Good morning, everyone. I could use some advice on how to handle a family situation. (If this is posted in the wrong area or has been addressed previously, please let me know.)
Here’s some background: I am a new Catholic (baptized, confirmed, first communion and married this past winter). My husband and his siblings were born and raised Catholic. My husband’s brother has been attending a non-denominational protestant church for the past 7 or 8 years. All of his adult children have followed him there and have gone so far as to be “re-baptized” in that church (nearly killed my mother-in-law). I do not know if he and his wife have formally “defected”.
The situation is this—whenever my brother-in-law and sister-in-law attend a Catholic event (i.e. wedding, funeral), they receive communion. I know that they do not attend mass so I’m pretty sure that neither of them has gone to confession. Isn’t receiving communion saying “yes, I believe this is the body, blood, soul and divinity of our Lord Jesus Christ…and I believe everything the Church teaches?” Obviously, this is not the case. How should we charitably handle this situation? Maybe they truly don’t know that it’s wrong to receive?
A close friend of the family just lost his mother so I know this situation will arise (again) very soon. After they receive communion, would it be wrong for one of us to say something like “I am so happy that you’ve come back! Which parish are you attending?” to get a dialogue started? Would that be deceitful? My husband has previously tried to talk to his brother, but he just gets defensive. Any insight and/or advice will be greatly appreciated.
Thank you and God bless!