04 May 2008

Holy shit!

This posting and its comments thread raise an interesting theological question which has never occurred to me before.

According to Catholic doctrine, during Mass, the consecrated wafer and wine are "transubstantiated" into the actual flesh and blood of Jesus Christ, which are consumed by the worshipers. The question is, what happens then?

In the first place, since you are what you eat, doesn't that mean that all practicing Catholics are partially composed of divine substance, in the same proportion as the ratio of consecrated wafers to everything else they eat?

Even more disturbing, the molecules making up the wafer and wine, having played their roles in the body's chemical reactions, are eventually passed back into the lower digestive tract and excreted. Remember, this is material which the Church's doctrine claims is actually, literally the physical substance of a deity. As one of the commenters at the linked post points out, consecrated communion wafers are holy objects requiring special handling. So what is the theological status of feces and urine containing the same substance? Are the sewer systems in Catholic countries suffused with a faint radiance of the Divine?

I wonder if the Church's theologians have ever considered this problem.

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7 Comments:

Blogger FranIAm said...

Ok, I have typed a few things and then erased them.

Not sure I can comment on this one, although you would think I would be the first one in line.

Deep sigh. So much I would like to say, but it is just not coming out as I would like.

04 May, 2008 05:59  
Blogger Infidel753 said...

Hi Fran--

I hope it's apparent that this one is rather tongue-in-cheek, though it would in fact be interesting to know whether there is any official Church position on the subject.

04 May, 2008 06:40  
Blogger handmaiden said...

There are always further implications in everything we dodo.

I'm sure the Christian Church & it's theologians has looked into every nick & cranny

04 May, 2008 07:48  
Blogger FranIAm said...

I know that Infidel and you know my boundaries go very far and wide. I do find myself feeling a little vulnerable now and then - what can I say?

No, to my knowledge, and I don't want to sound like an utter ass, but I am fairly well schooled about the theology of my church, there is not anything about that.

If there are other questions, don't be shy, just ask!

04 May, 2008 10:55  
Anonymous handmaiden said...

I know that Infidel and you know my boundaries go very far and wide.

That's an interesting statement. Liberal Christianity does stretch the boundaries but it's still inside the box or maybe I should say "The Book." Unfortunately, "The Book/box" is full of superstitious & primitive nonsense that impedes rational thought. You could try one foot in & one foot out. But, then you are only riding the fence & we know that doesn't get anyone anywhere. No matter how much theology you've read you are always going to run into the sides of the box/book. Maybe this analogy/metaphor? doesn't make sense to you but that's how I look at my Christian experience.

05 May, 2008 07:01  
Blogger Insana D said...

Frank McCourt wrote a hilarious and strange story in his book "Angela's Ashes" about taking the holy communion and then a sudden case of heaving took over and he threw up the flesh and blood of the Savior all over his new shoes. He felt terribly guilty about it, but only because they were the first new shoes he'd ever owned and the bits of Christ stuck in the laces were a devil to get out. (Ok, I'm paraphrasing, but you get the jist).

I find the idea of consuming the blood and flesh of any human being to be fairly barbaric. Who makes this crap up?

31 August, 2010 00:36  
Blogger Infidel753 said...

Insana D: That's a whole further wrinkle -- barfing up the Lord! In an earlier era he would probably have been burned at the stake on the strength of the symbolism alone.

31 August, 2010 01:14  

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