Is not our faith needed for transubstantiation to take place?

Is the Real Presence of Jesus in the sacrament separated from faith of the one who is receiving communion or is it dependent on his/her faith. A Priest I go to for mentoring has told me that the intention of Christ was to share himself fully but he is not truly present unless I (or the one who is receiving the communion is united with that intention) To prove his point he shared a fictional story about an Old Lady who received communion at home, this old lady had a Bird and while the priest was giving her the host the bird took it and ate it and he asked me, did the Bird have communion, was it really Christ in there. I had to admit that it was a valid point but I couldn’t support it with any church documents. Please Advise.

Dear friend,

You need to find another mentor. What your priest is telling you is heresy! That story about the bird does not force anyone to admit that the host ceases to be the body of Christ if an animal receives it.

Jesus didn’t say, “Take and eat; this is my body if you believe that it is.” The bread and wine become His body and blood until they cease to have the appearances of bread and wine. So when they are digested, the Presence ceases.

Our faith does not make the bread and wine become His body and blood. Jesus Christ, through the words and intention of His validly ordained priests, does. This has always been the teaching of the Catholic Church–and always will be.


Fr. Vincent Serpa, O.P.

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