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COMMUNION - UNDER BOTH KINDS

Roman Catholicism says the Blessed Eucharist or the Mass is an act of worship wherein the bread and wine are turned by the priest, who uses the power of God, into the body and blood of Jesus Christ who is true God and true man. To eat and drink this is to partake of holy communion.

The Catholic Church originally gave out communion under the form of bread and wine to the laity. Then it forbade this and gave communion in the form of bread alone. Only the priest could drink the wine that was supposedly the blood of Christ. The Protestant Reformers condemned this practice most vehemently and welcomed the people to receive under both kinds.

Pope Gelasius I decreed that anybody that would not take both kinds should be made to do it or expelled from the Church for taking one kind is a sacrilegious division of the mystery of communion (page 24, The Primitive Faith and Roman Catholic Developments). If the bread is the living resurrected Jesus then you would receive the whole Jesus by the bread alone. Gelasius I is denying this so he was denying that the Eucharist was literally Jesus. It was spiritually Jesus which is the same thing as saying it was symbolically Jesus. Gelasius also said that with the saying of the words of Jesus over the bread and wine to call them the body and blood of Jesus the nature of bread and wine is not changed (Bingham’s Antiquities, book 15, Chapter 5). So they only become symbols.

The Catholic believed and still believes that the complete body, blood, soul and divinity of Jesus, the entire Christ, could be received through either kind alone. The Protestants claimed that communion was incomplete unless the bread was eaten and the wine drunk.

Rome defines sacraments as symbolic rites that really give the grace from God that they picture. For example, the washing involved in baptism pictures God washing away your sin which actually happens according to Roman theology. In Romanism, eating the host and drinking the chalice picture Jesus giving himself as food and drink to the soul. The symbolism is incomplete when you take the bread without taking the chalice. This is against the nature of the sacrament. Sacraments require the symbolism to be performed accurately. Even if Jesus is given completely under the form of bread, the sacrament though effective is still insulted and mutilated.

Even if the wafer or the cup alone is enough to give Jesus, the symbolism of eating the body and drinking the blood needs to be completed by eating and drinking. The Eucharist is more than just a sacrament in Christian theology, it represents gospel truths such as the death of Jesus wherein his body and blood were separated and speaks of him as still alive and to be made present.

And besides when the Church says Jesus commanded taking the chalice its refusal to give the chalice is simply an admission that he was wrong to demand this. You might read in the gospels that he asked his few disciples at the Last Supper to drink but think that it does not mean he expected huge congregations to be given chalices. But the theology of the Church says he was not just speaking to the disciples but to the Church as well. Its shocking how the Catholics can go to Mass and hear Jesus' command to drink the cup and then refuse to do it because they prefer to listen to the Church!

If the wine really becomes the blood of Jesus it is unthinkable that Jesus would ask the Church to, "Take this all of you and drink from it. This is the cup of my blood. It will be poured out for the forgiveness of sins." Spills will happen. The pouring out symbolism indicates that Jesus did not mind if they slurped or spilled. The idea in the symbolism was that the drinking did not forgive sins but the pouring did. They poured it into their mouths. The symbolism was of the cup being poured like the blood of Jesus from his body.

The Church disapproves of Catholics taking the Eucharist wine out of small individual glasses rather than from the chalice even though the purpose is to avoid the exchange of germs. The Church says that using individual glasses ruins the idea that the Church becomes one through drinking the one cup. The amazing thing about this hypocrisy is how that could be forbidden while not giving the wine at all is allowed!

The Catholics base their doctrine on Jesus' teaching in John 6 though it cannot be proved that it refers to the Last Supper. In John 6:51 and 6:58, Jesus says that the person who eats of the bread of life will live forever and have God without mentioning the cup. John 6:51 was said at a point when people could not be blamed for taking Jesus to be talking symbolically. He said he was the bread of life and that to come to him was to eat. So it was symbolism. So Jesus saying we must eat the bread of life it proves nothing for he must have therefore been talking that symbolical way. It was symbolic bread of life he was discussing not communion.

Now to the next verse, 6:58. It occurs in a part Catholics take literally. The Catholics say the Jews seem to have stopped Jesus from talking symbolically in this part and so he is talking literally in this verse. In verse 58 Jesus says the bread that comes down from Heaven is to be eaten so a man can live forever. No cup mentioned. But read the verses previous to it in the allegedly literal section. In them, Jesus had made it clear that the two were needed before therefore he needed only mention one at this verse 58. His hearers would have known or realised later that he did not mean to eliminate the need for the blood. There is no contradiction. He is just trying to be quick. He never said that the bread was enough. If I say you will live if you take tablets a though I know you need tablets b as well that does not mean I am denying that you need tablets b. 

If there is a contradiction in the text then we may solve it by saying that the eat me and drink my blood symbolised the same thing - spiritually assimilating Jesus. Jesus after all was not his blood. He asked us to drink his blood meaning be close to him. If the blood drinking meant that then eating the body means something similar.

This would mean that the passage is not about transubstantiation. This is sufficient proof that there are no grounds to take the passage literally for it might be a contradiction if you do.

Jesus said that the bread he would give was his flesh for the life of the world. Later he said that one must eat his flesh and drink his blood in order to have eternal life.

We have seen that the Roman Catholic Church argues that the bread he would give being his flesh for the world proves that giving communion under the form of bread is sufficient and the Church gives the laity the wafer only.  But the bread and wine could still be needed and communion under one kind forbidden. The Church believes that in the Eucharist Jesus gives the bread which is his body for all and that doesn’t exclude him also giving the cup of his blood for all.

The next Catholic effort to prove that one kind will do is the quotation of 1 Corinthians 11:27 where Paul speaks of evil people who eat the bread or drink the cup being guilty of offending the body and blood of the Lord. This “or” does not necessarily imply what the Catholics said it does. Suppose the two were necessary. Then a miscreant who takes the bread is insulting the body. Then if the miscreant takes the drink he is insulting the blood. There was a lot of abusing of the Lord's Supper going on so some might have been taking the bread and not the cup and vice versa. Also, to insult the body is to insult the blood too for it is insulting a person. To insult the blood is to insult the body for the same reason. The verse fails to refute the Protestant position. It must be realised that to take one insults God for communion is supposed to indicate willingness to serve God by devoting your own body and blood to God by taking the symbolic body and blood of Jesus Christ.

Catholics do not think the or implies what they say it implies for they would hold that nobody would have been taking the bread alone or the wine alone in the situation Paul is dealing with. 

It cannot be proved from the Bible that one kind is enough. Protestants say that Jesus told the apostles to drink the cup so that it is his will that all do so now. Catholics hold that this was a command for the apostles alone. But if Jesus gave the cup to his disciples then he would be for anybody else getting it too. Catholics argued that it is restricted to the celebrant of the Eucharist – but at the Last Supper, Jesus was the celebrant and he shared the cup. Jesus said that the main thing about the bread and wine was that we were to remember him by them. It is unthinkable then that if he wanted to be remembered by this meal that he would allow the cup to be kept from the people.

Catholics used to insist that since the Bible bans sacrilege it by implication commands the cup to be withheld from the laity for it contains the blood of Christ in case it gets spilled. One might object that if that’s a reason then the priest shouldn’t be taking the blood either. Catholics reply that no matter what is done some loss will occur (which is true for the cup has to be wiped and washed and some of the contents will be absorbed by the lips) and to keep it to a minimum the cup is not to be given to the laity. But the priest can say the words of Jesus over the cup without intending to turn the portion that will be lost into Jesus. Better to keep the loss to a minimum which the Catholics say they do but don’t do. If the priest may drain the chalice so may the people.

If Jesus really intended to feed us with himself and the doctrine that eating the wafer is enough then he would not have turned the wine into himself for no self-respecting God would do unnecessary miracles.

Jesus claimed that his miracles were all sensible. If Jesus turned wine into his blood to be our drink then he was wasting his time and energy if he could really be received whole and entire under either kind alone. Then the bread would be enough and there would be no need to change the wine into blood. The miracles of Jesus imply that the Catholic doctrine is anti-scriptural.

Today, Catholics are allowed to have communion the two ways. Sacrilege, though it is not called that, is allowed now. If Jesus meant to become our food and drink he certainly would not have wanted people to take the chalice for it would be unholy and disrespectful.

Coeliacs cannot take the wafer for health reasons so they have to take the wine. Catholics might argue that when Jesus told all people to eat him when he said he gave his flesh for the world he would have meant, “To drink the blood is to consume my body because it is in it as well to coeliacs can eat me that way.” When Jesus said we are to eat him and to drink his blood in John 6 and if he knew about coeliacs then it is obvious that John 6 is not connected with the Last Supper at all. It cannot be used to prove stuff about whether it is right to believe both kinds will do or not.

What about recovering alcoholic priests who will fall off the wagon if they taste communion wine? Catholics would have to punish them for quitting by banning them from saying Mass or permitting them to let someone drain the cup for them – a practice which they have forbidden.

Protestants must ask themselves if communion is incomplete under one kind then what happens if you eat the bread one day and don’t take the cup until the day after? Does time make any difference? When you take the second element the sacrament happens though nothing happens if you just take the one.

If Jesus is in the bread it is hard to believe that only half of him would be there and that you need to drink the wine to receive the other half.

And what about a person who has no stomach like a bomb victim whose body has been half blown away? Are we to believe that the Eucharistic Christ has no sympathy for them for they cannot receive his body?

It is very possible that Jesus used unfermented wine at the Last Supper for nowhere in the Bible does it say that wine is needed for communion (page 10, Should Christians Drink Wine?). Alcohol is poison so it is hard to see why Jesus would use poison as a symbol of his life-giving blood. There is a total difference between juice and wine for the chemical transformation is thorough. If you could use wine when you were meant to use grape juice you might as well use water. When the Eucharist is not valid when water is used then it is likely that it is invalid when wine is used for the most the Bible would mean when it requires the fruit of the vine would be fresh unfermented wine.

Romanism says that Masses said with wine that is not the product of the grape, say blackcurrant wine etc, are invalid. Jesus will not turn the bread and wine into himself for the wrong wine is used. Materials matter more than God in this theology!
 
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The Web
Transubstantiation, Is it a True Doctrine?
http://www.geocities.com/christian_apologist2001/