Receiving and not believing?


#1

Can anyone help me? A friend of mine just ran into this situation with her friend and I’d like to be able to give her some good advice (that’s why I’m here!)

My friend was telling her Protestant friend (not a mainstream denomination) that a Catholic shouldn’t receive communion if they don’t believe in the Real Presence, and that the Catholic church does not allow non-Catholics to receive Communion. Her friend came back with the remark that ‘in the Bible Jesus doesn’t say anything about excluding anyone from Communion’. My friend thought of the verse from 1 Cor. 11:29 where it says "For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily eateth and drinketh judgment to himself, not discerning the body of the Lord’. Can anyone help me think of anything else she can say to her friend to explain why:

  1. non-Catholics cannot receive communion in the Catholic Church regardless if they believe in the Real Presence or not (something biblical is preferable since she believes in sola scriptura)
  2. and why, even if you are Catholic, you should not receive if you don’t believe in the Real Presence? (I think 1 Cor 11:29 is self-explanatory here, but apparently not…)

#2

[quote=Elzee]Can anyone help me? A friend of mine just ran into this situation with her friend and I’d like to be able to give her some good advice (that’s why I’m here!)

My friend was telling her Protestant friend (not a mainstream denomination) that a Catholic shouldn’t receive communion if they don’t believe in the Real Presence, and that the Catholic church does not allow non-Catholics to receive Communion. Her friend came back with the remark that ‘in the Bible Jesus doesn’t say anything about excluding anyone from Communion’. My friend thought of the verse from 1 Cor. 11:29 where it says "For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily eateth and drinketh judgment to himself, not discerning the body of the Lord’. Can anyone help me think of anything else she can say to her friend to explain why:

  1. non-Catholics cannot receive communion in the Catholic Church regardless if they believe in the Real Presence or not (something biblical is preferable since she believes in sola scriptura)
  2. and why, even if you are Catholic, you should not receive if you don’t believe in the Real Presence? (I think 1 Cor 11:29 is self-explanatory here, but apparently not…)

[/quote]

You have the scriptural basis right there. You might point out that:

  1. Even Protestant churches practice excommunication – those who are considered heretical are not allowed communion.

  2. A church is defined by its doctrine. Those who reject the doctrine of the church – no matter what church – cannot licitly claiim to be members of that church or to be in communion with that church.

  3. Christ Himself explicitly said “this is my body” and “this is my blood.” To reject the Real Presense is to reject Christ Himself.


#3

In addition to what has already been said, if a Catholic comes to believe the Church is in error in some essential, officially defined doctrine, it is a mortal sin against conscience, a sin of hypocrisy, for him to remain in the Church and call himself a Catholic, but only a venial sin against knowledge for him to leave the Church in honest but partly culpable error.

BTW, the Church teaches that you cannot recieve the Eucharist in a state of mortal sin. If you do, that act is another mortal sin.

(In order for a sin to be mortal, there are three conditions that must be met: The sin must have grave matter, one must have adequate knowledge that it is a grave offense, and one must commit the offense with deliberate consent (CCC 1857–1859). If one of these conditions is not met, the sin will be venial, not mortal.)

If, on the other hand, he doesn’t see how Christ can be present in the Eucharist, but recognizes the Church’s authority on the matter, then he has a difficulty, not a doubt, and he must take pains to inform his conscience. Having a difficulty is not an impediment to reception of the Eucharist.

A Protestant who believes in the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist should not receive at Mass because by that action they are proclaiming that they accept everything the Church holds and teaches to be true. (If that’s really the case, they should be signed up for RCIA immediately!) :slight_smile:


#4

[quote=Elzee] and that the Catholic church does not allow non-Catholics to receive Communion. Her friend came back with the remark that ‘in the Bible Jesus doesn’t say anything about excluding anyone from Communion’.

[/quote]

You might try and remind her that, not even Catholics are supposed to go to communion, if they haven’t been to confession in a year or so. (preferably sooner if you have sins).

So if even Catholics can’t go, then why in the world should a protestant be allowed to go? That would be a slap in the face to all the Catholics, and the Catholic teachings about confession and the Eucharist.


#5

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