Can a priest say 'no' to someone wishing to take Eucharist?


I have a question:

I know three Catholics and all three of them are not Catholic in their beliefs…none of them believe in confession, none of them attend every sunday (one not for five years…) one does not believe in going to church at all…

and yet they all profess themselves to be catholic. My question is that when these three friends attend church they always take communion without confession.

I was wondering whether their priest would maybe feel uncomfortable giving them the eucharist without confession as he would in effect be allowing them to commit another sin.

Can a priest ever say ‘no’?

If not, why not? or visa versa

I just wondered…there would obviously be no issue if they were protestant, and i’m not siagreeing with them as people as they have their own views…Even though i understand them as friends i don’t understand them as catholics. It allconfuses me when i’m learning one thing about catholicism and then seeing another completely different thing.

Take care,



I understand that Bishops are allowed the choice to give priests permission to deny the Eucharist to Pro-Abortion Politicians.

It seems like, for a Catholic, the option applies if the person is publicly living in sin without any sign of repentance.


i just thought that in giving someone the eucharist when the priest knows they are in sin could e wrong for the priest to do

he would himself be allowing a person to commit a greater sin.

would that be on his conscience?



Yes, a priest can refuse communion-- Canon Law 915.

The priest may be giving them the benefit of the doubt-- after all they could have gone to confession to a different priest or anonymously.


The priest doesn’t know what’s in a man’s heart. They may have repented their sin, and gone to confession with another priest.

That’s why the person has to be shoving their sinful nature in everybody’s face. Even then, I’m not sure of the rules.


I believe the Canon Law phrase is “Manifest grave sin.” If someone is sinning gravely in a way visible publicly, he can be denied the sacraments (apart from Confession, of course :))



The priest may also know something that is under the seal of confession. Whether he does or not, he also has an obligation not to expose an individual to redicule or question about his/her moral standing. So unless the reason is very public knowledge, the priest is under a greater obligation to presume the good graces of all who present themselves for Eucharist.


ok that makes sense. thanks everyone.



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