|The Consecration at the Easter Vigil, St Mary Moorfields, London|
The Catholic Times, 3 April 2015:
The undoubted reality of the Presence of Christ’s Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity is not a physical presence, but a spiritual presence.The equally undoubted resurrection of our bodies will not be a copy of Lazarus being raised from the dead. Our bodies will not be re-animated, or come back to life with their physical properties. Physical bodies require a place to be displayed, but Heaven is not a place. … We ourselves will be raised from the dead, it is our bodies that will rise, this is the continuity. But rather than speaking of a ‘spiritual body’ we need to think of the spiritual reality of our body, because we will then be animated not by our soul but by the spirit of the Risen Christ.
Sorry, Basil, but the body is physical: to say our spiritual, resurrected bodies will lack any physical manifestation or location is simply to deny the Resurrection of the Body. How is Loftus' picture of our existence after the Resurrection different from our existence before the Resurrection, as separated souls in heaven? How is it compatible with St Thomas the Apostle being able to touch the Resurrected Lord, and place his fingers in His wounds?
And what's this about being animated by Christ and not by our own souls? Has Basil taken up monopsychism? (The view that we all share one soul.) Before we get too lost, let's remind ourselves of what the Catechism of the Catholic Church says:
997 What is "rising"? In death, the separation of the soul from the body, the human body decays and the soul goes to meet God, while awaiting its reunion with its glorified body. God, in his almighty power, will definitively grant incorruptible life to our bodies by reuniting them with our souls, through the power of Jesus' Resurrection.
And come to that, how is saying that Christ is present in the Blessed Sacrament in a spiritual, but not in a physical, way, different from Calvin's doctrine of the Eucharist? It was precisely to counter this that Bl. Pope Paul VI wrote (Mysterium Fidei 1965):
For what now lies beneath the aforementioned species is not what was there before, but something completely different; and not just in the estimation of Church belief but in reality, since once the substance or nature of the bread and wine has been changed into the body and blood of Christ, nothing remains of the bread and the wine except for the species—beneath which Christ is present whole and entire in His physical "reality," corporeally present, although not in the manner in which bodies are in a place.
Loftus would appear to have a fundamental problem with this formulation because - as far as it is possible to see - he does not believe that there is any physical reality involved with Christ's own Resurrected Body.
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