The Pope says, "Priests Change Bread into Christ's Living Body"
"No," says a Diamond Jubilarian Ex-Priest.
Raymond Fontaine, Ph.D. - March 2005
On May 26, 1945 the Bishop of Cleveland, Ohio ordained me a priest of the Roman Catholic Church. He empowered me to offer Mass. Doing this I would reputedly transform a wafer of bread into the living Body of Christ. This coming May will be the diamond jubilee of my ordination and of my first mass. To show the significance of these events, I shall call upon Pope John Paul II who, in 1994, published his Catechism of the Catholic Church.
In paragraph 1411 he writes, "Only validly ordained priests can preside at the Eucharist and consecrate the bread and wine so that they become the Body and Blood of the Lord." In paragraph 1413, the Pope adds " By the consecration, the transubstantiation of the bread and wine into the Body and Blood of Christ is brought about. Under the consecrated species of bread and wine, Christ himself, living and glorious, is present in a true, real and substantial manner: his Body and his Blood with His soul and His divinity."
"Who believes that story?" someone recently asked me. I answered, "A relatively small number of people." The Times Almanac of 2005 states that the population of the world now stands at 6,394,491,485. More than 5.5 billions of them are not Catholics and do not know or believe what the Pope's teaches on this matter. Among the Catholics many are such only in name. A great number do not realize the preposterous implications of the Pope's teaching on the Eucharist.
According to him, all ordained priests and only they have the power to change ordinary wheat wafers of bread into the living body of Jesus who is divine. If that is true, each consecrated host is Jesus the Son of God. Every day, many millions of them are received in Holy Communion by believing Catholics. Swallowing the hosts, communicants have Christ close to their hearts. So says the Pope.
Moreover, since a reserve of consecrated hosts is kept in the tabernacle, people can visit with the Living Jesus any time during the day. He is in church as truly as he is in heaven. That's what the Pope boldly declares.
Frequently the consecrated host is placed in a golden monstrance high on the altar for the people's adoration. In some churches, this exposition of a consecrated host continues day and night, year-round. In his Catechism, the Popes encourages this devotion.
One evening, I figured that during my priestly life of 22 years, I offered Mass about 8,000 times; I gave 500,000 consecrated hosts to communicants; and I spent many thousands of hours adoring the consecrated Host.
If I had not left the Church and the priesthood in 1967 and if I had continued consecrating hosts until now, those numbers would have doubled or tripled. Moreover, on next May 26 I would celebrate that much more. But as things are, on my diamond jubilee of ordination, I will not celebrate mass in a church packed with relatives and friends. Instead, in the solitude of my home, I will post this article on the Internet denying, as Luther did, the teaching authority of the Pope and the transformation of consecrated bread into the living body of Jesus. For list of my essays, click here