Idolatry of the Roman Catholic Eucharist
And as they were eating, he took bread, and after blessing it broke it and gave it to them, and said, “Take; this is my body.” And he took a cup, and when he had given thanks he gave it to them, and they all drank of it. And he said to them, “This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many. Truly, I say to you, I will not drink again of the fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new in the kingdom of God.” –Mark 14:22-25
The Eucharist is a ritual loosely based on and bearing some outward resemblance to the Last Supper of Jesus and His Apostles in Scripture which has been perverted into an idolatrous form of worship and the object of worship becomes the bread and the wine itself. According to Roman Catholic doctrine, a Catholic priest has the power to summon Christ from his throne in Heaven, where he sits at the right hand of the Majesty on High (Hebrews 1:3), and change the bread and the wine into the literal body and blood of Jesus Himself.
In the Catechism of the Catholic Church, paragraph 1376 and 1413 respectively state,
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.
By the consecration the transubstantiation of the bread and wine into the Body and Blood of Christ is brought about. Under the consecrated species of bread and wine Christ himself, living and glorious, is present in a true, real, and substantial manner: his Body and his Blood, with his soul and his divinity [cf. Council of Trent: DS 1640; 1651.].
Of course, as with all traditions of men and doctrines of demons found within Romanism, this too finds its origins not in Christianity, but in Paganism. Theophagy, or the practice of eating the flesh and blood of one’s god through a sacramental meal, was a practice that was highly prevalent in the prominent religion known as Mithraism throughout Rome in the first few centuries A.D. and is interesting to note that the practice is nearly identical to the Roman Catholic doctrine of Transubstantiation. The meal was sacramental in that the god, Osiris, would grant salvation upon the ingestion of the transubstantiated bread that was believed to be a reborn presence of the Roman god.
This practice, upon the “Christianization” of Rome under Emperor Constantine then began to slowly work its way into the Roman Catholic Church and was contested by many bishops and priests. However, in 1215 at the Fourth Council of the Lateran, transubstantiation became official Roman Catholic doctrine and a mandatory practice of the Church. Today, the practice is largely unquestioned by Roman Catholics and accepted as dogmatic, and attempts have been made to validate the Pagan ritual eisegetically with Scripture.
No sane person without pre-conceived notions on the practice and supposed authority of the Roman Catholic Church could read any passage in Scripture in reference to the Last Supper, including the one above, and walk away with the doctrine of transubstantiation. It simply does not happen. The context of these passages is clear that Christ is speaking of this ordinance as symbolic of the true sacrifice He was making on the cross. 1 Corinthians 11:23-26 (ESV) sheds further light on the context, Paul states,
For I received from the Lord what I also delivered to you, that the Lord Jesus on the night when he was betrayed took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it, and said, “This is my body, which is for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” In the same way also he took the cup, after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.” For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.
Clearly, he was speaking of the Lord’s Supper as a way to remember the true sacrifice in a corporate setting and as a way to make a corporate proclamation of Christ’s death. Yet, the Roman Catholic Church does not view Christ’s sacrificial death as a historical event that happened and accomplished its purpose. It is viewed as perpetual and in need of perpetual offering to God for efficacy. Paragraph 1382 of the Catechism of the Catholic Church states,
The Mass is at the same time, and inseparably, the sacrificial memorial in which the sacrifice of the cross is perpetuated and the sacred banquet of communion with the Lord’s body and blood. But the celebration of the Eucharistic sacrifice is wholly directed toward the intimate union of the faithful with Christ through communion. To receive communion is to receive Christ himself who has offered himself for us.
This false doctrine clearly contradicts Scripture since Jesus has been raised from the dead and now sits at the right hand of the Father who is interceding for the saints (Romans 8:34). Jesus cannot be both dead in the Eucharist and alive in Heaven. John Wycliffe, the first to translate the Bible into English, writes regarding the doctrine of Transubstantiation in Patriot and Reformer, 1884, p. 162,
I maintain that among all the heresies which have ever appeared in the Church, there never was one which was more cunningly smuggled in by hypocrites than this, or which in more ways deceives the people; for it plunders the people, leads them astray into idolatry, denies the teaching of Scripture, and by this unbelief provokes the Truth Himself oftentimes to anger.
Finally, the Eucharist is to be worshiped and adored as Christ Himself. Literally, the wafer and the wine are to be bowed to and worshiped as if it were itself, Jesus. The Catechism of the Catholic Church in paragraph 1878 states,
Worship of the Eucharist. In the liturgy of the Mass we express our faith in the real presence of Christ under the species of bread and wine by, among other ways, genuflecting or bowing deeply as a sign of adoration of the Lord. “The Catholic Church has always offered and still offers to the sacrament of the Eucharist the cult of adoration, not only during Mass, but also outside of it, reserving the consecrated hosts with the utmost care, exposing them to the solemn veneration of the faithful, and carrying them in procession.”
The Roman Catholic Eucharist ritual is idolatrous in that worship is offered not to Christ Himself, but to the ordinance given to His people as an act of worship to remember Him by. In other words, the act of worship itself is being worshiped. These traditions of men and doctrines of demons are not products of the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, but of the fallible and errant wisdom of men. Romans 1 calls Roman Catholics and adherents to other false religions and forms of false worship fools, it says,
Claiming to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things. Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves, because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen. –Romans 1:22-25 (ESV)