Protestants taking Communion in the RCC

So yesterday I was trying to talk my wife to go with me to Mass this Sunday. I figure since I’ve been reading about the RCC and chatting with you folks I should at least go to a Mass.

Anyway, I told her that they would be having communion but we couldn’t take it. She asked why. I said because we aren’t part of the Catholic church, to which she said “But I’m part of Christ church”.

Anyway, that got me to thinking. If a non-catholic took communion in a Catholic church how do you react? I assume it happens from time to time by someone either not understanding that they aren’t supposed or maybe understanding but taking it anyway.

Do you have deacons ready to tackle those Presbyterians who get in the communion line?:wink:

On another note, It is a mortal sin for a Catholic to take communion at say the United Methodist church. Maybe they are going to church with a friend and take communion out of respect for their friend???

If a non-Catholic did join the Communion line probably no one would notice. Its an “honor system” sort of deal; if you receive and shouldn’t that’s between you and God.

Yes, there are a team of muscle men positioned upstairs near the organist . They know who you are and watch your every move with binoculars. If you receive the Eucharist as a non Catholic, you will be arrested immediately and extradited to Rome for your hearing :rotfl:

On a serious note…yes, mortal sin for us to receive Communion in Protestant Churches. However it is allowed in Orthodox Churches under certain circumstances since they are just in schism

I received the Eucharist as a candidate before confirmation.

Catechumens are a different story…

First of all, it’s great that you decided to go to Mass!

I think there are non-Catholics receiving communion quite often at weddings and funerals because they see everybody going up and they don’t want to just sit there. In our parish, for big events where guests come (we have a great music program that draws non-Catholics) our priest tells everyone that they have to be “a Catholic in good standing and spiritually prepared” to receive Communion. He doesn’t actually say that you have to confess mortal sins, assuming people know that or they’ll get the point.

It can be difficult to consider the difference between Catholic communion and that of other Christian denominations. People think it’s just a rule, but it’s really for the protection of the people also since you’d be receiving a supernatural mystery that requires faith and preparation. If communion was just bread as a symbol of belief, that would be different. Or something like a Bible study, that Catholics can do with other non-Catholic Christians.

I think in some deathbed situations it could work something like that. A validly baptized person who has converted to Catholicism but hasn’t fully entered the Church yet might be offered Communion by the priest as part of Last Rites (and perhaps receive Confirmation also?).

There’s a lack of full communion between our churches, which is why we do not share in the sacrament. Catholics aren’t the only ones that have closed communion. The Orthodox do the same, as do some Lutherans, Baptists, Presbyterians, and other protestant denominations. Some much more strictly than Catholics.

I remember some 7 years back standing in the communion line in St Peters Basilica. Not knowing anything about this. If it wasn’t for wanting to see something cool on my tourist trip I would probably have participated. Merely thinking at the time that a Christian actually means a Christian!

To receive the Eucharist in the Catholic Church one must be Catholic.

The reason is because when one receives the Eucharist in the Catholic Church, in effect, they would be saying that they believe in everything the Church teaches.

It is not because we think that we are a better person than the non-Catholic.

If I went to an Orthodox Liturgy and asked if I could receive their (valid) Eucharist and the priest said no, I would respect that decision.

This is a tough one for me, I can see both sides of the argument. Yes I view a Protestant as being a Christian, but if he/she does not believe in the real presence then I understand that person should not receive. Yet, I understand on the surface it looks condescending. Don’t know if you ever read what is printed in the misalette, but it does express the idea well…

*Because Catholics believe that the celebration of the Eucharist is a sign of the reality of the oneness of faith, life, and worship, members of those churches with whom we are not yet fully united are ordinarily not admitted to Holy Communion. *

usccb.org/prayer-and-worship/the-mass/order-of-mass/liturgy-of-the-eucharist/guidelines-for-the-reception-of-communion.cfm

No but I think the secret protestant database they have in Rome does record each instance, so when the Jesuits get unleashed, these individuals will be tortured first! I have read that John Kerry needs to call ahead to a parish when he is traveling because some priests have refused him communion.

One time I was at a funeral Mass that was held in the funeral parlor (red flag) … where the priest brought the Eucharist and invited any baptized Christian to come up and receive (bright red flag). Now I had asked the priest if he was Catholic before hand and he said yes. Well I received and later (2 years later) I found out that I should have asked if he was “Roman Catholic”. I feel duped and I think it was dishonest for him to just answer yes to the question because he had to know why I was asking. But I discovered there are churches that identify as Catholic but have split from Rome. Since I did not realize this at the time, my receiving was not considered a sin, but it would be if I did it again knowing what I know. Not sure if mortal or not, but that’s a whole other discussion.

:thumbsup:

:thumbsup:

I agree. I’ve been to Orthodox Liturgies and I didn’t present myself for Communion, nor do I think I’m in any way entitled to it or that it’s somehow wrong not to be ablet to receive. I don’t quite get how some don’t understand and have the same respect for the the Catholic Church (OP, I’m not directing that to you, it’s a general comment regarding how this conversation on CAF usually goes).

This question has bugged me for a while now. I have been at the end of the Protestant accusations that they are Christians and want to share in the “fellowship.”

The Eucharist is the summit of the Catholic experience. Without the Eucharist as we RCC’s believe it, you might as well belong to any damn church you please. When one approaches the Eucharist, the minister says, “the body of Christ.” To which one is supposed to reply, “Amen” - so be it, I believe all that the RCC teaches about the nature of the Eucharist. If a Protestant receives the Eucharist at a valid mass and says Amen to the reception yet doesn’t mean it, doesn’t believe it is the actual body and blood, soul and divinity of Christ, he/she has publicly given false witness. He/she makes a mockery of the Eucharist, and false witness if I remember is a big no-no. As to the fellowship bit, that’s why many churches are instituting coffee and donuts or some other form of hospitality at the end of Mass. Share your fellowship over a cup of Maxwell house and a French cruller.
Someone posted (and I’m not sure it was on this particular thread) that one didn’t have to say Amen at the reception of the bread and wine. Well, maybe they should have to verbally acknowledge their acceptance of the truth we hold and express in our intimate union with Christ, and if they are not willing to do so, then they are refused communion.
The Eucharist in the RCC is the highlight, the great intimacy of Roman Catholicism. If you come to my house, I will offer you wonderful hospitality, but don’t expect to sleep with my wife.

My :twocents:

I’ve heard the bit about being all part of Christ’s body many times before, which on one level is true. However receiving the Eucharist at a Catholic Mass implies a unity that simply, at this point, is not there. Maybe you could ask your wife a few questions about the Church’s teachings that could help her understand why your taking communion is a bad idea.

Such as:
Do you believe what the Church teaches about Jesus?
About God?
About Scripture?
About Tradition?
About Saints?
About confession?
About the Eucharist?
About the Pope?

You see my point, the No responses would probably start to add up pretty quickly. As a Catholic I don’t believe what the Methodists, Presbyterians, or Baptists teach about communion, so I wouldn’t receive at their services since I believe it would imply a unity that isn’t there.

ChadS

The Holy Eucharist is the Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity of Jesus Christ. Since Protestants do not agree with this most important Catholic teaching, they could be putting themselves in some spiritual hot water.

1 Corinthians 11:27-19 ~ Therefore whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord unworthily will have to answer for the body and blood of the Lord. A person should examine himself, and so eat the bread and drink the cup. For anyone who eats and drinks without discerning the body, eats and drinks judgment on himself.

If the Holy Eucharist is indeed Jesus Christ Himself, to deny His Real Presence in the Eucharist - and then partake in the Eucharist would be pretty awful indeed.

If I saw someone I knew wasn’t Catholic receive the Eucharist - but not understanding the situation, I would very gently explain the Catholic teaching of the Real Presence and why non-Catholics shouldn’t receive - after Mass. If I saw someone who wasn’t Catholic and knew better receive the Eucharist anyway, I’d leave it to God to deal with him. Nothing I could say would change anything.

On another note, It is a mortal sin for a Catholic to take communion at say the United Methodist church. Maybe they are going to church with a friend and take communion out of respect for their friend???

I have been told by a very good priest that a Catholic should never ever participate in a Protestant communion service. The word “communion” literally means “common union,” and the Catholic Church is not in union with the United Methodists on many issues - especially the Holy Eucharist and the Real Presence vs. a symbolic “Lord’s Supper” communion service.

The Liturgy of the Eucharist is a weekly sacrament that any Catholic (properly prepared, of course) should be eager to participate in because that Catholic will receive Christ in the most literal sense. Protestants do not view this as a sacrament, and although their service may appear sacramental, it is not; and I have never heard or read of a priest saying it’s allowed for a Catholic to participate in a Protestant communion service.

the intense pain of remorse should do it … In our parish, you may get in line and present yourself with your arms crossed and receive a blessing. It is honor system otherwise.

I had taken the Eucharist at times prior to coming into full communion. My reasoning; I was (and had been) “more Catholic” than about 95% of the Catholics I knew. Living in a pretty Catholic area, that was A LOT. Even had a few of them comment “you are more Catholic than most Catholics!”.

Not saying it’s right, just that I did it. That said, once I entered into instruction prior to coming into full communion, I refrained from receiving until confirmed.

Be careful, that quote may end up in the next James White book.

My dad is a Protestant. Raised and still is.

My uncle married and raised his kids Protestant, and at my grandmother’s funeral my cousin went up for communion, and right there another relative stopped her. This angered my uncle, words were spoken/yelled about this relative not being the Pope or the head of the RCC.

Well, my dad stated, if she’s Protestant "she shouldn’t want to take communion in a RCC church. "

I suspect my cousin was just going along with the crowd and didn’t mean harm. But really, if you want to take RC communion you need to be RC.

I am invited to take communion at my friends Protestant church but I am forbidden, because I am not in full communion with them. Although I love praying with and for them.

Well I think that came from Jack Chick, so I’m sure Dr. White has heard it before.

I’ve heard the bit about being all part of Christ’s body many times before, which on one level is true. However receiving the Eucharist at a Catholic Mass implies a unity that simply, at this point, is not there. Maybe you could ask your wife a few questions about the Church’s teachings that could help her understand why your taking communion is a bad idea.

Such as:
Do you believe what the Church teaches about Jesus?
About God?
About Scripture?
About Tradition?
About Saints?
About confession?
About the Eucharist?
About the Pope?

So you are saying if someone is Catholic but doesn’t believe what the church teaches about one of these things they shouldn’t receive?

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