Sunday, December 28, 2014

The Eucharist (Pt 1): Roman Catholic Magic

Recently Chloroform tried to sell the RC version of the Eucharist here,
in post #18 of another thread.

Originally Posted by God's Truth
Catholics believe that the priest can turn wafers into Jesus’ real body...the priest turns the wafers into Jesus’ body.
Nope. Rather, it is God who changes the eucharistic elements in response to the prayers of the priest. Big difference there.

For what Catholics actually believe and teach concerning the Eucharist (Lord's Supper), see this.

Gaudium de veritate,


I've decided to examine in detail the claimed Roman Catholic view,
and show exactly why it is both a nonsensical fantasy of magical thinking,
and a complete failure as an attempt to explain irrational behaviour
or convert anyone to Roman Catholicism on this particular doctrinal issue.

The first thing we will presume, quite fairly I think,
is that Fluffoform's website does indeed substantially and thoroughly
represent the Roman Catholic view, being based on RC sources,
and granting that Roman Catholics have had nearly 1400 years to
fine-tune and complete their articulation and defence of their
peculiarly nuanced view.

I will ask idiots and other Roman Catholics to refrain from replying here,
until I have posted the basic outline of failure to assist RCs in discovering
why their religious nonsense is both a lie, and utterly unconvincing to
people with an IQ over 80.
First off, we turn to the Catholic Webpage, and find there an outline of their 



  1. Old Testament
    1. Foreshadowing of the Eucharistic Sacrifice
    2. Foreshadowing of the Requirement to Consume the Sacrifice
  2. New Testament
    1. Jesus Promises His Real Presence in the Eucharist
    2. Jesus Institutes the Eucharist / More Proofs of the Real Presence
    3. Jesus' Passion is Connected to the Passover Sacrifice Where the Lamb Must be Eaten
    4. Eucharist Makes Present Jesus' One Eternal Sacrifice; Not Just a Symbolic Memorial
    5. Jesus in Glory Perpetually Offers the Father His Sacrifice on our Behalf
    6. The Book of Revelation and the Holy Mass

Tradition / Church Fathers

  1. Jesus’ Real Presence in the Eucharist
  2. The Bread and Wine Become Jesus’ Body and Blood

Apparently, in an attempt to appeal to nominal Protestants,
the RC page first tries to lay out an argument/analogy/framework
using Holy Scripture as the basis.

Then it adds a section excerpting early Christian (RC) writers
who are imagined to have some authority, at least for representing
what presumably Roman Catholics believed or what authorities taught
about the Eucharist at various times.

This last section is at best secondary and incidental to the main point,
since if apologists can't explain the Eucharist using Holy Scripture,
then it matters not what or how many semi-literate clowns from the Middle Ages
thought this or that about it.

At least the authors of the webpage do seem to have an inkling that
only Holy Scripture will have any weight with Protestants when defending
or selling the Roman Catholic Eucharist.

This is more than Crucifuzz seems to grasp in regard to this problem
of credibility and success in teaching and convincing both opponents and
third parties unfamiliar with the discussion at hand.

Why would technical aspects of this ritual be of any importance whatever?

(1) Transusbstantiation

The first claim is that there is a real change of the bread and wine in the ritual
so that it becomes the flesh and blood of Jesus the Christ.

It is not the transubstantiation per se that really matters to the RC authorities.

It really doesn't make any difference whether God magically changes
bread and wine into flesh and blood, manna, or delicious Lucky Charms.

(2) A Special Elite Priestly Class

The point for the Roman Catholic Denomination is that God only does this
when bona fide "priests" of their religion pray and perform the ritual.

And secondly, the participation in this "meal", which can be WITHHELD
from non-Christians, church-members in bad standing, is supposed to be
a necessary or mandatory 'sacrament', which is something between
a privilege and a religious duty to perform (i.e., participate in while alive).

In some sense, Roman Catholics claim it is a necessary component of
forgiveness and salvation, and a sign of belonging to the 'saved' or
'true church'.

And since this 'meal' is regulated and controlled by the elite 'priesthood'
of duly ordained Roman Catholic priests, they claim to have in their power,
through this ritual control over who is and who isn't, a bona fide saved
Christian in good standing in a visible Earthly Church defined and identified
as themselves (i.e., the Roman Catholic denomination).

So to sum up, Roman Catholic priests claim to be an elite class of Christians,
distinguished in part by their authority and power to perform a "mass",
which is a ritual meal, which in answer to their unique prayers,
is changed from ordinary bread and wine,
into the flesh and blood of Jesus the Christ.

(3) Participation Mandatory for Good Standing

And they would further claim that to be a bona fide Christian,
one must participate in this mysterious spiritual cannibalism,
and do it only under the supervision of this elite class of power brokers
called priests.

(4) No Physical Change Required

It must be further observed that the Roman Catholic priests do not claim
that there will be any 'visible' or verifiable sign of this 'spiritual change',
and acknowledge that the bread and wine in the ceremony look, act and
taste exactly
the same
as the bread and wine they certainly were, before the ritual.

Thus there is no visible or scientifically measurable change in the bread and wine.

We are to believe some invisible mysterious change, magically occurs,
during the 'mass' in response to the prayers of the priest,
which is nontheless "real" and "literal" in some substantial sense,
only without any detectable effect.

The effect claimed, is entirely spiritual, and without any necessary physical evidence,
and so at once we cannot talk of a physical claim in the chemical or Newtonian sense.

(5) Sacrifice

Another aspect of this claim is one of status and apparent substance,
in that Roman Catholic priests say they are priests performing a sacrifice:

That is, Jesus' flesh and blood is in some sense 'alive' during the ritual,
and is 'sacrificed' as some kind of atonement for sin during the ritual.

It is not a mere memorial, nor a re-enactment or a nmemonic aid to worship.

Somehow Jesus again, and repeatedly pours out his 'self-sacrifice' in this ritual.
Again, it is not a mere re-enactment for Jesus either, but a 'new miracle',
a mystery in which people are concurrently forgiven and blessed,
and somehow in the present actively participate in a 'cloning' or 'action'
which took place 2000 years ago, but is again acting in the here and now,
through this 'mystery ritual' or 'sacrificial meal'.

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