This accusation has been around even since the times
of Christ, but is a misunderstanding of scriptures which use symbolic
language, such as is seen here: "Then Jesus said to them, Most assuredly, I
say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood,
you have no life in you" (John 6:53).
Obviously, Jesus was not inviting his followers to
literally eat his body and blood, but was speaking metaphorically of Himself
as the Passover lamb, describing a spiritual nourishing which would be
provided from His atonement. Later, during His last supper, Jesus served
bread and grape juice to his disciples as symbols of His broken body and
shed blood, to show how the value of His sufferings must be consumed
spiritually within and become a part of every believer.
In 1215, the Roman Catholic Church embraced the idea of "transubstantiation," which is the belief that during Holy Communion, the bread and juice actually turn into the blood and body of Jesus. However, there is no evidence to support this idea in scripture.