Communion refused


How does your priest query in your area?

In my church, I’ve seen priests ask, “Have you had your first communion?” when it’s obvious a kid or teenager doesn’t belong in the communion line and has no clue what to do.

It’s not really a stretch for a priest to ask, “When was your last confession?” or something along those lines when it’s an adult, especially with a language barrier in place.

I agree that yes, generally, people

“presume the integrity of the persons presenting themselves for Holy Communion”


“trust in this fact is to be presumed unless proven clearly, otherwise.”

But by the same token,

“The recipient of Holy Communion also makes declarations by presenting himself for Holy Communion: 1) That he or she is a Catholic; and 2) That he or she accepts the teaching of the Catholic Church in toto and is not consciously or intentional dissenting from known doctrines or dogmas, from whatever the Church professes and believes to be revealed by God; and 3) That he or she is not conscious or gave or serious sin. Therefore a strong responsibility falls on the one coming forward to receive Holy Communion. Since priests and deacons cannot know the state of each person in most circumstances, the fundamental responsibility is on the one who comes forward to receive.”

So if you have an OP who’s talking vaguely about “yeah, I’m totally going to go to confession once I get back home” and “I went to a church service” , you kind of have to wonder if she sent out any signals of unfamiliarity that prompted the priest to ask her about whether or not she’s a Catholic who accepts church teaching— which includes things like “go to Mass every Sunday” and “go to Confession at least once per year” and things like that. And for someone who thought their faith was important enough that their child “spent her entire life in Catholic school”, it shouldn’t be a surprise.


What do you mean by “my priest”? I am the priest. Are you asking me what directives I might have given to other priests in my diocese when I was an official in our curia?

It doesn’t matter whether a lay person thinks it is a stretch or not…it is a matter of what canon law allows and what it does not allow.




I have to say that I find the responses of this whole thread offensive and utterly inappropriate. Now we are positing that a lady – who is part of this conversation! – was perhaps dressed inappropriately at her own mother’s funeral.

As a European, such things are beyond all bounds of decorum. In my culture, one would get up, turn one’s back upon such brutish behaviour, and walk away while shaking the dust from one’s sandals.

In what possible sense could anyone on any continent think this is appropriate or in any way pastoral to respond in the manner one sees in this thread?

My advice to this poor lady, who has lost her mother, been inappropriately questioned by the priest where the mother was being buried, and now is the recipient of a harangue here, is for her to close this Catholic Answers Forum with its posters and should seek out a priest wherever she is, who is pastoral and compassionate, to help her heal from these traumatic experiences. Perhaps taking with her the words of the Pope

The Eucharist, although it is the fullness of sacramental life, is not a prize for the perfect but a powerful medicine and nourishment for the weak. These convictions have pastoral consequences that we are called to consider with prudence and boldness. Frequently, we act as arbiters of grace rather than its facilitators. But the Church is not a tollhouse; it is the house of the Father, where there is a place for everyone, with all their problems.


After carefully reading the OP I noticed a couple of things. The OP states she & her daughter “attended a church service, the night of my mother’s passing” It wasn’t a funeral.

Wanting to “take” communion for emotional reasons is not the same as being properly disposed to receive.

The OP states she intended & her daughter intended to go to confession as soon as they returned home. This would lead one to believe she felt the need for reconciliation for both her & her daughter.

It appears the OP feels she & her daughter were singled out by the priest.

She admits here she was not properly disposed to receive the Eucharist.

I can’t speak to the priest’s behavior but I do feel @Don_Ruggero covered it very well.

The real issue is the OP’s mistaken idea that she should receive without being in a state of grace.


Someone asked me to chime-in here.

The Communion line is no place for a priest to be asking “when was your last Confession?” That question has no place in that context. None.

I’m not sure what else I could add to that.


Precisely. There is nothing written that would legitimize that kind of inquisition. It’s just improper.


I have to say that I find the responses of this whole thread offensive and utterly inappropriate. Now we are positing that a lady – who is part of this conversation! – was perhaps dressed inappropriately at her own mother’s funeral.> Blockquote

I don’t think it’s the funeral. She wrote "My daughter and I attended a church service, the night of my mother’s passing - after praying rosary etc."
So, just to clarify, I don’t think it’s the actual funeral.




Yes I never heard of a priest asking this on a communion line.

When we have Christmas mass or other special masses our lector welcomes visitors. Perhaps a reminder can be mentioned then, if this priest is concerned.


I hope this very sad woman and her daughter find comfort and consolation from someone, somewhere. They certainly didn’t receive any from the Church.




I guess you didn’t read the OP, the priest asked the questions in Spanish which the mother doesn’t understand well and she answered “Amen.” The daughter didn’t understand Spanish at all and could not answer. So, the priest refused to give her the sacrament of Jesus in the Holy Eucharist.

What a shame.

I suppose many of you believe Jesus is happy that the priest refused the little girl. :grimacing:



But if the question in the “if” part of the clause is in question then I imagine the “then” part would not also apply (?)
As in, the priest didn’t know if she was properly disposed to legally recieve, so the cannot be refused part wouldn’t apply, that would be the question.

And further inquiry seems to reveal that she may have been in a state of mortal sin since she was planning on going to Confession AFTER the mass, which then further complicates things, because if she truly was, then the priest actually kept her daughter from profaning the Sacrament quite possibly.
A very complex situation


And how do you know that she wasn’t in a state of grace? Just because she said she intended to go to confession when she returned to her own parish? Many people go to confession for venial sins, not just mortal sins.


She stated she had not been to confession -

She thereby implied she was not in a state of grace - I know personally, if it’s been more than a week or two since Confession I’m no way in a state of grace still. I can’t possibly imagine staying in a state of grace for more than a month straight. It’s a pretty heroic work of Christian virtue if one can legitimately stay in grace without Confession for a month or more at a time.


You’re right. Sorry to the original poster, espiishope247. I missed the boat on this one.


I’d like to know too.

I can easily provide for a Priest where it’s the rule that one must have had recourse to the Sacrament of Reconciliation since your last mortal sin before you receive Communion.

I can also show where it’s a precept of the Church to confess at least once a year. So if you havent confessed in a year or more, that would almost certainly mean you are not in a worthy state to approach the Omnipotent.

@Don_Ruggero can you explain what I said that was incorrect?

What is unorthodox or uncatholic about these two statements:

One must have been to the Sacrament of Reconciliation since committing the last mortal sin to receive Communion.

One must have been to the Sacrament of Reconciliation at least in the past year to receive Communion.


No, she said “as our intent was to immediately take confession at our perish.” She said she had not been to confession, but she did not say for how long. She could have confessed the previous week, as far as we know, and intended to go again upon her return home. How does that tell you she was in a state of mortal sin?

A lot of VERY uncharitable, unsupported assumptions going on in this thread.


You know what @angel12 @Don_Ruggero

I missed in the OP where she had wrote “we planned to go to Confession at our parish immediately after”…

If I had read that, right from the get go my original response to her would’ve been “technically you should go to confession before, and simply refrain from receiving if you haven’t been yet. It may have been wrong the way the Priest did things, but it possibly may have stopped her from technically receiving unworthily - maybe God inspired the priest to turn the daughter away for her own spiritual good.”

I wouldn’t have immediately jumped to “you shouldn’t have received yourself and received unworthily”

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