Friday, February 15, 2019

Communion and cannibalism

The charge of cannibalism does not hold water for at least three reasons. First, Catholics do not receive our Lord in a cannibalistic form. Catholics receive him in the form of bread and wine. The cannibal kills his victim; Jesus does not die when he is consumed in Communion. Indeed, he is not changed in the slightest; the communicant is the only person who is changed. The cannibal eats part of his victim, whereas in Communion the entire Christ is consumed—body, blood, soul, and divinity. The cannibal sheds the blood of his victim; in Communion our Lord gives himself to us in a non-bloody way. 

i) First of all, I always find ironic how proponents of the real presence stress the literal interpretation of Jn 6, but then when asked if that doesn't commit them to a cannibalistic view of the Eucharist, they back off. So do they take it literally or not? They take it literally until you press them on the implications, at which point they get defensive and distance themselves from a literal interpretation. 

ii) Suppose a psychopath kidnaps teenagers, chains them in his basement, then uses an I.V. tube as a straw to suck their blood. Isn't that cannibalistic? But it doesn't kill them unless the psycho exsanguinates them. He can keep them alive and sample their blood. 

iii) Suppose a human body is dehydrated, ground into powder, and made into pills. If you pop those pills, you're consuming a corpse in a different form, but it's still cannibalistic, is it not? It's not the form but composition that makes it cannibalistic. 

iv) What does it mean to eat a soul? What does it mean to eat divinity? Eating is a physical process. Is a soul physical? Is divinity physical? 

v) Even if you take Jn 6 literally, it says nothing about consuming the soul or deity of Christ.