Yes, and the early Father’s testify that this is the faith of the Church.
““Christ held Himself in His hands when He gave His Body to His disciples saying: ‘This is My Body.’ No one partakes of this Flesh before he has adored it.”” St. Augustine of Hippo, Bishop, Doctor of the Church, N. Africa, (354-430)
For Catholics, symbolism means that it contains that to which it points. It is not just a sign, like a stop sign on the road, but a “sign” as the ones Jesus did - healed to show that He was God in the Flesh.
Think about it this way, how can someone profane what is not truly present?
“So then, whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of sinning against the body and blood of the Lord.” 1 Cor 11;27
If I only have a metaphor, like a piece of paper, and I stomp on the paper, am I profaning the body and blood? Or whatever else is written on the paper? Many Protestants who do not believe in the Real Presence have come up with other interpretations of this, but none of them can hold up against what the successors of the Apostles wrote in the early years of the Church. Those who did not believe in the Real Presence were considered heretics, period!
They abstain from the Eucharist and from prayer, because they confess not the Eucharist to be the flesh of our Saviour Jesus Christ, which suffered for our sins, and which the Father, of His goodness, raised up again. Those, therefore, who speak against this gift of God, incur death in the midst of their disputes. But it were better for them to treat it with respect, that they also might rise again. It is fitting, therefore, that you should keep aloof from such persons, and not to speak of them either in private or in public, but to give heed to the prophets, and above all, to the Gospel, in which the passion [of Christ] has been revealed to us, and the resurrection has been fully proved. But avoid all divisions, as the beginning of evils. http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/0109.htm
Ignatius wrote to the Smyrneans around 107 AD, so the disciples would have had to get off track very quickly after the last Gospel was written in about 90 AD. Ignatius, along with Polycarp, was a disciple of the Apostle John.