Appeared in Vol. 10 No. 2 Download PDF here.

The Eucharist remains the heart of Catholicism. As such, any significant change in its customary use carries a potential profound impact on Catholic Faith and life. In the article below, Kevin Long reviews the history of the quarrel over the use of the chalice among the laity, which in turn throws into relief the doctrine of The Real Presence of Christ.

Of all the periods of Church history, none seem to have effected a greater transformation of that institution’s visible elements than the program of reform precipitated by the Council of Trent1 in the sixteenth century. Furthermore, of all the decrees of that great council, the unambiguous definitions of Transubstantiation and the Real Presence, still the last word on those subjects,2 seem to have had the most curious and colorful history.


From the earliest days of the Church, the dual practices of administering the Sacrament of the Eucharist under both species (sub utraque) and under the form of bread only (sub una) existed side by side. By the thirteenth century, however, the former practice had gradually fallen into disuse in the West, largely for reasons of reverence3 and public health.

Then in 1414, an obscure Prague professor and disciple of John Hus named James the Little (Jakoubek of Strzibo) began to teach that Communion sub utraque was a divine command and that Communion sub una, far from conferring sacramental grace, was in fact a sacrilege.4 James’ thesis was based upon a faulty understanding of Our Lord’s words in the sixth chapter of St. John’s Gospel: “Amen, Amen, I say unto you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you will not have life in you.” (John 6:54)

Although the Church had never formally defined her position, the weight of theological opinion on the matter was that both the Body and Blood of Christ are contained, whole and entire, under each species.5 James, on the contrary, taught that only Christ’s Body is contained under the form of bread and only His Blood was contained under the wine. He therefore urged his followers to demand Communion sub utraque. The Council of Constance (1415), suspecting on the strength of traditional teaching that the growing ” Utraquist” movement was founded upon heresy, prohibited the use of the chalice to the laity.6

At this point, it would be advantageous to investigate whether there may have been any theological substance behind the Utraquists’ claims.


The position of the Utraquists rested upon the following propositions:

[1] The priest, upon saying the words of consecration, This is my Body, brings about by the power of the sacrament only the Body of Christ.

[2] Upon saying the words This is the chalice of my Blood, etc. the priest brings about sacramentally only the Blood of Christ.

[3] Both species are required for a true and valid sacrament. [4] The deliberate omission of either species is a sacrilege.

As stated, these propositions are in harmony with the teaching of St. Thomas Aquinas as set forth in the Summa Theologica.

It is perfectly true, first of all, that the priest, by the power of the sacrament, brings about the Body of Christ upon pronouncing the words This is my Body and the Blood upon saying This is my Blood. However, the sacramental mode is not the only way in which Our Lord’s Body and Blood are present. While His Body is present under the form of bread by the power of the sacrament, His Blood is also present by real concommittance, and vice versa, “for if any two things be really united, then wherever the one is really , there must the other also be.”7 St. Thomas further illuminates this point by noting that, if one of the Apostles had consecrated bread and wine at the time of Our Lord’s death, that is, during the time that His Body was really separated from His Blood, only His Body would be present under the form of bread and only His Blood under the wine.8

It might be objected, however, that understanding the Real Presence in this way renders the two forms of bread and wine superfluous, since the whole Christ is present under each species. St. Thomas responds by pointing out the significance of the bread and wine taken separately, as well as the significance of the separation itself. Regarding the first, he says:

[This sacrament] is ordained for spiritual refreshment, which is conformed to corporeal refreshment. Now there are two things required for corporeal refreshment, namely, food, which is dry sustenance, and drink, which is wet sustenance. Consequently, two things concur for the integrity of this sacrament, to wit, spiritual food and spiritual drink…. so bread and wine, wherewith men are commonly refreshed, are employed in this sacrament for the use of spiritual nourishment.9

Regarding the second, he says:

Although the whole Christ is under each species, yet it is not so without purpose. For this serves to represent Christ’s Passion in which the blood was separated from the body; hence, in the form of consecration of the blood mention is made of its shedding…. And therefore in this sacrament, the bread is received separately as the sacrament of the Body and the wine as the sacrament of the Blood.10

On the last two propositions (3 and 4, as given above) the Utraquists appear to have on their side the authority of Pope St. Gelasius I, whom St. Thomas cites in an objection in asking “Whether it is lawful to receive the Body of Christ without the Blood?”:

We have learned that some persons after taking only a portion of the sacred Body, abstain from the chalice of the sacred Blood. I know not for what superstitious notion they do this; therefore let them either receive the entire sacrament or let them be withheld from the sacrament altogether … because the dividing of one and the same mystery cannot happen without a great sacrilege.11

The decree of Pope Gelasius, however, was directed principally at the

Manichees who refused the chalice on account of their “superstitious notion” that wine was impure and intrinsically sinful.12

St. Thomas responds further by pointing ouf that, insofar as the decree applies more universally than to just the Manichees, it is binding only onthe priest, who is always obliged to communicate under both species. Unlike other sacraments, he explains, the Eucharist is completed in the consecration of the matter at the hands of the priest rather than in its use, which in this case is reception by the faithful. Furthermore, its use, that is consumption, by the priest under both species is sufficient, since he receives on behalf of all. Thus there is nothing unbefitting in the faithful receiving under the species of bread only, which, as St. Thomas notes with approval, “is the custom of many churches” :

The greatest reverence and caution are called for lest anything happen which would so much as tend toward disrespect for so great a mystery. Now this is particularly prone to happen in receiving the blood, for if incautiously handled, it is easily spilt. And because the multitude of the Christian people having increased, in which there are old, young and children, some of whom have not sufficient discretion to observe due caution in using this sacrament, on that account it is a prudent custom in some churches for the blood not to be offered to the reception of the people, but to be received by the priest alone.13


Had the Utraquist movement remained a purely theological question, it would have soon suffered, in all probability, the quiet and relatively respectful death of a subtle misunderstanding motivated by excessive religious zeal. Unfortunately, the Bohemians, who opposed the German influence of the Holy Roman Empire, were at this time organizing in Prague and they adopted the chalice as their symbol of national unity. The symbol of the chalice soon replaced the crucifix in many churches and it decorated the nationalists’ banners and shields.14 Thus the theological issue became hopelessly entangled in the passions of national politics.15

In 1419, the year following the decree of the Council of Constance, anti-German riots broke out in Prague, resulting in one of that city’s famous defenestrations. The insurrection so disturbed King Wenceslas that he died the following month. Sigismund, the brother of Wenceslas and a fierce opponent of Utraquism, determined to seize the throne of Bohemia and, with the help of Pope Martin V, launched a series of unsuccessful crusades to conquer Prague. By the end of Martin’s pontificate in 1431, all attempts to acquire the throne by force had proved futile and diplomatic negotiations were begun at the Council of Basle (1431-49) under the successor, Pope Eugene IV. Negotiations were held up by the radical demands of the Taborites,16 an extreme Hussite faction among the Bohemians. However, when the moderate Utraquists defeated the Taborites in a civil war in 1434, a reconciliation was obtained. By this arrangement, known as the Compacts of 1436, the Bohemians recognized Sigismund as their king, while Pope Eugene granted a dispensation to Bohemia for Communion under both species.

Sigismund died the following year and his successor, Albert of Austria, died shortly after, leaving the throne to Albert’s infant son, Ladislas. The regency was assumed in 1446 by the radical Utraquist George of Podebrad (described by one historian as “a Czech Napoleon”17) when he led his Hussite army into Prague. Later, George himself became king upon the sudden death of Ladislas in 1457. Relations between George and the Bohemian nobles still loyal to Rome became strained, and in 1465, the nobles formed a confederacy against him. Pope Paul II, who had already renounced the concession of the Compacts made under his predecessor, now cast his support to the confederacy and excommunicated George, thereby relieving his subjects of any allegiance to him. The Romanists thereupon proclaimed Matthias of Hungary the king of Bohemia, while the anti-Roman Utraquists elected Prince Vladislav of Poland, who had pledged to uphold the Compacts.

After about a decade of confusion and anarchy, an agreement was finally reached in favor of Vladislav who ruled Bohemia until his death in 1516. When Vladislav’s son Louis came to power in 1522, he promptly dismissed all the Bohemian state officials, most of whom happened to belong to the faction of the Utraquists most loyal to Rome, and appointed radical Hussites in their place. However, in the following years when Louis needed the help of the Pope in his struggle with Turkey, he restored some of the romanists to power. A civil war was soon precipitated in Bohemia and as a result of the confusion, Louis was defeated by the Turks at the Battle of Mohacs in 1526.

In that same year, the electors of Bohemia chose Archduke (later Emperor) Ferdinand of Austria as their king on the strength of his claim to that title as husband of Anna, King Vladislav’s daughter. Although Ferdinand was not in sympathy with the Utraquists, his preoccupation with the Turks robbed him of any inclination to argue with his new subjects, who threatened riot and rebellion if he attempted to interfere with their religious practices.

Meanwhile, Luther had already begun his campaign of reform and, although hesitant at first about the necessity of communion under both species, he eventually incorporated the Utraquist cause into his own agenda.18 Curiously, the followers of Zwingli and Calvin supported the movement most enthusiastically, although both sects denied the Real Presence. By the middle of the century, the Utraquist movement had spread all over Austria, Bavaria and the Rhineland, and had even crossed the border into France. Alarmed at this development, the great Jesuit saint, Peter Canisius, who was to become known for his preaching and writing as “Apostle to the Germans,” began a series of sermons against the Utraquists’ confused doctrines. St. Peter employed every imaginable argument from Scripture, the Church Fathers, the Council, church historians and even the writings of Luther and Melanchthon themselves.19

Ferdinand, who was, at least on the authority of St. Peter Canisius, sincerely devoted to the Church and her welfare,20 devised a subtle strategy for dealing with both the Lutherans and Utraquists. He frequently announced, publically and adamantly, his commitment to toleration and his advocacy of Church reform. The latter was documented in a lengthy work known as the Libellus Reformntionis21, which included a request for a grant of the chalice to the laity of the Empire. At the same time, he encouraged and patronized the Jesuit project of establishing Catholic schools and colleges through the Empire-the beginning of the Counter-Reformation in Northern Europe.22


When the Council of Trent took up the chalice controversy in 1562, the discussions were organized under the following articles:23

[1] Are all and each of Christ’s faithful obliged by a precept of God to receive the Most Holy Sacrament of the Eucharist under both kinds?

[2] Are the reasons which led the Holy Catholic Church to administer Communion under the species of bread alone to lay people, and also to priests not saying Mass, still to be considered so binding that no conditions would justify the administration of the chalice to the laity?

[3] If for valid reasons of Christian charity it be thought good to concede the use of the chalice to any particular nation or kingdom, under what conditions is the concession to be made?

[4] Does he who communicates under one species only receive less spiritual benefit than he who communicates under both?

[5] Is it necessary in virtue of a divine ordinance to administer Holy Communion to children before they come to the use of reason?24

The debates on the three doctrinal articles (the first, fourth and fifth) were

held in the Church of Santa Maria Maggiore and continued every morning and afternoon, without interruption, from June lOth to June 23rd.25 St. Peter Canisius was among the sixty-one theologians who addressed the issues, some speaking for two or three hours at a time. St. Peter’s two-hour speech to the Council on June 15th has been summarized as follows:

[Father Canisius] dealt first with the fifth article and showed by a wealth of quotations from early councils and Fathers that the Church had never considered it necessary to administer Holy Communion to children before they attained the use of reason.26 Then he turned to the first article, and, while maintaining stoutly the literal interpretation of the sixth chapter of St. John proved that the argument for Communion under both species drawn from it by Hussites and Utraquists was altogether inconclusive. St. John, he said, makes no mention of the chalice or the fruit of the vine in that chapter, and at the end of it records Our Lord’s explicit words, Qui manducat hunc panem vivet [“He who eats this bread will live” (John 6:59)].27 The words of St. Matthew, St. Luke, and St. Paul, Bibite ex hox omnes [“Drink of this all of you”] and Hoc facite in meam commemorationem [“Do this in memory of me”] were addressed solely to the apostles and could not have been intended as a law for the laity since they communicated the power of consecrating the sacred elements.28

The fathers of the Council were almost unanimous in supporting the views of St. Peter Canisius on the first and fifth articles.29 There was no consensus, however, on the fourth article, which had been controverted among theologians since the Middle Ages. Some held, contrary to Canisius, that there is a special and peculiar grace conveyed by the reception of the chalice. The question was not settled at Trent and remains open to this day.30

In the context of the debate over the doctrinal articles, another interesting controversy arose at the Council, namely, the interpretation of the sixth

chapter of St. John’s Gospel. Some theologians held that the text often cited by the Utraquists (John 6:54) as well as similar texts in the same chapter were to be understood in a spiritual sense, since, when the disciples “murmurred” at the idea of eating flesh and drinking blood, Christ replied: “It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing. The words that I have spoken to you are spirit and life.” (John 6:64) Paraphrasing this text, St. Augustine wrote:

Understand spiritually what I have said: ye are not to eat this body which ye see; nor to drink that blood which they who will crucify me shall pour forth. I have commended unto you a certain mystery; spiritually understood, it will quicken.31

Therefore, in this context, eating Our Lord’s flesh and drinking His Blood were to be “understood spiritually” as metaphors for faith in His person and His preaching, rather than as an anticipation of the institution of the Eucharist at the Last Supper.32

On the other hand, Peter Canisius argued vehemently, citing the clear teaching of St. John Chrysostom, that Christ had intended His words to be understood quite literally. He then exhorted the Council to issue a formal decree to this effect.33 Although the majority of theologians concurred with Canisius, this dispute was also left unsettled. The Council concluded only that a divine mandate for Communion sub utraque cannot be “rightly gathered from that discourse which is in the sixth chapter of John-no matter how, according to the various interpretations of the holy Fathers and Doctors, it is understood.”34


The doctrinal questions having been disposed of, let us now see how the Council treated the two practical articles (the second and third) concerning the concession of the chalice to the laity. Because Peter Canisius was to leave Trent on June 20th, he had already given his views on the matter in his speech of June 15th, to which we shall now return:

As for the concession of the chalice to the laity, which came under the second and third articles, Peter held that the privilege ought never to be allowed to professed heretics, but that “it should not be denied to Catholics living in the midst of heretics if there was no other way of keeping them in the Church.” This proposal he made with great diffidence and as a matter that ought to be the most carefully weighed before any action was taken. The only people whose claims he thought worthy of consideration were the Bohemians.35

For once, the Jesuits did not present a united front. St. Peter’s Jesuit colleague and friend, Fr. James Laynez, opposed any concession whatever. Yet by the time he was given an opportunity to speak,36 166 other theologians had already presented their views and, as the following tally makes clear, there had been little agreement among any of them:

[Of those who had spoken,] 29 were unreservedly for the concession; 31 for it should the Pope be agreeable; 19 for it on the same terms but only in favor of Hungary and Bohemia; 38 unreservedly against it; 10 against it subject to the decision of the Pope; 24 for leaving the affair entirely to the Pope; 14 for putting it off until a later date; and one who could not make up his mind. . . . 37

Pope Pius IV was not much help in the matter. Although he was rather skeptical that the grant of the chalice would solve any problems, he was perfectly willing to go along with any scheme for concession for which the

Council would take responsibility. The Council, however, ultimately left the decision unreservedly in the hands of the Holy See.

Although Peter Canisius had reluctantly allowed for a limited conces

sion of the chalice in his June 15th speech, he soon experienced a change of heart, as his biographer records:

In a lengthy letter from Innsbruck on Apri121st [1563], the Saint replied that the longer he lived in Germany and the more he heard, read and observed concerning the subject, the stronger became his conviction that the grant of the chalice would involve far worse consequences than its refusal. He was persuaded that the general run of priests had neither the competence nor the zeal to instruct their flocks adequately in the new rite, and that error in Eucharistic belief would only increase and become more firmly rooted as a result of the concession. The whole attitude of the petitioners, the fact that most of them were hostile to the Pope and many of them scarcely distinguishable from Lutherans, made it plain how little was to be hoped from a policy of conciliation.38

To the objection that this attitude might drive those of wavering faith out of the Church, he answered:

Better that only a few Catholics should be left, staunch and sincere in their religion, than that they should, remaining many, desire to be, as it were, in collusion with the Church’s enemies and in conformity with the open foes of our Faith.39

On April 16, 1564, Pius IV finally decided to grant the chalice to the Empire, or more precisely, to empower the bishops to allow or forbid the chalice in their dioceses, according to their judgment.40 Canisius was grieved at the news and immediately began a campaign to dissuade the bishops from making the concession. In a long document published anonymously, he attacked every claim made by the accomodationists with arguments drawn from both history and theology. Against their chief claim that the concession would bring peace and unity, St. Peter wrote:

Indeed the whole face of the Church will appear new, some worshippers desiring to communicate under one species and some under two, in the same temple, around the same altar, at the same Mass. So it will come about that what Christ gave us as a symbol of unity will be turned into an emblem of disorder.41

The campaign was not successful, yet, in the end, St. Peter’s intuitions were vindicated. It was his exertion on behalf of sound religious education, rather than Pius IV’s chalice concession, which won back much of the Empire to the Catholic fold.42


On October 30, 1962, during a general session of the Second Vatican Council, Cardinal Alfrink of Utrecht rose to advocate communion sub utraque, despite the objections previously raised by Cardinals Spellman and Godfrey on the grounds of history, theology and hygiene. He called attention to the section of the Preparatory Commission’s Schema on the Liturgy which recommended Communion under both species as being more in keeping with the words of Christ: “Unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His Blood …”(John 6:54) “In refusing to give the chalice to the laity,” the Cardinal argued, “the Church was depriving them of their right to conform to Christ’s injunction.’43 Cardinal Alfrink’s views were seconded by several others, including Cardinal Frings, Doepfner and Leger. At this point, Cardinal Ottaviani, astounded at what he had just heard, rose to ask “Are these fathers planning a revolution?”44

On September 3, 1965, just before the opening of the fourth and last session of the Council, Pope Paul VI issued the encyclical letter Mysterium Fidei which sharply condemned certain theologians who were indeed “planning a revolution” in sacramental theology by attempting to replace the traditional doctrine of Transubstantiation with the heterodox theory of “transignification”45

It cannot be tolerated that any individual should, on his own authority modify the formulas which were used by the Council of Trent to express belief in the Eucharistic Mystery.46

Shortly thereafter, Cardinal Alfring held an emergency press conference to announce that the Pope’s condemnation did not apply to the theologians of the “Dutch school” for which he was responsible.47

By December 8, 1965 , the work of the Council was complete. Despite the efforts of Cardinal Alfrink and the Dutch theologians, the Council documents contain nothing more revolutionary on the matter of Communion sub utraque than the following:

The dogmatic principles laid down by the Council of Trent remaining intact, Communion under both species may be granted when the bishops think proper, not only to clerics and religious, but also to the laity, in cases to be determined by the Apostolic See.48


1So extensive was the transformation that Church historian Daniel-Rops required a full chapter to ascertain whether Trent had brought about “a new church or a new look?” Henri Daniel-Rops, The Catholic Reformation, (Garden City, N.Y.: Doubleday, 1964) Vol. I, Ch. 13, pp. 189-198.

2Second Vatican Council, Sacrosanctum Concilium (Dec. 4, 1963) n. 55; Pope Paul VI, Mysterium Fidei (Sept. 3, 1965) passim; Sacred Congregation of Rites, Eucharisticum Mysterium (May 25, 1967) n. 3(f); Pope John-Paul II, Dominicae Caenae (Feb. 24, 1980) notes, 2, 46, 50.

 3Cf. St. Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologica (hereafter referred to as S. T), Part III, Question 81, article 1, corpus,

4James Brodrick, S.J., St. Peter Canisius (Chicago: Loyola Univ. Press, 1962) p. 495.

    5“[By the beginning of the twelfth century] theological teaching had become more clear and precise, namely that in the Sacrament not only were the Body or the Blood of Christ present, but the whole Christ, totus Christus, was present.” Joseph A. Jungmann, S.J., The Mass of the Roman Rite (N.Y.: Benzinger, 1951) Vol. I, p. 118.

6“Although in the early Church this Sacrament was received by the faithful under both species, still, to avoid certain scandals and dangers, the custom was introduced with good reason, that this Sacrament be received under both species by those who consecrate, and by the laity under the species of bread only. For it should be firmly believed, and not doubted in the least, that the entire Body and Blood of Christ are truly contained under both the species of bread and under the species of wine…. Therefore to say that it is sacrilegious or that it is wrong to observe this law or custom, must be considered erroneous. And those who obstinately maintain the opposite of what has been put down should be treated as heretics.” Council of Constance, Session XIII (Jun. 15, 1415) H. Denzinger-A. Schoenmetzer Enchirdion Symbolorum (Barcelona: Herder, 1965) n. 1198, p. 321.

7S.T., III, Q. 76, art. 2, corp.; art. 1, corp.; This and all subsequent citations

are taken, with slight emendations, from the English Dominican Fathers translation, (N.Y. Benzinger, 1948)

8S.T., III, Q. 81, art. 4, ad 2; cf. Q. 74, art. 1, corp.

9S.T., III, Q. 73, art. 2, corp.; Q. 74, art. 1, corp.

l0 S.T., III, Q. 76, art. 2, ad 1; Q. 74, art. 1, corp.
11 S. T., III, Q. 80, art. 12, ad 1, 2.

12Catholic Encyclopedia (N.Y.: 1913) Vol. IV, p. 406.
13S. T. , III, Q. 80, art. 12, corp.

14Brodrick, p. 495.

15The attempts by Rome to deny the chalice to the laity had an effect on the Bohemians comparable to what would occur today if the Pope removed St. Patrick from the liturgical calandar, declared the Blessed Mother’s apparition at Guadalupe to be a hoax, or dismissed the Black Madonna of Czestochowa as a pious fraud.

16“Many of them rejected the Real presence, purgatory, prayers for the dead, and all sacraments except baptism and communion, and discouraged the veneration of relics, images, and saints. They proposed to restore the simple ritual of the Apostolic Church, and repudiated all ecclesiastical rites and robes that they could not find in early Christianity. They objected to altars, organs, and the splendor of church decoration, and they destroyed such ornaments wherever they could. Like later Protestants, they reduced divine worship to communion, prayer, Scriptural readings, a sermon, and the singing of hymns; and these services were conducted by clergymen indistinguishable from the laity in dress.” Will Durant, The Story of Civilization (N.Y.: Simon and Schuster, 1957) Vol. VI, pp. 169-70

17Henri Daniel-Rops, The Protestant Reformation (N.Y.: E.P Dutton and Son, 1961) p. 70.

18Brodrick, p. 496.

19Brodrick, p. 497.

 20Brodrick, p. 510.

 21The Libellus was written by Fredrick Staphylus, a friend of Canisius and a distinguished convert from Protestantism. Although St. Peter always regarded him as a prudent man and an erudite scholar, the two disagreed about the Utraquists. Staphylus took a more conciliatory view, insisting that most were confused souls rather than real heretics; see Brodrick, pp. 170, 389, 512, 515, 522.

22The list of colleges established through St. Peter’s efforts either as Rector, or later, as Jesuit Provincial of Upper Germany, is impressive: Cologne, Vienna, Prague, Ingolstadt, Munich, Mainz, Innsbruck, Hall, Dillingen, Wurzburg, Speyer, Augsburg and Fribourg. All of these were begun with only a handful of students and almost no money. Yet by the end of the century, the enrollment of several of them had grown to nearly a thousand students each; Brodrick, pp. 253, 766-7.

23Brodrick, p. 493.

 24This question arises obliquely from the chalice controversy insofar as the Utraquists based their teachings on John 6:54.

25Brodrick, p 498.

26Cf. S. T. , 111, Q. 80, art 9, ad 3; art. 11, ad 2.

   27This argument was eventually incorporated into the Council documents; see Denzinger, n. 1727, p. 405; and Dogmatic Canons and Decrees, (N.Y.; DevinAdair Col., 1912) Session XXI, p. 125.

 28Brodrick, pp. 498-9.

29 The Council promulgated the following canons:

Canon I. If anyone saith that by the precept of God, or by necessity of salvation, all and each of the faithful of Christ ought to receive both species of the most holy Sacrament of the Eucharist; let him be anathema.

Canon II. If anyone saith that the Holy Catholic Church was not induced, by just causes and reasons, to communicate laymen, and also clerics when not consecrating, under the species of bread only, or that she erred in this; let him be anathema.

Canon III. If anyone denieth that Christ whole and entire-the fountain and author of all graces-is received under the one species of bread, because that-as some falsely assert-He is not received, according to the institution of Christ Himself, under both species; let him be anathema.

Canon IV. If anyone saith that the communion of the Eucharist is necessary for little children, before they have arrived at years of discretion; let him be anathema.

Dog. Can. and Decr., Session XXI, pp. 129-30; Denzinger, n. 1731-4, pp. 406-7.

30Brodrick, p. 500.

31St. Augustine, Exposition on the Book of Psalms (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Wm. B. Eerdmans Pub. Co., 1974) p. 485; Curiously most of the theologians who held to this interpretation were Dominicans, even though the greatest theologian of that order had strenuously opposed their view: “From the authority of this text,” wrote St. Thomas, “the aforesaid heretics have taken occasion to err from badly understanding Augustine’s words.” S.T., III, Q. 75, art. 1, ad 1; cf. Summa Contra Gentiles, Book IV, Chap. 62. n. 2; Chap. 68, n. 2.

32Brodrick, p. 497.

33Brodrick p. 499.
34Denzinger, n. 1727, p. 405; Dog. Can. and Decr., Session XXI, p. 125.

35Brodrick, p. 499.

 36Fr. Laynez, was at this time master General of the Jesuits. He, as well as his fellow Jesuits Claude Lejay and Alphonsus Salmeron (all three were among the original ten members of the Society of Jesus), had already spoken at a previous session of the Council of Trent in 1546. [Brodrick notes that, at this particular session, Fr. Lejay “had the honor, though only a simple theologian, of debating on equal terms with the bishops.” [p. 89] That was written in 1935. Today the same scenario would be described differently: “The fathers of the Council had the honor, though mere bishops, of debating on equal terms with a Theologian. “]

37Brodrick, p. 507.

38Brodrick, p. 547.

 39Brodrick, p. 608.

 40The relevant documents were sent to the three Ecclesiastic Electors: the Archibishops of Mainz, Trier and Cologne, to the Archbishops of Salzburg, Prague, Bremen, Magdeburg, and Gran, and to the Bishops of Naumburg and Gurk; see Brodrick, p. 602.

Mainz, Trier and Cologne, to the Archbishops of Salzburg, Prague, Bremen, Magdeburg, and Gran, and to the Bishops of Naumburg and Gurk; see Brodrick, p. 602.

41Brodrick, p. 604.

42“If all else that Canisius achieved during his life by his eloquence, his writings, and his labors had not been achieved, if the sole fruit to be noted in his life was what he did for the instruction and education of youth, he would still deserve the name which the Church has conferred upon him, the name of an Apostle of Germany and a worthy successor of St. Boniface.” Baron Felix von Loe, at the Catholic Congress in 1879; quoted in Brodrick, p. 253. It should not be forgotten that Pope Pius XI, on the occasion of canonizing St. Peter in 1925, also declared him a Doctor of the Church.

43Xavier Rynne, Letters from Vatican City (N.Y.: Ferrar, Strauss and Co., 1963) pp. 113-6; “It is somewhat ironic to note, given Cardinal Alfrink’s views, that he had taught at the Catholic University in Nijmegen (Netherlands), the city where Peter Canisius was born. He was also responsible for translating the books of Ecclesiastes, Ecclesiasticus, Wisdom, and Tobias into Dutch for a version of the Scriptures known as the “Petrus Canisius” Bible; Walter M. Abbot, S.J.,Twelve Council Fathers (N.Y.: Macmillan, 1963) p. 85.

44Rynne, p. 116; cf. Michael Novak, The Open Church (N.Y.: Macmillan Co., 1964) p. 317: “The first chapter of the schema on liturgy … contained the general principles of the entire document. They were revolutionary principles.” (emphasis mine) Following Cardinal Ottaviani’s rhetorical question, the seventy-two-year-old prelate went on to make a passionate extemporaneous speech on the danger of excesses in liturgical experimentation: “Are we seeking to stir up wonder, or perhaps scandal, among the Christian people, by introducing changes in so venerable a rite, that has been approved for so many centuries and is now so familiar?” Cardinal Alfrink, who happened to be presiding on that day, was not moved. When Ottaviani had spoken for the allotted time, Alfrink signalled to a technician who unplugged his microphone. After confirming his colleague’s unchivalrous maneuver by tapping the microphone, the aged cardinal returned falteringly to his seat, perplexed and humiliated. The “progressive” cardinals actually “clapped with glee” at the success of Alfrink’s underhanded strategem. Ottaviani did not return to the Council for two weeks. The incident is related in Ralph M. Wiltgen, S.V.D., The Rhine Flows in the Tiber (Devon, Engand: Augustine Pub. C., 1978) pp. 38-9; cf. Rynne, pp. 116-7.

 45“In the Netherlands during the course of the Council, two Catholic theologians had advanced interpretations of the real events of the Eucharist which seemed to suggest modification of the Catholic doctrine of transubstantiation in the direction of Protestant thought. They had interpreted the central event of this sacrament not as actual transformation of bread into flesh and wine into blood, but as a “transignification,” a symbolic event.” Paul Blanchard, Paul Blanchard on Vatican 11 (Boston: Beacon Press, 1966) pp. 28-9; Blanchard, well known for his anti-Catholic writings, was a Protestant observer during the Council.

46Pope Paul VI, Mysterium Fidei (Sept. 3, 1963).

   47“Actually, it did.” Blanchard, p. 188; Blanchard believed Paul VI’s encyclical to be reactionary, belligerent and anti-ecumenical, but he was under no illusions about its meaning. (see note 45) Also unequivocal is Richard P. McBrien, Catholicism (Minneapolis: Winston Press, 1980) p. 764: “Mysterium Fidei [was] written against the views of certain Dutch Catholic theologians who were attempting to explain the real presence without employing the scholastic concept of transubstantiation.”

 48Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy (Sacrosanctum Concilium), n. 55.