My Catholic Friend Receiving Anglican Eucharist

Hi I would just like to research some things on my friends behalf, i personally would feel uncomfartable myself receiving the eucharist at any church other than the Roman Catholic but she says that even though the eucharist is not the real presence what matters is what she believes and if she believes it be the real presence that it is ok.

She attends because she says she prefers the fellowship.

I’ve talked to her about this, saying well is the eucharised consecrated by a priest ordained to do so ie: believing in the full truth that we accept as RC. I said why not go just for the fellowship and abstain from the eucharist. But she says she has been told by a RC priest that its ok, of course the anglican church is happy for her to receive since their rules are different.

OK so i bring up the idea of apostolic succession and the pope, i she says they dont believe in the pope but Roman Catholics believe that Anglican bishops are recognised as valid bishops in her words the bishops have valid apostolic succession, as i am not anglican i wuld like to check this out for her.

Note: She says anglican priests have been allowed to become Roman Catholic priests because of the apostolic suvvession of the bishops so their ordination within anglican as seen as valid by RC, but i thought they had to be re-ordained so would like to check this out too.

Note she still goes to the Roman Catholic church on SUndays and believes fully in the faith.


Speaking only to the apostolic succession issue/orders points, no, the RCC does not recognize the Anglican orders as valid.

Yes, with only two exceptions known, all Anglican priests who convert and become priests in the RCC have been ordained absolutely. Two such were ordained sub conditione, for particular reasons.

Pope Leo XIII addressed the issue of Anglican orders in Apostolicae curae. Their orders are not valid and their Eucharist is not valid and doesn’t have the real presence. It is forbidden for Catholics to receive in an Anglican church.

Actually, she does not believe fully in the faith. The Church has bound faithful Catholics to not receive what Anglicans call the Eucharist. By receptionism at an Anglican Mass, she obviously believes that Jesus has given herself the power to bind and loose. She truly believes fully in the parts of the faith that agree with what she thinks the faith should be.

Yes, the Catechism and canon law say that under the three conditions it is a mortal sin to receive Protestant communion.because:

  1. it doesn’t recognise the True Presence of Jesus in the Eucharist,
  2. it’s the sin of Scandal, promotion of leaving the True Faith

She should absolutely not be taking communion in the Anglican Church. Not just because Anglicans don’t have the real presence, but also because taking communion is an acknowledgment of shared faith. By actively taking their Eucharist, she is basically denying the authority of the Pope and the whole Catholic Church and she is acknowledging the authority of the Archbishop of Canterbury instead.

Pope John Paul II said in Ecclesia de Eucharistia, “The Catholic faithful, therefore, while respecting the religious convictions of these separated brethren, must refrain from receiving the communion distributed in their celebrations, so as not to condone an ambiguity about the nature of the Eucharist and, consequently, to fail in their duty to bear clear witness to the truth”

Well said.

Assuming she is attending a parish of the Church of England.

True, but regardless the principle is the same. The Eucharist is the pinnacle of unity. If you receive in a Lutheran parish you are saying through your actions that you believe everything you Lutheran church teaches and you are de facto rejecting Catholic teachings.

Not arguing that. But too many folk think Cantuar is an analogue of the Pope, already.

I don’t think any global Anglican would say it is under the authority of the Archbishop of Canterbury, except for the Church of England. Why do people in the RCC try to find parallels to the Pope? That concept is not accurate in any branch of the Church that I know of.

Perhaps in this case of the woman taking communion in an Anglican church, she sees her authority as Christ. Just maybe.

And just as a side note, even if the Roman Church does not acknowledge the Anglican Eucharist as valid, it does not mean that Anglicans do not believe it so.

Good point.

From the way the story has been told, it sounds like this person may need more education about her Catholic faith. The primary Sacrament that unites all Catholics together is the Eucharist. It is at heart of Catholicism.

As in Anglicanism. And Lutheranism. And Orthodoxy.

“she says that even though the eucharist is not the real presence what matters is what she believes and if she believes it be the real presence that it is ok.”

It’s not okay. Anglicans don’t have valid Holy Orders, which means they can’t confect the Eucharist. Since they can’t confect the Eucharist, they don’t have the Real Presence. And regardless of whether this woman believes in it or not, Communion represents unity among believers. If she’s with a group of Anglicans, she can’t profess unity with them because she does not follow Protestant doctrine.

Pray for her.

Except, the people who Christ gave the power to bind and loose, have bound her to not receive the Anglican Eucharist. Even as I write this, it is bound in Heaven, for Catholics not to receive other non-Catholic Eucharists. Jesus gave carte blanche on the binding and loosing.

If you say you don’t believe the Catholic Church has the authority to bind and loose her, then who does? Jesus clearly gave this power to His Church. Some group must still hold this power, and the ability to exercise it. He did not give it to us lay people. So when you say she sees her authority as Christ, she actually sees her authority as herself. But we know that Christ did not give it to her. Unless of course, the power to bind and loose has been lost. But then that makes Jesus a liar.

Of course. What would be the point for an Anglican receiving if they did not believe it?

I beg to differ. What she is doing is objectively following Protestant doctrine. She has appropriated to herself the authority of what parts of her faith she has to believe in.

And was actually the point of the first post I ever made, on line, back around 20 years ago.

When I was Protestant, that was not the view that I had, nor was it heavily focused on, other than Protestant “Eucharist.” It was something you went and received, but not a lot of explanation went into it, AFAIK.

In Catholicism, it is heavily focused on. It is mentioned frequently, whether at the beginning of Mass, the True Sacrifice, Bible study, etc. There is a lot of explanation, what it takes to be in a state of grace (go to Confession and confess all known mortal sins) to be able to receive Communion.

The Anglicans do not have to go to Confession to confess any mortal sins before being able to receive Communion. Anglicans make a general confession that everyone recites before receiving Communion. Receiving the Body and Blood of Jesus is such a blessing in the RCC. It enables those who receive Communion (and those who make a spiritual communion) to go out and spread the Gospel, because they have received Him.

The Protestant churches do not have Holy Orders, so their Communion is not valid in the eyes of the RCC, so the friend in the OP should not be receiving Communion at an Anglican church. Since she is Catholic, she is bound to follow the Magisterium of the church, and part of that is receiving Catholic Communion. There are very limited circumstances where a Catholic would be able to receive Communion from a Protestant church.

Well, the Archbishop of Canterbury certainly doesn’t have the same power as the Pope. But he is the spiritual head of the Anglican Communion. All Anglican Churches are in full communion with him.

Also, yes we know. Just because the Catholic Church told Luther that Sola Fide is wrong doesn’t mean he believed so. Just because the Catholic Church declared Arians to be heretics didn’t mean they believed so. It’s called defiance and resistance against the Church.

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