Sunday, July 13, 2008

Body of Christ?


I've been holding off on sharing my thoughts about the Crackergate 08'. Of course, I fully support PZ and the young man who was fucking assaulted. ASSAULTED. Over. A. Cracker. And, it's not even a tasty cracker. In fact, I've long thought that the closest thing they resemble (in taste) was those packing peanuts that you can get made of rice byproducts.

I was Catholic. Not just a namby-pamby, holiday Catholic...I went through all the steps a devout Catholic was supposed to go through. I've noticed that there are some in the atheist community (and shocking numbers in the theist community) who don't understand transubstantiation, so I'll give a short primer. Transubstantiation is not just a long word which I will shorten to trans-sub for the rest of this blog entry. Trans-sub is the literal belief that your Christ-toasty is actually the body and blood of the HUMAN Christ. Not the resurrected one. This whole ritual arises from the last supper wherein the Bible claims Jesus said (paraphrased), "Take this and eat it. It is of my body." *RING DING DING DING* When the priest raises the host about his head, an alter boy rings a bell which supposed symbolizes the transformation of cracker to Jesus.

As a child, I had questions about this ritual. The first being the part wherein the host becomes the human presence of Jesus. If it becomes his body, then why does it not bleed? You can't just pour wine on it and go "Tada!" That doesn't count. I asked that question of my priest in a CCD class and I was told that Jesus was so holy that, upon his resurrection, he was filled with the pure spirit of God. Now...it took me about two years to call bullshit on that one. As, standing in line for communion, I realized that he had contradicted Church doctrine. But,...let's not get stuck in those little details. Just relating that never, in my twenty years taking communion, did the cracker turn into Jesus.

I've been reading around the atheist blogosphere and keep coming across people asking if Catholics *really* believe in trans-sub. It's complicated. What I can say with certainty is that they absolutely want to believe it. They want to believe it so badly that they will take suspending reality one step further than most theists. I don't know if this is still a rule, but I was taught that you couldn't eat or drink for four hours before and one hour after you too communion because you didn't want the holiest of holies dancing around in your intestines with PopRocks or eggs and bacon. In fact, there is a list of reasons why one shouldn't take communion. If you have not confessed your sins, then you may not partake. If you are not in communion with the Church, then you may not partake. This includes people who are divorced but not annulled on down to people who disagree with Pro-lifers. Yet, I never saw anyone body checked for taking communion when they weren't supposed to. And, do the math...not everyone who takes communion has been in the confessional because the lines for the host are always longer than those of the confessional. Not to mention the scads of non-Catholics who would go up for communion as a gag.

Which brings us to the current situation...
Webster Cook is Catholic. He wasn't some atheist or *gasp* protestant trying to crash the Eucharist. He was even reverent enough to bring a little ziplock to put the host in. He didn't shove it into his wallet with his condoms or jam it in a pack of smokes. There's no rule that says you can't take the host out of church. It's not conventional and it's rarely done, but I have heard of people who took it home so they could get around the four hour rule. The host is routinely taken to hospitals and homes of the sick. It doesn't burst into flames as you pass the holy water at the front door. But, apparently, the Catholic Church is now employing little old ladies as Host Compliant Officers. Really...if that lady could see he wasn't trying to scrape the host off the roof of his mouth with his tongue, and therefore hadn't eaten it, then we need to hire her out to find Osama.

What he did was unconventional and maybe a bit disrespectful (after putting it in his mouth and spitting it out...that's just gross whether you're eating Jesus or a Porter House). After all, he could've come back to try again another day. But, please, please tell me how it was more respectful to jump a guy in Church? Assaulting someone over a wafer is not only inconsiderate and disrespectful, it also happens to be a crime. I hope Mr. Cook sues. Not because I want to screw the Church, but because people in the Church should not be above the law.

Furthermore, comparing this man's actions to kidnapping is absurd. Beyond absurd!! I dare any Catholic to walk up to Elizabeth Smart, or any other family who has actually experienced the devastation of kidnapping, and throw down that analogy. Saying it's a "hate crime" is equally laughable. If anyone should be throwing around the word hate crime, it should be Mr. Cook.
My personal favorite quote was from the priest who said (on television) - "Mr. Cook should give Jesus back to us. It's quite painful for the faithful."

If you're a Catholic and you think Jesus has been kidnapped because someone didn't follow wafer protocol, then you need serious psychological help. Acting like this guy stole the last wafer in the Vatican is insane. Isn't there plenty of Jesus to go around? I mean, the Catholic Church has been distributing pieces of him for a very long time...what's one wafer?
In reality, the wafer is nothing more than flour and water. Contrary to popular belief, not every one of them was baked at the Vatican with the Pope's blessing. And, even if they were, that doesn't make it the body of a dead guy. If you truly believe in trans-sub, then I say it's your obligation to take a communion wafer and have it chemically analyzed to see if it has some Jesus DNA. It's either literal or symbolic. You can't have it both ways. If it's literal, then take it to a scientist for analysis. If it's symbolic, then jumping a young man and pinning him to the kneeler is a touch dramatic.

Now the Catholic Church has stated that it plans to send a nun to supervise the next "celebration of the Eucharist". All I can think of is Patrick Swayze in Roadhouse.

29 comments:

Sean the Blogonaut F.C.D. said...

Hey maybe if we organise it well enough and co-ordinate mass theft of eucharists we can deplete their nun resources.

the chaplain said...

This story is a perfect illustration of the irrationality that permeates theistic religion. It's like lying - you tell one lie, then have to tell another to support that one...until you're in a hole so deep there's no way out. In the trans-sub case, they've sold one myth, then added others to support that one, etc., until the whole thing is wacked out beyond belief.

I've only taken communion in Protestant churches; the wafers taste like cardboard. If the Catholic wafers are actually the body of Jesus, you'd think they'd have a bit more flavor than the Protestant ones. I doubt that they do, though.

Psychodiva said...

I hope the young man prosecutes them - this has gone beyond the ridiculous and into the realms of bloody stupid now
I'm with Sean on a eucharist challenge

michelle said...

The Eastern Orthodox churches have found a clever way to avoid all this: their "body" is a loaf of bread that they cut up and add into the cup of "blood". When you receive the eucharist you are given a spoonful of Jesus Mush. No kidnapping possible!

Milo Johnson said...

Aren't they baked by elves that live in hollow trees?

complexzeta said...

I was refused communion once. I was a little kid (probably around 7), and my mother was playing the organ for the service, so I tagged along with her. At some point, lots of people formed a line, and some guy was handing out crackers, so I joined the line, not having a clue what was going on. (I had absolutely no knowledge of Christian rituals at that point, since my parents had sent me to a Jewish school and not informed me about Christianity.) When I got to the front of the line, the guy asked me some questions I didn't understand (presumably asking me something about my status as a Christian, but I don't remember) and told me I couldn't have one.

Baal's Bum said...

Sean
That is the first good reason I have heard anyone give for me to attend a church ever.
Lets do it

Paul said...

[silentsanta, NZ]

While I support Webster Cook, TBH I kinda feel it would be unethical to attend mass to procure some host specifically to 'defile' it(PZ's directions). I feel like there is some implied 'ethical?' contract when attending mass to behave according to the congregations standards, or leave; such churchgoers should not have to spend their services in anxiety over potential sleeper agents in their midst.

If they bring that sort of crap out into the public square, I'm happy to lay into them, but they should be free to practise their religion on their property.

Note; I said I felt it was somewhat unethical, but I don't think there should be legal /academic repercussions for either Webster or PZ. I also note that PZ's comments were in the context of being appalled at -among other things- death threats being given to Mr. Cook, and public attention has now been largely diverted from this awful situation.

Todd said...

I didn’t know that Catholics believed it was “really” the body of Christ. It that was true wouldn’t that, by definition, make them cannibals?

JaaJoe said...

I must suggest to all Christians and Atheist to read this book "The End of Reason" by Dr. Ravi Zacharias. This book forces the reader's mind to do the critical thinking that is so lacking in Christianity today. It should also be considered required reading for the atheist who has never really looked at a logical argument for the existence of God, or the Christian who has never really critically analyzed his own faith. Check out more information on The End of Reason here

sapphoq said...

I got an e-mail back from John C. Hitt at the University of Central Florida indicating that Webster Cook will be subjected to due process under their published student conduct rules. He says "we" all hope for a sane and just result.

Somehow I am not reassured.
spike

bill said...

todd said: I didn’t know that Catholics believed it was “really” the body of Christ. It that was true wouldn’t that, by definition, make them cannibals?
Yes, it does. Moderately enlightened RCs have told me that this is correct, but they prefer not to think of it that way. Less enlightened RCs have told me that I'm a bigot for suggesting such a thing.

Corbie said...

Nothing to add except I really, really like the phrase, "wafer protocol."

Well-written, P-Momma.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
John said...

"To those who question the eucharists origin or why Catholics partake of it may I suggest you read the bible? You will have a better understanding of the Christian beliefs if you read the bible."

Most atheists I know, know the bible better than most Christians.

In my opinion, there is nothing in the bible that explain the weird Catholic view of the Eucharist.

Atheist in a mini van. said...

Anonymous said...
To those who question the eucharists origin or why Catholics partake of it may I suggest you read the bible? You will have a better understanding of the Christian beliefs if you read the bible.


Been there. Read that. Met a pedophile priest.
And, may I suggest that you read the posting rules on the left hand side of the blog page? You'll have a better understanding of why you've been deleted. But, you can come back...just play by the rules.

Vic said...

"Now the Catholic Church has stated that it plans to send a nun to supervise the next "celebration of the Eucharist". All I can think of is Patrick Swayze in Roadhouse."
--

Hahaha - great reference. I could see the old penguins there now.

Doubter - "What if he calls my savior a cracker?"

Nun - "Is he?"

Anonomouse said...

"It should also be considered required reading for the atheist who has never really looked at a logical argument for the existence of God"

The only Logical Argument for the existence of god, that I am aware of, is Circular.

Milo Johnson said...

"The End of Reason" is the title of a book about a "logical argument for the existence of god?" Yeah, I'd say that about sums it up.

Perpetual Beginner said...

Hey! Our communion (both species) tastes pretty good - of course that would be because we use fresh-baked whole grain bread rather than the horrible crackers.

Also, not being Catholic, our church officially goes for consubstantiation not trans - which is still a bit silly in my opinion, but better, and we're not as adamant about the rank and file toeing the party line.

Good luck to Mr. Cook. I think he's possibly a bit of a jerk, but that shouldn't be a crime.

Jason said...

I was Catholic. Not just a namby-pamby, holiday Catholic...I went through all the steps a devout Catholic was supposed to go through.
But did you believe in everything you were doing or just going through the motions? I only ask this because for many years I “went through all the steps”, but didn’t truly believe and if you do not truly believe then all the steps are hollow.

I've noticed that there are some in the atheist community (and shocking numbers in the theist community) who don't understand transubstantiation, so I'll give a short primer. Transubstantiation is not just a long word which I will shorten to trans-sub for the rest of this blog entry. Trans-sub is the literal belief that your Christ-toasty is actually the body and blood of the HUMAN Christ. Not the resurrected one. This whole ritual arises from the last supper wherein the Bible claims Jesus said (paraphrased), "Take this and eat it. It is of my body." *RING DING DING DING* When the priest raises the host about his head, an alter boy rings a bell which supposed symbolizes the transformation of cracker to Jesus.
Ok, there is a bit of a misunderstanding here because Christ pre or post resurrection was never just human. He was BOTH human and divine so at the consecration of the most blessed sacrament the Eucharist becomes the body, blood, soul and divinity of our Lord Jesus Christ and therefore the whole Christ is truly, really and substantially contained within. The theology of the Eucharist also comes from John’s gospel where Jesus says “Amen, amen, I say unto you: except you eat the flesh of the Son of man and drink his blood, you shall not have life in you.”

As a child, I had questions about this ritual. The first being the part wherein the host becomes the human presence of Jesus. If it becomes his body, then why does it not bleed? You can't just pour wine on it and go "Tada!" That doesn't count. I asked that question of my priest in a CCD class and I was told that Jesus was so holy that, upon his resurrection, he was filled with the pure spirit of God. Now...it took me about two years to call bullshit on that one. As, standing in line for communion, I realized that he had contradicted Church doctrine.
I don’t understand what you were calling bullshit on…While I admit that your priest’s answer may not have been the most indebt or even scratch the surface of the doctrine of the true presence it isn’t much to call him out on. Maybe you can expand on that one for me…

But,...let's not get stuck in those little details. Just relating that never, in my twenty years taking communion, did the cracker turn into Jesus.
Actually every time you were at Mass the Eucharist became the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus weather you want to believe it or not. Again this goes back to faith and if someone isn’t willing to have faith then it doesn’t matter what I or anyone else says about it. That being said there have been instances where the Eucharist has become real flesh and blood. Take the Miracle of Lanciano (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eucharistic_miracle#The_miracle_of_Lanciano) in around 700 AD as an example.

I've been reading around the atheist blogosphere and keep coming across people asking if Catholics *really* believe in trans-sub. It's complicated. What I can say with certainty is that they absolutely want to believe it. They want to believe it so badly that they will take suspending reality one step further than most theists. I don't know if this is still a rule, but I was taught that you couldn't eat or drink for four hours before and one hour after you too communion because you didn't want the holiest of holies dancing around in your intestines with PopRocks or eggs and bacon.
Currently the Canon 919 of the Code of Canon Law states, "One who is to receive the most holy Eucharist is to abstain from any food or drink, with the exception of water and medicine, for at least the period of one hour before Holy Communion." Fasting before receiving Holy Communion creates a physical hunger and thirst for the Lord, which in turn augments the spiritual hunger and thirst we ought to have. It really has less to do with what’s in your stomach i.e. PopRocks, etc..

In fact, there is a list of reasons why one shouldn't take communion. If you have not confessed your sins, then you may not partake.
You should not receive communion only if you have a mortal sin as the Eucharist and Penitential Rite during Mass free us from all venial sins and even if they didn’t venial sins do not exclude Catholics from receiving communion

If you are not in communion with the Church, then you may not partake. This includes people who are divorced but not annulled on down to people who disagree with Pro-lifers.
Does disagreeing with Pro-Lifers mean that the person supports and actively promotes abortions?

Yet, I never saw anyone body checked for taking communion when they weren't supposed to. And, do the math...not everyone who takes communion has been in the confessional because the lines for the host are always longer than those of the confessional.
See my answer above on the communion thing and it’s not the pastor’s job to make sure everyone is properly disposed to receive communion, that’s a personal thing between the Catholic and God.

Not to mention the scads of non-Catholics who would go up for communion as a gag.
This boils down to a respect thing, especially if it’s for a gag.

Which brings us to the current situation...
Webster Cook is Catholic. He wasn't some atheist or *gasp* protestant trying to crash the Eucharist. He was even reverent enough to bring a little ziplock to put the host in. He didn't shove it into his wallet with his condoms or jam it in a pack of smokes. There's no rule that says you can't take the host out of church. It's not conventional and it's rarely done, but I have heard of people who took it home so they could get around the four hour rule.


Actually if you look at the General Instruction of the Roman Missal you’ll see:
161. If Communion is given only under the species of bread, the priest raises the host slightly and shows it to each, saying, Corpus Christi (The Body of Christ). The communicant replies, Amen, and receives the Sacrament either on the tongue or, where this is allowed and if the communicant so chooses, in the hand. As soon as the communicant receives the host, he or she consumes it entirely.
So YES there is a rule about taking the host out of the Church.

The host is routinely taken to hospitals and homes of the sick. It doesn't burst into flames as you pass the holy water at the front door.
This the job of a Eucharistic Minister who is taking the Eucharist to someone who can’t make it to church and is an entirely different matter as to what Mr. Cook was doing.

What he did was unconventional and maybe a bit disrespectful (after putting it in his mouth and spitting it out...that's just gross whether you're eating Jesus or a Porter House).
A bit disrespectful?

After all, he could've come back to try again another day. But, please, please tell me how it was more respectful to jump a guy in Church? Assaulting someone over a wafer is not only inconsiderate and disrespectful, it also happens to be a crime. I hope Mr. Cook sues. Not because I want to screw the Church, but because people in the Church should not be above the law.
You are correct and this should have been handled in a completely different way, but it doesn’t change the fact that what Mr. Cook did was wrong. I look at it like this what would you do if I came into your house and you had your beloved relative in an Urn on the mantel. Then, I took out a baggie and poured some ashes in it to take home because my friend had never seen dead people ashes before. I would assume you’d be a little upset and prone to do something rash. I’m not excusing what this lady did but just trying to prove a point that no one is perfect and an apology at the least needs to be made on both accounts.

If you're a Catholic and you think Jesus has been kidnapped because someone didn't follow wafer protocol, then you need serious psychological help. Acting like this guy stole the last wafer in the Vatican is insane. Isn't there plenty of Jesus to go around? I mean, the Catholic Church has been distributing pieces of him for a very long time...what's one wafer?
Again it’s a respect thing as well as what the Eucharist means to us. I’m not going as far as to compare this to Elizabeth Smart or anything like that, but have some respect even if you don’t “get it”.

In reality, the wafer is nothing more than flour and water.
That’s a matter of perception. If I show you a quarter and tell you it’s moving when your eyes tell you it’s not. Would you call me a liar? It’s moving alright on a molecular level it’s moving faster than your eyes can see, but it is moving.

Contrary to popular belief, not every one of them was baked at the Vatican with the Pope's blessing.
I don’t know anyone who believes this…

And, even if they were, that doesn't make it the body of a dead guy. If you truly believe in trans-sub, then I say it's your obligation to take a communion wafer and have it chemically analyzed to see if it has some Jesus DNA. It's either literal or symbolic. You can't have it both ways. If it's literal, then take it to a scientist for analysis. If it's symbolic, then jumping a young man and pinning him to the kneeler is a touch dramatic.

Please see my Miracle of Lanciano link from above with its corresponding report issued from the Quaderni Sclavo di Diagnostica Clinica e di Laboratori in 1971, and reaffirmed by a scientific commission appointed by the Higher Council of the World Health Organization in 1973.

Milo Johnson said...

You keep talking about the need to "respect" your preferred brand of superstition, but you never get around to explaining why it deserves any. Human beings merit respect when, and only when, they earn it. Beliefs based upon faith in that for which no evidence exists indicate only foolish gullibility, not logic, and therefore do not earn respect. They are demonstrably nonsensical because they do not comport with empirical reality. I respect your rights as a human being to believe whatever foolish things please you but I will never stop scoffing at your silly superstition, as it richly deserves. Read your answers with open eyes and you will see fairy tales supported by legends about myths. There is not a single scrap of evidence to support any of it. I can't even read that stuff with a straight face, much less respect its absurdity. Until you grasp this concept, you are spinning your wheels. Unless your notions can be demonstrated to have any credibility beyond your pious "faith" then you really have no logical legs to stand on, and all of your liturgical discourse is no more valid in a reasoned debate than the babbling of a schizophrenic. If your next step is to once again declare that this is what you "believe" because of your "faith," don't bother. That is a common tactic used to assume an implicit superiority for having said "faith," and is the last refuge of those who have no forensic argument to support their point of view.

Country Wife said...

That being said there have been instances where the Eucharist has become real flesh and blood. Take the Miracle of Lanciano (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eucharistic_miracle#The_miracle_of_Lanciano) in around 700 AD as an example.

I can only imagine the spitting and vomiting that would go on if something like this really happened. Imagine that you expect wafer and instead get a tough, stringy, bloody bite of human flesh.

A question for PM, though, regarding communion:
I was at a Catholic wedding, and they offered communion. The people lined up for their cracker and a sip of wine...all out of the same cup. This grossed me out more than I can say, especially after the old guy got his big slobbering slurp that you just know was backwash laden. So I was wondering if communion was always done out of the same cup? I attended a holiness church as a child, and we had communion (of sorts) where crackers were passed out (I think they were oyster crackers) and shot classes of grape juice. I guess that's what I had expected at the Catholic church.

Richard said...

Jason said:
But did you believe in everything you were doing or just going through the motions? I only ask this because for many years I “went through all the steps”, but didn’t truly believe and if you do not truly believe then all the steps are hollow.

So, you're saying that intent matters. Two people can do the same act, but it will have different meta-physical consequences due to the different mindsets of the two individuals?

In that case, why do you worry about how non-believers treat the eucharist? If it is the internal belief of the recipient that matters and makes the sacrament of communion meaningful, then why care what a non-believer does? For a non-believer, it's not a sacrament and the eucharist is "just a cracker".

Currently the Canon 919 of the Code of Canon Law states, "One who is to receive the most holy Eucharist is to abstain from any food or drink, with the exception of water and medicine, for at least the period of one hour before Holy Communion." Fasting before receiving Holy Communion creates a physical hunger and thirst for the Lord, which in turn augments the spiritual hunger and thirst we ought to have. It really has less to do with what’s in your stomach i.e. PopRocks, etc..

Does not eating for 1 hour count as "fasting"? I understand your explanation as a metaphor for spiritual hunger; I'm just wondering if 1 hour is enough time for people to even think about being hungry.

This boils down to a respect thing, especially if it’s for a gag.

I agree with you. Combining freedom of religion with freedom of assembly, I believe that you come up with freedom to worship how you choose without being interrupted by others. People who attempt to disturb services are being jerks.

However, for me, the point that this whole episode took a turn into freak-out land was when church officials began calling for non-religious retribution. Calling the act a "hate crime" and asking the university to discipline the student was way, way out of line.

If the church wants to punish him within their own framework (excommunication, for example), that is fine. However, don't ask society as a whole to support your peculiar beliefs.

Should everyone stop eating beef, out of respect for Hindus? Should Hindus be allowed to ask for people to be arrested for eating beef? If someone attends a Hindu service and later eats a hamburger, should they be civilly prosecuted?

-Richard

arensb said...

I must suggest to all Christians and Atheist to read this book "The End of Reason" by Dr. Ravi Zacharias.

Foreword by Lee Strobel. Hm... this doesn't bode well. Kind of like claiming to finally have a truly scientific theory of creationism, but the foreword is by Kent Hovind.

Jason said...

Milo,

I respect your point of view and understand where you are coming from...

Milo Johnson said...

I appreciate your comment, but I can't help but wonder how you can persist in your own belief if you actually do understand where I'm coming from. That's not a shot at you, I'm simply struck by the incongruity.

Atheist in a mini van. said...

Jason said...But did you believe in everything you were doing or just going through the motions? I only ask this because for many years I “went through all the steps”, but didn’t truly believe and if you do not truly believe then all the steps are hollow.
Of course I believed, Jason. How and why would a child fake belief? I believed in God and Jesus just as surely as I knew anything (at that age). As I grew older, I didn't even know it was a choice not to believe. Into my early adulthood, I still said prayers three times a day. What irritates me about people who ask this question is that it's an attempt to tell someone else that they just weren't doing it right and they are, by some subjective standard. Or, because they can't imagine that anyone who truly believes can have that belief undone. It's padding your bets.

Ok, there is a bit of a misunderstanding here because Christ pre or post resurrection was never just human.
Got any evidence to back that up or are you relying on the self-servicing text of the Bible? If you have proof that ANY man named Jesus was half-god, then you should come forward with it and accept the laurels that have evaded the greatest thinkers since the Bible was written.

He was BOTH human and divine so at the consecration of the most blessed sacrament the Eucharist becomes the body, blood, soul and divinity of our Lord Jesus Christ and therefore the whole Christ is truly, really and substantially contained within.
Again, what evidence do you have to offer to back up this belief?
The theology of the Eucharist also comes from John’s gospel where Jesus says “Amen, amen, I say unto you: except you eat the flesh of the Son of man and drink his blood, you shall not have life in you.”

Son of man. Not son of God. I realize you, and many others, feel his speech is symbolic of his impending sacrifice (which would then make him "the son of man" in relation to humanity). But, even still...you haven't given any objective proof that this man was deific. All you have, even if we take the Bible as a record of history, is a guy who managed to convince a group of people that he was of divine origin. He wasn't the first to believe so and he certainly wasn't the last. Making a claim about your own divinity does not make it true.

I don’t understand what you were calling bullshit on…While I admit that your priest’s answer may not have been the most indebt or even scratch the surface of the doctrine of the true presence it isn’t much to call him out on. Maybe you can expand on that one for me…

The priest said, that the fulfilment of the spirit in Jesus happened upon his ressurection. Not upon is birth. Not upon the last supper. Not upon his crucifixion. But, on upon his ressurection. You don't see the problem? I realize the priest was trying to give me a quick answer, but it's incorrect even by his own teachings and beliefs.

Actually every time you were at Mass the Eucharist became the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus weather you want to believe it or not. Again this goes back to faith and if someone isn’t willing to have faith then it doesn’t matter what I or anyone else says about it. That being said there have been instances where the Eucharist has become real flesh and blood.
Again...what is your evidence? If the host is more than a cracker, then it's properties should become more like flesh. You can wave a shalaly stick over it and chant all you want, it's still flour and water.
Take the Miracle of Lanciano (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eucharistic_miracle#The_miracle_of_Lanciano) in around 700 AD as an example
It's been declared a hoax.The first investigation of whatever was in the "miraculous" goblet wasn't conducted until 8 centuries later - so there's no way of knowing that the blood and bits of flesh had been there all that time, or had been anything but a legend at all before then. There's also no way of knowing that the tissue and blood that was first inspected in the 16thC was even human - it could have been "refreshed" any number of times up until the scientific examination in 1974.
The claims about the Shroud of Turin blood being typed as AB cannot be confirmed; blood that is more than a couple of centuries old and has been kept in contact with air and moisture, cannot be typed with any certainty.
If the Lanciano blood was successfully typed, it must be rather younger than 12 centuries old.

Currently the Canon 919 of the Code of Canon Law states, "One who is to receive the most holy Eucharist is to abstain from any food or drink, with the exception of water and medicine, for at least the period of one hour before Holy Communion." Fasting before receiving Holy Communion creates a physical hunger and thirst for the Lord, which in turn augments the spiritual hunger and thirst we ought to have. It really has less to do with what’s in your stomach i.e. PopRocks, etc..

Object word being "Currently". As in, now but not always. And, if you were a Catholic child in the 70's, you were absolutely told that God was too precious to mix with any other food or drink. You were advised to go to early mass if you didn't think you could fast for four hours and eat afterward. Hence the ritual of KoC pancake breakfasts.

You should not receive communion only if you have a mortal sin as the Eucharist and Penitential Rite during Mass free us from all venial sins and even if they didn’t venial sins do not exclude Catholics from receiving communion
See, but then there's stuff like saying, "If you remarried without an annulment, then you are living in mortal sin." If you're for women's reproductive rights and support the safe and legal choice of a woman to abort an embryo, then you're not in communion with the church. Do not pass the rail. Do not collect the host. Do not even think you'll be collecting the host until you pay the price in money or pennance.

Gotta run!

karen said...

jason

Others have addressed other parts of you comments. I wanted to pay attention to this little bit:

"You are correct and this should have been handled in a completely different way, but it doesn’t change the fact that what Mr. Cook did was wrong. I look at it like this what would you do if I came into your house and you had your beloved relative in an Urn on the mantel. Then, I took out a baggie and poured some ashes in it to take home because my friend had never seen dead people ashes before. I would assume you’d be a little upset and prone to do something rash. I’m not excusing what this lady did but just trying to prove a point that no one is perfect and an apology at the least needs to be made on both accounts."

Your analogy fails. If Possummama freely GAVE you some of the ashes, and expected you to do a certain thing with them and you did something entirely different, she might be a little disappointed. But I doubt she'd do anything rash, as she would understand that rationally, once she gave the ashes to you, they became YOUR property. She most definitely would not have the right to assault you for not complying with her wishes.