Must Protestants eat the flesh and drink the blood?

I understand that the Church views Protestants as separated brethren, but brethren nonetheless – and therefore that they can be saved if they have faith and live in charity. But yet, they do not have a valid Eucharist. How can someone who does not take the body and blood of the Saviour be saved since:*

Jesus said to them, “I tell you the truth, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you.* (John 6:53)


Dear a,

Jesus did say that he who eats his body and drinks His blood will live forever and that if we don’t, we cannot have eternal life. But we must not zero in on one passage of Scripture and then make general, about it. Jesus made many statements about being saved that did not include the Eucharist. We have to look at all of them. There is no denying the importance that He gave to the receiving the Eucharist. But ultimately, to reach heaven, we must love Him.

There are several legitimate reasons for people not receiving the Eucharist. Illness in certain forms it one of them. Not having the complete gift of faith is another. The Lord will save anybody who loves Him.

Fr. Vincent Serpa, O.P.

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