Excommunicated?

I have a friend who is 15 who commited sacrilege by consuming the Eucharist while
knowing that he was in a state of mortal sin. He of course plans to go to confession. I have read that consuming the Eucharist while in mortal sin is a grave offence and makes you automaticly excommunicated and only the Vatican can remove the excommunication. Is this true? What about him being 15, not even being Confirmed yet?

Where did you read this? It is not true. He can go to Confession and receive absolution for this grave offense.

Oh man, what a relief. After reading the OP I was about to book a ticket to Rome! :slight_smile:

All he needs is a sincere confession.

I’m new to the faith myself and I was wondering is it ok for someone not confirmed to be receiving Communion? Is baptism all that is required? I understand those outside the Church can receive Holy Communion under grave or dire circumstances (ie sickness or impending death etc) but is it common practice for those not confirmed to receive Communion?

I’m guessing you’re referring to Canon 1367?

Can. 1367 A person who throws away the consecrated species or takes or retains them for a sacrilegious purpose incurs a latae sententiae excommunication reserved to the Apostolic See

Someone can correct me if I’m wrong, but the “sacrilegious purpose” here means desecration of the Eucharist. That would be how I read it based on the first half of the sentence (“A person who throws away the consecrated species…”).

Especially note the use of the words “take” or “retain”. We always talk about receiving communion at Mass. So your friend received communion in a state of mortal sin, but he did not take the Host in order to desecrate it.

This depends on a the circumstances. To receive communion one most be Catholic, so those who have been baptized in other churches, can not receive communion until they are received into the Church. For these people, confirmation generally happens at the same Mass, so they will be confirmed before they receive communion.

For those who have been baptized Catholic, they should be properly prepared before they receive first communion. For many, first communion happens around 7 and confirmation doesn’t happen until middle or high school, so for these people, they can receive communion without having been confirmed. Even those who for what ever do not continue their religious education and drop out before
confirmation, they can still receive communion.

For those who were baptized Catholic, but were not prepared for first communion, they should not receive until they have undergone some form of preparation and talked to their priest. Often they will be confirmed and receive first communion at the same Mass, so it wouldn’t be an issue, but sometimes first communion could happen before confirmation and that is fine.

So that was probably more detailed than you wanted, but there you go. :smiley:

Children usually make their First Communion before Confirmation in the Latin Church, so no , it is not necessary to be Confirmed. There are also may adults who for one reason or another never got Confirmed, yet they received their First Communion and have practiced their faith… They can receive Communion, but they really should seek to be Confirmed. People coming into the Church from other denominations who are Baptized usually go through RCIA and receive Confirmation and Communion at the Easter vigil. Those Catholics in RCIA who need Confirmation may receive Communion, however, if they have never been catechized or received their First Communion, they should wait and receive the rest of the Sacraments of Initiation at the Easter Vigil. If one is coming into the Church other than through the RCIA process, the Pastor usually decides when they are ready.

So yes, the only thing technically required is Baptism, but all Catholics should be Confirmed, and any adult who has not been catechized, should be instructed first.

In the Eastern Catholic Churches, all three Sacraments of Initiation are usually given together, even to infants, and the children receive Holy Communion from infancy on.

If somebody has more information, please post it, but I read someplace (forget where) that normal absolution in many (most? all?) circumstances achieves the same effect as the “lifting/absolution from censures” blessing that removes an excommunication.

According to the annotations on Can. 1367 in the Code of Canon Law Annotated (published by Midwest Theological Forum):

  1. To throw away the consecrated species of bread and wine with hate, anger or contempt… This offence is reserved to the Congr. for the Doctrine of the Faith…
  2. To steal or sell the consecrated species for a sacrilegious purpose, for example, with obscene, superstitious, or profane intentions…

The canon is not referring to simply receiving communion while in a state of mortal sin (though that is certainly a grave offense), it’s about malicious desecration.

Depends on the situation. For Canon 1367 which was referenced above (and is a penalty explicitly reserved to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith), Can. 1355 § 2 would apply: “Provided it is not reserved to Apostolic See, a latae sententiae penalty… can be remitted by the Ordinary in respect of his subjects… Moreover, any Bishop can do this, but only in the course of sacramental confession.”

Can. 1357 allows any confessor, within sacramental confession, to remit an undeclared latae sententiae penalty, with the obligation being imposed that the penitent must “have recourse within one month to the competent Superior or to a priest having the requisite faculty and to abide by his instructions.” This may be what you are referring to.

That is how it happened for me. First Holy Communion was in second grade and confirmation wasn’t until 8th grade and by then I was “too cool” and missed confirmation. It is something my parish priest and I are working on together now but in the mean time, he told me, once I was comfortable and had met all other requirements for receiving, I could. For me, that was a good, sincere confession and I waited I believe a few months and did some reading and studying on my own before I made another confession (to be sure) before I did start.

Karen’s answer was on the money.

Would this apply here (this is something that I know has occurred recently):

A person enters a sacristy of a chapel that is used occasionally and sees hosts (possibly consecrated) on a shelf, not in a container but just laid down. This person takes one of them and, out of reverence, takes it home and places it in a Communion Pyx. The Pyx is then placed on the home altar.

I have the following questions and would appreciate a clear answer:

Would this episode be considered as a desecration? And if yes, what penalties are incurred?

Does such an altar, provided that the host is consecrated, could somehow be considered as a form of chapel, albeit irregular?

I seriously doubt the hosts were consecrated. No parish would leave consecrated hosts lying around.

If you knowing took a consecrated host home for adoration, without a bishop’s approval of a chapel/tabernacle for reservation, it would certainly be a grave sin.

The likelihood that a consecrated Host would be in the sacristy is slim to none as it should be reposed in the Tabernacle.

Yes it is common for Catholics that have only been baptized to receive Holy Communion. Many Latin Catholic dioceses delay Confirmation from the age of discretion (the time of First Confession and Communion) to the age of 16.

I don’t think this is right.

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