Several years ago while in the Air Force I was deployed to the middle east with a long time friend. With our hectic and stressful work schedule, Mass became an even greater privilege than normal. My friend, a very committed and traditional Episcopal, would accompany me to Mass since the generic Protestant services were either very Baptist or Pentacostal in their worship styles and not to her taste.
After one of the Masses she approached the Priest and requested his permission to receive communion, which he apparently granted. I’m not sure what was said during the conversation, but she told me afterward that the Priest ok’ed her receiving.
At the time I didn’t think much of it. I was glad for her, but there was something that didn’t sit quite right with me. As time goes by, I am beginning to think everyone meant well, but something is somewhat unsettling about the whole thing.
I’m no expert on Episcopal/Anglican doctrine, but I’m assuming they believe in transubstantiation. While clearly the Episcopal Church is not in communion with the Catholic Church, they do have the same creed, though they obviously do not recognize the authority of the Holy Father. That said, I know Anglican priests are somehow able to “transfer” over in certain circumstances, which suggests some alignment of doctrine and acceptance of Anglican sacraments, right?
Who, if anyone, was wrong in this situation? As an Episcopal, was my friend out of line to ask for communion during a Catholic Mass? Was the priest right in allowing her to receive? Under what, if any, circumstances would this be okay?