Holy Communion to non-Catholics?

I had a heated debate with my father who is non Catholic a year or so when his cousin who is a priest had a special mass and according to my father the priest said that anyone who wanted to join in communion could do so (Catholic or non-Catholic). I told my father that a priest cannot make this determination on his own.

We have not spoke about this subject since. Now this past weekend I visited a different church in my diocese and the “pastors sharing” in the bulletin noted that this coming weekend, holy communion “will be offered to anyone that chooses”. I would like to go back to that church to discuss or clarify.

Maybe I was wrong all along and need to re-discuss with my father. However, if this is true, would permission be needed from the Bishop?

Communion is only permitted to those properly disposed, including their belief in the real presence. The number of non-Catholics for whom this would apply is exceedingly small.

A Bishops permission is not a blanket permission. A Bishop can give permission for a specific non-Catholic who is unable to access a minister of their own faith to receive the Eucharist. Generally if they are in danger of death and ask for the Sacrament on their own and believe what the Catholic Church teaches about the Real Presence. This information is found in the Ecumenical Documents, starting with the Vatican II documents through John Paul II encyclical and the Ecumenical Directory.

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