Monday, May 4, 2009
Teaching Moment on Eucharist
The Archdiocese of Milwaukee has stated that the swine flu problem should be used as a teaching moment on the nature of the eucharist...
When it comes to differences between Lutheran and Catholic doctrine, I almost always side with Catholic doctrine. The one exception is the understanding of the real presence in the eucharist. Catholic doctrine speaks of transubstantiation; there is a complete transformation of the bread and wine into the body and blood of Christ. The eucharist only has the accidentals of looking and tasting like bread and wine. Luther believed in sacramental union, in which the eucharist is still truly bread, but also truly Christ.
If we use Christ as the measure for this doctrine, he did not obliterate his humaness in becoming human. And even though in the eucharist, the divine and human natures of Christ are present, I do not see the need for obliterating the elements of bread and wine. It should be pointed out that Luther's view is not foreign to Catholic theology, it was taught by Dons Scotus in the Middle Ages as consubstantiation (the differences in the doctrines are slight). The Catholic doctrine on transbustantiation only became settled a issue in Catholic teaching as a response to the Protestant Reformation. If the Protestant Reformation had not occurred, who knows how our understanding of the real presence would have developed.
A Faithful Catholic