THIS IS NOT AT ALL AN ATTACK ON THE HOLY CHURCH. I would like to stress that. But I am human and must understand. Isn’t consuming the literal body and blood of Christ canabolism. Or is this problem avoided because he is God- or something of that nature? In Christ, chad.


Cannibalism is eating one’s own kind. Jesus is God. I am not God (just ask my wife). Therefore my consuming the Eucharist is not cannibalism.


I heard it explained that cannibalism is eating dead flesh. The Flesh and Blood in the Eucharist are Christ’s Living, Glorified Flesh and Blood. Not the same thing.


Not trying to be wise, but I’m going to follow what Our Lord said whether I understand it or not.

John 6:51 I am the living bread which came down from heaven. 52 If any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever; and the bread that I will give, is my flesh, for the life of the world. 53 The Jews therefore strove among themselves, saying: How can this man give us his flesh to eat? 54 Then Jesus said to them: Amen, amen I say unto you: Except you eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, you shall not have life in you. 55 He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath everlasting life: and I will raise him up in the last day. 56 For my flesh is meat indeed: and my blood is drink indeed. 57 He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, abideth in me, and I in him. 58 As the living Father hath sent me, and I live by the Father; so he that eateth me, the same also shall live by me. 59 This is the bread that came down from heaven. Not as your fathers did eat manna, and are dead. He that eateth this bread, shall live for ever.

Matthew 26:26 And whilst they were at supper, Jesus took bread, and blessed, and broke: and gave to his disciples, and said: Take ye, and eat. This is my body. 27 And taking the chalice, he gave thanks, and gave to them, saying: Drink ye all of this. 28 For this is my blood of the new testament, which shall be shed for many unto remission of sins.

Mark 14:24 And he said to them: This is my blood of the new testament, which shall be shed for many.

Luke 22:20 In like manner the chalice also, after he had supped, saying: This is the chalice, the new testament in my blood, which shall be shed for you.

1st Corinthians 11:25 In like manner also the chalice, after he had supped, saying: This chalice is the new testament in my blood: this do ye, as often as you shall drink, for the commemoration of me.

Hebrews 9:20 Saying: This is the blood of the testament, which God hath enjoined unto you.

To me, it’s pretty clear that our Lord commanded this and if he says so…


You are not the first to be confused by what Christians say and are willing to defend to their deaths. The first Christians were charged with cannibalism because they also insisted that the Eucharist was the Body and Blood of Christ Jesus. Many went to their deaths defending that belief.


I mean no disrespect, but this sounds as if some antiCatholic Fundamentalist has been speaking to you and trying to disparage the Catholic Faith. The reason I say this is because I have been approached a few times by such people with the same statement, and have also read some of Jack Chick’s unholy tracts. So has someone been trying to talk you out of your Faith? This is not a question Catholics usually ask, unless someone has been sowing the seeds of doubt.


When we receive the Eucharist, we receive the whole Christ; Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity. I cannot recall the exact aramaic word that our Lord used (I can look it up) but when He said, “This is My Body”, the word for body literally meant “My everything”. So unlike removing His arm and literally eating the flesh off of His bone, we receive Christ in the Eucharist whole and complete. His flesh was offered and His blood was poured out for the forgiveness of sins and while we receive the Christ of the passion, we also receive the resurrected Lord. I hope this helps…God Bless…teachccd:)


Cannibalism is eating the dead flesh of a human person. Christ’s flesh is not dead, nor is he a human person (he is a Divine Person). So not only does the charge of cannibalism not hold water, but anybody who makes that charge is denying both the Incarnation and the Resurrection of Christ. That is to say, anybody who makes that charge is denying two of the most fundamental beliefs of Christianity. :eek:


What is it called when you eat something that isn’t dead yet?


A triple-dog dare. :wink:


D’Oh… touche…!! :slight_smile:


that was a good one, :smiley:

eating live octopus, I found that but its just tentacles, you can probably eat live bug things.

BUT when we eat live things we kill them by chewing.

we are not killing Christ, so still doesnt apply.

I guess we have to allow Him to be a exception :wink:



I think that you’ve received some excellent resposes so far. It seems that we can say either: 1) consuming the Eucharist is not cannibalism because it does not meet the criteria for cannibalism or 2) if it is cannibalism it is permitted (actually commanded!) by God.

The second option, permitted cannibalism, isn’t too problematic because cannibalism (per se) isn’t always and everywhere prohibited, for instance in the case of survival. (However, permissible cannibalism does not allow for an antecedent murder). But since a) we don’t murder Christ in the Eucharist, and b) we do need to eat His flesh for survival, then granting, for the sake of aurgument, that the Eucharist is cannibalism, it would seem permissible.

Myself, I like the first option better and think its a better argument: that the eucharist does not meet the criteria for cannibilism in the first place. My respose would be similar to some of the other resposes youv’e received: In cannibilism one diminishes the the one eaten, but this is not the case in the Eucharist. Christ remains always whole and entire.

Gamera, I wanted to ask you about your statement that

I wonder if you don’t give up too much here. Its true, of course, that Christ is God and you are not. . . but Christ is also human, and you are too.

and VociMike, you wrote:

[quote=VociMike]Cannibalism is eating the dead flesh of a human person. Christ . . . is a Divine Person.

and I wonder if about this line of argument too. Because while it is true that Christ is a Divine Person and not a human person, he does have a human nature (which includes a human body). Could one argue that cannibalism isn’t so much the consumption of the flesh of a human person but rather a human body.? In that case, wouldn’t the eating the dead human flesh of Christ, were that possible, be cannibalism? (That, of course, does not happen in the Eucharist since the flesh isn’t dead. . . ). To put it another way, wouldn’t it be fair to say that Christ was murdered? And yet, you can’t murder a Divine Person. . . but because Christ possessed a human soul that was sundered from a human body, He in fact died in his human nature. I guess what I am saying is that some things that are done to Christ are done to His human nature, and I would argue that cannabilism could have been done to Him, regardless of the fact that He was a Divine Person. I think that the force of your argument, rather, does not hinge on the fact of Christ being a Divine Person, but more on the fact that the Eucharist is not His dead flesh.

031064, Gamera, and VociMike (and others!) what do you think?

(Knight of the Royal Order of Unnecessarily Long Posts)


Originally Posted by Syele
What is it called when you eat something that isn’t dead yet?

Answer: Very painful for the victim :eek: :bigyikes:


Hear, hear! This is why Christians (until recently) have held Catholic beliefs regarding the Real Presence.

Ignatius of Antioch

Take note of those who hold heterodox opinions on the grace of Jesus Christ which has come to us, and see how contrary their opinions are to the mind of God. . . . They abstain from the Eucharist and from prayer because they do not confess that the Eucharist is the flesh of our Savior Jesus Christ, flesh which suffered for our sins and which that Father, in his goodness, raised up again. They who deny the gift of God are perishing in their disputes (Letter to the Smyrnaeans 6:2-7:1 [A.D. 110]).

. . . and are now ready to obey your bishop and clergy with undivided minds and to share in the one common breaking of bread – the medicine of immortality, and the sovereign remedy by which we escape death and live in Jesus Christ for evermore (Letter to the Ephesians 20 [A.D. 110]).

Justin Martyr

We call this food Eucharist, and no one else is permitted to partake of it, except one who believes our teaching to be true and who has been washed in the washing which is for the remission of sins and for regeneration * and is thereby living as Christ enjoined. For not as common bread nor common drink do we receive these, but since Jesus Christ our Savior was made incarnate by the word of God and had both flesh and blood for our salvation, so too, as we have been taught, the food which has been made into the Eucharist by the Eucharistic prayer set down by him, and by the change of which our blood and flesh is nurtured, is both the flesh and the blood of that incarnated Jesus (First Apology 66 [A.D. 151]).


He has declared the cup, a part of creation, to be his own blood) from which he causes our blood to flow; and the bread, a part of creation, he has established as his own body, from which he gives increase unto our bodies. When, therefore, the mixed cup [wine and water] and the baked bread receive the Word of God and become the Eucharist, the body of Christ, and from these the substance of our flesh is increased and supported) how can they say that the flesh is not capable of receiving the gift of God, which is eternal life — flesh which is nourished by the body and blood of the Lord and is in fact a member of him? (Against Heresies 5:2 [A.D. 189]).

Clement of Alexandria

“Eat my flesh)” [Jesus] says, “and drink my blood.” The Lord supplies us with these intimate nutrients, he delivers over his flesh and pours out his blood, and nothing is lacking for the growth of his children (The Instructor of Children 1:6:43:3 [A.D. 191]).*


A cannibal eats pieces of flesh, one by one.

In the Eucharist we receive the entire Christ whole and entire. In this sacrament, He cannot be divided. We don’t receive a piece of him, we receive all of him. Anytime the eucharistic host or wine is subdivided, Jesus is present whole and entire in the smallest piece distinguishable to the senses as bread or wine.


St Cyril of Alexandria criticized Nestorius for denying Mary the title of Mother of God by stating that this separates his divine and human nature (and makes the incarnation a sham). Jesus had both natures together, but not mixed, united in his Person, which is the second person of the Trinity. One of the consequences of Nestorius’ teaching, according to St Cyril, is that the Eucharist becomes merely the flesh of some man, and the not the flesh and blood of the divine God-Man. If the Eucharist is merely the flesh of Jesus, the man, and not the divinized flesh of Jesus the God-Man, then we are all cannibals.



But you can murder a Divine Person when that Person takes on a human nature. It was not Christ’s human nature that died, it was the Person of Christ who died. Now the very concept of death only applies to created things, so God could only die when He took on the nature of His creation. But it is critical to accept that the Divine Person Jesus Christ really did die, not just His human nature. To put it another way, natures don’t die, people do.

And as far as the charge of cannibalism, the very thing that makes it offensive to us is precisely that the “meal” is one of us. If we were to eat the flesh of some ape, which has 99% of our DNA, nobody would consider that to be 99% cannibalism. So the fact that Christ is not “one of us” is critical to answering the charge of cannibalism. Yes, he has taken on our nature, but no, he is not one of us. He is God Almighty.


I like the answers in this thread in general, but I am a little worried that in defending the charge against cannibalisim that we are not playing dangerous games with the nature of the incarnation. We must remember that when we receive the Eucharist, we are not only receiving the divine person, but also the human person. Jesus while always divine took on a human nature that was united but distinct from his divine nature. As a result when we receive, we receive it all. Indeed my inclination would not be to stress that we are not receiving the human body of Christ, because we are, but that we are receiving so much more.

Ultimately if someone makes the charge that I am a cannibal because I eat the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ, all I can answer is that it is what God commanded us to do if we wish to have eternal life.



Another thought just came to me:

The Eucharistic body and blood of Christ only remains in us as long as the bread (the accidents) remains intact. I think I read somewhere that this lasts around 15 minutes, give or take a minute. After the bread has been dissolved, the Eucharistic presence of Christ is no longer in us.

Does this sit well with everyone?


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