So background: I have been dialoguing with a protestant for about two months now, mostly about the Eucharist. He doesn’t seem to have much of his own arguments, but he keeps sending me these links to anti-Catholic sites and asks me to answer it. I don’t mind, as most of their objections are easily answered, and I think it’s good to show him how wrong these sites are. I keep hoping my answers might at least let him see that the Catholic Church isn’t as intellectually and spiritually bankrupt as these sites say.
But anyways, he sent me this argument against the Eucharist that I wasn’t sure exactly how to approach. It’s arrogant and condescending like most anti-Catholic stuff, but I still want to give a good reply.
Catholics say “Christ remains present under the appearance of bread and wine NO LONGER than the material appearances remain; once they cease because of digestion, or from any other cause, the presence of Christ CEASES also.”
Now here we have the height of absurdity! The Catholic priest goes through this big ritual to transform ordinary bread into a “whole and entire Christ”, yet once we swallow Jesus, our bodily function of digestion and natural heat turn it back into bread. The only nourishment the Catholic receives according to their own doctrine is bread, because the minute the eucharistic species ceased, or was assimilated or annihilated by our digestive system, it is no longer Jesus! If you ate a “whole and entire” steak dinner, and 15 minutes later your dinner left you “whole and entire”, unconsumed and unassimilated, how then would you have been nourished? Let me put it in plain English…If Christ enters a man “whole and entire” and then as soon as the bread is assimilated by digestive acids, he is no longer present, then what happened to him? Did we destroy (to consume, eat) Jesus, or did he leave “whole and entire”? If you say that we destroyed Jesus, then you would contradict your own church doctrine which says that Christ is incorruptible, so the only answer is that Christ would have left “whole and entire. What a confusing and ridiculous dilemma tradition has put men in!
How should I respond? I mean, technically, it is right. We do believe that the Real Presence ceases after the appearance of bread ceases. I’m just not sure how to explain why this isn’t a ridiculous dilemma like this guy says it is.