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Achilles' heel

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 Contents - Sep 2012AD2000 September 2012 - Buy a copy now
Editorial: 2012 Fighting Fund launched: support Christian values - Peter Westmore
Sainthood: Cardinal Van Thuân: process to beatification 'very advanced' - Michael Gilchrist
News: The Church Around the World
Film: 'For Greater Glory': an inspiring message for today's Christians - Babette Francis
Survey confirms crisis of faith in Ireland - Michael Gilchrist
Noted UK doctor slams BBC program's anti-Catholic bias - Robert Walley
Interview: Egypt after Mubarak: 'Christians feel excluded' - Father Andrzej Halemba
Letters: Archbishop Chaput: how to meet the challenges to religious freedom - Archbishop Charles Chaput OFM
Time for women's "true genius" to reassert itself - Anne Lastman
Australian Catholic Students Association Conference 2012 - Br Barry Coldrey
The Church's mission priority: to search for its 'lost sheep' - Andrew Kania
Letters: Media bias - Anne Lastman
Letters: Achilles' heel - Fr John George
Letters: Appreciation - Frank O'Connor
Letters: Article of faith? - Jean-Leon Shanks
Letters: Power of the Rosary - Gabrielle Gannon
Letters: Old Testament - Fr Brian Harrison OS
Books: A COMPANION TO CATHOLIC EDUCATION, by Leonardo Franchi (Editor) - Gerard O'Shea (reviewer)
Books: THROUGH SHAKESPEARE'S EYES: Seeing the Catholic presence in the plays, Pearce - Michael E. Daniel (reviewer)
Books: FATIMA FOR TODAY: The Urgent Marian Message of Hope, by Fr Andrew Apostoli CFR - Brother Barry Coldrey (reviewer)
Books: Order books from
Reflection: Fatima: Mary's appeal for penance and conversion - Bishop Arthur Serratelli

Dr Frank Mobbs (July AD2000) displays some Achilles' heels in his poor mouthing of transubstantiation as a post-Scripture, post-early Christian accretion:

• Not all Catholic teaching is explicitly stated by Christ, though detectable by a  sensus plenior (fuller sense) magisterial hermeneutic of Scripture.

• The magisterium most authoritatively exegetes Scripture to obtain a fuller meaning of the sacred texts, thus avoiding myopic literalism. Wherefore the exegesis by Trent re transubstantiation is of singular importance as a dogma (in Chapter 4 of session 13 of that Council).

• That nonCatholic churches don't uphold Catholic dogma on the Eucharist is surely not Dr Mobbs' best argument against transubstantiation.

• The "1971 Agreed Statement" is not "all that we need". It has not the fuller context or status of an ecumenical decree and itself cannot stand in isolated understanding but, in continuity with earlier Councils e.g., Trent on the Eucharist, including transubstantiation.

• As for appeals to "Gallup Polls" on transubstantiation knowledge, such is the lowest rung of theological method.

• While transubstantiation was not always explicitly mentioned over time, it was nonetheless implicitly there in the heart of the Church, given that Trent and other magisterial statements of faith have made explicit what was implicitly present perennially.

Randwick North, NSW

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Reprinted from AD2000 Vol 25 No 8 (September 2012), p. 15

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