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8/17/2015 7:19 pm  #11


Re: Description of transubstantiation in terms of hylomorphic theory

Scott wrote:

I'm not, however, entirely persuaded that it's consistent with the doctrine of transubstantiation to identify the "substantial form" of the bread with its "material organizational form" and to acknowledge that even though the bread loses this "substantial form" as a substantial form upon consecration, it doesn't just vanish. It's one thing if the bread has no substantial form to lose in the first place (i.e., bread just isn't a "substance"). But it seems to be another to say that the bread does have such a form and to define it as something that doesn't seem to be lost on consecration.

The consecrated Host, we're agreed, has just one substantial form (the soul of Christ). In that case, what does your account say is the new role of the bread's persisting "material organizational form"? It's still a form (isn't it?) even though it's not the consecrated Host's substantial form. If it's now a sub-form of a higher-level substance, then is it not still the "substantial form" of (the) bread -- apparently contrary to the doctrine of transubstantiation, which holds that what was bread now itself is Christ's body and not merely a component thereof?

Note that Soft-H4PME goes together with multilevel hylomorphism, according to which when a higher-level form (typically of spiritual nature) comes to inform an entity already constituted by (matter + lower-level form), the higher-level form becomes the substantial form of the new resulting entity, causing it to be something different from what it was before. I.e., the new entity has as its form the higher-level form and as its matter the compound (matter + lower-level form).

Thus, in Soft-H4PME you can say that, before consecration, the bread was composed of matter and form. Its form, however, was a material form, just the static pattern of arrangement of its molecules. Since a spiritual soul is a form of a higher level, when it is present it is that which gives the essence to the whole.

Note also that this subject is highly analogous to the issue of "corpus purus" for which I've just opened a thread in the subforum of Philosophy. The hypothetical "animals-biologically-identical-to-us-but-without-a-spiritual-soul", or "q-humans" as I called them, are composed of matter and form in Hard- and Soft-H4PME. Clearly in this case God can infuse them a spiritual soul, and maybe that was exactly the case with Adam and Eve (who BTW, according to the rule God freely committed Himself to follow with humans, are the only human beings whose soul may have been infused at a time later than conception). Thus, when a spiritual soul is infused to a q-human as his substantial form, whereby he becomes a true human, according to each position:

Hard-H4PME: the infusion of the spiritual soul causes the previous sensitive soul to "perish", "be removed", "be corrupted" or "fade away". To note, all these are terms literally used by St. Thomas to refer to the fate of the sensitive soul at the moment of the delayed (according to Aristotle) infusion of the spiritual soul in human embryos, a case which corresponds exactly to that of q-humans becoming true humans.

Soft-H4PME: the former q-human does not lose anything, just the sensitive layer of the emergent properties of his brain is reconfigured to act as an intermediate layer interfacing to the spiritual soul, and thus is no longer a "sensitive soul"-type substantial form.

No-H4PME (b): the former q-human does not lose anything, just the sensitive layer of the emergent properties of his brain is reconfigured to act as an intermediate layer interfacing to the spiritual soul.

With this analogy, I can answer your questions, rephrasing them to apply also to the other case.

Scott wrote:

(After consecration,) what's the new role of the bread's persisting "material organizational form"?

It is the organization of the matter of Jesus' sacramental Body.

Scott wrote:

(After the infusion of the soul,) what's the new role of the q-human's persisting "material organizational form" (which in contrast to the bread's is dynamic and with much higher-level emergent properties)?

It is the organization of the matter of Adam's human body, now reconfigured to interact with his spiritual soul.

The key difference between transubstantiation and infusion of a spiritual soul to a q-human is that the purely material form of bread or wine, in contrast with that of a human brain, is so simple that it cannot interface to a spiritual soul, so there is no functional level whose mode of operation is reconfigured in that case.

Scott wrote:

If it's now a sub-form of a higher-level substance, then is it not still the "substantial form" of (the) bread -- apparently contrary to the doctrine of transubstantiation, which holds that what was bread now itself is Christ's body and not merely a component thereof?

No, because there is no longer bread. As it is the higher level form which gives being to the entity ("being this" versus "being that"), the infusion of the soul of Jesus as its substantial form causes the consecrated host to be the body of Jesus.

Scott wrote:

If it's now a sub-form of a higher-level substance, then is it not still the "substantial form" of the q-human?

No, because there is no longer a q-human. As it is the higher level form which gives being to the entity ("being this" versus "being that"), the infusion of the soul of Adam as its substantial form causes the former q-human to be the body of Adam.

Last edited by Johannes (8/17/2015 8:11 pm)

 

8/18/2015 4:24 pm  #12


Re: Description of transubstantiation in terms of hylomorphic theory

(I see your point and it certainly has merit. But it still seems that if the substantial form of bread is really nothing more than its "material organizational form," then since that form obviously remains in the consecrated Host, there ought to be some bread there.)

Whether the form of bread remains in the consecrated Host?

Objection 1. It seems that the form of bread must remain in the consecrated Host. The form of bread is its "material organizational form," and this form clearly remains after the consecration of the Host.

Objection 2. Further, it need not be held that this form is the substantial form of the consecrated Host. It can be held that the form, though still present, has been replaced by the soul of Christ as the substantial form of the same matter, but at a higher level than the form of the bread.

On the contrary, Christ says, "This is My body" (Matthew 26:26; Mark 14:22; Luke 22:19; 1 Corinthians 11:24).

I answer that, It cannot be properly said that the form of bread remains in the consecrated Host. If it did remain, then since the matter of the consecrated Host remains as well, the substance of bread would remain, this substance being just the form of bread united to matter. But as has been shown (IIIa q. 75 a.2), the substance of the bread is changed to that of Christ's body when its matter is united to the substantial form of Christ. Therefore its form cannot remain united to the matter of the Host.

Reply to Objection 1. The material organizational structure of bread is not the substantial form, but only an attribute, of bread. It is admitted that the attributes of bread remain after consecration even though the substance has been changed; the structural arrangement of the matter of the Host is merely among these attributes.

Reply to Objection 2. If the form of bread remained in the consecrated Host even though not as its substantial form, nevertheless, as we have said, the substance of bread would be present in the Host. Now we have already shown that this bread cannot be identical with the Host. But neither can bread be regarded as a part of the body of Christ -- even a virtual part, for even in that case it would be possible (in itself, though perhaps not to us) to reverse the consecration process and extract the original bread. Therefore this position is wrong.

http://cdn.boardhost.com/emoticons/grin.png

Seriously, thanks for this interesting discussion. I do realize that the foregoing somewhat tongue-in-cheek reply doesn't address all your points.

Last edited by Scott (8/18/2015 6:24 pm)

 

8/18/2015 7:12 pm  #13


Re: Description of transubstantiation in terms of hylomorphic theory

This is interesting recalling what I noted in a previous post:

It is evident that the difference between positions Soft-H4PME and No-H4PME (b) is purely nominal, being only whether the material organization of a purely material entity is called its "substantial form" or not.

Therefore, if the thesis works with the No-H4PME position, it should work also with Soft-H4PME. And the key to make it work in this case is something else I had noted:

that Soft-H4PME goes together with multilevel hylomorphism, according to which when a higher-level form (typically of spiritual nature) comes to inform an entity already constituted by (matter + lower-level form), the higher-level form becomes the substantial form of the new resulting entity, causing it to be something different from what it was before. I.e., the new entity has as its form the higher-level form and as its matter the compound (matter + lower-level form).

where maybe I should have finished the previous paragraph with a longer sentence:

I.e., the new entity has as its form the higher-level form and as its matter the compound (matter + lower-level form), where the lower-level form, being no longer a substantial form, does not give substance to the matter.

With this background, my reply to the article at the Summa Theologica Scottensis (?) is:

What gives substance to an entity is the highest-level form of that entity. The highest-level form of the consecrated Host is the soul of Christ, therefore the substance of the consecrated Host is the body of Christ. After consecration, the material organizational form of bread, being now a lower-level form and therefore no longer a substantial form, does not give substance to the matter of the consecrated Host, but only determines its physico-chemical characteristics.

 

Last edited by Johannes (8/18/2015 7:14 pm)

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8/19/2015 10:21 am  #14


Re: Description of transubstantiation in terms of hylomorphic theory

The basic problem I have with this view is that, in the cases with which we're familiar that seem to be most analogous to it, the "sub-substance" doesn't simply disappear but is in some way still present in, and in principle recoverable from, the new higher-level substance. If the case of the consecrated Host is really analogous, then the bread should still be at least virtually present -- and indeed to be present merely as part of the Body and Blood of Christ.

In the human body, for example, the chemical elements that make up our flesh are still virtually present. The carbon in a human body really is still carbon even though it's part of a higher-level and at least partly spiritual substance. Or, if we don't like calling virtual carbon "carbon," then at the very least, something is present that we could in principle extract and "turn back" into carbon. And whatever that is, it's pretty unambiguously not the whole of the body.

Now, since on your account the Host doesn't have the form of bread as its substantial form, you may well be right to argue that your account is consistent with the letter of the doctrine of transubstantiation considered in isolation. (That depends, or so it seems to me, on whether we read the doctrine as holding that one substance is changed into the other or merely exchanged for the other. I incline toward the former reading but I'm not married to it.) But I'm skeptical (though open to argument) that your account captures what appears to have been Christ's and St. Paul's understanding of the Eucharist.

Last edited by Scott (8/20/2015 10:11 am)

 

8/19/2015 3:45 pm  #15


Re: Description of transubstantiation in terms of hylomorphic theory

Scott wrote:

The basic problem I have with this view is that, in the cases with which we're familiar that seem to be most analogous to it, the "sub-substance" doesn't simply disappear but is in some way still present in, and in principle recoverable from, the new higher-level substance. If the case of the consecrated Host is really analogous, then the bread should still be at least virtually present -- and indeed to be present merely as part of the Body and Blood of Christ.

In the human body, for example, the chemical elements that make up our flesh are still virtually present. The carbon in a human body really is still carbon even though it's part of a higher-level and at least partly spiritual substance. Or, if we don't like calling virtual carbon "carbon," then at the very least, something is present that we could in principle extract and "turn back" into carbon. And whatever that is, it's pretty unambiguously not the whole of the body.

Now, since on your account the Host doesn't have the form of bread as its substantial form, you may well be right to argue that your account is consistent with the letter of the doctrine of transubstantiuation considered in isolation. (That depends, or so it seems to me, on whether we read the doctrine as holding that one substance is changed into the other or merely exchanged for the other. I incline toward the former reading but I'm not married to it.) But I'm skeptical (though open to argument) that your account captures what appears to have been Christ's and St. Paul's understanding of the Eucharist.

The way you have stated your objection allows me to answer it by a kind of argument of authority. You may be aware of the "Called to communion" site, whose main author is Bryan Cross, PhD, currently Assistant Professor of Philosophy at Mount Mercy University. Well, Prof. Cross addressed your exact concerns in two comments on that site, which I quote below, with the questions from readers in italics. (Note that Prof. Cross holds a bachelor’s degree in cellular and molecular biology, so he knows what he's talking about at the physical level.)

http://www.calledtocommunion.com/2009/06/john-calvin-as-confused-over-substance-and-the-eucharist/#comment-1713

Chris,
Thanks for your post.

We know, from scientific discovery, that molecules, atoms, and subatomic particles exist; and we can’t exactly refer to them as mere “accidents”, can we?

Correct. The material elements of a substance are not its accidents, but its material elements.

So, I wonder: can we admit the co-existence of several “substances” in the same object, such as a piece of bread?

No. A greater unity always takes up lesser unities within itself.


Or does an electron, for example, when it joins an atom, undergo a change in substance, being taken over by the greater substance?

Yes, exactly.

Or is its substance added to that of the atom? What about the atom itself, when it joins a molecule? A molecule, when it is joined to part of a larger being — say a single mitochondria? A strand of DNA? A cell? A living human body?

The electron becomes human. It does not become a human being, but it becomes, in nature, human. This is a metaphysical change.

isn’t it true to say that there is no homogeneous material substance of bread?

No. That would be the error of reductionism, to reduce the whole to its parts.

Do not all of the subatomic particles in a piece of bread, for example, have substances of their own?

No. Substances are not made of substances. That would be reductionism.

Or do they cease to exist in their own right, being “transubstantiated” by the process of making
bread (sic, should have been maybe "flour and water") into another substance, namely “bread”?

Correct.


Are electrons, protons, etc, just accidental descriptions of nature, having nothing directly to do with substance?

No. They are the material elements that compose it, according to hierarchical levels of composition.

Or do the “substances” of “electron” and “proton” exist, and remain along with the new, collective substance of bread?

They exist not as substances, but as parts of a substance.

Or do greater substances (be it a molecule of water, or a piece of bread) subsume lesser substances (hydrogen and oxygen atoms, or flour and water), so that lesser substances cease to exist in themselves when taken over by greater ones?

Yes, exactly.


Is this analogous to what happens in the Eucharist: the bread and wine being lesser substances taken over by the greater (Christ’s Body and Blood), so that their substance has changed, while their physical properties remain?

Yes, analogous (but there is an important difference).


If so, how are the “substantial form” AND “prime matter” (as distinct aspects of “substance”) involved in this change?

The “whole substance” (i.e. prime matter and substantial form) is converted into the Body and Blood of Christ, while the accidents of bread and wine remain. This conversion, however, is not mere replacement.

 And where do subatomic particles fit into this, as more than mere accidents of a greater substance?

Aristotle affirmed the existence of elements that compose material substances. So there is no reason to think that the existence of atoms (or quarks) would be incompatible with an ontology of substances and accidents. Accidents inhere in a substance; they of them something like *properties.* Elements compose a [material] substance; think of them as fundamental material parts.

In the peace of Christ,
 – Bryan

http://www.calledtocommunion.com/2009/03/real-presence-does-it-mean-cannibalism/#comment-44059

Christie (re: #29)

I just had one question…you wrote in your linked comment that we take Christ into our stomachs…but this Cannibalism article says, “we do not digest Christ”. How can those two statements be reconciled?

The term ‘digest’ has a more specific sense, and a more general sense. In the specific sense it implies a breaking down of the substance of that which has been consumed into its more fundamental biochemical elements, and the subsequent incorporation of that substance into that of the consumer, by way of this catabolic process. In that sense Christ is not digested, because His substance is not broken down. That’s the sense in which Tim wrote above that we do not digest Christ.

But our stomachs and stomach acids and enzymes do not know the difference between bread and wine one the one hand, and Christ under the accidents of bread and wine on the other hand. After we consume the Host and Precious Blood, then when by the effect of our stomach acids and enzymes the accidents of bread and wine are no longer present, the substance of Christ is no longer present. And in that general sense we digest Christ in our stomachs, much as we ‘gnaw’ [τρώγω] Him with our teeth (John 6:54, 56, 57, 58). It is not something other than Christ that we digest. But this digestion isn’t ordinary, because the substance of what is digested is not broken down into parts that are other than the substance. Every part of the Host is Christ. And when the accidents of bread and wine are lost, the substance of Christ is not destroyed, but is only no longer present.

In the peace of Christ,
– Bryan

Last edited by Johannes (8/19/2015 4:00 pm)

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8/20/2015 1:00 pm  #16


Re: Description of transubstantiation in terms of hylomorphic theory

Johannes wrote:

Prof. Cross addressed your exact concerns in two comments on that site[.]

Not quite, I'm afraid. We're already agreed that the substance of bread is no longer present in the Host; we're trying to work out what happens to its substantial form. And the problem is that if this form is present in the matter, then it seems that the substance should be present too, and yet it isn't. So the question is: what happens to the substantial form of the bread when the bread itself (one substance) becomes the body of Christ (a different substance)? Prof. Cross isn't addressing that question.

Moreover, he doesn't identify the substantial form of a material substance with its "material organizational form [or structure]," so he could consistently say that the substantial form of bread is changed upon consecration. Your claim, on the other hand, is that this doesn't happen, because the substantial form of bread is its "material organizational" structure, which clearly persists. You're denying only that it persists as a substantial form.

Since we're arguing from authorities (not unexpectedly, since we're dealing, after all, with a mystery of the faith), I shall take as mine the Councils of Constance and Trent. The latter does refer to the species of bread and wine ("species panis et vini"), which can be (and sometimes has been) translated as "form." But as Pohle says:

"We may . . . sum up the teaching of the Church in this proposition, which represents the contradictory of the one condemned [by the Council of Constance in its eighth session]: 'The accidents of the bread remain without a subject.' . . . [T]he Council of Trent defines: 'If anyone . . . denieth that wonderful and singular conversion of the whole substance of the bread into the Body, and of the whole substance of the wine into the Blood,-- the species only of the bread and wine remaining,-- let him be anathema.' According to this definition something remains of the bread and wine after the consecration. Is it part of the respective substances of bread and wine? No; the whole substance of the bread has been converted into the Body and the whole substance of the wine into the Blood of Christ. What, then, remains? The Council tells us that it is 'the species of bread and wine.' These species must therefore be accidents. . . . There can be no doubt that the Council of Trent employs 'species' exclusively in its scholastic signification as 'species sensibilis,' which is an 'accidens reale[.]'"

As far as I can tell, then, it's the de fide teaching of the Church that any "form" of bread that remains after consecration (if any) must be accidental. (I was also mistaken earlier when I wrote that I wasn't married to the view that the doctrine of transubstantiation requires a change, rather than merely an exchange, of substances. I am in fact married to that view.)

Your claim, then, must be that the substantial form of bread, which you take to be its "material organizational form," becomes an accidental form (of, presumably, the body of Christ) upon consecration. Prof. Cross, though, doesn't imply any such thing, and it seems inconsistent with the conciliar statements that the whole substance of the bread (where "substance" is surely "substantial form + matter") is converted into the body of Christ while its accidents remain.

So my question persists, and in a more acute form: how is it possible for what was the substantial form of bread to be still present in (again, presumably as an accidental form of) the body of Christ when the entire substance of the bread has been changed and no bread is present? (Are you sure, for example, that the "material organizational form" of the bread isn't an accidental form to begin with? The alternative would seem to be that wherever that form is in hylemorphic union with matter, there's bread as at least a virtual substance, and then the question is why you say that's not the case.)

Last edited by Scott (8/20/2015 3:34 pm)

 

8/20/2015 10:31 pm  #17


Re: Description of transubstantiation in terms of hylomorphic theory

Edited after I understood potential/virtual substances and considered canon 2 of Trent and the words of the Institution of the Eucharist.

Scott wrote:

​We're already agreed that the substance of bread is no longer present in the Host; we're trying to work out what happens to its substantial form. And the problem is that if this form is present in the matter, then it seems that the substance should be present too, and yet it isn't. So the question is: what happens to the substantial form of the bread when the bread itself (one substance) becomes the body of Christ (a different substance)? Prof. Cross isn't addressing that question.

The easiest way to address this question is by adopting the No-H4PME position. Before consecration, a piece of bread consists of atoms organized in a certain way, i.e. forming certain molecules distributed in a certain manner. That's just what bread, or the substance of bread, is. There is no mysterious "form" in bread, graphite or diamond besides their material elements and their organization. Diamond is carbon atoms organized in a certain way, graphite is carbon atoms organized in a different way, and bread is ... too long to describe here.

At consecration, (in my proposed thesis of Transubstantiation as and by Hylomorphic Union THU) the soul of Jesus is united to the host as its substantial form. Then, and only then, does the host have a substantial form. Since the human soul is "of itself and essentially the form of the human body" (Vienne), then the consecrated host is the Body of Christ, and it is so substantially, because it is the form which gives the substance or essence to the thing. Which means the whole substance of the bread has been converted (or "changed", in the translation at ewtn.com [1]) into the substance of the body of Christ.

What remains in THU? The material elements organized in a certain way, in modern language, which I now see is bread as a "virtual substance" of the sacramental Body of Christ, which is against canon 2 of Trent, which dooms THU.

(BTW, I do not think it is correct to render the latin "speciebus" as "form", for which the latin word is "forma", as e.g. two times in the Vulgate translation of Phil 2:6-7.)

Regarding now the species or accidents, there is a further issue: do they have any subject at all in which they inhere? There are two options here:

a. they inhere in the body of Christ in its sacramental mode of being, or

b. they do not inhere in any subject. St. Thomas Aquinas supports this option in ST III q. 77 a.1:

On the contrary, Gregory says in an Easter Homily (Lanfranc, De Corp. et Sang. Dom. xx) that "the sacramental species are the names of those things which were there before, namely, of the bread and wine." Therefore since the substance of the bread and the wine does not remain, it seems that these species remain without a subject.

I answer that, The species of the bread and wine, which are perceived by our senses to remain in this sacrament after consecration, are not subjected in the substance of the bread and wine, for that does not remain, as stated above (Question 75, Article 2); nor in the substantial form, for that does not remain (75, 6), and if it did remain, "it could not be a subject," as Boethius declares (De Trin. i). Furthermore it is manifest that these accidents are not subjected in the substance of Christ's body and blood, because the substance of the human body cannot in any way be affected by such accidents; nor is it possible for Christ's glorious and impassible body to be altered so as to receive these qualities.
...
Therefore it follows that the accidents continue in this sacrament without a subject.

In the following article (2), St. Thomas states that "dimensive quantity is the subject of the accidents which remain in this sacrament."

From the emphasized text, it is evident that St. Thomas used the terms "species" and "accidents" interchangeably, so it is clear that the bishops at Trent used them in the same way.

[1] Since you are keen on "change" being the correct term versus "exchange", you may want to read the section "Transubstantiation" of the Catholic Encyclopedia article on "The Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist", which argues extensively that the correct term is "conversion" and not "change". Quote:

"In a closer logical analysis of Transubstantiation, we find the first and fundamental notion to be that of conversion, which may be defined as "the transition of one thing into another in some aspect of being". As is immediately evident, conversion (conversio) is something more than mere change (mutatio)."

Scott wrote:

​Moreover, he doesn't identify the substantial form of a material substance with its "material organizational form [or structure]," so he could consistently say that the substantial form of bread is changed upon consecration. Your claim, on the other hand, is that this doesn't happen, because the substantial form of bread is its "material organizational" structure, which clearly persists. You're denying only that it persists as a substantial form.

Yes.

Scott wrote:

​Since we're arguing from authorities (not unexpectedly, since we're dealing, after all, with a mystery of the faith), I shall take as mine the Councils of Constance and Trent. The latter does refer to the species of bread and wine ("species panis et vini"), which can be (and sometimes has been) translated as "form." But as Pohle says:

"We may . . . sum up the teaching of the Church in this proposition, which represents the contradictory of the one condemned [by the Council of Constance in its eighth session]: 'The accidents of the bread remain without a subject.' . . . [T]he Council of Trent defines: 'If anyone . . . denieth that wonderful and singular conversion of the whole substance of the bread into the Body, and of the whole substance of the wine into the Blood,-- the species only of the bread and wine remaining,-- let him be anathema.' According to this definition something remains of the bread and wine after the consecration. Is it part of the respective substances of bread and wine? No; the whole substance of the bread has been converted into the Body and the whole substance of the wine into the Blood of Christ. What, then, remains? The Council tells us that it is 'the species of bread and wine.' These species must therefore be accidents. . . . There can be no doubt that the Council of Trent employs 'species' exclusively in its scholastic signification as 'species sensibilis,' which is an 'accidens reale[.]'"

From what I said before, I agree with all this. Just a comment: the legitimate Pope Gregory XII, when he convoked the (already ongoing) Council of Constance to give it legitimacy before resigning, declared all previous sessions (the first thirteen) null and void. So the authoritative text on this subject comes from session 15, which condemned three times Wyclif's condemnation "that there can be an accident without a subject" (in articles 2, 3 and 5) but, notably, did NOT define that the accidents after consecration remain without a subject. So, as far as the Council of Constance is concerned, a Catholic must believe that God can make the accidents remain without a subject, which is clear from divine omnipotence, but not that this is the actual case in transubstantiation. The need to believe the latter follows from the definition of transubstantiation by Trent.

Scott wrote:

​As far as I can tell, then, it's the de fide teaching of the Church that any "form" of bread that remains after consecration (if any) must be accidental. (I was also mistaken earlier when I wrote that I wasn't married to the view that the doctrine of transubstantiation requires a change, rather than merely an exchange, of substances. I am in fact married to that view.)

Actually, from Trent's "the species Only of the bread and wine remaining" and from St. Thomas' indistinct use of "species" and "accidents", we can conclude that any "form" that remains in the bread after consecration must have already been accidental before the consecration, because only the accidents of the bread remain.

Scott wrote:

​Your claim, then, must be that the substantial form of bread, which you take to be its "material organizational form," becomes an accidental form (of, presumably, the body of Christ) upon consecration. Prof. Cross, though, doesn't imply any such thing, and it seems inconsistent with the conciliar statements that the whole substance of the bread (where "substance" is surely "substantial form + matter") is converted into the body of Christ while its accidents remain.

Sure, and that's why THU is doomed, since it posits that the substance of bread remains as a virtual substance of the sacramental body of Christ.

Scott wrote:

​So my question persists, and in a more acute form: how is it possible for what was the substantial form of bread to be still present in (again, presumably as an accidental form of) the body of Christ when the entire substance of the bread has been changed and no bread is present? (Are you sure, for example, that the "material organizational form" of the bread isn't an accidental form to begin with? The alternative would seem to be that wherever that form is in hylemorphic union with matter, there's bread as at least a virtual substance, and then the question is why you say that's not the case.)

Yes, there would be bread as a virtual substance under the substance of the sacramental body of Christ. Which in view of the following posts is unacceptable on two accounts: 1: the substance of bread would not have been "converted to" but "subsumed under" the substance of the sacramental body of Christ, incurring in Trent's anathema, and 2: the matter of the sacramental body of Christ would be different from the matter of the natural body of Christ. But since a body is a particular quantity of matter, the sacramental body and blood of Christ would not be his natural body and blood, which would be against the words of the Institution, when Jesus said: "this is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins" (Mt 26:28; also Mk 14:24; Lk 22:20).

Therefore, THU is a no go.
 

Last edited by Johannes (8/22/2015 2:40 pm)

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8/21/2015 2:19 pm  #18


Re: Description of transubstantiation in terms of hylomorphic theory

Edited after the discussion with Scott, to whom I thank for his thoughtful and unrelentless challenge.

This discussion has prompted me to learn at last the basics of eucharistic theology, whereby I could reasess my (heretic and not even original) thesis of "Transubstantiation as and by Hylomorphic Union (THU)", which I will compare with the de fide Catholica doctrine on Transubstantiation (DFCT).

The main point of difference between them is the subject of the remaining species of bread and wine. When I developed THU, I thought the subject of those species was the body of Christ in its sacramental mode of being. Yesterday I learned that it is "sententia certa" that the sacramental accidents continue without a subject in which to inhere [1] [2] [3]. Actually, they inhere in one of the remaining accidents of the bread: dimensive quantity or extension [4], which itself inheres in no subject. To note, there is a recent 400-page book on the subject of the eucharistic accidents inhering "sine subiecto" covering up to the time of St. Thomas [5].

Each view of transubstantiation can be combined in principle with any of the three possible positions of Hylomorphism for Purely Material Entities: No-H4PME, Soft-H4PME and Hard-H4PME.  Since the difference between No- and Soft-H4PME is purely nominal, I will focus on just the former.

No-H4PME + THU = No previous form + the body is there because the soul is there.

Before consecration, the host consists just of molecules organized in a certain way, which give it its substance: bread.

At consecration, the soul of Jesus is united to the host as its substantial form and thus gives it a new substance: the body of Jesus. Since the soul of Jesus is in each part of the host by totality of perfection and of essence, when the host is broken each part is the whole body of Jesus. What remains of the bread, the molecules organized in a certain way, are the species of bread, whose subject is the body of Jesus in its sacramental mode of being.  

This sacramental mode of being is almost, but not fully, identical to the "mode of substance" of SST. The key difference between both modes is that in THU the species inhere in the body of Jesus (in its sacramental mode of being), while in SST they do not. Thus, in THU the faithful really touch, chew and swallow the body of Jesus, so that we can say that the real presence is "harder" in this case.

This position has two problems. One comes from THU, and has already been mentioned: it is "sententia certa" that the sacramental accidents continue without a subject in which to inhere. The other comes from NO-H4PME and is: does this position satisfy the definition by Trent session 13 canon 2 of the "conversion of the whole substance of the bread into the Body, and of the whole substance of the wine into the Blood -the species Only of the bread and wine remaining-"?

No, it doesn't. The bishops at Trent who defined that, even though they had in mind the standard scholastic position on hylomorphism, according to which bread has substantial form, prime matter and accidents, stated "conversion of the whole substance of the bread" to mean "conversion of the substantial form and matter of the bread", and their purpose for adding "whole" before "substance" was to explicitely condemn the view of James of Metz and Durandus of St. Pourcain that only the substantial form of the bread undergoes conversion, while the primary matter remains unchanged [6], which happens to be exactly the THU position, with the only difference that in (No-H4PME + THU) a piece of ordinary bread has no substantial form, but just matter and accidents, where the matter has the substance of bread as long as it has not been united to a human soul as its substantial form. But in this case transubstantiation would not cause the whole substance of the bread to be "converted into" the whole substance of the body of Christ but to be "subsumed under" it, so that it would remain as a virtual substance of a secondary sacramental body of Christ (which is another problem in itself, as it contradicts Scripture, as I show in a following post).

No-H4PME + DFCT = No previous form + the soul is there because the body is there.

Before consecration, the host consists just of molecules organized in a certain way, which give it its substance: bread.

After consecration, the body of Jesus is present in the host in the mode of substance (per modum substantiae), whereby it is wholly in each part of the host when it is broken. The soul of Jesus is present as the substantial form of his body (Vienne), and the divinity of Jesus is present as the Act of Being of his soul (Thomism). The substance of the bread, and all the virtual substances existing under it, mainly the molecules of starch and gluten and their constituent atoms, are gone, and only their accidents remain, having as subject the dimensive quantity of the host, i.e. its extension, which in turn inheres in no subject.

Clearly in this case it is completely irrelevant whether the substance of the bread was originally composed of only organized matter or of matter and a "substantial form". Thus, the de fide Catholica doctrine of transubstantiation is completely indifferent to the subject of hylomorphism for purely material entities.

In a following post I show that THU contradicts also the words of Jesus at the Institution, so that it was a no-go even before Trent.

References:

[1] Definition 313 in:
http://jloughnan.tripod.com/dogma.htm

[2]  Hierarchy of definitions in:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roman_Catholic_dogma

[3] ST III q. 77 a.1
http://dhspriory.org/thomas/summa/TP/TP077.html#TPQ77A1THEP1

[4] ST III q. 77 a.2
http://dhspriory.org/thomas/summa/TP/TP077.html#TPQ77A2THEP1

[5] Vijgen 2013. "The Status of Eucharistic Accidents "sine subiecto": An Historical Survey up to Thomas Aquinas and Selected Reactions".
https://books.google.com/books?id=hVElAAAAQBAJ

[6] Lowe 2014. "The Contested Theological Authority of Thomas Aquinas: The Controversies Between Hervaeus Natalis and Durandus of St. Pourcain, 1307-1323".
https://books.google.com/books?id=yry2AgAAQBAJ

 

Last edited by Johannes (8/22/2015 9:41 am)

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8/21/2015 2:43 pm  #19


Re: Description of transubstantiation in terms of hylomorphic theory

I had started to compose a reply but I waited for your second installment. I'm glad I did; you've made much of my response unnecessary. I may have more to add (perhaps over the weekend) but I'll have to think about it first.

So far I've been all but exclusively concerned with Soft-H4PME and I haven't raised any real objections to No-H4PME; if I do have more to say, it will probably be on the latter subject.

One minor point:

Johannes wrote:

Even when there was no form in the old substance to begin with, as in position No-H4PME, that substance is no longer present because, quoting Prof. Cross, substances are not made of substances. So, even if the subject of the remaining (species = molecules organized in a certain way) were the body of Christ in its sacramental mode of being, there would be no "virtual substance", because there is no such thing.

If you double-check your source here and here, you'll find that Prof. Cross expressly says that there most certainly is such a thing, and it's exactly what material elements are. Far from contradicting his statement that substances aren't made of substances, this is part of what he means by that statement. (And of course that's all perfectly standard Aristotelian Thomism, which is why I've been referring to virtual substances in the first place and why I've said your own competing account has to tell us why, under Soft-H4PME, the enmattered "substantial form" of bread needn't be even virtual bread.)

You may disagree, but I'm afraid you can't quote that statement of Prof. Cross in your support. http://cdn.boardhost.com/emoticons/grin.png

Last edited by Scott (8/21/2015 4:36 pm)

 

8/21/2015 4:54 pm  #20


Re: Description of transubstantiation in terms of hylomorphic theory

Thank you for pointing those two comments. For the benefit of readers, I will quote a key question to and answer from Dr Cross:

I just don’t understand how a material element is not an accident.

There are ten categories, according to Aristotle. (See his Categories.) Nine of them are accidents. So where do parts go? In the substance category. They are substances in a lesser sense, not accidents. You can see that because parts are potential substances (were they to cease being a part, and become their own substance) whereas accidents are not potentially substances. And what is true of parts is also true of the material elements; they too are virtual substances, not accidents.

---

Since you have shared your focus on Soft-H4PME, I hope you will read this post in time to avoid unnecesary work: Soft-H4PME + THU is a no go, it leads straight to the anathema of canon 2, specifically to the part: "If any one ... denieth that wonderful and singular conversion of the whole substance of the bread into the Body, and of the whole substance of the wine into the Blood-the species Only of the bread and wine remaining-which conversion indeed the Catholic Church most aptly calls Transubstantiation; let him be anathema."

As I said in my previous comment, "conversion of the whole substance of the bread" probably meant for the conciliar Fathers "conversion of the substantial form and matter of the bread", and they added "whole" before "substance" to explicitely condemn the view of James of Metz and Durandus of St. Pourcain that only the substantial form of the bread undergoes conversion, while the primary matter remains unchanged. And Soft-H4PME + THU is exactly that view.So, if you want to work with Soft-H4PME, combine it with STT.

Last edited by Johannes (8/21/2015 4:56 pm)

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