Responding to a Roman Catholic's defense of the mass

Discussion in 'Cults & World Religions' started by Haeralis, Feb 3, 2018.

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  1. Haeralis

    Haeralis Puritan Board Freshman

    Recently, I presented the following quote to a few of my Roman Catholic friends which had to do with the RC teaching of the Eucharist. The quote was from James O'Brien, a priest who is well-respected in Roman Catholic circles. In, The Faith of Millions, O'Brien stated:

    “When the priest pronounces the tremendous words of consecration, he reaches up into the heavens, brings Christ down from His throne, and places Him upon our altar to be offered up again as the Victim for the sins of man. It is a power greater than that of monarchs and emperors: it is greater than that of saints and angels, greater than that of Seraphim and Cherubim. Indeed it is greater even than the power of the Virgin Mary. While the Blessed Virgin was the human agency by which Christ became incarnate a single time, the priest brings Christ down from heaven, and renders Him present on our altar as the eternal Victim for the sins of man—not once but a thousand times! The priest speaks and lo! Christ, the eternal and omnipotent God, bows His head in humble obedience to the priest’s command.”

    Using the statement, I argued for the clear and terrible heresy that the mass promulgates. It suggests that Christ can "be brought down from His throne" and continually be offered up as a sacrifice again and again as an “eternal Victim” who dies not once, but thousands of times.

    The RC whom I am in dialogue with claimed that it is a misrepresentation of the mass to claim that it is a perpetual resacrificing of Christ. They claimed that the act of transubstantiation transports participants to the one sacrifice on the Cross and does not actually sacrifice Jesus again. I pointed out that the priest's phrasing, “offered up again” clearly suggests that this is not a return to one single event, but is in fact a new sacrifice every time someone attends the mass.

    Still, these RC’s insist that, even if the priest is saying that, it isn’t so. Does anyone know how to respond to Catholics who say that the mass is not a new propitiatory sacrifice?
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2018
  2. Gforce9

    Gforce9 Puritan Board Junior

    R.C. Sproul has recounted a story of a man he saw converted from Rome, was on his way to leaving the RCC, and was in dialogue with the parish priest. This man would seek R.C.'s help in answering the priest and they finally got to the topic of the mass. As with the RCC guy you're in dialogue with, this parish priest insisted that it wasn't a perpetual sacrifice (incidentally, my nephew is a newly minted priest and said the same thing recently in my presence, saying that they are participating in the once-and-for-all sacrifice of Christ, not a resacrifice). When asked how to respond, Dr. Sproul cited the Latin word sacrificium in the Council of Trent (I wish I knew where in Trent) and told him to ask the priest what that meant (forcing the priest's hand). It ended the dialogue.

    The bottom line is this: the burden is on them to show where the pronouncement of Trent is rescinded in official Catholic dogma. You can call a goat a ferret, a monkey, a baseball bat or a battleship, but good proof must be there for such a paradigm shift..........
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2018
  3. Haeralis

    Haeralis Puritan Board Freshman

    Thanks for the info, I think that it will prove useful! Do you happen to know where I can listen to Sproul explain this story? Does the Latin word sacrificium necessarily indicate that it is a new sacrifice instead of a participation in the original one?
  4. Gforce9

    Gforce9 Puritan Board Junior

    I looked for the quote, but couldn't find it. If I do, I'll post it. Maybe one of our Latin or Tridentine experts can chime in.....
  5. Cedarbay

    Cedarbay Puritan Board Freshman

    The CCC #1362-1367 explains. Sorry I can't get a link to it.
  6. ZackF

    ZackF Puritan Board Graduate

    When I was Roman Catholic I sought to convince people that the Mass was not a resacrifice of Christ but rather a participation and presentation of the same one 2,000 years ago. Hence I then and Catholics now don't consider the Mass idolatry. Just calling the Mass idolatry to RCs will be seen as an insulting shock ploy and will merely shut down the discussion.

    In the discussions I've tried to raise the drone so to speak up another 1000 ft or so and take a wider picture. Try to get them to think through the sacramental system as presented by Rome. It's depressing despite the trappings. Among other things, such a scheme can't deliver the goods. One has to keep going to Mass to be saved as Christ's sacrificed is reapplied anew. There is no Great Exchange like we understand it. As Dr. Scott Clark has explained, in the Protestant view the sacraments are Gospel. They are signs and seals that strengthen our faith in God's saving actions, His sacrifices. In Rome they are mechanical and fleeting. You get baptized, fall from grace, confess, receive communion and 'hope' you're on the upside before you croak. What a downer!
  7. Ask Mr. Religion

    Ask Mr. Religion Flatly Unflappable


    Table of Contents for the Catechism:

    Index to the Catechism:

    Despite claims to the contrary, each time the Romanist priest rings the bell, it is a summoning of Our Lord back to earth to be re-sacrificed time and again.


    The Eucharist is a memorial in the sense that it makes present and actual the sacrifice which Christ offered to the Father on the cross, once and for all on behalf of mankind. The sacrificial character of the Holy Eucharist is manifested in the very words of institution, “This is my Body which is given for you” and “This cup is the New Covenant in my Blood that will be shed for you” (Luke 22:19-20). The sacrifice of the cross and the sacrifice of the Eucharist are one and the same sacrifice. The priest and the victim are the same; only the manner of offering is different: in a bloody manner on the cross, in an unbloody manner in the Eucharist.​
  8. Ask Mr. Religion

    Ask Mr. Religion Flatly Unflappable

    Perhaps RC was referring to the Tridentine Creed:


    Then again, Session 22 of Trent (17 Sept 1562) reads:

    The sacred and holy, ecumenical and general Synod of Trent--lawfully assembled in the Holy Ghost, the same Legates of the Apostolic Sec presiding therein--to the end that the ancient, complete, and in every part perfect faith and doctrine touching the great mystery of the Eucharist may be retained in the holy Catholic Church; and may, all errors and heresies being repelled, be preserved in its own purity; (the Synod) instructed by the illumination of the Holy Ghost, teaches, declares; and decrees what follows, to be preached to the faithful, on the subject of the Eucharist, considered as being a true and singular sacrifice.​

    In Latin:
    Sacrosancta oecumenica et generalis Tridentina Synodus in Spiritu Sancto legitime congregata praesidentibus in ea eisdem Apostolicae Sedis legatis: ut vetus absoluta atque omni ex parte perfecta de magno Eucharistiae mysterio in sancta Catholica Ecclesia fides atque doctrina retineatur et in sua puritate propulsatis erroribus atque haeresibus conservetur: de ea quatenus verum et singulare sacrificium est Spiritus Sancti illustratione edocta haec quae sequuntur docet declarat et fidelibus populis praedicanda decernit.​
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  9. Haeralis

    Haeralis Puritan Board Freshman

    I talked with my pastor about this, and he indicated that--of course--the Roman Catholic whom I have been talking with is misinformed. The Council of Trent very clearly declares that the Mass is a "propitiatory sacrifice" which gains our favor in the sight of God. My pastor also pointed out the obvious, though overlooked, fact that priests and altars necessarily entail a ritual sacrifice. Priests, of course, are mediators with God while altars are places where sacrifices must be made to atone for our sin. The Romish mass retains each of these elements, clearly putting it at odds with the biblical narrative, especially Hebrews 10.

    Still, all of this just goes over there head. They still maintain that they are just participating in the once and for all sacrifice. Praise God that His grace granted me the truth about our Lord's one final, complete sacrifice.
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2018
  10. Gforce9

    Gforce9 Puritan Board Junior

    Thanks for this, Patrick! I bet one of these two (or both) are what Dr. Sproul had in mind.

    It is interesting to me the distancing from this language by many in the RCC. Along with the "Come back home" commercials, I can't help but think this is all an effort to survive as an institution. The RCC has to be feeling the effects of 1) post-modernism (or post-post modernism), 2) like 20th century liberalism, feeling the need to make its brand more palatable, which means, no doctrine that this generation would not approve of and 3) less attendance means less dollars to fuel to papist machine. My nephew echoing Dakota's friends reinvented theology of the mass seems to make this case.....
  11. ZackF

    ZackF Puritan Board Graduate

    Yep. Pray for another way in. May the Lord bless your interactions with these folks.
  12. Von

    Von Puritan Board Freshman

    R.C. Sproul, RCC, RC - That's a lot of RC!:scratch:
    This is a powerful quote - thanks for that!
  13. Dieter Schneider

    Dieter Schneider Puritan Board Sophomore

    1. Do a search on the Council of Trent, Trent Catechism, Vatican II and the Roman Catholic Catechism. I am an ex-RC and never knew what the official view was. God in His grace has opened my eyes to Scripture. For your own edification read Calvin's Antidote (which covers part of Trent, as Calvin died in 1564). There is a link on my blog.
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 6, 2018
  14. Dachaser

    Dachaser Puritan Board Doctor

    I have been viewing a multi part shows regarding the reformation and the Council of Trent, especially Luther dealings with Rome on this issue, and what struck me especially was that we many times do present RCC theology regarding salvation in a wrong fashion, as they do hold to being saved by Grace, but the key sticking point is not alone, as Grace is defined as Sacramental in their understanding of the concept.
    It also reinforced to me that we can never go back to the so called Mother Church, as when some Evangelicals seemed to be trying to be in process of doing , as when they signed that agreement between Rome and some of them in regards to saved by faith.grace.
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2018
  15. Haeralis

    Haeralis Puritan Board Freshman

    It seems like those links to the Catechism still give credence to the Roman claim that it is a "re-presentation" instead of a new sacrifice each and every time. When they dogmatically claim that it is a "re-presentation" which transports the church to Calvary, it seems like it is difficult to tell them that it is at odds with Hebrews 10. Which portions of the Catechism show the holes in this kind of logic?

    It baffles me that anyone could actually believe that when you go to church, the priest magically transports you back in time to the sacrifice of our Lord and puts us at that moment in time once again. How does it even make sense, given the fact that we supposedly have to do the Mass over-and-over again to constantly atone for new sins in our life? Obviously, if you have to keep doing it, it really isn't the same sacrifice.
  16. Bill The Baptist

    Bill The Baptist Puritan Board Graduate

    Indeed. I teach world religions at a local college, and one of the things I teach my students is that religions that don’t practice sacrifice don’t have priests. One necessitates the other.
  17. greenbaggins

    greenbaggins Administrator Staff Member

    Most Catholics I have dialogued with would say that the Mass is a re-presentation of the once for all sacrifice of Christ, and that this is what sacrificium means in Trent. Think of it (from the Romish perspective, of course) as an extension of the once for all sacrifice. On Protestant principles, this violates the once-for-all nature of Christ's sacrifice, but it doesn't in the minds of the RCC. Consider the following quotes in context. From The New Catholic Encyclopedia 1967 version) volume 9, p. 415:

    There can be no doubt that the Mass is a sacrifice. At the Last Supper the Lord clearly related His actions to the sacrificial blood of the paschal lamb and filled with reality the prophetic sacrificial Passover meal...
    This quotation, taken by itself, would seem to suggest that the once-for-all sacrifice is being completely denied. But then follow quotations from Trent, in Denzinger, which I will also give:

    He, then, our Lord and God, was once and for all to offer himself to God the Father by his death on the altar of the Cross...But, because his priesthood was not to end with his death, at the Last Supper, 'on the night when he was betrayed,' in order to leave to his beloved Spouse the Church a visible sacrifice (as the nature of man demands)-by which the bloody sacrifice that he was once for all to accomplish on the Cross would be re-presented, its memory perpetuated until the end of the world...he offered his body and blood under the species of bread and wine to God the Father, and, under the same signs, gave them to partake of to the disciples...and ordered them and their successors in the priesthood to offer (Denzinger 1740, which I quote in the 43rd edition, which has some slight differences with the version quoted in the encyclopedia).
    Catholics would understand this part of Trent to be saying that the Mass and Christ's death are one and the same, of a piece, or, as above, an extension, just as they also believe that the church is an extension of the incarnation of Jesus Christ. This point is not well understood by most Protestants, either about their beliefs concerning the church, or about the Mass. This point about the Mass is actually made rather crystal clear in the Catechism, paragraph 1366: "The Eucharist is this a sacrifice because it re-presents (makes present) the sacrifice of the cross, because it is its memorial and because it applies its fruit (emphasis original).

    More fruitful dialogue can only happen when Protestants seek to try to understand what Catholics actually believe on the basis of their own presuppositions. On their presuppositions, the Mass is a re-presentation of the once-for-all sacrifice of Christ. They use the term "sacrifice" but they do not mean another, or different sacrifice, but the same sacrifice.

    The right place then, to attack the doctrine of the Mass is in its understanding of a re-presentation of the once-for-all sacrifice, in its utter twisting of Aristotle's categories in transubstantiation, and in the resulting idolatry. But Protestants misrepresent Catholic teaching if they charge Catholicism with saying that the Mass is a completely different sacrifice than Christ's. Catholics simply don't believe that, even if some might actually believe that in terms of practical implications.
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  18. Haeralis

    Haeralis Puritan Board Freshman

    What would you say the best ways are to do this?

    Also, wouldn't this statement from the Council of Trent indicate that it is indeed a kind of new sacrifice? The catechism, as you pointed out, emphatically declares that they are merely returning to the once-and-for-all sacrifice. However, that may not be consistent with this statement:

    "If any one saith that in the Mass a true and proper sacrifice is not offered to God; or, that to be offered is nothing else but that Christ is given us to eat; let him be anathema."

    Also, when I attacked transubstantiation as a doctrine relying on Aristotle's metaphysical categories of "substance" and "accidents" I was pointed to people who supposedly taught this doctrine long before Aquinas imposed Aristotle on the Church. What is the best evidence that the Romish Eucharist is basically a modern invention derived more from Aristotle / Aquinas than from legitimate Church tradition?
  19. greenbaggins

    greenbaggins Administrator Staff Member

    Dakota, I would recommend by starting with Roman Catholicism as a complete system. Read Leonardo de Chirico's book (in a library, since it is very expensive!), and then read Gregg Allison's book on Roman Catholicism. The reason I say this is that you can't simply try to hack off one limb from the tree without addressing the tree as a whole. Otherwise, you will be dealing with a hydra. Only after you have addressed the two main pillars of Catholicism (the church as an extension of the Incarnation of Christ, and grace perfects nature), will you be in a position to address the Mass. What underlies the Mass is the authority of the church. What underlies the church is Christ's Incarnation (in Roman Catholicism). The issue of authority always lies in the background on something like this, and it is the place where every Roman Catholic will flee for safety. You have to show that the church isn't as reliable as all that, and that the bride is still a distinct person from the groom.

    As to the statement from Trent, I think you can see a progression from Trent to Vatican II and beyond. At Trent, they were simply trying to preserve the sacrificial character of the Mass (Roman Catholics see no contradiction between saying that the Mass is a sacrifice, and saying that the Mass is a re-presentation of Christ's sacrifice). Later on, more precision cane into view until the very clear statements of the Catechism constitute the official interpretation of Trent. It is a real sacrifice, in their minds, because it is a re-presentation of Christ's sacrifice. Again, they see the Mass as part of Christ's sacrifice, not separate from it. That is the key point to understand here, because Protestants see things very differently, of course: we say that Christ's sacrifice is one thing, and the Lord's Supper is something different. That division is not present in the mind of a Romanist.

    As to when transubstantiation became official church teaching, it seems that Pope Alexander III (12th century) is the first to use the term. Roman Catholics claim that the New Testament teaches it, and that the doctrine developed over time, taking the line of Ignatius (Letter to Smyrna 7.1), Justin Martyr (Apologia 1.66), Irenaeus (Against Heresies 5.2.3), Gregory of Nyssa (Oratio Catech 37), John Chrysostom (sermons on Jude 1.6), Ambrose (De fide ad Gratianum 4.10.124), Cyril of Alexandria (Commentary on Matthew 26.27), and John of Damascus (De fide Orthodoxa 4.13), before coming to Paschasius Radbertus in the 9th century and his famous controversy with Berengarius of Tours, who denied the conversion of elements into body and blood (he later recanted). Protestants would interpret the evidence quite differently. Even so, the teaching of transubstantiation was definitely present before Aquinas. Radbertus certainly taught it (though without using the term), and he was several centuries before Aquinas. The Roman Council of 1079, in hearing the confession of Berengarius, wrote down his words as believing that the substance of the bread and wine are changed into the substance of Jesus' body and blood (see Denzinger 700). What is not clear from the evidence, however, is whether any of these theologians believed in the distinction of substance and accidents before Aquinas. The conclusion I come to is that transubstantiation was taught before Aquinas. However, the distinction of substance and accidents did not receive its full formulation until Aquinas. The New Catholic Encyclopedia (1967 edition) article on "Accident" (written by R.E. McCall in volume 1, pp. 78-79 are particularly relevant) gives an excellent concise overview on how the distinction came to be used in Eucharistic theology.
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  20. dudley

    dudley Puritan Board Post-Graduate

    I am an ex Roman catholic and left that church in 2006. I am now a Reformed protestant , a Presbyterian.

    Regarding the Lords Supper I now believe the Roman Catholic teaching of transubstantiation is repugnant to the true nature of the sacrament of the Lords Supper as is the ritualistic Roman Catholic mass! It has also led to so many superstitious practices.

    I believe as a Presbyterian as John Calvin taught. Calvin followed Augustine in defining a sacrament as “a visible sign of a sacred thing” or as a “visible word” of God. The sacraments, according to Calvin, are inseparably attached to the Word. The sacraments seal the promises found in the Word. In regard to the Lord’s Supper, more specifically, it is given to seal the promise that those who partake of the bread and wine in faith truly partake of the body and blood of Christ. Calvin explains this in terms of the believer’s mystical union with Christ. Just as baptism is connected with the believer’s initiation into union with Christ, the Lord’s Supper strengthens the believer’s ongoing union with Christ.

    I believe as a Presbyterian Christ’s presence in the Supper but as spiritual for the supper is spiritual food for the soul

    I believe as Calvin taught is spiritual food for the soul, not carnal food for the body. According to Calvin the sacraments are signs. The signs and the things signified must be distinguished without being separated. Calvin rejects the idea that the sacramental signs are merely symbols (for example, what Zwingli taught). But he also rejects the idea that the signs are transformed into the things they signify, transubstantiation taught by the Roman catholic church.. Calvin argues that when Christ uses the words, “This is my body,” the name of the thing signified (“body”) is applied to the sign (the bread).

    Calvin repeatedly stated that his argument with the Roman Catholics and with Luther was not over the fact of Christ’s presence, but only over the mode of that presence. According to Calvin, Christ’s human body is locally present in heaven, but it does not have to descend in order for believers to truly partake of it because the Holy Spirit effects communion. The Holy Spirit is the bond of the believer’s union with Christ. Therefore that which the minister does on the earthly plane, the Holy Spirit accomplishes on the spiritual plane. In other words, those who partake of the bread and wine in faith are also, by the power of the Holy Spirit, being nourished by the body and blood of Christ.

    You may try to present this argument to him.

    Roman Catholics are taught to believe that the bread wafer is transubstantiated, changed into the actual body of Christ at their ritualistic RC mass. He is again re -sacrificed at every RC ritual mass. They often practice another ritual after the mass called adoration of the blessed sacrament. Vatican II tried to eliminate this ritualistic practice but under the papacy of Benedict XVI, Joseph Ratzinger, this blasphemous and abominable desecration of the Lords Supper was brought back. I am as many now know an ex Roman catholic. I am now a Presbyterian and I deny the Roman Catholic teaching of Transubstantiation. I renounce it as I renounced all the false teachings of Roman Catholicism. As a Presbyterian I believe that The Lords Supper is a memorial of His sacrifice and we do it as He commanded to do in remembrance of Him. I believe as a Presbyterian that Christ becomes present in Communion spiritually for the Lords Supper is food for the soul but I also believe the bread remains bread and the wine or juice remains wine or juice. As a Protestant I do not believe and I now reject completely the RC teaching called transubstantiation. I will demonstrate why the Roman Catholic is wrong. Here is the passage Roman Catholics use to justify the false teaching of transubstantiation:

    John 6:48 “I am the bread of life. 49 Your fathers ate the manna in the wilderness, and they died. 50 This is the bread that comes down from heaven, so that one may eat of it and not die. 51 I am the living bread that came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever. And the bread that I will give for the life of the world is my flesh.” 52 The Jews then disputed among themselves, saying, “How can this man give us his flesh to eat?” 53 So Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you. 54 Whoever feeds on my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day. 55 For my flesh is true food, and my blood is true drink. 56 Whoever feeds on my flesh and drinks my blood abides in me, and I in him. 57 As the living Father sent me, and I live because of the Father, so whoever feeds on me, he also will live because of me. 58 This is the bread that came down from heaven, not as the fathers ate and died. Whoever feeds on this bread will live forever.” 59 Jesus said these things in the synagogue, as he taught at Capernaum. 60 When many of his disciples heard it, they said, “This is a hard saying; who can listen to it?” 61 But Jesus, knowing in himself that his disciples were grumbling about this, said to them, “Do you take offense at this? . . . After this many of his disciples turned back and no longer walked with him.”

    I have read a lot about this argument and I have sided with protestant theologians who argue in the following way:

    I believe it is seriously flawed. I believe that it is taken out of the context of the entire book of John and bears a burden that it cannot sustain on exegetical and theological grounds.

    There are two reasons why:

    1. Jesus is always being misunderstood. John rarely records Jesus’ correcting the misunderstanding of people.
    The people in John 6 were looking for Christ to provide for them like Moses did and they were not interested in His talk about belief and eating his flesh. Some naturally thought that he was being literal about his statements. It is true, Christ did not correct them. But this is a common theme in the ministry of Christ. As Peter demonstrates, it is only those who stay with him that get the answers for eternal life (John 6:68). Often Christ would speak in parables and not tell any but those who were His true followers (Luke 8:10). The rest He let go in their ignorance since he knew all men and he was not committing himself to them.

    But why didn’t He simply correct their misunderstanding in this case? For the same reason He does not throughout the book of John. He often says things that are open to misinterpretation and then leaves His listeners in their confusion. Notice these examples
    a. John 2:18-21 “The Jews then said to Him, ‘what sign do You show us as your authority for doing these things?’ Jesus answered them, ‘Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.’ The Jews then said, ‘It took forty-six years to build this temple, and will You raise it up in three days?’ But He was speaking of the temple of His body.”
    Notice, Christ was not being literal here yet He did not correct the misunderstanding. This misunderstanding eventually leads to His conviction and death.

    b. John 3:3-4 “Jesus answered and said to him, ‘Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.’ Nicodemus said to Him, ‘How can a man be born when he is old? He cannot enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born, can he?”
    Notice again, Jesus does not correct Nicodemus’ misunderstanding (although, like in John 6, it is obvious to the reader that this is not to be taken literally).

    2. Another important Roman Catholic apologists fail to take into account is that John does not even record the central events of the Last Supper at all. Obviously if we took the Catholic interpretation of John 6 and believed John included this passage to communicate that believers must eat the literal body and blood of Christ in order to have eternal life, you would expect John to have recorded the events that it foreshadows. You would expect John to have a historical record of the Last Supper, the inaugurating meal of the Eucharist. But John does not. What an oversight by John! In fact, John is the only Gospel writer that did not record the Last Supper. Therefore, it is very unlikely that in John’s mind, a literal eating and drinking of Christ body and blood are essential for salvation. Remember John wrote the only book in the NT that explicitly says it is written for the purpose of salvation and he does not even include the Lord’s Supper.

    The brief questions that I have for those who believe that Christ’s words must be taken literally are these which are related:
    Do you take Christ’s words literally when he said “This is my body” (toute estin to soma mou)? If so, since the verb “is” (estin) is in the present tense, do you believe that it was his body at the time of the original Lord’s Supper? If not, why are you at liberty to take it non-literally here, but insist that it is literal otherwise? In other words, how could not be literal here, but be literal after Christ’s death? If so, don’t you think this is a violation of Chalcedon? ~ Dudley Davis ~ another reason why I am now a Presbyterian and no longer a Roman catholic.

    ~ see my note "A" below:

    A:The Definition of the Council of Chalcedon (451 A.D) according to the Center for Reformed Theology. CRTA.

    Therefore, following the holy fathers, we all with one accord teach men to acknowledge one and the same Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, at once complete in Godhead and complete in manhood, truly God and truly man, consisting also of a reasonable soul and body; of one substance with the Father as regards his Godhead, and at the same time of one substance with us as regards his manhood; like us in all respects, apart from sin; as regards his Godhead, begotten of the Father before the ages, but yet as regards his manhood begotten, for us men and for our salvation, of Mary the Virgin, the God-bearer; one and the same Christ, Son, Lord, Only-begotten, recognized in two natures, without confusion, without change, without division, without separation; the distinction of natures being in no way annulled by the union, but rather the characteristics of each nature being preserved and coming together to form one person and subsistence, not as parted or separated into two persons, but one and the same Son and Only-begotten God the Word, Lord Jesus Christ; even as the prophets from earliest times spoke of him, and our Lord Jesus Christ himself taught us, and the creed of the fathers has handed down to us.

    Regarding the Lords supper as I said in the beginning of my post “I now believe the Roman Catholic teaching of transubstantiation is repugnant to the true nature of the sacrament of the Lords Supper as is the ritualistic Roman Catholic mass! It has also led to so many superstitious practices.” ~ Dudley Davis ~
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2018
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  21. Haeralis

    Haeralis Puritan Board Freshman

    Thank you so much for your very thorough and informative response Dudley. Praise God that He in his grace led you to the truth of His Gospel and away from the deception of Rome.

    My heart goes out for my colleagues who are still engrossed in their unbiblical superstitions and traditions. I pray that the LORD will guide them away from Rome and to the Gospel.
  22. DTK

    DTK Puritan Board Junior

    My favorite early Christian statement on the Lord's supper comes from a Bishop of Rome, and is as follows...

    Gelasius, Bishop of Rome (492-496): Surely the sacrament we take of the Lord’s body and blood is a divine thing, on account of which, and by the same we are made partakers of the divine nature; and yet the substance of the bread and wine does not cease to be. And certainly the image and similitude of Christ’s body and blood are celebrated in the action of the mysteries. (Tractatus de duabus naturis 14 [PL Sup.-III. 773]) See Francis Turretin, Institutes of Elenctic Theology, 3 Vols., trans. George Musgrave Giger and ed. James T. Dennison (Phillipsburg: reprinted by Presbyterian and Reformed Publishing Co., 1992), Vol. 3, p. 479 (XVIII.xxvi.xx).
    Latin text: Certe sacramenta, quae sumimus, corporis et sanguinis Christi divina res est, propter quod et per eadem divinae efficimur consortes naturae; et tamen esse non desinit substantia vel natura panis et vini. Et certe imago et similitudo corporis et sanguinis Christi in actione mysteriorum celebrantur. Jacques Paul Migne, Patrologiae Latinae, Tractatus de duabis naturis Adversus Eutychen et Nestorium 14, PL Supplementum III, Part 2:733 (Paris: Editions Garnier Freres, 1964).

    No matter how often a defender of Rome asserts that the same view of the mass has been taught by his communion through the centuries without change, Pope Gelasius denied forthright that the substance of the bread and wine ceases to be. In other words, here is one of their own "infallible" popes denying the concept of transubstantiation. Members of the Roman communion despise this citation, and engage in all kinds of theological "squrims and turns" to deny the import of this pope's meaning. Yet the following Jesuit scholar affirms that Pope Gelasius was indeed denying the concept of transubstantiation...

    Edward J. Kilmartin, S.J.: According to Gelasius, the sacraments of the Eucharist communicate the grace of the principal mystery. His main concern, however, is to stress, as did Theodoret, the fact that after the consecration the elements remain what they were before the consecration. Edward J. Kilmartin, S.J., “The Eucharistic Theology of Pope Gelasius I: A Nontridentine View” in Studia Patristica, Vol. XXIX (Leuven: Peeters, 1997), p. 288.

    In keeping with what the above Jesuit states concerning Gelasius and Theodoret (an eastern father), I offer the following quotes by Theodoret that touch upon the subject...

    Theodoret of Cyrrhus (393-466): Orth. — You are caught in the net you have woven yourself. For even after the consecration the mystic symbols are not deprived of their own nature; they remain in their former substance figure and form; they are visible and tangible as they were before. But they are regarded as what they are become, and believed so to be, and are worshipped as being what they are believed to be. Compare then the image with the archetype, and you will see the likeness, for the type must be like the reality. For that body preserves its former form, figure, and limitation and in a word the substance of the body; but after the resurrection it has become immortal and superior to corruption; it has become worthy of a seat on the right hand; it is adored by every creature as being called the natural body of the Lord. NPNF2: Vol. III, Theodoret, Dialogue II.—The Unconfounded. Orthodoxos and Eranistes.

    Theodoret of Cyrrhus (393-466), commenting on Psalm 110:4: Christ, sprung from Judah according to the flesh, now serves as priest, not himself offering anything but acting as head of the offerers: he calls the Church his body, and in it he as man serves as priest, and as God receives the offerings. The Church offers the symbols of his body and blood, sanctifying all the dough through the firstfruits. FC, Vol. 102, Theodoret of Cyrus: Commentary on the Psalms 73-150, Psalm 110 (Washington D.C.: The Catholic University of America Press, 2001), p. 212.

    Theodoret of Cyrrhus (393-466) commenting on Hebrews 8:4-5: It is clear to those versed in divine things, however, that it is not another sacrifice we offer; rather, we perform the commemoration of the one, saving sacrifice. The Lord himself, remember, required this of us, “Do this in memory of me,” so that we should recall with insight the type of sufferings undergone for us, kindle love for the benefactor and look forward to the enjoyment of the good things to come. Robert Charles Hill, Theodoret of Cyrus: Commentary on the Letters of St. Paul, Vol. 2 (Brookline: Holy Cross Orthodox Press, 2001), pp. 169-170.

    There are many other early church citations I could cull to this end. But over and against what Rome's modern day apologists assert and claim, transubstantiation has not been the constant teaching of the church, not even their own communion, throughout ecclesiastical history. I confess as I grow old, and as my library of the early church fathers has exceeded that of Reformed authors, I can't help but snicker when a Romanist tries to make such historical claims for his communion. They live and breathe the fairy dust of their own never-never land. They are truly to be pitied.

    What they need more than any argument, is for us to continue to declare the biblical gospel to them until the Holy Spirit is pleased to make the God-breathed word effectual to their eternal weel or woe, and pray for them that they may experience the former rather than the latter.
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2018
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  23. DTK

    DTK Puritan Board Junior

    Patrick noted from the Roman CCC...
    The question I've always asked is . . . how can the mass be a re-presentation of the same sacrifice if it is unbloody? Calvary was very bloody. If the manner changes so that it is unbloody, then it cannot be the same sacrifice.
  24. KGP

    KGP Puritan Board Freshman

    It is difficult to argue Catholicism against it's own pronouncements, because for every pronouncement you find an error with, there are five other quotes that can interpret the error in an acceptable manner.

    Greenbaggins is correct when he says it is important for protestants to consider the whole system of Catholicism when engaging every part. Gregg Allison's book is helpful for sure (I am thinking of making a giant chart out of it's points for quick reference).

    There are so many 'big picture issues' with the RCC that I think I will bring up next time I have the chance - I would ask people flirting with Catholicism whether they are ready to consider the whole of the protestant world as void of the workings of the Holy Spirit, and I would ask them to put it in black and white terms, and then make sure they are clear that TRUE catholicism is absolutely exclusive - for all it's talk of separated brethren, and despite what nice friendships may exist between Prots/Cats, at the highest level the RCC cannot and will not ever speak equally of protestants or recognize openly and officially that we are valid. For them to do so would be the end of their religion so to speak. This is a blatant, open, and flagrant sin against God that goes paraded about in the world.

    That to me ought to be the biggest red flag. Protestants can and do recognize the work of God in accord with righteousness and truth across denominational lines; there is an extent to which you have to shut your eyes to that to go Catholic, especially to go deep.
  25. DTK

    DTK Puritan Board Junior

    Well, I think we do them and ourselves an injustice to call them "catholics." There is nothing more anti-catholic than the Roman communion.
  26. greenbaggins

    greenbaggins Administrator Staff Member

    I think, for a Romanist, the answer is simple: transubstantiation makes it bloody. Your objection, while it is one with which I would heartily agree, is based on a Protestant position that the wine does not change into something else. The Romanist does not share that position. On their terms, the essence changes, and the Mass becomes bloody. We might point out that it was often bloody in another way! So, in order to answer the question about whether the Mass is a re-presentation, we have to consider how it relates to the question of transubstantiation. All of Romanism is a connected system.

    You'll get no argument from me on that point!
  27. DTK

    DTK Puritan Board Junior

    I think I understand sufficiently (though certainly not exhaustively) the appeal for "cover" to Aristotelianism categories that enables the Romanist to believe that he has properly robed the Emperor with his new set of clothes, but he nonetheless remains exposed and naked for all to see, except for those drinking the kool-aid served daily in the never-never land of Romanism. That is surely how the Romanist, in his own mind, keeps his cake and eats it too. It's enough to make even Hans Christian Andersen blush.
  28. greenbaggins

    greenbaggins Administrator Staff Member

    I'm sure you do understand, David. I have read the 3-volume work (all of it!) you wrote with Webster exposing the Romanist fallacies on Scripture, and I have a great deal of respect for you and your work. And I agree with your last post. All I was doing was saying that this is how I think the Romanist would respond.
  29. DTK

    DTK Puritan Board Junior

    Lane, you poor soul!
  30. greenbaggins

    greenbaggins Administrator Staff Member

    I refuse to allow you to feel sorry for me. :cool: I really enjoyed it. It is the most thorough treatment of the doctrine of Scripture in the ECF's of which I am aware.
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