non-Catholic church with the Real Presence

All –

Does there exist now, or could there ever exist, a non-Catholic church that has the Real Presence?

That is, is it at all possible, in terms of Catholic doctrine, for any other church other than the Catholic church to have the Real Presence?

(It occurs to me that I believe the answer is “no” but I do not have the specifics in terms of Catholic doctrine. Generally, I think it falls under “there is no salvation outside of the Catholic church”, but that is a bit gray for me because here “Church” can me the “whole Catholic Church” not just the “visible Catholic Church”-- in the sense that “we know where the Catholic Church IS but we do not know where the Catholic Church IS NOT, etc”.

Anyway, to the question, does anyone have some specifics, CCC paragraphs, etc?

Thank you.

May Jesus Christ, The Lord, let his face shine upon you always.

– Mark Kamoski

NO. There are no validly ordained priests outside the Catholic Church.

The Orthodox churches have valid Apostolic succession and valid sacraments, so they have the real presence in their Eucharist.

I don’t think there are any other churches not in communion with Rome that has the real presence, but there are others on the boards with greater knowledge than I have who can probably give you a more detailed answer.


No apostolic succession, no Eucharist.


Shame on me-- I should have seen that.

Thank you.

– Mark Kamoski

Technically speaking, there are currently two bodies that have all seven Sacraments: the Catholic Church, and the Orthodox Church (meaning its various component churches).

These both have the Real Presence in the Eucharist.

Outside of these, there is no valid Priesthood. Without a valid Priesthood, there is no Real Presence.

It is possible that some churches maintained the Real Presence for a period of time after their splitting off…a Priest’s Holy Orders are permanent, and, as such, a Priest could possibly still confect the Eucharist after leaving the Church and aligning with some other group. This would be illicit, but still a Sacrament, assuming the Priest says the right words, uses the right matter (bread & wine), and has the right intent (i.e., still believes in the Real Presence as we understand it).

However, none of those Priests are alive today, and the current pastors/priests/etc. of the other denominations are no longer in the line of valid Apostolic Succession (nor to they typically have a right understanding of the Real Presence), and thus they can no longer confect the Eucharist.

God bless you.

The Eastern Orthodox have the Real Presence. Of course, they’re not fully “outside the Church.” JPII famously called them the Church’s other lung.

There are some that claim to do so, but that does not mean that they actually have it. I will begin with the most questionable to the lesser. First in line is the Methodist Church that broke communion with the See of Canterbury. Wesley was supposedly consecrated by an Orthodox bishop, so he may have validity (but highly questionable). Second is the Anglican Church itself. The history is complicated and we don’t know where the line begins and ends. Therefore, pretty questionable. The other three that broke off communion with Rome (Assyrian Church, Coptic Church, and Orthodox Church). These seem reasonably valid, but still questionable.

That is, is it at all possible, in terms of Catholic doctrine, for any other church other than the Catholic church to have the Real Presence?

Orthodox is least questionable: "With the Orthodox Churches, this communion is so profound “that it lacks little to attain the fullness that would permit a common celebration of the Lord’s Eucharist.” - CCC 838

That is incorrect. The Orthodox Church has validly ordained priests with apostolic lineage, and they have valid sacraments. According to the Code of Canon Law, in cases where a Catholic may not be able to receive communion from a Catholic Church, they may receive at an Orthodox Church. The same goes for Confession and Last Rites. More details can be found here.

the Orthodox have valid priesthood because they have valid appostolic succession and therefore have valid Eucharist, the Real Presence, Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity, of Our Lord in the sacrament. By definition then all their other sacraments are also valid. The theological language they use to describe these realities is someone different but the underlying truth remains the same.

In addition to the points raised above, the Old Catholics of Utrecht and the PNCC have valid but illicit orders (according to the RCC) , and, to the extent that the other prerequisites are present, confect valid but illicit sacraments.


To take this one step further, assume a Catholic priest leaves the priesthood and founds their own church. Would not the Eucharist they consecrate also be valid but illicit? If so, then yes, you could theoretically have a non-Catholic church with the Real Presence.

Interesting question: Even IF one believes in apostolic succession as defined by the Catholic Church there are still a few protestant churches that would have a real presence as a number of former priests are now pastors in these churches. There are also some European Lutheran Churches that do claim apostolic succession as defined by Catholics. Others, myself included, would look at succession as defined in Catholic terms, as faulty concept at best and irrelevant in the discussion of if there is a real presence at a protestant communion.

As numerous others here have said, the Orthodox churches have valid sacraments, which means they have Holy Eucharist as well. As for priests who leave either the Catholic or the Orthodox faiths I do not know if they would retain that apostolic succession, or if they would lose it as a result of their abandonment of the faith.

Here’s where we’re coming from:
*]The power to validly confect the sacrament of the Eucharist is tied to the Apostolic authority. Christ leaves the Apostles with this power, not simply anyone. If you want a specific example, Luke 22:14-34 makes it clear that Jesus is commissioning the Apostles to perform the Eucharist when He says to “Do This in Remembrance” of Him. He says it in the same breath that He tells the Twelve that they’ll judge the twelve tribes of Israel, and that Peter is in charge of strengthening the others, despite his own weakness.
*]The original Twelve Apostles didn’t choose themselves, nor were they chosen by their merits or their faith (see: Judas the Apostle).
*]Judas’ replacement Matthias didn’t simply choose himself to be the new Apostle. Rather, he was chosen by the Church.
*]Likewise, the bishops, presbyters (priests), and deacons were chosen, not by themselves, but by others. So, for example, even when the deacons are selected by popular acclaim in Acts 6, they’re not deacons until the Apostles lay hands on them (Acts 6:6).
*] Those who have had hands laid upon them can then lay hands on others. In 1 Timothy 4:14, Paul says that Timothy’s charisms are given by the Holy Spirit “through prophecy when the body of presbyters laid their hands on you.”
So someone claiming that they had the authority of the Holy Spirit should be able to trace the laying on of hands backwards all the way to the Apostles.

I leave that to those who make such distinctions.


Yes, they are called the Orthodox. They have valid Apostolic Churches with valid Apostolic Succession. So they have a valid priesthood and thus has 7 valid Sacraments.

Again, yes. The CCC says about the Orthodox:

838 “The Church knows that she is joined in many ways to the baptized who are honored by the name of Christian, but do not profess the Catholic faith in its entirety or have not preserved unity or communion under the successor of Peter.” Those “who believe in Christ and have been properly baptized are put in a certain, although imperfect, communion with the Catholic Church.” With the Orthodox Churches, this communion is so profound "that it lacks little to attain the fullness that would permit a common celebration of the Lord’s Eucharist."

A better read about the Orthodox will be Pope John Paul II’s Apostolic Letter, Orientale Lumen

Those groups that still have a valid Eucharist are technically, for the most part, schismatic, as opposed to heretical. Among the various groups that have valid Apostolic Succession and a valid Eucharist are:

Eastern Orthodox
Oriental Orthodox
Assyrian Church of the East
Polish National Catholic Church
Old Catholics
Society of St. Pius X (not technically schismatic, but their status is highly irregular, to say the least)

I believe that SSPV also has a valid Eucharist, but I’d have to check on that before saying anything definitively.

Yes, but it starts and ends with that priest. Only a Bishop can pass on his Apostolic Succession and ordain another clergyman (bishop, priest, deacon). But a Bishop can go into schism, which is the case with the Old Catholics, and retain Apostolic Succession. The priests are validly, but illicitly ordained. They are priests but have no ministry in the Catholic Church, and thus we should never seek them for sacraments except for confession and only if there is danger of death.

Note that this “Catholic concept” of succession is shared by the Orthodox, the other Apostolic communion of Churches.

I’m going what with everyone else said, the orthodox, the old catholics and the polish national catholics. But I have also read that some where in europe there are lutherans who have valid apostolic succession.

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