Eucharist to non-catholics


Are priests obligated to refuse communion from persons he personally knows are not catholic?

A Lutheran friend of mine is attending a catholic church and has asked the priest if it was ok for her to take communion, and she was given the idea that it was ok.

I called the priest and he basically told me that it was up to the individual and that he does not sweat the small stuff. He thinks that the bigger idea of people coming to church and feeling welcome is more important than these rules.

He never told the individual that the church does not permit it.

just to clarify things there are many other churches where this person can go close by, even Lutheran ones.

Is this priest mistaken or am i?


Your priest is. Every document has upheld the rule that those not in full communion can’t receive Communion. Except, if they believe what we believe, are in danger of death and can’t get communion from their own minister.

Then again, my bishop, when approached by someone just before a funeral Mass he was celebrating and asked if a certain non-Catholic who was present could receive communion, replied “Pretend you didn’t ask the question.” Non-Catholic received Communion.


Sad.:nope: To the OP: Your priest is wrong. Sorry but ecumenism only goes so far…teachccd:shrug:


what should i do about this situation?


You can get special dispensation from I believe the bishop to receive communion, though it would depend on your natural church. I have a friend who is part of a very small church which believes everything the RCC believes except in papal infallibility and the primacy of the Pope (they still think he’s a great guy, and she often refers to him as “our Pope,” they just don’t see him the way Catholics do). Thing is, there aren’t any of her churches anywhere near us, and her church allows its members to receive communion at Catholic churches, so she got special dispensation from the bishop (I believe; it might have been the pastor) to receive communion here.


Are you and your friend going to be attending Mass together? If so, pick up the missalette and open to the front cover. There should be a statement that explains who is permitted to participate in Holy Communion. Let your friend know that the priest was incorrect (like all of us, they too make mistakes) and to please refrain from partaking in Holy Communion. You may want to ask her why she would wish to do so. By doing so, she is stating that she is in communion with the Catholic Church. If that is the case, surprise her by taking her to RCIA class so that she can come into the Church.


No we will not be going to mass together and we are distant friends


Non-Catholic cannot received Holy Communion. Canonical Law disallows it. Unless the danger of death with Bishops approval or if he can dispense this.


The priest is not mistaken, he is abdicating one of his primary responsibilities of protecting the Blessed Sacrament from profanation.


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