Communion to a non-Catholic

At a Catholic funeral, the priest gave communion to a female Episcopalian minister who was on the altar with him, dressed in her vestments. She also held out her hands at the consecration, as if to con-celebrate.

Is this ever permitted?

If it is permitted, is it at the priest’s discretion, or must he get permission from the bishop?

Whoa. It seems like we have a few problems here.

At that point during the Mass, nobody should be around the altar except for the celebrant(s), deacon(s), and altar ministers. A female Episcopalian minister, while perhaps considered a minister by those of her own persuasion, would certainly not be considered a duly instituted “altar minister” in the eyes of the Church. And obviously, she would neither be a celebrant nor deacon, either. That means that her role during that point is akin to that of the congregation which at least means that she would have to be kneeling somewhere removed from the sanctuary.

As for her holding out her hands “as if to con-celebrate,” this is a very grave liturgical abuse and the priest who permitted this (if he did permit it) would be liable to canonical penalty.

According to the Code of Canon Law:Can. 907 In the eucharistic celebration deacons and lay persons are not permitted to offer prayers, especially the eucharistic prayer, or to perform actions which are proper to the celebrating priest.

Can. 908 Catholic priests are forbidden to concelebrate the Eucharist with priests or ministers of Churches or ecclesial communities which do not have full communion with the Catholic Church.
Furthermore, his communicating her was a grave risk of scandal and not to mention, a violation of the Church’s not-unclear guidelines for reception of Holy Communion–most disingenuous on her part and sacrilegious on the part of the priest.

Neither of these practices is permitted, but both are outright forbidden. Simulating concelebration with one who is not an ordained priest is a very, very serious abuse–so serious in fact, that it is defined as “graviora delicta” and if a priest commits this abuse and “gets caught” the matter is reserved to the Holy See. That means that not even the bishop of the diocese is competent to handle the situation, but the Holy See must make that decision. (Redemptionis Sacramentum 172) It’s about as serious an abuse as it gets.

Furthermore, not only is it impossible for the local bishop to give permission for simulated concelebration, but not even the pope himself is able to give this permission, because to have a non-priest concelebrate is more than illicit, it’s outright impossible.

That would be extremely prohibited, what priest in his right mind would allow that to hapen.

:bigyikes: :doh2: :banghead: :tsktsk: :bigyikes:

A woman priest is first not permitted by the Scripture nor the Magisterium. The Episcopal church just recently, not too long ago, introduced and allowed women to the priesthood, I guessed something went wrong with their theology due to politics within their church. So to answer your question, I believe the Canon Law does not allow anyone of different denomination to concelebrate even the Lay Eucharistic Ministers to join in to the Offertory prayers.

Can. 907 In the eucharistic celebration deacons and lay persons are not permitted to offer prayers, especially the eucharistic prayer, or to perform actions which are proper to the celebrating priest.

Can. 908 Catholic priests are forbidden to concelebrate the Eucharist with priests or ministers of Churches or ecclesial communities which do not have full communion with the Catholic Church.

Pax Christi

Here’s another canon law

Can. 844 §4 If there is a danger of death or if, in the judgement of the diocesan Bishop or of the Episcopal Conference, there is some other grave and pressing need, catholic ministers may lawfully administer these same sacraments to other christians not in full communion with the catholic Church, who cannot approach a minister of their own community and who spontaneously ask for them, provided that they demonstrate the catholic faith in respect of these sacraments and are properly disposed.

I don’t think these circumstances would apply to the situation you describe.

Lux

No, the circumstances would not apply at all–not by any stretch of the imagination.

It is impossible, again completely impossible for one who is not an ordained priest to concelebrate at a Catholic Mass. There are no exceptions, and canon law does not attempt to make exceptions. Only a priest, a validly ordained priest, can ever concelebrate, regardless of the circumstances involved.

The quote you provided states an important prerequisite, that it must be a situation where they “cannot approach a minister of their own community.” If a protestant minister is actually present, then common sense says that the canon does not apply in this situation.

If there are a large number of non-Catholics and non-Catholic miniaters. It seems to me it would make much more sense to celebrate the funeral liturgy outside of Mass.

Just out of curiosity, if one were to hypothetically witness such a thing, what would be the proper course of action?

-Do nothing
-Approach the priest alone at an appropriate time and make your concerns known?
-Notify the bishop?

Obviously not in any way to see him punished, but to ensure that there is no risk of it happening again…

Yet, they seem to have at least gone through the motions. Would this in any way affect the validity of this particular Mass?

(By the way, Father…I find your posts to be most interesting and informative. Thank you for taking the time to participate here.)

That is non-Catholic MINISTERS!

It depends, if the priest will listen, or not.

Yes, you’ve phrased it just right. They “*seem *to have at least gone through the motions.” That’s because the non-catholic minister did not concelebrate, but simulate concelebration. That was no more a concelebration than it would be if it occured in a Hollywood film.

The Mass itself was presumably valid (if indeed the Catholic priest did everything else necessary for validity, and given the circumstances, I would not take that as a given).

A non-priest celebrating would indeed make the situation invalid, but a non-priest only simulating concelebration would not affect the validity because the real priest is still actually presiding.

The proper thing to do is to first bring it up with the priest.

However, given the fact that this particular abuse is defined by the Church as “graviora delicta” a crime against the Church so serious that it is reserved to the Holy See, there is also a responsibility for Catholics to at the very least bring this to the attention of the local bishop.

Without getting into too many details, I once encountered a similar situation and asked our Vicar General for his advice, both personal and official. His answer to me was that I had a responsibility to report it to the local bishop (it happened while travelling). And no, I will not offer further details.

The proper thing to do is to first bring it up with the priest.

However, given the fact that this particular abuse is defined by the Church as “graviora delicta” a crime against the Church so serious that it is reserved to the Holy See, there is also a responsibility for Catholics to at the very least bring this to the attention of the local bishop.

Without getting into too many details, I once encountered a similar situation and asked our Vicar General for his advice, both personal and official. His answer to me was that I had a responsibility to report it to the local bishop (it happened while travelling). And no, I will not offer further details.

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