Hi, Karol —
Thanks for your question.
The term Real Presence means different things in
different denominational circles.
For instance, when I was a Baptist/Pentecostal,
we believed that Christ was truly present in the
action of taking communion; we called that real presence.
That is just one of many, many variations of beliefs
which permeate non-Catholic theologies.
The Catholic Church recognizes that Christ is indeed
present on a spiritual level, in the celebration
of the Lord's Supper which takes place
in these Protestant communities. These understandings
of the real presence aren't necessarily wrong; they are
usually very incomplete.
Now Catholics believe that Real Presence is more
than a spiritual/mystical presence in the action,
or even in the species. Catholics believe the bread
and wine are changed into the Person of Jesus Christ,
fully present in sacramental form, in what appears to
be bread and wine.
That belief is exclusive to the Catholic and Orthodox
Churches. It is also a belief maintained by some
churches that have gone into Schism, such as:
- the Polish National Church (in America),
- the Old Catholics (who rejected Vatican I), and
- some other groups which have gone in Schism
after Vatican II.
All these Churches have valid Sacraments. They maintained
a valid Priesthood and therefore,
the Eucharist found in their Church is valid and
it is, indeed, Jesus that one receives under the
appearance of bread and wine.
The Episcopalians and Anglicans vary in their beliefs
basically from one person to the next, but it doesn't
really matter. They interrupted Apostolic Succession, and so have no valid Holy Orders. The so-called
Episcopal priest can believe what he will, but it doesn't
He can't consecrate the Eucharist. The bread and wine he tries to consecrate will remain
bread and wine.