07 February, 2011

Pope Gelasius: The Consecrated Sacramental Elements Remain Bread and Wine

"The sacrament of the body and blood of Christ, which we receive, is a divine thing, because by it we are made partakers of the divine-nature. Yet the substance or nature of the bread and wine does not cease" [... "et tamen esse non desinit substantia vel natura panis et vini].
Pope Gelasius (+496) De duabus naturis in Christo Adv. Eutychen et Nestorium (in the Bibl. Max. Patrum, tom. viii. p. 703)

Cf The Formula of Concord, Solid Declaration, VII, 37:
...in the Holy Supper the two substances, the natural bread and the true natural body of Christ, are present together here upon earth in the appointed administration of the Sacrament.

Historical note:
"Gelasius' election on March 1, 492 was a gesture for continuity: Gelasius inherited Felix's struggles with Eastern Roman Emperor Anastasius I and the patriarch of Constantinople and exacerbated them by insisting on the removal of the name of the late Acacius, patriarch of Constantinople, from the diptychs, in spite of every ecumenical gesture by the current, otherwise quite orthodox patriarch Euphemius (q.v. for details of the Acacian schism).

The split with the emperor and the patriarch of Constantinople was inevitable, from the western point of view, because they had embraced a view of a single, Divine ('Monophysite') nature of Christ, which was a Christian heresy. Gelasius' book De duabus in Christo naturis ('On the dual nature of Christ') delineated the Western view. Thus Gelasius, for all the conservative Latinity of his writing style stood on the cusp of Late Antiquity and the Early Middle Ages."
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pope_Gelasius_I)
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