views updated


The location of one body in two places at the same time. This presents a special difficulty in scholasticism, where the Aristotelian notions of location (ubi ) and place are applied to events of the supernatural order. The difficulty is usually resolved by distinguishing between true bilocation, or simultaneous location in two places commensurately, and apparent bilocation, where the second supposed location is noncommensurate.

F. suÁrez and his followers maintain that, because of the Catholic doctrine of the Eucharist, true bilocation is both possible and necessary to hold. The argument for this rests ultimately on Suárez' understanding of location as absolute and independent of external place. St. Thomas Aquinas and scholastics in general hold the contrary. If location means that a body is completely surrounded by its place, then to admit a second location at the same time is to say the body is both surrounded and not surroundeda contradiction. These authors explain the Eucharist as a noncommensurate presence in place. Similarly, they answer difficulties raised by reputed bilocations of the saints by maintaining that these also are only apparent bilocationsthe second apparent location being explained miraculously.

See Also: bilocation, mystical; miracles (theology of)

Bibliography: r. masi, Cosmologia (Rome 1961). p. h. j. hoenen, Cosmologia (5th ed. Rome 1956).

[p. r. durbin]