Do we prevent somebody being hurt by superstition or faith by rejecting and challenging those things? 

Is it mistaken to support organised religion in membership or donations?

If people do good because they are human, not because God prompts them then is it right to risk giving God any credit when they alone own their good?

 


CATHOLIC HOLY COMMUNION INSULTS COMMONSENSE
 
Transubstantiation is magical and occultic and pagan. The Church says that superstition is any religious doctrine that is harmful or which intends harm. Superstition feeds on error and stupidity and fear. If transubstantiation were solely about turning us more into the holy man Jesus Christ it might dodge the suspicion of superstition. But the eating and drinking of communion is only a small part of the whole doctrine.
 
The Church believes the following.
 
Jesus can have one body and God by bending the laws of space and time can make that body present on altars all over the world without multiplying it. It is a case of being in several places at once. If God is everywhere then it can be made to happen. He can make the body of Christ omnipresent. God made the laws of space so he could change them to get a big man into the tiny host and every particle of it. Jesus can be in more than one place at a time because God who makes one space separate from another can create some kind of warp to put the space occupied by Jesus’ body in Heaven in every part of the host. We don’t even understand time and space if we are honest so we can’t pretend to know if these changes in them are possible.
 
The presence of Jesus's body and blood in the Eucharist is said to be like how my soul is in every part of my body. Just as my soul is totally and equally in every bit of my body so Jesus is totally and equally present in each part of the Eucharist. Thus Jesus is not broken or divided when communion wafers are divided.
 
The two are not the same. Jesus' presence in the Eucharist is a presence in what is no longer alive. My soul is in my living body. My soul is not there because my body has been transubstantiated.
 
A soul is not a body. So the Catholics speak of Jesus's body being present everywhere in the wafer or wine. Really what the Catholics are doing is saying the bread and wine get a soul - Jesus'.
 
The human soul is seen as an immaterial reality - its real but consists of no material thing. The soul is outside of space. Thus talk of it being everywhere in the body is rubbish. And few philosophers today think that the notion of having a soul makes any sense.
 
If bread gets Jesus' soul then it follows that Jesus has become bread! To worship the Eucharist as Catholics do is to worship bread and wine!
 
How can bread be really Jesus now when no change in the bread can be detected? The Church says that for any created thing there are two things to think about. One is substance. Substance means the reality. The other is appearance or accident. Substance is what makes a thing what it is. Take a loaf. It is as much bread as the smallest crumb and the smallest crumb is as much bread as the loaf. This is because of substance. The appearance or accident of the loaf could be its being a half a foot long to take one example. You can change the accident by cutting the loaf in half but it remains a loaf. You can make the loaf look like plasticine which is changing another appearance or accident but it remains a loaf.
 
Substance is what can exist on its own or by itself. An appearance or accident is something that can only exist in a substance. You can't smell a smell by itself. You cannot see half a foot long by itself. Substance means you can never see what something is in itself. You can cut a loaf down to the tiniest possible crumb but all you will sense is the outside of the crumb. An appearance or accident is what appears to the senses. A loaf may have the accident of warmth to the touch, its brown colour to the eye, its smell to the nose, its taste of bread to the mouth and it may sound like bread when we cut it. The loaf is more than what we can sense about it. Substance is about that mysterious more.
 
Substance is like a spirit. Substance has no parts. The spirit sends information to the senses. This information is the accidents.
 
Substance exists by itself or on its own. Accidents or appearances don't. So the colour red cannot exist by itself. It has to exist in a substance. If you describe something as a red apple then it follows that the substance must cause the redness. This suggests that the redness and the substance are inseparable and it is madness to suggest that an apple or piece of bread can become Jesus Christ without any detectable physical change. The accidents and the substance together determine what the object is. If only substance is necessary then it follows that there could be bread going about with no accidents at all.
 
When you change the accidents of something, you can change it into something else. Water mixed into flower becomes bread in the oven. Yet if substance is non-physical and the accidents are physical this should be impossible. In other words, changing the accidents should not change the substance if the substance is separate from the accidents.
 
Substance is merely an idea that Catholicism mistakes for a reality. It is like having a hundred pieces of crockery glued together to make a vase. If you say that the number 100 somehow is the vase you are confusing the fact that you have the idea of one hundred with the composition of the vase. It is not the vase but only an idea you have about the vase. The Jesus of the Catholics is just an idea they have about the bread and wine and they mistake the idea for the real Jesus.
 
Even if substance and accidents are distinct they are not separate. Nor can they be separated.
 
If substance causes the accidents then transubstantiation is untrue and impossible.
 
The doctrine of transubstantiation implies that the body of Jesus is actually a spiritual or non-physical thing. The accidents are not the body of Jesus. For example, his skin colour, the warmth of his body are not him but the appearances of him. This is the blasphemy that is condemned in 1 John 4:2-3 which condemns those who deny that Jesus came in the flesh as antichrists and marks the Catholic Church as Antichrist. The body of Jesus then was not nailed to the cross. The accidents were nailed not the body. This is the same as the Catholic doctrine that if you desecrate a consecrated communion wafer you only harm the accidents or appearances of bread not the body of Christ though the wafer is the body of Christ. This is the same heresy as the Docetist heresy that the early Church was nearly destroyed by. They denied that Christ was really a bodily being.
 
The Church asserts that strictly speaking Jesus is not locally present in the Eucharist (page 21, Roman Catholic Claims). This means that though it is Jesus himself he is not literally present on the altar in the sense that he is still in Heaven but through a space-warp his presence in Heaven is made available in the host. It is hard to understand this unless you devour a lot of science fiction. And it is perhaps logically acceptable so far. One thing is for sure, those priests who do not think in terms of space-warps are really believing that Jesus is not the host at all! The space-warp idea only came into vogue lately and was not known or even thought of before the scientific advances of the twentieth century. Thus it follows that until it became more popular, priests did not believe in the conversion of the bread and wine in any intelligible or possible sense at all. The denial of a local presence means that it is Jesus in Heaven who is present in the host and he does not move to come to it. Most Catholics see the presence as local and cannot understand the repudiation of the local presence. The vast majority adore a Jesus they think is in the bread who is a duplication of the one in Heaven. This makes many Christians who are not Catholics hold that this is idolatry and the worship of another Jesus is the fruit of the Mass so the Mass is from Hell.
 
The Catholic claims that substance is something kind of spiritual, you can’t measure substance and you cannot detect any substantial change in the Eucharist when it becomes Jesus. They say that Jesus is present in the Eucharist and how he is able to fit into it is because he is present by his substance and substance has nothing to do with size. In proof of this they argue that that because substance has nothing to do with size a crumb of bread can be as much bread as a loaf of bread is. It helps them say that Jesus is as much present in a big host as he is in a tiny crumb of communion wafer (page 183, Christian Order). Now if Jesus isn’t locally present in communion then you can argue that the diamond on your ring isn’t really present there. The appearance of the diamond is there but the diamond isn’t. The idea of transubstantiation makes commonsense useless.
 
They say that a green cube is not its size, its weight, its colour and the sound it makes when it falls but there is something else that makes it a cube that is not material. This is absurd. There is more to a cube than what we can sense for we can never fathom everything fully. The Church uses this idea to instil the notion of substance being distinct from accidents. But it does not indicate that substance is what the Church says it is. The reason there is more to a cube than what we sense is that we cannot know everything about it. We cannot know how much iron or whatever is in it. A substance in the Catholic sense would be the main component of a thing. It makes the thing what it is and determines if it will be blue or whatever. Thus even if substance is distinct from appearance there is no reason to think that the substance can be changed without the appearances changing for what is distinct is not the same as what is separate. So if God turns bread into Jesus perhaps the substance and appearances of bread are destroyed and are replaced by new appearances when the substance is changed. Rome rejects this view saying that the appearances of bread remain. Religion says that God cannot make 1+1=3. But if transubstantiation is true then he can show you one apple which is two apples. He has turned the substance of one apple into the substance of two so there are two apples. God can make one equal to two. Religion might answer that there are really two apples when there appears only to be one so there is no contradiction. The trouble is that this means our sums are all guesses. This is as bad as saying mathematics is all guesses. And when substance is spiritual and when God is all love and all knowledge though he cannot be both it means that God can fuse two spiritual substances so that they are two and yet one just as love and knowledge are not the same but are one and not one in him. The transubstantiation concept does destroy logic. Even God cannot do the miracle for he is the one that set up the laws of mathematics and he will only do miracles that do not contradict these laws – remember the Christians say that the idea of God changing natural law by working a miracle is not absurd.
 
Transubstantiation is totally impossible. It is impossible even for God to turn the substance of bread into Jesus for when you turn something into something else you take A and give it a new form but you do not destroy A but alter it. But bread becoming Jesus is total insanity. The idea of transubstantiation implies that God is making Jesus’ body out of the substance of bread! The doctrine implies that Jesus needs the substance of bread to be turned into him which is a mistake for he has a substance of his own.
 
Perhaps the substance of bread is not given a new form but replaced with the substance of Jesus. It is annihilated and replaced. By no stretch of logic can it be possible for this to be transubstantiation which is by definition converting one substance into another (page 17, Critiques of God).
 
The reason Aquinas rejected the idea that the bread substance disappears and is replaced by Jesus’ is because he rejected the idea that when the host moves Jesus moves for Jesus is not exercising a local presence. He is still in Heaven but the bread and wine make such a link with him there that they are him. This is the reason the Catholic Church rejected the idea of substantial annihilation and replacement.
 
The real reason the Church rejected the notion of a local presence is that it would make the religions of the world howl with laughter to hear how Jesus fell when the deacon dropped him on Sunday at Mass.
 
Transubstantiation has the substance of bread changing into the substance of Jesus. The theory of annihilation denies transubstantiation. It speaks of the bread and wine being annihilated and ceasing to exist so that Jesus takes their place in the form of bread and wine.
 
But only annihilation and replacement are necessary. It solves the ridiculous problem of Jesus using bread and wine to make himself - that is what transformation means. Why would Jesus need to do that?
 
The change idea is impossible. Even bread vanishing and Jesus taking its place and still looking like bread is less impossible!
 
We know that there was no way the first people who allegedly testified to the bread and wine being literally the body of Jesus and his blood need have had transubstantiation in mind for as we have seen the annihilation theory is an alternative. They would not have cared about the details as long as it was believed the consecrated bread and wine were the body and blood of Christ. The doctrine of transubstantiation was certainly an invention of the Church and was not implied by scripture or earliest tradition even if they did advocate the idea that the Eucharist was flesh and blood for they were sacramentally the flesh and blood of Jesus but not literally the flesh and blood of Jesus. The idea that bread changes into Jesus the same way as flour becomes bread is too crazy for anybody in their right mind to believe but that is what the Catholics are believing. St Gregory of Nazianzus had a sister called Gorgonia. She took Holy Communion in the form of bread and wine and rubbed them into her skin to get a healing (page 51, Martin Luther). This was in the fourth century and the Church eulogised the healing that resulted. Had they believed in a literal transformation rather than a sacramental or symbolic one, this would not have happened nor would the Church have liked the story.
 
Logic cannot accept that God will confine himself to changing just some food into the body and blood of Jesus, meaning the bread and wine of communion. When God performs this astounding miracle it is obvious that it must be a very important one for his people. But if his people need it that badly then he should turn all the food they swallow into his son and any food that is lost or regurgitated could be re-converted into ordinary food. The notion of restricted transubstantiation belittles the love and wisdom of God.
 
If God really turned bread and wine into Jesus he would do it when they are safely in the stomach of the devout believer and not before in case a sinner receives the body and blood of Jesus (if that is really a sacrilege as Bible and Church allege) and in case they are lost or sacrilegiously thrown away. The stomach would be a safer place for the body and blood of Jesus to be. If the body and blood of Jesus are desecrated then it is God’s fault and God is an accomplice in the crime. It is no use saying that the bread and wine become Jesus upon the recital of the dominical words, “This is my body/blood”, for our adoration for we could adore Jesus inside ourselves. It would give us a stronger sense of the value of the human person and their sacredness than anything else. We conclude that if we can defile the Eucharistic body and blood then God is evil and if God is good then the bread and wine do not become Jesus until they are inside the communicant.
 
Unfortunately, this fact cannot be taken as evidence that Jesus did not mean it literally when he called the bread and wine his body and blood at the Last Supper for he may have done so as the disciples ate and drank them. Mark 14:23 says they took the wine first and then he said it was his blood. The words, “Take this is my body/blood”, do not prove that he said this before they ate or drank. There could have been a pause while they ate or drank. They could have been a pause while they ate or drank between the take and eat or drink bits and for “This is my body/blood”.
 
It is startling but true that other Roman dogmas infer that eating Jesus would be pointless even if he is God. His body is not assimilated by my body but only the appearance of bread is. It isn’t assimilated by the soul either for it is an immaterial reality that can’t have parts added to it. It is mind so it can only feed on grace – God’s supernatural help - but grace can be given without the body of Christ. It is not the body and blood of Jesus that feed but the grace that they bring. The miracle of transubstantiation is a useless one.
 
God has no need to turn food and drink into Christ for he dwells in us and all we need for our spiritual food is his grace, his help or his presence. In themselves, Jesus’ flesh and blood cannot spiritually nourish us – only God’s grace in them can. Rome does admit this as we have seen. So if God performs the miracle of transubstantiation he does ridiculous and unnecessary miracles. Rome objects saying that it is not a pointless miracle for it fulfils some divine purpose and that the idea of Jesus being literal food may be better for us psychologically than a purely symbolic Eucharist. It makes us more interested. This “mysterious purpose” reply is unacceptable for the same could be said about any silly-looking miracle. It makes it possible that God miraculously framed someone for murder for a strange purpose for if it is true then any far-fetched miracle-story could be true and when we believe one we put ourselves under a moral obligation to believe all such stories. If Jesus forbade credulity he forbade belief in transubstantiation. God does not buy the excuse that when an idol is smashed that the god allowed it to happen for a mysterious purpose. He argued that because idols are helpless they are not gods. The same must apply to the helpless communion wafer.
 
Conclusion
 
The doctrine of transubstantiation is as meaningless as talk about square triangles. Bread is the physical components that make it up. We call the mixture of flour and butter and water that is heated in the oven bread. Bread is a label that we put on the materials. It is an abstract label. It's just a name. The Church mistakes the name for substance which is thought to be separable from the physical components. The Church commits the error of reification - that is, it mistakes an abstract idea for a material or real thing. Transubstantiation leads to the grossest form of idolatry. It is bad enough to worship a statue because you think a spirit lives in it but it is worse to say the idol is not stone or whatever it is made of but the body of a God. To say it is the body is to go as close as you can go to worshipping stones and sticks. That is because it makes no sense to say bread is now Jesus and isn't bread anymore. Transubstantiation is the ultimate in human degradation - and it is worsened again when it is food and drink that is the idol not a golden statue! No idolater has ever worshipped gold just as a thing but because they thought there was a God in it. Catholicism is extreme idolatry.
 
BOOKS CONSULTED 
 
Apologetics and Catholic Doctrine, Book 2, Most Rev M Sheehan DD, MH Gill & Son, Dublin, 1954
Apologetics for the Pulpit, Aloysius Roche, Burns Oates & Washbourne Ltd, London, 1950
Born-Again Catholics and the Mass, William C Standridge Independent Faith Mission, North Carolina, 1980
Catholicism and Fundamentalism, Karl Keating, Ignatius Press, San Francisco, 1988
Christian Order Vol 36 8-9 and Christian Order Vol 36 Number 4 53 Penerley Road, Catford, London 1995
Confession of a Roman Catholic, Paul Whitcomb, TAN, Illinois, 1985
Critiques of God, Edited by Peter A Angeles (Religion and Reason Section), Prometheus Books, New York, 1995
Documents of the Christian Church, edited by Henry Bettenson, Oxford University Press, Oxford, 1979
Encyclopedia of Theology, Edited by Karl Rahner, Burns and Oates, London, 1977
Eucharist, Centre of Christian Life, Rod Kissinger SJ, Liguori Publications, Missouri, 1970
Fifty Years in the Church of Rome, Fr Charles Chiniquy, Chick Publications, Chino, 1985
Is Jesus Really Present in the Eucharist? Michael Evans, Catholic Truth Society, London, 1986
Handbook to the Controversy with Rome, Vol 2, Karl Von Hase MD, The Religious Tract Society, London, 1906
Hard Sayings, FF Bruce, Hodder and Stoughton, London, 1983
Living in Christ, A Dreze SJ, Geoffrey Chapman, London-Melbourne, 1969
Martin Luther, Richard Marius, Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, Cambridge, Massachusetts, 1999
Papal Sin, Structures of Deceit, Garry Wills, Darton Longman and Todd, London, 2000
Radio Replies, Vol 2, Frs Rumble and Carty, Radio Replies Press, St Paul, Minnesota, 1940
Roman Catholic Claims, Charles Gore, MA, Longmans, Green & Co, London, 1894
Salvation, The Bible and Roman Catholicism, William Webster, Banner of Truth, Edinburgh, 1990
Secrets of Romanism, Joseph Zaccello, Loizeaux Brothers, New Jersey, 1984
The Catechism of the Catholic Church, Veritas, Dublin, 1995
The Early Church, Henry Chadwick, Pelican, Middlesex, 1987
The Mass, Sacrifice and Sacrament, William F Dunphy, CSSR, Liguori Publications, Missouri, 1986
The Primitive Faith and Roman Catholic Developments, Rev John A Gregg, APCK, Dublin, 1928
The Student’s Catholic Doctrine, Rev Charles Hart BA, Burns & Oates, London, 1961
This is My Body, This is My Blood, Bob and Penny Lord, Journeys of Faith, California, 1986
Why Does God…? Domenico Grasso SJ, St Pauls, Bucks, 1970
 
The Web
Transubstantiation, Is it a True Doctrine?
http://www.geocities.com/christian_apologist2001/