I need to know why it is a sin for a Roman Catholic to take communion in an Episcopal church.
My mother in law is a wonderful woman. However, after my father in law revealed he’d been having an affair for 9 years, she divorced him and remarried without getting her prior marriage annulled. The man she married is Episcopalian. She converted. Now she’s gone to seminary and she’s been ordained to the diaconate, and her ordination to the priesthood is going to be in December.
The problem is that my brother in law is a loud mouth know it all. He made a point of announcing loudly that he would never receive communion from his mother and that she’s not a valid priest and all sorts of other irksome things that Catholics believe about Episcopalians. He’s the hypocritical jerk in the family (thrice divorced and estranged from his own children) but he’s also the one spouting The Church’s party line. This, of course, makes my husband and teenage daughter support their grandmother and the issue of taking communion in the Episcopal church has become battleground in our family.
I have attended services, and I attended her diaconal ordination, but when the time comes for communion, I sneak out quietly and go to the bathroom. Now I’m not going to be able to do this. I’m going to have to take a stand, and its not worth the fight to do what the church teaches. I explained my views on this to my husband, and he gave me such a look… my daughter wants to become Episcopalian because they ordain women. AARGH.
My mother in law knows how I feel, and she doesn’t put the pressure on me… its my own family. I am loathe to align myself with my stupid brother in law. And the fact is, I don’t know why it has to be a sin. If the sacraments aren’t valid, then I am going up and eating a piece of bread that a Protestant minister has prayed over. Why is that a sin? If Jesus said we can eat food sacrificed to idols… why can’t we eat bread prayed over by Protestants?
If my mother in law was wicked, I’d have ground to stand on. This is a sweet woman who has been a faithful Christian all of her life, who is spending most of her time coordinating ministries to migrant children. The people wanting to follow Catholic teaching on this are the ones who are double-talking hypocrites. My children have always adored her.
So why must this be such a horrid sin?