Transsubstantiation- how do you explain it to others?

How do you respond to people who say that Catholics have cannabalistic tendencies (seriously) because they really think that they are eating flesh and blood?


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Although we are truly consuming the body and blood of Christ, we are doing so under the appearances of bread and wine. If you were able to zoom in enough to view the molecular structure, it’s still structured like bread and wine. So there’s that.

I also like to point out that we are consuming the glorified body of Christ. This is different from the bodies of other humans in ways that we fully don’t understand. I don’t know if this is a solid point against the claim that Catholics are cannibals, but it’s something to ponder.


A thoughtful reading of these passages tell us how Jesus Christ Himself gave the Apostles the power to change the substance of bread and wine into the true Body and Blood of Jesus Christ. There are others passages discussing Holy Eucharist, but these are the most essential IMO. It makes no sense at all that Christ would lie or mislead us on Holy Eucharist.

The Bread of Life Discourse.
• John Chapter 6: 22- 71 Especially 53-58

The Lord’s Supper
• Matthew Chapter 26: .26-28
• Luke Chapter 22: 19-20
• Mark Chapter 14: 22-24
• 1 Corinthians Chapter 11: 23-32

Thank you both. Anyone else have any ideas?

You aren’t going to change their minds, quite honestly. I would say anything about it and go about your day. Pray for them, if you are so inclined.

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The texture is still bread and wine. Your body will digest it as such. But the essence has changed amazingly! It is a mystery, you cannot give rational explanation for transubstantiation.

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I would add that the sacrament is a gift of God for our spiritual benefit. And it has been practiced for 2000 years. The sacrament is real because Jesus says so.


I struggle to understand (some) Protestants’ confusion regarding transubstantiation/the real presence. Christians of any stripe–Catholic, Protestant, Orthodox–believe that God is omnipotent. If God has the power to create the universe out of nothing and bring us to life, why does anyone doubt that he can make himself present to us in the Eucharist? As if that is impossible for God. Really head-scratching to me.

They might say “possible, but not probable”. Of course, God can do anything. But they fail to see the benefit of it, so they don’t believe in it. I

Invite the person over for dinner. Suggest 11:00pm as a good time. :slight_smile:

Why would you bother?
it indicates a negative bias that cannot be turned by reason or facts.

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God can do anything that is logically possible. For example he can’t create a square circle. Some would argue that in logic something cannot be two distinct things simultaneously. For example something cannot be a baseball and a frog at the same time. One can always argue that the explanation is God can do anything, but as I pointed out, not really anything. I’m not saying transubstantiation isn’t true, just pointing out how a sceptic might look at it.

I recoil a bit at trying to put limits on God. I’d say he can do anything he pleases. It may be beyond our mental faculties, but he’s not restricted by our mental faculties niether is he restricted by space, time, or matter.

Ask them if it’s cannibalistic to eat a shark that has eaten a human

Bingo! I’d not try and explain it at all. They aren’t inclined to listen.

There is a WONDERFUL post here on CAF by a priest about Transubstantiation.

This will remind me to go look for it.

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