Mic’d Up—‘Declaration on the Way’ and the Eucharist

News: Investigations
by Church Militant  •  ChurchMilitant.com  •  March 3, 2016   

Catholics and Lutherans can't both be right

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By Peter O'Dwyer

The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops' document "Declaration on the Way" has more than its share of flaws. But perhaps the biggest one is its treatment of the Eucharist. The document tries to square a circle in order to downplay differences between Catholics and Lutherans, but doing so forces it to equivocate.

The fact of the matter is that Catholics and Lutherans have two vastly different views on the Eucharist and by which mechanism Christ is present. (Naturally, only the Catholic view is correct.)

Transubstantiation, which actually occurs at the consecration in a Catholic Mass, is where the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Christ is made present under the appearance of bread and wine. The bread is really and truly converted into Christ's Body. "Transubstantiate" means "to transform the substance." Only the accidental properties of the bread and wine, that is, taste, texture and other attributes, remain.

Consubstantiation is what Lutherans incorrectly believe occurs at their services. This is where the bread is said to remain, and Christ is present in, with and alongside the particles of bread. While the document attempts to present this as Lutheran belief, the truth is that in the Lutheran world, the doctrine of consubstantiation is bitterly contested. Some reject the concept wholeheartedly, while others object to just the term. Some view it as Christ being "spiritually but not physically present" or that Christ's Body is somehow commingled with the bread.

The document treats both of these as merely conflicting theories, and sidesteps the fact that Lutherans don't have any kind of Eucharist. Their bread remains bread, no matter what they believe about it. What the document doesn't say is that they will continue to celebrate their false Lord's Supper in ignorance until someone has the courage to tell them they are wrong and teach them the truth.

Watch the full episode: "The Download—Lutheran Communion?"


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