Communion for Protestants

My Mom, who is Protestant, said to me today that Pope Francis said that she could receive communion in the Christmas Mass. Is that true? I’m confused. I would say she excommunicates herself if she does not recognize out Lord in the consecrated host?

You mean she said Pope Francis spoke to her directly and said she should could receive communion? Or that protestants can receive communion? The second is certainly not true.

A protestant cannot be excommunicated. Only Catholics can be excommunicated.

Ask her where she heard that nonsense.

If she believes in the Catholic (and not the Protestant) understanding of Transubstantiation, she should become a Catholic. It is that simple.

If there could have been a pope saying such thing it would probably have been Pope Francis, but it can’t be the matter.
Only Catholics in a state of grace may receive The Lord in the Holy Eucharist, remember that we can’t either if we have unconfessed mortal sins so why on earth would it be ok for people who have never confessed to receive? No it wouldn’t make scene at all.

[edited]Only Catholics and members of certain other apostolic Churches can receive Communion in a Catholic Church, but since in the latter cases the members of the other Churches would excommunicate themselves in their own Churches by doing so this rarely happens in practise and they are urged to respect the disciplines of their own Churches in these matters.

The Pope has not changed canon law, non-Catholics still cannot receive Communion.

Excluding the Orthodox (who in the vast majority of cases would not do anyway and would excommunicate themselves from their own Churches by doing so) this is quite true [edited].

Could you please give us a link to exactly what he said that made this “misunderstanding” possible, to back up your accusation against him?

Any Baptized person can be excommunicated.

A great example is Pope Pius V’s excommunication of Queen Elizabeth I (and her supporters).

Canon Law generally restricts excommunications to Catholics, and thus it would be difficult for a bishop to do otherwise, but the Pope himself is not bound by Canon Law.

Was she possibly being confused about a spiritual communion that all Christians are asked to share in at Mass?

Pope Francis certainly did NOT say that.

Non-Catholics and Catholics in a state of mortal sin may NOT receive Communion at any Mass, never mind Christmas Mass.

I could be wrong, but I believe that Elizabeth was baptized a Catholic, and that is the reason she could have been excommunicated.

The Archbishop of Birmingham (England) was recently in the news suggesting that Anglicans should be able to receive the sacraments in the Catholic Church (at the moment they are only allowed to in certain emergencies). It maybe that your mom saw a confusing headline relating to this and if she did it was only his opinion.

(Elizabeth I could be excommunicated because Anglicans were and are technically Catholic. By recognising their baptisms as valid, we recognise they are members of the Church and there is only one Church so they must be members of that one, namely the Catholic Church, which is also why in emergencies an Anglican can receive the sacraments from a Roman Catholic priest.)

I believe Pope Francis recently spoke about divorced and remarried receiving communion, or rather not receiving communion. He said something along the lines that communion was used to facilitate faith, not exclude people from it (paraphrasing from memory). Confusing. Perhaps your mother heard this.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit