A new Pew Research Center survey says nearly 2/3’s of US Catholics believe the Eucharist is merely symbolic, not the real Body and Blood of Christ.
“In the most blessed sacrament of the Eucharist ‘the body and blood, together with the soul and divinity, of our Lord Jesus Christ and, therefore, the whole Christ is truly, really, and substantially contained.'” – Catechism of the Catholic Church 1374
As Catholics, we believe in the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist. Through transubstantiation at consecration the body and blood of Jesus Christ is made substantially and literally present in the Eucharist.
However, late last month the Pew Research Center published a shocking survey entitled “What Americans Know About Religion” saying only a minority of US Catholics believe in the Church’s core bedrock belief.
2/3’s believe that the Body and Blood of Christ are merely “symbols,” while only 1/3 believe that “during Catholic Mass, the bread and wine actually become the body and blood of Jesus.”
The survey revealed that 43% of US Catholics falsely believe the Church teaches that Communion is symbolic; however, 22% know the Church correctly teaches Communion is not symbolic but choose to believe it is regardless.
The survey also revealed that age and Mass attendance play a factor. 61% percent of US Catholics who attend Mass weekly believe in the Real Presence, and those 60 and older are more likely to believe in the Real Presence as well.