Attending non-Catholic Church

May Catholics attend a non-Catholic church on Sunday? What about the “Lord’s Supper” - is it appropriate for a Catholic to partake (knowing it’s not the real body)?

Catholics may certainly attend non-Catholic services, however they must also attend Mass on Sunday (or vigil) and may not recieve Protestant communion. To do so would imply a communion that does not exists, as well as affirming a belief in Protestant sacraments, a belief which we as Catholics do not hold.

What if it is not offering as a sacrament, but merely as a symbol of the Body and Blood for the sake of remembrance? Wouldn’t that be like eating any bread and any wine?

No, because to accept the bread and wine, even knowing it is only bread and wine, implies that the reciever believes all that is being taught at the Protestant church. Or, rather, is in communion with that church. We are not.

No, since although there is no Real Presence, there is significant sign value in Protestant Holy Communion. As Catholics, we don’t disagree with sign value as such, but when the sign is unity with a church that we are not actually in union with, that’s when we have to refrain from partaking in it.

Also, the attitude that it’s nothing but ordinary bread and wine would most likely be taken as an insult by the Protestants with whom you were communing. Best not to get yourself into that particular jam. :wink:

other threads on the subject for more background:


There are other good ones, too. I’ve found nothing so far that says it’s a sin in the CCC. However, it isn’t good form. So we are to avoid it. I was told that it is OK to get a blessing from the minister, but I’ve not confirmed that. We do that in our parish as approaching with arms crossed, palms open, but flat on opposing shoulders. I assume the same for all protestants. But like I said, I’ve not verified that.

Yes, as long as it is kept to occasional visits, and doesn’t become a regular habit. As a previous poster mentioned, it also does not substitute for your Sunday obligation - you still have to go to Mass.

If you are already attending a Catholic Church, why does one feel the need to go to a Protestant service?

It was not put forth that way to me; it was more like “let’s remember the sacrifice Jesus made for us by eating this bread and drinking this wine in remembrance of Him.” It didn’t seem they were asking me to believe in everything they teach, but to share a memory together as Jesus directed us to do. Regarding the beliefs, there is nothing objectionable except they do not believe in the Real Presence.

While we are on the subject, can anyone enlighten be about what makes the Real Presence real? Is it the priest reciting Jesus’ words over the bread and wine, or is it our belief that they have become the Body and the Blood? In other words, why is it Real for Catholics (apart from belief) and not for Protestants.

Is it possible some Protestants are receiving the Body of Christ without realizing it?! Some do say the institutional narrative as we do, so I wonder…:confused:

It is two things: first, it is the fact that the priest, by virtue of his Ordination, is acting in persona Christi, which means that he is “imaging” Christ to us. Notice that he says “my body and blood” rather than “Christ’s body and blood” when he is reciting the prayer - this is because, at that particular moment, Christ is acting through him. This became possible when the Bishop, who is a successor to the Apostles, laid hands on him and consecrated his hands with Oil of Chrism at the time of his ordination.

This is able to happen because we have a direct and unbroken line of succession going back to the Apostles, who laid their hands on and and consecrated the hands of the first Bishops of the Church, who then did the same for others in their turn, and they in their turn, and in every generation up until the present time, in an unbroken connection.

Second, when the priest, acting in persona Christi, recites the words of the consecration, the bread and wine are taken away by the angels to the heavenly banquet, and they are perfectly displaced, right down to their molecules, by the Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus Christ, living and whole. This is a real thing that actually happens; it is not a psychological event that only happens for those who believe in it.

Is it possible some Protestants are receiving the Body of Christ without realizing it?! Some do say the institutional narrative as we do, so I wonder…:confused:

No, because they don’t have the priesthood. Their lines of succession were broken at the time of the Reformation, or else shortly afterwards, so even though they are saying the right words, they can’t actually confect the Eucharist.

That’s how, apparently, most of the Protestant Churches pose communion. That is how their view is different from ours. So when you participate, you (seem to others) to imply accepting it.

I fell into the same situation. See previous thread pointer. Again. I’ve found nothing yet that says it’s a sin. It’s just not proper for us to receive since it is a serious event for them and less meaningful for us. Just as it would be improper for some non-Catholic to receive during Mass.

I understand :slight_smile: I’m in a bind, however, because I can’t receive Catholic Communion (long story) and since it will reamain the case for now, wouldn’t it be better for me to receive some kind of Communion rather than none at all? The other church has been very welcoming to me and they know I am Catholic.

No, it would not.

The Church expressly forbids this. You **cannot **receive communion at a protestant church.

I suggest you read the Papal Encyclical Ecclesia De Eucharistia.

No it would not be better for you to recieve their communion. As has been stated before, to recieve their communion is to indicate that you agree with them. If you cannot recieve the Eucharist, then don’t but it would not be right (nomatter the protestant’s wishes) to recieve their communion.

Also, I hope that your inability to recieve the Eucharist is a circumstantial rather than a personal choice on your part.

God Bless


found it.

The Catholic faithful, therefore, while respecting the religious convictions of these separated brethren, must refrain from receiving the communion distributed in their celebrations, so as not to condone an ambiguity about the nature of the Eucharist and, consequently, to fail in their duty to bear clear witness to the truth. This would result in slowing the progress being made towards full visible unity. Similarly, it is unthinkable to substitute for Sunday Mass ecumenical celebrations of the word or services of common prayer with Christians from the aforementioned Ecclesial Communities, or even participation in their own liturgical services. Such celebrations and services, however praiseworthy in certain situations, prepare for the goal of full communion, including Eucharistic communion, but they cannot replace it.


AH, hem. It’s of no matter to us. She asks, we educate. This is between her and her confessor.

Yes, I know many churches that are “friendly” to individual Catholics… afterall, we Catholics are “so misinformed.”

Please know that you still need Mass. While you are unable to receive the Eucharist (even if permanent), you can still go up and get the blessing.

Ahem… I did not ask what it was, nor did I indicate she should tell us. I merely said my hope was that it wasn’t a personal choice.

Rest assured, it’s not a personal choice.

I see, well I hope you didn’t see my previous comment as intrusive as that was not intended.

I didn’t see it as intrusive… it seemed more like concern :slight_smile:

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