Maurice Zundel: a scandalous and barefaced heretic
I – Introduction: a scandalous statement
Imagine if you hear someone say that he believes Christ is just as present in a soup as in the consecrated Host, in the Mass.
Any Catholic would consider that such a person either does not believe in Jesus’ real presence in the consecrated Host, or is a pan-christic Gnostic, such as Teilhard de Chardin.
Either way, whoever makes such a scandalous statement would be taken as a heretic.
Why should we draw any other conclusion, in case it was a priest who made such a scandalous and malicious statement?
Why would we leave logic aside, in case the person who asserted this phrase, which is definitely savoring of heresy, was a priest and a friend of Pope Paul VI?
For Maurice Zundel was a friend of Mgr. Giovanni Batista Montini – who will become Paul VI – since 1923. It was he who wrote the following sentence, unbelievable from the hands of a priest:
“I lay as much devotion in having a soup, as in celebrating the mass, for we are always at the Lord’s Table, and it is from his hand that we receive the food, symbol of his love”. (Maurice Zundel, Il Volto di Dio nel Quotidiano, Ed. Messagero, Padova, 1989, p. 112).
In other times, a priest who dared to write such a thing would be immediately excommunicated. In the 20th century, however, he was invited to preach a retreat for the Pope himself – Paul VI, who was his friend and admirer – and for the Cardinals of the Roman Curia, in the Vatican, in 1972!
It is quite sure that some people – able to understand and swallow down any kind of heresy – will protest against us who say the truth that this priest was a friend of Paul VI. These people, who demand the Pope to apologize for the “sins of the Church”, cannot tolerate any critic allusion, as small as it may be, against the post-Conciliar Popes.
Thus, anyone who expresses shock against us, for telling the true historical fact that Montini (Paul VI) was Zundel’s friend and admirer, and who does not get shocked with the sentence we quoted from this priest, demonstrates to care more about people – even though speaking of a Pope, to whom the greatest respect is demanded – than about Faith itself. Now, St. Paul taught that if anyone, even an angel from heaven, said something against Faith, this angel should be anathematized. Although friend of a Pope, Zundel should be anathematized for his scandalous sentence, which is offensive to pious ears. A sentence that denotes, furthermore, that he does not believe in what the Church teaches about Christ’s real presence in the Holy Host.
And only because he was Montini’s friend, only because he was invited to preach a retreat to the Pope and to the Curia, should we silence and tolerate this scandalous and suspect sentence that denies Christ’s real presence in the Holy Host? For these reasons alone, should we tolerate such absurdity, or hide his friendship with Paul VI?
On the contrary, the fact that he enjoyed the friendship of a future Pope, for about 50 years, is cause for a new scandal.
How was it possible that a Pope could be friend of a priest who audaciously says such a thing, with no respect for the Eucharist?
And the Pope has not only failed to censure Zundel as he should have done, but, on the contrary, he invited him to preach a spiritual retreat to the Roman Curia.
Someone could reply to us, willing to defend the indefensible and to excuse the inexcusable: “It is not so that Zundel denies that Christ is in the Holy Host. It is just that he is so grateful to God for His benefits that, even while having a soup, he does not forget that it is God who gives us all food: the soup and the Eucharist."
This “gratitude”, however, is absurdly declared, because he evens up the benefit of the soup to the ineffable and infinite Gift of the Eucharist. And the scandal is on this equation.
Trying to defend or excuse Zundel for his Christic devotion… to the soup, or to his soaked Eucharistic devotion, is to be totally mistaken. Zundel does not equate the soup to the Eucharist for gratitude. He evens them up because he does not believe, in fact, in the real presence of Christ in the consecrated Host, as the doctrine of the Church teaches and demands people to believe: in TRANSUBSTANTIATION.
Let us take a look at what Zundel wrote in another one of his books:
“Christ is not in the Host.
“Christ is not in the host, as a clock in a case, or as water in a fountain, or as ourselves in this room.” (M. Zundel, Un autre Regard sur l’Eucharistie, Ed. Le Sarment, France, 2001, p. 117).
The first meaning of the text above is clearly against Faith, although there is some well-hidden malice under it.
According to what the Council of Trent infallibly taught, on its first anathematism against the errors in respect to the Sacrament of Eucharist:
“If any one denieth, that, in the sacrament of the most holy Eucharist, are contained truly, really, and substantially, the body and blood together with the soul and divinity of our Lord Jesus Christ, and consequently the whole Christ; but saith that He is only therein as in a sign, or in figure, or virtue; let him be anathema.”
(Council of Trent, On the real presence of our Lord Jesus Christ in the most holy sacrament of the Eucharist – Canon I).
“If any one saith, that, after the consecration is completed, the body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ are not in the admirable sacrament of the Eucharist, but [they are there] only during the use, whilst it is being taken, and not either before or after; and that, in the hosts, or consecrated particles, which are reserved or which remain after communion, the true Body of the Lord remaineth not; let him be anathema.” (Council of Trent, Canon IV on the Eucharist).
And the Council of Constance condemned the heresy of Wyclif, who asserted that:
“Christ is not identically and really present in the said sacrament in his own bodily persona”. (Council of Constance, against Wyclif. Denzinger, 583)
At first sight, and at the first understanding, Zundel falls under the anathemas of the Council of Trent. However, on Zundel’s text, there is a subtle shade that would allow him to try to explain himself and to avoid the condemnation of Trent.
Zundel’s text, besides being scandalous, has a heretic first meaning, falling under the condemnation of the anathemas of Trent, since Christ is truly, really and substantially present in the consecrated Host.
However, Zundel would say he did not deny the teaching of the Council. He only denied that Christ would be in the host as a clock in a case, or as water inside a fountain, or still as people are contained in a room, that is, as content inside a container.
In fact, Christ is not contained in the host, as if it were a receptacle of Him. The host is not a container of the Body of Christ. By the words of the Consecration, the whole substance of the bread is transubstantiated into the Body of Christ.
Nevertheless, Zundel should have said that Christ is not in the bread, and not that Christ is not in the Host, because by Host we designate the already consecrated bread.
The same Council of Trent, on its Canon 4, uses words that condemn Zundel:
“If any one saith that (...) the true Body of the Lord remaineth not, in the hosts, or consecrated particles, which are reserved or which remain after communion, let him be anathema”.
There will still be some stubborn Zundel’s advocate saying that he did not use the adjective “consecrated”, for he just wrote “Host”.
That would be a shabby excuse, which will be disavowed by other texts from the same Zundel, as we will see later on.
Anybody who reads such sentences from Zundel’s texts will see that the author denies that Christ is truly, really and substantially present in the consecrated host, since no one – unless he is a total pantheist or Gnostic – would assert that Christ is in the non-consecrated host.
As we have already said, Zundel would protest, in case of accusation, saying that what he wrote is that Christ is not contained in the host as a clock is contained in a case.
The clock, which is contained inside its case, is distinct from the case.
If Christ was contained in the Host, the Host would be distinct from Him, and that would imply that there would have been no transubstantiation of the bread into the Body of Christ.
Luther used to say that Christ was in the bread, but denied transubstantiation. And that was one of Luther's many heresies.
Zundel plays with words, using equivocal formulas, whose first meaning is heretic, and only through a deeper and more delicate analysis, with much effort, one would be able to excuse them, giving them an acceptable meaning that, at first sight, they do not have.
This ambiguous way to express oneself is condemnable, because it leads to error, or, in this case, to heresy, since it denies the real presence of Christ in the consecrated host, as the Church has always taught, excommunicating the opposite thesis.
Now, a person who writes or says something in an ambiguous fashion, expressing a false, wrong or heretic first meaning, but which has an acceptable second meaning in doctrinal terms, though more concealed, and which can only be reached with effort, this person must be considered as wishing to deceive and lead to error, or heresy. And the Church has always condemned this kind of phrase as erroneous, or as savoring of heresy or error.
If Zundel had written, “Christ is not in the bread”, it would have been righter. But he wrote, “Christ is not in the Host” instead, and by Host, we usually refer to the consecrated bread, transubstantiated into Christ. Writing like that, he leads us to understand that Christ is not really, truly and substantially present in the consecrated Host. He allows us to interpret that he does not believe in the transubstantiation as the Church defines it and demands it to be believed.
We have not found, in any of Zundel’s books that we've read – we have not read them all yet – any sentence clearly stating that, through transubstantiation, Christ is truly, really and substantially present in the consecrated Host.
We did find many texts that contradict the Catholic doctrine about the Eucharist.
Therefore, we conclude that, on the sentence quoted above, Zundel did want to deny the real presence, although he uses an ambiguous formula to defend himself against the accusation of heresy, being thereby able to say that Christ is not in the Host (bread) as a content inside a container, because, after the consecration, all the substance of the bread is transubstantiated into the Body and, by concomitance, into the Blood, Soul and Divinity of Christ.
We will see, through many other texts from Zundel, that our analysis and conclusion are correct: under ambiguous but scandalous formulas, Zundel denies the real presence of Christ in the consecrated host, because he denies the transubstantiation, as the Church defines it.
Zundel is a master of ambiguity and amphibology. And the sentence quoted above – “Christ is not in the host, as a clock in a case,… etc” – is a typical example of his very malicious language…
Now, when a text is purposefully ambiguous, or when a person of authority expresses himself in a planned ambiguous fashion, it should be interpreted in its worst sense, because a person of authority cannot speak ambiguously. Much less when dealing with such a delicate matter as the dogma of Jesus’ real presence in the Host.
What interest could there be in speaking ambiguously, when someone believes in the dogma? Whoever believes seriously in a dogma, strives to express himself clearly, to avoid mistakes. It is the evil-minded heretic who seeks to conceal his thoughts, speaking and writing ambiguously. What use is there in playing with words, creating paradoxes and acrobatic traps for the readers, using ambiguous words and captious formulas? He who reads these equivocal, ambiguous and captious formulas is, indeed, induced to error.
Recently, we showed these scandalous phrases from Zundel to a pious priest, and he, after reading them, returned the book to us with the following comment:
“If you publish this, a great number of priests and seminarists in Brazil will like it, because it expresses exactly what they believe in, that is, that Christ, in fact, is not in the consecrated Host. Instead of shocked, they will be happy.”
And this priest told us, then, that many priests totally ignore Church’s doctrine about Mass and transubstantiation, among other essential points of doctrine.
But then we ask, afflicted – we who are not theologians –, what is Mass for these present and future priests? What do they think Eucharist is? For them, what is consecration?
And afflicted by our theological ignorance, we ask: what worth is Mass for those who deny the transubstantiation?
If what this priest had told us is true – and we have no reason to doubt it – then all the carelessness one notices in regard to the consecrated Host is understood. Then the indifference with which many priests deal with the sacred particles is explained. Then it becomes clear for us the reason why a priest answered to a godson of ours, who had just been baptized – and that was around 1964, when Vatican II took place – when he had asked the priest for the communion:
“You want a cookie? I will give you a cookie.”
And he gave the boy the sacred Host.
And that was before the New Mass, back in 1964. And since then, things got much worse.
There is no care for the consecrated Host anymore. Not even the minor rubrics that the Church demands in respect to it are fulfilled anymore.
This fact can be easily verified nowadays in respect to Christ’s real presence in the Host: the simple omission of the gestures that exteriorize faith in Christ’s real presence in the Host – the genuflexions before the Most Sacred Sacrament, or before the tabernacle, for example – leads believers to forget about Christ’s real presence in the Host, which makes it simpler to deny the dogma afterwards.
It looks like part of a stratagem: first the external signs of respect are omitted, and later the heresy is taught openly, such as Zundel teaches.
And we will see, later on, by many other quotations from his books, that what Zundel wants is to deny the dogma of Christ’s real presence. Right now, we will just quote some sentences from him, which we will analyze with more depth later on.
“If there was no love, Mass would be an abomination. It follows, on the other hand, as Saint Thomas has already precisely observed, that in the Eucharist, there is no local presence, that is, in other words, that in the Eucharist, Jesus cannot be grabbed with our hands. What we touch with our hands are only the appearances, what we put into our mouths are the species of bread and wine. We do not have physical contact with Christ, we only have the kind of contact [with Christ] that we have with friends. This is the contact that we have with Christ, in such a way that, physically eating the species, we are spiritually nourished of Christ.” (M. Zundel, Il Volto di Dio nel Quotidiano, pp. 170-171. The boldface is ours).
Now, according to what the Church teaches, and along with St. Thomas, the species of bread and wine are the appearances or accidents of bread and wine, which remain, while the substance of bread and wine, through the words of the consecration, are transubstantiated respectively into the Body and the Blood of Christ.
According to Zundel, we eat the accidents, and not the substance. And that is a logical absurd, and a theological heresy, because, by the words of consecration, Christ’s Body is really, truly and substantially present in the consecrated Host, under the species or appearances of bread.
Zundel denies that, when we communicate, we eat the Body of Christ.
“When we take the Eucharist, Christ is not transported. When we eat the host, Christ is not eaten. All these things are signs of something that transcends all words. It is about a transformation of ourselves in Christ, where all these signs mean nothing but one thing: Christ’s charity is what transforms us into Him, so that our lives are charity.” (M. Zundel, Il Volto di Dio nel Quotidiano, p. 172. The boldface is ours).
In these sentences, Zundel denies the words pronounced by Christ Himself in the institution of Eucharist, which the priest repeats during consecration in Mass:
“Take, eat. This is my body” (Mt. XXVI, 26).
What Zundel says also denies the following words of Christ:
“Unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you. Whoever eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day. For My flesh is food indeed, and My blood is drink indeed. He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood abides in Me, and I in him.” (Jo. VI, 54-57)
Zundel also denies what the Council of Trent infallibly asserts against the Protestant heresies in respect to the Eucharist:
“If any one saith, that Christ, given in the Eucharist, is eaten spiritually only, and not also sacramentally and really; let him be anathema”. (Council of Trent, Canon VIII on the Eucharist, Denzinger 896).
And Zundel says exactly what the Council of Trent anathematized.
Notice, still, that Zundel says that, in the Eucharist, there are just signs. Therefore, that there are no realities. That the Eucharist is not really Christ’s Body and Blood.
Now, we already saw that Canon 1 from the Council of Trent about the Eucharist condemns with anathema whoever asserts that in the Eucharist there are just signs and not realities.
We repeat here the part that matters to the case, from this canon of the Council:
“If any one saith that Christ is only therein [in the Eucharist] as in a sign, or in figure, or virtue; let him be anathema.” (Council of Trent, Canon I on the Eucharist. Denzinger, 883. The boldface is ours).
Finally, look at this absurd heresy from Zundel: the transubstantiation into Christ is of men, not of bread and wine.
He wrote the following, and despite writing it, Paul VI kept his friendship with him, inviting him to preach to the Roman Curia:
“When we take the Eucharist, Christ is not transported, by any means. When we eat the host, Christ is not eaten. In communion something is meant that transcends all words: it is about a transubstantiation of ourselves into Jesus Christ, in which all signs mean nothing but one thing: Christ’s charity transforming ourselves in himself so that our lives be charity”. (M. Zundel, Un Autre Regard sur l’Eucharistie, pp. 160-161).
It is scandalous!
Through consecration, it is we who are transubstantiated into Christ!
We will see more deeply, along this text, this Gnostic heresy of Zundel's.
II – Zundel: deformer of the thomistic doctrine about the Eucharist
In order to justify his heresies and his scandalous Gnostic doctrine, Zundel appeals to no other than Saint Thomas himself, whose doctrine he is going to twist, distort, deform and corrupt.
Let us see what this barefaced heretic dares to write:
“If there was no love, mass would be an abomination. It follows, on the other hand, as Saint Thomas has already precisely observed, that in the Eucharist, there is no local presence, that is, in other words, that in the Eucharist, Jesus cannot be grabbed with our hands.” (M. Zundel, Il Volto di Dio nel Quotidiano, p. 170)
Zundel is repetitive. But all he repeats are heresies.
Audaciously, he tries, then, to justify his heresy about the Eucharist with Saint Thomas himself, saying:
“Once admitted the miracle – or rather, the miracles – which have as theme the real (substantial) presence of Our Lord in the Sacrament of the Eucharist, it is not useless to add some corollaries that derive, exactly, from the ways of this presence, which, as Saint Thomas Aquinas asserts, is not, itself, a local presence, although the species (bread and wine) under which it communicates itself are in a location” (M. Zundel, Quale Uomo e Quale Dio, – Conferences to the Pope and the Sacred College of Cardinals, 1972, Ed. Messagero, Padova, 1994, p. 304)
Observe, first of all, how the attitude of Zundel in this excerpt is more cautious and prudent. He was then speaking to Cardinals, and, to them, he did not dare to compare the Eucharist with soup. However, he dared try to justify his heresy quoting Saint Thomas and the problem of the location of Christ’s presence in the Eucharist.
Saint Thomas, unmistakably, did not share Zundel’s heretic doctrine about the Eucharist and Christ’s real presence in the host.
For this exact reason he taught that “it is absolutely necessary to confess according to Catholic faith that the entire Christ is in this sacrament [of the Eucharist]” (Saint Thomas, Summa Theologica, III Q. 76, a.1).
Saint Thomas also teaches – and it is convenient to have this in mind – that Christ is present in this sacrament in two ways: by the power of the sacrament, and by natural concomitance.
By the power of the sacrament, under the species or accidents of bread, Christ’s body is present, and, under the species or accidents of wine, Christ’s blood. For Christ has said, “This is my Body”, “This is my Blood”.
By natural concomitance, everything that is really united to Christ’s body is in the host, that is, his Blood, Soul and Divinity. And it is united to his Blood, by natural concomitance, his Body, Soul and Divinity. (Acc. Saint Thomas, Summa Theologica, III, Q. 76, a.1).
Saint Thomas, thus, teaches that, under the species or accidents of bread and wine, the whole Christ is really there. Exactly what Zundel denies.
“It must be held most certainly that the whole Christ is under each sacramental species yet not alike in each. For the body of Christ is indeed present under the species of bread by the power of the sacrament, while the blood is there from real concomitance, as stated above, in regard to the soul and Divinity of Christ; and under the species of wine the blood is present by the power of the sacrament, and His body by real concomitance, as is also His soul and Divinity: because now Christ's blood is not separated from His body, as it was at the time of His Passion and death.” (Saint Thomas, Summa Theologica, III, Q. 76, a.2)
In the third article of the same Question 76, Saint Thomas explains that:
“The substance of Christ's body is in this sacrament by the power of the sacrament, while dimensive quantity is there by reason of real concomitance, consequently Christ's body is in this sacrament substantively, that is, in the way in which substance is under dimensions, but not after the manner of dimensions, which means, not in the way in which the dimensive quantity of a body is under the dimensive quantity of place.
Now it is evident that the whole nature of a substance is under every part of the dimensions under which it is contained; just as the entire nature of air is under every part of air, and the entire nature of bread under every part of bread; and this indifferently, whether the dimensions be actually divided (as when the air is divided or the bread cut), or whether they be actually undivided, but potentially divisible. And therefore it is manifest that the entire Christ is under every part of the species of the bread, even while the host remains entire, and not merely when it is broken” (Saint Thomas, Summa Theologica, III, Q. 76, a.3)
Therefore, Christ is wholly in the consecrated host. His Flesh is under the species of bread, by virtue of the sacrament. His Blood, Soul and Divinity are in the consecrated host – as Saint Thomas taught – by real concomitance.
In the same way, its dimensive quantity – He was a tall man – is in the consecrated host by concomitance, but entirely. This is what Saint Thomas explains in article 3 of question 76 of the third part of the Summa Theologica.
And he teaches it even more explicitly in article 4 of the same question 76 “whether the whole dimensive quantity of Christ's body is in this sacrament”. The Saint answers this question in the following way:
“Any part of Christ is in this sacrament in two ways: in one way, by the power of the sacrament; in another, from real concomitance. By the power of the sacrament the dimensive quantity of Christ's body is not in this sacrament; for, by the power of the sacrament that is present in this sacrament, whereat the conversion is terminated. But the conversion which takes place in this sacrament is terminated directly at the substance of Christ's body, and not at its dimensions; which is evident from the fact that the dimensive quantity of the bread remains after the consecration, while only the substance of the bread passes away.
Nevertheless, since the substance of Christ's body is not really deprived of its dimensive quantity and its other accidents, hence it comes that by reason of real concomitance the whole dimensive quantity of Christ's body and all its other accidents are in this sacrament.” (Saint Thomas, Summa Theologica, III, Q. 76, a.4)
From that it logically follows the query of article 5 of this same question: “whether Christ’s Body is in the sacrament as in a place”, which is the point deformed by Zundel in order to build his sophism that Christ is not in the consecrated host.
Here is how Saint Thomas states the answer to the query proposed in article 5:
“As stated above, Christ's body is in this sacrament not after the proper manner of dimensive quantity, but rather after the manner of substance. But every body occupying a place is in the place according to the manner of dimensive quantity, namely, inasmuch as it is commensurate with the place according to its dimensive quantity. Hence it remains that Christ's body is not in this sacrament as in a place, but after the manner of substance, that is to say, in that way in which substance is contained by dimensions; because the substance of Christ's body succeeds the substance of bread in this sacrament: hence as the substance of bread was not locally under its dimensions, but after the manner of substance, so neither is the substance of Christ's body. Nevertheless the substance of Christ's body is not the subject of those dimensions, as was the substance of the bread: and therefore the substance of the bread was there locally by reason of its dimensions, because it was compared with that place through the medium of its own dimensions; but the substance of Christ's body is compared with that place through the medium of foreign dimensions – [those of the bread] -, so that, on the contrary, the proper dimensions of Christ's body are compared with that place through the medium of substance; which is contrary to the notion of a located body. Hence in no way is Christ's body locally in this sacrament.” (Saint Thomas, Summa Theologica, III, Q. 76, a.5).
What Saint Thomas teaches is that Christ is substantially in the host by transubstantiation of the bread into his Body. However, the transubstantiation does not enforce Christ’s Body to assume the dimensions of the species of bread. Christ is not in the host as a thing inside a container. The bread is not a vessel for the Body of Christ, because, if that were true, there would remain something of the substance of bread after the words of consecration. Now, it does not happen. All the substance of bread becomes the substance of Christ’s body. Nevertheless, the dimensions of bread remain as species of bread, and those locate the host.
Zundel skips over and hides that Saint Thomas states that Christ is really and substantially present in the host. Instead, he highlights that Saint Thomas demonstrated that He is not there localized, because it is the dimensions of the bread – one of the species of it – that locate the host, and not Christ’s dimensions.
Saying that Christ is not located there, Zundel makes one believe that Christ is not substantially there, in the host, over the altar, or inside the sacrary.
Thus, Zundel induces his readers to fall into heresy, denying Christ’s real presence in the consecrated host.
Let us see how Zundel denies Christ’s real presence in the Eucharist:
“We do not place the good God over the table or over the altar, we do not place the good God in our mouths or inside our pockets, but there is in the consecrated bread and wine, as in a letter, the means of a real presence, in the same way a letter is the means for a real thought.” (M. Zundel, Un Autre Regard sur l’Eucharistie, p.31)
Zundel will repeat this image – he is very repetitive with his heresies -, an image that we can reduce to a relation:
Which is a heretic relation.
Christ is not present in the host as Zundel’s heresy is present in his books, or in his letters. A writer’s thought on a letter is not equivalent, by any means, to Christ’s real and substantial presence in the host. In a letter, the writer is not really and substantially present. And Christ is indeed truly, really and substantially present in the host.
If Christ were in the host as a writer’s thoughts are in a letter, Jesus would not be in the hosts, in the same way Zundel is not substantially present inside his books and letters. When I bought Zundel’s books, I did not bring him over to my house, thanks to God.
This article we write contains our thought about Zundel’s heresies, but we are not substantially present inside the article. Nevertheless, Christ is really and substantially present in the host.
By making the relation above, Zundel denied Christ’s real presence in the host.
Zundel makes another heretically absurd comparison in regard to the real presence, when he traces a parallel between what happens in the consecration and what happens when we turn on the radio. The heretic Zundel says:
“If instead we want a very vulgar comparison – [the only vulgar thing here is his heresy] – during the Mass, we turn on the radio, together, in order to contact and assimilate a Presence which is already there, exactly like the radio waves are already in the air, in the room, before we turn it on: we turn on the radio to capture a presence that is offered to us all the time, which is already in us, but for which we are not present yet.”
“The Eucharist species are an opening for this Presence.”
“It is not about imagining that Christ falls from heaven in the shape of bread and wine. It is about realizing that the bread and wine open themselves over a Presence that is already inside ourselves, given to each one of us: it opens itself and allows us to reach it, because, precisely, the species – [of bread and wine] – are the symbol of fraternity, for we are, during the mass, in a supper that virtually reunites all humanity and makes a universal horizon” (M. Zundel, Un Autre Regard sur l’Eucharistie, p.36)
In this text, Zundel’s heresy is more than clear.
First of all, it is heresy to say that Christ is present in the host as radiophonic waves are present in the air. That just like these waves were already present in the air before we turned on the radio, so would Christ be already present even before the words of the consecration. And these words would only “turn on” the believers to a “Presence” previously existing. And existing inside of us!!!
Christ’s presence would be in men, and not in the consecrated host!!!
And what “Presence” is this that Zundel refers to with capital “P”? “Presence” of what?
Would it be the “Presence” that the Jewish Kabbala calls Schechinah?
Indeed, for the Jewish Gnosis, the Schechinah – the last sefirah emanated from the hidden Divinity – would have fallen in the world, and would be present inside each one of us and inside all things, including bread and wine.
In the mass, through the words of consecration, Christ becomes really, truly and substantially present in the host and in the wine, and not inside us. Never inside us.
Which Kabbala did Zundel extract that from? He took it from Meister Eckhart’s Gnosis, from Jacob Boehme’s Kabbalistic system, from Hegel’s Romantic Gnosis, and from the Gnosis of Modernism. These are the roots of his heresies.
It is heresy to assert that “bread and wine open themselves over a Presence that is already inside ourselves, given to each one of us”.
It is heresy to say that “the species [of bread and wine] are the symbol of fraternity”.
If even saying that the consecrated species are a symbol of Christ’s presence is heresy, what about asserting that they are the “symbol of fraternity”?
For Zundel, through the words of consecration, Christ would be inside of us.
Would that be the reason why, in Brazil, nowadays, in Paul VI’s mass, in response to the sentence “May the Lord be with you”, the following weird answer is given: “He is in between us”?
“I cannot tell whether I can express myself well. The Eucharist is not some kind of magic ritual that makes Jesus fall over earth. In the moment of consecration, it sprouts from “De profundis” of the church that offers itself to him, which jumps over every limit, and accepts to bear with Christ all humanity and the entire universe, identifying itself with him, saying, “This is my body, this is my blood”.
“Christ is indeed in between us, whereas we are at his table and communicate with him, in communion to each other.” (M. Zundel, Il Volto di Dio nel Quotidiano, p. 169)
In another passage, Zundel confirms this doctrine of his, according to which Christ does not begin to be really present in the host after (and because of) the words of consecration:
“Note carefully how the incarnation cannot mean that God descended from heaven to come over earth, where he was not before (God was already in the world, but the world did not know him), how the incarnation means humanity becoming infinitely present to God (who, on his part, has always been present to humanity; in the same way, the Eucharist does not mean that Jesus has become present, while he was not before: our Lord is always present to humanity, not only with his Divinity, but with his humanity” (M. Zundel, Il Volto di Dio nel Quotidiano, p. 166)
According to Zundel, then, the words of consecration, in the Mass, do not have the power to transubstantiate bread and wine into Christ’s Body and Blood. Jesus, even before the consecration, was already present in all men and in all things.
Although it is not the aim of our article, we also cannot fail to protest against another heresy from Zundel, relative to the Incarnation of the Word. For him, the Incarnation did not consist on the Word uniting Himself hypostatically to the human nature, in the bosom of the Virgin Mary. For Zundel, Incarnation means humanity becoming present to God (???). And this is also heresy.
“The Incarnation of Christ does not mean a descent from heaven over an earth from which, until then, he was absent; much before Incarnation, God was in the world, but the world did not know him. The Incarnation is a coming to the world of a humanity, the humanity of Jesus, infinitely present to God, and “cognoscente” [knowing] of God.
The same thing happens with the Eucharist: the Eucharist does not mean that Jesus Christ becomes present, as if he were not present until then. No! Actually, our Lord is always present to humanity not only with his divinity, but also with his humanity. And it is necessary to say more: the humanity of Jesus is always present in every one of us; it is the “Light which gives light to every man (Jo I, 9).” (M. Zundel, Un Autre Regard… p.156)
We believe that it is clear enough that Zundel does not believe in the real and substantial presence of Christ in the consecrated host. For this reason, we spare ourselves from showing other excerpts from his texts, which confirm this heresy of his.
We will see, however, ahead in this article, how Zundel denies the value of consecration, denying that, through the words of consecration, Christ becomes really and substantially present in the host.
III – Eucharist = Materialism and Idolatry
According to Zundel, the Church, in the urge to fight against the Protestant heresy, materialized the Eucharist, making an idol out of it:
“Catholics got petrified in the reality of our Lord’s presence in the Most Sacred Sacrament, and materialized such presence against Protestants, who, against such materialization, reduced it to something symbolic instead.”
“Both parties had lost sight of the essential cause of the real presence, which is the communitarian presence. That means that our Lord could only be present to humanity in the shape of a church.” (M.Zundel, Il Volto di Dio…, p.164)
Actually, Zundel judges that the Church has always been wrong about the Eucharist.
For him, what the Church has always taught and practiced in relation to the Eucharist was materialism and idolatry. Zundel’s birth was required so that humanity could reach the real understanding about the sacrament of Eucharist.
For Zundel, Christ being adored in the Most Sacred Sacrament, and being kept inside the sacrary was pure idolatry, the pharaonic and materialistic cult of an ineffective object.
Let us see some quotations from Zundel about this theme.
“A sort of religious materialism, the worst of all, can be tragically established around the Eucharist: there [in it], there is a palladium [an amulet], a celestial lightning arrester over the roof, under which one can sleep in peace. God is there, inside his little box [the sacrary] and one has God constantly at his disposal.” (M.Zundel, Un Regard… p.71)
Take a good look at what Zundel reduces the Eucharistic devotion that the Church has always practiced to: to materialism, and the worst materialism of all, the religious materialism.
If you want a confirmation of this blasphemy and heresy, read this:
“Can we now think that Jesus would have given us the Eucharist so that we could rebuild an idolatric cult, so that we could possess him, have him, reach him with our hands, closed into a little box, because he is properly ours?
Can one imagine such materialism by way of the Lord? Can one think that he has subtracted his visible presence to the apostles in order to give us in the Eucharist a source of idolatry, as if we could dispose of God as it can be done with an object? It is absolutely impossible. It is actually the opposite.” (M.Zundel, Stupore e Povertà, Ed. Messagero, Padova, 1991, p.99 and Un Regard… p.75)
How could this priest, this unfortunate priest, dare to write such a blasphemy?
How can he publish this absurd phrase: the Eucharist is a source of idolatry?
And how come he was not excommunicated after publishing this, as it used to be done, with cross, holy water, extinguishing the lit torch, casting it to the ground and treading over its flames?
And how could this heretic enjoy the (public) friendship and admiration of Paul VI for decades? And how come Paul VI invited him to preach a retreat, in the Vatican, to the Supreme Pontiff and the Cardinals of the Roman Curia?
This is inexplicable!
Would Mgr. Montini (who is to become Paul VI later on) consider irrelevant stating that Christ is not in the host, that we do not eat Christ’s body when we communicate, but that we just receive then the species of bread, and that the Eucharist is a source of materialism and idolatry? None of this is condemnable? Or, on the contrary, would he consider all that admirable or, at least, acceptable?
But then, what, for the love of God, matters?
Zundel is persistent in his heresies. He repeats what he says, varying words a little bit, but never his heretic thinking. Which brings us the advantage that it becomes hard to deny that he intended to teach the heresies for which we now denounce him.
“It is true that a sort of religious materialism is the worst of all materialisms, and that such materialism can take place around the Eucharist: it is the real presence, which is safely believed. And it constitutes a defense, a celestial lightning arrester over the house, under which, one can sleep in peace. God is there, closed inside his little box, and he is always at one’s disposal.”
“I confess my horror before such images. They really seem to me the degradation of the gospel, I have the feeling of living in pharaonism, in a religion with no endeavor, which does not bring anything particular in life” (M.Zundel, Stupore e Povertà, pp. 95-96)
We confess our horror and indignation before these phrases of a priest who makes the charge of materialism against the firm belief that people have had in respect to Christ’s real presence in the Eucharist!
We confess our horror and indignation against this priest who calls pharaonism the Eucharistic cult that the Church has practiced for 2000 years.
We confess our horror and indignation against this priest, who dares to call the sacrary a "little box", the sacrary, to which he should have devoted his life.
Recently, we have seen the picture of a sacrary which had been transformed into a… doghouse!
The result of freely preaching Zundel’s theology, inside the Church and from the top, is this: the sacrary is relegated to a secondary place, when it is not transformed into a doghouse.
It is impossible not to conclude: the religion preached by Zundel’s theology is the opposite of the Catholic Religion. What he calls materialism and pharaonism is true Catholicism.
Unfortunately, Paul VI did not condemn this anti-Eucharistic satanism.
To reaffirm this anti-Eucharistic satanism, Zundel says:
“Around the host, a whole materialism was established, precisely because of losing sight of the fundamental demand” (M. Zundel, Stupore e Povertà, p.104)
Zundel repeats Father Louis Bouyer’s anti-Eucharistic doctrine against the cult of Jesus as King. His democratism and egalitarianism rebel against the homages to Christ the King.
Surely – along with others who worship man – he would prefer that the homages to Christ the King were directed... to Barrabas instead!
“How much also such liturgy has not some traces of this ambiguous exchange between earthly regalism [“regalità”, in the Italian original] and divine regality? Instead, how much does not the divine regality derive from human regality? How much, in Byzance – [the same example given by Father Bouyer to combat the Eucharistic cult; and contradictorily, both Bouyer and Zundel admired the byzantine liturgy] – the court ceremonial and Saint Sophie’s liturgy did not coincide in the same model where divine regality and human regality, in turn, got mixed up?”
“And how much our liturgy is not still a remainder of those real liturgies that never engage the deepest of the soul? It is about paying homage to a sovereign, holding a procession around the altar and erecting him a sanctuary, and, after that, all is accomplished, and one is free of any other obligation. All this can be accomplished without any mystic effort.” “Does it not stress, perhaps, idolatry? Is it not the bourgeois religion, the satisfied religion, the religion which gives itself a charter of honorability and good consciousness and which, at a lower level, can be expressed by the words of the parson: “Here, when a laborer becomes boss, he starts to wear leather gloves and to go to mass” (M. Zundel, Stupore e Povertà, pp. 93-94)
Zundel fights against the monarchic traces of liturgy. He wished, certainly, a proletarian, proletarized and proletarian-maker liturgy.
This opposition to the Eucharistic cult to Christ the King, and this denial of Christ’s real presence in the Host caused, since Vatican II and Paul VI’s liturgical reform, an almost complete disappearance of the blessings to the Most Holy Sacrament, practically an end of the Holy Hours, expositions of the Most Holy to be adored by the believers, ceremonies, very rare nowadays, and a sabotage to the Eucharistic processions, particularly the one of Corpus Christ.
Zundel goes beyond the accusation of idolatry and pharaonic regalism on the Eucharistic cult that Church has always practiced: he denies any efficacy to the Eucharist such as Church has always understood and practiced.
“The host in the tabernacle, as object, is ineffective, so ineffective of the Word’s presence, that it shone through the darkness and the darkness did not comprehend it” (M. Zundel, Stupore e Povertà, p. 103)
This is a new implicit denial to Christ’s presence in the host. Zundel could be of any religion. Catholic, he definitely was not.
“The presence of the host in the tabernacle as an object cannot have any effect; it is as ineffective as the Word’s Presence which shines in the darkness without being received by it.” (M. Zundel, Un Autre Regard…, p. 99)
Let us now see this weird excerpt from Zundel:
“Jesus did not introduce himself to Caiphas, Herod, Pilate, he did not only introduce himself to the phenomenological world. The same must be said about all these discourses about the real Presence, they refer to the real presence in the world in “him”, it is in this world in “him” that it has come to the point of talking about Jesus prisoner in the tabernacle.” (M. Zundel, Un Autre Regard…, p.137)
For Zundel, then, to believe that Christ is in the host as the Church always taught and believed and made believe, to argue about Christ’s real presence in the host is to sit on the materialist world, in the world in “him” – in the world where there is the other, where one can discern the “me” from the “him”. Zundel, along with all Romantics, especially the Gnostics Hegel, Baudelaire and Rimbaud, identifies the “me” with the other, with the “him”. Evil would be to discern subject and object.
It is in this world where it is believed to exist the “him”, and not only the personal “me”, that the personal “me” is discerned from the “him”. Christ in the host, as object, is falsely discerned from me, subject.
From that, it follows that considering the consecrated host – Christ’s real presence in the host – as object is to separate object from subject. It is breaking with the ontological unity of all beings.
”If we wish to absorb Jesus Christ to ourselves alone, reducing him to the personal – [individual, particular] – relations that we have with him, he becomes an idol” (M. Zundel, Un Autre Regard…, p.155; Il Volto…, pp.166 and 171)
Therefore, to communicate having a personal relationship with Christ is to make an idol out of Him.
For Zundel, then, the Church has always practiced idolatry, for She has always told Catholics to communicate looking for a personal union to Christ. And this man, in spite of saying all that, was invited to preach a retreat in the Vatican for the Pope Paul VI and for the Cardinals of the Roman Curia, getting from that renown and moral “authority”!
Is it astonishing that, practically everywhere, all the respect for the Eucharist was destroyed or, at least, lost, to the point of treating it as regular bread? (as, for example, in the elimination of the exterior signs of adoration, or in receiving the communion in a standing position, on the hand, and given by non-consecrated men and women).
Zundel, who was a priest and who, during mass, had God on his hands in the consecrated host (in case he did consecrate indeed), asks audaciously:
“What does it mean then: having God in one’s hand? Having God in one’s mouth, or inside a tabernacle, or in a church? Taking the good God? [in viaticum, for a moribund]. This, all this, in these expressions, can seem, in such a way, idolatric! Yes, and idolatric, in the proportion that a capital thing was forgotten, that the Eucharist is the sacrament of Jesus Christ’s body. Much easily and regularly it was forgotten that there is a sacrament in the Eucharist, that is, a reality, a value: attaining Jesus Christ while attaining oneself” (M. Zundel, Un Autre Regard… p.148. The boldface is ours)
So it means that, for Zundel, we only “attain Jesus while we attain ourselves” (???).
But, then, for Zundel, is it us who are Christ?
Is it us who are God?
Let us see another quotation, to comprehend what Zundel and those from his school understand by consecration and transubstantiation:
“Consecration consists on putting us in line with Catholicity. Let us go underneath the cross, invoke our Lord and say at the moment of the consecration over Christ’s body what the Virgin said, when she received him in her arms: “this is my body, this is my blood”. Let us identify ourselves with this crucified body, let us identify with the immolated love, then Christ can reach us, touch us; he identifies himself with us, and also says over us: “This is my body, this is my blood”, and we exchange with him” (M. Zundel, Il Volto…, p.168)
Therefore, by consecration, it is the believer who is transubstantiated into Christ.
We will see that it is exactly what Zundel thinks, because he is a declared Gnostic.
For this priest, Catholicism, as it has been taught and practiced for almost 2000 years, was magic, was materialism, and the worst materialism there is: the religious materialism.
Zundel’s birth and growth was required in order to bring to the Church the real sense of the Eucharist and the other sacraments, and to be led to a grown-up Catholicism, as Maritan and the Modernists wanted. To a “spiritual” Catholicism, and not a materialistic one.
“And there is the great drama: that of a Christendom which has not reached its spiritual majority and is still broadly engaged with its magic beliefs, and which has not seen the sacrament which was in the antipodes, the antipodes of magic.” (M. Zundel, Un Autre Regard…, p.42)
There is no doubt: Zundel has a faith that is an absolute antithesis to the Catholic one, the antipodes of Catholicism.
The most serious problem is that this zundelian religion has spread itself all over the world, and is stifling Catholicism.
“The drama: have we found the real Christ? Are we under the right gospel? Have we not turned the Bible into a magical thing stating: “Here is the book!”? The Bible, a magic, and the sacraments another magic, when we say: “There it is, the Lord is in there, Christ is there – on the table!” (M. Zundel, Un Autre Regard…, p.41)
The drama – the tragedy – is that this anti-Catholic religion has deeply penetrated into Catholic people’s mentality, and specially, unfortunately, into many priest’s mentality, nowadays.
Zundel’s doctrine – which has been undergroundly spread throughout the clergy, since this author was practically unknown while he was alive (up until 1975) – this heretic doctrine which considers magic the Eucharistic cult that the Church has practiced for 2000 years, and regards all the Eucharistic doctrine as false besides a source for materialism and idolatry, and which considers the Most Sacred Sacrament, inside the sacrary, an ineffective object, what conclusions does this doctrine draw over the Holy sacrifice of Mass which the Church has always prayed?
What did Zundel think of Saint Pious V’s mass? Would it be magic, for Zundel?
What did this friend of Paul VI – the Pope who founded and presented a New Mass, in 1969 – thought in respect to the value of the old Mass? How did he judge the mass elaborated (fabricated) by Monsignor Bugnini and other six Protestant Pastors, in 1969, and imposed by Paul VI?
Because if he considers that Christ is not in the host, that we just eat the species of bread, and not Christ’s Body; that believing that Christ is indeed inside the sacrary is idolatry, and it is to place there an idol; if transubstantiation does not make the substance of bread become the substance of Christ’s body, then what would be mass for Zundel?
This priest taught the opposite of what Church has always taught:
“If we wish to absorb Jesus Christ for ourselves alone – as it has always been practiced in the Church – reducing him to the personal matters that we have with him, he becomes an idol” (M. Zundel, Un Autre Regard…, p.155)
Communicating, aiming to establish a personal relationship with Jesus Christ would be, then, to create an idol. For 2000 years, idolatry would have been practiced with the Eucharist. It was required for Zundel to come and save Church from the idolatric pharaonism of the Eucharistic cult, which the Church has sustained for 20 centuries.
Thus, consequent in his heresies, Zundel condemns the private Mass:
“Because the Mass does not consist on a magic ritual which operates over a individual. It is about an equation of light and love between the community and its Boss, between community and its Lord”
“There is not, therefore, liturgy or private communion” (M. Zundel, Stupore and Povertà, p.103)
Communicating would not be to receive Jesus in the consecrated host, and thus to get in communion to Christ God, but to communicate would be simply to get in communion to humanity.
“This is absolutely fundamental, because the Eucharist is never a private thing. Mass is always universal. Communicating [=communing] oneself is opening oneself infinitely to Christ’s love, boundlessly opening oneself to humanity. So is that every communion is a light to all men. The communion has this universal hugeness: it reaches the whole world, in any other way it would be pure magic, which reduces Christ to an idol” (M. Zundel, Il Volto di Dio nel Quotidiano, pp. 169-170)
Zundel, as always, expresses himself in a very ambiguous fashion. The first sense of this excerpt seems to condemn private Mass.
Now, the Council of Trent has condemned this Protestant heresy that Zundel captiously insinuates on the quotations above:
“If any one saith, that masses, wherein the priest alone communicates sacramentally, are unlawful, and are, therefore, to be abrogated; let him be anathema.” (Council of Trent, On the sacrifice of mass, Canon VIII, Denzinger 955)
Once more we observe how Zundel’s doctrine is heterodox.
For Zundel, all that used to be done in relation to the Most Holy Sacrament was “full pharaonism” (M. Zundel, Stupore e Povertà, p.95).
“The words of consecration sprout, therefore, from the deepness of the mystic body. Every liturgy assumes all humanity gathered together around the Lord’s table. It is required that in the world there is, at least, one soul to carry this weight of love, to be the guarantee of this invitation. If in the world there was not even one soul in state of grace, in state of universal communion, all mass would become suddenly sacrilegical and impossible” (M. Zundel, Stupore e Povertà, pp.102-103. The boldface is ours).
In this excerpt from his texts, Zundel defends a totally heretic doctrine. According to Zundel, the sacramental words of the consecration of the host would not act ex opere operato, that is, its efficacy would depend on at least one person in the world in state of grace. This is a very radical Donatistic position.
In these sentences from Zundel, first of all, there is a renewal of the Donatistic heresy that asserts that the sacraments, for being valid, would demand the priest’s sanctity. Zundel is even more radical than the heretic Donatus, who Saint Augustine fought against. Donato only demanded that the priest was in state of grace for the sacrament to be valid. Zundel demands at least one faithful person to be in state of grace.
Also the Fraticelli heretics were condemned for asserting that the sacraments would only be valid if ministered by priests in state of grace. (according to Denzinger 53 and 486)
The consecration is effective, even if the priest that pronounces it is in sin. Even if the consecration is pronounced before sinners. It does not depend on the state of grace of the priests nor the people.
Now, the Council of Trent condemned this thesis that the sacrament is ineffective if ministered by someone in mortal sin.
“If any one saith, that a minister being in mortal sin, if so be that he observe all the essentials which belong to the effecting or conferring of the sacrament, neither effects, nor confers the sacrament; let him be anathema.” (Council of Trent, On the sacraments in general, canon XII, Denzinger, 855).
Then it is doctrine against faith that which asserts that the sacrament is ineffective if ministered by a priest in mortal sin. For the Mass to be valid and effective, it is not necessary for the priest to be in state of grace. Against what Zundel says.
Not united to humanity, one would celebrate or attend Mass in an ineffective and sacrilegical way.
Zundel expresses, in the sentence quoted and bolded above, that all masses prayed without at least one person in state of grace are “sacrilegical and impossible”.
Thus, since sinful and ineffective, in other words, they are non-valid and sacrilegical Masses.
“In order to comprehend it, imagine as if it was possible that, in the church, there was not even one person who loved, that there was nothing but denial, blasphemy, hate. Imagine that Mass happens to be celebrated in a humanity where no one, including the celebrating priest, loves Christ. Such a mass would be a blasphemy, because it would look for imprisoning Christ materially, reducing him to some kind of obedient idol who answered to a magic word; while the Eucharist is to stick oneself to Christ with the Heart, it is opening oneself to his love: Mass is only legitimate if somewhere there is a loving heart who invokes him (…) If there was no love anymore, mass would be an abomination” (M. Zundel, Il Volto di Dio…, p. 170)
Therefore, for Zundel, the doctrine on which Church has always built Mass, and which Church has always taught, and demanded to be accepted under the most severe penalties, for 2000 years, would make all Masses prayed along so many centuries, sacrilegious and ineffective.
According to Zundel’s doctrine and school, if there were no union to the human kind, at least for the sake of one man who identifies himself to humanity, consecration would be useless, because the transubstantiation would not take place:
“… if we were not in this state of communion with one another, if then we did not take charge of all humanity and all the universe, in the moment of consecration nothing would happen. The very condition of contact between this humanity of Christ and ourselves is the universal communion” (M. Zundel, Un Autre Regard…, p. 172)
It is clear, then, the reason why so much anger is manifested nowadays against the mass of always, which has been practically forbidden, and hunting as leprous – as Cardinal Ratzinger wrote – those who defend and attend it.
It is clear, then, the reason why the new Mass that has been made is essentially communitarian.
And let us remind that, for Zundel, Community = Humanity.
Even worse is the fact that Zundel considers that the state of grace consists on being united to all Humanity.
For Zundel wrote: “If in the world there was not even one soul in state of grace, in state of universal communion, all mass would become suddenly sacrilegical and impossible”.
What a strange concept Zundel has about the state of grace!
Being in state of grace means having sanctifying grace in the soul, that is, to make part of the divine life due to the grace, for being baptized, and for not being in mortal sin. The state of grace has nothing to do with being united to “humanity”, but, instead, with being united to God, unless one wants to insinuate that Humanity is God.
Zundel’s strange thesis about the state of grace makes believe that it is the Humanity who is God. Well, we will see later, in another work about Zundel’s doctrine that, for him…
“It is necessary to admit, therefore, with the most humble believers, that Jesus has indeed written in the center of history this prodigious equation:
Man = God”
(M. Zundel, Quale Uomo e Quale Dio, spiritual exercises preached to Paul VI and the Roman Curia, 1972, ed. Messagero, Padova, p. 158).
And Paul VI said something that seems to accept this same doctrine, for he has proclaimed in the closure speech for the II Vatican Council, on December 7th, 1965, that:
“We, more than anyone else, We have the cult of the man”. (Paul VI, Closure speech for the II Vatican Ecumenical Council, 12-7-1965)
After taking all this into account, one can then ask: how far has the mason Monsignor Bugnini – who made Paul VI’s new Mass, along with six Protestant pastors – and in what proportion this Monsignor Bugnini has been affected by this Gnostic and modernist doctrine of Zundel?
In other words, in what proportion is Zundel’s doctrine the root of the New Mass, and in what proportion does this doctrine explain new mass?
It is due to this strange doctrine, which relates transubstantiation with humanity, that Zundel writes:
“It is totally useless to build a church with the excuse of placing there the Most Sacred Sacrament, if no one lives out of it, if this Presence is not felt [?] as a communitarian presence in the church, from the church and for the church, that is, in humanity, from humanity and for humanity. If this Presence is not felt as a communitarian presence which wants us fraternally united, we are completely out of the perspective of the Gospel.
Around the host it has been established a whole materialism, exactly because it has been lost sight of the fundamental demand” (M. Zundel, Stupore and Povertà, pp. 103-104. The boldface is ours)
Note, first of all, the confirmation of what we said: for Zundel, community = humanity.
Secondly, that this “Presence” – the mysterious “presence” which looks much like with the Gnostic sefirah Malkult, the Schechinah from the Jewish Kabballah, which is also called community, or Ecclesia de Israel (acc. Gerschom G. Scholem, A Mística Judaica. Perspectiva, São Paulo, 1972; Les Origines de la Kabbale, Aubier-Montaigne, Paris, 1962; Kabbalah, Ketter, Jerusalem, 1974 and other pieces from the same author) – caused by consecration in the Mass, has to be done “in humanity, from humanity and for humanity”, otherwise it is “completely out of the perspective of the Gospel”.
“It is impossible to celebrate the mass without living it, first of all, as an encounter with all humanity, it is necessary to live it as a reunion of all history, as a return to the origins, as a recapitulation of all creation: no one is absent, neither the dead, nor the living, nor the ancients, nor the moderns, nor the posteriority, nor the contemporaries, they are all there, around the Lord’s table. And it is because they are all there that mass becomes an universal act, an infinitely human act, an act of communion with humanity.” (M. Zundel, Un Autre Regard…, p. 103 The boldface is ours)
Then mass is an infinitely human act? What about the presence of Christ in the Eucharist? It remains in man. It remains in humanity, Zundel would answer.
Having in sight what has been done to mass nowadays, – a purely naturalistic act, once it is entirely turned to man and to the people – one might wonder whether this doctrine of Zundel was not the cause for so much naturalism and deep Anthropocentrism which saturates the Masses of today.
Would it be possible to imagine a system that is more clearly Gnostic in respect to the transubstantiation and about the mass than this from Zundel?
These latter quotations lead us to another problem: what does he think that happens with the words of consecration, in the Mass?
IV – Transubstantiation of Humanity into Christ
We have seen that Zundel denies what Church has always believed and taught: that Christ is truly, really and substantially present in the consecrated host.
For Zundel, this would be materialism and idolatry.
For him, when the words of consecration are pronounced, it is not the bread and wine that are transubstantiated into Christ’s Body and Blood.
Through the words of consecration, it would be the whole community – all humanity – all men, from Adam to the last man to exist at the end of the world, everyone, with no exception, not excluding anyone, all would be transubstantiated into Christ, all becoming his mystic Body, that is, the Church.
Not only that, according to Zundel, it is not just humanity that is transubstantiated into Christ, but all the universe as well. The cosmos would become Christ’s Body.
Let us see some excerpts where Zundel expresses this Gnostic pan-christism, which agrees with Teihard de Chardin’s.
“Giving us the Eucharist, Christ wanted to gather us together into one only body, in such a way that, in the end, the meaning of Mass is the transformation of all humanity and the whole universe into his body and blood.” (M. Zundel, Un Autre Regard…, p.95).
“In order to re-meet Christ, it is necessary to get into the depths of Love.
That means that the words of the Eucharistic consecration should echo over all humanity and over the whole universe: its ultimate purpose is this transformation of all humanity and the whole universe into the Body and Blood of the Lord, and we cannot say them sincerely unless we live them to their depths, and we cannot do it without extinguishing ourselves in the Me of Christ, who pronounces them through us” (M.Zundel, Un Autre Regard…, p.97).
There is no doubt that this doctrine is heretic, asserting an absolutely strange idea of Catholicism.
The “Mass” according to Zundel, this one is, indeed, religious materialism, the worst of all kinds of materialism there can be. This pretense transformation of the universe and of humanity into the body and blood of Christ, this is, in reality, magic and idolatry.
Any priest who celebrates Mass having this doctrine in mind, and intending to transubstantiate humanity and universe into Christ, this priest would be performing an incredible sacrilege and an act of vulgar magic. This mass would be absolutely invalid and inefficacious.
For Zundel, the Mass, in the way it has always been practiced, would have been not only magic and materialistic, but, also, purely theatrical.
“Besides that, it is necessary to live [the liturgy] only as sacrament and to remain intensively united to all that humanity and all the universe of which we have charge. By any other means, it [the liturgy] is just a theater that, though beautiful, is not what Jesus intended” (M. Zundel, Stupore e Povertà, pp. 112-113).
It is sure that such a doctrine can never accord to Catholic’s. And Zundel has clear consciousness that his religion is in the antipodes of the Catholicism of always. That is why, he himself says:
“We need to re-find a totally different and opposite conception of the sacraments: the sacrament is a communitarian action [une prise] about Christ’s presence through community and for the community. The Eucharist is not about a physical appropriation [prise] of Christ.
At the consecration, if we are in line with our faith, we solidarize ourselves with the immolated Christ forming a chain of love that conglobates the whole world:
Church pronounces the consecration over Christ, and Christ pronounces the consecration over the Church, that is, over his mystic body. The supper has then become a sacrament. A new relation was introduced in the Eucharistic supper between Christ and Community; there is a double chain between Christ and Community.
Christ is not closed into bread and wine, but bread and wine open themselves to Christ’s presence, they are in state of opening in relation to this presence. It is, therefore, a communitarian path, which allows us an action [prise] of love over an always-given presence. We shall live this communitarian ordination and be conscious of the demands of this communitarian thinking.” (M.Zundel, Un Autre Reagrd…, p.45. The boldface is ours).
Therefore, for Zundel, it is humanity, it is the whole world that is transubstantiated into Christ, forming community that, for Zundel, is equivalent to humanity, and that would be the mystic body of Christ, that is, Church.
In Christ, through the words of consecration, all humanity would form one only person only, one only being:
“Christ wanted us all to form one only body, one only life, one only person, one only being at his presence. This is what Christ wanted, he who is the second Adam and the great re-integrator, he who is Man and not just a man, he who contains all history, he who is the unity of the human kind he who is with all generations and is contemporaneous to everyone of them: he wanted us to become one only body, one only life, one only person, one only being at his presence” (M.Zundel, Un Autre Regard…, p.103-104. The boldface is ours).
It gets totally clear that Zundel has a monist and Gnostic concept of the Eucharist. It would be necessary to quote, in extensive, many chapters of Zundel’s books where this thought is “ad nauseam” repeated, with only small accidental variations.
Let us see, for example, this other text:
“It is not about imagining that Christ falls from heaven under the form of bread and wine, it is about realizing that bread and wine open themselves over a Presence that is already there, in our own interior, given to each one: it opens itself and allows us to reach it, because, precisely, the species are the symbol of fraternity¸ for we are there at a meal that reunites, virtually, all humanity, and achieves a universal horizon.
We do not have physical action [prise] over Christ through the Eucharist, we have a spiritual action [appropriation], and the sign that this spiritual possession really takes place is that we are together and we achieve together the human community from which no one is excluded.
And this is in such a way true – listen to it carefully – it is in such a way true that, if there was not, in the world, not even one opened being, at least, in state of desire, all consecration would become impossible because, then, it would be missing in it the essential condition: being an appeal of the community, for the community and in the community.
If consecration could be valid without this guarantee of love, without this coverage of a human intimacy offering itself to God’s intimacy, then God, would really be caught between the trap of formulas, and the sacraments would be magic rites” (M.Zundel, Un Autre Regard…, pp.36-37. The boldface is ours).
There it is, within this long and scandalous quotation, Zundel’s doctrine. God is really and substantially present inside every man, in all humanity, in all things, in the whole universe.
Through the words of consecration, it would not be neither the bread, nor the wine, that would be transubstantiated into Christ’s Body and Blood. It is the community, that is, Humanity, Zundel says, which is transubstantiated into Christ.
Mass would not be then the renewal of the sacrifice at Calvary – as the Church has always defined it – but a ceremony in which, through the words of consecration, Christ’s presence in man – in each man – in humanity, would be achieved in a sacramental way, making all humanity one only body, Christ’s mystic Body, that is, the Church.
“The essential in the Eucharist is this opening of Christ’s humanity in the mystery of church, from which no one is excluded, so that our heart does not limit Christ, neither makes an idol out of him” (M.Zundel, Il Volto…, p.169)
Would it be that the reason why, in the New Mass here in Brazil, it is said “He is in between us”? Would it be because Christ is present inside each man that, nowadays, the priest is not anymore considered hierarchically superior to the people, having a proper sacrificial power, superior to laymen? That is why, also, in the New Mass, the priest is considered nothing but the president of the Assembly, equal in dignity to any other person. Consequently, then, if all have the same sacrificial power, a woman could have the right to be a priest, as it is demanded today, and that, thanks to God, Pope John Paul II has condemned successively.
The opposition between the Catholic conception of Mass and the Zundelian conception of the Eucharist gets even more patent in the following quotation:
“Mass can mean any sort of different things while we place ourselves before the real God, an interior God and unattached of himself, or rather before a Celestial Emperor God who controls the streams of History and deputes his powers to an hierarchy that would be justified precisely by the exercise of these powers” (M. Zundel, Un Autre Regard…, p.100. The boldface is ours).
For Zundel, then, there are two religions striving: that which adores a transcendent God, Lord of all things, who instituted an hierarchic Church – evidently, the Catholic Church – and another religion, Zundel’s religion, which believes in an immanent God, interior to man,
The religion of the transcendent God – the Catholic one – believes that Christ is really present in the consecrated host, kept inside the sacraries of the earth – “little boxes” for keeping an idol, asserts Zundel. The other religion, the religion that pays cult to man – the zundelian religion that has been diffused between Catholics – adores the immanent god that identifies to man, the religion that accepts the equation that truly redeems man and the god imprisoned into matter. This religion, says Zundel, believes that Christ is inside man:
“No, Jesus would not set us a trap, materializing his presence, putting it at the range of our hands for making an idol out of it!
The Eucharist is then another thing: it means much precisely that we can only reach Jesus in the community. We cannot reach him, and there is no other way to go towards him, but assuming with him all humanity, but getting into his poverty and his universality, which is identical” (M.Zundel, Un Autre Regard…, pp.101-102).
Now, it is convenient to note that, if all humanity is part Christ’s mystic Body – all humanity would be the Church – then the new definition of Church adopted by the Council Vatican II would then be explained:
“The Church is in Christ like a sacrament or as a sign and instrument both of a very closely knit union with God and of the unity of the whole human race.” (Council Vatican II, Dogmatic Constitution Lumen Gentium, number 1)
All men, indeed, would be part of the Church, even the pagans, the atheists and the unbelievers. And this notion explains ecumenism.
This heretic thought that identifies the Church to all humanity through the Eucharist, regardless of baptism and orthodoxy, is repeated by Zundel in other books:
“Men are all together in one only bread and one only body in Christ Jesus.” (M.Zundel, Un Autre Regard…, p.185).
“This fact – [the Eucharist] – this fact is the Church, and we have there the very conclusion of the effective fulfillment of Jesus’ real Presence in the Most Holy sacrament: it is firstly required that Christ’s mystic body, it is firstly required that all the church in which all humanity and all creation is included, it is firstly required the mystic body to constitute itself. Because solely the mystic body is under the possession of its Boss, solely it is under the possession of its Head, that is Jesus Christ” (M.Zundel, Un Autre Regard…, p.184)
We will see it more deeply in another paper.
Let us return to the analysis of Zundel’s quotation above. On it, he asserts that:
“…if there was not, in the world, not even one opened being, at least, in state of desire, all consecration would become impossible because, then, it would be missing in it the essential condition: being an appeal of the community, for the community and in the community.
If there was not, in the Mass, at least one person desiring to unite to all humanity, the consecration would not take place, and the Mass would be invalid.
And Zundel does not hesitate, asking us to pay good attention that, without this essential condition, Mass is magic, Mass would be invalid and ineffective.
“Consecration, effectively, would be invalid and impossible without this universal reunion, exactly because it can be only performed in the community, by the community and for the community” (M.Zundel, Un Autre Regard…, p.105)
This way, Zundel considers invalid and ineffective all Masses prayed according to the traditional doctrine of transubstantiation.
They are magic and should be forbidden.
From that it follows the hate against the Mass of always, against Saint Pious V’s Mass, and the obsessive insistence that everything must be made “communitarianly”. The word “Community” has become an obsession. It has become mandatory. Almost a taboo or a talisman. Poor of that who does not use it or who refuses to be mixed into the “Community”.
We beg our patient reader’s pardon for repeating so many quotations, confirming the same ideias from Zundel. If we quote repeated texts from this author, it s because his thoughts are in such a way unbelievable, and so absurdly heretic, that only quoting one phrase of his, one could doubt whether he really meant to say such a delirium.
One could inquire: “Is that really so? Is there not a chance that there was a print error, or lack of clearness in the expression? Was there not any mistake?”
And this sort of doubts may arise from the shock of realizing how this absurd doctrine explains many ideas, so widespread in Catholic environments, nowadays, and, practically, in every parish.
And the shock is even larger when one realizes how Zundel’s doctrine is found under weird words and formulas that are used in the masses, nowadays, how they are found underlying on Paul VI’s New Mass, as on many doctrines that afflicted Church after the Vatican II.
That is why we repeat quotations. That is why we ask our patient readers to read this one more quotation from Zundel in relation to the transubstantiation of community=humanity into Christ’s Body.
“From that it follows that the Eucharist is essentially a communitarian presence, a presence to the community, by the community and for the community.
It is not that Christ is not present: he is always entirely present in each one of us, in each one of us! Because, if we, we cannot be present and interior in the others, inside the others, that is because we are limited, and because our borders restrain us of this presence inside the others, and because our selfishness holds us into our solitude. Christ, he has no borders, no limits, and, in consequence, he is in the interior of each one of us: he is in the interior of the others – (“He is in between us”).
Christ, therefore, is already present in all, worthy or unworthy, he is present to each one, it is us who are not present to Christ, and the Eucharist is precisely about us becoming present to him, so that we have action [prise] over him, not a material possession, no! It is about getting with our intimacy this intimacy of God, which is offered to us. And, precisely, if we loyally accomplish the communitarian gesture, it renders its fruits. (M.Zundel, Un Autre Regard…, p.34. The boldface is ours).
If Christ is present inside every man, if he is not present inside the sacrary, if rather he is present in the “Community”, then it would be explained why in the New Mass the priest must be turned toward the people, and not to the sacrary. Zundel’s doctrine explains the necessity for the priest to pray the mass turned to the people, and not to the sacrary…
It is evident, on the text quoted above, that Zundel has a Gnostic conception of the Eucharist: Christ is already inside all men, worthy or not, in sin or not. Then, the Catholic doctrine about grace is destroyed. The sinners have, they also, God really present inside of them. All supernatural order collapses. Man, by his own nature, would be divine.
And if Christ is already present inside all men, inside each man – even if unworthy – therefore, this would be a presence that would be independent of the moral state of the person, one must inquire whether this presence is ontological. Because if so, every man, for the simple fact of being man, even if not Catholic, even if not baptized, he would have Christ present (naturally for his supernatural grace) inside himself.
And it is obvious that Zundel does think so; for he states that, through consecration, Christ becomes present in all humanity, excepting no one. It is for this reason that he stresses that Christ has no limits, no borders, neither dogmatic nor moral. For the dogma is a limitation. The state of grace – as Church defines it – is another limitation.
Zundel’s doctrine is pan christism, similar to Teihard de Chardin’s, and this pan christism explains the ecumenism of today.
If all humanity is Christ’s mystic body, as Christ’s mystic Body is the Church, then Church would be the ensemble of humanity, with no exception. Being man, being born would be enough for being a member of the Church. Every man, it does not matter what religion he professes, whether Protestant, Islamic, Voodooist, Buddhist, spiritualist, pagan or atheist, men of good (or even bad) will, for the sole fact of being men, have Christ present inside each one of them, and is a member of Church. Every one is part of Christ’s mystic body. Every one is (naturally) a member of the Church. It is the end of the distinction between natural and supernatural order thanks to Our Lord Jesus Christ’s merits, it is saying that the supernatural would a right for all creatures and not a gift given from the Creator, or the creature would be the same as the Creator.
“What do we do at the Liturgy? We do not pronounce, there, magic words for placing God inside a mouthpiece. What do we do at the Liturgy? We make all humanity appeal to Christ, and solidarize with him, saying over him: “This is my Body. This is my Blood”. We make all humanity come and place itself beneath the cross.
And Christ, with the same words, invests his community and gives himself to humanity, saying over it: “This is my body, this is my blood”. And, by the end of the enunciation of these words, the real Presence of the fraternity is really given to those that belong to him. And it is given to the community, by the community and for the community.” (M.Zundel, Un Autre Regard…, p.35).
“This unattachment is exactly what Christ wanted to provoke with the Eucharist, establishing between him and us, all the humanity and all the universe. In order to come to me, says Christ to us – [where does Christ say that? Zundel makes up the words and impute them to Jesus, words that Christ has never said] – to find me indeed, in order not to find a caricature or an idol, in order not to repeat the mortal illusion of the apostles, it is required that you assume all the humanity and all the universe – at least in meaning, that is, with all the energies that you are capable at the moment. When all of you together have formed my mystic body, when all of you are gathered around my table, then it will be the time to call me, and I will not hesitate to answer” (M. Zundel Stupore e Povertà, pp. 99-100)
As one can see, Zundel does not hesitate to make up words and impute them to Chrsit Himself, thus establishing a new apocryphal book: the Gospel according to Zundel.
“From that it follows that the Eucharist is essentially a communitarian presence, a presence to the community, by the community and for the community.” (M. Zundel, Un Autre Regard…, p. 34).
It is sure that there will be people trying to defend Zundel presenting the argument that Christ said: “Where there are two or three gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them” (Mt XVIII, 20).
However, Christ’s promised presence among those who congregate in his name is essentially different from Christ’s real and substantial presence in the Eucharist. For the people gathered in his name, Christ’s presence is a grace (of mere spiritual presence). It is not a truly substantial presence of his Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity, as it occurs with the host. Equating these two distinct ways of presence is an attempt to deceive, using the word “presence” amphibologically, with different senses.
For Zundel, Christ is not really and substantially present in the host, but he is present in the Community, that is, in the humanity.
If that was so, would not it be logic and natural that the priest should celebrate Mass facing the people, the community, in which Christ is indeed present, and not faced to the sacrary, where, according to Zundel, there is an ineffective object kept into a little box, or an idol similar to a pharaoh?
The center of everything, in the mass, would be the People-Christ, the people of God, and not the consecrated host.
Would not it be this sacrilegious and heretic doctrine of Zundel what inspired Monsignor Bugnini’s New Mass?
Then, Cardinal Ratzinger was very right when he said that it was a mistake to change the rule that obligated the altar, the priest and the people to face the Orient, and not the people. Therefore, that it was a mistake to make the priest pray the Mass turned to the people.
That would also explain why Cardinals Bacci and Ottaviani, in their analysis of Paul VI’s Mass, wrote that the New Mass is “an impressive deviation of the Catholic Theology of the Holy Mass” (Cardinals Bacci and Otaviani, Brief Critic Exam of the Novus Ordo Missae).
For Zundel, therefore, Christ’s presence can only be communitarian, can only be in humanity.
“That means that our Lord can only be present for humanity in the form of Church: and that means that our Lord is the second Adam, as Saint Paul used to say. Our Lord, in who all history starts again, capitulates itself again, our Lord who is the center of the Universe, our Lord who unites all creation around himself, so that all the universe be only one person, there cannot be any other place where this union could take place but this Church, which answers, therefore, to the demands of a community.” (M. Zundel, Il volto…, p. 164).
V – Transubstantiation of the Cosmos into Christ
But he goes further.
According to him, consecration would not just transubstantiate humanity into Christ’s body, but even more: it would transubstantiate the Cosmos into God, into Christ. Consecration would divinize matter.
“The Eucharist is not just the accomplishment of humanity, it is also the accomplishment of the universe. Because the universe must also take part of the divine life: the universe must also be transfigured by Jesus’ look. The vocation of the universe is to be God’s support.” (M. Zundel, Il Volto…, p. 75)
So far, the universe is just presented as “God’s support”… but later on…
“Buy afterwards, also, – but there would be so many things to say! – there is the transubstantiation that takes place in this liturgy: this essential change of the structure of bread and wine into our Lord’s body and blood. There is there some kind of incommensurable summarized miniature in which the higher reaches the lower, in which matter is somehow warmed by the love of God, in which matter is transfigured, transformed, transubstantiated, to preserve nothing but its appearances which allow Our Lord’s real Presence.
And it seems to show us a vocation for the universe: the universe is not closed into material determinism and fatalism. No! It is open, the universe is open, the universe has a vocation, the universe is touched by the spirit, it is called to spiritualize itself, and to free itself, and that means that God wants to communicate himself to the universe, even to the smallest atom of matter, as much as it is able to receive this communication: there is there an extraordinary miniature [raccourci]” (M. Zundel, Un Autre Regard…, pp. 192-193)
Therefore, for Zundel, matter should “free itself”. And by freedom, he understands the divinization of the material world. This idea is confirmed in other texts from him.
“When Jesus transforms or “transubstantiates” bread and wine, when he introduces freedom into the heart of matter, as he does at every miracle he performs, he precisely reveals that the vocation of the universe is that of being divinized: the universe has only one continuous movement that goes from the atom to man, from man to God. The very sense of universe is that of reflecting the face of God, is that of being part of his love, is that of getting into the jubilation of the divine Trinity.
And there it is that it is exactly through the consecrated species that matter is freed, the physical universe personalizes itself and the unity of creation, for a moment at least, is accomplished.” (M. Zundel, Un Autre Regard…, pp. 175-176. The boldface is ours)
In these sentences, Zundel expresses a doctrine much alike to the pan christism of the Modernist and Gnostic Teilhard de Chardin.
It is this pan christism that turns clear this other quotation from the heretic we are focusing in this article:
“Communion is something universal; and the manducation – [act of eating] – is the sign that stands for another maducation, a mysterious identification that is accomplished in the deepest of ourselves, if we are conscious of the universal presence of Christ. Your communion is always the communion of all Church, of all humanity, of all universe, and that is why you can get close to communion without any sensible feeling, because your communion is the communion of all church” (M. Zundel, Il Volto…, p. 71).
In another passage, Zundel writes:
“God immortalizes us, he is the breathing of our lives, only he can make out of us an universal presence that embraces all humanity and all the universe to make out of him a host for the glory of the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost” (M. Zundel, Un Autre Regard…, p. 186).
We have seen that Zundel had defined the transubstantiated universe as “God’s support”. Right now, he defines it as “host”…
Let us see the confirmation of this zundelian pan christism, that we have not invented, in the title of one of the chapters of his book Un Autre Regard sur l’Eucharistie:
“The promotion of matter into Eucharist.”
“The Eucharist is the transubstantiation of all cosmos and all the universe in a prodigious summary. Through this transfiguration, what there is of more material in the universe is espoused by God and transformed by him until it becomes a vehicle of the real Presence.
Matter is promoted to become the sign, and the sacrament, which communicates us the presence of the Lord, is a miniature of all the history of the universe, it is the accomplishment of its utmost vocation, which is this transfiguration of the light of God: at no other time matter, or what we call matter, is found so deeply glorified!
It is like an image of the glorified body, of the body that does not mean more finally in its unity than the infinite Presence which penetrates it and gives life to it.” (M. Zundel, Un Autre Regard…, p. 190).
There is no doubt then that, for Zundel, the very cosmos is fated to be transubstantiated into God. Matter would be transubstantiated, divinized into Christ.
For Zundel, in all things there would be what he calls “the Presence”.
We have already seen, according to the Kabbala and for the Gnosis – and Kabbala is the Jewish gnosis – that the sefirotic emanation, which fell and got imprisoned in the world, is called Schechinah, word that precisely means “Presence of Divinity”, which is immanent from all things, and which is required to be freed for it to return to the Ein Sof, the Divinity. For the Kabbala and for the Gnosis – and the Kabbala is the Jewish gnosis – the purpose of man is of being redeemer of himself, because, by redeeming himself, God himself would be redeemed. Man would then be his own saviour, and, by saving himself, man would save God.
Now, let us see how Zundel asserts the same doctrine, typically Gnostic:
“It is necessary to admit, therefore, along with the humblest of the believers, that Jesus really wrote this prodigious equation in the core of history: man = God.
In order to be able to understand it – when it is possible to do it – one must recognize that the communication of the divine intimacy is the very sense of creation, whose arise inaugurates a nuptial regime that is expressed more deeply in human language by the phrase: “You are me” of the ancient Hindu ritual. In fact, it was through this identification, formulated at this secular use, that the approbation that constituted matrimony was made. It is this “You are me”, taken to the origins of the world, that lightens and gives foundation the redeemer equation: for god, man = God” (M. Zundel, Quale Uomo, Quale Dio, p. 158. The boldface is ours).
Man is God. This is the first article of Zundel’s creed (according to the end of this work: Zundel’s Creed).
Curiously, Zundel blamed the Church’s doctrine about the Eucharist of being the worst kind of materialism that exists: the “religious materialism”. Now, it is he who declares that, through the words of consecration, in Mass, matter is freed and accomplishes then the vocation of the material universe: to get into divine life.
Zundel is a heretic who seeks to insert into Catholic minds the worst materialism there can be: the “religious materialism”, much alike that of the Kabbala and of the Romanticism.
VI – Church, Ecumenism and Apocatastasis
As we have seen, Zundel’s doctrine identifies humanity with the mystic Body of Christ. In the moment of consecration, all universe, all humanity, all men with no single exceptions, are transubstantiated into Christ’s Body. Thus the universe and humanity, excepting no man, are divinized and identified with God, forming only one being, one person with Christ. Through it, the true redemption of humanity would take place.
Consequently, every man, though not Catholic, even if not baptized, would be part of Church, which would be identified with humanity, and finally with the cosmos.
Thereby, the Catholic dogma “Outside the Church there is no salvation” would be an absurdity, because nothing and nobody could be outside of Church.
Zundel goes even further.
As he asserts that inside every man there is a mysterious “Presence” – something from his own Divinity substantially immanent into all things and men – everyone would end up being saved. No one could be condemned, because, otherwise, God would be condemning himself, for man = God.
This doctrine of universal salvation – the apocatastasis – was condemned as heretic by the Church, but Zundel defends it with no fear, and, up until now, with no warnings nor penalties in his books, empoisoning the faithful’s flock.
“Christ wanted us all to become one only body, one only life, one only person, one only being at his presence. That is what Christ wanted, he who is the second Adam and the great reunifier, he who is the Man, and not only a man, he who contains all history, he who is the unity of the human kind, he who is from all generations, and contemporary to each one of them: he wanted us to become one only body, one only person, one only being at his presence.
If there is an emptiness, an exclusion, if anyone is absent in our heart, if anyone is repelled or condemned, we cannot be a real presence because here is the point: the point is not whether Christ is there or not, he is always there, because he is interior to each one of us, he is always there [as he is also in Zundel’s soup] with an infinite expectation, he is always there, whatever are our renounces, it is up to us to be there” (M. Zundel, Un Autre Regard…, pp.103-104. The boldface is ours).
In this text Zundel makes clear his christically monist doctrine, which has as necessary consequences the identification of Church to humanity, and of humanity to Divinity, with no exceptions. Therefore, no one can be condemned.
Zundel asserts – against what teaches Saint Paul – that one must not fear for one’s salvation:
“Therefore, it is not about fearing for our salvation anymore, but fearing for God’s crucification. We do not risk anything beside God. How can a mother be anything else but a mother? Will she beg for her son? No, she will take his place. Would God be less mother, less mother than a human mother, when she is perfect? It is impossible. He is infinitely more mother than all mothers. We do not risk anything by way of the Lord, it is Him who risks everything by way of ourselves, because we can close ourselves, we can refuse ourselves, we can destroy ourselves, we can be absent and He is defenseless against us” (M. Zundel, Silence, Parole de Vie, Éd. Anne Sigier, 1990, p. 68)
Zundel excludes the possibility that God could punish men forever in the fire of hell, as Christ has said and Church teaches.
He writes ironically and blasphemes against God Ultor, the avenger God:
“How can one present hell as a “routisserie” invented by God, in which God sinks miserable creatures forever in dreadful cries? Of course hell can be seen in different levels and hell generally corresponds to this idea, to this certainty that there is a difference between good and evil, and that, by consequence, good and evil cannot lead to the same result. And it is necessary not to weaken this deeply righteous idea, but the opposite. It is necessary to constantly underline that good and evil are different and they cannot have the same exit. It is also necessary not to forget that, in the New Testament, Good is Someone to love and that it is necessary to become the Good, what constitutes a difference, as evil is a wound produced on Someone, and not, before anything else, a violation of a law which is exterior to ourselves” (M. Zundel, Silence, Parole de Vie, p. 68)
And Zundel comes to an incredeable conclusion:
“And that is the Christian hell: a God crucified in us, if we refuse to love Him, eternally crucified in us, if we refuse to love Him forever. Then, judgment is not anymore a judgment of man by God, but a judgment of God by man” (M. Zundel, Silence, Parole de Vie, p. 68)
And he continues his conclusion:
“And that is why the Christian is uncharged of the vigilance for his salvation: it is not about saving oneself anymore, but saving God from us, saving God from our darkness, from our limitations, from our refuses, from our absences, from our distractions, in order to, as Saint Paul says, not to afflict the Spirit” (M. Zundel, Silence, Parole de Vie, p.68)
God is who would be being saved, and not man, it is the opposite.
How can one explain such an astonishing statement?
We do not see any other explanation but the one from the Gnosis.
Man, along with all things, would have inside himself a divine particle. Man’s mission would be that of reconstituting the divine unity lost by creation, making all divine particles, imprisoned into matter, return to the divine plerome rebuilding the lost unity of God. Man would be man’s savior. But this salvation is fatal, inevitable. So, even if there are vicissitudes and misfortunes, God will end up being saved by man. There is nothing to fear about our salvation. God is who can fear that we fail, for it would cause the exile of Divinity in the world to last longer.
But, at the end, all men would be saved, because for this salvation, moral is not taken into account – the obedience of a law which is exterior from us, imposed by a pharaoh, exterior to man – for salvation has an ontological meaning, and not a moral one. All men will be saved because man = God.
That would be the redemptory equation inscribed into the heart of History, as we saw Zundel assert.
All these considerations allow us now to comprehend better, at least some of the articles of Zundel’s Creed, in which he replaced God by Man:
“I believe in man maker of man.
I believe in human trinity: father, mother and son.
I believe in virginity of authentic paternity and maternity. I believe in virginity of love.
I believe in communion of light in which people reciprocally beget and recognize themselves.
I believe in the infinite value of the human body and in its eternity.
I believe that God is the life and the secret of body as he reveals in himself.
I believe that God makes himself body as much as he makes himself man.
I believe that the body only becomes itself developing the mystic dimension that personalizes him and evades from all possession.
I believe that love is a sacrament that one must kneel to receive.” (M. Zundel, Credo, apud Marc Donzé, La pensée théologique de Maurice Zundel, Ed. Du Tricorne, Genebra, ed. Cerf, Paris, 1980-981, p. 290)
This weird “Creed”, which has nothing to do with Catholicism, was found by Marc Donzé among Zundel’s papers about love and sexuality, and was published in the book quoted above.
Many of the articles of this “Creed” are unintelligible without a deeper explanation of Zundel’s theology.
Besides, as it is natural, this is the theology that explains the Gnostic and heretic doctrine of Zundel and his school about the Eucharist.
We intend to study the theological doctrine of Maurice Zundel in another work of ours, in a near future.
Anyway, we want to record our shock that such a man, with such a heretical doctrine, could have enjoyed the friendship and the benefaction of Monsignor Montini, and, afterwards, friend of Pope Paul VI, who promoted him. Our shock grows larger, reaching the borders of a scandal, for knowing that Maurice Zundel was invited by Pope Paul VI for preaching “spiritual exercises” to the Pope, the Cardinals and the Roman Curia, in the Vatican, back in 1972. We cannot avoid asking ourselves: how many prelates Zundel would have intoxicated?
It has been thus identified the “Smoke of Satan” that Paul VI denounced of having been infiltrated into God’s temple.
São Paulo, March 27th, 2002.