Breaking the law


Is the priest breaking the law when he gives the wine of the eucharist (an alcoholic beverage) to a minor (underaged) child ?


This is guarenteed under the 1st amendment of the bill of rights.

Amendment I
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.


I don’t think giving alcohol to a minor is “okay” because we have the freedom of speech.

Yes, it is breaking the law. It is illegal for people underage to consume alcohol.

Many churches give children grape juice.


I know of some so called Christian churches that “Baptize” children in rose pedals, but because a so called church does something does not make it right.

FSU Student


Suppose that what the Admendment 1 says is true, there is no breaking law here.


I don’t think it’s a good idea to assume that one’s personal views are therefore the legal point of view. You don’t like it for your own reasons, but that does not make it illegal.

As the parent of your child you set the boundaries and limitations on that child. You then say what is and is not permissible for that child to do. In the Catholic Rite, we believe that Christ is truly present in both species of Communion. It is not necessary for anyone to partake of both the Consecrated Host and the Blessed Cup. To ensure your child only receives of the bread, always present yourself for communion with your child and ensure he behaves as you see proper. If he attempts to disobey you, then discipline your child. But the question here was about legality, and assuming the OP is in the USA the answer is a quick and easy – No it’s not illegal.


Since when is drinking the Blood of Christ illegal?

I have never consumed alchohol in a Church, to my knowledge.

  1. It is not breaking the law because it is protected under the first amendment
  2. Consumption of acholo is more than a sip. Its not like we’re chugging Jesus and doing Eucharist stands
  3. Not the Catholic Church. We use wine.


I have heard this too many times growing up and still today on how we have wine at Mass (oh the scandal:rolleyes: ) and we actually give it to children, enough already.
“Sit in the back of a Catholic Mass and watch and see the tiniest of a taste 99.9 percent of the people young and old Recieve”. I have said this to many critics of the Catholic Church that live around here and guess what never seen any of them. :shrug: Just prefer to make comments and judgements before knowing the truth.


what is the civil law regarding alcohol and minors in your jurisdiction? In every state of the union wine for sacramental use is exempt from such laws, as it was exempt under prohibition, for instance. another example of making up a problem or conflict where none exists.



no, that is the blood of Christ, not alcohol.

que Dios te bendiga


How to receive Holy Communion is the choice of the communicant himself. If Holy Communion is offered under both kinds, a child who has reached the age of reason and received Confession has the right to receive under both kinds even if his parents do not. In the same way, a child may or may not choose to go to Confession if his parents are going. The child may also receive Communion or go to Confession even if his parents choose not to do either.


Even if his parents do not wish him to receive the Blood, but are OK with him receiving the host? No. Parents have the say over their minor children. If a parent absolutely refuses the minor child to have anything to do with the Church the Church honors the parents wishes.

I think that it is highly unlikely that a Catholic Parent would object. But if they did, the Church honors the parents wishes. If the minor child attempted to receive from the cup after receiving the host and the parent objected and the child attempted to disobey the parent right there on the spot, what do you think would happen? Would the Minister of Holy Communion give the Cup to the child? No he would not. I also imagine the parent would have little Johnny by the ear and they would be high stepping to the nearest exit for some on the spot correction of the matter. The Church does not substitute herself for the parent. The parent has been given the authority over the child and it is the parents wishes that will be upheld, even if those wishes are in conflict with The Church. Once the child reached legal adult age, then the person will make his own choices and act upon his own free will.


When Communion is offered to the laity under both kinds ALL Catholics who have fasted for one hour and do not have any mortal sins are allowed to receive how they wish to receive, children included. Parents have no right to tell children how to receive the Sacrament. That is the child’s choice.


And now the parent has legal recourse to sue the Church. No, you are mistaken.


What is the wording of the law? That is, I’m sure it is illegal for minors to purchase alcohol, but is it actually illegal for them to consume it?



Before this goes further:

Allis, your question is answered. In all 50 states, sacramental wine, used in Catholic Churches when consecrated by the priest to become the sacred species of the Precious Blood, which in itself is fully Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus Christ–is perfectly legal for a minor to consume in the context of reception of communion at a Mass or communion service.

OK, the question has been answered.

No law breaking.

Move along, please. :smiley:


From the General Instruction of the Roman Missal:

  1. It is the choice of the communicant, not the minister, to receive from the chalice .
  1. Children are encouraged to receive Communion under both kinds provided that they are properly instructed and that they are old enough to receive from the chalice.


Children are encouraged to receive Communion under both kinds provided that they are properly instructed and that they are old enough to receive from the chalice.

Exactly :). Not a right, and not a fiat against the parents wishes.


From the Code of Canon Law:

Can. 912 Any baptized person who is not forbidden by law may and must be admitted to holy communion.

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