We wish to continue with our quotations from Volume II of the Radio Replies by the Fathers Rumble and Carty. It is our desire and wish to expose the Romish desecration of the sacrament of the Lord’s Supper as set forth in its doctrine of transubstantiation, also and particularly as that church attempts to maintain this conception upon the basis of Holy Writ. It is well that we understand the absurdity and wickedness of this conception which is called by our confessions a gross and accursed idolatry.
787. When did it become universal for the priest only to receive Communion under both kinds, and what circumstances led to this law.
“The general law really dates from the Council of Constance in the year 1415. The circumstances leading up to this law were as follows. From the earliest times, Communion was given to the laity under both kinds, or under either kind. The general rule was to give Communion under both kinds, but at times, Communion was given under the form of bread only, or from the chalice only. All admitted that Christ was entirely present under either kind, and never was there any law commanding reception under both kinds by the laity. As years went on, variations in practice arose, and there was no uniformity. The Church permitted local customs to be observed. The custom of giving Communion under the form of bread only, however, become more and more widespread, chiefly for reasons of reverence and convenience. About the twelfth century, however, two erroneous doctrines began to manifest themselves. One declared that the custom of giving Communion under one kind only was a sacrilegious abuse; the other, that Christ was not completely present under either kind. It was the growth of these errors which led the Council of Constance in 1415 to define that the complete Christ is present under either the appearances of bread or the appearances of wine; that the custom of giving Communion under the form of bread only was most reasonably and wisely introduced; and that it is heretical to say that Communion must be given under both kinds. Three years later, in 1418, amongst the list of questions to be put to the Wycliffites and Hussites in order to test their orthodoxy, the following was included: “Do you believe that the custom observed by the universal Church, and approved by the Council of Constance, by which Communion is given to the laity under the form of bread only is to be so observed that no one may condemn it, nor, without the authority of the Church, depart from it?” From this it is clear that the law dates from the beginning of the fifteenth century.”
So, this is where the sophistry of Roman Catholicism leads us. The reason, according to Rome, why it has become universal practice in the Romish Church for the laity to partake only of the bread and not of the wine, is because Christ is entirely present under either kind, the wine and the bread, and therefore when we partake only of the bread we receive the Christ wholly and completely. This is what happens when once Rome has decreed that the bread and wine are changed into the body and blood of the Lord. And we do well to notice also that the questions put to the Wycliffites and Hussites contained also this that this practice adopted by the Romish Church may never be condemned without the authority of the Church, and this, we know, ultimately means without the authority of the pope at Rome. So, purely because of the authority of one man, the pope at Rome, no man may ever condemn this practice or depart from it.
This is not all. Rome concedes that it was the practice among the early Christians to receive Communion under both kinds. Question 788 reads: You admit that the early Christians received Communion under both kinds? And the answer is as follows: “In the early Christian Church it was the normal practice to give Communion under both kinds. But the discretionary power of the Church was in use even then. Sick people, prisoners, and martyrs received Communion under the form of bread only. Infants often received under the form of wine only, a drop or two being placed upon the tongue. All knew that the practice was perfectly valid in these cases, despite the normal custom being otherwise.”
Also of interest are questions 789 and 790. Question 789 reads: Christ gave both in remembrance of Him. And the answer: “Quite so. And both kinds must be used in the commemorative Sacrifice of the Mass. But Communion deals with the Sacramental, not the Sacrificial aspect of the Eucharist. Therefore, St. Paul says, ‘He who eats or drinks unworthily is guilty of the body and of the blood of Christ.’ I Cor. 11:27.”
So, it must be conceded that Christ gave both in remembrance of Him. One might well ask the question: “Why should Christ give both in remembrance of Him if He be wholly present in the bread? If the bread be wholly sufficient, and if, as Rome contends, the blood is also in the body, why would it not have been sufficient for Christ merely to institute the bread as a sign.”
790. If we can receive both body and blood under the one form of bread, why should our Lord have instituted the two forms at all?
“Because the Holy Eucharist was instituted not only as a Sacrament, but also as a Sacrifice, For the Sacramental reception of Christ, one kind only is sufficient, But as a Sacrifice representing the separation of Christ’s body and blood on the Cross, the Eucharist requires the external significance of separate consecration under the solid appearances of bread and the liquid appearances of wine. Though there can be no real separation of Christ’s body and blood, now that He has risen to die no more, the separation which took place on Calvary is symbolized by the apparent separation of the two elements in the separate consecration. Thus, our Lord said, “As often as you do this you shall show the death of the Lord until He come.” I Cor. 11:26. Both kinds are necessary, therefore, for the Sacrifice of the Mass; either kind will do for Sacramental Communion, If a priest offers Mass, he must receive under both kinds; but if he does not wish to say Mass, yet desires to receive Holy Communion, he receives under one kind only, just as the laity, and is quite content to do so.”
So, both kinds, the bread. and wine, are necessary because of the Mass. And the Mass is the sacrifice of Christ which occurs through a priest. And this is necessary because upon the cross of Calvary our Lord gave both, His body and blood. Hence, there would be no real Mass, no real sacrifice if both, the bread and wine, were not present. But, as far as the Eucharist is concerned, our eating of the bread and drinking of the wine, only one kind is sufficient, inasmuch as Christ is completely present in either kind. But, fact remains that our Lord Jesus Christ has commanded His Church to eat of the bread and to drink of the wine. And it is surely most presumptuous on the part of the Church, in fact on the part of one man, such as the pope at Rome, to remove this injunction of the Lord and simply decide that, although the Lord Jesus has commanded His Church to partake of both, it is quite sufficient for the laity to partake only of one.
Of interest are also a few questions that appear in Volume I of these “Radio Replies” by the Fathers Rumble and Carty. Interesting, I am sure, is what we read in Question 859: The Apostles’ Creed, the Athanasian, and the I Nicene do not mention transubstantiation. There is no record of such a doctrine until 1564 when Pius IV put it into his creed. Are we to believe the early Christians, or the doctrine of a thousand years later?
“The doctrine is not in the three Creeds you mention. But they do not contain the whole of Christian doctrine. They are partial statements insisting upon certain doctrines against special errors of those times. It is true that Pius IV included the doctrine in his profession of faith, but you are wrong when you say that there was no mention of the doctrine until then. In 1551, 13 years earlier, the Council of Trent taught the doctrine explicitly. In 1274, 290 years earlier, the 2nd Council of Lyons insisted upon the admission of transubstantiation by the Greeks as a condition of return to the Catholic Church. In 1215, 349 years earlier; the 4th Lateran Council consecrated the word transubstantiation as expressing correctly the Christian doctrine of Christ’s real presence by conversion of the substance of bread into the substance of His body. In 1079, 500 years earlier, Berengarius declared in his retraction, “I acknowledge that the bread is substantially changed into the substance of Christ’s body.” Everybody who possessed the true Christian faith, until this year, 1079, believed in the substantial change, and there was no need to insist upon the word, since no one denied the nature of the change. In the 4th century all the great Fathers and writers admitted that by consecration bread was changed into Our Lord’s very body. Ignatius, Bishop of Antioch, who died about 107 A.D., wrote: “Heretics abstain from the Eucharist because they do not confess the Eucharist to be that very flesh of Jesus Christ which suffered for us.” And that doctrine is all that is expressed by transubstantiation. At the Last Supper Christ said, “This is my body which is given for you.” Luke 22:19. Now He either gave them His body or He did not. But He gave them His Body, for we dare not say, “Lord although you say, ‘This is my body,’ it is certainly not your body.” However it was not His body according to appearances and visible qualities, and it could have been His body only according to substance. Therefore Our Lord first taught this doctrine of substantial change at least implicitly.”
So, our Lord taught this doctrine of substantial change at least implicitly. This certainly means that He did not teach it directly. How strange, is it not, that our Lord, even according to Rome, should not teach this doctrine directly. Besides, what did the disciples eat that night before our Lord’s death upon the cross? Did they eat Christ’s body as it was glorified after His death and resurrection? Do not the words of Christ, if taken literally, simply mean that they ate His body, His flesh? But this does not make sense, and that for the simple reason that He stood before them and His body had as yet not been broken upon the cross. It is evident that the words of Luke 22:19 must be understood symbolically. But, this is not all. We are not too concerned about these words of Ignatius. They can certainly simply mean that the Eucharist is the very flesh of Jesus Christ, symbolically, even as we also read in the Scriptures that Jesus is the door. But, please notice the following. Rome concedes that this doctrine is not mentioned in any of the creeds mentioned in Question 850. And what does Rome quote for proof? All they quote is from certain church councils which are evidently sympathetic to the Romish Catholic position. And when they would quote from the Word of God, from Jesus Christ Himself, all they quote is Luke 22:19, and this text certainly cannot be quoted as Scriptural proof for the Romish doctrine of transubstantiation.