1. Because the doctrine of the Real Presence is a mystery, all human explanations of it are inadequate. This includes those explanations falling under the larger umbrella of ‘transubstantiation.’
2. Contemporary theologians who point out the inadequacies of ‘transubstantiation’ and attempt other explanations are almost never (if ever) denying the doctrine of the Real Presence.
3. Those who criticize contemporary theologians and defend ‘transubstantiation’ (as they understand it) sometimes show that they do not understand what contemporary theologians are saying.
4. A spiritually fruitful attitude toward various proposed explanations of the Real Presence, including contemporary ones, would be to draw inspiration from them all, though they are all inadequate.
5. Overly strong personal attachment to any doctrine and any explanation of it, including Real Presence and ‘transubstantiation,’ is a form of idolatry. The best antidote to this is the Real Presence itself, which draws us out of human constructs and into the abiding, mysterious presence of God in Christ.
6. The magisterium of the Church offers guidance which is helpful but may well be superseded in subsequent eras. Radbertus’ understanding of the Real Presence was affirmed by church officials, for example, only to be roundly rejected by Thomas Aquinas. Aquinas’ theology was condemned by church officials, only to be later rehabilitated and affirmed.
7. The conditions for an intellectually and spiritually fruitful discussion of the doctrine of the Real Presence all too often do not exist in the contemporary Catholic Church. Suspicion and misunderstanding are holding us back.