What to do about non Catholic husband insisting on receiving communion?

Hi
I am not sure if this is the right forum but I thought I would give it a try. I am wondering what, if anything, can be done about a husband who insists on receiving communion (he is a Christian of a protestant denomination) even though he is not catholic? He knows the church teaching but believes that all believers in Christ who have been baptized should be able to receive. I do not want to cause a problem in my marriage because of this…Should I just not do anything? I can’t force him not to receive…I asked this in the apologetics forum but am rather desperate for some input…
Thanks so much
KarenAnne:confused:

His problem not yours. It really is. Nothing you can do that will not exacerbate things.

You can ask your pastor about this. Beyond that, it is not your fault or responsibility.

You can tell the priest that your husband is not Catholic and bring up Canon Law #844 – “Catholic ministers administer the sacraments licitly to Catholic members of the Christian faithful alone.”

(Note: there are exceptional conditions mentioned in the rest of the Canon, such as cases involving danger of death, but these don’t seem relevant in your case. The full canon can be read here.)

Then it would no longer be on your conscience, since you’ve done your best to make all parties involved aware of the situation. I would inform your priest of your distress about this matter as well so he can take that into account. If your priest decided to continue allowing your non-Catholic husband to receive Communion, you could inform your bishop, but I think your priest will follow Canon Law.

I hope that helps. God bless!

Have your priest talk to your husband.

I honestly think that it would do more harm than good to make too much of an issue about it. I don’t see the priest having a word with him will help. The husband is obviously firmly convinced that he is doing what the Lord would want.

And I certainly don’t think that quoting Canon Law to a priest is tactful.

As others have said, it is not your fault. Your husband must do what he believes to be right. All you can do is pray for him to change his mind. Meanwhile, the dear Lord can take care of Himself. He is being received in Holy Communion by far worse people than your sincere husband, I am sure.

I agree - well put in my opinion.
paduard

You can bring it up without quoting it. It is often written inside the front cover of missalettes, she could point it out and say that she is distressed because she read that non-Catholics aren’t allowed to receive Communion and yet her husband insists on it. “Father, what should I do? I’ve tried talking to him, I feel like you’re my last resort.” Something like that wouldn’t be untactful. The laws are written in plain sight for a reason, and it’s not for us to sit on them. It’s to bring them up when situations arise.

Just flat out ask him why he wants so badly to participate in something he does not believe in?

If he does believe in it, then why is he not in RCIA?

You cannot physically stop him from receiving if he is determined ; but you can lay it on the line.

ICXC NIKA

If he at least sat in on RCIA he may WANT to be one Catholic. An invitation from the priest ( not the spouse) may go a long way to building a bridge. If nothing else, he would hear why we deserve communion for Catholics.

Ask him whether he believes it’s truly the body of Christ. (I’m guessing he’ll say ‘no’.)

If he doesn’t believe, then ask him whether it’s truly Christian to lie (as in “thou shalt not bear false witness”). He’ll say ‘no’.

Then remind him that, when we receive communion in the Church, the minister says “The Body of Christ” and we respond “Amen.” This ‘amen’ is an affirmation – an assertion – that we agree with the Church that the Eucharist is truly the Body and Blood of Christ. If he doesn’t believe that, then is he really willing to bear false witness each time he gets up to receive?

(Oh – and if he says “yes, it really is the Body of Christ”, then get him off to RCIA class pronto! His ‘yes’ means “I believe what Catholics believe”!!!)

I think you meant to say “reserve”

Nobody deserves our LORD’s Body!

Some would say that all we deserve is… never mind.

ICXC NIKA

You’ve gotten a lot of good answers here. I’m not sure if this would help, but, if I were to go to someone else’s place of worship, I’d follow their rules and regulations even if I don’t believe in them out of respect for the friend that I am going with and the people there. You don’t just walk into a synagogue, a church, or a mosque and flaunt their rules. If my husband were doing that, I would let him know he was disrespecting me and my fellow co-religionists in addition to the answers above.

Excellent answers by other posters.

Not much that YOU can do.

Pray over it.

Maybe husband will study up on the issue.

Does he really?

CCC 2120 Sacrilege consists in profaning or treating unworthily the sacraments and other liturgical actions, as well as persons, things, or places consecrated to God. Sacrilege is a grave sin especially when committed against the Eucharist, for in this sacrament the true Body of Christ is made substantially present for us.

He would be committing a grave sin and profanity in taking the Eucharist without a State of Grace. Encourage him to do the RCIA.

I would feel thankful he would want to receive but continue to try and have him understand the ‘catechism’ behind receiving. You might mention that as Catholics who receive because we are in agreement on Church teaching and we go to confession beforehand so that we receive Jesus with a clean heart. Have you demonstrated that to him and has he done that? Again I would feel thankful he would want to receive Jesus but he has to go a little further than that if he wants to be a Catholic in the true sense. Of course many of us could use a little refresher course in what we should do before receiving communion.

Well, it’s up to each person and their own conscience whether they go up to get communion or not, right?
After that, the priest can decide if a person should be denied for any reason?

But your husband can surely receive communion in any Protestant church.
So if it upsets you so much for him to do so at your church, and if he so passionately wants to receive it but cannot in the Catholic church, he can go to any number of Protestant churches in your area where the minister and doctrines and congregation would gladly encourage him to take communion and believe it is the right thing for him to do.

It sounds like he’s been coming to your church with you so you two can go as a family.
I’m guessing you do not want to go to a Protestant church every Sunday.

So the logical answer might be that you two go to separate churches.

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No… it’s up to each Catholic and their conscience. And, if their conscience is in error, they are obligated to properly form their conscience.

After that, the priest can decide if a person should be denied for any reason?

Except that a public denial is a pretty intense thing. Far better that an individual discerns on his own.

But your husband can surely receive communion in any Protestant church.
So if it upsets you so much for him to do so at your church, and if he so passionately wants to receive it but cannot in the Catholic church, he can go to any number of Protestant churches in your area where the minister and doctrines and congregation would gladly encourage him to take communion and believe it is the right thing for him to do.

It sounds more like he’s trying to assert Protestant belief in communion onto the Eucharist in the Catholic Church.

Nope. It’s quite possible to believe that it’s the Body of Christ without believing everything else that Catholics believe.

It is also possible to believe that all Eucharists, including Protestant ones, are the Body of Christ.

In short, it’s quite possible to combine a Catholic faith in the Real Presence with a Protestant ecclesiology.

Not true. If a non-Catholic does not feel they should have communion for any reason, they don’t do it.
Obviously, the OP’s husband feels right about it and is following his own conscience.

Not only Catholics follow their conscience; not sure if you know that.

I don’t mean that the priest has to deny a person in public. But I do assume that if he knew a non-Catholic was going up to him for communion and he felt it was not right for him to give it to him, he would let the person know somehow…and this can be done privately.

He does have a much more inclusive belief about communion, which many non-Catholic Christians do. Even the pope, it seems, has a more inclusive belief re communion than some Catholics.

But he doesn’t seem to be forcing his beliefs onto anyone else…he’s just doing his thing quietly. Yet…it bothers his wife.
Which is why I suggest that if it upsets her so much, she should suggest they go to different churches. I think it’s quite game of him to go to a church that he is not a member of–perhaps he really likes going to church with his wife every Sunday.

If she told the priest about this, would he stop giving her husband communion or keep allowing it? He just might keep allowing it.

IMO the husband should go to a church where the others share his beliefs and he doesn’t have to, as you put it, “assert Protestant belief”.

That way, he gets communion…and the OP doesn’t have to worry herself about it.

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