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Eucharist doctrine of the Roman Church
Question from Andrew Murphy on 11/27/2001:

Dear Sirs:

Does not the doctrine of transubstantiation developed by St. Aquinas run contrary to the truths established by the Council of Chalcedon in AD 451?

The Council says that Jesus has two natures, "truly God and Truly man, without confusion, without change, without division, without seperation." The Council condemned as hersey the philosophy of Eutychianism which said that Jesus'did not have two seperate natures' which were "without confusion"

Thus, it seems to me if we believe in the formula developed by Aquinas, by using Aristotelian logic, that the wine and bread during the Mass transubstantiates into the actually blood and body of Jesus does this not mix the seperate natures of Christ?

If Christ is truly man and truly God "without confusion", how can a truly human man in heaven be chopped into bits and distributed throughout the world everyday?

Any help on clearing up this would be much appreciated.

Yours in Christ,

Andrew

Answer by Catholic Answers on 11/28/2001:

1) Christ is not chopped up into bits. His human nature remains whole and intact at all time. It is merely made present under the appearances of bread and wine. This is multilocation, not disection.

2) Multilocation is not an attribute of divinity. In his divinity, Christ is omnipresent, not multilocal. His human nature is made multilocal by a miracle, not by a fusion of his two natures. If God wanted, he could make any one of us multilocal (and, indeed, he has allowed some saints to bilocate).

3) Because multilocation is not produced by a fusion of Christ's human nature with his divine nature, there is no confusion in the two natures.

4) Aquinas did not develop the doctrine of transubstantiation. It would be kind of hard for him to do so since the doctrine had already been infallibly defined in 1215, ten years before Aquinas was even born. And it was taught all the way back through history before the cause for its definition arise.

5) It isn't the "Roman Church." This is prejudicial language that was designed by Protestants to be offensive to Catholics (and it is). "The Roman Church" means the local diocese of Rome, Italy. The Church to which the diocese of Rome belongs is called the Catholic Church.

James Akin

Catholic Answers

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