If they believe in the real presence, do members of other faiths have it?

A former Catholic, now a member of the Church of Christ, believes that as long as you believe that it is the real presence then members of other faiths (ie, Anglican, Lutheran, etc.) via their communion ceremonies can have the real presence.

How does the Catholic Church (and Orthodox) have the real presence, but other faiths do not? Thank you!

In Christ,

Dear Trainor,

The Catholic Church does not teach that we have the real presence of the Lord in the Eucharist as the result of our believing in it. The real presence is an objective reality regardless of whether we believe in it or not. That objective reality is the direct result of the command of Jesus to His apostles and their successors, the bishops and their priests. Protestant denominations do not have the power and the authority to validly ordain priests who can validly consecrate bread and wine. Their people can have the most fervent belief on earth in the real presence when they receive their holy communion, but that is just as insufficient as it would have been for the apostles to have tried to initiate the Sacrament on their own. It was Jesus who initiated it—not us.

The Catholic Church and the Orthodox Churches have validly ordained clergy due to apostolic succession and a consistent theology of the Eucharist.

Fr. Vincent Serpa, O.P.

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