25. THE QUESTION WAS: Besides the Catholic Church, which of the following Churches have a valid Eucharist, where the bread and wine truly become the Body & Blood of Christ?
c. Eastern Orthodox
THE ANSWER IS ..C Eastern Orthodox Churches have a valid Eucharist, where the bread and wine are changed into the actual Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Christ
Thats because, like the Catholic Church, the Eastern Orthodox Church has bishops who can trace their authority back to an apostle.
Unfortunately, the Eastern Orthodox Church broke off the Catholic Church in the 11th century. (You may recall the Great Schism.) In doing so, they ditched the historically Christian doctrine of papal succession, the doctrine that Christs church must be headed by a direct successor of Peter, i.e, the pope. We hope and pray the Orthodox Church will return to the Catholic Church. Heaven is crying over this and all divisions among Gods children.
Neither the Lutherans (who believe in the Real Presence) nor the Episcopalians (some of whom believe in the Real Presence) possess a valid Eucharist because their clergy cannot trace their authority back to an apostle, and therefore have not received the power to change the bread or wine into something different.
In 110 A.D., Ignatius of Antioch wrote: Let that be considered a valid Eucharist which is celebrated by the bishop, or by one whom he appoints. Wherever the bishop appears, let the people be there; just as wherever Jesus Christ is, there is the Catholic Church." (Epistle to the Smyreans)
However, Lutherans, unlike many Protestant denominations, have preserved the belief that Christs Body and Blood become present. Lutherans believe in Consubstantiation (Christ becomes present but the bread and wine are still present also).
Catholics believe in transubstantiation (despite appearances, there is actually no bread or wine present after the consecration. It is Jesus Christ and only Jesus Christ)
Neither Methodists nor Presbyterians nor Baptists believe in the Real Presence of Christs Body and Blood in the Eucharist. They got rid of that doctrine during the Reformation.
It is interesting to note that All the Churches that broke away from the Catholic Church BEFORE the Reformation still believe in the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist. The Nestorians and Eutychians (who separated from the Catholic Church in the 5th century), as well as the Coptics (5th century), Armenian (5th century), and Orthodox (11th century) Churches none of which has been in communion with Rome since then - still believe in the Real Presence. This demonstrates that the doctrine was part of the Christian deposit of faith at least as far back as the 5th century, before these splits occurred. (Source: Beginning Apologetics 3: How to Explain and Defend the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist by Father Frank Chacon & Jim Burnham, available at http://catholicapologetics.com/ba3.htm)
Finally, here is something I always wondered about, and Im sure you must have also.
The Church teaches that we dont actually digest the Body and Blood when we receive it. Thats because the moment they are metabolized or broken down (by our saliva/digestive juices) into other substances, they are no longer divine. It is only under the species of the bread and wine that Jesus is fully present.
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