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Eucharist Necessary for Salvation
Question from Brian Szuter on 12/10/2001:

Is recieving the Eucharist necessary for salvation?

I was reading Crossing the Tiber by Stephen K Ray (It has a Nihil Obstat) and on Pg 100 he lists things necessary for salvation and the Eucharist is not among them. I am also not aware of the Chruch ever teaching that recieving the Eucharist is a requirement for salvation. Yet, Sacred Scripture seems to imply it is needed:

John 6:53: "Jesus said to them, ‘Amen, amen I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you do not have life within you."

I most certainly do not presume to question Infallible Church Teaching. I would just like a better understanding on this matter. God Bless!

Humbly yours, Brian Szuter

Answer by Catholic Answers on 12/11/2001:

The necessity for the Eucharist is absolute in that without the grace of the Eucharist, which is union with Christ, no salvation is possible. A deliberate and total refusal to partake in the Eucharist would cause one to lose their salvation. But union with Christ can also be achieved through one's personal desire for union with him. In the case of babies, the Church incorporates them through baptism into the body of Christ and in so doing desires the Eucharist for them. Most Catholics know that the Eucharist is Christ and are able to receive often, so our responsibility to partake of it is greater than those who, through no fault of their own, are ignorant of this truth. ". . .Every one to whom much is given, of him will much be required..." (Luke.12:48). But even if someone is not fully culpable for not recieving the Eucharist, they will not be receiving the sanctifying grace that the Eucharist brings. John 6:53 should motivate Catholics to evangelize our separated brethern so that we may one day share this wonderful sacrament together. Nothing else points to the true Church as does the Eucharist for it symbolizes and accomplishes oneness and holiness, while making it possible for Christ's followers to worship him anywhere, while sharing the same blood of the apostles long ago.Thus the Eucharist makes the Church one, holy, catholic and apostolic.

Jan Wakelin

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