Pew Forum Religious Quiz – Trick Question

Written by Joel on September 30th, 2010

I am taking the Pew Forum Religious Knowledge Quiz [link]. I think I need to use a phone a friend life-line; this one is hard! Here is question 6:

Which of the following best describes the Catholic teaching about the bread and wine used for Communion?

A)The bread and wine actually become the body and blood of Jesus Christ.
B)The bread and wine are symbols of the body and blood of Jesus Christ.

The correct answer which is not one of the choices is “C) All of the above.” Holy Communion is a Real Symbol (see Karl Rahner, Thomas Aquinas, Augustine, et al). I would also say that this belief is not exclusive to Roman Catholics.

When symbols work (like in the Eucharist), they are what they symbolize, with a plurality of meanings, without the need to explain the symbol. It just is. Eucharist is the Body of Christ. It is also remedy for sin, communion with Christians, sacrifice, re-membering of the Last Supper. It is all of these things all at once, along with many other realities left unspoken.

Flattening Eucharist to one aspect only (the aspect of memorial, for example), obliterates the reality of the symbol.

Good luck on your quiz.


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