Monday, November 13, 2006

Heresy of Heresies!

More on the Free Church of England/Reformed Episcopal Declaration of Principles:

This Church CONDEMNS and REJECTS the following erroneous and strange doctrines as contrary to God's Word:

That the Presence of Christ in the Lord's Supper is a presence in the elements of Bread and Wine

Oh my! What novel protestant nonsense is this? Obviously, a clear rejection of the “real and objective presence” of Christ in the Eucharist. . .well, not quite.

Let’s see if there are some other “reputable sources” we could quote that make the very same point:

Saint Thomas Aquinas:

“That one body should be at the same time locally in two different
places is not possible, even by a miracle. Therefore, the Body of Christ is not on the altar locally.”

Scriptum in Sent., lib. IV., dist. 44, ques. 2, art. 2, ad quar.

“A body is in place where its dimensions are commensurate with the dimensions of the place; and according to this, the Body of Christ is not present except in one only place, that is in heaven (secundum hoc corpus Christi non est nisi in uno loco tantum, scilicet in coelo).”

Ibid. lib. IV., dist. 10, ques. 1, art. 1, ad quin.

“It is impossible that the Body of Christ should be made present under the Sacrament by a local motion, because if this were so, it would follow that the Body of Christ would cease to be in heaven whenever the Sacrament was celebrated.”

Contra Gentiles, lib. IV., cap. 63.

“In no way is the Body of Christ locally in this Sacrament.”

Summa, III. 76. 5.

Vernon, on the doctrine of the Council of Trent:

“Not only may the body of Christ under the symbols be called a spiritual body, and Christ himself a spirit, but the body of Christ may be said to be under the symbols in a spiritual manner or spiritually, and not in a natural or corporal manner, that is neither corporally nor carnally.”

Regula Fidei. Ed. Brunner, p. 108

William Temple, Archbishop of Canterbury:
By means of the Bread He is present to our souls. He is not locally in the elements. ‘Corpus Christi non est in hoc sacramento sicut in loco’ is the explicit declaration of St. Thomas Aquinas. . .”

Christus Veritas, p 239.


Anonymous said...

bravo, cleric.

ever try abbot vonier's key to the doctrine of the eucharist? thoroughly thomistic; i.e., moderate and keenly sacramental theology. if more people knew what the best romans really taught, we might all get on better.


Rev. Dr. Hassert said...

If Anglicans knew there own theology as well as the theology of the East and Rome, and knew where the real differences were, dialogue would more constructive all around.

I will have to look into that text. I actually like Aquinas and his logic, but the attempt to make it "the theory" of the Eucharist is still troublesome historically and ecumenically. I think it ought to be one theory considered among many, but no theory can completely explain the Presence of Christ in the Holy Eucharist.

Anonymous said...

"no theory can . . ."

I agree. Of course not. No theory can completely explain anything. Only in the beatific vision is all revealed. I am not interested in propounding a theory so much as holding to the tradition (real presence) in manner free from contradiction.

Rev. Dr. Hassert said...

Excellent point; I agree--this is why I appreciate Aquinas regarding this matter. I also write in the area of ethics, and in both areas I apply many Thomist principles. I think Abp. W. Temple remains faithful to many of the principles of Aquinas while seeking to "update" the language.

Anonymous said...

I have long ago jettisoned any notion of holding empirically and publically revealed, specific Christian revelation free from strict logical contradition:

First, it is a completely unnecessary concern or worry. Indeed, God created the world and reason according to his Logos, with which he did not necessarily imbue our intellect. Thus HUMAN principles of logic, reason, dialectic, and noncontradiction do not necessarily apply to divine mysteries.

Second, flowing from my first point, the process of holding divine mysteries in noncondradiction (if not total understanding) is an oxymoron. Once a mystery is explained as noncontradictory, it has become rationalized and is no longer a mystery. Of course, many great thinkers disagrees with me on this point (Western Schoolmen), but many more Eastern Fathers do agree with me.

Third, the whole western noncontraditiction concern is dangerous to lethal to living faith. Indeed, once the Trinity or Incarnation or the Real Presense is explained as noncontradictory, a lot of the air is let out of the ball, even assuming if I give you (which I do not) the point that some mystery remains (what exactly?). And, if specific Christian revelation is rational in human terms, it merely becomes just another department at univeristy along with biology and maths, etc. Hasn't this been the Western experience -- the marginilization of the "scientific" Christianity by the "Englightenment" and the "Renaissance?"

Just some thoughts based on the Eastern Fathers (which all predate Augustine and subsequent Augustinian-based schoolasticism). Indeed, I have always that the astonishing popularity of Pentecostal and Charasmatic Movements in the West represent a collective noetic urge of the laity to recover mystery. Indeed, I think it is a fact that members of thes movements that also desire liturgy are much more likely to join Eastern Churches than Anglicanism
and Catholicism. That should tell us something.


Mark said...

Very astute observations from Death Bredon. For all their inadequacies, Charismatics and Pentecostalists are far more open to sacramentalism and the numinous than their ossified Reformed brethren.

S. M. Hutchen's of Touchstone see's the phenomenom of Charismata's remarkable growth as a perfectly understandable reaction to the dryness of Protestant scholasticism and the remorselessly cold, inaccesible God it propounds. I think he's on to something