Letters to the Editor

Catholic Church's teaching about transubstantiation remains weak

Faith matters (September 21) states that a series of seminars on the Unfinished Reformation will be held this month to mark the 500th anniversary of Martin Luther nailing his famous 95 theses to the door of a church in Wittenberg on October 31 1517.
A major disagreement then was, and still is the understanding of the Eucharist –  the present letter is offered as a way to resolve the dispute.

In previous letters I have argued that science presents a convincing case that there could not have been a historical Original Sin (CCC 390). This was also the consensus by many world experts on evolution who are also Christians at the conference in Rome 2009, in honour of Darwin’s famous book Origin of Species, 1859. They conclude that both cosmological and biological evolution in creation are flawed by natural evil, right back to the Big Bang beginning of the universe. Both life and death are written into the scientific laws which govern all matter-energy. Who is responsible, if God is not, as humanity only arrived on earth after billions of years?

After thinking about this problem, known as the theology problem, for many years, as a scientist and as a committed Catholic, it suddenly dawned on me that if we have a transcendental design in paradise at the General Resurrection, we had a transcendental beginning, above space-time which only began in the Big Bang. Original Sin then happened in this state of being and the consequence was the fall of all matter-energy into space-time, the finite mortal exile out of the paradise of Eden (Genesis).

We can then think of creation beginning in paradise as non-divine living knowledge generated by the divine living knowledge which is the second person, The Word, in the Trinity.

The non-divine living knowledge rebelled against God’s will and is actualised as the universe, expanding from the Big Bang in space-time. All matter-energy in its true reality at its lowest level at the Big Bang is a universal, formless, spiritual substance which after billions of years of evolution produces a very tiny amount of higher and higher living forms, plants, animals and finally
homo sapiens.

As a result of Original Sin by Adam and Eve, the highest idea of life in the original knowledge, everything in creation, both animate and inanimate, is stained by this sin, except the bodies and souls of Mary and Jesus. Baptisms removes the blemish in our personal souls but not in our bodies, which are also part of this universal matter-energy. However, both souls and bodies in Mary and Jesus are always immaculate unlike us.

This provides a novel insight into transubstantiation in the Eucharist, a key item in dispute between the reformed Church and the RC Church. Catholics believe that ordinary bread and wine are changed into the body and blood of Christ, present and His Risen Body under the appearances of bread and wine. However, a novel way of thinking is that on consecration the blemish in the matter-energy due to Original Sin is removed and the immaculate substances become the flesh and blood of Jesus, who said “I am the living bread down from heaven “(John: Chap 6). This change is invisible, as is baptism to all scientific tests, so the appearances of bread and wine remain and we literally eat and drink Jesus, body, blood, soul and divinity. The appearances of bread and wine are literally those of his person. Transubstantiation is true, but I agree with Frs Holloway and Boyle (Faith movement in the UK) that the official RC teaching about it is weak and seems to better support the idea of consubstantiation favoured by the Lutheran Church.

Belfast BT9


Remembering innocent victims and survivors of terrorism

On Sunday more than 500 people gathered to mark SEFF’s 5th Annual Service of Remembrance and Thanksgiving. In a packed church and adjoining hall, those in attendance came together in solidarity to remember the innocent victims and survivors of terrorism.

We were overwhelmed by the numbers attending the service, from right across Northern Ireland, the Republic and Great Britain.

This year’s Service was themed A Patchwork of Innocents, reflecting the 62 children and adults remembered on a new memorial quilt whose lives were stolen to terrorism. Protestant, Catholic, dissenter, unionist and nationalist, the patches sit side by side.

The quilt was unveiled by the family representatives of the four children at the centre of the quilt – Lesley Gordon, James Barker, Alan Jack and Leanne Murray.

Powerful, emotional and deeply poignant were the most common words and phrases used to describe the event. As well as the quilt being dedicated, we were blessed by the beautiful voices of SEFF’s youth choir and the families of Drew Beacom, George Gilliland and Eva Martin, who were each murdered in the Clogher Valley area, read the passages of scripture as well as sharing testimony and reflections. 

The service was overseen by Rev William Newell who demonstrated considerable empathy with those present. He captured the essence of Christianity by showing deep understanding with those impacted but he also relayed a wonderful message of hope and renewal – made possible through our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

Lisnaskea, Co Fermanagh


Crackdown on loyalist bullies

The social housing project ‘Together building a United Community’ is a £13 million programme of taxpayers’ money about ending segregation, committing to a new, united, reconciled, peaceful, shared society, yet UVF flags are allowed to fly at Cantrell Close in south Belfast with statutory agencies not prepared to do anything about it. This is 2017 and two decades on from the Good Friday Agreement and the response from the DUP’s MP Ms Emma Little Pengelly was woefully inadequate. The quote “that society did not want to make a public fuss” is disgraceful.
I would like to see her personally remove the UVF flags at Cantrell Close.

When something like this happens there is pandering to community workers involved in paramilitary activity to try and sort out these problems. This is annoying and totally unacceptable in a so-called peaceful, democratic society. These bullies and louts need to be dealt with in a major crackdown by the police now, with no excuses given. This is what I pay my taxes for.

Jordanstown, Co Antrim


Preserving scenic integrity

I am sure I am not the only resident in the Glens of Antrim, in particular in the Red Bay/Cushendall area, who is concerned about the so-called ‘development’ here in recent years.

With the expansion of an unsightly salmon farm in Red Bay, adjacent to the world renowned Antrim Coast Road, to the more recent construction of an outsized industrial shed dominating a residential area and finally the installation of two huge eye catching wind turbines, are we experiencing the thin edge of a pernicious wedge.

The wider context of preserving the scenic integrity of our Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty has been ignored.

Are we in danger of irreparably damaging the very thing that increasingly attracts people to the Glens – its scenery.?

Doubtless there would be far more jobs created if tourism infrastructure in the area had  appropriate  investment and official bodies like Planning had due regard for preserving the unique natural heritage of the Glen’s area to be enjoyed by tourists and residents alike.

Do our public representatives of all shades have any views on this? If so, I have not heard them, much less witnessed them do anything about it.

Cushendall, Co Antrim


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