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On June 23, the date on which the Feast of Corpus Christi was celebrated in Italy and the Vatican, Pope Francis in his Sunday Mass sermon made what appeared to be an explicitly heretical statement. Speaking on the Holy Eucharist, he said:
“In the presence of the Eucharist, Jesus who becomes bread, this simple bread that contains the entire reality of the Church [Christ], let us learn to bless all that we have, to praise God, to bless and not curse all that has led us to this moment, and to speak words of encouragement to others.”
The theological fact is that Jesus does not “become bread,” but vice-versa. To say that Jesus becomes bread implies that Jesus changes and becomes something else, i.e. bread, so that only the substance of bread is present in the consecrated Host. This is what Protestants believe.
The truth is that during the Sacrifice of the Mass, the “simple bread” ceases and becomes Christ, so that only the substance of Christ is present. As such, the bread cannot “contain” Christ because the bread is not there to contain Him. This is why the physical properties of the consecrated Host are called the accidents or sacred species, because cessation of the bread occurs during the consecration of the Mass.
By saying that the bread “contains” Jesus, Francis is also promoting consubstantiation, the coexistence of two substances together, i.e. Jesus and bread, which is what Luther taught and which the Church condemns.
Francis says that “in the presence of the Eucharist,” we should “learn to bless all that we have.” Shall we bless adultery too as proposed in Amoris Laetitia? What about learning to renounce all and to bless only God? Shouldn’t the entire Church be on its knees before Christ?
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