It was brought to my attention today, these words from the 39 Articles of Religion of the Episcopal Church (the American province of the world-wide Anglican Communion), Article 28:
Of The Lord's Supper
"Transubstantiation (or change of the substance of Bread and Wine) in the Supper of the Lord, cannot be proven by Holy Writ; but is repugnant to the plain words of Scripture, overthroweth the nature of a Sacrament, and hath given occasion to many superstitions.
The Body of Christ is given, taken, and eaten, in the Supper, only after an heavenly and spiritual manner. And the mean whereby the Body of Christ is received and eaten in the Supper, is faith."
In all my years as an Episcopalian, I never noticed that the 39 Articles said this about the Eucharist! If I had, I would have left long ago. For some reason, this isn't a widely known or acknowledged article of faith, since many Episcopalians/Anglicans believe in the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist (I shall leave out of this post the fact that they don't actually have it since they have not Apostolic Succession. Many believe they do have Apostolic Succesion and that the Real Presence is there). These Episcopalians/Anglicans who go by the name "Anglo-Catholics" would adamantly disagree with the 28th article. Yet it clearly states that they do not believe in the Real Presence.
Of course, one of the reasons may be that the Anglican Communion doesn't really follow the 39 Articles anymore and you can basically believe whatever you want in the Communion even if you have the exact opposite belief as someone else, even someone in your same parish. Priests in the same parish also have opposite beliefs. Yet they are all valid members of the Anglican Communion. (Something tells me though, that they have no idea what the meaning of "communion" really is!)
This should be a wake up call to all you "Anglo-Catholics" out there: The Anglican Communion does not believe in the Real Presence!
Come home to the Catholic Church! The REAL Catholic Church. Quit pretending to be "Anglo-Catholic." By definition one cannot be both "Anglican" and "Catholic"!
I don't know what Bible the writers of the 39 Articles were using, but in every Bible I've seen, Christ never says "This is my spiritual body and blood" or "eat my body and blood by faith."
Rather he says, "This is my body" and "This is my blood." There are no metaphors or symbolism. Christ actually gives us His body and blood so that we may be filled with His divine grace and become divine sons and daughters of God.
Christ is a king unlike all other kings. His kingship is one of service. He commits the ultimate act of service by feeding us with His body and blood, thus allowing us to dwell within the grace of the Trinity!
The Catholic Church is the True Church in which Christ our Savior Truly resides in the Sacraments. Where the Sacraments are, there is the Kingdom of God; the Church!