Protestants and the Transubstantiation at the conseecration


My husband is a convert. He became a Catholic in 1968 just before we married. He was raised–somewhat leniently—in the First Christian Church back in Oklahoma, and that is what basically all his family who are still alive are even today.

I fell away from the faith for over 30 years and have been “home” for just over two years now. My husband is a good man and when I got back into the church, he came right along too, as he’s just like that (whatever I do, he’ll do too)–though I’m sure that if I had never come home, that he would never have done so on his own either. Anyway, back when he converted, it was the Vietnam era and he was in the Navy and stationed out of San Diego. I realized almost from day one that he had never been well taught by the little on-base priest that he’d had to go to for something like 5 or 6 weekly visits. He basically converted to please my parents and me–something I’d never advise anyone else to do ever. Spouses really need to convert because their own heart calls them to the Catholic church–and for no other reason.

So anyway, he has some really off-beat ideas, which I am continually trying to re-inform him about. It isn’t easy, as he’s 65 now–and doesn’t even realize that in many cases he wasn’t taught correctly, and he thinks he understands Catholic teaching just fine, thank you. Another words, he’s a typical MAN! For one thing, he doesn’t really think confession is necessary–he feels his sins are between him and God and I can’t seem to get it across to him why confession is necessary–and even good–though I continue working on that, believe me. I’ve been doing a novena of masses this week, so he goes to daily Mass with me willingly–but since he missed a Sunday Mass several months ago, he doesn’t take communion. Frankly, he missed because of illness and I’ve been trying to convince him that this wasn’t even a sin at all–so he could take communion–but the truth is, I haven’t pushed him because unless I can somehow convince him of why confession is good and needed, he will eventually not be able to receive communion anyway, as unless something changes between now and next Easter, he has no intention of going to confession so he won’t make his Easter duty and we will be at this point for real then.

Anyway, on our way home from Mass today, I brought up the subject of communion and the concept of why communion is a “closed” Sacrament for Catholics, in that protestants can’t or shouldn’t receive communion in the Catholic church and why we don’t receive communion in protestant churches—which is when he laid another somewhat odd belief of his on me again. Now understand, he and I were married young (I was 17 and h was 20) and in the 46+ years that we’ve been together, I thought that I’d heard them all. I made the point that in the Catholic church, we believe that at the consecration, the bread and wine actually become the real body and blood of Jesus. He responded “Well, so does every church.” I told him that he was wrong of course that it wasn’t the case–and that in protestant churches, they believe they do it–in the churches that even have some kind of communion service—as a remembrance–not for real. He corrected me and said that in the first Christian Church, they DO believe they are receiving the real body and blood of Jesus at their communion service! I was absolutely speechless–and for me, that is an infrequent happening! I have never heard of any protestant church that believes that their communion is the real deal–but believe me, he isn’t pulling my leg–he firmly believes this! After 30 minutes of arguing the issue, I let it lay for now and decided that the first thing I need to know before I even go there again with him, is to find out if he is correct in what he believes he was taught growing up as a protestant.

I love this old man, of course–but I’m beginning to believe that he was just as clueless as a protestant as he is a Catholic–but before I call in our priest to talk with my hubby, which was next on my list–I decided I need to know for sure what the real truth is: if any of you are protestants and particularly First Christians, or even Catholics with a lot of protestant faith knowledge, please help me–do any protestant churches teach and actually believe that their communion is the genuine, real-deal body and blood of Jesus? This man is driving me nuts! Trying to re-educat a man who, I’m beginning to suspect now, never even knew what he believed as a protestant just may be above my pay grade–and I’m 99% sure that I’d never get him to sign up for RCIA! So, what is the truth about what protestants believe? Maybe I can figure out what to do next!


Illness as an excuse:
Special attention to 2181

Importance of confession:
Read the whole thing

Importance of receiving holy communion:
Special attention to 920

Regards to whether or not a Protestant believes it is the real body and blood of Christ… the answer varies. Some don’t, like Presbyterians, who insist that Christ was speaking figuratively. Some do, like Anglicans if you count them as Protestant. Lutherans do (though theirs is more of a consubstantiation, a term which also I think they don’t like but it might explain it good enough for a disinterested Catholic who doesn’t want to get specific).

I’m sure they have a website, just check it out.


I am sorry to say that generally speaking his understanding is correct and yours isn’t. Among the Liturgical protestant churches only Baptists would view the sacrament as a remembrance. Presbyterians and Calvinists tend to have a receptionist view that that are receiving Jesus through the sacrament indivdually but this His presence is there. The previous poster already explained about Lutherans and Anglicans.

I should add that because they may believe in the real presence doesn’t mean that they necessarily believe in Transubstantiation which only some High Anglicans would believe in. Most, I think, would simply accept the presence of Christ without attaching a formal doctrinal explanation to it.


Oh dear. Well, if I’m wrong, I needed to know. Back to the old drawing board with this man…:shrug:


Thank you. It’s getting late tonight, but I will read each one of these links completely tomorrow. I just think that if I could find a really good way to explain confession to him that I could change his mind. He really is a good and decent man and he’s no dummy either. A big part of the fault lies with me–as if I hadn’t fallen away, he’d have 30 years of Catholic teaching under his belt by now too. So, I’m peddling fast to try to help undo damage that I am at least partially to blame for.:frowning:


I think that often the most effective way to get a message across is to talk about personal experience and be inviting.

When you return from your next confession perhaps you could find a way to express the peace you feel in knowing you’re forgiven, or how unburdened you feel. Perhaps the priest said something that totally lifted your spirits and you could mention that. Or how deep your prayer felt after you left the confessional. Whatever it was that you experienced in the sacrament. Just keep it short and real.

And then the next time you go (and the time after that and the time after that) invite your husband to go with you. Don’t demand anything. But a simple “I’m going to confession now. Would you like to come with me?” Perhaps followed by “and then we could stop for dinner (or a cup of coffee or some other treat).”

And overall, keep praying for him.


I would say go easy on telling him that he must go to confession. The obligation is to confess mortal sins - it is not a blanket requirement
.Not aware of having committed mortal sins = no requirement to go to confession (although, of course, confessing venial sins is highly recommended).
Also, the Easter Duty is to receive Holy Communion at Easter or thereabouts. There is no ‘go to confession first’ condition attached to this, unless conscious of mortal sin.
Read Canon Law 989.


Many protestants believe that Jesus is Spirtually present but it is NOT his body & blood. I’m from the Methodist faith originally. When we received communion 1 or 2x per year it was “The body of Jesus was given for you” and handed cut up bread and grape juice. There was no concecration and transubstantiation that occurred.

Not certain of his church he grew up in, but I’ve never heard of any Protestant churches that believe it IS the body & blood of Christ. That’s one of the biggest “arguments” between Catholicism and Protestant denominations.

Maybe if you explain that RCIA is not just for converts but as a “faith enrichment” for all Catholics, and you yourself attend, maybe he’ll go with you to that as well!?? I’m in RCIA for the 2nd time as I know I forgot some things and want to continue learning until I know it well enough to pass it along to anyone else including my children. There are several folks in our RCIA that are Catholic even cradle Catholics who are wanting to re-learn their faith as they learned when they were very young.


DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit