies all outward manifestations and change

3 a : physical material from which something is made or which has discrete existence

b : matter of particular or definite chemical constitution

accident
3 : a nonessential property or quality of an entity or circumstance


#17

[quote="Vico, post:16, topic:301029"]
I think there can be confusion on the topic because of there are multiple meanings of substance and accident: The red words pertain.

Merriam-Webster:

substance
2* a* : ultimate reality that underlies all outward manifestations and change

3 a : physical material from which something is made or which has discrete existence

b : matter of particular or definite chemical constitution

accident
3 : a nonessential property or quality of an entity or circumstance

[/quote]

The definitions used are that of the philosophical terms. As long as this is established and the terms defined, a problem shouldn't be had.


#18

[quote="bzkoss236, post:17, topic:301029"]
The definitions used are that of the philosophical terms. As long as this is established and the terms defined, a problem shouldn't be had.

[/quote]

As a philosopher, my main concern is that this explanation relies on a particular theory of objects that is extremely controversial. It originated with Aristotle and was popular in medieval times when Aristotle was the main philosophical text that most scholars had access to. Church doctrine forcing me to accept a metaphysical theory on the nature of all objects? That seems a bit too much. I would be careful of confusing the explanation with the doctrine. There are other ways of explaining it out there.


#19

[quote="DarkLight, post:18, topic:301029"]
As a philosopher, my main concern is that this explanation relies on a particular theory of objects that is extremely controversial. It originated with Aristotle and was popular in medieval times when Aristotle was the main philosophical text that most scholars had access to. Church doctrine forcing me to accept a metaphysical theory on the nature of all objects? That seems a bit too much. I would be careful of confusing the explanation with the doctrine. There are other ways of explaining it out there.

[/quote]

For example...

In Christ,
mptc


#20

I’m afraid I’m not as familiar with any in-depth ones as I’d like to be. I know I’ve heard one that’s based on a functionalist definition and the idea ordinary matter is through the Spirit repurposed to have a different role. I suspect one could work out an idea based on the mereological views where only individuals have actual being - bread is just a collection of atoms, not a “thing”, but people are “things” in that sense. I’d have to give it some more thought and research.

I don’t mean to dismiss the aristotelian explanation if it works for you. I mostly wanted to point out that it is just that - an explanation of the doctrine. Catholics are not obligated to believe in that particular view.


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