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Question

Good Morning Father Angelo,

First of all, I just wanted to express my gratitude and say thank you for your commitment done with clarity, wisdom and fatherly concern for all of us. It has not been a long time since I  came across your web-site and the library entrusted to you, but I can say that I have already found it  very beneficial  both for  my spiritual and cultural  growth.. Thanks! Here is the question, trying to do a synthesis that can make it understandable.

On Sunday 22nd September, commenting on the Gospel Jn 6: 51-59( I am of the Ambrosian rite), the celebrant priest repeatedly referred to the “memory” of the Passover supper of Jesus with His own disciples, the “memorial which we celebrate and which unites us” and so on , without a reference to the Eucharistic Body and Blood. This had already happened with other priests at the Corpus Domini homily.I have been a convert since January 1, 2000 and since that day I strongly believe in the miraculous change of the species of bread and wine into the Body and Blood of Our Lord Jesus Christ. I often wonder – especially in these times of troubled waters – why i the Church has never included  the “Eucharistic mystery” in the profession of faith.To be able to define ourselves Christians we must necessarily and firmly believe in the conversion of the substance of the bread and wine into the substance of the Flesh and Blood of Christ.

[In the sacraments of the Church] The Eucharist occupies a unique place as the “Sacrament of sacraments”: “all the other sacraments are ordered to it as to their end.(CCC 1211).  “ In the most blessed sacrament of the Eucharist “the body and blood, together with the soul and divinity, of our Lord Jesus Christ and, therefore, the whole Christ is truly, really, and substantially contained.” “This presence is called ‘real’ – by which is not intended to exclude the other types of presence as if they could not be ‘real’ too, but because it is presence in the fullest sense: that is to say, it is a substantial presence by which Christ, God and man, makes himself wholly and entirely present.” (CCC 1374).

Why has the need to regulate a request for such an important and fundamental act of faith (the supreme legacy of Christ) or an explicit profession of faith of consecration at the end of which the priest exclaims: “mystery of faith” never been felt?
Finally, to simplify and get to the point: I could recite the Creed but not believe in transubstantiation. In short, in our Profession of faith it is as if I miss the main article. I believe in the Eucharist! I thank you in advance for the time you will dedicate to me by ensuring my daily prayers so that the Lord may grant you His blessing every day.


The priest’s answer

Dear Angelo,

1.The Church in her liturgy ordinarily makes use of two symbols of faith, that is, of two forms of the Creed.The classic termsymbol derives from the Greek sün- ballo and literally means “put together”.These two symbols are those that respectively take the name of the Apostolic Symbol, because it is of apostolic origin and of the Nicene Constantinopolitan symbol which goes back to the Nicaea (year 325) and Constantinople (year 381) councils.This second symbol is an extension of the first especially as regards to the divinity of Christ, denied by Arius.

2. In both of them we find the statement “I believe the holy Catholic Church”, or the equivalent: “I believe in one holy catholic and apostolic Church.”.When we say apostolic we refer to the fact that Jesus constituted his Church on the foundation of the Apostles and gave them the task of teaching.

3.The  Catechism of the Catholic Church remembers that: “ From the beginning, the apostolic Church expressed and handed on her faith in brief formulae normative for all But already very early on, the Church also wanted to gather the essential elements of her faith into organic and articulated summaries, intended especially for candidates for Baptism: This synthesis of faith was not made to accord with human opinions, but rather what was of the greatest importance was gathered from all the Scriptures, to present the one teaching of the faith in its entirety. and just as the mustard seed contains a great number of branches in a tiny grain, so too this summary of faith encompassed in a few words the whole knowledge of the true religion contained in the Old and the New Testaments.(CCC 186).

4.And still : “Through the centuries many professions or symbols of faith have been articulated in response to the needs of the different eras: the creeds of the different apostolic and ancient Churches, e.g., the Quicumque, also called the Athanasian Creed; The professions of faith of certain Councils, such as Toledo, Lateran, Lyons, Trent; or the symbols of certain popes, e.g., the Fides Damasi or the Credo of the People of God of Paul VI.

5. It should also be remembered that when these symbols were composed there were no substantial differences on the Eucharistic doctrine. It was a peaceful fact, so there was no need to reiterate it.In any case, our faith in the Church we profess apostolic refers to this doctrine. As such he has the power to teach in an authoritative manner according to the mandate of Christ. When we say I believe the one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church we include everything that she teaches, even the doctrine on Eucharistic matters. Therefore, we cannot be Christians without believing in what Jesus commanded to do at the Last Supper.

6. A very clear reference to the Eucharistic mystery is found instead in the Creed of the People of God of Paul VI. Here is the part concerning the Eucharist:

We believe that as the bread and wine consecrated by the Lord at the Last Supper were changed into His body and His blood which were to be offered for us on the cross, likewise the bread and wine consecrated by the priest are changed into the body and blood of Christ enthroned gloriously in heaven, and we believe that the mysterious presence of the Lord, under what continues to appear to our senses as before, is a true, real and substantial presence.(Cfr. Dz.-Sch. 1651). Christ cannot be thus present in this sacrament except by the change into His body of the reality itself of the bread and the change into His blood of the reality itself of the wine, leaving unchanged only the properties of the bread and wine which our senses perceive. This mysterious change is very appropriately called by the Church transubstantiation. Every theological explanation which seeks some understanding of this mystery must, in order to be in accord with Catholic faith, maintain that in the reality itself, independently of our mind, the bread and wine have ceased to exist after the Consecration, so that it is the adorable body and blood of the Lord Jesus that from then on are really before us under the sacramental species of bread and wine,(Cfr. Dz-Sch. 1642, 1651-1654; Pauli VI, Litt. Enc. Mysterium Fidei) as the Lord willed it, in order to give Himself to us as food and to associate us with the unity of His Mystical Body.(Cfr. S. Th. III, 73, 3). The unique and indivisible existence of the Lord glorious in heaven is not multiplied, but is rendered present by the sacrament in the many places on earth where Mass is celebrated. And this existence remains present, after the sacrifice, in the Blessed Sacrament which is, in the tabernacle, the living heart of each of our churches. And it is our very sweet duty to honor and adore in the blessed Host which our eyes see, the Incarnate Word whom they cannot see, and who, without leaving heaven, is made present before us.( June 30, 1968 )

This Creed of the People of God of Paul VI is normative for the whole Church.I wish you well, I will keep you in my prayers and I bless you.

Father Angelo