When can a non-catholic receive the Eucharist?

I am not in full communion with the Catholic Church yet, because I have to start RCIA and be confirmed, however all of my beliefs are Catholic. I accept all that the Church teaches. I read this quote on the USCC website and was wondering does it only apply to times of emergency?

When, in the Ordinary's judgment, a grave necessity arises, Catholic ministers may give the sacraments of Eucharist, Penance, and Anointing of the Sick to other Christians not in full communion with the Catholic Church, who ask for them of their own will, provided they give evidence of holding the Catholic faith regarding these sacraments and possess the required dispositions. (Catechism of the Catholic Church, number 1401)

usccb.org/liturgy/q&a/mass/communion.shtml

So if I were ever endanger of dying before going through RCIA although I have every intention of going through it in the future, i could receive the Sacraments of the Church, even Confirmation?

Which begs the question if the Father/Son/Holy Ghost and the Church can manage this in such a dire situation is that they unable to do so the rest of the time or unwilling?

If the Church aloud everyone and anyone to receive the Eucharist it would be desecrated see 1 Corinthians 11:28.

Also I am happy that the Church makes one wait to discern the faith before receiving communion. No one wants people to take this Sacrament lightly or go through phases in which they "feel" Catholic and receive the Eucharist and all of a sudden change their minds.

If someone who is not confirmed receives the Sacrament while in danger of dying, it is obvious that they had every intention of becoming Catholic and living a Catholic life. It is much different when the person only has one last chance in which they can receive the Sacrament rather than those who can convert, be confirmed, and reasonably understand the faith.

[quote="Lead_Me_Home, post:3, topic:182062"]
If the Church aloud everyone and anyone to receive the Eucharist it would be desecrated see 1 Corinthians 11:28.

Also I am happy that the Church makes one wait to discern the faith before receiving communion. Know one wants people to take this Sacrament lightly or go through phases in which they "feel" Catholic and receive the Eucharist and all of a sudden change their minds.

If someone who is not confirmed receives the Sacrament while in danger of dying, it is obvious that they had every intention of becoming Catholic and living a Catholic life. It is much different when the person only has one last chance in which they can receive the Sacrament rather than those who can convert, be confirmed, and reasonably understand the faith.

[/quote]

Ah...so it's a deathbed conversion thing, not something offered to another Christian, even one that believes in a true presence, who is near death and can't reach his own clergy but has no desire to convert.

I am not an apologist, but for those Protestants who believe in the real presence might be able to receive the Sacrament. I doubt it, but it would be up to the judgement of the Bishop or Priest. The Orthodox and a few other groups of Christians I know for a fact can receive the Eucharist, but their doctrines are far closer, nearly identical to that of the Church.

If you are a Protestant though, why would you want to receive the Eucharist if you do not want to convert? Knowing that receiving the Catholic Eucharist is a statement of faith that is to ALL the Church's doctrines. The perpetual virginity, confession to priests, petitions to saints, and all those things that most Protestants ardently reject.

I think any Christian who believes in a real presence would like the Eucharist if at all possible near the moment of their death.

[quote="Lead_Me_Home, post:1, topic:182062"]

So if I were ever endanger of dying before going through RCIA although I have every intention of going through it in the future, i could receive the Sacraments of the Church, even Confirmation?

[/quote]

What you want to do is make your intentions known to your local parish priest, so that, if such a dire event occurs, and you are unable to speak, he would know to go to your bedside and administer the Sacraments to you.

You can also start attending Mass regularly and making yourself known to the local Catholic community, even before you start RCIA, so that they know you, and would know to look for you if you were ever to "go missing" for some reason.

I like talking to you Lutheranteach, I know too many Protestants and Catholics alike who are lukewarm on their faith and don't defend it. I love thinking about my faith, because it makes me a stronger Christian.

I know that this may not be the best analogy...

Normally we cannot go through an intersection controlled by a traffic light unless the light is in our favor. In the event of an emergency (and if it is safe to do so) we can proceed through that intersection even if the light is red. The "emergency" could be as grave as a the case of a person needing to get to a hospital or as minor as a signal that is clearly malfunctioning. But it must be an emergency.

However, under normal circumstances we are to stop at red lights. It doesn't matter if there is a lot of traffic or if we are the only car for miles around. We are supposed to wait.

It's the same with making one's First Communion (or other first for a sacrament.) It is normal to have to wait until the proper time. But in the case of an emergency it may be possible do do things "out of the order", so to speak. The "proper order" would be for an adult non-Catholic Christian to seek full communion with the Catholic Church and take the steps to achieve it. For a Catholic child the proper order is to obtain the age set by the Church and undergo the required preparation.

[quote="Lutheranteach, post:6, topic:182062"]
I think any Christian who believes in a real presence would like the Eucharist if at all possible near the moment of their death.

[/quote]

They could easily receive it from their own minister, in that situation.

[quote="jmcrae, post:7, topic:182062"]

You can also start attending Mass regularly and making yourself known to the local Catholic community, even before you start RCIA, so that they know you, and would know to look for you if you were ever to "go missing" for some reason.

[/quote]

I have been going to Mass regularly this year with my protestant father, which is wonderful. I missed the Mary Mother of God mass though :banghead:. I will have to make this known to the parish priest once I go to one parish regularly.

[quote="Lutheranteach, post:4, topic:182062"]
Ah...so it's a deathbed conversion thing, not something offered to another Christian, even one that believes in a true presence, who is near death and can't reach his own clergy but has no desire to convert.

[/quote]

For the most part, this is correct ... however, they individual may be close to death, not literally on their death bed !!

I am curious how any feel about the trend with some Catholic priests of giving the Eucharist to everyone regardless?
I was asked to be part of a Catholic Funeral where the priest told me flat out that "I give to everyone and let God sort it out." Needless to say I DID NOT receive from him, I just asked him to give me a blessing and if any of the family asked just to tell them that I had not done proper confession at that time. I as an Anglican did not want to give the impression that this was normal practice.

I have since found from friends that have visited the Vatican (while John Paul II was still Pope) that groups of known Lutherans that were touring were given the Eucharist. When I spoke at the last ethics conference at Notre Dame U. one of the subjects in my panel group was on the loss of respect for the Eucharist. I must say that I wholeheartedly agree, but add that it is not just a Roman Catholic thing but a Protestant thing as well.

[quote="Lead_Me_Home, post:1, topic:182062"]
I am not in full communion with the Catholic Church yet, because I have to start RCIA and be confirmed, however all of my beliefs are Catholic. I accept all that the Church teaches. I read this quote on the USCC website and was wondering does it only apply to times of emergency?

usccb.org/liturgy/q&a/mass/communion.shtml

So if I were ever endanger of dying before going through RCIA although I have every intention of going through it in the future, i could receive the Sacraments of the Church, even Confirmation?

[/quote]

I think in your case a priest would be comfortable giving you the sacraments even if before you completed RCIA and were confirmed. I think you do need to find a parish and become a regular attendee there and get to be known by the people in the RCIA program and the priest. I think those rules as written by the USCCB were written with people like you in mind in certain situations.

ChadS

[quote="Padrej, post:13, topic:182062"]
I am curious how any feel about the trend with some Catholic priests of giving the Eucharist to everyone regardless?

[/quote]

I think part of why this happens is because priests don't like to give offense - and there are certain Protestants who are extremely vocal in taking offense. They really do see the Eucharist as a "joy-joy" thing that has nothing to do with Jesus, but just, it's exactly like passing a bottle of pop or something, when you are a little kid. If they pass it to you, you are "in" and if not, then you are "out," and they are that sensitive, cry-baby kid who really takes it personally - even if they don't even happen to like that kind of pop.

I think these priests just think, well, okay, I don't want a big loud tearful scene out on my front lawn, so, let Jesus know His own, and I'm staying out of it - if they eat and drink damnation upon themselves, that's their own problem; not mine. My experience, though, is that these priests make a special point of not asking people what religion they are, even if they don't appear to know how to receive correctly.

[quote="ChadS, post:14, topic:182062"]
I think in your case a priest would be comfortable giving you the sacraments even if before you completed RCIA and were confirmed.
ChadS

[/quote]

Chad,

the reason this cannot be is because the Eucharist is a Sacrament of Initiation, and so the first communion of a convert is proper to be within his/her reception into the Church (ie, for LMH, Confirmation).

LMH,

If I remember correctly, there is a provision in Canon Law that those Protestants and Orthodox who believe in the Real Presence as the Catholic Church teaches may recieve the Eucharist in a Catholic Church if there is no other Church or community of their own that they can go to. Otherwise, the same restrictions apply.

[quote="Lutheranteach, post:2, topic:182062"]
Which begs the question if the Father/Son/Holy Ghost and the Church can manage this in such a dire situation is that they unable to do so the rest of the time or unwilling?

[/quote]

First, and most important, it is not about the the Trinity or the Church per se...it is most importantly about the person who has elected not to be/come into full communion with the Catholic Chruch...by his/her own free will choice. So, if God respects that person's free will to choose to be outside the visible boundaries of the Catholic Church...then why shouldn't the Chruch also respect that person's free will decision.

Second, it is the Bishop (not the pastors or priests)...who is the shepherd of the local/particular Chruch (the diocese) who has the authority and must make the judgment...but notice that the person must still ask for it them self..of their own free will...and...also, must confess to believe/be disposed to accept the Real Presence of the Blessed Sacrament...the Sacrament of Penance...and the Sacrament of Anointing...if they can do this of their own free will and intellect in a crisis situation..the bishop is always going to accommodate their wish. It has nothing to do with being near or far from their church or their pastor...it is about a person's free will belief and desire to have their sins forgiven, to receive the Lord's Body and Blood in his fullest presence this side of eternity and be anointed by the Holy Spirit.

I have only seen it done in actual combat...on the battlefield...and the priest-chaplains who did so...have all been personally instructed (in specific details) and given the bishop's authority to impart his apostolic blessing and to bring Christ and his Holy Spirit to the battlefield...to administer the sacraments in the name of the Ordinary/Bishop...for the Military Archdiocese. These guys (our priest-chaplains)...are some of the very best priests we have in the Church...they are (in baseball terms) "long-ball hitters" for the Chruch...they actually don't come from the USA...they come from a couple of little towns in Judea and Galilee!

Pax Christi

[quote="jmcrae, post:15, topic:182062"]
I think part of why this happens is because priests don't like to give offense - and there are certain Protestants who are extremely vocal in taking offense. They really do see the Eucharist as a "joy-joy" thing that has nothing to do with Jesus, but just, it's exactly like passing a bottle of pop or something, when you are a little kid. If they pass it to you, you are "in" and if not, then you are "out," and they are that sensitive, cry-baby kid who really takes it personally - even if they don't even happen to like that kind of pop.

I think these priests just think, well, okay, I don't want a big loud tearful scene out on my front lawn, so, let Jesus know His own, and I'm staying out of it - if they eat and drink damnation upon themselves, that's their own problem; not mine. My experience, though, is that these priests make a special point of not asking people what religion they are, even if they don't appear to know how to receive correctly.

[/quote]

Interesting point you make of *"if they eat and drink damnation upon themselves, that's their own problem; not mine." *I was always taught if YOU cause someone to stumble the blame is on YOU. Didn't Jesus say that it would be better that a millstone be hung about the neck for that type of person? When I was ordained the bishop that ordained me asked before the service, "do you REALLY want to go through with this because now the greater responsibility is on you; you are the one handing out the Body of Christ and it cant be just to anyone, it has to be given in a worthy manner."

As to your point about priests not asking even if they don't appear to be receiving correctly; are you referring to the C&E Christians (Christmas and Easter) or just ones who show up or both. But lets assume you mean both. It always seems though you can spot a stranger to a liturgical church because they are always looking for the one little old lady who looks like they know what they are supposed to do (kneel or stand). In my wicked sense of humor, just one Easter service I would love to plant some people to do a moonwalk or something out of the ordinary to see how many visitors would follow blindly. I have never had the guts or irreverence to do that though.

I think though with some visitors to say a basilica you would tend to not know who is and is not a real Catholic to start with as nobody has some mark on their forehead. I would think a careful observer would know how to receive properly just by watching those around him/her. I know that the last time I visited Notre Dame U and went to a mass there; prior to distribution a "how to" lecture was given to visitors on how to receive the Eucharist. In that case who would know even then. They actually invited ALL but did say if you intend not to receive just fold your arms over yourself to receive a blessing. Never once did they say, non Catholics please do not receive.

[quote="Padrej, post:13, topic:182062"]
I am curious how any feel about the trend with some Catholic priests of giving the Eucharist to everyone regardless?
I was asked to be part of a Catholic Funeral where the priest told me flat out that "I give to everyone and let God sort it out." Needless to say I DID NOT receive from him, I just asked him to give me a blessing and if any of the family asked just to tell them that I had not done proper confession at that time. I as an Anglican did not want to give the impression that this was normal practice.

I have since found from friends that have visited the Vatican (while John Paul II was still Pope) that groups of known Lutherans that were touring were given the Eucharist. When I spoke at the last ethics conference at Notre Dame U. one of the subjects in my panel group was on the loss of respect for the Eucharist. I must say that I wholeheartedly agree, but add that it is not just a Roman Catholic thing but a Protestant thing as well.

[/quote]

Generally, when someone comes up for communion, they do not get asked if they are Catholic before receiving. The assumption is that if they are NOT Catholic that they know that Catholics have closed communion. A well known fact as it is a "bone of contention" with Protestants.

I think we need to pray that these priests re-gain the appropriate respect for the Eucharist. The practice of "just giving communion out to anyone and letting God sort it out" is certainly NOT THE NORM....perhaps those priests have lost the proper understanding of why we don't allow non-Catholics to take communion in the Catholic Church.

We don't allow NON-Catholics to take communion in the Catholic Church for the same reason that we don't allow pre-marital sex.

The idea is that there is a proper order to receive the sacraments: first you get to know one another(courtship and engagement/ RCIA), then you make the covenant(marriage vows/profession of faith and confirmation), then you consummate the covenant ( in marriage that consummation is the first marital embrace/ for the sacrament of initiation, it is First Communion; where we literally become one with Christ. Just as in the marital embrace, the two become one. When you let non-Catholics take communion, then you are messing up the proper order to receive the sacrament.There are ALWAYS exceptions to the rule...but they are exceptions and not the rule.

CC

[quote="Lead_Me_Home, post:8, topic:182062"]
I like talking to you Lutheranteach, I know too many Protestants and Catholics alike who are lukewarm on their faith and don't defend it. I love thinking about my faith, because it makes me a stronger Christian.

[/quote]

I take that as a high compliment. Thank you. I am a believer that those who don't see eye to eye can still stand shoulder to shoulder.

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