in Vatican II: Excerpts
The Destruction of Catholic Faith
Through Changes in Catholic Worship
by Michael Davies
Published on the Web with Permission of the Author.Omission of the Term "Transubstantiation"
Articles 5 to 13 of the CSL, which deal with the nature of the liturgy, contain much admirable doctrinal teachings but also some which seem disturbingly lacking in precision. Christ's substantial presence in the Blessed Sacrament is referred to as if it is simply the highest (maximal) of His many presences in the liturgy, which includes His spiritual presence through the reading of Holy Scripture or through the fact that two or three are gathered together in His name. The CSL states only that Our Lord is present "especially under the Eucharistic species" (Praesens . . . maxime sub speciebus eucharisticis). (Article 7).
"Transubstantiation" is the classic Catholic term which the Church uses in order to express the Catholic teaching [ that in the Eucharist, the whole substance of the bread is converted into the substance of the Body of Christ, and the whole substance of the wine is converted into the substance of His Blood, with only the appearances of bread and wine remaining.
One fact which is made very clear in my book Cranmer's Godly Order is that all the Protestant Reformers agreed that Christ was present in the Eucharist; what they rejected was the dogma of His substantial presence. If there is one word which was and is anathema to Protestants, it is the word "transubstantiation." Protestants will profess belief in Christ's "real presence," in His "eucharistic presence," His "sacramental presence"-----Lutherans even profess belief in His "consubstantial presence"-----but what they will not accept, what is anathema to them, is the one word "transubstantiation." It is, therefore, astonishing to find that this word does not appear anywhere within the text of the CSL. This is a scarcely credible break with the tradition of the Catholic and Roman Church, which has always insisted on absolute precision when writing of the Sacrament which is her greatest treasure, for it is nothing less than God Incarnate Himself.
The contrast between the traditional precision of the Church and the CSL can be made clear with just one example. Compared to the wording of the CSL, the following would seem to be an extremely comprehensive definition of Christ's Eucharistic presence: "Christ is, after the Consecration, truly, really and substantially present under the appearances of bread and wine, and the whole substance of bread and wine has then ceased to exist, only the appearances remaining." Readers will be surprised to learn that this definition was condemned by the Church as "pernicious, derogatory to the expounding of Catholic truth about the dogma of transubstantiation, favorable to heretics (perniciosa, derogans expositioni veritatis catholicae circa dogma transsubstantiationis, ravens haereticis)." This definition was, in fact, the definition put forward by the Jansenist Synod of Pistoia; it was condemned by Pope Pius VI specifically for its calculated omission of the doctrine of transubstantiation and of the term "transubstantiation," which had been used by the Council of Trent (1545-1563) in defining the manner of Christ's Eucharistic presence and in the solemn profession of faith subscribed to by the Fathers of that Council ("quam velut articulum fidei Tridentinum Concilium definivit [v. n. 877, 884], et quae in solemni fidei professione continetur [v. n. 997]"). [H. Denzinger, Enchiridion Symbolorum (31" edition). No. 1529.] The failure to utilize the word "transubstantiation" was condemned by Pope Pius VI "inasmuch as, through an unauthorized and suspicious omission of this kind, mention is omitted of an article relating to the faith, and also of a word consecrated by the Church to safeguard the profession of that article against heresy, and because it tends to result in its being forgotten, as if it were merely a scholastic question." [Ibid.]
While discussing this particular point, it is impossible not
what could be described as the truly supernatural correspondence
what Pope Pius VI wrote in 1794 and what Pope Paul VI wrote in his
Fidei in 1965. This encyclical aroused considerable hostility among
both Protestants and liberal Catholics, who did not hesitate to
it as incompatible with the "spirit" of
A Protestant Observer mentioned earlier, Dr. Robert McMee Brown, complained:
Pope John XXIII had stated in his opening speech to the Council: "The substance of the ancient doctrine of the deposit of faith is one thing, and the way in which it is presented is another." Pope Paul VI appears to differ from his predecessor when he writes: