Being Misunderstood by Non-Catholics Started in the Second Century

As a Protestant I was taught that during the Early Church pagans accused the Christians of being cannibals in reference to Communion. It seemed like a huge distortion of the truth regarding communion and eating a cracker and drinking a bit of grape juice. But I figured it must have been because they heard that Jesus said, “This is My Body, eat it and …This is My Blood, drink it….”

Now, as a Catholic, and because of the teaching of transsubstantiation, with the bread and wine becoming the real presence of the Body and Blood of Jesus, the misunderstanding is not as hard to fathom. But the depth of error, in the 2nd Century, of the author Minucius Felix’s Octavius is amazing. Compared to this, Protestant errors about the Catholic Faith seem minor.

Sometime between 150-270 A.D.the reference in Minucius Felix’s Octavius

Now the story about the initiation of young novices is as much to be detested as it is well known. An infant covered over with meal, that it may deceive the unwary, is placed before him who is to be stained with their rites: this infant is slain by the young pupil, who has been urged on as if to harmless blows on the surface of the meal, with dark and secret wounds. Thirstily – O horror! they lick up its blood; eagerly they divide its limbs. By this victim they are pledged together; with this consciousness of wickedness they are covenanted to mutual silence.

The Roman critic appears to have gotten the details of the Nativity and the Eucharist all mixed together. Which is itself significant. The Nativity story involves a journey to Bethlehem (which means “House of Bread” in Hebrew, and “House of Meat” in Arabic), and placing Jesus in a manger, that is, a food trough. Jesus’ Flesh is the Bread upon which Christians feed. So the Romans were inadvertently right in seeing a connection to the two, even if they screwed the details up badly.


An English Lutheran put it simply:

“If what you believe and teach concerning the Supper of the Lord, couldn’t be misinterpreted by some people as sounding like cannibalism, then your understanding and/or teaching of the Supper is deficient.”

The early Christians believed something about the Eucharist that sounded like cannibalism to outsiders. If we don’t believe that today, we’ve lost their faith. And when Jesus’ Jewish critics accused Him of teaching that He was going to give us His Flesh to eat, He didn’t deny it, but reinforced their point.

2 Responses

  1. Poo lil Roman Catholics always the victim. Catholics are just so misunderstood. Especially during the Crusades and the inquisitions.

    The Roman Catholic interpatation of Commuion has no power and in error. The Communion is not about the presents of Christ , Christ is always present , Not Just in a cup of wine but everywhere. Roman Catholics always limiting the power of the All Mighty because they themselves see Rome as a Great Empire still and ROme above God himself.

    The Blood or the wine represents forgiveness of sin, His blood pour out on the Cross.
    The bread or His body broken for us, Represents 2 things His Word and the Church, Communion means (Latin) communio (sharing in common) so the Roman Catholic view is very uncommon.
    the Word and Church are what we share in common. Thats why Pual gives a stern arring about the Communion.

    Paul actually confirms this in 2 Corth. Describing the Communion. As sharing things in common and if you don’t want to be common then go home and eat.

    Jesus Christ held hostage by the Romans for 2000 years , Flavius Valerius Aurelius Constantinus Augustus, Rome even enslaved their own God?

    Augustus- doesnt this mean Divine or god incarnite. So who did Rome really worship?

    • By the days of Constatine, “Augustus” had come to mean “Emperor,” and “Caeser” had come to mean “Crown Prince.” This arose because of the previous emperors of Rome and had little to do with the etymology of the words.

      Concerning the Eucharist, if we are in error, when did the error begin? All the documents indicate that the doctrine of the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist, that is, that the bread and wine really do become the Body and Blood of Christ when consecrated, was universally believed in the early second century, while the Apostle John (AD 6-AD 115) was still alive.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: