Transubstantiation

The doctrine of the Eucharist maintained by the Roman Catholic Church and first defined by Radbertus, a Benedictine of Corbie in 831 on the basis of John 6. The influence of Greek views of substance and accident blurred the doctrine in the writings of Ockham* and Scotus,* while Biel* confessed that the miraculous presence of Christ was a mystery to be accepted only because of God's omnipotence. The Council of Trent* closed off other options by stating Christ is “truly, really and substantially contained in the sacrament under the appearance of sensible things. . . . By the consecration of the bread and wine a change is brought about of the whole substance of the body of Christ our Lord and of the whole substance of the wine into the body of his blood. This change . . . is called transubstantiation.” Vatican II* said of the Eucharist in terms of the body of believers, “Truly partaking of the body of the Lord in the breaking of the Eucharistic bread, we are taken up into communion with Him and with one another.” And “no Christian community . . . can be built up unless it has its basis and center in the celebration of the . . . Eucharist.”