We Are ChurchHeresy


"Oct. 04 (CWNews.com) – The international dissident movement ‘We Are Church‘ is issuing an appeal to the Catholic bishops, gathered in Rome for the Synod, to confront the ‘real’ problems relating to the Eucharist. At an October 4 press conference in Rome, the dissident group called for reconsideration of the key Catholic doctrine on the transubstantiation, an end to the ‘hierarchical monopoly’ on the sacraments, and approval of shared communion with other Christian denominations."

….

"Specifically, the dissident group called for abandoning the notion that the Eucharist is a sacrifice, and instead saying that the mass is ‘in memory of the entire life of Jesus.’ The group called for ‘full freedom of philosophical and theological interpretation of that mystery.’ We Are Church argued that the dogma of the transubstantiation– the teaching that the bread and wine at Mass are transformed into the Body and Blood of Christ– is unacceptable to Protestants, and thus impedes ecumenical unity. The group decried traditional forms of Catholic piety, such as Eucharistic adoration and processions, as tending to make an ‘idol’ of the Blessed Sacrament."

*rolls eyes* This is infuriating and comical at the same time. To paraphrase the Big Lebowski:

"Your revolution is over, Ms. Heizer et. al. Condolences. The heretics lost. My advice is to do what your intellectual forebears did; become Protestants, folks. The heretics will always lose."

Comments 22

  1. Nathan wrote:

    They do NOT speak for all Catholic liberals. I firmly believe in transubstantiation.

    Posted 10 Oct 2005 at 1:40 am
  2. dlw wrote:

    um, if transubstantiation were truly a key doctrine then I’d be a little concerned too. I think they must have bitten off more than they could chew when they started advocating for actually changing the communion rites. Why on earth do we need to do church the same way for us to be able to break bread together as brethren and sistren?

    It’s not the replication of miracles that ultimately matter nor whether a miracle occured at the first communion, but rather the need for us to remember that our atonement required the death of Jesus at the Cross.

    This is just like papal infallibility or the perpetual virginity of Mary, if the value of Roman Catholicism were based on them then I would be worried. Yet, I don’t believe Roman Catholicism’s traditions’ value are based on the literal truthfulness of these sorts of things and so I can keep on admiring its traditions and plan to enjoy fully when my main man Brennan Manning comes to MN this Friday.

    dlw

    Posted 06 Oct 2005 at 2:48 am
  3. edey wrote:

    dlw: we don’t need to “do church the same way” to be in communion. there are 22 (i think) rites of the Catholic church. the Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom (used on most feasts in the Byzantine rites) is definately different than the Mass of the west (1962 or 1970 missal). we are still in communion with each other, though. we are still all Catholics. however, we all believe in transubstantiation. difference in ritual does not mean deviation from othodoxy, and orthodoxy doesn’t have to mean the same ritual. in john 6:54, Jesus said “Then Jesus said to them: Amen, amen I say unto you: Except you eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, you shall not have life in you.”. He didn’t say if you eat a representation of my flesh…or something that could be my flesh. the dogma of transubstantiation is non-negotiable.

    from the article: “We Are Church argued that the dogma of the transubstantiation– the teaching that the bread and wine at Mass are transformed into the Body and Blood of Christ– is unacceptable to Protestants, and thus impedes ecumenical unity.” uh…yeah, the Truth should just change to fit the ideas of protestants. right. great idea. protestants failure to embrace the fullness of the Truth impedes ecumenical unity. the Truth doesn’t change and nor should it change to conform to *anyone’s* idea of “acceptability”. just because people don’t like the Truth doesn’t make it any less true.

    Posted 06 Oct 2005 at 6:02 am
  4. Steve Nicoloso wrote:

    Umm, if everyone were free to decide for themselves what qualifies as a “key doctrine”, then I’d be worried. If Catholicism was to be actually judged by its perceived “value”, then I’d be worried too. I am certain, dlw, that Catholics with their provincial superstitions, are very pleased to provide a source of entertainment for you.

    Posted 06 Oct 2005 at 6:48 pm
  5. howard wrote:

    wait, before this discussion gets too serious, I was just wondering if I’m supposed to read the title of this post with the “We Are Family” tune wandering through my head. ‘Cause that’s what I’m hearing inside right now…

    Posted 07 Oct 2005 at 7:40 am
  6. Jerry Nora wrote:

    “we are heresy/I got all my sisters with me”

    Considering all the dissident nuns in this country, you just have to replace family with heresy, and there you have it for the first two lines!

    Posted 08 Oct 2005 at 2:40 pm
  7. Funky Dung wrote:

    Glad to hear it. :)

    Posted 10 Oct 2005 at 1:56 pm
  8. dlw wrote:

    Do you really think there is no ambiguity as to whether Jesus was being literal in the line, “Except you eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, you shall not have life in you.” I believe he also made claims of being a vine and a door on occasion and that the astonishment of the apostles is explainable by the fact that drinking a person’s blood and eating their flesh were extremely taboo in Jewish culture.

    It’s not a matter of every person having a say, but rather what the precedent for the belief of the early church. We know from the rest of the scripture that only by accepting Jesus’s sacrifice on our behalf are we saved. And the cotext(surrounding passages) in John supports Jesus’s remarks as preparing his apostles for his death, not setting the precedent for how good Catholics sins should be forgiven from there on in….

    dlw

    Posted 11 Oct 2005 at 2:47 am
  9. Tom Smith wrote:

    “It’s not a matter of every person having a say, but rather what the precedent for the belief of the early church.”

    But can you find an interpretation from the early Church of a purely and exclusively symbolic understanding of the Eucharist? It’s possible that I simply haven’t read that Fathers wherein the Eucharist is explained as purely symbolic, but I don’t think so.

    Posted 11 Oct 2005 at 8:49 am
  10. edey wrote:

    dlw

    this is why i think there is no ambiguity…by what follows His statement. let us start at v 61 (still in John 6)

    Many therefore of his disciples, hearing it, said: This saying is hard, and who can hear it? But Jesus, knowing in himself, that his disciples murmured at this, said to them: Doth this scandalize you? If then you shall see the Son of man ascend up where he was before? It is the spirit that quickeneth: the flesh profiteth nothing. The words that I have spoken to you, are spirit and life. But there are some of you that believe not. For Jesus knew from the beginning, who they were that did not believe, and who he was, that would betray him.

    And he said: Therefore did I say to you, that no man can come to me, unless it be given him by my Father. After this many of his disciples went back; and walked no more with him. Then Jesus said to the twelve: Will you also go away? And Simon Peter answered him: Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life.

    so when the disciples murmured, when they said that the saying was hard, did He say “no, you misunderstand Me. i meant it as a symbol. just like the vine and branches.”? no. He did not. He said “The words that I have spoken to you, are spirit and life.” after many disciples walked back (ie turned away from following Him), did He say “come on guys. really, i think this is all a misunderstanding.”? no. He asked those who stayed with Him if they would also go away (ie if they could handle what He was holding to). Peter said ” Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life.”

    i think if the Lord meant it in any other way, He would have clarified. He didn’t “clarify” at any of the opportunities because the reality, the fact that His Flesh is real food and His Blood real drink was not up to negotiation.

    the precedent of the early Church…let’s look at the Fathers:

    “For not as common bread and common drink do we receive these; but in like manner as Jesus Christ our Saviour,having been made flesh and blood for our salvation,so likewise have we been taught that the food which is blessed by the prayer of His word,and from which our blood and flesh by transmutation are nourished,is the flesh and blood of that Jesus who was made flesh.”
    Justin Martyr,First Apology,66(A.D. 110-165),in ANF,I:185

    “He acknowledged the cup (which is a part of the creation) as his own blood,from which he bedews our blood; and the bread (also a part of creation) he affirmed to be his own body,from which he gives increase to our bodies.”
    Irenaeus,Against Heresies,V:2,2(c.A.D. 200),in NE,119

    “Having learn these things, and been fully assured that the seeming bread is not bread, though sensible to taste, but the Body of Christ; and that the seeming wine is not wine, though the taste will have it so, but the Blood of Christ; and that of this David sung of old, saying, And bread strengtheneth man’s heart, to make his face to shine with oil, ‘strengthen thou thine heart,’ by partaking thereof as spiritual, and “make the face of thy soul to shine.” “
    Cyril of Jerusalem,Catechetical Lectures,XXII:8(c.A.D. 350),in NPNF2,VII:152

    as far as i can tell, the early Church believed that the Eucharist is Christ’s Flesh and Blood. these are just representative of many quotations that i have seen, and they aren’t the only Fathers who spoke this way. others include Ignatius of Antioch, Tertullian, John Chrysostom, Athanasius, etc. i have yet to see a citation from the early Church that says anything contrary to a literal interpretation of John 6. however, maybe you have seen sources that i have not. i would be interested in hearing what you have to say.

    Posted 12 Oct 2005 at 4:54 am
  11. dlw wrote:

    me: “It’s not a matter of every person having a say, but rather what the precedent for the belief of the early church.”

    Tom:But can you find an interpretation from the early Church of a purely and exclusively symbolic understanding of the Eucharist? It’s possible that I simply haven’t read that Fathers wherein the Eucharist is explained as purely symbolic, but I don’t think so.

    One needn’t explain it as purely symbolic for it to be so, such explanations are mandated by the reaction against transubstantion and consubstantion. The more important point is whether there is any other reason to do communion besides the bequest of Yeshua for us to do this in remembrance of him.

    Replications of miracles, the greater presence of God doesn’t forgive sins, Jesus’s atonoment forgives sins, the specific manner in which we take communion mainly encapsulate the meaningful religious experiences we feel when we remember that we’ve been forgiven.

    dlw

    Posted 12 Oct 2005 at 6:55 pm
  12. dlw wrote:

    Edey:so when the disciples murmured, when they said that the saying was hard, did He say “no, you misunderstand Me. i meant it as a symbol. just like the vine and branches.”? no. He did not. He said “The words that I have spoken to you, are spirit and life.” after many disciples walked back (ie turned away from following Him), did He say “come on guys. really, i think this is all a misunderstanding.”? no. He asked those who stayed with Him if they would also go away (ie if they could handle what He was holding to). Peter said ” Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life.”

    It is a very counter-cultural thing to drink someone’s blood or eat someone’s flesh in 1st ctry judaism. Jesus was describing the need to cleave to him and his teachings and his atonement for one’s salvation. This substitutes himself as the sacrificial lamb and displaces the OT Law that was considered the bases for the Jewish faith. I have no doubt it was a hard teaching and that its hardness had nothing to do with whether it was literally true in prescribing the sort of miracle-replication that would happen in the centuries following.

    i think if the Lord meant it in any other way, He would have clarified. He didn’t “clarify” at any of the opportunities because the reality, the fact that His Flesh is real food and His Blood real drink was not up to negotiation.

    You know in an original culture, you don’t need to clarify what one means. It is only later when we are removed from that original culture that clarification is often needed. Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross is indeed that which sustains us in doing ministry.

    the precedent of the early Church…let’s look at the Fathers:

    “For not as common bread and common drink do we receive these; but in like manner as Jesus Christ our Saviour,having been made flesh and blood for our salvation,so likewise have we been taught that the food which is blessed by the prayer of His word,and from which our blood and flesh by transmutation are nourished,is the flesh and blood of that Jesus who was made flesh.”
    Justin Martyr,First Apology,66(A.D. 110-165),in ANF,I:185

    I’m sorry, I’m too far removed from the sort of debates that Justin was involved with to understand well what point he is making here. I don’t think they got worked up about modern distinctions between literal and symbolic back then and even if Justin did imply it literally, it wouldn’t really matter.

    “He acknowledged the cup (which is a part of the creation) as his own blood,from which he bedews our blood; and the bread (also a part of creation) he affirmed to be his own body,from which he gives increase to our bodies.”
    Irenaeus,Against Heresies,V:2,2(c.A.D. 200),in NE,119

    Once more, this seems more geared as an apologetic argument against gnosticism that denied the existence or importance of the material world. I don’t know if you’re familiar with Speech Act theory, but it points out that language does more than just signify stuff. There is the locution, the illocution and the perlocution. The locution is what is signified. The illocution is the intended effect on the listener. The perlocution is the listener’s response. What matters more here is not the locution of what Jesus was referring to with his blood and flesh, but rather the illocution of calling on those who will follow him to remember him and his sacrifice/atonement for their sins.

    “Having learn these things, and been fully assured that the seeming bread is not bread, though sensible to taste, but the Body of Christ; and that the seeming wine is not wine, though the taste will have it so, but the Blood of Christ; and that of this David sung of old, saying, And bread strengtheneth man’s heart, to make his face to shine with oil, ‘strengthen thou thine heart,’ by partaking thereof as spiritual, and “make the face of thy soul to shine.” “
    Cyril of Jerusalem,Catechetical Lectures,XXII:8(c.A.D. 350),in NPNF2,VII:152

    I’m sure there couldn’t possibly by any syncretism over the course of 300 years. After all, that was how long it took for Buddha to become a God in India

    as far as i can tell, the early Church believed that the Eucharist is Christ’s Flesh and Blood. these are just representative of many quotations that i have seen, and they aren’t the only Fathers who spoke this way. others include Ignatius of Antioch, Tertullian, John Chrysostom, Athanasius, etc. i have yet to see a citation from the early Church that says anything contrary to a literal interpretation of John 6. however, maybe you have seen sources that i have not. i would be interested in hearing what you have to say.

    I haven’t studied enough of the early Christians, particularly in the 2nd and 3rd and 4th centuries, I grant you. But I don’t think there would be a need to clarify whether the locution as literal or not in the original setting and that what truly would matter is the illocution, the intended change in his followers, which went quite against the beliefs of first century Judaism.

    dlw

    Posted 12 Oct 2005 at 7:20 pm
  13. Tom Smith wrote:

    It seems very simple to me that John 6 tells us that many people had a difficulty following Christ’s teaching on the Eucharist. Why? Is it really *that* hard to listen to someone say, “you must follow me, and no one else”?

    “‘For not as common bread and common drink do we receive these; but in like manner as Jesus Christ our Saviour,having been made flesh and blood for our salvation,so likewise have we been taught that the food which is blessed by the prayer of His word,and from which our blood and flesh by transmutation are nourished,is the flesh and blood of that Jesus who was made flesh.’
    Justin Martyr,First Apology,66(A.D. 110-165),in ANF,I:185

    I’m sorry, I’m too far removed from the sort of debates that Justin was involved with to understand well what point he is making here.”

    Is it really that difficult? What’s hard to understand about “the food which is blessed by the prayer of His word,and from which our blood and flesh by transmutation are nourished,is the flesh and blood of that Jesus who was made flesh.” What is an example of a scenario in which this could be used to prop *anything* other than what it seems to be, prima facie?

    “I don’t think they got worked up about modern distinctions between literal and symbolic back then…”

    I agree, but that’s because everyone believed that the Eucharist was literally Christ’s flesh and blood as well as a symbol of his salvific love. You falsely dichotomize “literal” and “symbolic.”

    “…and even if Justin did imply it literally, it wouldn’t really matter.”

    Why not? It establishes a precedent that there was belief in the early Church of a literal Eucharist. Taken alone, it doesn’t mean much, but all the accounts together in agreement indicate something, don’t you think?

    As it is — and I’ve looked since my first comment — I still can’t find a single quote from the Fathers advocating a purely symbolic understanding.

    Posted 12 Oct 2005 at 7:44 pm
  14. Tom Smith wrote:

    “I’m sure there couldn’t possibly by any syncretism over the course of 300 years.”

    Where would this syncretism be coming from? Syncretism doesn’t just pop up. Obviously, another group would’ve had to influence the Church in to adopt the notion of eating the substance of God.

    “After all, that was how long it took for Buddha to become a God in India”

    I think that that might, more appropriately, be called “development of doctrine,” rather than “syncretism.”

    Posted 12 Oct 2005 at 7:57 pm
  15. Tom Smith wrote:

    “The more important point is whether there is any other reason to do communion besides the bequest of Yeshua for us to do this in remembrance of him.”

    I say yes. Through the Eucharist, Christ’s sacrifice is renewed, made alive once more, and perpetuated. Liturgy returns us to the eternal sacrifice on Calvary. That’s why we call the Mass the “Holy Sacrifice.” Otherwise, Christ picked a really weird way for us to remember him. “Go eat some bread; drink some wine. . . and think of me.”

    We do do it in a very simple remembrance of Christ. But we also do it to perpetuate the sacrifice of the Holy Cross. This really is the essence of liturgy, and, unfortunately, the key issue, in my opinion, that divides Catholics and Orthodox, on the one hand, from Protestants. The Reformation being an inherently anti-liturgical movement, it’s no surprise that Protestants, through no fault of their own, have no understanding of liturgy.

    Posted 12 Oct 2005 at 8:06 pm
  16. Tom Smith wrote:

    I’ll shut up now.

    Posted 12 Oct 2005 at 8:07 pm
  17. dlw wrote:

    It seems very simple to me that John 6 tells us that many people had a difficulty following Christ’s teaching on the Eucharist. Why? Is it really *that* hard to listen to someone say, “you must follow me, and no one else”?

    But it he did some cool magic tricks like turn wine into blood and bread into flesh that would turn people away? Um I don’t think so. The issue was more about Jesus proclaiming himself as true Israel and mandating for his Jewish followers to go against their deeply held beliefs and believe a Man is God and that they must renounce their cultural heritage that was very much against drinking blood and eating flesh to follow him.

    Ig:”‘For not as common bread and common drink do we receive these; but in like manner as Jesus Christ our Saviour,having been made flesh and blood for our salvation,so likewise have we been taught that the food which is blessed by the prayer of His word,and from which our blood and flesh by transmutation are nourished,is the flesh and blood of that Jesus who was made flesh.’
    Justin Martyr,First Apology,66(A.D. 110-165),in ANF,I:185

    dlw:I’m sorry, I’m too far removed from the sort of debates that Justin was involved with to understand well what point he is making here.”

    Tom:Is it really that difficult? What’s hard to understand about “the food which is blessed by the prayer of His word,and from which our blood and flesh by transmutation are nourished,is the flesh and blood of that Jesus who was made flesh.” What is an example of a scenario in which this could be used to prop *anything* other than what it seems to be, prima facie?

    I see the ambiguity as over whether this refers to the locution or the illocution. The latter is by far more important.

    “I don’t think they got worked up about modern distinctions between literal and symbolic back then…”

    I agree, but that’s because everyone believed that the Eucharist was literally Christ’s flesh and blood as well as a symbol of his salvific love. You falsely dichotomize “literal” and “symbolic.”

    You don’t know that everyone held to it literally, and truth be told they probably wouldn’t have cared if it wasn’t literal. The forgiveness of our sins doesn’t depend on the replication of a miracle. Jesus, in general, downplayed the importance of miracles and upplayed the importance of faith.

    “…and even if Justin did imply it literally, it wouldn’t really matter.”

    Why not? It establishes a precedent that there was belief in the early Church of a literal Eucharist. Taken alone, it doesn’t mean much, but all the accounts together in agreement indicate something, don’t you think?

    It’s already too far removed from the early church. They are the ones whose testimony would matter the most.

    As it is — and I’ve looked since my first comment — I still can’t find a single quote from the Fathers advocating a purely symbolic understanding.

    Nor one, except for one three hundred years after teh fact, that is explicit in saying that it was literal.

    “I’m sure there couldn’t possibly by any syncretism over the course of 300 years.”

    Where would this syncretism be coming from? Syncretism doesn’t just pop up. Obviously, another group would’ve had to influence the Church in to adopt the notion of eating the substance of God.

    “After all, that was how long it took for Buddha to become a God in India”

    I think that that might, more appropriately, be called “development of doctrine,” rather than “syncretism.”

    Claiming that the transubstantion takes place is a claim to power. The problem is when the forgiveness of our sins is tied to this miracle act rather than the genuine repentance of the person who turns away from their sinful life. There is no good reason from scripture to think that such is the case. Jesus forgave the sins of the thief/zealot that was repentant without him having to take communion. The significance of the act ultimately comes from what it refers to in Jesus’s death, not whether it is coupled with a supernatural transformation.

    dlw

    Posted 13 Oct 2005 at 5:23 pm
  18. Funky Dung wrote:

    Relevant to this discussion:

    Finding Eucharist in the Bible

    Posted 13 Oct 2005 at 11:59 pm
  19. Tom Smith wrote:

    “But it he did some cool magic tricks like turn wine into blood and bread into flesh that would turn people away? Um I don’t think so.”

    You’re right; that would bring people in. But telling people TO EAT HIS ENTRAILS AND DRINK HIS BLOOD damn well wouldn’t have. The thing is, at the Last Supper, Christ didn’t make a big deal about the actual transformation of the bread and wine; he made a big deal about the consumption of His Body and Blood. So it isn’t about miracles; it’s about the consumption of His Divine Substance.

    Tom:
    “St. Justin Martyr:
    ‘For not as common bread and common drink do we receive these; but in like manner as Jesus Christ our Saviour,having been made flesh and blood for our salvation,so likewise have we been taught that the food which is blessed by the prayer of His word,and from which our blood and flesh by transmutation are nourished,is the flesh and blood of that Jesus who was made flesh.’
    Justin Martyr,First Apology,66(A.D. 110-165),in ANF,I:185

    dlw:I’m sorry, I’m too far removed from the sort of debates that Justin was involved with to understand well what point he is making here.”

    Tom:Is it really that difficult? What’s hard to understand about “the food which is blessed by the prayer of His word,and from which our blood and flesh by transmutation are nourished,is the flesh and blood of that Jesus who was made flesh.” What is an example of a scenario in which this could be used to prop *anything* other than what it seems to be, prima facie?

    dlw:I see the ambiguity as over whether this refers to the locution or the illocution. The latter is by far more important.”

    I agree that the illocution is more important. But the thing is, it’s pretty clear that his locution is to the effect that Christ’s Body and Blood are physically there (indicated by such words as “flesh,” “blood,” “blessed by the prayer of His word [aka, having the Institution Narrative prayed over the elements — a feature of liturgy East and West since the beginning],” and especially “transmutation”). If illocution is what the speaker’s really trying to get across, then St. Justin, by employing words like “transmutation,” is utilizing a really funny way to tell them something else — one that affirms beyond doubt the physical presence of Christ in the Eucharist. It seems as though the locution and the illocution are the same thing.

    “”I don’t think they got worked up about modern distinctions between literal and symbolic back then…”

    I agree, but that’s because everyone believed that the Eucharist was literally Christ’s flesh and blood as well as a symbol of his salvific love. You falsely dichotomize “literal” and “symbolic.”

    You don’t know that everyone held to it literally, and truth be told they probably wouldn’t have cared if it wasn’t literal.”

    If I don’t know that everyone believed in the Eucharist, how do you presume to know that they didn’t care?

    “The forgiveness of our sins doesn’t depend on the replication of a miracle.”

    Exactly. You’re coming at this from a completely Protestant perspective (understandably, of course. . . and I’m really not looking down upon this, either). The thing is, you see the Mass as replication of a miracle. You know, the phrase “hocus pocus” comes from Protestant misconceptions about Catholic theology (“hocus pocus” is a deliberate mocking of the words of consecration in the Mass: “hoc est enim corpus meum”). Catholics, on the other hand, regard the Mass as not the replication of the Sacrifice of Calvary, but as our return to the One (and only!) Sacrifice. Obviously, if it were a mere re-enactment, it’d be crucifying Christ again, something no-one wants to do.

    “Jesus, in general, downplayed the importance of miracles and upplayed the importance of faith.”

    Considering that the Trinity, the Incarnation, and Christ’s entire salivific death are all miraculous, one can hardly say that He downplayed miracles. One may rightly contend, however, that He disapproved of the practice of asking for miraculous signs of His divinity. (Clearly, the Eucharist would be a really crappy sign anyway: what if I handed you a piece of bread and told you that it was my Body; would you think I was divine? I doubt it.)

    Posted 14 Oct 2005 at 9:56 am
  20. dlw wrote:

    Gotta love this…
    A catholic reads the Bible within the context of the Holy Tradition and most especially within the eucharistic liturgy itself. Why does the catholic Christian connect the words of Jesus in John 6 to the bread and wine of the Eucharist? Because the Eucharist, itself instituted by Jesus, identifies the offered bread and wine with the Body and Blood of Christ. Hence the significance of the priestly recitation of the dominical words over the offered bread and wine. The catholic Christian, in other words, interprets the Scripture by the Eucharist and the Eucharist by the Scripture. As St Irenaeus wrote, ?Our teaching is in accord with the Eucharist and the Eucharist, in its turn, confirms our teaching? (Adv. haer. 4.18.5).

    Needless to say, I do not expect the generic Protestant to read the Scriptures and find that they clearly teach the real presence. He does not live in a Church that celebrates a truly catholic Eucharist. He does not sacramentally partake of the Body and Blood. He therefore lacks the necessary liturgical experience and knowledge to read the Scriptures rightly. Perhaps he might attend a Catholic or Orthodox liturgy some time to see what?s happening, but he has not been formed by it and therefore has not received its truth. Outside the Eucharist the Scriptures cannot be read in a catholic sense.

    I don’t think the issue here is Sola Scriptura. I think the issue is the proper hermeneutic for reading scripture. I believe the proper hermeneutic is the literal interpretation, as it likely was understood by its original audience. As such, there is no good reason to make our traditions authoritative for interpretation. Its sort of circular, supposedly they’re based on scripture and so now they’re the basis for interpreting scripture?

    Like I mentioned, the Gospels downplay the importance of miracles and upplay the importance of following Jesus. Taking communion is a way to follow/remember Jesus and his sacrifice for our sins so we can be forgiven.

    I have no problems with the Catholic mass. I took it once when I was seventeen and visiting a Catholic Church in Ecuador where I was taking a three week class. I didn’t know back then that, as a non-Catholic, I wasn’t supposed to take the eucharist. I do believe in respecting church’s rules. But I can tell you that my experience showed me that what ultimately matters is not the ritual, but rather its effect on us, drawing our minds back to Jesus’s sacrifice for our sins.
    dlw

    Posted 16 Oct 2005 at 1:49 am
  21. Tom Smith wrote:

    “I don’t think the issue here is Sola Scriptura. I think the issue is the proper hermeneutic for reading scripture. I believe the proper hermeneutic is the literal interpretation, as it likely was understood by its original audience.”

    But the original audience for readers of what would go on to become Scripture was a group of second- or third-generation Christians. Why is that more authoritative than Tradition, which comes from the first generation? Scripture is a secondary source, whereas Tradition is a primary source. And it has to be remembered that most of the New Testament was written not by direct disciples of Christ, but by people who had heard of Christ via. . . guess what. . . Tradition.

    “It’s sort of circular, supposedly they’re based on scripture and so now they’re the basis for interpreting scripture?”

    No. Tradition is *not* based in Scripture, as it predates the New Testament. Tradition is merely wholly consonant with Scripture.

    “Like I mentioned, the Gospels downplay the importance of miracles and upplay the importance of following Jesus.”

    Like I mentioned, “Considering that the Trinity, the Incarnation, and Christ’s entire salivific death are all miraculous, one can hardly say that He downplayed miracles. One may rightly contend, however, that He disapproved of the practice of asking for miraculous signs of His divinity. (Clearly, the Eucharist would be a really crappy sign anyway: what if I handed you a piece of bread and told you that it was my Body; would you think I was divine? I doubt it.)”

    “Taking communion is a way to follow/remember Jesus and his sacrifice for our sins so we can be forgiven.”

    Why it it just that, though, and not the really present Body of Christ?

    Posted 18 Oct 2005 at 7:44 pm
  22. Jerry Nora wrote:

    dlw, Paul warns us that drinking the Body and Blood of Christ unworthiness causes us to eat and drink to our own condemnation. How does that square with a mere symbol to “draw our minds” to Jesus’ sacrifice?

    Posted 19 Oct 2005 at 2:49 am

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