Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Cracker Jack® Mass

“It would be entirely improper for the Synod on the Amazon to discuss the change of the matter of the Holy Eucharist,” Cardinal Burke told LifeSite. “To depart from the use of what has always been the matter of the Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist has the gravest of implications,” he said.

“This is completely impossible because it is against the divine law which God has given us,” Bishop Athanasius Schneider, auxiliary of Astana, responded to the proposed change. “To celebrate the Eucharist with yuca would mean introducing a kind of a new religion.”

Fr. John Saward, senior research fellow at Blackfriars Hall, University of Oxford, said that replacing wheaten bread with yuca would contravene the witness of Tradition, St. Thomas Aquinas, and the Code of Canon Law. 

And one prominent theologian, speaking on condition of anonymity, told LifeSite: 

If the Pope were to press ahead with this permission on the grounds of “development of doctrine,” thereby aiding and abetting the heterodox theologians in Rome (or Brazil or Germany or wherever) who proposed it, then he will be authorizing a change of the substance of the Sacrament as determined by the action of Christ our Lord at the Last Supper. “Masses” celebrated with “yuca” bread would not be Masses; there would be no Real Presence, no Sacrifice. 

Here's what canon law presently says:

A few quick observations:

i) As a rule, I think the communion elements should be bread and (red) wine. 

ii) Many evangelical churches use bread and grape juice while liturgical churches use wafers and wine. Both traditions fail to correspond consistently to the Last Supper.

iii) There is no "divine law" about the communion elements. The Last Supper accounts are descriptive, not prescriptive. Mind you, it would be flippant to substitute communion elements without good reason. 

iv) This is an issue for communicants with food allergies. Consider the debate over gluten-free wafers. 

v) I've never seen the rationale for communion wafers. I assume one reason is that it makes it look more official. It may be related to the tradition of the "reserved sacrament"–which is, in turn, related to eucharistic adoration. Communion wafers last longer than fresh bread, 

vi) However, the Catholic reaction to the trial balloon about changing the "matter of communion" illustrates the fanatical inconsistency of Catholic sacramentology. Since, according to transubstantiation, the communion elements are not, in fact, wheat bread and wine, what difference does it make? How would substituting different communion elements invalidate the eucharist if the empirical properties of bread and wine are illusory while the substance is the "true body and blood together with the soul and divinity" of Jesus? According to transubstantiation, the appearance of the consecrated bread and wine is just an optical (tangible, gustatory) illusion. By that reckoning, what difference would it make if the priest used Cracker Jack® instead of bread?  


  1. I think wafers are used in larger groups to reduce the risk of passing germs from the hundreds to thousands of hands that would touch the bread.

    Canon 924 to 930 shows that RC worships the elements, another evidence of idolatry.