Why dear friend do you not believe in the Real Presence

My dear friend in Christ,

Many of you [but not all] do not believe Catholic Teachings on the Doctrine of the Real Presence.

I’m curious as to just WHY that is?

God Bless you,


Good day. For me the Real Presence means that I am really present in what I’m doing. For me the Eucharist is a teaching of awareness, mindfulness, and being present. If I were to partake of the Eucharist and not be present to it, mindful of it, then that in my mind is partaking “unworthily”.
The same holds true in anything I eat. A raisin, apple, breakfast, lunch, or dinner. If I’m not present to the moment, really present to the nourishment, if I’m wolfing things down hurriedly, mindlessly, then I’m eating “unworthily”


Because I find it to be false. What more were you expecting?

Seems, to me, the main argument is that… Jesus is in us through the Holy Spirit, so receiving Him “in flesh and blood” is not the purpose of Communion, therefore Communion must be only symbolic of remembering His Sacrifice at Calvary.

Also remember, many who acknowledge Real Presence, still do not accept Transubstantiation.

I thought that was the belief of many Protestants, not the Catholic belief?

Yes. I was relating what I’ve gathered from them. But protestants are not all unified, in Teaching, about much.

It’s not a Catholic belief. Christ is present, body, blood, soul and divinity, in the Eucharist always. Transubstantiation is the change of the host & wine to the body & blood of Christ. The Catholic Church teaches the Real Presence and transubstantiation.

For those who do not believe it, why? What personal study or thinking leads you to the conclusion there is no Real Presence. I was raised protestant and never heard of the belief of the Real Presence. Prior to converting my thought on communion was it was symbolic only. That is what I had been taught and I didn’t know any better.

During RCIA the Real Presence was obstacle I had to overcome. How could that be? How does this happen? Why does the Church believe this? So I started to learn about the teaching, reading the bible, reading the CCC, talking to other Catholics and I was convinced. One of the best moments of my life was my first Holy Communion. Knowing what it meant and how real it was. Jesus Christ, through transubstantiation being truly present changed me forever. To this day I am changed every time I receive the body, blood, soul, and divinity of Christ.

Rather than just dismissing our belief, tell us why you don’t believe.

Whether you and I believe something to be true or false has little bearing on what is actually true or false. It only reflects our freewill to believe in something or not. Hopefully we do some study and have some articulable reasons to justify our belief or disbelief in any given topic whether it be faith, empirical evidence or anything else.

Shrug After much study and prayer, I find little reason to believe in transubstantiation. I simply the reasons used to defend it to be unconvincing. Meanwhile, I find much power and strength in the symbolic Lord’s Supper.

But this is not an answer. How do you know it’s a false teaching? What did you study to come to that conclusion? Why would you even answer the question if you’re not willing to have a discussion about why? I find it very insulting and disrespectful of the Catholic faith, our faith, for you to basically say shrug it’s just not true. Gives me pause to wonder about the sincerity of any of your posts.

I honestly am very confused about what the Real Presence actually is. It seems to have multiple different definitions, even by those in the same denomination.

I do think that when Christians gather to worship and to participate in communion, that Christ is present among them. Matthew 18:20For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.” Christ promised to come to those who believe in Him and that he would be present with them. John 14:15“If you love me, keep my commands. 16And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever— 17the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be[c] in you. 18I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you…23Jesus replied, “Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching. My Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them." So I do believe that Christ is really present among Christians as they worship and participate in communion.

Is Christ present inside the communion wafer in some sort of a spiritual way as well? Maybe. I don’t have any reason to know that this is true, but I suppose it isn’t impossible if Jesus chose to be present in this way that it could happen.

Is Christ present inside the communion wafer in some sort of physical or substantial way? I would expect that if there was a different substance before and after the consecration, that science would detect differences in the wafers. Although there have been some Eucharistic miracles where the physical appearance of the wafers changed along with dubious science surrounding them, the vast majority of the time there is no physical change and science does not detect any changes either.

So what does actually happen at consecration? What changes actually occur? I can not understand this. How can substance and accident be defined in 21st century scientific terms? How can there be a change in substance without the substance changing? What am I missing?

Great questions. There will be someone who is able to give you the best answers, unfortunately I’m not able to do so. I “know” what is happening but still have trouble articulating what happens.

The way I understand it, is that we must recognize the body and blood of Jesus of Nazareth, which was shed for the blood of the New and everlasting Covenant, as the Communion meal between God and man. This body and blood is multiplied from the Divine Substance which the Father, Son and Holy Spirit share, and descends upon the gifts of bread and wine that we bring to the altar. We in turn, are strengthened by the faith that Jesus bestows through His meritorious Incarnation, suffering massianic work, and ultimate Sacrifice unto death at Calvary. We no longer regard Him as lowly flesh, but anointed from all eternity by the Father of all creation, and the means by which we were reconciled to Him and granted the Holy Spirit which gives life.

This type of questioning is not coming from faith, but human curiosity. And I’m not saying I’m above it. But it doesn’t lead to Spiritual growth and unity of Christian brotherhood. What leads to brotherhood, is obedience to His commands. He calls us to one faith, one Baptism, one mind, one judgment, one body and one loaf. If we claim to all receive a “relatively equal Communion” but have opposing Teachings, are we not deceiving ourselves? One Communion means, one united leadership, with a common Teaching, while allowing for various customs and practices.

While an Aristotlean-ish explanation has been offered by Thomas Aquinas and others to make a little more sense of it, Aristotlean-Thomistic metaphysics are not necessary to a belief in transubstantiation. The teaching is that whatever its appearance or chemical make up, what it truly is has changed. I think that’s all we need to know about “substance.” It refers to what something truly is. It boggles the mind, but that’s to be expected. It’s not something to be understood through the flesh (our flesh/humanly thinking). It can only be grasped through the spirit and faith. The change is a mystery, and it is supernatural, epiousios (from the Our Father, give us this day of supersubstantial/superessential bread…), from God.

People sometimes bring up another question concerning this and that is the question of cannibalism. Is it considered to be cannibalism to eat a man’s flesh and blood ?

Christ is not lessened, degraded, killed, quantified, or broken up in the Eucharist. He is present, but not as if he is limited to a place, or that his heart is in one part of the host, his head in another, his leg in another. Cannibalism is the eating of dead flesh, of harming a person, of breaking him apart, of taking apart a finite quantity, etc…

“Eating flesh” generally implies all of the latter in most circumstances, but those latter things are not a part of the communion meal, and so it is not cannibalism. No persons are harmed in the eating of the host.

This cannibalism thing doesn’t bother me. Yes, in a sense it is cannibolism. But it’s so far from the common conception of cannibolism at the same time. How can they be likened, really?

Can you compare a man eating parts, or even a whole, human body with every Catholic eating the fullness of one man through the Spirit descending on bread and wine to mysteriously, and unnoticeably, change those elements into the flesh and blood of that one man?

Unless someone reveals some error in your statement that I do not see, I would say you have an exact understanding of it.

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