HOC EST ENIM CORPUS MEUM


Pictures from the "Be Not Afraid" series of videos, Copyright 1993,
Apostolate for Family Consecration,
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HOC EST ENIM CORPUS MEUM ... With these words spoken by the priest, the Catholic is taught the wafer of bread turns into the true body of Jesus. HIC EST ENIM CALIX SANGUINIS MEI ... and with these words of the priest, the Catholic is taught that the wine turns into the true blood of Jesus Christ. So Catholics are actually taught that the priest has it in his power to transform bread and wine into God!

These alleged changes of the bread and wine into God Himself are not evident in any outward physical change, but are declared by the Roman Catholic Church to be a matter of faith to the Catholic. Here are links to Roman Catholic pages on this topic:

The Latin Mass online at True Catholic, with an English translation.

The Blessed Eucharist as a Sacrament from the Catholic Encyclopedia, 1913 edition online at the New Advent Catholic Supersite.

The Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist also from the Catholic Encyclopedia, 1913 edition online at the New Advent Catholic Supersite.

Pope John Paul II, letter Dominicae Cenae - On the Mystery and Worship of the Eucharist, February 24, 1980.


But our wonder should be far greater when we find that in obedience to the words of his priests - HOC EST CORPUS MEUM - God himself descends on the altar, that he comes wherever they call him and as often as they call him, and places [pg. 27] himself in their hands, even though they should be be his enemies. And after having come, he remains, entirely at their disposal they move him as they please, from one place to another, they may, if they wish, shut him up in the tabernacle, expose him on the altar, or carry him outside the church; they may, if they choose, eat his flesh, and give him for the food of others. "Oh, how very great is their power," says St. Lawrence Justinian, speaking of priests. "A word falls from their lips and the body of Christ is there substantially formed from the matter of bread, and the Incarnate Word descended from heaven, is found really present on the table of the altar! Never did divine goodness give such power to the angels. The angels abide by the order of God, but the priests take him in their hands, distribute him to the faithful, and partake of him as food for themselves."

Source: The Dignity and Duties of the Priest or Selva, by St. Alphonsus de Liguori, translated from the Italian, edited by Eugene Grimm, copyright 1927 by Very Rev. James Barron, C.SS.R, pgs. 26-27.


Thus the priest may, in a certain manner, be called the creator of his Creator, ...

"The power of the priest," says St. Bernadine of Sienna, "is the power of the divine person; for the transubstantiation of the bread requires as much power as the creation of the world."

As the Word of God created heaven and earth, so, says St. Jerome, the words of the priest create Jesus Christ.

Source: Ibid, pgs. 32, 33.


"According to St. Ambrose, a priest, in absolving a sinner, performs the very office of the Holy Ghost in the sanctification of souls."

"Innocent III has written: 'Indeed, it is not too much to say that in view of the sublimity of their offices the priests are so many gods.'"

Source: Ibid, pg. 36.

Here is a biography of St. Alphonsus Liguori from the 1913 Catholic Encyclopedia online at the New Advent web site.

The Dignity and Duties of the Priest, by St. Alphonsus Liguori, can be ordered from  TAN Books and Publishers, INC.


The Council of Trent (1545-1563) declared in the canons of the Most Holy Sacrament of the Eucharist:

1. If anyone denies that the body and blood, together with the soul and divinity, of our Lord Jesus Christ and, therefore, the whole Christ is truly, really, and substantially contained in the sacrament of the most holy Eucharist, but says that Christ is present in the Sacrament only as in a sign or figure, or by his power: let him be anathema.

2. If anyone says that the substance of bread and wine remains in the holy sacrament of the Eucharist together with the body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ, and denies that wonderful and extraordinary change of the whole substance of the bread into Christ's body and the whole substance of the wine into his blood while only the species of bread and wine remain, a change which the Catholic Church has most fittingly called transubstantiation: let him be anathema.

3. If anyone denies that in the venerable sacrament of the Eucharist the whole Christ is contained under each species and under each and every portion of either species when it is divided up: let him be anathema.

4. If anyone says that after the consecration the body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ are not present in the marvelous sacrament of the Eucharist, but are present only in the use of the sacrament while it is being received, and not before or after, and that the true body of the Lord does not remain in the consecrated hosts or particles that are kept or are left over after the Communion: let him be anathema.

5. If anyone says that the principle effect of the most holy Eucharist is the forgiveness of sins, or that other effects do not come from the Eucharist: let him be anathema.

6. If anyone says that Christ, the only-begotten Son of God, is not to be adored in the Holy Sacrament of the Eucharist with the worship of latria, including the external worship, and that the Sacrament, thererfore, is not to be honored with extraordinary festive celebrations nor solemnly carried from place to place in processions according to the praiseworthy universal rite and custom of the holy Church; or that the Sacrament is not to be publicly exposed for the people's adoration, and that those who adore it are idolators: let him be anathema.

7. If anyone says that it is not permissible to keep the sacred Eucharist in a holy place, but that it must necessarily be distributed immediately after the consecration to those who are present; or that it is not permissible to carry the Eucharist respectfully to the sick: let him be anathema.

8. If anyone says that Christ present in the Eucharist is only spiritually eaten and not sacramentally and really as well: let him be anathema.

9. If anyone denies that each and everyone of Christ's faithful of both sexes, is bound, when he reaches the age of reason, to receive Communion at least every year during the Paschal season according to the command of holy Mother Church: let him be anathema.

10. If anyone says that it is not permissible for a priest celebrating Mass to give Communion to himself: let him be anathema.

11. If anyone says that faith alone is a sufficient preparation for receiving the sacrament of the most holy Eucharist: let him be anathema. And, lest this great sacrament be received unworthily and thus be received unto death and condemnation, this holy council has determined and decreed that those who have mortal sin on their conscience, no matter how contrite they may think they are, must necessarily make a sacramental confession before receiving, provided that they have access to a confessor. If anyone presumes to teach, or preach, or stubbornly maintain, or defend in public disputation the opposite of this, he is excommunicated by his action.

Canons of the Most Holy Sacrament of the Eucharist online at Hanover College.


Bishops and priests being, as they are, God's interpreters and ambassadors, empowered in His name to teach mankind the divine law and the rules of conduct, and holding, as they do, His place on earth, it is evident that no nobler function than theirs can be imagined. Justly, therefore, are they called not only Angels, but even gods, because of the fact that they exercise in our midst the power and prerogatives of the immortal God.

In all ages, priests have been held in the highest honor; yet the priests of the New Testament far exceed all others. For the power of consecrating and offering the body and blood of our Lord and of forgiving sins, which has been conferred on them, not only has nothing equal or like it on earth, but even surpasses human reason and understanding.

Source: The Catechism of the Council of Trent (The Roman Catechism), translated by John A McHugh, O.P., S.T.M., LITT.D. and Charles J. Callan, O.P., S.T.M., LITT.D., published by Tan Books and Publishers, Inc., Copyright 1992, Rockford, Illinois, 61105, Sacrament of Holy Orders, Dignity of this Sacrament, page 318.


Power of Consecrating

The third great power of the priestly office is the climax of all. It is the power of consecrating. "No act is greater," says saint Thomas, "than the consecration of the body of Christ." In this essential phase of the sacred ministry, the power of the priest is not surpassed by that of the bishop, the archbishop, the cardinal or the pope. Indeed it is equal to that of Jesus Christ. For in this role the priest speaks with the voice and the authority of God Himself.

When the priest pronounces the tremendous words of consecration, he reaches up into the heaven, brings Christ down from His throne, and places Him upon our altar to be offered up again as the victim for the sins of man. It is a power greater than that of monarchs and emperors. It is greater than that of saints and angels, greater than that of Seraphim and Cherubim. Indeed, it is greater than the power of the Virgin Mary. While the blessed virgin was the human agency by which Christ became incarnate a single time, the priest brings Christ down from heaven, and renders Him present on our altar as the eternal victim for the sins of man-not once, but, a thousand times! The priest speaks and lo! Christ the eternal and omnipotent God, bows His head in humble obedience to the priest's command.

[pg.271] Of what sublime dignity is the office of the Christian priest who is thus privileged to act as the ambassador and the vicegerent of Christ on earth. He continues the essential ministry of Christ - he teaches the faithful with the authority of Christ, he offers up again the same sacrifice of adoration and atonement which Christ offered on Calvary. No wonder that the name which spiritual writers are especially fond of applying to the priest is that of "alter Christus." For the priest is and should be another Christ.

Source: Faith of Millions, by Reverend John A. O'brien, Copyright 1938, published by Our Sunday Visitor, Huntington Indiana, page 270, 271.


(See also The Holy Eucharist online at EWTN).


Now that the Roman Catholic teaching has been presented, just what does the Bible say on the matter? The Passover meal celebrated by Jesus and His disciples the evening before the crucifixion is found in the following passages-

Mat 26:26 And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and blessed it, and brake it, and gave it to the disciples, and said, Take, eat; this is my body.
Mat 26:27 And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, Drink ye all of it;
Mat 26:28 For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.

Mark 14:22 And as they did eat, Jesus took bread, and blessed, and brake it, and gave to them, and said, Take, eat: this is my body.
Mark 14:23 And he took the cup, and when he had given thanks, he gave it to them: and they all drank of it.
Mark 14:24 And he said unto them, This is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many.

Luke 22:17 And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and said, Take this, and divide it among yourselves:
Luke 22:18 For I say unto you, I will not drink of the fruit of the vine, until the kingdom of God shall come.
Luke 22:19 And he took bread, and gave thanks, and brake it, and gave unto them, saying, This is my body which is given for you: this do in remembrance of me.
Luke 22:20 Likewise also the cup after supper, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood, which is shed for you.

1 Cor 11:24 And when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me.
1 Cor 11:25 After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me.
1 Cor 11:26 For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do show the Lord's death till he come.
1 Cor 11:27 Wherefore whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink this cup of the Lord, unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord.
1 Cor 11:28 But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup.
1 Cor 11:29 For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord's body.

Well, it looks like an open and shut case in favor of Roman Catholic teaching, doesn't it? Who could dispute the clear meaning of the above passages? The above passages plainly state that the bread and wine are in fact, the body and blood of Jesus Christ... well don't they? If you read strictly at an absolutely literal level you can only reach this conclusion. But did Jesus always speak only on a literal level?-

Mat 13:10 And the disciples came, and said unto him, Why speakest thou unto them in parables?
Mat 13:11 He answered and said unto them, Because it is given unto you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given.
Mat 13:12 For whosoever hath, to him shall be given, and he shall have more abundance: but whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken away even that he hath.
Mat 13:13 Therefore speak I to them in parables: because they seeing see not; and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand.
Mat 13:14 And in them is fulfilled the prophecy of Esaias, which saith, By hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and shall not perceive:

So there were times that Jesus spoke symbolically in parables, so that unbelievers would not comprehend what He said, but the faithful would understand the spiritual significance of His teaching. So in some cases, there are two levels to the teaching of Jesus, the absolute literal, which will not be comprehended by the unbeliever, and the true symbolic spiritual meaning that would be discerned by the people of God. Let's look at a related passage and interpret it first on a strictly literal level:

John 6:35 And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst.
John 6:36 But I said unto you, That ye also have seen me, and believe not.
John 6:37 All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.
John 6:38 For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me.
John 6:39 And this is the Father's will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day.
John 6:40 And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day.
John 6:41 The Jews then murmured at him, because he said, I am the bread which came down from heaven.

John 6:48 I am that bread of life.
John 6:49 Your fathers did eat manna in the wilderness, and are dead.
John 6:50 This is the bread which cometh down from heaven, that a man may eat thereof, and not die.
John 6:51 I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever: and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.
John 6:52 The Jews therefore strove among themselves, saying, How can this man give us his flesh to eat?
John 6:53 Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you.
John 6:54 Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day.
John 6:55 For my flesh is meat indeed, and my blood is drink indeed.
John 6:56 He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, dwelleth in me, and I in him.
John 6:57 As the living Father hath sent me, and I live by the Father: so he that eateth me, even he shall live by me.
John 6:58 This is that bread which came down from heaven: not as your fathers did eat manna, and are dead: he that eateth of this bread shall live for ever.

So, on a literal level Jesus is really bread and those who believe on him and eat his flesh and drink his blood will never get hungry or thirsty, they have eternal life, living forever. Note that the unbelieving Jews were perplexed by this? The literal surface meaning confused them. How could they possibly eat the flesh and drink the blood of this Jesus? On the same literal level, let me ask the following: Do Catholics ever get hungry or thirsty (v.35)? Don't Catholics die (vs. 50, 58)? If the above passage is literally true, then all Catholics who have died, been thirsty or hungry, have apparently lacked the faith described above and are lost souls as a result.

Obviously, the above passage from John is not to be read absolutely literally. So, clearly Jesus was not speaking literally of eating His flesh and blood, but rather symbolically or parabolically of the Passover meal, with the bread symbolic of His broken body and the wine symbolic of His shed blood.

So, what is the purpose of the Lord's supper?

Luke 22:19 And he took bread, and gave thanks, and brake it, and gave unto them, saying, This is my body which is given for you: this do in remembrance of me.

1 Cor 11:24 And when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me.

1 Cor 11:26 For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do show the Lord's death till he come.

The Lord's supper is a commemoration or memorial to the death of Jesus Christ on the cross as the Lamb of God, offered for the sins of the world. So what does it mean to partake unworthily (1 Cor 11:27)?

The Bible speaks symbolically of the process of eating and drinking to actually mean the process of understanding:

Ezek 3:1 Moreover he said unto me, Son of man, eat that thou findest; eat this roll, and go speak unto the house of Israel.
Ezek 3:2 So I opened my mouth, and he caused me to eat that roll.
Ezek 3:3 And he said unto me, Son of man, cause thy belly to eat, and fill thy bowels with this roll that I give thee. Then did I eat it; and it was in my mouth as honey for sweetness.
Ezek 3:4 And he said unto me, Son of man, go, get thee unto the house of Israel, and speak with my words unto them.

Jer 15:16 Thy words were found, and I did eat them; and thy word was unto me the joy and rejoicing of mine heart: for I am called by thy name, O LORD God of hosts.

Rev 10:9 And I went unto the angel, and said unto him, Give me the little book. And he said unto me, Take it, and eat it up; and it shall make thy belly bitter, but it shall be in thy mouth sweet as honey.
Rev 10:10 And I took the little book out of the angel's hand, and ate it up; and it was in my mouth sweet as honey: and as soon as I had eaten it, my belly was bitter.

John 4:14 But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.

Again, these passages are not literally speaking of eating or drinking anything. To eat the roll, words, or book or drink the water actually means to understand the words of God. Such understanding is likened to the sweetness of honey and causes rejoicing.

Eating is also equated with gaining knowledge in the garden of Eden-

Gen 3:6 And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat.
Gen 3:7 And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked;...

Eating from the forbidden fruit in the tree of knowledge suddenly opened the eyes of Adam and Eve, and they now had knowledge of evil and knew they were naked!

So then, what does it mean to "eat" the body of Christ, or "drink" His blood? Is it literal? No, Jesus was speaking symbolically of our understanding the reason for His death on the cross. He died in your place, for your sins, and if you have faith in His atonement for you, if you understand and acknowledge this, then you are to partake in the Passover meal or Communion to bring to mind and commemorate His death on the cross. By doing so, you are also openly confessing Jesus Christ has fully paid the price for your sins. The ceremony itself, however, is not magical and does nothing of itself. Yet, if the ignorant or unbelieving partake of the Lord's supper, they do so unworthily, since they do not understand the sacrifice Christ has made for them at the cross, and by such ignorance they eat and drink damnation, not understanding the death of Christ for their sins! This faith in His death for us is the very foundation of the Gospel message - Heb 11:6 But without faith it is impossible to please him:

"Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man," says Christ, "and drink His blood, ye have no life in you." This seems to enjoin a crime or a vice; it is therefore a figure, enjoining that we should have a share in the sufferings of our Lord, and that we should retain a sweet and profitable memory of the fact that His flesh was wounded and crucified for us.

Source: On Christian Doctrine, Book 3, Chapter 16, St. Augustine (354-430 A.D.).

So, when properly understood, the Passover meal known as the Lord's Supper or Communion, or Eucharist, is an important but symbolic commemoration of the death of Jesus Christ, which the faithful partake in periodically as a public acknowledgement of their faith, an expression of understanding, and by the faith they confess their sins are forgiven by a loving God. This is something the Roman Catholic Church utterly fails to understand, just like the Jews of Christ's time, hence the condemnation Roman Catholicism proclaims in ignorance on anyone who would deny what they call transubstantiation, or the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist. By adoring or worshipping pieces of bread and calling them God, they are in fact engaged in an act of idolatry, despite their protests to the contrary.

    The Catholic version of the Scriptures makes Jesus say: "Thou wilt not leave my soul in hell, neither wilt thou suffer thy holy one to see corruption." Acts ii. 27.  Now every wafer swallowed by Catholics enters the physical system, and corrupts with the decaying body, if not sooner. Every fragment of Christ's body that ever entered the stomach of one of the faithful, has seen corruption already in the bodies of all the dead, or will see it in the mouldering remains of all the living.
    Every miracle of Christ was an apparent miracle; it could be tested by the senses; and the wonder had to be acknowledged by friend and foe. When he turned the water into wine at the wedding, let us suppose that it had the taste of water still, and its clear appearance; and that he and his mother assured the festive company that their senses deceived them, that it was really wine. How many at the marriage would have believed Jesus? Such a statement would have blasted the Saviour's veracity forever among these people. Or when he feeds the thousands with the five loaves and two fishes, let us suppose that the miracle is of the

[p. 196]

mass order, that there is no increase of the loaves and fishes of which the people have any sensible evidence. He breaks them in little pieces, giving a portion to each: when the hungry multitude swallow the little morsels, they cry out: "What folly to give us these atoms!" Says Jesus: "I have magnified them by miracle into a sufficiency to satisfy you all." "You have!" they reply. "It looked small, it felt small, it tasted small." "Ah," he replies, "but your senses deceive you, you cannot trust them." If the Saviour had been capable of such a piece of imposition, these thousands would have branded him as the most deceitful and barefaced trickster that ever tried to take advantage of human credibility. Every miracle of Jesus appeared a supernatural occurrence to those who beheld it. The mass shows no change. It appears bread, its friends say it is flesh and blood; it is certainly a case of false appearances; it is no miracle of Jesus. His were all real, visible, undoubted.
   
A story is told of the celebrated Duke of Buckingham, that he consented to receive the ministrations of a priest during an illness. The duke, even in sickness, loved a joke, and as the father made some effort to convert him, he feigned a sort of dreamy unconsciousness of his presence. He held a cork in his hand, which he treated as if it were a splendid horse; he spoke of it height, its action, its beauty, and addressed it as an old equine acquaintance. The priest tried to convince him that it was not a horse, that he was certainly mistaken; that if he would look at it he would see it was not a horse but only a cork; that if he would taste it he would be satisfied that it was a cork; that if he would feel it he would perceive it was but a cork; that if he would listen to it for years he would never hear the snorts, neighing or breathing of a horse. The duke professed his conviction that it was only a cork. As conversation progressed, the eucharist was introduced, and the priest declared it to be Jesus Christ, soul, body, and divinity. The duke expressed his astonishment at the statement of the father; intimated that he must be somewhat beside himself: for it you touch it you will understand that is was not a human body, if you look at it you can only receive that conviction, if you

[p. 197]

taste it you will discover nothing but water and flour; if you scent it you will find no odor of flesh and blood. And he informed the father that a man must be out of his mind who believed a thing so contrary to his senses.*
    We receive all knowledge through our senses. If we cannot believe each of them in its own limited sphere, when each is in healthful exercise, we are not safe in believing anything. Our taste, touch, scent, sight, testify that the priest's wafer is not Christ's body and blood, but the flour and water of the cook. He tells us that it is Christ's body, but he gives no evidence to establish the truth of the statement, except such testimony as would prove Christ to be a literal rock, lamb, corner-stone, sun, door, vine, shepherd, or morning star, between which objects and Jesus, in some features of his person or work, there is such a resemblance as led him to be called by their names; or such evidence as would prove Peter, the foundation of the Romish Church, to be the devil.
    Were the keen old satirist living who laughed so immoderately at the follies of Egyptian idolatry, and who derisively complimented that people in the well-known words: "Oh holy nations, for whom these divinities grow in the gardens!" with what cultivated, heathen scorn, he would address his degenerate Roman fellow citizens, and exclaim: "Oh happy pontiff! O blessed papal fold, whose god grows in every ear of wheat, whose divinity is made by a baker and a priest, and then swallowed!"
    The human body of Christ is in heaven; and as no material substance can be in two places at one time, or in a hundred thousand places at one time, the wafer-body of Christ is an imposition, a plain, unmitigated counterfeit, the reception of which is not an act of faith, but a deed which flings away the Bible and common sense for an impious dogma which the Scriptures never taught, and a soul exercising its intelligence could not believe.


* [Rev. M. Hobart] Seymour's "Evenings with the Romanists," p. 346. [Robert Carter and Bros.] N.Y., 1856.
"O sanctus gentes! quibus haec nascuntur in hortis numina."Satira xv., Juvenal.

Source: The Papal System: From Its Origin to the Present Time, by William Cathcart, D.D., published in 1872 by Menace Publishing Company, Aurora, Mo., pages 195-197.

(Post Script: The word "Eucharist" is Greek for thanksgiving. The words "HOC EST ENIM CORPUS MEUM" spoken by the priest proclaiming the bread to be God are the source of the slang phrase HOCUS POCUS!)


.See also Catholicism's Unbloody Sacrifice  and The Monstrance 



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