Permission for non-Catholics to receive the Eucharist



Could you tell me what the rule is for non-Catholics to receive the Eucharist? There seems to be a lot of this going on at my parish. :eek: At the mass where people were joining the Church by profession of faith, the priest invited all Christians to come forward. That didn’t seem right to me. I thought that the bishop had to give permission specifically for someone, and only if they didn’t have one of their own available.

Thank you!


Code of Canon Law allows for some non-Catholics to receive the Eucharist: “Catholic ministers administer the sacraments of penance, Eucharist, and anointing of the sick licitly to members of Eastern Churches which do not have full communion with the Catholic Church if they seek such on their own accord and are properly disposed. This is also valid for members of other Churches which in the judgment of the Apostolic See are in the same condition in regard to the sacraments as these Eastern Churches.” (CIC 844 §3)

Other non-Catholic Christians may receive the Eucharist only under specific circumstances: “If the danger of death is present or if, in the judgment of the diocesan bishop or conference of bishops, some other grave necessity urges it, Catholic ministers administer these same sacraments licitly also to other Christians not having full communion with the Catholic Church, who cannot approach a minister of their own community and who seek such on their own accord, provided that they manifest Catholic faith in respect to these sacraments and are properly disposed.” (CIC 844 §4)

For more on this topic, see Guidelines for the Reception of Communion: and Who Can Receive Communion?:

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