QUESTION: If I don't believe in the Eucharist, i.e. believing that it's just a bread, will I go to Hell when I die?

ANSWER: I think the question here is not "Will you go to heaven if you do not believe the Eucharist is the Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity of Jesus Christ?"

I think the better question is this: If you believe that the Eucharist is just bread and you are Catholic, why are you Catholic? The belief in the Real, True, and Substantial presence of Christ in the Eucharist is ESSENTIAL to being Catholic.  If one does not believe this there is no point to being Catholic.  There is ABSOLUTELY no point to being Catholic.

In answer to the question you asked: I don't know if you will go to heaven when you die if you are Catholic and reject the Real, True, and Substantial Presence of Christ in the Eucharist.  Judgement of such questions is up to God, not me.  What I CAN say with certainty is this: Those who INTENTIONALLY and DELIBERATELY reject what they KNOW in the hearts to be the Truth of God cannot be saved.

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QUESTION: so would a non-Catholic be punished to Hell for going to church and praying but still not believing that the bread in the monstrance is our savior? I mean, if the bread in the monstrance is our savior and God doesn't show us that this is the truth we can't be punished for not believing?

I think God DOES show us that the "bread" in the Monstrance is our savior.  I grant God does not "show" us in the sense that our physical senses can detect the presence of Jesus Christ.  However that does not mean God has not revealed it.  I think God has clearly revealed the truth of his presence in the Eucharist not only in Scripture, but the Tradition of the Church as well.  Even Luther (the reformer that sparked the Reformation) believed this point to be indisputable. He would not I grant adopt the Catholic view, but he isn't exactly a Protestant on the issue either. My physical eyes detect mere bread and wine during the celebration of the Mass, but the eyes of my heart detect the presence of my Lord and savior.  I know it by Faith, not by sight.

The question therefore is this: Why do you feel there is good reason to suspect that the Bible teaches anything BUT a Real, True, and Substantial Presence of God in the Eucharist?

As for your question about Hell: Sir, I CANNOT answer that.  In order to answer that question I would have to be GOD.  I am not God, nor can I see your heart.  Only God can see into the hearts of men and judge their Faith.  All I CAN say is this:  Heaven is NOT closed to Protestants, or even Non-Christians.  God desires the salvation of ALL. The reason I am Catholic is not because I believe only Catholics will get to heaven.  The reason I am Catholic is that I believe that only in the Catholic Church is the Truth of God possessed in its fullness, and the life of God received in its fullness.


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Father Dave Bechtel


I am a Catholic priest in good standing and in active ministry in the Diocese of Scranton PA. I can answer most any question about the Catholic Faith, however my area of specialization is Systematic Theology. Systematic Theology is a branch of theology that focuses on the fundamental tenants of the Faith and the Dogmas of the Faith. I have specialization on the Reformation and Catholic vs. Protestant theology/issues and answering Protestant challenges to the Faith.


I was ordained in June of 2008. Since that time the thrust of my ministry has been specialized. In my first assignment I was an assistant pastor. A year later I was sent to work in education. I spent six (6) years in education and have now assumed my first pastorate. While education was the thrust of my ministry, nevertheless I continued to have a hand in parish ministry, hospital chaplaincy and prison chaplaincy. Now that I am out of education I will obviously be focusing more on parish work than specialized ministry. I have two years of formal Clinical Pastoral Education and prior to ordination I successfully pursued Board Certification for health care ministry through the NACC. My certification needs to be renewed and I plan to seek dual certification in health care ministry (NACC and APC) when I renew my certification. I have a breadth of experience working with Protestant ministers and collaborating with them to achieve the goals of hospital pastoral care and chaplaincy. These ministers run the spectrum from the liberal to the conservative.

Bachelors of Science-- University of Scranton PA Masters of Arts Theology--- Saint Mary's Seminary and University Baltimore MD Masters of Divinity--- Saint Charles Borremeo Seminary Philadelphia PA Board Certified Chaplain (up for renewal)

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