Why can't Catholics drink wine at mass?


#1

Here are some objections from a protestant friend. I was questioned about this how Jesus asked us to drink his blood as well yet many rites (latin, etc) do not give the laity wine. If someone could give me detailed answers to each question, I’d appreciate it, for my own knowledge and theirs. I need delicate and teaching answers if you would please. Thanks in advance

Why was it up to the Universal Law or the local Bishop at specified times if we should or shouldn’t be able to drink wine at mass?
It’s not for them to decide. I realise that you don’t receive any less of Jesus, but you are not completing the instructions and following the example layed down by Jesus himself.

Who are they (Catholic Church of different rites) to pick and choose what is sufficient, and what can be offered and when?
The excuse of the possibility of transferring illness is ridiculous considering if (like the body) it is considered the literal body and blood of Christ, would it be full of impurities. Is Jesus’ blood not clean? Would God not honor this tradition by not allowing for illness…or is it beyond God?

Also…you mentioned that in some places, there are not enough wine?
If God could feed thousands with a few loafs of bread and some fish, would he not provide wine for his children trying to complete what he instructed?

you know how I feel about the dropping the host on the floor thing. If this precaution is taken for the wine, should it not be for the bread?
In emphasizing this…you lose the meaning of the tradition. Jesus was not concerned with such physical and tangible, and irrelevant things as he offered it to his disciples. Why now does your Church choose to do so?

Why are so many restricted to only half of what the Lord instituted by decision of the CC?

Are those who take the cup (priests, etc…) immune to this human nature of mistakes and clumsiness?

When you are allowed to take it (marriages, etc…) are you less prone to dropping it? I will never comprehend how the church can decide this.


#2

Why does you friend think the laity can’t receive Jesus under the form of wine? In most places we can.

I wanted to address the of contracting and illness as a result of using a common cup. It’s not the the Precious blood that is unclean it’s (potentially) the cup. And no, were not going to have little individual plastic cups for this.

That the priest consumes both the Precious body and blood is suficient to do as Jesus commanded. Ask your friend why protestants eat bread and wine and not the Body and Blood of Christ which is what Jesus said.

Your friend does have a point about the host. I wish they would bring back patens. They use them at one church I attend but no others and I used to visit a lot of parishes. Give him this one. He’ll appreciate being right about something.

There are other questions I can’t explain well. I will do a little research and see if I can’t find sources to cite for what I wrote above. I bet someone else here can address all of your questions and more systematically.


#3

During the Reformation, one of the errors being taught was that Christ was not fully present in each of the species and that one must receive both species to validly receive Holy Communion. The Catholic teaching is that Christ is present fully in each species because Christ is risen and is complete, not divided.

Canon III of the Thirteenth Session of the Concil of Trent states that Christ is fully present in each species. history.hanover.edu/texts/trent/ct13.html
See also session twenty-one Chapter One
history.hanover.edu/texts/trent/trentall.html

To combat the heresy that Christ was not fully present in each species the Church forbade the distribution of both species as a way of showing that Christ was fully present in each species and that reception of one species was valid. Since the heresy is no longer a big factor, the Church has reallowed reception of both species as a more complete symbol of the last super. At least this is how I understand things.


#4

Lay Catholics never receive bread and wine at Mass, we receive the Body and Precious Blood of Christ and in either species we receive His body, blood, soul and divinity, entirely present under the appearance and physical accidents of bread and wine. Who are the bishops to make the rules? They are the ones appointed by Jesus Christ as successors to the apostles to make the rules.


#5

actually, your friend’s problem is not with how the church deals with the eucharist. read his last line: ‘I will never comprehend how the church can decide this.’

he has already decided, a priori, that he will not understand. he chooses not to accept the teaching of the church. his problem, then, is not with what the church teaches about the eucharist. his problem is with the authority of the church. he asks: ‘Who are they (Catholic Church of different rites) to pick and choose what is sufficient, and what can be offered and when?’ and he says: ‘It’s not for them to decide.’

the answer to your friend’s BIG question is, they are the church that Christ founded which, through apostolic succession, continue to teach us about our faith, along with the Bible and Tradition. your friend’s issue is with the authority of the church, not with its teaching on the eucharist. you could give 25 reasons for every question he asked, and his reply will still be ‘‘I will never comprehend how the church can decide this’’


#6

[quote=jeffreedy789]actually, your friend’s problem is not with how the church deals with the eucharist. read his last line: ‘I will never comprehend how the church can decide this.’

he has already decided, a priori, that he will not understand. he chooses not to accept the teaching of the church. his problem, then, is not with what the church teaches about the eucharist. his problem is with the authority of the church. he asks: ‘Who are they (Catholic Church of different rites) to pick and choose what is sufficient, and what can be offered and when?’ and he says: ‘It’s not for them to decide.’

the answer to your friend’s BIG question is, they are the church that Christ founded which, through apostolic succession, continue to teach us about our faith, along with the Bible and Tradition. your friend’s issue is with the authority of the church, not with its teaching on the eucharist. you could give 25 reasons for every question he asked, and his reply will still be ‘‘I will never comprehend how the church can decide this’’
[/quote]

Right on Jeffreedy!!!

Blessings,
J.C.


#7

The decision that laymen should receive only in one kind was made in the mid-1400s in response to the Hussite heresy, which said that one did not receive the whole Christ if one did not receive under both kinds. It would be breaking the command of Christ if a priest did not consecrate and receive both species. But as others have pointed out, in receiving under one kind only, we nonetheless receive Our Lord’s Body and Blood, whole and entire. Of course, we DO receive under both kinds.

And yes – as others note – your friend’s problem is with the character of Apostolic succession and the authority of the Church. That will be the response that requires “delicate teaching answers.” The Catholic Answers home page will be a great help to you. Check the menu on the left for appropriate responses.


#8

Actually the Hussites were reacting to the already existent practice, which was motivated by the fear of irreverence (wine–or, if you insist, the species of wine–is much easier to spill than the Host; I know this from experience as a lay Eucharistic minister in the Episcopal Church, though so far I’ve managed to avoid major disaster). The Church hardened its position in response to the Hussite, and later the Protestant, challenge. I think this was deeply stupid. The Church should not do things just to prove that it can. Unquestionably reception in one kind is valid, and it is appropriate in very limited circumstances. But it should never have been the norm. The Church’s practice of giving the laity communion in one kind provoked heresy; it did not guard against it in any way.

In Christ,

Edwin


#9

you’re entitled to your viewpoint, contrarini. but i disagree very strongly that what the church has done is ‘deeply stupid’. i tend to trust the judgment of the hundreds of incredibly intelligent and holy men who have spent their lives deciding such matters more than i trust my own limited, less intelligent, and less prayerful reason.

i would also say that it’s untrue and inflammatory to suggest that the church does things ‘just because it can’. if we’ve seen anything throughout time regarding the decisions of the church, it is that it takes a very long time to change or decide anything, and it’s always with very good reason, even if we don’t understand or agree with it.


#10

[quote=Contarini]Actually the Hussites were reacting to the already existent practice, which was motivated by the fear of irreverence (wine–or, if you insist, the species of wine–is much easier to spill than the Host; I know this from experience as a lay Eucharistic minister in the Episcopal Church, though so far I’ve managed to avoid major disaster). The Church hardened its position in response to the Hussite, and later the Protestant, challenge. I think this was deeply stupid. The Church should not do things just to prove that it can. Unquestionably reception in one kind is valid, and it is appropriate in very limited circumstances. But it should never have been the norm. The Church’s practice of giving the laity communion in one kind provoked heresy; it did not guard against it in any way.

In Christ,

Edwin
[/quote]

The Church - which for practical purposes tended to mean, the clergy - had come to be rather poor at taking criticism.

IMO, clericalism is the enemy here. As for the anti-Hussite “crusade” that followed…the CC can be incredibly bone-headed at times ##


#11

John 6:58 " whoever eats this bread will live forever."


#12

:you’re entitled to your viewpoint, contrarini. but i disagree very strongly that what the church has done is ‘deeply stupid’. i tend to trust the judgment of the hundreds of incredibly intelligent and holy men who have spent their lives deciding such matters more than i trust my own limited, less intelligent, and less prayerful reason.:

Well, it so happens that many intelligent and holy men (and women) have come to opposite conclusions on this as well. I am a Protestant by heritage. I recognize that many aspects of Protestantism are deeply wrong, even though there’s plenty of intelligence and holiness in my tradition. Therefore, I’m hardly going to hold back when I see ways in which leaders of the Catholic Church have also erred.

i would also say that it’s untrue and inflammatory to suggest that the church does things ‘just because it can’.:

That is implicit in the defense given on this thread for the practice, namely that communion in one kind was a response to a heresy that said that communion must be in both kinds.

Think it through with me for a minute. We have the ancient, apostolic, historic practice of communion in both kinds. We also have a theological consensus, which I don’t dispute for a minute, that communion in one kind is valid (because the whole Christ is present under both species) and is appropriate when circumstances dictate. So the Church decides to give communion to the laity only under one kind for fear that otherwise the laity will think that communion under one kind is invalid. That is doing something just because it can be done. It’s like feeding your children tasteless pills containing all necessary nutrients because otherwise they might think that a variety of delicious flavors were necessary to their health.

The original motive was quite different, namely a fear of irreverence. I don’t think this was an adequate reason for communion in one kind either, but I don’t call it deeply stupid. However, once the existing practice had provoked an unorthodox reaction that insisted (wrongly) on the necessity of both kinds for validity, the Church’s leaders should have realized that their concern for reverence was leading the faithful astray. Instead, they dug in their heels and made a dubious practice the litmus test of orthodoxy. This contributed greatly to the tragic division of Christians from which we all suffer today. I’m not going to pull my punches in denouncing something as disastrous as that.

: if we’ve seen anything throughout time regarding the decisions of the church, it is that it takes a very long time to change or decide anything,:

True

: and it’s always with very good reason,:

Absolutely not true. If this kind of thinking is required to be a Catholic, I’ll never be one. As a matter of fact I know that it isn’t. You are required to accept the dogmas of the Church as revealed by God. You are not required to accept the wisdom of every pragmatic decision the Church has ever made. To do so is to perpetuate the disastrous results of the errors of the past.

: even if we don’t understand or agree with it.:

Sorry, but this is not borne out by the facts.

In Christ,

Edwin


#13

thanks for replying to my post so completely. i’m honored. :slight_smile:

you’re absolutely right - many intelligent and God fearing men in the protestant tradition come to opposite conclusions on many issues taught by the catholic church. who is right?

it comes down to a matter of authority. who do you trust? i spent years trusting the Bible, my reason, and the guidance i felt from the Holy Spirit. after following this guidance for awhile, i felt it leading me to the catholic church, where i saw all of the things i’d been taught in the Bible and by the spirit manifested before me.

not everyone does, though. i have many friends who are protestant, who still believe it’s just ‘me and Jesus’, and doubt anything not contained in scripture. this position is self defeating, of course, but it’s one of the usually unexamined presuppositions of the protestant philosophy.

so - we either trust the church that Christ instituted, or we do not. i do.

on to the next bit - the ‘doing things just because you can’ issue. you either misunderstand the church’s reasons for doing this, or you’re ignoring them and misrepresenting them. the church doesn’t do things ‘just because it can’, it does things and teaches things to safeguard the faith of catholics worldwide. giving the eucharist in one species was to avoid heresy. incidentally, one of the very heresies that it appears we have fallen into in modern times.

you said: 'and it’s always with very good reason,:

Absolutely not true.’

it really does amaze me (i’m not being facetious or argumentative. it amazes me!) that people really do believe that the church just goes around teaching things for no good reason. i accept what the church teaches on obedience to the authority given to it by Christ.

but.

every single time, EVERY time, i find something that doesn’t agree with my notions about life, the universe, and everything, i read more, i listen, i understand, and i see that the church was right.

i used to be pro-capital punishment. but after reading the church’s stance on the issue, and thinking through my previous notions, i see that the church is wiser and has a healthier and more balanced view of the issue than i did.

i have found this to be true in every circumstance. so it’s with that track record that i say that the church doesn’t teach or do anything without good reason. we may not like it, understand it, or agree with it.

but it’s a good reason.


#14

thanks for replying to my post so completely. i’m honored. :slight_smile:

you’re absolutely right - many intelligent and God fearing men in the protestant tradition come to opposite conclusions on many issues taught by the catholic church. who is right?

it comes down to a matter of authority. who do you trust? i spent years trusting the Bible, my reason, and the guidance i felt from the Holy Spirit. after following this guidance for awhile, i felt it leading me to the catholic church, where i saw all of the things i’d been taught in the Bible and by the spirit manifested before me.

not everyone does, though. i have many friends who are protestant, who still believe it’s just ‘me and Jesus’, and doubt anything not contained in scripture. this position is self defeating, of course, but it’s one of the usually unexamined presuppositions of the protestant philosophy.

so - we either trust the church that Christ instituted, or we do not. i do.

on to the next bit - the ‘doing things just because you can’ issue. you either misunderstand the church’s reasons for doing this, or you’re ignoring them and misrepresenting them. the church doesn’t do things ‘just because it can’, it does things and teaches things to safeguard the faith of catholics worldwide. giving the eucharist in one species was to avoid heresy. incidentally, one of the very heresies that it appears we have fallen into in modern times.

you said: 'and it’s always with very good reason,:

Absolutely not true.’

it really does amaze me (i’m not being facetious or argumentative. it amazes me!) that people really do believe that the church just goes around teaching things for no good reason. i accept what the church teaches on obedience to the authority given to it by Christ.

but.

every single time, EVERY time, i find something that doesn’t agree with my notions about life, the universe, and everything, i read more, i listen, i understand, and i see that the church was right.

i used to be pro-capital punishment. but after reading the church’s stance on the issue, and thinking through my previous notions, i see that the church is wiser and has a healthier and more balanced view of the issue than i did.

i have found this to be true in every circumstance. so it’s with that track record that i say that the church doesn’t teach or do anything without good reason. we may not like it, understand it, or agree with it.

but it’s a good reason.


#15

but.

every single time, EVERY time, i find something that doesn’t agree with my notions about life, the universe, and everything, i read more, i listen, i understand, and i see that the church was right.

i used to be pro-capital punishment. but after reading the church’s stance on the issue, and thinking through my previous notions, i see that the church is wiser and has a healthier and more balanced view of the issue than i did.

**i have found this to be true in every circumstance. so it’s with that track record that i say that the church doesn’t teach or do anything without good reason. we may not like it, understand it, or agree with it.

but it’s a good reason./**QUOTE]

:amen:


#16

**

Why can’t Catholics drink wine at mass?

**Because it’s been changed into Blood by the time we go up for Communion, and we CAN drink that.

:smiley:


#17

[quote=Contarini]Actually the Hussites were reacting to the already existent practice, which was motivated by the fear of irreverence (wine–or, if you insist, the species of wine–is much easier to spill than the Host; I know this from experience as a lay Eucharistic minister in the Episcopal Church, though so far I’ve managed to avoid major disaster). The Church hardened its position in response to the Hussite, and later the Protestant, challenge. I think this was deeply stupid. The Church should not do things just to prove that it can. Unquestionably reception in one kind is valid, and it is appropriate in very limited circumstances. But it should never have been the norm. The Church’s practice of giving the laity communion in one kind provoked heresy; it did not guard against it in any way.

In Christ,

Edwin
[/quote]

Interesting. That the Church has taught that the body, blood, soul and divinity of Christ is whole and undivided in both the host and the cup is stupid? I find it far more stupid that an immoral king of an island nation declares himself the head of the church in order to obtain a divorce in the hopes of producing a male heir.


#18

[quote=mercygate]The decision that laymen should receive only in one kind was made in the mid-1400s in response to the Hussite heresy, which said that one did not receive the whole Christ if one did not receive under both kinds. It would be breaking the command of Christ if a priest did not consecrate and receive both species. But as others have pointed out, in receiving under one kind only, we nonetheless receive Our Lord’s Body and Blood, whole and entire.
[/quote]

Indeed, and Pope Gelassius I did simlar in Rome by imposing the reception of the wine only. By doing so, it made it impossible for those adhearing to the Manichaean herecy to recieve the Eucharist due to their objection that wine is inherently evil, and thus making known the adherents to the herecy.

And of course, as pointed out by others, the main thing to consider is that the greater problem for Protestants is that they do not believe in the authority of the Church.

Pax Tecum,

John


#19

[quote=Catholic Tom]Here are some objections from a protestant friend. I was questioned about this how Jesus asked us to drink his blood as well yet many rites (latin, etc) do not give the laity wine.
[/quote]

This is incorrect, every time I go the Mass, there is wine.


#20

[quote=jcrawf]And of course, as pointed out by others, the main thing to consider is that the greater problem for Protestants is that they do not believe in the authority of the Church.

Pax Tecum,

John
[/quote]

:thumbsup:
Ah, yes, authority, that troubling and inconvenient issue that makes us admit we are not like a god. :rolleyes:

Kotton


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