Orthodox catholics

If I were to visit an orthodox church and I am Roman Catholic would I be able to receive Holy Communion? Thank you.

No. They wouldn’t allow you.

Welcome to the Eastern Catholicism section of CAF. :slight_smile:

Since you haven’t capitalized any of these words “orthodox catholics” and “orthodox church” I really don’t know precisely what you are asking, especially given the title of your thread “orthodox catholics”.

The Eastern Orthodox Church is strict in this regard, so doesn’t allow Catholics and Protestants to receive communion at its Divine Liturgies.

Let’s keep praying for reunion, for which a miracle is required.

However, if you can recieve in a Catholic Church, you can recieve in an Eastern Catholic Church.

I wasn’t at all sure from the thread title, but upon reading the OP I decided that flower_lady must mean an Orthodox church. (Presumably she considers Catholics to be orthodox. :))

Amen! :o

Eastern Orthodox, likely not. Oriental Orthodox, quite possibly depending on the particular Church in question. Armenian Orthodox, in my experience, are very open to Catholics receiving.

Peace and God bless!

Not under normal circumstances, Catholics do not receive the sacraments in non-Catholic churches, except in grave circumstances, and then only when avoiding indifferentism, that is, belief that all religions are equally valid. Catholics hold that the Orthodox do not have the fullness of faith, even though their administration of the Holy Mysteries is valid.

CCEO Canon 671 §2. If necessity requires it or genuine spiritual advantage suggests it and provided that the danger of error or indifferentism is avoided, it is permitted for Catholic Christian faithful, for whom it is physically or morally impossible to approach a Catholic minister, to receive the sacraments of penance, the Eucharist and anointing of the sick from non-Catholic ministers, in whose Churches these sacraments are valid.

CIC Canon 844 §2 Whenever necessity requires or a genuine spiritual advantage commends it, and provided the danger of error or indifferentism is avoided, Christ’s faithful for whom it is physically or morally impossible to approach a catholic minister, may lawfully receive the sacraments of penance, the Eucharist and anointing of the sick from non-catholic ministers in whose Churches these sacraments are valid.

Indeed. And of course, if you live in the USA (for example) you might go your whole life without ever being in circumstances where it is “physically or morally impossible to approach a Catholic minister”.

Answer this: say I’m traveling on a journey–it is Sunday and the only church that I can reach on that day is Orthodox.

Of course they don’t allow me as a Catholic to receive. Would it be a sin to not tell them that I was Catholic and go and receive anyway?

The priest would probably not let you receive anyway since Orthodox communities are small and its not usual that someone just show up and just comes up to receive.

Also, why would you do that? That is a sin to intentionally deceive.

There are places where Orthodox offer penance and commune Catholics, including, but not only, areas where there are no Catholic Churches. This has been discussed here on CAF any number of times.

Would it be a sin to not tell them that I was Catholic and go and receive anyway?

I hope this isn’t a serious question…

Well maybe this would be a better question–would God care more about me not telling them I was Catholic and want me to receive without telling them–or would He care more for me not telling them?

In other words is not telling someone something them the same thing as me lying to them–if I am not asked?

Were the spies of the Israelites doing wrong by being spies and not up front telling the Canaanites that they were there for the purpose of seeing how they could take their land?

I’m just asking–I’m sure God wouldn’t hold it against me if I couldn’t get to Mass on a journey–I’m just not so sure that He would hold it against me if I went up and received at an Orthodox church and did not tell them.

Make the case why God would be offended by me receiving Jesus without telling the Orthodox?

I guess the REAL question is if they do indeed have the Body and Blood of Christ–does GOD will and intend that me as a Catholic not receive from them?


No, you may not receive any sacrament in the Orthodox Church. Attempting to deceive the clergy of the church you are attending as to your status will only damn you (receiving unworthily and all that; 1 Corinthians 11:27), and on top of that probably will not work. The Eastern and Oriental Churches are not like the Latin Church, where there are “extraordinary ministers” who will give the Eucharist to anyone who comes up to receive. If you try to do that in an Orthodox Church and the priest doesn’t recognize you (or recognizes you but hasn’t seen you in confession in quite a while), you will be denied. Do not even try it. Do not even think of trying it. Our sacraments are not a joke.

Many years ago, a fellow parishioner mentioned to our (Catholic) parish priest that a couple of Anglican friends would be at the next liturgy, and asked if it would be alright for them to receive communion. His answer was “Don’t tell me anything I don’t need to know.” (I.e. don’t tell me that they’re Anglican.) Quite frankly, I really wasn’t too keen on that approach at the time, and I’m still not. Of course, with regard to the particular situation that you mentioned, it’s not likely to be an issue since the priest would simply ask anyone he doesn’t know whether they are Orthodox.


Every time I’ve gone to another Orthodox parish where the priest hasn’t known me I’ve been asked my name (the priest usually includes our names when giving us Communion), my parish, and my Bishop. You’d have to lie about two out of the three to get away with it.

When you go to an Orthodox parish you are a guest. Do not expect to have any rights to anything when one is not “part of the family” so to speak. It’s rude, it shines a bad light not only on yourself but your fellow Roman Catholics, and as dzheremi has said, has serious repercussions for your soul. It’s no different than if an Anglican came to a Roman Catholic church and got away with taking your Communion just because the priest didn’t ask.

I asked for me what is a hypothetical question–I doubt that I would ever be on a journey and only be able to get to an Orthodox Church on Sunday.

I also didn’t know that at Orthodox churches that they asked your name if they didn’t know you at Mass if you came forward to receive communion–I’ve been to a Maronite
Church and a Greek Melkite Church here in Birmingham Alabama and received mass and neither of those churches asked me anything–course they are Eastern Catholic Churches and not Orthodox.

Look I respect whatever the Catholic Church says–they say don’t go to Protestant communion services and I don’t–course I wouldn’t want to go to a Protestant communion service anyway.

And to be sure I respect the rules of Eastern Catholic Churches–they do things different than the Latin Rite and I have no problem following their rules.

And to be sure it is a good thing to be somewhat deferential to religions that are not Catholic and especially to Orthodox churches since they are only schismatic and are certainly close to the Catholic faith in all its fullness.

I will say this though–if they didn’t ask I wouldn’t feel bad about receiving communion there at one of their churches if I had no other alternative.

Why? Because I really do believe that it is God’s will that Catholics receive in that circumstance.

I really do believe that it is against God’s will for any Orthodox Church anywhere on planet Earth to deny the Eucharist to any otherwise able to receive Catholic.

I think the Orthodox are simply wrong.

Am I wrong for feeling this way?

Point blank question that I’m sure will not be answered on this thread because people are afraid to ponder such truths: Is it God’s will for the Orthodox to deny the Eucharist to Catholics?

You could be in Eastern Europe one day.

They do not ask for your name because they do not know you. Like the name of God, the name of everyone is important. Sacraments in the Orthodox Church are given by name. In Eastern Catholic Churches, they do this too but only usually for regular parishioners. They sort of expect the occasional curious Roman Catholic visitor. In our parish the priest Communes us by name, but if there are guests then he doesn’t bother to ask for the name.

There have been circumstances when Catholics are allowed to receive Communion, at least that is what I have heard from some. The key is never to force it. If the priest welcomes you, then go. If not, then respect it. If you do something out of pride (ie. you think it’s due to you because you are Catholic, etc.) then for sure it is not God’s will.

Orthodox theology states that for one to be able to receive the Eucharist, one must be “orthodox in faith.” They do not see Catholics as being orthodox, therefore Catholics are not “otherwise able to receive” by virtue of being Catholics.

No they are not. They have the obligation to defend their faith as much as we have ours. If this is how they define their faith, then God bless them for it. We should respect their beliefs.


Remember, even in the Catholic Church, Sacraments are gifts from God. They are not “rights”. No one has the right to receive the Sacrament, no one is entitled to it.

Us Catholics have the Eucharist, why do we need to go to the Orthodox for it? If we want to receive from the Orthodox, the best way to do so is become Orthodox. If you do not want to become Orthodox, why are you seeking Sacraments with them?

That has been my experience with the EC parishes (Maronite, Melkite, and Ukrainian) that I’ve been to. Whoever was in the communion line was given communion, no questions asked.

I also recall a conversation I had with some Orthodox, who expressed a bit of shock that Catholics follow such a policy, since Anglicans, Lutherans, Methodists, etc could be getting in line. (I don’t recall too many details of the conversation, as it was some years ago.)

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