I know this has come up in these forums before, but I have yet to see a good answer.
How does that Catholic Church defend its interpretation of John 6 that Jesus is talking about His true flesh and blood in the Eucharistic species, and go on to maintain that it is possible for those who are not Catholic or have not received that same Eucharist to receive eternal life?
[quote=John6:53]Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you.
How can someone who has “no life in them” possibly have eternal life?
After all, this isn’t a positive affirmation such as “If you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood”. It is a negative statement: “If you don’t, you will not have life”. The two are very different in that the first can be reasoned by saying, “well, He doesn’t say that there are not other ways to obtaining eternal life”. You cannot make the same logical reasoning with the second.
When talking about John 6, this is often one of the first rebuttals I get from protestants. “So, only Catholics who receive the Eucharist can be saved?” Add to that the fact that the Church doesn’t allow non-Catholics to receive, which many protestants find to be nothing more than an exclusivist practice, and good two-way dialog is finished. Our interpretation basically condemns them, when taken at face value (which is what we essentially want from the surrounding verses).