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Transubstantiation

July 9, 2021 Bro. Clifford T. Sorita 476 views

SoritaAN ONLINE SURVEY ON THE FILIPINO CATHOLIC’S BELIEF ON THE HOLY EUCHARIST (which is part of a Survey Series in Celebration of the 500 Years of Christianity in the Philippines) was initiated by Radio Veritas using a stratified sample of 1,200 respondents nationwide for a +/- 3% margin of error (gathered through a text-based and online data gathering process). The following information is indicative of the respondents’ belief on the Holy Eucharist as the actual body and blood of Christ, inclusive of the dates covering April 25 – May 25, 2021. Results of which stipulates:

When asked, DO YOU BELIEVE THAT THE HOLY EUCHARIST IS THE ACTUAL BODY AND BLOOD OF CHRIST? A majority of the respondents at 97% say that they DO BELIEVE that the Holy Eucharist is indeed the real body and blood of Christ and not just SYMBOLICAL. The remaining 2% said that they DO NOT believe that the Holy Eucharist is real body and blood of Christ implying that it is merely depictive of the real body and blood of Christ; while the remaining 1% said that they were undecided on what to reply to this question.

“In the timely celebration of the Feast of Corpus Christi (the Body and Blood of Christ) last June 6, this survey result embodies the deep spirituality we have towards the Holy Eucharist. Compared to a survey stating that one-third of U.S. Catholics (31%) say they believe that during Catholic Mass, the bread and wine actually become the body and blood of Jesus. A 97% majority of Filipinos, believe in this core Catholic belief that Holy Eucharist is the actual Body and Blood of Christ; and that the Holy Eucharist is the source and summit of Christian Life. As St. Ambrose said: ‘If the word of the Lord Jesus is so powerful as to bring into existence things which were not, then a fortiori those things which already exist can be changed into something else’ (cf. De Sacramentis, IV, 5-16)” (Rev. Fr. Anton CT Pascual, Radio Veritas President).

As we continue to deepen our understanding of our Faith as Filipino Catholics (in this 500th Year Celebration of Christianity in the Philippines), this survey is indicative of our deep belief towards Transubstantiation — the idea that during Mass, the bread and wine used for Communion become the body and blood of Jesus Christ, which is central to the Catholic faith. In a time when most Catholics in other parts of the world see the Bread and Wine as mere symbols of the Body and Blood of Christ, it is noteworthy to stress that we Filipinos believe in the real presence of Christ in the Holy Eucharist. The resurrected Christ is present to his Church in many ways, but most especially through the sacrament of his Body and Blood.

The Council of Trent summarizes the Catholic faith by declaring: “Because Christ our Redeemer said that it was truly his body that he was offering under the species of bread, it has always been the conviction of the Church of God, and this holy Council now declares again, that by the consecration of the bread and wine there takes place a change of the whole substance of the bread into the substance of the body of Christ our Lord and of the whole substance of the wine into the substance of his blood. This change the holy Catholic Church has fittingly and properly called transubstantiation.”

Moreover, when asked “Based on your experience of attending the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, what aspects of its celebration do you think needs more improvement?” This nationwide survey also reveals the following facets that needs to be enhanced: (a) Church Ambiance; (b) Sound System; (c) Choir and Song Selection; (d) Priest Homily; (e) Mass Readers; and (f) friendliness of Church Volunteers. Among these facets the top concern is the Church Sound System at 27%, followed by Choir and Song Selection at 24%, then by Priest Homily and Church Ambiance which was tied at 20%, Mass Readers follows at 5%; and finally, the Friendliness of Church Volunteers at 4%.

“This survey launched during the Anniversary of the 1stMass in the Philippines (March 31) is just one in a series of surveys that we are conducting during our Celebration of the 500 Years of Christianity in the Philippines as way for us to fully understand the richness of our Faith, and to fully utilize these survey results to help in the ongoing evangelization thrust of the Philippine Catholic Church. We hope that through this social research initiative, we may be able to help the Church to continue to fulfill its mission beyond this 500th Year Festivities” (Rev. Fr. Anton CT Pascual, Radio Veritas President and CEO).

Results would similarly reveal that different age groups would have different concerns while attending the Mass. For those ages 13-20 (teens) their concern would be the Church Ambiance; for those 21-39 years old (young adults) it would be the Sound System, for those 40-60 years old (adults) it would be Choir and Song Selection, and finally for those 61 and above (elderly) their top concern was the Homily of the Priest. This breakdown of concerns based on demographic profile would be of great significance based on the profile of attendees per mass in each of our parishes.

In conclusion, allow me to quote our Holy Father, Pope Francis when he teaches us, “The Eucharist brings us the Father’s faithful love, which heals our sense of being orphans. It gives us Jesus’ love, which transformed a tomb from an end to a beginning, and in the same way can transform our lives. It fills our hearts with the consoling love of the Holy Spirit, who never leaves us alone and always heals our wounds. Every time we receive him, he reminds us that we are precious, that we are guests he has invited to his banquet, friends with whom he wants to dine. And not only because he is generous, but because he is truly in love with us. He sees and loves the beauty and goodness that we are”.

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