The Apostles, Creed, the Athanasian, and the Nicene do not mention transubstantiation. There is no record of such a doctrine until 1564 when Pius IV. put it into his creed. Are we to believe the early Christians, or the doctrine of a thousand years later?

The Catholic Answers

The doctrine is not in the three Creeds you mention. But they do not contain the whole of Christian doctrine. They are partial statements insisting upon certain doctrines against special errors of those times. It is true that Pius IV. Included the doctrine in his profession of faith, but you are wrong when you say that there was no mention of the doctrine till then. In 1551, 13 years earlier, the Council of Trent taught the doctrine explicitly. In 1274, 290 years earlier, the 2nd Council of Lyons insisted upon the admission of transubstantiation by the Creeks as a condition of return to the Catholic Church. In 1215, 349 years earlier, the 4th Lateran Council consecrated the word transubstantiation as expressing correctly the Christian doctrine of Christ’s real presence by conversion of the substance of bread into the substance of His body. In 1079, 500 years earlier, Berengarius declared in his retraction, “I acknowledge that the bread is substantially changed into the substance of Christ’s body.” Everybody who possessed the true Christian faith, until this year, 1079, believed in the substantial change, and there was no need to insist upon the word, since no one denied the nature of the change. In the 4th century all the great Fathers and writers admitted that by consecration bread was changed into Our Lord’s very body. Ignatius, Bishop of Antioch, who died about 107 A.D., wrote, “Heretics abstain from the Eucharist because they do not confess the Eucharist to be that very flesh of Jesus Christ which suffered for us.” And that doctrine is all that is expressed by transubstantiation. At the Last Supper Christ said, “This is my body which is given for you.” Lk. XXII., 19. Now He either gave them His body or He did not. But He gave them His Body, for we dare not say, “Lord although you say, ‘This is my body,’ it is certainly not your body.” However it was not His body according to appearances and visible qualities, and it could have been His body only according to substance. Therefore Our Lord first taught this doctrine of substantial change at least implicitly.

Radio Replies Volume 1 by Rev. Dr. Leslie Rumble MSC and Rev. Charles Mortimer Carty