Denied communion thought not a protestant


#1

Hi folks,

I would like to toss out a question for anyone to answer.

I am not Catholic. I am also not “protestant” because I don’t protest my brothers and sisters in Christ.

I am essentially a non-denominational Christian. I have been attending a few meetings of the charismatic Catholic group in my area and they have been very kind to me. They have even let me play my musical instruments a couple of times during worship.

But I don’t quite understand why the priests won’t let me and my wife and son participate in communion with them during Mass.

I know that there is a Catholic Rule from long ago that “Protestants” - origins in Luther - could not share communion. But what about a person like me who does not identify with the concept of “protestant” - feeling that all who call on the name of Jesus are brothers and sisters in Christ?

(Oh, I should mention. I do believe that the Presence of Jesus is present during the taking of communion and I don’t believe as many protestants that it’s just a symbolic gesture).

I don’t think God is going to “split us up” by denomination in heaven, so why the division here?

I would like to hear from folks on this, if they can enlighten me.

          God's blessings to all!

#2

****2182 Participation in the communal celebration of the Sunday Eucharist is a testimony of belonging and of being faithful to Christ and to his Church. The faithful give witness by this to their communion in faith and charity. Together they testify to God’s holiness and their hope of salvation. They strengthen one another under the guidance of the Holy Spirit.

**1396 **The unity of the Mystical Body: the Eucharist makes the Church. Those who receive the Eucharist are united more closely to Christ. Through it Christ unites them to all the faithful in one body - the Church. Communion renews, strengthens, and deepens this incorporation into the Church, already achieved by Baptism. In Baptism we have been called to form but one body. The Eucharist fulfills this call: “The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not a participation in the blood of Christ? The bread which we break, is it not a participation in the body of Christ? Because there is one bread, we who are many are one body, for we all partake of the one bread:”

If you are the body and members of Christ, then it is your sacrament that is placed on the table of the Lord; it is your sacrament that you receive. To that which you are you respond “Amen” (“yes, it is true!”) and by responding to it you assent to it. For you hear the words, “the Body of Christ” and respond “Amen.” Be then a member of the Body of Christ that your *Amen *may be true.


#3

[quote=Matthew 25]Hi folks,

I would like to toss out a question for anyone to answer.

I am not Catholic. I am also not “protestant” because I don’t protest my brothers and sisters in Christ.
[/quote]

But that is not what makes you a Protestant. Historically, your spiritual roots do come from the Reformation, whether you admit it or not.

Don’t be misled into thinking that etymology is definition.

Edwin


#4

There is a great risk involved with receiving the Body and Blood of the Lord unworthily, and if you are not a member of the Church and not receiving the sacraments, you run that risk of being unworthy. Catholics should make sure they frequent the sacrament of penance often to remove any mortal sin that would add sacrilege their offense.

St. Paul says to eat and drink the body and blood unworthily is to eat and drink condemnation upon yourself.

If you believe that the Catholic Church can bring you Christ in the Eucharist, you should seek to join His Church.

Peace of Christ!


#5

When a person receives Holy Communion in the Catholic Church, that person is saying that they agree with all the Catholic Church professes to believe. If this is so, then they should be Catholic. The person is also to understand that this is the True Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus Christ and not something to be taken lightly as St. Paul says in 1 Corinthians 11:27: “Whoever, therefore, eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of profaning the body and blood of the Lord.” You cannot sin against a mere symbol, This is Truly Jesus in the Holy Eucharist.

Also, just as when a man and wife profess before God and the Church their vows to be true to each other, and this is done before the consummation of the marriage; so a person must profess their faith in Jesus and His Church before consummating that relationship by receiving Jesus’ flesh.


#6

[quote=E.E.N.S.]****2182 ****Participation in the communal celebration of the Sunday Eucharist is a testimony of belonging and of being faithful to Christ and to his Church. .
[/quote]

I think that this probably sums it up best. As you are not Catholic it is not appropriate for you to receive at this time as it is a testimony of belonging and believeing in the one true Church established by Christ himself.


#7

Hello there :wave:

I think it is wonderful that you are playing an instrument at the local Catholic Church. We always need more talented joyful noisemakers (especially near me since I sing joyfully, but not on tune :slight_smile: ).

I’m not the best one in the forums to attempt apologetics, but here is an attempt (I’m sure others will clarify things too!)…

Accepting the Eucharist is even restricted in the Catholic church. One just can’t go up to receive because they are Catholic. Children and adults must go through religious education classes to understand the Catholic view of it prior to receiving. It is a huge commitment to our Lord and should be taken seriously.

Protestant doesn’t refer to the people but the practice. It is a protesting of the way we (Catholics) practice our faith. Protestants developed from the Catholic Church. So are non-denominational Christians protesting the Protestants view who protest the Catholic view? That wasn’t meant to be slighted, just food for thought.

One interesting thing you wrote was that God didn’t divide us up into separate religions. So true! So why are there so many denominations that broke away from the original Christian Church?

The best person to explain these things to you is the local priest. Perhaps a friend from your ‘group’ could help you make an arrangement with him. Or you could sit in an RCIA class and ask the questions.

Have fun posting on the forums - be aware that they are addictive!


#8

Wow! Five people responded by the time I pushed send!

See, I told you others would respond and clarify :smiley:


#9

[quote=Matthew 25]I am not Catholic. I am also not “protestant” because I don’t protest my brothers and sisters in Christ.
[/quote]

Dear Brother in Christ:
A “Protestant,” by definition, is a non-Orthodox or non-Catholic Christian, especially one that subscribes to the two main planks of the Protestant “Reformation” --Sola Scriptura/private interpretation and Sola Fide. If this generally describes you, you may not like the moniker, but you are a Protestant.

I don’t think God is going to “split us up” by denomination in heaven, so why the division here?

That is a good question but (and I’m not trying to be flip here at all) you should best ask this of the 20,000+ denominations that split off and distanced themselves in doctrine and authority from the Catholic Church. The Church itself stands for unity, not division.

Blessings,
Fidelis


#10

[quote=Matthew 25]But I don’t quite understand why the priests won’t let me and my wife and son participate in communion with them during Mass.
…(Oh, I should mention. I do believe that the Presence of Jesus is present during the taking of communion and I don’t believe as many protestants that it’s just a symbolic gesture).
[/quote]

I know that denial of Communion can be a very painful thing to endure. I think it is wonderful that you believe in the Presence of Jesus in Communion and that your heart desires Him for yourself and your family. There are some very beautiful “spiritual Communion” prayers that you can offer until such time as you might be permitted to recieve in a Catholic Church.

The priest does not allow you to recieve Communion because according to our Church teachings, he does not have the authority to decide if a non-Catholic can recieve the Eucharist or not. As you say you believe in the Real Presence of Jesus, surely you must recognize that the Church has an obligation to guard against any potential abuse of this sacred treasure. One very simply way in which the Church tries to do this is by resticting reception to Catholics (either Latin or Eastern Rites) who have been instructed in the faith. In rare situations a bishop may grant a dispensation– if he determines there is a significant reason for a non-Catholic to recieve and if there is evidence that the person accepts Catholic teachings on the Eucharist. The priest is not trying to hurt your feelings or proclaim you unworthy of Christ–he is being obedient to the Church and following the rules that help guard the Eucharist from misuse.

I think it is wonderful that you feel called to participate in our services, and I hope you pray and examine the Catholic Church to determine if God is calling you to membership in the Catholic Church.


#11

Remember also that the denying you communion could also be a good thing. It reminds us that we are not in total unity as Jesus would like us. If we constantly say we are one in Jesus can’t we all get along kind of theology, we will never face the differences between us and become one as Jesus prayed to his father for us to be.


#12

[quote=gardenswithkids]I know that denial of Communion can be a very painful thing to endure. I think it is wonderful that you believe in the Presence of Jesus in Communion and that your heart desires Him for yourself and your family. There are some very beautiful “spiritual Communion” prayers that you can offer until such time as you might be permitted to recieve in a Catholic Church.
[/quote]

Great advice! Here’s one:

An Act of Spiritual Communion

My Jesus, I believe that You are present in the Most Holy Sacrament. I love You above all things, and I desire to receive You into my soul. Since I cannot at this moment receive You sacramentally, come at least spiritually into my heart. I embrace You as if You were already there and unite myself wholly to You. Never permit me to be separated from You.

Amen


#13

Hi folks,

These are extremely interesting and fascinating responses.

If you all can bear with me, let me give you all a very brief summary of “where I am coming from.”

I became a Christian in 1976 after being led to the Lord by a man where I worked. He attended a Baptist church, and so I attended that church with him. I didn’t know or understand much about denominations then and didn’t really care. I just wanted to be around people who loved Jesus and my friend told me this was the place.

I remained a Baptist for 10 long years. And during that time, I was exposed to constant teaching/preaching, etc. about the “errors of Catholicsm.” I came to believe - because of all of this indoctrination (I was very young at the time) that Catholicism must be something very bad. In fact, I was actually scared about the idea of going to a Catholic church for a co-worker’s wedding.

Then, 20 years ago, I became exposed to the music and teachings of John Michael Talbot (a charismatic Catholic monk). I had met him way back in the mid-1970s when we were both involved in anti-Vietnam War protesting.

ANYWAY - I began to want to know more about Catholicism, especially the contemplatives and mystics. Thus, a great interest in St. Francis and St. John of the Cross, whose lives I have studied for 20 years (if I could be 1/10th of the Christian these two were, I’d be happy).

I have been blessed and encouraged to get to know many Catholics and to learn about the lives of saints, etc. This has really helped me develop my spiritual life from “black and white” into many colors and hues of Christian spirituality.

In recent years, I have confronted the error of my ways in condemning Catholicism - being essentially “de-programmed” from years and years of Fundamentalist teaching.

Recently, an old friend of mine from my Baptist days called me and in the process, said something very negative about Catholicsm. I rebuked him for it and he was very surprised at my reaction.

So, when I say I am not a “protestant,” I really mean it. Now, other folks may want to place that label on me because I am not Catholic. These labels may mean something to you, but it means nothing to me. I tell people that I am simply “a lover of and a follower of Jesus Christ.” Period.

I am wanting to understand more about Catholicism because I want to feel closer to my Catholic brothers and sisters in Christ. I want to hear it from Catholics themselves (not necessarily official doctrine because I have read most of that).

I am extremely doubtful that I will become Catholic. There are only a few obstacles to that, but they are pretty big obstacles.

Thanks for your informative posts about communion. It doesn’t hurt my feelings any less when I have to sit and watch others participate in this blessing - but it helps to know that even Catholics aren’t permitted to take it under certain conditions.

I should add, I have never been argumentative in any way with the priests. I tell them that I respect their doctrines. In fact, one elderly priest told me (he whispered this) that he would have given me communion - I had not gone up and afterwards asked him about church doctrine on communion. That’s when he said he would have given me communion anyway. I guess he didn’t consider me much of a “protestant.”

Maybe there is something to be learned from many years of experience and service to our Lord in the priesthood. Bless his heart!

And, while I am at it, Go Notre Dame Fighting Irish (smile)!


#14

Do not receive our Lord Jesus from this priest.It is imperative that you make a first confession that any mortal sins may be forgiven. I know this is difficult…but at least understand and recongnize the Church’s authority on this matter.

Here is my suggestion. You beleive that the Eucharist is the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ. Which other Church teaches this and has valid apostolic succession? No one. You seriously need to consider becoming Catholic. Why? Because this is the only Church that teaches this very important doctrine and our goal, as Christians, is to search for the Truth. Are you trying to tell me that the Catholic Church is the One Church who teaches the Eucharist and she is wrong on these “other topics?” That makes no sense.


#15

That is one thing I love about the Catholic Church. If I know I am unworthy to recieve the Eucharist, I crave it so much as I watch others receive it. It makes my want to truely confess any mortal sins I may have on my soul and long to receive it the following week. Even my 7 YO daughter asks why she can not receive. I tell her after her 1st communion later this year she will be able to. I tell her, to keep craving it and wishing you can participate that way, when the day comes for her to be part of Church by receiving the Holy Eucharist it will mean so much to her. You should do the same as you are. Continue craving it, this “Hunger” may be the driving force you need to hurdle your obsticles. Google search for the conversion story of Scott Hahn. He was once in your shoes. He craved the Eucharist and respected the doctrine. It was not till he accepted the fullness of the Church that he was able to fulfill his hunger. God Bless!!!


#16

[quote=Matthew 25]Hi folks,

These are extremely interesting and fascinating responses.

If you all can bear with me, let me give you all a very brief summary of “where I am coming from.”

I became a Christian in 1976 after being led to the Lord by a man where I worked. He attended a Baptist church, and so I attended that church with him. I didn’t know or understand much about denominations then and didn’t really care. I just wanted to be around people who loved Jesus and my friend told me this was the place.

I remained a Baptist for 10 long years. And during that time, I was exposed to constant teaching/preaching, etc. about the “errors of Catholicsm.” I came to believe - because of all of this indoctrination (I was very young at the time) that Catholicism must be something very bad. In fact, I was actually scared about the idea of going to a Catholic church for a co-worker’s wedding.

Then, 20 years ago, I became exposed to the music and teachings of John Michael Talbot (a charismatic Catholic monk). I had met him way back in the mid-1970s when we were both involved in anti-Vietnam War protesting.

ANYWAY - I began to want to know more about Catholicism, especially the contemplatives and mystics. Thus, a great interest in St. Francis and St. John of the Cross, whose lives I have studied for 20 years (if I could be 1/10th of the Christian these two were, I’d be happy).

I have been blessed and encouraged to get to know many Catholics and to learn about the lives of saints, etc. This has really helped me develop my spiritual life from “black and white” into many colors and hues of Christian spirituality.

In recent years, I have confronted the error of my ways in condemning Catholicism - being essentially “de-programmed” from years and years of Fundamentalist teaching.

Recently, an old friend of mine from my Baptist days called me and in the process, said something very negative about Catholicsm. I rebuked him for it and he was very surprised at my reaction.

So, when I say I am not a “protestant,” I really mean it. Now, other folks may want to place that label on me because I am not Catholic. These labels may mean something to you, but it means nothing to me. I tell people that I am simply “a lover of and a follower of Jesus Christ.” Period.

I am wanting to understand more about Catholicism because I want to feel closer to my Catholic brothers and sisters in Christ. I want to hear it from Catholics themselves (not necessarily official doctrine because I have read most of that).

I am extremely doubtful that I will become Catholic. There are only a few obstacles to that, but they are pretty big obstacles.

Thanks for your informative posts about communion. It doesn’t hurt my feelings any less when I have to sit and watch others participate in this blessing - but it helps to know that even Catholics aren’t permitted to take it under certain conditions.

I should add, I have never been argumentative in any way with the priests. I tell them that I respect their doctrines. In fact, one elderly priest told me (he whispered this) that he would have given me communion - I had not gone up and afterwards asked him about church doctrine on communion. That’s when he said he would have given me communion anyway. I guess he didn’t consider me much of a “protestant.”

Maybe there is something to be learned from many years of experience and service to our Lord in the priesthood. Bless his heart!

And, while I am at it, Go Notre Dame Fighting Irish (smile)!
[/quote]

The Church is in Heaven (also). All salvation comes through the Church by way of Christs suffering, death and ressurection. The institution of His Church(not ours) and that of the Eucharist carry big permanent implications for all mankind. These things aren’t merely niceities or options for people. So whether you be Catholic or not, if you go to heaven it will be because of His Church militant now that you recieve welcome into the Church triumphant in Heaven. There’s much more to this, of course. When I came back after being gone for 25 years Iresearched and read all available things…this is important to do. Jesus didn’t start this Church to make salvation easy, HE DID IT TO MAKE SALVATION POSSIBLE. Why else would he have done it? So you are right in saying that God won’t be separating people into denominations, cause there is only one church, one faith that is alive now and until the end on earth as well as in Heaven. God can’t be divided, chained or restricted to conflicting views. The Catholic Church is full of sin from top to bottom because it’s made up of folk like you and me. But she has never waivered one stitch regarding faith and morals because She is guided by the Advocate who has convinced mankind regarding sin, judgement and righteousness.
As for your obstacles , Ihad them too, but obstacles in seeking the good are only to be overcome.
Peace and love and yes…Go Irish


#17

[quote=Matthew 25]Now, other folks may want to place that label on me because I am not Catholic. These labels may mean something to you, but it means nothing to me. I tell people that I am simply “a lover of and a follower of Jesus Christ.” Period.
[/quote]

Matthew 25,

I’m very pleased that you have come to an understanding of Catholics that includes us as fellow Christians, and I warmly embrace you as a brother in Christ.

That said, your quote above makes me wonder something…

In Matt 18, it says the following:

15 If your brother sins against you, go and show him his fault, just between the two of you. If he listens to you, you have won your brother over.

16 But if he will not listen, take one or two others along, so that ‘every matter may be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.’

 17** If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church; and if he refuses to listen even to the church, treat him as you would a pagan or a tax collector.**

What would you do to obey Matt 18:17? I’m thinking practical, here. Let’s say your wife wants to get an abortion, and you think it’s wrong. You say to her that it’s wrong, and she won’t listen to you. So you go and get some of your Christian friends, and they tell her that it’s wrong, and she still won’t hear them. Now where do you go? The Unitarians think it’s fine, and most of those at Calvary Chapel don’t care one way or another. The Catholics are firmly against it, as well as most Baptists, but this all goes to the question…do you just pick who you want to go to? Would your Christian wife be obliged to hear any of them?

Where would you go?

God Bless,
RyanL


#18

Also, it is possible to make a spiritual communion…ask for forgiveness of your sins and ask God to allow you to make this spiritual communion and then do so until you become Catholic.


#19

Hi Matthew 25,

Let me suggest that you consider the very term generally used for this sacrament. “Communion”.

This term speaks of a union…a very deep union.

Those who are not Catholics (regardless of their mental assent to the doctrine of the Real Presence in the Eucharist) cannot partake of the Eucharist.

One reason is that for you to do so would express a unity of belief that in truth does not exist, therefore creating a false witness. That simply would not be right.

If you would be so kind, please read this papal encyclical, (Yes a real one this time. :slight_smile: ) from Pope John Paul II called Ecclesia de Eucharistia in which he beautifully explains the teachings of the Catholic Church on this and in fact covers this very aspect of our faith.

Please read it carefully and prayerfully and then let’s talk about it. If you’d like to.

Pax tecum,


#20

Hi folks,

Thank you for your thoughtful and interesting responses to my postings.

Cyprian, thank you. But I have to admit to having a difficult time understading your point (I’m old, disabled and slow-witted these days).

Are you saying that only Catholics will go to heaven? I don’t think you meant to say that - this is certainly not the belief I have read in official Catholic doctrine.

Can you clarify this? Thank you.

To the friend who asked about what to do if your brother offends you, etc.

Well, this is an area of difference in interpretation. I know that most of the folks’ here interpretations of this is that “the church” is the Catholic Church.

My interpretation is that “the church” is not a denomination but a people - the people of God and of His Son, Jesus Christ. So, I would interpret this as meaning that one should go to other Christians to resolve the problem.

I have one final thought. You know, every day that I watch the news I see evil increasing in the world. I see growing darkness, hatred and depravity and rebellion against God.

But we - all of those who call upon the Name of Christ - carry within each one of us the light of Christ. We have answers for this increasingly depraved world. In m any ways, we are greatly outnumbered, but we have the power of God working within us.

I believe that God is bringing all of His people into unity in what may be these last days (I realize this is arguable). Now, I am not saying our denominational differences are going to disappear. But I think we are going to come together in unity in Christ to bring about a great harvest of souls before Jesus’ Second Coming.

God bless each and every one of you.


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