Are Catholics cannibals for consuming Jesus’ flesh and blood?

Are Catholics cannibals for consuming Jesus’ flesh and blood?


Wouldn’t it be cannibalism to take these words of Jesus literally:

“unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you.”

John 6:53


No. Firstly, Catholics do not receive the Body and Blood of Jesus under the form of flesh and blood; we receive the body and blood under the appearances of bread and wine. Cannibalism would be eating the flesh or organs of another human being, i.e., after killing said human, of course.

When we receive Jesus in communion, Jesus does not die. He is not torn apart, nor is he changed in any way. The person who receives him gains spiritual nourishment and is changed by this encounter.

Jesus was literal:

The truth is there is no need to argue about it much, but the thing to understand is: it was understood as literal when Jesus said it. This is why people were alarmed when they heard this; they got angry and wondered why Jesus would say these things. Many people left his fold and walked away.

“From that time on, many of His disciples turned back and no longer walked with Him.”

John 6:66

So if it were immoral in any sense for us to eat his flesh and drink his blood, this would be contrary to the holiness of Christ to issue the command. So no matter how you interpret this, even in the symbolic sense of the word, it would have still been wrong.

Walk with Jesus

Jesus wants to nourish our souls on the long and arduous journey to heaven. He wants to be with us to be the friend we need who not only walks with us in life but journeys with us in death. This is why we always pray and hope we have the grace of receiving Jesus when we are at death’s door. Once we have received the new life of Christ at baptism, his flesh will nourish us in this life until we can be united with him, where we share in his life of glory in the next.

Are Catholics cannibals for consuming Jesus’ flesh and blood?

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