The Catholic teaching of Transubstantiation. This is the teaching that during the Mass, at the consecration of the Lord’s Supper (Communion) the elements of the Eucharist, bread and wine, are transformed into the actual body and blood of Jesus. The “Real Presence” is the term Catholics use to refer to Christ’s actual presence in the elements of the bread and the wine that has been transubstantiated. Transubstantiation teaches that the substance of the elements are miraculously changed even though their appearance is not.
o The first use of the term “transubstantiation” was used by Hildebert de Lavardin, Archbishop of Tours in the 11th century. By the end of the 12th century, it was in widespread use.
o Catechism 1374: “The mode of Christ’s presence under the Eucharistic species is unique. It raises the Eucharist above all the sacraments as “the perfection of the spiritual life and the end to which all the sacraments tend.” In the most blessed sacrament of the Eucharist “the body and blood, together with the soul and divinity, of our Lord Jesus Christ and, therefore, the whole Christ is truly, really, and substantially contained.” “This presence is called ‘real’ – by which is not intended to exclude the other types of presence as if they could not be ‘real’ too – but because it is a presence in the fullest sense: that is to say, it is a substantial presence by which Christ, God and man, makes himself wholly and entirely present.”
o Catechism 1376: The counsel of Trent summarizes the Catholic faith by declaring: “Because Christ our Redeemer said that it was truly his body that he was offering under the species of bread, and it has been the conviction of the Church of God, and this holy Council now declares again, that by the consecration of the bread and win there takes place a change of the whole substance of the bread into the substance of the body of Christ our Lord and the of the whole substance of the wine into the substance of his blood. This change the holy Catholic Church has fittingly and properly called transubstantiation.”
o Some of the verses used by the Catholic church to substantiate this are Matthew 26:28, John 6:52-53 and I Corinthians 11:27.
o The problem with that interpretation of these verses is 3 fold
1st – there is no indication that the words were meant to be literal. This teaching is nowhere else in Scripture as being literal. Instead, we find that Jesus clearly stated that the words He used were “spiritual words”. John 6:63
2nd – the elements of the communion supper were still referred to as bread and the fruit of the vine. Matthew 26:26-29; Why would Jesus speak figuratively of His blood as the “fruit of the vine” if it were His literal blood?
3rd – there is no indication the disciples thought the elements changed. And are we to believe that were sitting right there with Jesus and actually thought that Jesus was holding in his hands his literal body and blood?
4th – there is no indication the disciples worshipped the elements as the Catholic church does. The adoration of the Eucharist is practiced during the Mass.
5th – the supper was instituted before Christ’s crucifixion. The Mass is supposed to be a reenactment of the sacrifice of Christ – but that hadn’t taken place yet.
6th – the Catholic view of Mass is a violation of the Levitical law. The Catholic interpretation of the Eucharist is that the participant must eat human flesh and drink human blood. Leviticus 17:14 condemns that.
7th – the Lord’s Supper is not a sacrifice of Christ. Hebrews 10:10-14 tells us that Christ’s sacrifice on the cross was “once for all” and by that “one sacrifice He has perfected for all time those who are sanctified.”