Non-Catholic Christians: Why no belief in real presence of Jesus in Eucharist

Why don’t protestants believe that the consecrated bread and wine in a Catholic Mass are the Body and Blood of Christ, as Jesus toldl us?

Please address the fact that there was a universal belief in this doctrine for centures?

Because they do not take the Gospel of John literally as we do and because they do not know that for 1000 years this was never questioned until Berenger of Tours questioned and later repented. They tend to focus on “Transubstantiation” more than anything else in my experience.

So many Christians take every detail in the Bible literally, except for that one little part in the Gospel of John? Interesting, please explain.

This topic has been beaten to death. You may want to search the threads for this discussion. You will find some interesting stuff. If you cannot find it let me know and I will find it for you. It is a ping pong match of what is written in John, what the ECF say and then there is Radical, the most brilliant mind of the 16th century living today noting his rendition of the ECF. I actually like Radical but as the name goes so the postings go.

Yes, you are right and I am sorry for beating this dead horse topic.

Thank you for the advice! I will follow up since I am curious about how to defend this when brought up in discussions

As simple as that: they do not want to obey the Pope.
Once you take that stand, it unravels the whole doctrine and you may defend whatever you want, as it happens with the Eucharist. This point of doctrine is one of hundreds where we disagree. They opted for free interpretation so, even in this point there are 1001 fine distinctions.

Yeah, I don’t think that’s why. Believe it or not, not all doctrinal differences come from some sort of desire to disobey the pope. I am by no means a protestant, nor do I deny that the gifts become the body and blood of Christ, but I think this quickness to chalk up doctrinal differences to being obstinate and refusing to obey the pope is misguided.

Maybe they’re vegetarians.

I have a theory that it is simply because Protestants lacked a truly consecrated Eucharist for nearly 500 years. As such, venerating their communion host would indeed be objectively idolatrous.

If the human soul really does commune with God during the Eucharist, then the Protestants would gradually notice that nothing is happening when they receive their communion, and then gradually loose their faith in the True Presence altogether.

Since Protestants are barred from receiving Catholic Communion in most cases, then they’d have little reason to believe our Holy Mass is any different from their communion service. Casually observing Catholics, they might erroneously conclude that we Catholics are dangerously worshiping mere bread!

Basically Protestants are almost stuck in a Catch 22 - can’t know Christ is present without receiving the sacrament of the Eucharist. Can’t receive the Eucharist without knowing that Christ is present :eek:. Fortunately, most Protestants have a jump start in Baptism, where one receives the graces needed to perceive Christ within guise of consecrated bread and wine, even if one cannot yet receive!

I agree that this topic has been beaten to death, but many of the “Bible literalists” do not actually take the Bible literally.

I didn’t even know about Catholism belief in the real presence before I looked into Catholism.

I believe in real presence and I’m not Catholic (yet?).

So, here is one person that could shed light on the why you believe. May I ask why you believe this and how this belief came to be?

Okay, I could tell you.

At first I denied the real presence and thought that the RCC had made it up somewhere at one point in time. I thought it was weird and was dangerously close to cannibalism. One of the things I like is history, and I was surprised to read that so many writings of early Chistians had been preserved. Early Christians had written about what they believe in. So I gathered as much of the ECF books as I possibly could and one day I started reading it, and began with the oldest writing. I began with the Epistles of Ignatius (probably because they were the shortest :p) and soon discovered some things that shook my understanding of the faith.

  1. There have always been Bishops in the Church, which succeeded the Apostles.
  2. The Eucharist was truely the Flesh and Blood of our Lord (“a medicine of immortaly”)
  3. The Church was ONE, and not many denominations. The bishops were in communion with eachother.

Especially this one quote really surprised me:

“They abstain from the Eucharist and from prayer, because they confess not the Eucharist to be the flesh of our Saviour Jesus Christ, which suffered for our sins, and which the Father, of His goodness, raised up again. Those, therefore, who speak against this gift of God, incur death in the midst of their disputes. But it were better for them to treat it with respect, that they also might rise again. It is fitting, therefore, that you should keep aloof from such persons, and not to speak of them either in private or in public, but to give heed to the prophets, and above all, to the Gospel, in which the passion [of Christ] has been revealed to us, and the resurrection has been fully proved. (Epistle to the Smyrneans 7)”

I thought that perhaps Ignatius was an exception to the rule, and a few days later I read the Catechetical Lectures of St. Clement of Jerusalem, which said:

“For you have just heard him say distinctly, That our Lord Jesus Christ in the night in which He was betrayed, took bread, and when He had given thanks He broke it, and gave to His disciples, saying, Take, eat, this is My Body: and having taken the cup and given thanks, He said, Take, drink, this is My Blood. Since then He Himself declared and said of the Bread, This is My Body, who shall dare to doubt any longer? And since He has Himself affirmed and said, This is My Blood, who shall ever hesitate, saying, that it is not His blood? (Catechetical Lectures, Lecture 22)”

Especially the testimony of Ignatius, who lived as early as 100 AD, convinced me. Well, after that I could no longer deny it, the Real Presence is very real indeed. I read this somewhere last year, and since then, and especially since I read John 6 in which it is said that unless you partake of the Eucharist you have no life in you, I came to the conclusion that I should join the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church. But I have troubles locating the Church. Is it the RCC or the Eastern Orthodox Church. This question has given me a lot of troubles since :wink:

This is pretty much how I was convinced of the Real Presence.

This is how a protestant friend explained her belief to me:

Jesus said, “This is my body.” He didn’t say, “Every time you go to church some guy in a robe can turn bread and wine into my body.”

Jesus also said, “Do this in memory of me,” indicating that communion is, in fact, a symbolic memorial service.

The problem with that argument is of course that memorializing something does not make it symbolic.

If I listen to music in memory of a friend who has died, the music is very real.

I’ve been pondering this question quite a lot recently.

The argument about the Real Presence comes down to this, for me. Did Jesus mean it literally when He said ‘This is my body’? I understand that in the original language, this sentence could be either figurative or literal. At the time that He said it, He was holding the bread in His hands. At that moment, His body was clearly distinct from the bread He was holding, which would suggest He was speaking figuratively, just as He was when He called Himself the Vine or the Door. That said, I was very interested to find out that early Christian writings show that Jesus’ statement was taken literally in the early Church.

The other argument I’ve read is about the nature of the Eucharist. If you believe the Mass is a real sacrifice, the Real Presence is essential to that. Once you start to say that it’s not a real sacrifice, you don’t need to believe in the Real Presence, because then everything that is accomplished by celebrating Communion can be accomplished if it is only symbolic.

Experientially, I find the idea of the Real Presence quite credible. I’ve been to a couple of Masses with a Catholic friend, and been struck by the powerful sense of the Presence of God at the consecration. Something very special is clearly happening, because you can feel the change in the spiritual atmosphere. That said, I have felt the same when I’ve been to Anglican Eucharist services, when they follow the traditional liturgy that’s very similar to a Catholic Mass, so whatever I sensed doesn’t seem to be exclusive to the Catholic Church.

What all that means is that I don’t really know if I believe in the Real Presence or not. Perhaps you can help me understand things a bit better, and work out the truth? How do you know Jesus meant what He said at the Last Supper literally? About the sacrifice of the Mass - Catholics believe that Jesus’ death was a once-for-all sacrifice, don’t they? Hebrews 10 v11-12 says that Jesus offered one sacrifice for all time, and then sat down at the right hand of the Father. How does that fit with the idea of the sacrifice of the Mass?

=Crumpy;9128337]Why don’t protestants believe that the consecrated bread and wine in a Catholic Mass are the Body and Blood of Christ, as Jesus toldl us?

:wave: Lutherans do.

Please address the fact that there was a universal belief in this doctrine for centures?

And precisely because of this, and Christ’s own words.

Luther said:

Not one of the Fathers of the Church, though so numerous, ever spoke as the Sacramentarians: not one of them ever said, It is only bread and wine; or, the body and blood of Christ is not there present.

Surely, it is not credible, nor possible, since they often speak, and repeat their sentiments, that they should never (if they thought so) not so much as once, say, or let slip these words: It is bread only; or the body of Christ is not there, especially it being of great importance, that men should not be deceived. Certainly, in so many Fathers, and in so many writings, the negative might at least be found in one of them, had they thought the body and blood of Christ were not really present: but they are all of them unanimous.”


ISTM that John 6 is not the best place to go to try and convince those who reject the real presence of their error. John 6 can be taken figuratively because, in part, Christ uses a good amount of figurative language.
My curiousity about literalists is that they seem to not take Christ’s words and the Last Supper literally. “Take and eat. This is my body.” Also repeated by St. Paul, there is no figurative language here.


My protestant friend claims that she IS taking Christ’s words literally when she argues:

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