For Catholics, the mass is the absolute centerpiece of their belief system. During the ritual, the priest allegedly changes bread wafers and wine into the literal body, blood, soul, and divinity of Jesus Christ. The attendees then line up to consume the Jesus wafers and wine, believing that, during the fifteen minutes their stomach acids are breaking them down, the consecrated elements impart graces that will enable them to avoid sin so that they will hopefully be able to merit Heaven.
This morning, I was listening to the 11/27/13 podcast of “Calling All Catholics” talk radio show (The Station of the Cross, WLOF, 101.7 FM, Buffalo, NY) with moderator Mike Denz and host, Catholic priest, Peter Calabrese, taking questions from listeners, and a couple of interesting questions came up regarding the bread wafers and wine used in the Catholic mass.
Mike Denz: “We have a question from Pauline who emailed us and she wants to know,…during Prohibition in the United States…did priests have access to wine for communion and, if not, did they only consecrate the hosts? And then the second (question) is, what do priests do for communion if they are in regions that do not have access to the standard bread and wine?”
Priest Calabrese responded that during Prohibition there were no restrictions on alcoholic wine for religious purposes. Regarding the second question, Calabrese said church law mandates the bread wafers used at mass can only be made from wheat flour and the wine can only be made from grapes.
Catholic Canon Law #924 states, “The Most Sacred Eucharistic Sacrifice must be celebrated with bread and wine, with which a small quantity of water is to be mixed. The bread must be made of wheat alone recently made so that there is no danger of corruption. The wine must be natural wine of the grape and not corrupt.”
If wheat wafers and grape wine are not readily available in a certain locale, they must be imported. Calabrese noted that an exception was made when the Jesuits exported Catholicism to the Far East in the 16th century and wheat and grapes were not available so rice wafers and rice wine were substituted, but this was only a temporary measure and was eventually rescinded.
What this means is, if the elements are made with something other than wheat and grapes, then the sacrament is “invalidated.” The priest can only change the elements into Jesus if they are made from wheat flour and grapes!
No, I’m not making any of this up (see the article below).
The Catholic doctrine that priests change bread wafers and wine into the literal body and blood of Jesus, a woefully faulty interpretation of John 6 and the Last Supper passages, and that physically eating these elements imparts eternal life, defies a spiritual understanding of Scripture on many levels. Belief/trusting in Christ as Savior by faith alone is the meaning of John 6, not eating Jesus wafers. And the painfully scrupulous particularity regarding the ingredients of the elements just further illustrates the fact that Catholicism took a terribly wrong turn with all of this.
But the Catholic system is FILLED with these types of technical particularities that rival the elaborate legalities of the Pharisees of first-century Judea. I’m so glad Jesus freed me from the chains of Catholic legalism and ritual. Religious sacraments and ceremony don’t save. Accept Jesus Christ as your Savior today.
Do hosts used for the Holy Eucharist have to be made of wheat?