A Response to a Roman Catholic on Ignatius

A couple of points regarding your commentary on Ignatius. I find your arguments on Ignatius’ conception of the Eucharist to be very poor and entirely unconvincing.

   I’m sorry to hear that, but, since I provided extensive background information, put his statement in the context provided by his own pen, and you refuse to allow for that, who is actually guilty of misrepresenting and abusing Ignatius’ words?

Ignatius clearly stated that, “they confess notthe Eucharist to be the flesh of our Saviour Jesus Christ.” He did not say symbol, image, or anything other than “the flesh.”

   And he did so for a reason (anti-docetism) in reference to a particular group of people who denied Jesus ever had flesh. Your dogged refusal to admit the reality of Ignatius’ context is troubling, and indicative of having a real “truth deficit” in your religion.

When he stated “prayer” it was in clear referrence to the liturgical prayer of the Church. All reputable sources (read: scholarly journals) at test tothe fact that there were liturgies in the Church dating back to the beginning.

   Classic example of faulty logic: no one disputed the existence of liturgy in the ancient church. I am disputing the assertion that Ignatius’ words indicate a belief in transubstantiation. Ironically, if you had read the article you positively referenced at the end of your e-mail, you would see that the person writing it agrees.

To deny this fact would be equivalent to engaging in mental violence. It is an absurd argument, or distraction really, to ramble off on how the Church later defined transubstantiation…etc.

   More disconnection from clear thinking. It was “mental violence” to introduce a non-issue (liturgy in the early church). It is not relevant to pointing out the evolution of Roman doctrine, nor the fact that the concept of transubstantiation, dependent as it is upon Aristotelian philosophical categories, was not the faith of the early church. It is perfectly logical and valid to point out that the results of believing in transubstantiation, seen so clearly beginning in the 12th century in particular, were absent from the early church’s discussions.

The basic concept was well understood by Ignatius and those of his period. The reality of this is clearly and readily available by mearly observing how the ancient church practiced their faith within the liturgies…as well as the clear support Ignatius gives in his letters when read in context (the context of how he practiced his faith in the liturgy).

   This is called “wishful thinking.” Having failed to provide a single error in my contextual reading of Ignatius’ own words, based upon the original language in which he wrote, you do what all folks do who have lost the argument: you repeat your conclusion as if the repetition is itself evidence, and declare yourself the winner on that basis. You have provided no grounds for saying the “basic concept” was well understood by Ignatius; you have provided nothing from the liturgy to overthrow Ignatius’ anti-docetic teaching; and you are simply flat out wrong in missing the fact that the early church did not treat the consecrated hosts the way they are treated today.

A nice article about you: catholicvisions.blogspot.com

   Yes, ad-hominem filled screeds that demonstrate the author hasn’t the first concern for accuracy of representation do seem to be the modus operandi for many of Rome’s defenders today. Thanks for writing!