Crossed The Tiber

An Evangelical Converts to Catholicism

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Location: Pennsylvania, United States

I was born into the Catholic faith. At 14, I was "born again" and found Jesus personally but lost His Church. After thirty years as an evangelical protestant, I have come full circle to find that He has been there all the time, in the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church. I wish others to find the beauty and truth of the Catholic faith as I have found.

Sunday, January 01, 2012

Luther Used Sacred Tradition to Defend The Eucharist

Who, but the devil, has granted such license of wresting the words of the holy Scripture? Who ever read in the Scriptures, that my body is the same as the sign of my body? or, that is is the same as it signifies? What language in the world ever spoke so? It is only then the devil, that imposes upon us by these fanatical men. Not one of the Fathers of the Church, though so numerous, ever spoke as the Sacramentarians: not one of them ever said, It is only bread and wine; or, the body and blood of Christ is not there present.
Surely, it is not credible, nor possible, since they often speak, and repeat their sentiments, that they should never (if they thought so) not so much as once, say, or let slip these words: It is bread only; or the body of Christ is not there, especially it being of great importance, that men should not be deceived. Certainly, in so many Fathers, and in so many writings, the negative might at least be found in one of them, had they thought the body and blood of Christ were not really present: but they are all of them unanimous.

Regarding the Eucharist he also said: "For it is dangerous and dreadful to hear or believe anything against the unanimous testimony, faith, and doctrine of the entire holy Christian Church, as it has been held unanimously in all the world up to this year 1500."

So when sola scriptura was no longer helping Luther resolve the issue of whether or not the Eucharist is indeed the body and blood of Christ, he resorted to the Church Fathers and their unanimous consent in upholding the belief in the Real Presence.

At the end of the day, either the Eucharist is the body and blood of Christ (validly confected) or it is the doctrine of devils. Why would a small disparate group of reformers who broke away from the Church of the apostles be correct on this doctrine using their personal interpretation of scripture while all of Christendom for 1500 years stumbled around in the dreary cloud of doctrinal darkness believing a false and heterodox fable? It doesn't follow logic that the earliest Christians were incorrect about Eucharistic theology, (including those who were discipled by Jesus  himself ) but Zwingli and Bucer and Calvin got it right!

Renowned Protestant historian of the early Church J. N. D. Kelly, writes: "Eucharistic teaching, it should be understood at the outset, was in general unquestioningly realist, i.e., the consecrated bread and wine were taken to be, and were treated and designated as, the Savior’s body and blood" (Early Christian Doctrines, 440).


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