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Book 4 Chapter 18
 
It appears that St. Irenaeus wrong here. It sounds to me like he speaks of consubstantiation. What's the deal there?
 
For as the bread, which is produced from the earth, when it receives the invocation of God, is no longer common bread, but the Eucharist, consisting of two realities, earthly and heavenly; so also our bodies, when they receive the Eucharist, are no longer corruptible, having the hope of the resurrection to eternity.
IbiPetrus Wrote:Book 4 Chapter 18
 
It appears that St. Irenaeus wrong here. It sounds to me like he speaks of consubstantiation. What's the deal there?
 
For as the bread, which is produced from the earth, when it receives the invocation of God, is no longer common bread, but the Eucharist, consisting of two realities, earthly and heavenly; so also our bodies, when they receive the Eucharist, are no longer corruptible, having the hope of the resurrection to eternity.

I don't see anything necessarily wrong with this statement, although I can see where this may cause confusion.  But remember there was a development of the doctrine of the Real Presence.  Not that it was never believed, which would be heretical to say so, but simply that it took centuries for theologians to formulate precisely the definition of this doctrine. And if I am not mistaken the use of the term transubstantiation was only "canonized" in the year 1215 A.D..  St. Irenaeus could not have possibly believed in consubstantiation as Luther did, if he did then he would have been a heretic which would be absurd.
 
Also, there is the possibility of taking this passage out of context from the rest of his writings.
IbiPetrus Wrote:For as the bread, which is produced from the earth, when it receives the invocation of God, is no longer common bread, but the Eucharist, consisting of two realities, earthly and heavenly; so also our bodies, when they receive the Eucharist, are no longer corruptible, having the hope of the resurrection to eternity.

 
St. Irenaeus' statement may well be wrong.  He was an Eastern Catholic, and the Easterners have never been very keen on defining things so precise as "transubstantiation."  It's always been the West that wanted to make those kinds of definitions.
 
For St. Irenaeus, it would seem to be enough to understand that Christ is really present in the elements.  Although, we can explain this in an orthodox way: the Eucharist does contain two "realities," heavenly and earthly - the accidents are real, but earthly; the substance is real, but heavenly.
 
Now, what's really tricky is explaining Pope Gelasius:
 
"Sacred Scripture, testifying that this Mystery began at the start of the blessed Conception, says; 'Wisdom has built a house for itself', rooted in the solidity of the sevenfold Spirit. This Wisdom ministers to us the food of the Incarnation of Christ through which we are made sharers of the divine nature. Certainly the sacraments of the Body and Blood of Christ that we receive are a divine reality, because of which and through which we 'are made sharers of the divine nature'. Nevertheless the substance or nature of bread and wine does not cease to exist. And certainly the image and likeness of the Body and Blood of Christ are celebrated in the carrying out the Mysteries." (Pope Gelasius I, On the Two Natures, Against Eutchyes and Nestorius)

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All of these can be easily explained by saying "they are speaking of the accidents." Even Pope Gelasius' statement can be interpreted in this way, even though he is very specific and would seem to be in error there.
Quote: Nevertheless the substance or nature of bread and wine does not cease to exist.

But if the nature of the bread and wine ceased to exist completely, there would not be any accidents to perceive.
 
It still looks and tastes like 'natural' bread and wine.
 
Oddly, there has only been one man in the East who denied this dogma, while in the West there have been countless men who did so.  This is likely why mysterium fidei is in the Western forms, but not in all the Eastern ones.  This is also why, in the West, there has been a tendency toward ever-more-precise definitions of this dogma.
gladius_veritatis Wrote:But if the nature of the bread and wine ceased to exist completely, there would not be any accidents to perceive.  

 
Except he said "substance," not just "nature."
 
And this appears to run flat contrary to what Trent dogmatically defined:
 
Quote:Because Christ our Redeemer said that it was truly his body that he was offering under the species of bread, it has always been the conviction of the Church of God, and this holy Council now declares again, that by the consecration of the bread and wine there takes place a change of the whole substance of the bread into the substance of the body of Christ our Lord and of the whole substance of the wine into the substance of his blood. This change the holy Catholic Church has fittingly and properly called transubstantiation.
 
It's difficult because it seems like it can't really be said that "it has always been the conviction of the Church of God," etc.  I understand that Pope Gelasius is only one man, but still ... if transubstantiation has "always been the conviction of the Church" it seems a little strange that a Roman Pontiff wasn't aware of it.
 
I need to get my hands on an original copy of the text to see what he actually said.
lumengentleman Wrote: Except he said "substance," not just "nature."
 
He said substance or nature, and he was likely not using "substance" in the strict, scholastic manner the Fathers of Trent did.
 
Quote:And this appears to run flat contrary to what Trent dogmatically defined:
 
But Trent was hundreds of years later (if not over 1000).  He cannot be held accountable for not adhering to a dogmatic definition that did not yet exist, nor for talking in a manner that seems "contradictory" to the subsequent dogmatic definition.
 
Quote:I need to get my hands on an original copy of the text to see what he actually said.

 
This is a good idea, lumen.  Please let us know what you find out.  God speed.
 
Either way, I know the God-man revealed this dogma, the Church teaches it, and always has; the language has simply become even more exact as the ages have passed.