The Real Presence in the Eucharist


What is the difference between the “Real Presence of Christ” in the Eucharist between the Roman Catholic and Episcopal (Anglican Catholic) Churchs? When I joined the Episcopal Church as a freshman in college in 1969 I was told that in the Episcopal Church we accept that when Christ said take eat this is my body its really his body its no longer bread it is actually factually physically His body. Further we are to simply accept that when Christ said take drink this is my blood it is in fact just exactly that His blood. We don’t have to explain it we have to only accept it. That the bread and wine become the actual factual physical body and blood of Christ when the Priest consecrates them. That the Priest is the alter Christ and that is by virtue of the sacrament of priestly ordination.


The biggest problem is that nearly all Anglican priests do not have a valid ordination perform the sacrament. You probably know Anglican history better than me, but when they schismed from the Church, they eventually ran out of Bishops who had an apostolic line back to Peter. In essence they ran out of validly ordained Bishops who could validly ordain priests. I’m a little wet behind the ears on this particular topic, but that’s my understanding.


From the Catholic perspective, there are two main differences.

The first is the practical difference. The Eucharist can not be confected by any average Joe on the street. Only an ordained priest possesses the faculties to consecrate the bread and wine into the true presence of Jesus. Sadly, according to Catholic belief, Anglo/Episcopal churches no longer have valid Holy Orders. Therefore they are not capable of consecrating the Eucharist.

The second is the theological difference. Unfortunately, I do not know enough about the Anglican’s metaphysical understanding of the Eucharist to state if there is an actual difference :-P. So I’ll leave it to other posters to address this issue if it exists.



In addition to those already mentioned, another difference is (I believe) that this is not a uniform belief within the Episcopal nor Anglican Church. That is: there are some who believe this, some who do not, and some who believe somewhere in between.

(Also, aside: Perhaps you were being emphatic, but (Eucharistic miracles excepted) not even the Catholic Church believes the Eucharist to be the “actual factual **physical **body and blood of Christ”. Physics is a science of the accidents of matter. The Eucharist is the actual factual **metaphysical **body and blood of Christ. :twocents: )


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