Having trouble explaining something

I hope this is in the right place. I am a Catholic, having been recieved into the Church in 2008. My parents are United Methodist. At my parents church, they are having a brunch/service to honor graduates and my dad asked me to attend, as I recieved my BA in December. It also happens to be a “communion” service, which they hold the first sunday every month. I told my parents that i would attend, but I would be abstaining from communion (geez, I hate calling non-Catholic “communion” that). How do I GENTLY explain the Catholic position without offending them? How do I tell them that I believe that their communion is invalid, without starting the wars of religion all over again? :confused: I tried once, and it did not go so well. Suggestions?

I told my parents that i would attend, but I would be abstaining from communion

Have’nt you already solved your problem? Why do you need to go into any further detail? unless you are looking for an argument. Maybe if you just went abstained from communion. And chose another day to discuss the diffirences in your religions. Sit down show them from the bible your view.

I told mom that I could’t take communion, and she asked why, so I told her that even though we were both Christians, Methodists aren’t in full communion with Rome, so I couldn’t. She said it sounded like “man’s riles, not God’s rules”

I would probably have said, ‘You don’t understand God’s rules.’ and something along the lines of, ‘We don’t get to make them up as we go along.’

But then, I am at times a little more confrontational about these matters than might be wise.

If I was in a peaceful mood I might’ve instead said, ‘God makes the rules, we do not get to decide them. The holiest things are the one’s we have the least choice about.’ and smiled serenely.

And then perhaps an impromptu introduction to Apostolic succession and the priesthood and the necessity for one Faith.

But since what was said was already said and done. . .

Time for a pamphlet or tract, perhaps from Catholic Answers instead? A little booklet or gift? With prayer so it has a chance of making an impression?

No prayer = No success often enough.

you should simply state the truth, that your church forbids taking communion outside of your church.

She was pushing for WHY it is so.

How about the fact that communion is a sign of unity and right now, sadly, our different churches are not in unity with each other. We should all be praying for the time that we may be one.

You had it right. To receive communion in her church would imply a public statement of communion with her church, and that is not allowed because you are in union with the Catholic Church.

Just ask her to respect her beliefs and morals.

I think you should try to give some background. Explain to her that in the Catholic faith, we believe that Communion has a sacramental power and that it binds believers together in unity. Then you could explain that Methodists see communion in a much different way - as a symbol. For Catholics, we actually worship Christ truly present in the Eucharist. We believe that He is there - hidden but real.
When the Protestants broke from Rome, the teaching on the Eucharist changed.
Communion is a sacrament, like marriage. It’s a bond with Christ, in faith. In order to havin intercommuion, we would have to believe the same thing about the Eucharist.
It might not hurt to explain the origin of the sacrament, from Christ, through the apostles in an unbroken unity.
Protestantism broke unity with the apostolic church.
She won’t agree with this, most likely, but it’s good for her to know the facts so she will be correctly informed.

i just don’t want the Wars of Religion to break out all over again!

Then just say you “don’t feel comfortable” receiving communion. When asked why, say it’s a private matter and you don’t mean any offense. If asked why again, just smile and say “really, I just don’t feel comfortable for reasons that I really don’t want to get into.”

You can always do that and just avoid the topic. If you think she’s open to an explanation though, then it may be worth giving a deeper explanation.

Well I can see both sides of the debate CWBetts. I don’t know if you know this but protestants see communion as a remembrance of Christ death. See 1 Corinthians 11:23-26
Like I said before if you show this scripture to your mom. And then take her to scripture were RC believe in transubstantiation. That could possibly resolve your conflict. Hope this helps.

Just say that our churches have different beliefs about what communion actually is. Since the Catholic Church considers the Eucharist to be among the most important doctrine, in fact we consider it Christ Himself, it would be wrong for you to receive it in a church that doesn’t share that belief.

Focus on the fact that you’re not judging and don’t mean to show any disrespect to the UMC’s “Lord’s Supper” but you must obey your Church when it comes to certain doctrines, and shared communion is one of them.

If I am not mistaken (and please correct me if I am), the UMC practices open communion, meaning they allow anyone who wishes to take part without regard for any qualifiers. That might be why it’s hard for your parents to understand why you cannot participate.

That’s also probably why the whole “sign of unity” line doesn’t do the trick since that’s not what it’s about for the UMC.

The less you elaborate, the lower the likelihood of a major meltdown. (That’s my personal theory anyway:cool:)

Just say something like “I don’t want to receive communion at the UMC because I believe their communion isn’t what Jesus had in mind at the Last Supper.”

And, if that fails, you could lovingly introduce the concept of the Real Presence to your parents and give a short explanation of Apostolic Succession and all that. I think you should include how receiving the Eucharist in a Catholic Church represents assent to its teachings, and that receiving communion outside of it can represent disloyalty to it.

The suggestion about giving them a tract isn’t a bad idea, either.

She said it sounded like “man’s riles, not God’s rules”<<

Tell her they ARE God’s rules.

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