Transubstantiation or Consubstantiation?

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    This was a question I asked the good folks over at the EWTN question and answer thing a couple years ago, but I was not satisfied with the response.

    Please share your thoughts.

    [quote:1gbt6r5q]Us Catholics believe in transubstantiation where the bread and the wine completely change into the body and blood of Christ yet remain under the appearance of bread and wine, correct? This would mean that the bread fully becomes flesh and the wine (all ingredients) becomes blood, correct?

    Well, my question is that how was it possible for the Corinthians to be getting drunk from the blood of Christ since the wine is no longer wine? Since alcohol in the wine is what constitutes it as wine instead of grape juice then that would mean the alcohol would transform into blood also and that it would not be possible to get drunk from Jesus!

    The only way this scenario would work out is if what happened really was consubstantiation and not transubstatiation. HELP PLEASE![/quote:1gbt6r5q]

    And here is the response I got (which makes more sense now that I read it 2 years later):

    [quote:1gbt6r5q]Transubstantiation means that the substance or essence of the thing, changes while the accidents do not. So all the appearances of the bread and wine and their properties remain. The accidents of wine, including the taste and other physical effects remain. So it is possible to become physically inebriated on the Blood of Christ.

    Acceptance of the doctrine of the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist demands faith. There is no physical way to determine that a change has taken place–simply by examining the accidents of the Eucharist. It was a matter of faith for the disciples then and it is a matter of faith for us now.

    Fr. Vincent Serpa, O.P.[/quote:1gbt6r5q]

    My confusion though is that I thought transubstantiation meant that everything changes while remaining only under the appearance while consubstantiation means that Jesus is wholly present as is the bread and wine. If the properties and accidents remain after consecration then what is the difference between consubstantiation and transubstantiation? <img loading=” title=”Confused” />


    Imagine for a moment that Bread is a person with a soul.

    Transubstantiation would be like removing Bread’s soul and replacing it with Jesus’s soul. The body still looks like Bread, sounds like Bread, smells like Bread (take a bath!), but the substance, the person inside that body is Jesus, and so who we see as Bread happens to say things like Jesus (in Bread’s voice) and do things like Jesus (in Bread’s body).

    Consubstantiation would be like cramming Jesus’s soul inside the body with Bread’s soul.

    (Everything I know I learned from science fiction.) <img loading=” title=”Wink” />


    Benedict, thank you. That is a wonderful explanation. I understand, more clearly now, the teaching of transubstantiation. <img loading=” title=”Smile” />


    Good analogy! <img loading=” title=”Very Happy” />

    I had questions similar to this one, but now I understand too.


    Execellent answer bro, Answered my question too…


    When someone asks “how is it possible for a virgin, human, girl to give birth to the eternal God?”
    my answer? It [b:2hl2kkph]isn’t[/b:2hl2kkph] possible…yet it happened…
    that’s why we call them [i:2hl2kkph]miracles[/i:2hl2kkph]


    <img loading=” title=”Wink” />

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