Transubstantiation and Celiac Disease

#21

Let me deal with the accidents first. They are the things that our human senses can perceive. Let’s look at those:

Sight - bread looks like bread as opposed to looking like a fillet steak
Smell - I think most of us can appreciate the wonderful smell of baking bread
Taste - if you were blindfolded I’m sure you could distinguish the taste of bread from some other food

I won’t labour the point with the other two senses. Basically, that is what the accidents are. It is these that do not change. When you receive our Lord’s Sacred Body in holy communion it still appears to all our senses that it has the accidents we associate with bread. Consequently, bread made from wheat flour will still contain gluten and this will make people with coeliac disease ill.

Disclaimer: I am not a philosopher. The distinction between the accidents and substance is a philosophical concept.

So, following my little disclaimer I’ll do what little justice I can to substance. It is my understanding, which may be erroneous, that the substance of anything is unique to that thing. It is very difficult to define the substance of any matter. What is the substance of bread is, therefore, very difficult to define. I could, because I am a scientist, look at bread from the point of view as to which forms of matter it contains. But, unlike the accidents it is very difficult to pin down the substance.

What we know is that it is the substance that changes, not the accidents.

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#22

[quote="DarkLight, post:8, topic:301029"]
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.

[/quote]

I agree that transubstantiation is not express Church doctrine. I believe the Church goes as far as explaining that what happens when the Eucharist is confected during Mass is a great mystery that cannot be explained by mere humans. The substance/accidents distinction is the point behind transubstantiation, which is a western philosophical concept. I think it is necessary to discuss this, though, in order to answer the question posed.

I am sure we would be better off to look at this from the perspective of the Eastern and Oriental churches and accept this as a divine mystery and not try to explain it too much.

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#23

[quote="Matthew_Holford, post:22, topic:301029"]
I agree that transubstantiation is not express Church doctrine. I believe the Church goes as far as explaining that what happens when the Eucharist is confected during Mass is a great mystery that cannot be explained by mere humans. The substance/accidents distinction is the point behind transubstantiation, which is a western philosophical concept. I think it is necessary to discuss this, though, in order to answer the question posed.

I am sure we would be better off to look at this from the perspective of the Eastern and Oriental churches and accept this as a divine mystery and not try to explain it too much.

[/quote]

Really? My impression is that it was the other way around. Transubstantiation is an infallible doctrine. It is required of Catholics to believe that the wafer is the Body of Christ and that it is no longer bread. It is not required that we believe that this occurs via changing around of substances and accidents. Particularly for those of us who are inclined already to believe that things like bread don't even have a "substance".

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#24

OK, I don’t where you are trying to go with this. I am also not sure how it helps to answer the OP’s question. All I want to say in response was that I know I never said that bread is not changed into the Body of Christ. I believe that it is changed in to the Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity of Christ. Consequently, I know that I would never put an alternative point of view forward.

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#25

[quote="Matthew_Holford, post:24, topic:301029"]
OK, I don't where you are trying to go with this. I am also not sure how it helps to answer the OP's question. All I want to say in response was that I know I never said that bread is not changed into the Body of Christ. I believe that it is changed in to the Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity of Christ. Consequently, I know that I would never put an alternative point of view forward.

[/quote]

It sort of sounded like you were saying that the important part was the substance/accident distinction and the other part was optional! Probably just a case of internet typing making things confusing.

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#26

[quote="DarkLight, post:25, topic:301029"]
It sort of sounded like you were saying that the important part was the substance/accident distinction and the other part was optional! Probably just a case of internet typing making things confusing.

[/quote]

No what I hoped I said was that the bread is changed in to the Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity of Christ. I was attempting to explain to the OP a) how the substance and accidents are different; b) that transubstantiation is different from consubstantiation. I believe that this concept of substance/accidents comes from scholastic philosophy. I am no philosopher. It is perfectly possible that I explained these philosophical concepts badly. I may be confused on one aspect of this. I know the Church teaches that the bread is converted in to Christ's Body. I also understand this is dogma - we are bound to believe it. Nevertheless, my understanding is that there is no requirement to accept that it happens in a particular way, in other words its an unexplainable mystery.

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#27

**[size=]*Excerpt:

**[/size][size=]*MYSTERIUM FIDEI**[/size]

ENCYCLICAL OF POPE PAUL VI
ON THE HOLY EUCHARIST
SEPTEMBER 3, 1965

CHRIST PRESENT IN THE EUCHARIST THROUGH TRANSUBSTANTIATION

  1. To avoid any misunderstanding of this type of presence, which goes beyond the laws of nature and constitutes the greatest miracle of its kind, (50) we have to listen with docility to the voice of the teaching and praying Church. Her voice, which constantly echoes the voice of Christ, assures us that the way in which Christ becomes present in this Sacrament is through the conversion of the whole substance of the bread into His body and of the whole substance of the wine into His blood, a unique and truly wonderful conversion that the Catholic Church fittingly and properly calls transubstantiation. (51) As a result of transubstantiation, the species of bread and wine undoubtedly take on a new signification and a new finality, for they are no longer ordinary bread and wine but instead a sign of something sacred and a sign of spiritual food; but they take on this new signification, this new finality, precisely because they contain a new "reality" which we can rightly call ontological. For what now lies beneath the aforementioned species is not what was there before, but something completely different; and not just in the estimation of Church belief but in reality, since once the substance or nature of the bread and wine has been changed into the body and blood of Christ, nothing remains of the bread and the wine except for the species—beneath which Christ is present whole and entire in His physical "reality," corporeally present, although not in the manner in which bodies are in a place. vatican.va/holy_father/paul_vi/encyclicals/documents/hf_p-vi_enc_03091965_mysterium_en.html
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#28

[quote="DarkLight, post:10, topic:301029"]
As someone who is interested in the question, I'm not quite sure what you're trying to say here?

[/quote]

You would have to be familiar with the teaching and discipline of Catholic Magisterial teaching to understand my comment. According to this Magisterial teaching only a validly ordained priest can confect ( make real and actual ) the Sacrament of the Eucharust ( make Christ present ) and this act of confection must contain the matter and form of the Sacrament.

As to the minister of the sacament, a validy ordained priest. Luther could confect the Sacrament himself since he was a validly ordained priest and possibly some of his followers would have been as well. But in time there would have been few such validly ordained ministers because only a Bishop of the Catholic Church, who himself had been validly ordained could validly odain a priest ( i.e. make a man a priest).

However Luther and any other validly ordained man in his new religion would be able to confect the sacrament only if they observed the rules of " matter and form " regarding the Sacrament. I may be a little off on exactly what the correct " matter and form " are but I can say generally that the correct, approved " words of consecration " would have to have been used ( the celebrant, holding the host in his hands would pronounce the approved prayer of consecration) and it is doubtful if Luther and his followers adhered to the prayer for long. Secondly the host would have to be unleavened bread and the wine would have to have been actual grape wine and not merely grape juice.

The OP laid out the cirumstances of the problem. To correct that the prospective communicant should speak to the celebrant before Mass and ask him to provide a small amount of consecrated wine that had not been mixed with even a small amount of the host. This should be possible, however I am not certain whether the rubrics require a small amount of the host to be mixed with the wine or not. If it is required, surely a very tiny speck of the host ( I mean about the size of spec of dust) mixed with the wine should cause no problem ( Christ is fully present in every molecule of the bread ). We had a women in our parish with the same problem and the celebrant always set aside a small cup of wine for her ( Christ is fully present in the wine and also in the host). She had no problems.

As to the " substance, " post 27 above covers that nicely. We are dealing here with a miracle, that is why it is hard to understand fully. Only the accidents of bread and wine remain and these " cover " as it were the real and complete body and blood of Christ, which is present whole and entire. I look at the accidents of the bread and wine as the " veil of the Holy of Holies " which hid the presence of God in the Temple of the Old Covenant. Christ is the New Temple and His Presence is hidden by the veil of the bread and wine. This is my private of interpretation only, a metaphore for what is taking place. :thumbsup:

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#29

[quote="Linusthe2nd, post:28, topic:301029"]
...stuff...

[/quote]

I know the teaching; I'm just not sure how this is relevant to the question here? As I understand it the issue of who can confect the eucharist is not the issue; the issue is one of what separates the Catholic understanding of transubstantiation from the one that Luther and others held to of consubstantiation, especially if you think that normally "accidents" are all there is to bread.

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#30

nity, 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

[quote="mptc, post:1, topic:301029"]
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 divi Lutheran teaching of Consubstantiation?

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

mptc

[/quote]

Good questions. The essential point here is how can your friend receive communion. You said above that he gets sick even if he just takes the wine. If that is true, that he receives the wine only, then he has a serious case. I want to ask you a question. If he took just a drop of the wine, would he still get sick? Because the whole Christ is present even in a single drop of the wine, just as he is present in a single molecule of the bread. If that is the case then he could ask the priest to mix a special chalice for him into which only a molecule or two of the bread has been mixed. This should dilute the bread to such an extent that he could tolerate it in the wine. And he would only have to take a sip of this diluted mixture. It doesn't matter that most of the mixture will be unused, because either the priest or one of the extraordianary ministers will consume the rest. Have him try it at least.

Read this. rbellarmine.com/RB_The_Celiac___The_Eucharist.pdf

If none of this works he should talk to his priest. He may have to limit himself to spritual communions and receive the sacred species, with the precautions mentioned above, once a year during the Easter Season.

I will discuss the " substance, " " accient " question later. :thumbsup:

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#31

[quote="mptc, post:1, topic:301029"]
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

[/quote]

I am only going to say what I do---I fully and totally believe it is the Body & Blood of Christ. I have diabetes---I avoid wheat and alcohol. I am a Eucharistic Minister, if I had a half goblet of wine my sugar would go up severely, as it would if I ate a cookie with wheat flour. However, when I am EM and finish the Blood of Christ---sometimes half the chalice, I never have an adverse effect, it does nothing to my sugar at all. On the other hand, I know another EM who has a an allergy and he has a reaction.....difference in faith? I don't know, I'm not God to know those things. I only know my own experience and that if I drank the same amount of wine, I would have a reaction, a bad one...but I have no reaction from the Body & Blood of Christ.

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#32

[quote="Elisabeth51, post:31, topic:301029"]
I am only going to say what I do---I fully and totally believe it is the Body & Blood of Christ. I have diabetes---I avoid wheat and alcohol. I am a Eucharistic Minister, if I had a half goblet of wine my sugar would go up severely, as it would if I ate a cookie with wheat flour. However, when I am EM and finish the Blood of Christ---sometimes half the chalice, I never have an adverse effect, it does nothing to my sugar at all. On the other hand, I know another EM who has a an allergy and he has a reaction.....difference in faith? I don't know, I'm not God to know those things. I only know my own experience and that if I drank the same amount of wine, I would have a reaction, a bad one...but I have no reaction from the Body & Blood of Christ.

[/quote]

Question posed out of genuine interest: Does the sacred host used at holy communion raise your blood sugar?

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#33

[quote="Matthew_Holford, post:32, topic:301029"]
Question posed out of genuine interest: Does the sacred host used at holy communion raise your blood sugar?

[/quote]

No, it does not affect me either.

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#34

[quote="DarkLight, post:29, topic:301029"]
I know the teaching; I'm just not sure how this is relevant to the question here? As I understand it the issue of who can confect the eucharist is not the issue; the issue is one of what separates the Catholic understanding of transubstantiation from the one that Luther and others held to of consubstantiation, especially if you think that normally "accidents" are all there is to bread.

[/quote]

As to " consubstantiation " I don't know much. Luther did beleive in the real presence but only when actually being received and he believed that the bread and wine never disappeared, leaving only appearances, but that Christ became present with them. That's all I know. You can look in Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma by Dr. Ludwig Ott and see what you can make out. Protestants do not belive in the Real Presence. Wycliff did not believe in the Real Presence, nor did any of the rest of the Reformers.

You have to be careful defining the terms " substance, " " accident, " and " species " when talking about the doctrine of Transubstantian.

Scientifically, metaphysically, practically all three terms mean or can mean slightly different things. There is no universal agreement, for example, exactly what St. Thomas or any other Scholastic meant by them. Sometimes he would use " substance " as that underlying all the accidents of a being. Other times he used it somewhat as you would use nature or essence. Same with " accidents." But generally " accidents " were " attributes which adhered to or needed a substance, they had no existence or their own.

As far as the bread of the host is concened, physically, it is the exact same thing before transubstantian as afterwards. You can put in under a microscope and it is just the same before as after. Same for the wine. That is why I said you had to be careful. For Catholics, God is working a miracle here everytime the words of Consecration are pronounced. Suddenly the bread and wine are gone and Christ is present, whole and entire.

What you see, taste, touch, smell, measure are the " appearances " of bread and wine only. The " appearances " or " accidents " or " species " adhere to no substance at all. The substance of the bread and wine are gone and the substance of Christ is present but the " appearances " of bread and wine are not adhering to Him and you cannot see or sense any " accidents " normally sensed of a human body. He is there substantially but His accidents are hidden.

Firstly, we are dealing with His glorified body which has perfect control over matter ( he walked through walls, appeard suddenly out of nowhere, ate but didn't digest, floated on clouds, ascended into heaven, etc.) Secondly, he must make his presence in a way appropriate to the understanding to the people ( i.e. the unleavened bread of Passover, the Manna in the desert, the miracle of the loaves and fishes, changing water into wine at Cana, etc.).

Hope that helps. It is about as good as I can do. :thumbsup:

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#35

[quote="Linusthe2nd, post:34, topic:301029"]
Protestants do not belive in the Real Presence.

[/quote]

This statement is not true of all Protestants. Lutherans generally believe in the Real Presence. A number of Anglicans do. You can even find some Methodists who believe in the Real Presence.

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#36

[quote="Elisabeth51, post:33, topic:301029"]
No, it does not affect me either.

[/quote]

I think I must have mis-read your earlier post. I know you cannot receive the Precious Blood. I mistakenly inferred you had to refrain from Communion altogether because the hosts also affected your diabetes.

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#37

[quote="Linusthe2nd, post:34, topic:301029"]
Scientifically, metaphysically, practically all three terms mean or can mean slightly different things.

[/quote]

I think it is important to recognise that science and philosophy are two separate disciplines. I am a scientist. All too often we are labelled as anti-religion. Fools like Richard Dawkins don't help our cause. Science says nothing about transubstantiation. There is no test that can be done to obtain any empirical data. There's nothing to observe. There is nothing that can be measured. Consequently, it is of no concern to science. Science would not, therefore, attempt to explain this great mystery.

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#38

Correct. I hope I didn’t imply anything different. :thumbsup:

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#39

[quote="RyanBlack, post:35, topic:301029"]
This statement is not true of all Protestants. Lutherans generally believe in the Real Presence. A number of Anglicans do. You can even find some Methodists who believe in the Real Presence.

[/quote]

I didn' know that but I have never made a study of all the different views held by all religions. I merely gave what was given in " Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma " by Dr. Ludwig Ott. I am sure his comments were not exhaustive either. :thumbsup:

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#40

[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. Consubstantion has been condemned by the Church. By formal Definition from the Council of Trent: Christ becomes present in the Sacrament of the Altar by the transformation of the whole substance of the bread into His Body and the whole substance of the wine into His Blood. This is the doctrine of transubstantion. As you see the complete substance of the bread and wine has been changed into the complete substance of Christ's body and blood. But the accidents of the bread and wine remain ( everything that can be sensed or measured of the bread and wine). So Christ is present beneath the " accidents " as though He were hidden behind the Veil of the Temple in the Old Covenant. And indeed He is the Temple of the New Covenant, so it is fitting that He be hidden behind a " veil. " ( the last two sentences are simply my own analogy to help to visualize what is going on. )

In Consubstantion ( Lutherans ) the substances and accidents of the bread and wine are always present and Christ is added when being received. However, their communion is invalid for two reasons. First they do not use the correct forms and matter. Secondly, they do not have a valid priesthood, indeed, they have no priesthood at all. So Christ is never present in their communion. This is just their idea and they would insist we are wrong in this judgment.

Excerpt: From post 27

MYSTERIUM FIDEI

ENCYCLICAL OF POPE PAUL VI
ON THE HOLY EUCHARIST
SEPTEMBER 3, 1965

CHRIST PRESENT IN THE EUCHARIST THROUGH TRANSUBSTANTIATION

  1. To avoid any misunderstanding of this type of presence, which goes beyond the laws of nature and constitutes the greatest miracle of its kind, (50) we have to listen with docility to the voice of the teaching and praying Church. Her voice, which constantly echoes the voice of Christ, assures us that the way in which Christ becomes present in this Sacrament is through the conversion of the whole substance of the bread into His body and of the whole substance of the wine into His blood, a unique and truly wonderful conversion that the Catholic Church fittingly and properly calls transubstantiation. (51) As a result of transubstantiation, the species of bread and wine undoubtedly take on a new signification and a new finality, for they are no longer ordinary bread and wine but instead a sign of something sacred and a sign of spiritual food; but they take on this new signification, this new finality, precisely because they contain a new "reality" which we can rightly call ontological. For what now lies beneath the aforementioned species is not what was there before, but something completely different; and not just in the estimation of Church belief but in reality, since once the substance or nature of the bread and wine has been changed into the body and blood of Christ, nothing remains of the bread and the wine except for the species—beneath which Christ is present whole and entire in His physical "reality," corporeally present, although not in the manner in which bodies are in a place.

:thumbsup:

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