To the editor:
Mike Latona’s article “The Real Presence is a ‘leap of faith’” (Catholic Courier, January 2008) gives a welcome clarification concerning the transubstantiation of the elements of bread and wine into the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Christ. As Father Kevin McKenna explains, the Eucharist is “Jesus Christ himself.”
Unfortunately, the photo accompanying the article is at odds with its content. The text accompanying the photo reads: “Catholics believe the body and blood of Jesus is wholly present in the host and wine,seen here at Rochester’s Sacred Heart Cathedral”. But Catholics do not believe that.
Such wording smacks of the Lutheran heresy of “impanation” which is an attempt to hold the Real Presence of Christ in the Holy Eucharist without admitting Transubstantiation. Jesus cannot be “wholly present in the host and wine” for bread and wine no longer exist after the consecration of the Mass and there is no “co-existence of bread and wine with the Body and Blood of Christ” as the Lutheran doctrine of “Impanation” or “consubstantiation” assumes.
It is essential to note that the dogmatic teaching of the Council of Trent carefully avoided stating that Christ was present “in the bread and wine” for only their appearance remains after that “wonderful and singular change of the whole substance of the bread into the Body and the whole substance of the wine into the Blood of the Lord.” (See Chapter VII, canons 1-11 in toto).
It goes without saying that any renewal of the spiritual life of Catholics is impossible without strict adherence to the Church’s traditional belief in Transubstantiation which safeguards the doctrine of the true, real and substantial Presence of Jesus Christ in the Eucharist. The Eucharist is Jesus Christ Himself made present for the adoration of His faithful.
EDITOR’S NOTE: The caption should simply have said that Catholics believe bread and wine become the body and blood of Christ. We apologize for the confusion.