Why Can’t Protestants Take Communion in a Catholic Church?


Q. Why can’t Protestants receive communion at the Catholic Church?

A. To protect them from Judgment.

1 Corinthians 11: 27 Therefore, whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be
guilty of sinning against the body and blood of the Lord.
28 A man ought to examine himself before he eats of the bread and drinks of the cup. 29 For anyone who eats and drinks without recognizing the body of the Lord eats and drinks judgment on himself. 30That is why many among you are weak and sick, and a number of you have fallen asleep.

Since, Protestants do not believe in the Real Presence of Jesus in the Eucharist as we do, they do not discern or recognize that Jesus’ body is present under the appearance of bread and wine. We would be allowing them to eat and drink judgment upon themselves. The prohibition is actually very charitable but, unfortunately, it is usually seen as a rejection.

Evidence of this interpretation of this passage is supported by St. Justin the Martyr :

“We call this food Eucharist; and no one else is permitted to partake of it, except one who believes our teaching to be true…”
-Justin Martyr -FIRST APOLOGY, 66,20–(150 A.D.)

Q. Why do we call the bread “The Host”?

A. Our use of this term, to refer to the consecrated bread, comes from the Latin word hostia, which means ‘victim’. We believe that Jesus Christ is really present in the consecrated bread and wine on our altars. The mass is a re-presentation of the sacrificial death of Jesus on the cross. Therefore, Jesus is the victim of sacrifice and we call the bread the host/victim to help us remember that it is no longer bread but the Real Presence of our Lord Jesus Christ given to us to strengthen and keep us on the journey to Heaven.

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340 Responses to Why Can’t Protestants Take Communion in a Catholic Church?

  1. Cody says:

    Even though I hear Protestants get upset about not being able to receive communion at Catholic Church (the most ironic thing is that many of these people complaining about it are virulent anti-Catholics who would never go to Mass anyway, and certainly would not receive the “blasphemous” host if the did), few Protestants have a truly open communion. Most restrict it to those who are baptized, some restrict it to those who are baptized in a recognized denomination, others restrict it to those baptized in that specific church (i.e. you can receive if you were baptized as a member of Beacon Street Baptist but not Park Street Baptist).

    PS-I made up the names of the churches.

    • scott says:

      for Cody, you are wrong. you have to be a believer in Jesus Christ. Doesn’t matter if or where you were baptized. And doesn’t matter what denomination. And a catholic is welcome to take communion in the protestant church as well!!! please don’t make statements you are not an expert in

  2. Freedom says:

    Cody-It sounds like quite a few people restrict communion, including Catholic and it’s interesting to see that many can justify why.

    Communion should have no restrictions. It is not up to us, whether Catholic, Prostestant, Penecostal, Baptist, etc. to decide who should receive communion and who shouldn’t. If a man has sin in his life that he has not repented of or if a man believes something different than anyone else believes, that is between him and God.

    In Corinthians 11:26, as in the above post, it states……

    “A man ought to examine himself before he eats of the bread and drinks of the cup.”

    A man ought to examine himself. So perhaps we should allow the man to examine himself and the church should stop attempting to intervene. I don’t believe Jesus’ offer to receive communion was exclusive as it seems to be in so many churches.

    I have been to Mass and have often wondered why communion is only offered to those who are Catholic. This seems to be no different than what the churches that Cody has mentioned do. Are we not the same body of believers? We may have some difference of opinions, but we are of the same body-Christ.

    I wonder how many we keep away from the table or how many we keep from receiving Christ by our human rules, whether it be by error or arrogance.

    • Your correct… In the bible it is allowed by everyone, Jesus nor the apostles said you have to be “catholic” only or any other sect except to be with christ in heart… in the King James Bible – Acts {2:46} And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart blessed. So if everyone at that time broke bread in communion with christ in their own houses why do catholics say they can only do this. This is going against god and making them arrogant in the eyes of god.

      • G says:

        I agree absolutely with the contention that God invites us all to communion and it is only arrogant catholics (sadly, including my wife), who believe that they have implicit, God-given ‘control’ over what God has decided. Surely this is tantamount to some form of blasphemy?

    • Here is some ref to the end times… Spirit to be poured out on all flesh (Joel 2:28), Universal apostasy (2 Thessalonians 2:1-4), The watering down of the gospel, teaching the doctrines of man rather than those of God. Even priests will be led astray. (2 Tim 3:5, Matt 15:9)

      • Anonymous says:

        Spirit to be poured out on all flesh (Joel 2:28) (infant baptism)

        Teaching the doctrines of man rather than those of God. (rosary, praying to Mary, 25 hail marys, liturgy, etc)

        Even priests will be led astray.(Catholic sex scandals)

      • bfhu says:

        It is true that Scripture does not disallow anyone from communion. However, there was only one Church at the time so there wasn’t a need for a rule about non Christians/Catholics. But there is evidence that in the first century they did develop a rule restricting communion.

        150 AD–St Justin Martyr wrote to the Emperor of Rome :

        “We call this food Eucharist; and no one else is permitted to partake of it, except one who believes our teaching to be true…For not as common bread nor common drink do we receive these; but since Jesus Christ our Savior was made incarnate by the word of God and had both flesh and blood for our salvation so too, as we have been taught, the food which has been made into the Eucharist by the Eucharistic prayer set down by Him, and by the change of which our blood and flesh is nourished, is both the Flesh and the Blood of that incarnated Jesus” (First Apology 66,20 )

  3. Fr. J. says:

    Freedom,

    Difference of teaching is a lot more serious than a mere difference of opinion.

    One need only look to the early church to find bishops limiting communion to those who followed the orthodox teaching of the church. Communion was sometimes sent from bishop to another to show that they were in communion with each other. In other words, to be in communion with a church means to have the same teaching and therefore the same faith as that church. We now live in an age when the fragmentation begun in the 16th Century is rapidly multiplying. Christians are less and less in communion with each others teaching now than before. So, there should be actually less sharing of communion with one another if we are to take the practices of the early church seriously, which Catholics do.

  4. Freedom says:

    I understand that Catholics take the early church practices seriously, as they should. However, they are not the only ones to take early church practices and the teachings of Jesus seriously.

    Perhaps if one was to look at events prior to the first church and prior to bishops or denominations, they would find Jesus offering communion to the disciples, not just Catholics or between bishops, but to his disciples.

    Just Jesus and his disciples, his followers. Nothing more or less than.

    If one says they are a disciple of Christ than who are we to say any differently? I consider myself a disciple, a follower of Jesus Christ and I do not consider myself to be Catholic. According to you, I’m not allowed to take communion.

    You said…”to be in communion with a church….”. Perhaps this is where the true disagreement lies. I believe we are to be in communion with Jesus, not the church. Perhaps are ideas of communion are completely different.

    Yours with the church and mine to be with Jesus, as it is written.

    While they were eating, Jesus took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to his disciples, saying, “Take and eat; this is my body.” Then he took the cup, gave thanks and offered it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you. This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins. I tell you, I will not drink of this fruit of the vine from now on until that day when I drink it anew with you in my Father’s kingdom.”

    Peace be with you.

  5. Fr. J. says:

    Wait a second. Jesus did not offer communion to his disciples who numbered in the thousands. He offered communion to his apostles. This is a huge difference. Bishops are the successors of the apostles, not just any disciples, but of the apostles. So, to be in communion with Christ in his singular act at the Last Supper requires us to be in communion with the bishops who are in line with the apostles. Catholic theology, you see, is all interwoven. It isn’t a collection of random ideas thrown together. It is a systematic understanding of who Christ is, who the Church is and who we Christian are in relation to both. That is, sacramental theology, ecclesiology, christology, the Trinity all form a single whole.

    So, how Catholics understand “being in communion with” fits into all areas of theology from scripture to Aquinas to the present. And the Catholic thinking on this topic is perfectly in line with the thinking of the early church back to the apostles and yes, back to Christ at the last supper.

    • Alison says:

      A very good reply, thank you. So many problems an disagreements are a result of people all trying to go off and interpret the Scripture in their own way, according to their own sensibilities and culture. This is the beauty of authentic Catholic teaching… it is not about individual interpretations or prejudices, it is about coherent and stable teaching that dates back to the Apostles. Often it is rejected because of lack of humility – people would rather believe what they WANT to believe, than what is rational or well thought-out

    • dp says:

      Regarding that “Jesus did not offer communion to his disciples who numbered in the thousands. He offered communion to his apostles>>>

      Apostles are ‘sent-ones’, and there were then and are now many other apostles besides the original ones. Also, where does it infer in the 1Cor.11 discussion that communion was only offered to any particular definition of people? It does say, though, that “WHOEVER (indicated by the Greek Os and ‘av’ which stresses the ‘whosoever-ness’ of it) might eat this the bread or might drink this the cup unworthily will be guilty of the body and of the blood of the Lord. “ The ‘WHOEVER’ who might do that could be anyone, including any man who is a priest. Then it says, “But let A MAN (‘anthropos’, any human being) examine himself, and ‘so’ in that state of mind, let him eat out from the bread and drink out from the cup. Therefore, he (ANYONE, REGARDLESS OF DENOMINATION OR CHURCH POSITION) eating and drinking UNWORTHILY EATS AND DRINKS JUDGMENT TO HIMSELF, NOT DISCERNING THE BODY OF THE LORD.”

      In Matt.26:26, scripture refers to those being told to eat His body and to drink His blood as His mathatais, His disciples, or ‘learners’. Then He says, “All (pantes is here written in the vocative case, meaning that He is addressing “ALL”) Jesus did not even limit it to ‘all-of-you’, but said, to literally ‘all’ men, “Drink out from it. This is the blood of-Me, the (blood) of the new covenant which concerning many is being poured out into sending-away (forgiving) of sins.

      It is not church denomination or EVEN church position that determines if someone’s taking of communion is unworthy or not. It is their spiritual reverence of the elements of the body and blood being Christ’s, and their commitment to ‘examine’ themselves according to Christ and His words.

  6. Stephanie says:

    Fr. J-

    I understand what you are saying when you speak about the difference between apostles and disciples. I agree, Jesus offered communion to a select few that we call apostles, not the thousands that followed Jesus. You can clearly see there is a difference when they use the word disciple in the scripture I copied above in regard to the last supper.

    However, all this is really far from the point I’m attempting to make. As I said before, it sounds like unless I am Catholic, I should not be receiving communion.

    In your eyes, is that correct?

    • Karl says:

      Don’t know if you’re still reading these, but here’s one way to look at it – if you believe the teachings of Jesus Christ, passed down through his Apostles, you ARE Catholic, by definition. These teachings include the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist, and a participation in the bonds of fellowship within the singular, unified group He designated his Church, founded on St. Peter. If you don’t believe in the real presence, you’re not receiving communion anyway, even if you eat the wafer. If you want to eat bread, there’s much tastier stuff in the supermarket :) <3

    • Anonymous says:

      do you mean ROMAN Catholic?

      • Anonymous says:

        Roman, Ukrainian, Greek, Russian, Ethiopian… so long as it is Catholic and not Protestant, it does not matter.

  7. Diane says:

    To be in union with Jesus is to be in union with HIS CHURCH. Non Catholics should not receive communion!

    • Erich says:

      His church is not the catholic church, it is all believers that Jesus Christ is our lord and savior. I take communion as a Christian, not any denomination. It should not be taken in any other way than as a christian…we should worship God, not a religion.

      • Tracey says:

        TRACEY: Communion is for anyone who believes Christ died for our sins and rose again….not just Catholics. Catholic is a religion….I’m a Follower of Christ no religion….I have every right to take communion as anyone else. Jesus does not choose a religion over another….he chooses followers of Him

        BFHU Replies:
        Yes Jesus will choose His followers. Being in one church or another does not guarantee Heaven. However, we are all followers of Christ if we call ourselves Christian. Catholicism is a religion but so is Protestantism and what ever branch of it you identify with. The definition of religion is:

        re·li·gion

        –noun
        1.
        a set of beliefs concerning the cause, nature, and purpose of the universe, especially when considered as the creation of a superhuman agency or agencies, usually involving devotional and ritual observances, and often containing a moral code governing the conduct of human affairs.

        So, unless you deny that the above definition describes your church you practice a religion. I have always found it curious how Protestants want to deny that they are religious, as if only the evil Catholics are religious. And that many non-mainline Protestants want to deny that the belong to any denomination as if there is something more Christian about being nondenominational. What that usually means is that they end up actually teaching fewer doctrines b/c disagreement always raises its ugly head.

      • Anonymous says:

        It is not enough to say you believe Jesus is Lord and Saviour. What does that mean, exactly? Does that mean that mere acceptance of His words is enough? Does that mean we have to obey Him? Does that mean we all have to do what we think He meant, even if it contradicts another Christian? Or does it mean we should be like-minded and work together, rather than against each other?

        True Christian religion is merely organising what we believe about Our Lord so that it is in line with Scripture and Apostolic Tradition. It is deciding to say “This is Truth, because Our Lord taught it, and His Apostles and their followers believed it.” We must accept that Jesus did not say “Follow your heart”. That is a modern mantra. He said, “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life.” And while all Christians believe this to be true, even among themselves Protestants see Christ as several totally different people and Gods. Catholics only have one vision for who Jesus is. There is no contention as to who Jesus is in our Church. Does the Protestant hodgepodge have such a clear vision? No.

        Follow Jesus? Which Jesus? The Baptist Jesus? The Lutheran Jesus? The Calvinist or Pentecostal or Mormon or Christian Science Jesus? They are all different Jesuses.

  8. Diane says:

    Funny how people demand what they don’t believe in!

    To receive communion in the Catholic Church means to be in union with it. Do you accept that Jesus left us apostles and their successors to guide us? Do you accept that Peter had primacy over the Apostles and that his successors do to this day? Do you accept that the Blessed Sacrament is body and blood of the Lord? Do accept the Immaculate Conception of Mary? ETC ETC…..
    Why demand something that you don’t belive in?

  9. Stephanie says:

    Wow. Well hello Diane.

    I’m not sure why you are yelling or why you are assuming that I’m demanding something. I was under the impression that I was having dialogue with Fr. J.

    Yes Diane, I do believe in all of those things that you mentioned above except that the Catholic church is Jesus’ ONLY church and you are the ONLY apostles.

    According to you Diane, until I convert and conform to the Catholic way, I can not partake in commuion with Jesus or His church. I can understand if one was to make a requirement to be a Christian before partaking in commuion, however what you are saying sounds very arrogant Diane.

    What it sounds like you are saying to the world is the only people that are real Chrsitians are Catholics. By no means am saying that you actually said this, I’m just saying, by your words, this is how it sounds.

    Just because I completely disagree with this, does not mean I am demanding anything. I have placed no demands on you, you are more than welcome to come to my church and partake in communion with Christ. As your sister in Christ, I would stand by your side and take communion with you.

    I personally believe that many people are getting hurt and kept from Christ because of the limitations our belief systems are placing on God’s people. Much like the days when Jesus walked the earth with Pharisees.

    Thank you Diane, you answered my questions more than thoroughly.

    Peace be with you.

    • beth says:

      I agree with Stephanie.
      I’m Christian, but not Catholic. I have been to a Catholic church before and the Priest made me feel like I was beneath him and those who belonged to the Catholic church. The Catholic church only helps those who belong to their church and they tend to push outsiders away. At least that is how it felt to me. It goes against all my beliefs. Jesus didn’t push away anyone who had faith no matter who they were or where they came from. He accepted and loved everyone and will continue to because he never changes. I do have some Catholic friends but they do not behave in the same manner as the priest did towards me. My friends who grew up Catholic, have even told me to read the Bible myself and study while asking God for the truth. They are Catholic and don’t believe everything that is said in the church either. No one knows if everyone in the same church carries the same belief system of everything they are told, not even the Catholics.
      We are close to the end times, even though no one knows exactly what day that will fall on, but only God. God tells us during this time Satan will enter the church and not all spoken in churches, including Catholic, will be of truth. This is why God gave us each a special gift, such as those with discernment, to help get our churches through these rough times, but not all churches will. No one will know who is right or wrong except for those who have this certain gift. Not saying one gift is better than the other, but they are all good for a certain purpose during these times. Evil is already pouring through our churches today, even several years back. Look at all the Priests who molested our young. The worst part about it is that the Pope knew the entire time and didn’t do one thing about it and even when this information was finally put out in the open, it still took them a while to do anything about some of them. So as they say, if you are taking communion with and for the church for God, I question how it must feel to take communion with a person of such evil working through them in the church. In my eyes communion is between me and God and it has nothing to do with the church as a whole.
      This is just my belief system and as God says…we should not judge others because that is only God’s job. I love everyone of every faith and even those of no faith. As God still loves us even though we are all born into sin and commit sin, he has never pushed anyone away from him and I believe the church should do the same. It is not our jobs to say who should be included in any type of worship or even communion. If your faith is there and you live for Christ why should you be denied? I’m not writing this to put anyone down and such. This is just how I feel.

      • Anonymous says:

        II am currently taking instructions on becoming Catholic. This is the first time in my life that I feel totally comfortable in a church. I was babtized a protestant and have attended many different protestant churches over the years, looking for one that truly inspired me and have finally found it in the Catholic church. I would love to be able to take communion now but I totally understand why I cannot. I will wait patiently tiill the day comes when I can. It will be worth the wait. Linda

  10. Fr. J. says:

    Stephanie,

    The issue of whether the last supper was with apostles and disciples does answer your question. In order to receive communion in Christ’s Church, one must be in communion with that Church which is founded on the apostles and passed down to the present through the bishops. If you are not in communion with the bishops, you cannot receive the Eucharist from them. So, no it is not possible for a Protestant to receive Communion in the Catholic Church.

    This is not to say that only Catholics are Christians, but that Christians are not in communion with each other on fundamental issues. It is not that we just refuse communion to other Christians, we also should not receive in other churches because we are not in communion. In other words, for Catholics it is not about ones thoughts or feelings about the sacrament that opens one to communion, but the totality of teaching and practice. When one receives communion, one is say “I believe and hold all that the Catholic Church teaches and holds.”

  11. A question that comes to mind about seeking Communion in the Catholic Church when one is not from a true particular Church (i.e. a church with 7 saccraments rather than a Protestant ecclesial community) is the difficulty of proper preparation.

    Affirming Who the Eucharist is, is a begining. Sharing in our faith of HOW to receive is another thing to consider.

    Not to be snarky, but those who are concearned about open communion never seem to be clamoring for an open confessional. So much as missing one Sunday Mass for non-hardship reasons (health, blizzard, being stuck at an airport in Timbuktu) makes it necessary for a Catholic to confess these sins properly and receive absolution.

    There were years that I believed in Who the Eucharist is, but could not receive because due to my recalcitrance in seeking the confessional, I was never prepared.

  12. Stephanie says:

    Fr. J-

    Thank you. I do understand what you are saying although I don’t really agree. As I said to Dianne, I just think many people are getting hurt by the belief systems WE have created and perhaps we should all be reviewing those systems we have put in place again.

    Simplesinner-

    Snarky? LOL.

    Personally, I’m good with confessing my sins to others openly. It seems a bit much though that one would have to confess if they were stuck in a Timbuktu airport. (Did I understand that correctly?)

  13. nan says:

    Catholics confess to priests.

    You may have misunderstood the Timbuktu airport; if you failed to attend Mass because you were stuck in the Timbuktu airport, it is a hardship so no sin. If you failed to attend Mass for a reason other than hardship (examples include stuck in airport), you have sinned and must also confess that.

  14. nan says:

    Clarification: Catholic beliefs. I don’t know your beliefs.

  15. Nan got it right – my point was if you are stuck somewhere where Mass is an impossibility (lost at see, stuck at an airport, car broken down on the side of the road miles from no where, etc) there is no sin in missing your obligation.

    When you say “Personally, I am good with confessing my sins to others openly.” You – perhaps unkowingly – underscore my point. Without believing and affirming what Catholics teach about confession as a necessary sacrament with a priest giving absolution, one does not share in beliefs about the Eucharist. In this matter, what seems a step removed from the Eucharist itself is totally related – we believe you need confession and sacramental absolution from a validly ordained priest.

    THis is the reason why some non-Catholics (who are not Protestant) have limited permission to recieve communion – because they have priesthood and confession. (Like the Russian Orthodox, Armenian Orthodox, Polish National Catholic Church….)

  16. Stephanie says:

    Simplesinner-

    Yes, I’m familar with Catholic beliefs and practices. Again, the biggest point I’ve been attempting to make is the one I last commented on to Fr. J.

  17. Diane says:

    Jesus didn’t start many churches…only one unified church. Jesus didn’t leave us many churches with disagreements….He left one unified church. So, when you look at all of the christian churches with all of their disagreements on doctrine, theology, etc., you have to realize that their whole situation is an ERROR.
    Other christian denominations may have some elements of truth, such as belief in the triune God, but none have the FULLNESS of God truth save for the one He started…the Catholic Church. The sooner protestants can see the flaws in their beliefs, the better. As Scripture tells us, false doctrine will lead you away from Christ. Protestant beliefs such as acceptance of remarriage, salvation come via faith alone, etc. are false and will have you living in a way that is at odds with the Lord’s directives.
    So, that’s why if you are not in union with Jesus’ church, you should not receive communion in it, because you subscribe to false teachings….in essence, protestantism is a heresy that Satan loves, because it causes divisision, which Jesus and St. Paul explicitly warn against, along with a whole host of other errors.

  18. Diane says:

    The belief system of the Catholic Church was not put in place by men, but by Jesus…the Catholic Church is simply carrying on what the Lord has started. When He ascended into heaven, He left us a church to guide us (not the Bible). It is the Church that is the pillar and foundation of truth…it was that church that gave you the New Testament almost 350 years later and the only church around today that could be the one that Jesus started is the Catholic Church…it alone has carried on the faith the same way that Jesus gave it to his Apostles to hand down.

    If you need more info, email me at dsulpizio@sbcglobal.net.

  19. Kristen says:

    I agree with stephanie. She has every right to recieve communion just as much as the next sinner. I believe the Catholic Church is playing with fire here by putting limitations on salvation. I believe this is the main reason why church life is so segragated today is because of extreme limitations. If one believes the eucharist means one thing and interprets scripture different than the the other and sees it differently isn’t this the relationship between man and God what matters? I think that the church needs a healthy dose of humility. The church definately sets up a wall for the potential new believer.

  20. bfhu says:

    If Protestants wish to protest against the restriction of communion to Catholics in a state of grace , they certainly may–protest, that is. They can also rebel and take communion anyway. But, remember, we are not dealing with the opinions of men here but with submission to Christ. So, if a Protestant wishes to willfully take the Eucharist at a Catholic Church, I caution you to reconsider the words of St. Paul:

    1 Corinthians 11: 27 Therefore, whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of sinning against the body and blood of the Lord. 28 A man ought to examine himself before he eats of the bread and drinks of the cup. 29 For anyone who eats and drinks without recognizing the body of the Lord eats and drinks judgment on himself. 30That is why many among you are weak and sick, and a number of you have fallen asleep.

  21. Kristen says:

    This is not just a protestant perspective, this is the perspective of many followers of Christ. I speak on behalf of many authentic seekers and followers of Christ who may have never been raised near or in a Catholic church. I speak based on my experience. I was not affiliated or raised in a church but was called to Christ as a mere sinner and my life was changed. when I accepted Christ into my heart I truly experienced baptism in his holy spirit . This took place in a Baptist church yes, but at the time I was only there for prayer and counsel and opened my heart to Christ in a life changing moment. He surrounded me with love and grace and became touched me spiritually and , and I was right then in there washed clean in his love and born into to a new life and relationship to him. This can take place anywhere anytime. its not about the building, the act of holy communion reaches people anywhere God wills it. It could happen in a moment of honesty with god in a quiet room or in a far a way place where Church life is not available. You can look at scripture in a way the church teaches and you can also prayerfully discern how God speaks to us individually. Sometimes I think we can over look what God may be trying to tell us when we just hold to a set interpretation that only a holy God can communicate to us when we are open to receive from him through his holy spirit. When I read Corinthians 11:27 I see a passage that clearly warns us to partake in communion with a clean heart and authentic contrition recognizing we are desperate for the blood that was shed for us all, confessing our sin before him . Jesus makes a way for us to know the Father. He warns us because it is for the best for us as believers to come to him for forgiveness and not merely go through the motions as if the drink or the bread is the salvation, that it is Christ and what he did for us on the cross. I wont continue with this because I feel I don’t want to be mistaken for a rebellious non-catholic. Just know that you may just be a little too concerned for a sister in Christ here. I am not trying to prove anything to anyone personally as I know there are many faithful Christians who choose to worship in the Catholic Church, Nor anywhere else they choose to seek Gods love in this world. I love my catholic brothers and sisters in Christ as well as my Protestant or methodist, or baptist sisters and brothers. The body of Christ is not a building, it is people in the world who Jesus calls to himself.

  22. Robert says:

    Kristen,

    Thanks for commenting.

    “This is not just a protestant perspective, this is the perspective of many followers of Christ.”

    As far as I know, only Protestant Christians ok intercommunion without limits. All non-Protestant Christians, Catholic and Orthodox, forbid it.

    “This can take place anywhere anytime. its not about the building, the act of holy communion reaches people anywhere God wills it.”

    I think there’s some sort of equivocation going on with “communion” here. Yes, we may commune with God– and God may commune with us– at any time, in any place. But this is not the same as saying that we may receive Holy Communion (that is, the Eucharist) at our own whim. There are restrictions and limits which the Church has always placed on the reception of the Eucharist. One need only look at Paul, or the Didache, and most subsequent Christian documents.

    “Sometimes I think we can over look what God may be trying to tell us when we just hold to a set interpretation that only a holy God can communicate to us when we are open to receive from him through his holy spirit.”

    Likewise, you too need to beware not to become set in your interpretation of Scripture.

    “When I read Corinthians 11:27 I see a passage that clearly warns us to partake in communion with a clean heart and authentic contrition recognizing we are desperate for the blood that was shed for us all, confessing our sin before him . ”

    Catholics would not disagree with this, but would also add that discerning the presence of the Lord in the species is necessary for reception.

    “Jesus makes a way for us to know the Father. He warns us because it is for the best for us as believers to come to him for forgiveness and not merely go through the motions as if the drink or the bread is the salvation, that it is Christ and what he did for us on the cross.”

    Eternal life is in the reception of the Eucharist (cf. Jn 6:51 and other verses thereafter). Hence, “Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him on the last day” (Jn 6:54). This is precisely because the Eucharist is the flesh and the blood of Jesus which was offered for us on the Cross. Hence, in anticipation of the Cross Jesus offers the chalice saying, “this is my blood of the covenant, which will be shed on behalf of many for the forgiveness of sins” (Matthew 26:28).

    It is a truism that we ought not to go through the motions, but it must be recognized that the efficacy of the Eucharist lies completely in it being a communion with the Body and Blood of the Lord, which was offered for us on the Cross and thus communicates to us eternal life.

    “I am not trying to prove anything to anyone personally as I know there are many faithful Christians who choose to worship in the Catholic Church,”

    Thank you. I also know there are many faithful Christians– like yourself– in the Protestant denominations. However, I would say this. The reason why we are entering into discussion with you is because you have questioned our belief in the practice of closed communion. Naturally, we’ve come forward to defend it.

    “The body of Christ is not a building, it is people in the world who Jesus calls to himself.”

    Naturally we also agree with this. The question is just who is in full communion with the Body of Christ.

    God bless.

  23. Robert says:

    As a note, by saying “only Protestant Christians ok intercommunion without limit” I did not imply that “All Protestant Christians” do so. For instance, confessional Lutheranism practices closed communion. Check the websites of the Missouri Synod Lutheran church or the Wisconsin Lutherans regarding closed communion– it is their normative practice. Open communion is an aberration, not the norm, in Christianity regarding the Eucharist.

  24. Open communion is an aberration, not the norm, in Christianity regarding the Eucharist.

    How true. Interesting, this might juxtaposition us into a new conversation elsewhere – namely, the temptation is to view the Catholic Church as “just another” of the thousands upon thousands (and every multiplying) of disparate sects is problematic, even though there may be 500:1 other sects and communities listed in the Yellow Pages™…

    Just because something is found among manifold small sects at this particular juncture in time (the same wasn’t true about most of those sects or their forebearers 100 years prior!), doesn’t mean that the Catholic Church is the one that is in the minority here…

  25. ignatiusbenedict says:

    I used to be protestant, then I realized the truth, the pearl of great price. Jesus intended there to be one faith, one baptism, one holy catholic and apostolic church, not 40K churches. Protestantism is such a trainwreck. They love to water down the teachings to mere nothing. Look at the evolutionary watering down of the Eucharist. The protestants are the minority. Check out the Eastern Catholic and Orthodox Churches. You are the ones on the out. We have preserved the true Faith while you have taken away from it. Protestants say we follow “man-made” teachings when their whole denom is based on one mans heretical beliefs, not the collective Church’s. American society is also to blame for the division. Its in Americans blood to thumb noses at any sort of authority.

  26. Evenshine says:

    Is it just me, or is a great deal of your argumentation here based on ad populum? Problematic, to say the least.

  27. I rather think it is just you.

    The post speaks for itself, no such appeal was made.

  28. Evenshine says:

    I was addressing ignatiusbenedict, not the original post.

  29. Jamie says:

    “Protestants say we follow “man-made” teachings when their whole denom is based on one mans heretical beliefs, not the collective Church’s.”

    And by the “collective Church,” you mean that people in power and not anyone in any of the congregations, who are merely disciples of no interest to God, because in your world, only the Bishops are the inheritors of Jesus’ communion with the Apostles and thus no one else matters.

    Get real. Look back over the centuries and we can find literally thousands of interpretations, rules, commandments, and decisions by Papal decree that have less basis in theology than they do in the realpolitik of the post-Roman world. The entire feudal system of government was premised on subservience to the Pope (not God).

    I *am* sold on the notion that it’d be quite wrong for me as a Lutheran to take communion in a Catholic church, but not because you’re doing me a favor protecting me from sin… it’s because I don’t want to align myself with a group simultaneously pompous to their fellow Christians and yet utterly subordinate to the changing teachings of their mortal leaders.

  30. Maybe, rather than just hurling invectives and making allusions to this “pope-made” rules, you could cite them and then make argument for how it is you have determined your localized, smallish and shrinking sect actually gets it right.

  31. Anonymous says:

    A good catholic doesn’t judge others.

  32. Anonymous says:

    My husband is presbyterian. I am Catholic. The Catholic Priest who married us, told my husband that if he attended Mass in the Catholic Church, and he believed that the Host was the Body & Blood of Christ, then he can receive Communion there. I kept my promise to the Priest and had children, who we raised as Catholic and they made their Sacraments. My husband goes to Mass with us and he does receive Communion. He never practiced his own Religion and felt more like Catholic. He was even asked to bring up the Gifts before Communion a few times and he did. At this time he is trying to find out about the RCIA program. We left a message for the Rectory to contact us about this today.

  33. Dr. Eric says:

    That’s funny, Our Lord told us “by their fruits you shall know them” and “judge not lest ye be judges.”

    Most people confuse the two.

    We can and should judge actions, but only God can judge another’s heart and motive.

    Your case above is “the end justifying the means.” Since he is not Catholic he should not receive until he is an official member of the Church.

  34. bfhu says:

    Anonymous.

    That is wonderful that your husband is looking into RCIA and being received into the Catholic Church. The priest who advised him to receive communion was mistaken in that advice but perhaps he honestly thought it was OK. You and your husband innocently trusted the priest.

  35. John Schuster-Craig says:

    The prohibition against Protestants receiving communion in Catholic Masses is not as absolute as is sometimes stated. Mutual eucharistic hospitality has been offered to inter-church families in the Diocese of Strasbourg. Individual Anglicans travelling in France have been offered eucharistic hospitality. Mennonites participating in the Bridgefolk dialogues on peacemaking have been invited to receive at a Catholic Mass. Brother Roger of Taize — Swiss Reformed — received communion from Cardinal Ratzinger at John Paul’s funeral mass. And Cardinal Kaspar celebrated the funeral Eucharist for Brother Roger, using, I believe, the Taize liturgy.
    And it should be noted that many Anglicans, and most Lutherans, do indeed believe in the Real Presence.

  36. bfhu says:

    The rule stands and all of these are some form of liturgical abuse as far as I know.

    In the case of Cardinal Ratzinger giving a non Catholic communion we don’t know the background of that or if B16 didn’t know who it was or did not want to cause scandal.

    ADDENDUM 8/29/08: Br. Roger WAS Catholic. Did Br. Roger Convert?

    Tragically, he was murdered 4 months later.

    Non Catholics and Catholics in mortal sin are simply not to present themselves for communion. And this includes pro-choice Catholics.

  37. John Schuster-Craig says:

    From an article by Abbot John Klassen, St. John’s Abbey, Collegeville,MN, in the 2006 Bridgefolk newsletter:

    “In his encyclical Ut Unum Sint Pope John Paul II made a significant change in the requirements for open communion. He wrote, “it is a source of joy to note that
    Catholic ministers are able, in certain particular cases, to administer
    the Sacraments of the Eucharist, Penance and Anointing of the Sick to Christians who are not in full communion with the Catholic Church but who greatly desire to
    receive these sacraments, freely request them and manifest the
    faith which the Catholic Church professes with regard to these
    sacraments” (para. 46). It is noteworthy that the condition of
    not having access to one’s own minister has disappeared. Importantly,
    John Paul II repeated the above words verbatim in his encyclical Ecclesia de Eucharistia in 2003.

    “As the chief lawgiver of the Roman Catholic Church, he [i.e., JP II] had the
    authority to change the universal law of the Church.”

    I think it is important to point out that Abbot Klassen is not describing, or endorsing, open communion. But he does go on to point out situations (” particular cases”) in which Christians from the separated traditions of the Reformation might appropriately receive – non-Catholics on a retreat in a Catholic monastic community, Mennonites at the annual meeting of the Mennonite-Catholic dialogue, etc. I am Anglican, my wife Roman Catholic. Most Sundays I attend Mass with her. And even though, given the conditions noted above, I believe I *could* go to communion, I do not do so; if I were to receive the sacrament at her parish on a regular basis, then I should formally join that community. But, when travelling in countries where Anglicans are hard to find, I have received communion at a Catholic Mass. This is, it seems to me, consistent with the guidelines outlined by Pope John Paul II.
    Incidentally, you folks have a fascinating site; kudos.

  38. Dear Sr.Diane in Christ,
    Since I am a catholic layman and an evangelizer, I completely agree with your answer to a so called christian, asimplesinner who seems to rely only on what he/she opines on such a great and true Teachings of Our Lord and Teacher, Jesus Christ Himself, and not really accepting to know this Truth and merge in the Only True Catholic Church stablished by Christ Himself through His Apostle Peter, the Rock on which Christ’s Only Church is built by the Lord Himself in His Father’s Holy Will. If that simplesinner pretestant brethren is agreed with this Truth, then may venture to claim for receiving the Holy Eucharist in a Catholic Church. Let this protestant bretheren read and understand : Matthew 16; 18,19, what Our Lord meant to say to the world of Protestants.
    Diane, it is confirmed by your version that you are a True Catholic. Congratulations!Keep it up! Defend the Catholic Faith which is handed over by Christ Himself to you and me, the World more than 2000 years back, of course, before the Great Reformer of Protestant Church(es)Leader Martin Luther was born. Protestants may not be knowing the true story of their Great Reformer. He was a Catholic Priest then, who later died writing to his wife that he divided Christ’s Church(Catholic) into Two; and now millions.
    Did he go to heaven directly, for Protestants claim Direct Heaven by virtue of being Baptised. Baptism for them is a Ticket To Heaven……ha…ha…ha…!They never go to Hell after Baptism!They have no Purgatory in their belief, but they actually go there for not believing in Purgatory.
    Is it not true that St.Paul, the converted Saul, has clearly written that ” …a partaker in the table of the Lord is a partaker of His Kingdom/Church…;….a partaker in the table of Satan is the partaker of Satan’s Kingdom/Hell….”. So, we catholics don’t want to be partakers of Protestants’ Kingdom…..filled with protests and hatered all the time over the decendants of Abraham on this Earth.They’ll be protesting even against Christ’s graces on all humanity at the Last Judgement Day, as they have already judged His Holy Bible, the inspirations of the Holy Spirit itself during Martin Luther’s so called great Reformation campaign. Who gave the authority to add or discard LORD’s Books from the Holy Bible??????And they are still in Hope of entering Heaven directly!!!Puh….all contradictions……nothing else on their side!!!!
    A True Catholic can receive the Holy Communion in any catholic church all around the globe by virture of being a catholic and believer in the truth that “…My flesh is real food to eat and My blood is the real Drink. He who eats of my flesh and drinks of my blood, I will be in him and he in Me, and have eternal life…..”.What Protestants are having as communion is very occasional…and that also they have only to do in memory of last supper of the Lord and nothing else.Since the Pastors have no authority and power vested by Christ to transform the bread and wine into His Body and Blood during the Holy Mass, they do not believe in the Real Presence of the Living Lord Jesus Christ in the form of the Bread and Wine, what they are taking during their Services are nothing but simple bread and wine,but only memory remains.Is this only meant by Christ during His Last Supper celebration?Pretestants seem to carry the Bible all the time with them but never recognizing the True Teachings of Christ in it.They blame catholics for not carrying and reading the Bible and not living the Bible.But they have never seen the log in their own eyes…isn’t it!!! The Protestants ought to understand the Lord’s Words in Truth and obey them in True Faith, for they should not just pretend not to understand this that the Lord has said “…one day there will be only ONE Flock UNDER ONE SHEPHERD. And what will be the Name of that would be ONE Flock????Would that be Luther’s Flock????Or Christ’s Own Flock established 2000 years back????Is Christ so foolish to merge His Own Original Church with Lutheran or Heretics Church?????!!!!!!THINK THINK THINK TWICE!!!!

    So, sister may Christ Our Lord and Redeemer bless you and your dear ones!
    Praying for you.
    Brother in Christ, Michael Rongong,India.

  39. Dear Fr,J,
    Greetings in the Lord and Our Lady,
    Please accept my congratulations for being a True Priest and Brave Priest to defend the Church of Christ and His Noble Faith on earth. I pray to the Holy Triune God to shower upon you and all the catholic priests around the globe the FIRE and GIFTS of the Holy Spirit, so that such heretics may be abundantly blessed, and convert to the ONE and Only One Flock of the Lord!

    Our Protestants brothers and sisters are in great great great CONFUSIONS about the True Christian faith and belief. Christ prayed to the Heavenly Father that ” may all (Apostles) that You have given to Me be ONE (United)like We Ourselves are….” has become just an old SAYING of Our Lord for our Protestant brethren.They never think of realizing this Prayer of the Lord, and still they claim to be the True Church and True Christians on this earth.They even don’t believe in the communion of Saints, even though they receive the Names of those Saints during their Baptism. They don’t really know what they are saying and doing!!!!Any way, their WORKS are visible as their NAMES are, and the Lord says…..”At the end, I shall reward them not by their names but by their WORKS.”

    It is worthless and sickening to have discussions with the Protestants/heretics, as their vessels of Wisdom is left covered until the Last Judgement. They listen most to Martin Luther, their great Reformer, than to Christ their Lord.

    I say, Martin Luther is not a great Reformer, but a Foolish Deformer who ran away from Lord’s Vinyard whom Christ had called as His Holy Priest to work in His Vinyard. But at his own interest to become a great Leader or so called Reformer, left his priesthood and lived a married life, but later at the end of his life, deceived by his own converted so called christian King, Princes, Princesses in Germany. He deformed Christ’s Holy Catholic (Universal) Church, and gave birth to billions of his followers whom we catholics have to give clarifications all the time for their false teachings. I think, the Lord has chosen us catholics to bear these crosses for the salvation of our protestants brethren on this earth……..until the Last Day.

    Please bless me and my people Father,
    Michael Rongong,India.
    E-mail: michaelsonamit@yahoo.co.in

  40. In Christ, and His Holy Mother Mary,
    Dear Defenders of Catholic Faith and Church,
    The Lord does never fail to guide you all in the path of HIS TRUTH. He will surely protect and bless you all and your dear ones for contributing so much towards His Holy, True and Noble Causes!!!!

    GOD BLESS ALL !!!!

    Your brother in the Lord,
    Michael Rongong,India.

  41. Dear Protestant brethren in Christ,
    At least try to understand the Word of the Lord: Matthew 7: 26-227.Your Great Reformer Martin Luther was a Catholic Priest first called by the Lord to build His Church on the Rock….., but what he did you know???????He built his own church on the sand, which one day, shall surely ruin and washed away from the face of this earth.
    And the Universal Church that Christ your and my Lord founded on the ROCK(Peter)and Peter’s co-apostles shall prevail till the End of the World! Now, decide without any further delay lest you all also are in danger of Lord’s Wrath that JUDGEMENT DAY!!!!!! Kindly decide to embrace the UNIVERSAL and let your Particular Sect go away for the sake of YOUR REDEEMER CHRIST. Never try to misjudge the TRUTH that Your Lord and God established from the ages. Your Great Reformer Luther also regreted for dividing Christ’s Church into Two, why you his RATHER INNOCENT FOLLOWERS should continue to tear apart Your Lord’s ONLY ONE TRUE BODY and lay them thrown in front of the swine/pigs. Pigs are pigs, run fast back to their own wastes…..that dirty and muddy refuses. Always seek for the ORIGINAL PEARL and not wasting time and money on the DUPLICATE AND ARTIFICIAL PEARL!!!!!!Why on earth you are so pig-headed and throwing away so precious Pearl in front of the swine and be happy with the artificial one made by Luther Inventor?Come, come back brothers and sisters in Christ, be saved and save your dear ones too. The Mighty and Forgiving Lord Jesus Christ is waiting you all who are not of His Flock(Catholic) so that you might not perish but have eternal life. Leave aside all hopeless Lutheran and protestant attitudes and come near to Your Lord Jesus and His True Original Home, and just say SORRY to Him and get in His Original Home/Flock easily, for He is Forgiving Lord, in whose hand the Eternal Father has bestowed His Power to JUDGE all Living and Dead. Useless, discussions and debates He wants not, but a True and Contrite Heart full of compassion and love, and a heart of repentence, that’s all He wants. SO BE A TRUE CATHOLIC, BE A TRUE CHRISTIAN my brother and sister.
    For there are many Catholics also who are living like gentiles, not as True Christians, do not follow them, for they will mislead you, as they themselves are blind and they can not lead you to right path, otherwise both of you will fall in a ditch!!!!Follow good and True catholics, and there you are….. rejoicing eternally in Heaven!!!!!

    Mike.

  42. Dear Protestant brethren in Christ,
    At least try to understand the Word of the Lord: Matthew 7: 26-22.Your Great Reformer Martin Luther was a Catholic Priest first called by the Lord to build His Church on the Rock….., but what he did you know???????He built his own church on the sand, which one day, shall surely ruin and washed away from the face of this earth.
    And the Universal Church that Christ your and my Lord founded on the ROCK(Peter)and Peter’s co-apostles shall prevail till the End of the World! Now, decide without any further delay lest you all also are in danger of Lord’s Wrath that JUDGEMENT DAY!!!!!! Kindly decide to embrace the UNIVERSAL and let your Particular Sect go away for the sake of YOUR REDEEMER CHRIST. Never try to misjudge the TRUTH that Your Lord and God established from the ages. Your Great Reformer Luther also regreted for dividing Christ’s Church into Two, why you his RATHER INNOCENT FOLLOWERS should continue to tear apart Your Lord’s ONLY ONE TRUE BODY and lay them thrown in front of the swine/pigs. Pigs are pigs, run fast back to their own wastes…..that dirty and muddy refuses. Always seek for the ORIGINAL PEARL and not wasting time and money on the DUPLICATE AND ARTIFICIAL PEARL!!!!!!Why on earth you are so pig-headed and throwing away so precious Pearl in front of the swine and be happy with the artificial one made by Luther Inventor?Come, come back brothers and sisters in Christ, be saved and save your dear ones too. The Mighty and Forgiving Lord Jesus Christ is waiting you all who are not of His Flock(Catholic) so that you might not perish but have eternal life. Leave aside all hopeless Lutheran and protestant attitudes and come near to Your Lord Jesus and His True Original Home, and just say SORRY to Him and get in His Original Home/Flock easily, for He is Forgiving Lord, in whose hand the Eternal Father has bestowed His Power to JUDGE all Living and Dead. Useless, discussions and debates He wants not, but a True and Contrite Heart full of compassion and love, and a heart of repentence, that’s all He wants. SO BE A TRUE CATHOLIC, BE A TRUE CHRISTIAN my brother and sister.
    For there are many Catholics also who are living like gentiles, not as True Christians, do not follow them, for they will mislead you, as they themselves are blind and they can not lead you to right path, otherwise both of you will fall in a ditch!!!!Follow good and True catholics, and there you are….. rejoicing eternally in Heaven!!!!!

    Mike.

  43. Dear Protestant brethren in Christ,
    At least try to understand the Word of the Lord: Matthew 7: 26-27.Your Great Reformer Martin Luther was a Catholic Priest first called by the Lord to build His Church on the Rock….., but what he did you know???????He built his own church on the sand, which one day, shall surely ruin and washed away from the face of this earth.
    And the Universal Church that Christ your and my Lord founded on the ROCK(Peter)and Peter’s co-apostles shall prevail till the End of the World! Now, decide without any further delay lest you all also are in danger of Lord’s Wrath that JUDGEMENT DAY!!!!!! Kindly decide to embrace the UNIVERSAL and let your Particular Sect go away for the sake of YOUR REDEEMER CHRIST. Never try to misjudge the TRUTH that Your Lord and God established from the ages. Your Great Reformer Luther also regreted for dividing Christ’s Church into Two, why you his RATHER INNOCENT FOLLOWERS should continue to tear apart Your Lord’s ONLY ONE TRUE BODY and lay them thrown in front of the swine/pigs. Pigs are pigs, run fast back to their own wastes…..that dirty and muddy refuses. Always seek for the ORIGINAL PEARL and not wasting time and money on the DUPLICATE AND ARTIFICIAL PEARL!!!!!!Why on earth you are so pig-headed and throwing away so precious Pearl in front of the swine and be happy with the artificial one made by Luther Inventor?Come, come back brothers and sisters in Christ, be saved and save your dear ones too. The Mighty and Forgiving Lord Jesus Christ is waiting you all who are not of His Flock(Catholic) so that you might not perish but have eternal life. Leave aside all hopeless Lutheran and protestant attitudes and come near to Your Lord Jesus and His True Original Home, and just say SORRY to Him and get in His Original Home/Flock easily, for He is Forgiving Lord, in whose hand the Eternal Father has bestowed His Power to JUDGE all Living and Dead. Useless, discussions and debates He wants not, but a True and Contrite Heart full of compassion and love, and a heart of repentence, that’s all He wants. SO BE A TRUE CATHOLIC, BE A TRUE CHRISTIAN my brother and sister.
    For there are many Catholics also who are living like gentiles, not as True Christians, do not follow them, for they will mislead you, as they themselves are blind and they can not lead you to right path, otherwise both of you will fall in a ditch!!!!Follow good and True catholics, and there you are….. rejoicing eternally in Heaven!!!!!

    Mike.

  44. RE:

    I completely agree with your answer to a so called christian, asimplesinner who seems to rely only on what he/she opines on such a great and true Teachings of Our Lord and Teacher, Jesus Christ Himself, and not really accepting to know this Truth and merge in the Only True Catholic Church stablished by Christ Himself through His Apostle Peter, the Rock on which Christ’s Only Church is built by the Lord Himself in His Father’s Holy Will. If that simplesinner pretestant brethren is agreed with this Truth, then may venture to claim for receiving the Holy Eucharist in a Catholic Church.

    I am at a loss… What did I, ASimpleSinner, say to suggest I was ever at odds with the Catholic Faith?

  45. Michelle F says:

    Iagree. Protestants should not take communion. Why should they be able to take part in something that they don’t believe in? Protestant theology is about them and what they believe not what God wants them to believe. But then again, they are protestants “protestors of the Catholic church.” I can say that becasue I myself am joining the Catholic church. Praise God!! Let pray for our protestant brothers and sisters in Christ that they might see the light and see the fullness of the truth.

  46. John Schuster-Craig says:

    “Why should they be able to take part in something that they don’t believe in?”
    Lumping all “Protestants” together leads to simplistic statements like this (there is truth, I think, in the Windsor Statement’s notion of Anglicans and Lutherans as “the two Catholic churches of the Reformation”). ARCIC came to “substantial agreement” on the Eucharist, including the Eucharistic sacrifice and the real presence. As an Anglican, there is no doubt in my mind that I believe what the Catholic church believes about the nature of the Eucharist.
    Our differences are two: one, whether or not the Anglican Communion holds the historic episcopate, or not (Anglicans believe we do, Anglicans value the historic episcopate, and have made it an essential element in our ecumenical discussions with other faith communities; the Catholic church holds that the line was broken), and, two, whether or not women can hold the office of priest or bishop in the church. But about the sacrifice of the Mass, or the Real Presence, there is no disagreement.

  47. Michael says:

    FREEDOM, you are entitled to your belief to be “in communion with Jesus, not the church”, and I would suggest that you should consider myself to be entitled to believe that only in the Catholic Church one can be fully in communion with Jesus. This communion is strengthened by reception of the Holy Communion, which is the Body and Blood of Jesus, Jesus himself in point of fact: we Catholics are united with Him when we receive Holy Communion, and through this we are united with one another in that communion which is the Catholic Church. So you are right that “are (our, I presume) ideas of communion are completely different”, and exactly because they are so different we cannot possibly share the Holy Communion which is a sign to us Catholics of that communion which is the Catholic Church, the Loaf of which St. Paul writes, the Christ’s Mystical Body.

    I am not disputing the fact that many, not only we Catholics, believe that they “take early church practices and the teachings of Jesus seriously”, but we differ in what we mean by that, and as long as we differ so radically, the sharing in Holy Communion is an offence against Jesus. As far as I am concerned, I am not interested in receiving communion in the post-Reformation |Christian communities, because it is not the Body and Blood of Christ, nor do they believe it to be. On the other hand, the members of these communities offend me whenever they come to the Catholic Church and receive Holy Communion, because they do not come to join the Catholic communion, nor do they believe that what is the most holy thing for me is more than the “bread and wine”. They simply humiliate me.

    As a Catholic, I am aware that I have to go to Confession if I have committed a mortal sin, for the sin to be forgiven, and to be reconciled with the Church whom I have offended by the sin. Only then may I receive Holy Communion; otherwise it would be a sacrilege. The post-Reformation Christians do not have confession to have their sins forgiven nor do they believe that the sins are forgiven in that way. Nor can they be reconciled with the Catholic Church in that way. They are not interested in that kind of reconciliation in any case. What are they, then, looking for when, without permission, they dare to receive Holy Communion in the Catholic Church?

    We, Catholics have nothing to gain from communion in Protestant communities. On the other hand the Catholic Church is pastorally generous to those Protestants who find themselves cut off from their Minister, desperately need a spiritual support and, at variance with the faith of their own communities, believe fully in the Catholic doctrine on the Eucharist. If rightly disposed they can be, by way of exception, admitted to the Holy Communion.

  48. John Schuster-Craig Says:

    But about the sacrifice of the Mass, or the Real Presence, there is no disagreement.

    I am sorry, John, I just can’t agree with your assesment here. The difference is plentiful even within the Anglican communion. Anglicans of the low-church variety reject outright the theologies of the Eucharist that the Catholic Church embraces…

    The ARCIC talks – as hopeful as they sounded – seemed to be a case of the most Catholic-thinking Anglicans saying what the most open Catholics wanted to hear… We sent our libs, you sent your Catholic-thinking parties… It has given very little foundation or hope for a real and lasting situation of unity of thought or theology.

  49. Michael says:

    JOHN SCHUSTER-CRAIG, encyclicals are not legislative documents, and one cannot have a recourse to them in order to do away with the legislation. Although the Pope can change the latter as you rightly say, the encyclicals are not the way of doing it. Nor does an omission, in an encyclical, of a particular stipulation of the law imply that the latter has been changed.

    But that appart, the Most Rev. Abbot has seriously misinterpreted the two encyclicals. The Ut Unum Sit, No. 46, refers generally to all separated Christians, and the Pope explicitly says: “The conditions for such reciprocal reception have been laid down in specific norms” which ”must be respected”, and the corresponding foot-note, refers to relevant documents, including Canon Law. The legislation for the Eastern Christians doesn’t stipulate “no access to one’s minister”, while for the Post-Reformation Christians it does. I think that the Pope did not want to go into these details because the object of the Encyclical was different; so, he used a general statement that would cover both the Eastern Christians and the Protestants. On the other hand, the No. 45 of the Ecclesia de Eucharistia applies explicitly to the Eastern Chfistians. The Most Reverent Abbot should have done a better homework than he did.

    As to your personal case, I would suggest that “where Anglicans are hard to find”, and assuming you accept the Catholic doctrine on the Eucharist, nor merely the “real presence” or ARCIC agreement, it would be fair to ask local priest for a permission, because he has to verify both your right disposition and your doctrinal position. The best way would be to go to confession, which is covered by the same legislation. We all commit venial sins and these are sufficient for the Confession to be valid – so, that is what I would do in your place, because it would be for my own benefit. The thing to consider in preparation for the confession is why not enter the full communion with the Catholic Church when you are already almost “in”: no need to “convert”; just make good for what is missing?

    Regarding other examples given I presume you are aware that a lot of abuse is going on in the Church not only in matters of intercommunion. I am, however, puzzled by what was reported about the cardinals Ratzinger and Kasper, but one would have to know the circumstances.

  50. Clover says:

    Why can’t protestants recieve communion? Well, since recieving communion is part of the covanant act of worshipping God you absolutely must be a Christian, a person with a covanant relationship with the One True God in order to recieve. Since protestants have no covanant with God, and thus are not even Christians, they of course can not recieve communion.

  51. bfhu says:

    Clover:

    Your statement is heretical. Protestants certainly are Christians and they are in a covenental relationship by virtue of thier baptism with Christ. They lack, however, the fullness of the Christian faith and even reject the teaching that the Body and Blood of Christ is consumed in communion.

    Therefore, they are not in full communion with us and cannot commune with Christ fully in the Eucharist. Therefore, because there lacks communion with us and with the Body and Blood of Christ, it is fraudulent to take communion. A Protestant would be lying with his body by receiving communion in the Catholic Church. This is sacrilege so we PROTECT them from this sin and its consequences as per I Cor 11:27 above.

  52. JM says:

    I go around and around on the issue of nonCatholics receiving communion in the Catholic church with my friends of all faiths. For me, it comes down to plain old ettiquette when one is a guest in another house of worship.

    If I visited a Mosque and was informed that I needed to remove my shoes, I would remove my shoes; if I entered an Orthodox church and was told I needed to cover my head, I would cover my head. I would do these things not because I necessarily agree with the reasoning/theology/purpose of the rule, but rather because as a guest, I am required to act with graciousness toward my host by respecting the teachings of that house of worship.

    Similarly, I expect my nonCatholic brothers and sisters to respect the teachings of my house of worship, the Catholic Church, and refrain from receiving communion because that is the rule in the Catholic Church. One doesn’t have to agree with it, but one should respect it while a guest in the church.

  53. happy says:

    I agree with JM. I am married to a Catholic and we go to church at the Catholic church. His entire family and children are catholic. My children were raised methodist. We honor the Catholic church and his beliefs ( and the church) by not taking communion. Many of our Catholic friends say that they know many people who are not catholic, but just take communion any way because they are believers in Jesus. I am very interested in the faith and want very much to be a part. I am 42 and have been raised in various christian faiths. The thing that saddens me is the attitudes that some of these posts have. Fortunately, no Catholic friends or family that I have are so mean in their interpretation of their beliefs or I don’t think I would continue being interested in this faith. I would think you would want to make disciples of all men. I love the Lord with all my heart. I have witnessed unbelievable miracles in my life and I know His spirit is alive in me whether I take communion in the Catholic church or not. I will proceed in joining the Catholic Church(even these posts can’t change my mind) I would just advise to share your beliefs without the codemnation.People just need facts and information. Not hatefulness.

  54. happy says:

    Just in case there is confusion the posts I was referring to( Michael and Diane). This is the type of envangalism that would send any non christian or baby christian running fast the other way! Like I said had the Catholic faith been represented to me in this form, I (like many) would not have pursued any further interest. I love how loving some of the Catholic faith have been. Patient and kind in witnessing to me. My husband and I were married in my church by my mother who is a Methodist minister. His family was present. Took communion and have lovingly accepted our family coming together and have,by their loving actions made me want to be a part of this faith. I would think that this would be the way to show why being a Catholic is the way. They have put aside the “rules and regulations” and gotten to the very core of our Father…. His amazing love!!!!

  55. Food for thought:

    ON a recent program on EWTN called “The Journey Home” the question of why non-Catholics can’t recieve was broached and a perspective little explored in this combox to date was broached.

    Namely that St. Paul in his epistles discusses and outlines how damaging unworthy reception can be.

    “Wherefore whosoever shall eat the bread or drink the cup of the Lord unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and the blood of the Lord.” 1 Cor 11:27

    Given that the Catholic Church has a well-considered and comprehensive understanding of what constitutes worthiness. This most certainly includes the Sacrament of confession, which members of all ecclesial communities – not churches – either reject or at least don’t have access to.

    The Church is truly acting as a safeguard of souls on this one.

  56. happy says:

    I am NOT worthy now…. all Catholics are….. I will be in the future months when I am a Catholic.

    Hmmmmm….

  57. happy says:

    One more question. My husbands EX wife is on staff in the Catholic Church. She for many years had multiple affairs while they were married. Would she still be considered worty to take communion? She continued to take(communion) all through their separation and counselling.

    Like I said, I am not arguing that while in his church and not being Catholic I should not take communion. What about the condition of the heart? Does being Catholic just give me a “get out of jail free” card?

    Once I am Catholic do I look at my other brothers and sisters in Christ with the attitude that they are not in communion with our Lord? Or not saved? Or clueless?

    I am just trying to be educated on all of this before making any decisions.
    I am going to refer to an earlier post in stating that yes, there is quite a lot of pain associated with this.

    Blessings to you

  58. Nan says:

    Being Catholic doesn’t get you a get out of jail free card; communion is contingent on confession of one’s sins. Whether your husband’s ex should take communion at any given time isn’t for you to judge; presumably she has examined her conscience, taken her sins to her confessor and made right with God.

    Why don’t you talk to your priest about your areas of confusion? I’m not a theology expert but having attitude about others doesn’t sound like a good plan.

    I’m a lot more concerned about the possibility of my future salvation than the perceived shortcomings of the next guy.

  59. I am NOT worthy now…. all Catholics are….. I will be in the future months when I am a Catholic.

    Happy, please be happy and drop the sarcasm… especially as it relates to creating a straw man or being sarcastic about arguments I never made.

    Q: Who said all Catholics are worthy?
    A: Not me.

    Q: Who said all Catholics should be recieving?
    A: Not me.

    Q: Have you been going to confession to a priest and recieving absolution?

    Q: Do you believe that confession is part of God’s plan for forgiveness of sins and it prepares us for the reception of the Eucharist?

  60. happy says:

    I apologize!!…. unfortunately, email can be the source of mistaken emotion. I certainly do not mean to come out as sarcastic or unhappy! Like I said I am trying to understand something that I am interested in entering into.
    Please reference:
    “Since recieving communion is part of the convanant act of worshipping God you must be a christian, a person in covenant with the one true God. Since protestant have no covanant with God and thus are not even christians they of course cannot recieve communion”
    Also: ” Let us pray for our protestant brothers and sisters that they might see the light and see the fullness of the truth”
    Also: ” Why should they take part in something they don’t believe in”
    I used my husbands ex as just one example. No, I am not worried about if she does or doesn’t or should or shouldn’t take communion.No it is certainly not my place to judge that, I agree! I didn’t mean for this to take a turn to focus on that. I am focused on how this pertains to my life.
    I am happy, very happy as God has blessed me with a wonderful life a strong Christian family and a wonderful husband with whom I support and honor and am very interested in his faith.

    We sat last night and read through most of these posts. There were several practicing Catholics and my best friend who left the church 10 years ago. They were all in agreement that many of these statements they had never in their lives heard, from religious teachings, a priest or otherwise. I asked if they felt like I was not saved because I was not a Catholic and my husband and his brother agreed, that in all their lives that was never anything they had EVER heard in the Catholic faith. ( they did agree to have heard it from church of christ members). I have taken many many in- depth bible studies and a few theology classes through the years. I am fascianated and I am only attempting to understand more of this faith. I reached this site just studying the Eucharist, which I find so very interesting.
    asimplesinner..are all catholics worthy was meant as a question, not meant to indicate you felt that way.
    A: no I don’t go to a Priest for confession. It was my understanding I must be a member of the church to go. I do confess my sins to my heavenly Father multiple times during the day. I wish I could say that I didn’t have to but I too am a simple sinner and very much need a saviour in my life!
    A: yes, I believe that confession is part of God’s plan for forgiveness of sins and it does prepare us for communion. Which I continue to take part in weekly in my church.
    I believe that to study with someone who does know theology is wise. I realize that these are comments from people. I was just asking some questions. :) Blessings

  61. David B. says:

    Everyone:
    I don’t even know where to start here, so I’ll just share from my heart my experience.
    I was raised in a church all my life in a God-fearing, Jesus-loving, Holy-Spirit directed family. All was well with us.
    When I was 15 or so, I crafted an interest in sex, drugs, rock’n’roll, and alcohol.
    I literally walked away from the church and the Christian belief.
    33 short years later, I came back to Christ, asked Him for forgiveness of my sins, and changed my life form wallowing around in sin to struggling against it.
    I am literally the Prodigal Son, forgiven and loved by the Triune Holy Father God, the Christ and the Holy Spirit. I am at peace with most of scripture, and that which I don’t understand, I read anyway, and pray for discernment.
    Regardless of the diversities of our varied faiths, I believe Jesus Loves us all and Wants to Draw us to Him.
    Judge not lest ye be judged is a token I can live with.
    Jesus may have loved Hitler (it is said His Love is Absolute and Perfect), but I didn’t. Hitler probably went to Hell, but judged by God on the Throne Himself, not me. My thinking and emotions are not perfect…they are aspirations to pattern after the Holy Christ who Is my Salvation. I am not fit to judge another’s salvation.
    Jesus had grief continually over the Pharisees and Sadducees who took everything so darned literally and missed out completely on the Glory that is Christ. “Brood of vipers”, I believe, were His words.
    What a pity — I don’t want to miss it, and I don’t want any of you to miss it!
    My sweetheart is Catholic to the hilt. I admire her dedication to the faith, but I think she is unnecessarily restricted sometime. It is almost cultish in its grip on her. She does things Catholic whether they are scriptural or whether they give her joy or grief – she obeys the tenets of the Church stubbornly. That is an observation I am entitled to have as long as I don’t disrespect her right to her choice of worship.
    When I met her I was 52 and had never been to a Mass. I was set in faith with Christ by then, and, when she invited me, I discerned thusly — knowing that, as a Christian, I am called to glorify God and to carry the message of the Gospel of Christ Jesus to the world, I looked for that in the service. In that first and all following Masses I have attended those two things were carried out, so I know the Catholics are not heretical. They and I believe in John 3:16, which, is absolutely the fulcrum of all our Christian faith. I have attended regularly for over five years now because I want to be with her when we worship. I go to Mass with her and she goes to Lutheran Bible study and neither one us has burst into flames yet, thank you very much.
    Thank GOD in HEAVEN for America and religious freedom, to create an environment where freedom to have these (sometimes ridiculous) disputes is not only allowed, but encouraged!
    Back to my understanding of scripture (and true, folks, I am Protestant so sola scriptura is my basis of faith) I see no reason why a hopeless sinner in a dead and dying world, glimpsing the hope of eternity with his Creator, should ever be turned away from ANY communion table. “Take this in remembrance of me”, does not sound like it is His actual body, but a reminder of His Ultimate Sacrifice, that we should be ever mindful and have a true change of heart as a result of our relationship with Him.
    But, I am not actually a theologian, either. I go by what is in my heart – Where Christ Lives.
    Humanity, over 6 billion souls in number, largely unloving, unlovable, and unloved, yet God till knows the number of hairs on each of our heads, keeps the universe of unknown magnitude in perfect balance, and keeps all our hearts beating while we sleep – Can it be that this Awesome God can be so concerned in the manner in which we worship and glorify Him, as long as we are striving? I think it is not likely.
    That’s all I have. Peace to all my brothers and sisters in and out of the faith.

  62. Michael says:

    DAVID B., yes, Jesus loves us all, including Hitler and Satan, but He doesn’t love our misbehaviour. He has to put up with the latter, because by making us persons, He gave us a free will, i.e. a capacity to choose between making of ourselves His image and likeness – freely, or stay away from Him and thus dehumanize ourselves by following the Father of Lies – freely abusing that same freedom.

    He has set up His Church, i.e. the Catholic Church, to which all are invited to come – freely. It is a family, and the Holy Communion is an internal, most intimate sharing in the life of that family. Those who freely choose to stay out of that family are neither worthy nor welcome to participate in its most intimate life. That makes sense, doesn’t it?

    It makes sense particularly with a reference to those who by their own choice explicitly refuse to believe what that family believes, or believe the things that are incompatible with faith of that family. This certainly applies to those:

    – Who believe that they can “come back to Christ”, without coming to the Catholic Church whom He set up as the only way to salvation;
    – Who believe to be “at peace with most of scripture” without understanding it as the Catholic Church, its author and the sole authentic interpreter, understands it;
    – Who support others in their going to the “Lutheran Bible study groups”;
    – Who glorify America for its support of religious freedom, as if the religious freedom were a message of Christ, rather than a tolerance of an unavoidable worse evil that would incur should the religious freedom be suppressed;
    – Whose “basis of faith” is “sola scriptura”;
    – Who do not believe that the Eucharist is the Christ Body, Christ himself in his, body, blood, soul and divinity, but only “a reminder of his Ultimate Sacrifice.”

    With this set of beliefs you cannot be a member of the family I am talking about: you are not excluded by anyone, but self-excluded.

    The “Awesome God” is indeed “concerned how we worship and glorify him”, because he came down from Heaven to teach us, and set up His Catholic Church to continue his saving work. It is not enough that we are simply “striving”. We have to strive as He wants us to strive.

    God will surely be merciful to those who through no fault of their own, but because of an invincible ignorance, mislead by the Satan, choose otherwise. But really, the invincible ignorance is not a compliment to anyone.

    Peace to you, brother. We, after all, have something in common: Baptism, NT, and 75% of the OT, faith in God, and Christ-God, the Lord’s Prayer etc. As for what we don’t, you have sincerely stated your position – bluntly, and I am grateful; and hope that you will take mine, stated equally bluntly, without feeling offended

  63. happy says:

    David B. ,
    I think you have to take in to consideration different people from the Catholic Church seem (from my observation) to live out their faith in very different ways. Like I said before I am surrounded by Lifetime Catholics and I have yet to come across any opinions that match with the way Michael stated this last post. Most of the ones I have visited with are actually more in line with the post you left. I enjoy going to mass so very much and I am interested in learning more. I enjoy my husbands dedication to worship and I have learned much from him. ( and he says he has learned from me) I have a boss who is church of christ and it is his understanding if you are not his religion you are not saved. My husbands boss is Baptist and he spends his days explaining to my husband how wrong Catholics are. I am sure in every group there are going to be some who think if you are not_______(fill in the blank) you are not saved. I was raised in the Christian Church and as an adult was a member of the Methodist Church for the past 25 years. I was astonished and happy when I started going to mass to enjoy the huge similarities of the Catholic and Methodist services(and religious calender…ie. lent, good friday, )The question I asked about where the posts came from was because the 4 different catholic churches we attend, the friends and family we share, the activities we go to, the studies we attend …..of all of these I have NEVER come across some of these statements. I have been lured into interest of becoming Catholic from the witnessing I have come in contact with through these people. They are so filled with the love of Christ. I use to hear that the Catholics were like a Cult. I have yet to see that. I don’t find my husband, his friends or family to be limited by being in the Catholic faith at all. I don’t know. We are not theologists. We are just simple people who love the Lord. Most of my friends and family(Catholics) don’t understand the communion “rule” either. Maybe some of these people wouldn’t classify them as “good Catholics” . I don’t know. I do know they love the Lord with all their hearts, minds and souls. They love others. They are wonderful people and wonderful witnesses for the Lord. They have drawn myself and several others that I know of into the church.
    As I say to my brothers and sisters in Christ each Sat. evening at Mass:
    Peace be with you! :)

  64. Scott says:

    I can’t believe the hardened hearts that I see on this blog! Diane has a heart that is harder than Pharaoh’s.
    When she wrote “To receive communion in the Catholic Church means to be in union with it. Do you accept that Jesus left us apostles and their successors to guide us? Do you accept that Peter had primacy over the Apostles and that his successors do to this day?”
    How do I describe my thoughts and feelings? Let’s start with this, Men make mistakes. If you start relying on men to guide you uncontrollably, then you are a slave and a robot. Popes have made mistakes. God’s Word does not. Who are you going to believe? God’s Holy Word or a man who makes human mistakes? When you answer that one, then you will understand the soul of the Reformation.
    As hard as that is to accept, Sola Scriptura is the center of the Reformation. If you change the Bible to suit your doctrine, and it has happened with the Roman Catholic Church, such as Mary not having other children, then who is being false? When men change the Bible to authenticate doctrine, then someone is playing with fire. Think about the Bible: self-authenticating, clear to the rational reader, its own interpreter, and sufficient of itself to be the final authority of Christian doctrine.
    As Methodist’s, we have open communion. Come to the banquet, come to this solemn, connecting moment. Come with a joyful heart. Come with a thankful heart. Come worship, praise with music and song and your whole heart. Afterwards go forth with peace and service.
    We have much more in common with the Roman Catholic Church than you realize. Soften your heart, Love Jesus, Love The Holy Spirit and Love God the Father with all your heart, mind, soul and strength; and love your neighbor as you do yourself; even if he is a Methodist boy.

  65. Michael says:

    SCOTT, I’ll leave to Diane to sort out the matter between you; I only want to bring to your attention that if the Methodism is what you have spelled out in your comment, it has, regrettably, very little in common with the “Roman” Catholic Church. In many aspects you are more like Moslems than Christians.

    Your Sola Scriptura is analogous to their Quran-only. You and them believe that these books somehow came from Heaven: a sort of faxmashine printout, cabled from above.
    You call it “God’s Holy World”, “self-authenticating, clear to the rational reader, its own interpreter, sufficient of itself to be the final authority”; and they call it “Glorious Quran”, copy of the Heavenly one, and, in different words, say much the same about it. To spare me repeating, have a look what Rizwan replied to Dalry’s challenge. It is in the post Islam Overtakes Catholicism….of March 31, but his replies were in October from 20th to 28th.

    And, like Rizwan with reference to the Quran, you too are unable to prove from the Bible that it is the Word of God. You learned it not from the Reformation, but from the Catholic Tradition.

    Like Moslems and Jehovah Witnesses, you are trying to argue from the Bible against the Catholic Church; the only difference being that you know little bit more about the Bible than the Moslems know. But all of you fail to realize that the Catholic Church is the author of the NT, that she has adopted as her own the OT, both under the guidance of God the Holy Spirit, whom God the Son promised to the Apostles.

    It is the case with all written documents that the author is the ultimate authority when it comes to the meaning of his own document. And the Catholic Church is the author of the Bible; therefore, its authentic interpreter. O.K ?

    A reasonable man doesn’t venture an opinion about matters he knows nothing. And from what you say about the papacy, it is evident that all what you know is second hand, from ignorants who are not interested in finding out what the Catholic Church believes. You can neither agree nor disagree with what you don’t know. And yet you are trying to ridicule it and call it “love”.

    We are not interested in your “open communion”: we have nothing to gain from taking a piece of bread and a sip of wine. If we were to do it, we would be guilty of misleading you to think that your “open communion” is in any way comparable with the Holy Communion. From your “joyful” account it is evident that your notion of the Eucharist is defective. And in any case, due to lack of priesthood in your Community, you cannot have a valid Eucharist.

    Eucharist is Sacrifice, one with Our Lord’s Sacrifice, and not a jolly good party.

    My good “Methodist boy”, you are misguided. It is my duty to tell you, because we are supposed to love our neighbours, and you certainly are.

  66. Nan says:

    Scott, you have less in common with either the Roman Catholic church or people who use proper punctuation than you believe; for one, the plural of Methodist does not use an apostrophe, so you are properly Methodists, not Methodist’s; for two, sola scriptura is a Protestant invention and doesn’t include the entire Bible.

    Martin Luther, in addition to rejecting Catholicism, truncated the Bible. That means you’re several books short of a true Bible. Additionally, if you know history of mankind, Sola Scriptura makes no sense; up until the time of Gutenberg, books were hand-copied, most frequently by monks (yeah, those wacky Catholic monks!), who were the literate class, and were limited to Church, State or the very wealthy. Even if people found a book, most people didn’t know how to read or write so what good would it do them?

    Open communion makes no sense as it includes people with varying beliefs. I’ll take my traditional Catholic communion wafer, presented to me after transubstantiation and confirmation that it’s the body of Christ, thank you very much!

    It isn’t love they neighbor as thyself; the idea is to love as Jesus loved. We all fall short of that mark. Even you, Mr. Sola Scriptura.

  67. happy says:

    I have another question. In my reading and studying I have found information which says that since my husband(Catholic) was not married in the Catholic church our marriage is not recognized by the Church and therefore he should not be taking communion.

    My brother in law has attended a non denomination church for 25 years since he was married to a protestant. Every wedding or Mass I have ever been to he takes communion. Is that not correct?

    My sister in law who is Catholic and husband(also Catholic) said many non catholics at their mass take communion because they said they are Christians and should be able to take communion, too. The priests are aware of all these situations.

    Please excuse any puctuation or spelling mistakes.
    I do Love the Lord, but I am not the sharpest crayon in the box.
    :)

  68. bfhu says:

    Dear Happy,
    Many priests are afraid to uphold the teachings of the Catholic Church or they are secretly in rebellion. If you and your Catholic husband applied for and received a dispensation from your bishop to marry in a non Catholic Church then all is well. If not your husband should speak to your priest about having your marriage validated in the Catholic Church.

    Any Catholic who misses mass because of lazieness, inconvenience, or apathy needs to go to confession before approaching communion. So, my guess is that your brother-in-law should not be receiving communion but he may be totally ignorant of this fact because for 40 years children and adults have very, very often NOT been taught authentic Catholic doctrine. So all of these issues must be dealt with with great charity and prayer in order that they may all be drawn back to faithful Catholic practice.

    Non-Catholics are not to be admitted to communion in a Catholic Church even if they are devout Protestant Christians. But as I said, many priests are in rebellion/dissent to Catholic teaching and omit asking non Catholics not to to come for communion. This “teaches” the faithful heresy without using a word.

    I have been Catholic for 9 years now. You might find my conversion story helpful as you consider the teachings of the Catholic Church. You can find it here– >My conversion.

  69. happy says:

    bhfu
    I find your story facinating! Thanks so much! Yes, I have so many questions and there are alot of simularities in our stories! I started with Bethel and have followed with many many years of bible study. I am left hanging with a whole lot of questions!

    I also have found so many misleading beliefs(sadly) on the Catholic Church. In my quest to find the truth, many things have been uncovered. My mother attended a pastoral school which was led by a nun. Mom and her are dear friends and she has such a deep love and respect for Sister Mary! Fortunately, I can’t think of many people who would really give me a hard time if I converted to the Catholic Church!

    I find the Eucharist is actually the thing that draws me in the most. I feel sad sometimes after Mass because I have no problem with that belief and I want to share in it! I always go down with my family for a blessing and everyone is so kind. I have never felt like anyone was looking at me and saying”what are you doing here”. That was one thing I heard that I would not be welcome there. So not true! It is a beautiful service and I enjoy everytime I go! Of course, I enjoy worshipping the Lord,period!

    Thank you for your kind answers. I will find the reading material you suggested. Anything else you might find helpful in my search?
    Blessings :)

  70. bfhu says:

    I would suggest that you go ahead and start in an RCIA program as an inquirerer at your parish. Just make an appt and talk to your priest about the whole process and what your options are. It should be no pressure. They allow you to stay in until you are ready to proceed to the next level. If you are drawn by the Jesus Christ in the EUCHARIST He is CALLING you!

    I did all my own research and did not approach the RCIA director until I was completely sure I wanted to enter the Catholic Church and then I had to wait nearly 9 months until the next Easter. But, whatever you do, the wait is so worth it and the whole process is so BEAUTIFUL and WELCOMING!

  71. Truth says:

    Hello Father J. Did you know that recently several Catholic dialogue meetings were held and that the Catholic Church along with the Pope have announced that those in the International Methodist Communion and three different lutheran communions (I forgot their names so you might want to look them up, problably just google what I have said); anyways, are now allowed to recieve communion with us. Both our Church and these four groups have also recognized each others baptisms.

    P.S. I recommend joining Catholic Answers Forum or EWTN to find what I am talking about.

  72. Hello Father J. Did you know that recently several Catholic dialogue meetings were held and that the Catholic Church along with the Pope have announced that those in the International Methodist Communion and three different lutheran communions (I forgot their names so you might want to look them up, problably just google what I have said);

    Truth, we are going to need a better source for that. Sadly, I suspect you are mistaken here.

    Part of inter-communion allowance is to have identical teaching on the Eucharist… This includes, how it is confected. Methodists and Lutherans (of just about any stripe) do not share in the belief that priesthood is essential, or how priesthood is conferred.

    Father J and I are pretty much blog addicts. This one, we would have heard about.

  73. happy says:

    I only wish. I have not given up certainly(thanks BFHU!) But, because of my divorce status am afraid that conversion might not be possible.:(
    My marriage was performed at the justice of the peace so I don’t know if that will help with finding that it was not sacramental. I have a meeting next week.
    Please continue to pray for myself and my family on this journey.
    Thank you.

  74. happy says:

    BFHU: Of course, He is always with us spiritually, but He is in us in a physical bodily presence when we receive Him in Holy Communion. Why wouldn’t every Christian want all of Jesus that He offers us?

    pretty much says it all!:)

  75. bfhu says:

    Your hunger and thirst for Righteousness Himself is edifying. Love and prayers, Happy.

  76. John says:

    The “news” about the three Lutheran communions (in the United States, the three groups are represented by Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod, Missouri-Synod, and Evangelical Lutheran Church in America) would *really* be news, since WELS and Missouri-Synod have closed communion — even Lutherans from other Lutheran bodies are not welcome at their altars. Also, my recollection is that Missouri-Synod (and the international body to which they belong) were not a party to the agreement on Justification a few years back.

  77. A.S. Tatum says:

    This is a very new comment to an old post. But I simply have one question, what does the Catholic church have to say with regard to protestants who do believe that Christ is truly present in the Eucharist? I have been a protestant all my life AND I have always believed and been taught Christ’s real presence in the Eucharist. What say ye to that?

    Grace & peace,
    A.T.

  78. bfhu says:

    AT
    Are you Lutheran or Anglican/Episcopalian?

  79. Ronald Cichocki says:

    I have been to Catholic funeral masses that has the presiding priest offer communion to anyone who wishes to partake, Catholic or not. I would make an assumption that some of the communicants may not have been catholic.

    Any comments, is this different from any non-catholic receiving communion at a regular Sunday mass?

  80. bfhu says:

    No, there is no difference.

    The priest is wrong, especially if he openly and explicitly offered communion to everyone regardless of their faith. This would be a sin of commission on the priest’s part.

    I have witnessed a priest, fail to remind non-Catholics not to approach communion at weddings and funerals. This could be an innocent oversight or purposeful sin of ommission in order to accomplish a similar goal as the priest Ronald mentioned.

    These priests, who encourage non-Catholic communion in the Catholic Church, have decided that they know better than the Pope and the Church. My own husband, who is not Catholic, received communion in our parish church b/c of what one of our priests said, on Easter Sunday, no less!

    The degree of judgment visited upon those who are innocently lured into receiving communion by errant priests is known only to God. Unless there are priests or other theologians with more information about this than I have.

  81. justme says:

    today we are told christ lives within us. dear God thru Jesus in me.

  82. Wycliffe 36 says:

    Dear Friends,

    An interesting debate of which is currently affecting me – I’m a protestant refused commiunion when occasionally in my wife’s Roman Catholic church.

    I absolutely understand the comments about being in ‘communion’ with the whole church – good argument.

    However, the trouble is at least here in the UK it just smacks of sectarianism as I know many Roman Catholics some of whom I work with in the health care profession who do not follow R.C’s teachings on marriage/divorce, contraception, immaculate conception (many don’t even know what it is…..)

    Priests are not stupid men they must know this is the case..?

    Yet every Sunday these people receive communion in some God-fearing way (cradle to grave catholics) I find this confusing, without wishing to cause any of you offense in any way.

    Great site,

    Yours W.

  83. bfhu says:

    Wycliffe,

    Sigh…..what you say is true in my parish as well. If the people are truly ignorant of the fact that they should not present themselves for communion it is unfortunate and the priest is responsible to be teaching his flock

    Ezekiel 34:7 ” ‘Therefore, you shepherds, hear the word of the LORD : 8 As surely as I live, declares the Sovereign LORD, because my flock lacks a shepherd and so has been plundered and has become food for all the wild animals, and because my shepherds did not search for my flock but cared for themselves rather than for my flock, 9 therefore, O shepherds, hear the word of the LORD : 10 This is what the Sovereign LORD says: I am against the shepherds and will hold them accountable for my flock.

    If anyone knows they should not be receiving communion they add sacrilege to their other sins. But for yourself, obedience is better than sacrifice. You can pray to receive Spiritual communion and remain obedient to God and receive all the graces He wishes to give you, His obedient son.

    There are set prayers for Spiritual communion and Catholics are encouraged to pray for this many times even though they are able to receive Holy Communion at mass. But you can also just make your own prayer to God for the graces of Spiritual communion.

  84. Nan says:

    You know you’re not supposed to take communion as you’re not a member of the church; you may not know the true situation with regard to those who don’t follow the church’s teachings as they may not have much of a religious education or may confess their sins regularly. No way of knowing and likely no way of the priest knowing for certain.

  85. happy says:

    This comment that Wycliffe 36 made was what I was trying to get at (perhaps quite poorly!) with my example of my husbands x wife. It was not an attempt to single her out, or make judgement which is MOST CERTAINLY not my place to make. It was in knowing all of the people that i know and the more I read and follow R.C’s teachings, I am not sure anyone should be taking communion.
    This is not an attack on these people, just an observation.
    I am not sure if I complete RCIA I am qualified to take it!
    The thing that is sad now though is, it is my greatest desire!
    I know so many cradle Catholics that take so much for granted!
    So blessed are they…..I want to follow the rules, I want to be worthy and I want to partake of the Eucharist!

    And yes, Wycliffe, it is a great site!
    Thanks to all for your insight and gracious answers!
    Many Blessings this Wonderful Season!

  86. bfhu says:

    The lay faithful in the Catholic Church, especially in the West, have been sheep without shepherds in so very many parishes. Of course there are faithful shepherds also doing all they can to lead their flock. This decline is cyclic the historians say and we are approaching the time of revival it would seem. So, hang in there, Happy Jesus is calling you through John the Baptist…

    Prepare the Way of the Lord.

  87. happy says:

    No worries! I am hanging in….it is certainly a powerful call and not one I could ever dismiss!
    Please continue to pray for my journey! Thank you.

  88. Wycliffe 36 says:

    Thanks for the reply both. This is an interesting debate.
    Eucharist is a very special gift given to us by our Lord. For me and for my R.C wife also it really is what s in ones heart that counts.

    Happy – you sound like you have given this much thought. I’d say God would indeed have faith in you my friend…. have you ever heard the following poem?

    ‘They drew a circle that shut me out,
    Heretic rebel a thing to flout,
    But love and I had the wit to win,
    So we drew a circle that took them in!’

    Partake in the Eucharist in prayerful consideration as God’s grace and unconditional love exceeds what ever we could possibly think, and it’s only when we feel truly unworthy do we really appreciate and see God’s loving forgiveness at work.

    My Prayers are indeed with you.

    Yours Wycliffe

  89. happy says:

    One more question for anyone. Does my annullment need to be granted before starting RCIA? My husbands took about a year and this could run into a year from now which would slow my process.
    I wondered since the beginning is the inquiry period maybe you don’t have to have your anullment complete?
    Thanks for your answers

  90. bfhu says:

    No you do not need to wait. RCIA can take a year or so ideally–2 years is recommended but I think that is for a person with no Christian background. But you can start while the annulment is processed.

  91. happy says:

    Since Christ Himself has said,
    Thank You Bfhu for your encourgement, answers and support!Thank you Wycliffe, for your prayers as well.
    I am thrilled that this journey has begun

    “This is My Body”
    who shall dare to doubt that it is His Body?”

    St. Cyril of Jerusalem

    **This is an encourgment I recieved,

    “Know that the prayers of a 65 million Catholics in the United States and the 1.2 Billion Catholics around the world are with you as you complete your journey. Best wishes!”
    Sounds good to me!
    Merry Christmas to you all!

  92. happy says:

    Whoops… my thank you got in the way!

    The quote is:

    Since Christ Himself has said,
    “This is My Body”
    who shall dare to doubt that it is HIS Body?”

    St. Cyril of Jersusalem

  93. Wycliffe 36 says:

    Dear All,

    I’m fascinated by the RICA course and what is entailed ? I personally get the jitters at ‘Christian’ initiation courses!
    I’ll explain; as a theology graduate I feel that questioning is an imperative part of discovering the subjective Christian ‘truth’.

    I’m not against courses per se – I am a very committed Christian, but it’s through finding the truth for me (self discovery) that has led me to Christianity and not following the masses!

    The Catholic Church does not in my experience welcome open debate. That’s why I value this site. I have several times invited my wife’s priest to discuss the eucharist to no avail. Hans Kung the Catholic churches greatest theologian worries about this, I do too.

    I wonder what others think?
    With the very greatest of respect I wonder what an itinerant carpenter, tent maker, fishermen and prostitute would make of the hoops one needs to jump through to partake at the Lords table. I am of course being polemical…

  94. Nan says:

    Wycliffe, you do know that there has always been a process, right? Over time it has evolved. Catholic children are typically educated in their religion from the time they’re in school through confirmation; adult classes present the same material in a shorter time and the sacraments take place on the same occasion rather than on three separate occasions. If valid baptism has previously taken place, then only confirmation, first confession/reconciliation and first communion are needed.

    Christian truth isn’t subjective. Truth is truth.

  95. John says:

    Just curious — this whole thread has focused on non-Catholics receiving communion at Catholic altars.
    What does the Catholic church teach about Catholics who receive at eucharistic celebrations in Methodist, Lutheran, Episcopal, Old Catholic churches??

  96. bfhu says:

    That is a big no no.

  97. Wycliffe 36 says:

    Hi Nan,

    Thanks for your response, most interesting.

    I’m not sure I could go along with the understanding of one fundamental truth as I feel it’s a little more complicated, even though I confess to the Christian doctrine and way of life.

    I do feel truth has to be interpreted – I don’t believe in absolutes. The truth is I’m married to the most beautiful women in the world and yet my best friend politely disagrees! My Jewish friend Neil does not accept the divinity of Jesus as the truth. I hold to the truth that Leicester Tigers are the greatest rugby team in the UK yet my social worker friend Adam agues that it’s Bath….I do not believe it to be the truth that Noah built an ark yet the message still has as much meaning..

    Have you not explained the reasoning for this, namely: religious education – “give me the child and I’ll show you the man” I’m not a big fan of religious education having seen the issues at first hand in Ireland (my wife is Irish as well as beautiful!)

    With adults of it is obviously different as adults will (or at least should) always question whatever they are taught, I wonder if that is why the RC put so much effort into ensuring Catholic childhood education.

    I’d value your thoughts, thanks for engaging with me.

    Yours kindly
    W.

  98. happy says:

    Hello, W.

    I know that you addressed this to Nan and you will get a good reply.
    I just wanted to add my twist on Truth.
    The reason I will be converting to the church, because in the Protestant world(Im talking several different denominations) I am tired of having churches form God to fit the person. Let’s make Him warm and fuzzy and comfortable.What kind of music do you like? You don’t like this well we will change it…. it is all about YOU after all!Lets wear what ever we want to service (Pj’s, house slippers… barefoot,)and drink our coffee througout worship and eat doughtnuts…. Let’s change up the childrens ministry……puppet shows and video games….. it’s ok if they misbehave, Jesus loves them just like they are…… Learn scripture?! Well … that’s no fun! Oh, well honey we want you to have FUN!!!! Jesus is Fun!!!!! I have adult friends who have gone to church after church after church looking for a place where they are FED. We are just not Fed here. It is all about ME you know!

    Well, I say NO! It is all about God. I love the unchanging Church! Truth is truth. My son has to learn 30 prayers before Christmas. He is struggling. He probably wishes he belonged to one of those churches where they play video games, don’t learn scripture and have a great time. He is 10 and his Christian education is very important even though he might not know it right now! But, the foundation is being layed!

    Of course, I am not saying all Protestant churches are like this. There are wonderful churches, wonderful people, loving the Lord and doing His work. This is just my point of view and where I am.
    Many Blessings to you, :)

  99. Nan says:

    W, much grace is added as we go through the education process. Keep in mind that I lack the deep theological knowledge of some contributors here. Small children accept things, teenagers don’t so I don’t think your theory holds water. At some point you have to decide what you believe. In my case, when I was younger, I had issues with some church teachings. I no longer have the same issues, though I struggle with certain things. I won’t identify those things because that’s between me and whichever priest is in confession.

    The truths you used as examples are not at all the same (Jewish friend notwithstanding). You can’t equate the subjectivity of beauty or the appeal of a sports team with the truth of God. That’s completely absurd. As far as Noah is concerned, I don’t think it matters whether we find the ark or get a ship’s manifest conclusively showing whether or not the unicorn made it aboard.

    Truth? I know for a fact that Jesus died on the cross for the forgiveness of my sins. I have always believed this to be true, but now, I know it’s a fact.

    Happy, I firmly believe that guitars should be banned from church and that music should have been composed between the 16th and 18th centuries though can tolerate more recent music, so long as Mass is without any, um, innovations.

  100. happy says:

    Nan, I agree. I love the reverence of Mass. Beautiful! But, I am old so maybe that explains it!

    I think that when that solid foundation and groundwork is put down as children, even if some stray, they will come back.
    I have friends who say, “Well I don’t want to force my kids to be involved in church, they may hate it and hate me when they grow up!” Yikes! Talk about Satan at work here. I say that is like saying ” I don’t want to force my kids to eat vegtables, they may hate them when they grow up”.
    From what I see in the Catholic church, from the beginning the truth is taught and that foundation is set. Then as adults they can grow and expand on it.

  101. Anonymous says:

    Dear Nan and Happy,
    This is most interesting.
    Happy: I absolutely get you point and that is why I have some sympathy with the Catholic Church, Historicity of the church is indeed a powerful pull. Tradition is important. However, I do believe that the church has to move with the times, I’m not sure where you reside but here in the UK secularism is the presiding ‘religion’ and in many way I feel the church has to adopt new Christian philosophies as the church always has done throughout history (sometimes to instill fear into the public) to ensure it remains contemporary and thus get the ‘message’ across…. have you ever read Don Cupitt? He writes very well on this subject.
    N.B: I too would ban guitars from worship – with pitch forks and flaming touches!!
    Nan: I was perhaps being a tad flippant with my examples I admit I wish not to cause offence; however my point is that there really is a very real difference between relative truth and absolute truth. Absolute truth I fear can not be substantiated as it depends wholly on where you are standing at the time for example you may believe it to be the absolute truth that Jesus died on a cross for your sins but this is not universally believed – thus is not absolute but more relative – it’s true for you! (and me) so by definition has to be subjective.
    We all interpret language differently; God will always be interpreted differently depending on who and where you are as well as how you are feeling. That is not to say God changes – but peoples interpretations will and always have changed since time began as cultures the environment and most importantly science affect how we view the world. Why should God not be allowed to evolve?
    This sounds like philosophical jargon, but it does explain more point more appositely, and I see little controversy here, as we live by faith, not absolutes.
    I’m very happy to be allowed to share in conversation with you as well as share my thoughts and learn from you and your experiences.

    In brother in Christ
    W36.

  102. Wycliffe 36 says:

    it me above – not too bad at theology – terrible with computers!!

  103. Nan says:

    Wycliffe, it’s completely fine for the church to be out of step with the times and not to be contemporary. I live in a hotbed of liberalism and there are churches in which Mass is so watered down and modernized that I don’t feel as though I’ve actually attended Mass… Thankfully, I found a safe haven from modernity and am even more thankful to have become aware that the Archdiocese has a Department of Faith, the objective of which appears to be Liturgical correctness. Ideally, one should be able to attend a Roman Catholic Mass (or any of the other 20-some sui juris churches in Communion with Rome) and be unable to differentiate between one church and another, regardless of local language.

    Happy, I think the non-forcers are the ones whose kids say they’re Catholic but don’t act like it.

  104. John says:

    Nan, I will respectfully disagree with one part of your post. As a non-Catholic, I have attended many, many Catholic Masses with my wife (who is). A Maronite service in St. Louis, with a mix of traditional chant and contemporary songs; St. John Cantius in Chicago, with wonderful (traditional) music, including a healthy dose of Gregorian chant, but still Novus Ordo; a Tridentine celebration in Atlanta with nothing but chant and Renaissance polyphony; an Anglican Use service with some schlocky 19th c. hymns; and a parish in Louisville with a contemporary music ensemble (in a very contemporary space) that played beautifully. What impresses me about the Catholic church is its ability to embrace all of these communities as “Catholic.”
    (And I can’t wait for Pope Benedict to celebrate the Zaire rite).

  105. happy says:

    Nan,
    Exactly, It doesn’t matter which Mass we go to in our area, I know EXACTLY what to expect and I love that.

    The ones I was speaking of were mainly in the protestant group. Most of our friends and family never miss Mass and the kids take it very seriously. (Around us,anyway!) My children, coming from Protestant faith, at first were reluctant to go to Mass. As time goes by they have seen the benefits to the Catholic church and now chose go even if they had an option. I can say, everything the Church has done for them has been nothing but positive.

  106. Robert says:

    John,

    Perhaps we could make a distinction between “communities” and “rites.” The Church certainly ought to accept all legitimate and organically developed rites. But it is not the case that the way that every community celebrates the Eucharist is good. The Church, within her rites, has certain rules and preferences which define what the excellence of that rite is.

    In the Roman rite, for instance, there is a preference for Latin, Gregorian chant and polyphony. People who go away from sacred music towards a popular idiom are deviating from what makes the Roman rite excellent, for instance. More concretely, people who disobey the rubrics which prescribe how one is to offer Mass make defects in the liturgy.

    I would imagine that Nan is especially concerned with those people who, in a misguided attempt to make the liturgy relevant or inclusive, alter the rubrics or ignore them.

    That being said, the styles you mention can be done according to rubrics (without breaking any positive rules), even if some of them are further away from the ideal (e.g., a ‘contemporary’ service usually moves away from the Church’s preference for Latin and Gregorian chant).

    -Rob

  107. Nan says:

    John,

    Rob is correct, I’m speaking only of the Roman Rite Novus Ordo Mass. This is the one to which I was exposed as a child and I have a strong preference for Mass to remain as it was when I was a child; appropriate liturgical music, Mass straight up without a twist. I don’t like modern church architecture, either and am currently worshipping at the Cathedral. It looks like a church, acts like a church and the priests are normal.

    I can’t comment on either Tridentine or Anglican use but can tell you that your Louisville experience wouldn’t have been my cup of tea due to modernity in architecture and music.

    Last year during holy week, I endured the following: guitars, modern music, pita bread and liturgical dancers. I also witnessed full immersion baptism in a holy water hot tub. These are things to which I prefer never to be exposed again.

    I have been to the Maronites and am aware that they evolved separately for 400 years, so while some parts of their liturgy are familiar to me, others aren’t; I have also been to Divine Liturgy both with the Greek Catholics and the Orthodox(same program). I went to an anniversary Mass at the Greek Catholic church and it was lovely; Belarusian priest, Old Church Slavonic, Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom, grandpa’s church. It was perfect. If they always had their liturgy entirely in Old Church Slavonic, I’d have choices to make. Since their liturgy doesn’t hold the same fascination for me in English, I can’t be lured to their church.

    I’m very definite in my preferences for Mass and don’t want things that don’t belong. I shouldn’t leave a Catholic church wondering if I had just gone to Mass and was that church Catholic.

    As I mentioned above, I do live in an area with churches that are nationally known to be liturgically incorrect and will be seeing liturgists.

  108. John says:

    Nan — if guitars, modern music, real bread and liturgical dance are the worst you’ve seen, you’re lucky! My wife’s parish, fairly conservative, regularly does full immersion baptisms.
    My own preference for Sunday after Sunday attendance would be a bilingual Novus Ordo, with a mix of music I don’t think Latin and Gregorian chant guarantee good liturgy, any more than an occasional David Haas song creates bad liturgy.
    And, again, as a non-Catholic, I admire the diversity of rites, and worship styles within the Roman Rite, that the church has. But I would agree that much silliness can still be found.

  109. Robert says:

    John,

    Full immersion baptism remains a valid and licit form of baptism, as far as I know. However, it is often preferred out of a false archaeologizing motive, i.e., people who want to imitate the purity of the most ancient practices. This tendency tends to depreciate legitimate developments in the Church as being less authentic. Now, if that is the reasoning behind it, it is certainly wrong. But without any knowledge of their reasons, I cannot judge. The real problems are logistical and circumstantial. Namely, how can this be done with respect to the solemnity of the liturgy, the modesty of those involved, and the health of those involved? I would gently suggest that these are problems which most contemporary American parishes cannot overcome, and so give the nod to the practice of baptism by pouring.

    If, as Nan suggests, the baptismal font is a glorified hot tub, it does seem to be rather contrary to the solemnity proper to the liturgy.

    As for the bread– it is illicit to use leavened bread in the Latin rite. It is also unadvisable to use bread which is very crumbly (pita-like bread?) because it offers a large chance that sacrilege will occur, because the pieces will easily break off and fall to the ground. Since the Latin rite is currently allowing communion in the hands by indult, it is all the more so inadvisable– the combination of the two would seem to greatly increase the chance of profanation of the most Sacred Host.

    Although Eucharistic piety has certainly been hit very hard in the post-Vatican II period, it isn’t any different as a matter of fact, and we need to have the greatest love and concern for the Eucharist. The casual attitude that many have towards the Eucharist is simply misplaced.

    “My own preference for Sunday after Sunday attendance would be a bilingual Novus Ordo, with a mix of music I don’t think Latin and Gregorian chant guarantee good liturgy, any more than an occasional David Haas song creates bad liturgy.”

    Good can be defined in at least two ways. The first one would be to focus more subjectively, i.e. that the good liturgy is the one which produces the most affection, compunction, etc. in the congregant. If this is the case, perhaps your statement can hold up. But the more important, second, sense is to say that that which is good has the “perfections” proper to it, and is “excellent,” i.e. it does what is proper to it and it does it well. The perfections proper to the Mass include following the rubrics, and the other instructions of the Church. Objectively, then, an “excellent” liturgy is one which follows all the rubrics and instructions of the Church. But if this is the case, then a Mass which is sung and which gives preference to Gregorian chant is more excellent than a Mass which is not sung, and which only has hymns for music, for the first Mass has the perfections proper to the Mass.

    The first sense of good is not necessarily all-important, and indeed if we focus too much on how the individual congregant *feels* we risk being pulled into that self-enclosed circle of self-affirmative worship of the golden calf, which Ratzinger adroitly warns about in his “Spirit of the Liturgy.”

    God bless,

    Rob

  110. Nan says:

    Robert, I know of two churches whose baptismal fonts are hot tubs; in one case, I assume it to be so based on size and shape. At Easter Vigil last year at the other church, we were instructed at one point to go and immerse our hands in the water…whereupon I concluded it’s a hot tub. I think you hit the nail on the head with the false archaeologizing because that’s exactly why I think they use pita bread.

    John, different rites at different sui juris churches is one thing; however, Novus Ordo Mass should still be Novus Ordo Mass no matter where it is. I have certain expectations of Mass and am happy to live in an area in which it’s possible to find a place of worship the architecture of which I find pleasing, that has priests who seem holy and celebrate Mass in a manner that I find acceptable.

  111. Cara says:

    I find this conversation both fascinating and discouraging. When I go to midnight mass tonight (since it is Christmas Eve and I have to work until 11:30 – hospitals never close), I will not partake because it would be disrespectful. I had a friend who is taking sinner class give me a rundown on what I should do/not do because I want to be respectful in the house of God.

    I am saddened by the judgmental attitude so many of the posters here have exposed toward Protestants. I believe that (in brief) Jesus Christ is the Son of God, born to the virgin Mary in fulfilment of prophecy, that he was sinless, was crucified and died as a proxy for sinful humanity, that three days later he fulfilled prophecy again by rising from the dead, and then ascended to heaven where he now sits at the right hand of God. Are your beliefs truly different from mine? For those of you who have been so harsh toward Protestants, remember that Christ himself dined with prostitutes, tax collectors, and others at the bottom of the social scene. He didn’t sit there beating them over the head telling them how much greater he was than they were, he LOVED them into a relationship with him. Piousness will not win hearts. It will turn them away. Judgment is the job of the Holy Spirit.

    And FYI, my church performs immersion baptism. We have a small square pool about the size of a hot tub (i.e., just big enough for two people) in our sanctuary. The water is chlorinated for hygine reasons and heated to keep the pastor from catching his death of cold, but it certainly is not a hot tub! We like the concept of immersion because of the death/life symbolism – you go under the water (death to the old sinful self) and come up a new person in Christ. We don’t believe this is the only way to baptize, just the one we chose.

  112. Cara says:

    I forgot to mention that our full immersion baptism is performed fully clothed – everyone wears shorts and a shirt, and as soon as they start to get out of the water someone wraps a huge towel around them to preserve modesty.

  113. bfhu says:

    We believe exactly as you stated regarding our salvation. But of course we believe even more. I applaud you for your respect for Catholic rules for reception of the Eucharist. God will surely bless your love and obedience. In the future you can pray for the graces of spiritual communion during the time others are receiving.

    Full immersion is a fuller sign of baptism but not mandatory of course.

  114. happy says:

    Hi Cara,

    yes, my belief as you have stated as well. I mean no offense to any Catholic or Protestant, as I am Protestant and my journey is leading me to become Catholic. That is just where I am. I think you will find that there may be a few offensive things said by some, you will not see that from any of the authors or the majority of people who post. Your questions and comments will be observed and answered with the utmost respect!
    There is a lot of great information here!
    May you be blessed!
    :)

  115. Nan says:

    Cara, as I have minimal information regarding Protestants and their traditions, save the knowledge that what they are protesting is Catholicism and that a) Martin Luther eliminated all with which he disagreed about the Catholic church, including several books of the Bible and that b) Henry VIII stole assets from the church and started his own church when the pope refused to grant him a divorce. My posts are related to my experiences in the Catholic church, some of which have not met my needs.

    What they said and that we believe in the Real Presence of Jesus in the Eucharist.

  116. Cara says:

    Nan, I’d have to say that 99% of people who identify themselves as Protestants aren’t protesting anything about Catholicism – and in fact know very little about it. Most of them probably don’t know much about Luther, and few know anything about Henry VIII. Protestant churches by and large don’t teach much about church history. I believe that is more of a focus in the Catholic church. In my church you don’t learn church history or denominational differences unless you are taking a membership class.

    bhfu, that’s exactly what I did during that part of the service! I found the service fascinating, and had to keep bringing my focus back to the reason I was there rather than paying attention to all the details. My one question is this – why does a phone ring while the priest is preparing the Host? (Okay, yes, I’m sure it wasn’t a phone ringing but it sounded EXACTLY like it!)

    And thanks, happy. You certainly seem to live up to your name here!

  117. Robert says:

    Cara,

    It’s possible that someone forgot to turn their phone off… but if you are referring to the elevation of the Host after the consecration (“This is my Body”) or the elevation of the Chalice after the consecration (“This is the cup of my Blood”) then it was probably a set of communion bells being rung by servers.

    This webpage at adoremus.org offers some explanations for the source and meaning of altar bells.

    http://www.adoremus.org/0305SantusBells.html

    Of course, I could be “cute” with my answer and say: indeed, it is a phone– and God is calling, asking you to join the Church. :)

    Thanks for stopping by and commenting. God bless you.

    -Rob

  118. bfhu says:

    Hi Cara,
    Just curious what denomination do you belong to? But you are right when I think about it…that most Protestant churches dont protest the Catholic Church actively but my experience was in several different denominations..Calvary Chapel, Evangelical Free, Baptist and Charismatic there was teaching such as:

    “Here we see Jesus had brothers and sisters so Mary and Joseph had children after Jesus so Mary was not a perpetual virgin.”
    or
    “This verse says to call no man “Father” referring to a religious leader”

    “And this verse says to be absent from the body is to be with Christ so there can’t be any Purgatory.”

    I really can’t remember if the Catholic Church was always mentioned by name or just innuendo. Probably a little of both but we KNEW what church was being referred to even if it wasn’t named. But perhaps all denominations are not like what i experienced.

    Some or maybe most of the hostility you note from some Catholics is a result of the prejudice they have experienced from Protestant friends and family who assume they worship idols, Mary and the Saints; are not really saved or even Christian; don’t know, respect, or have a clue what is in the Bible etc. I found out this was all misinformation and became convinced that the Catholic Church was the historic Church founded by none other than Jesus Christ Himself. So, I could do no other…I had to enter her.

  119. Nan says:

    Cara,

    Hard to believe that people don’t know the history of their own church!

    Protestants frequently complain about aspects of Catholicism with which they disagree or don’t understand, such as not having open communion, not having married priests, not ordaining women, not allowing abortion or birth control and not supporting gay relationships.

    I can’t tell you how often I hear these sorts of complaints from protestants…then again, I hear many of the same complaints from those who claim to be Catholic

  120. Wycliffe 36 says:

    Nan & Cara,

    To show willing, and against my better judgement, I attended my wife’s Catholic midnight mass and was surprised, actually amazed to hear the priest explain that all are welcome to the table of the Lord as we all worship the same God – the God of the Protestants, Muslims (I know!!) and Jews.

    Then gave a sermon loosely on homosexuality distancing himself from the pope! Jesus was born for all irrespective of gender, race or religion.

    The church was packed and everyone received communion, children welcome, and everyone was then given a gift of sweets and a candle following. Quite beautiful and why the hell not?

    W.36

  121. Nan says:

    Why the hell not? Oh, I don’t know, something about going against the leadership of the Pope and not following Catholic teaching! That’s absolutely horrible! I pray that your wife’s parish gets a new priest, who follows Catholic doctrine and the leadership of the Pope.

    Children are always welcome.

    Cara, I hope you didn’t have a similar experience on Christmas Eve. This isn’t how it really works.

  122. Cara says:

    bfhu, my church is Evangelical Free. I’m sorry you had such negative experiences. As you and I both know, if you were to judge Christianity by Christians no one would ever become one!

    Nan, I agree. But I think that’s a symptom of our lazy American culture – “don’t bother me with the boring past, just tell me what I can get out of the here and now.” Many Protestant churches have done away with Sunday School (at least for adults), so there is no forum within which to teach church history. And my experience on Christmas Eve was nice – can’t say the priest was the best teacher ever, but God had something to say to me through him anyway.

    Gee W.36, seems to me the Bible says something about topics like homosexuality and whether or not there is only one way to God… Specifically that homosexuality is a sin and there IS only one way to God.

  123. Nan says:

    Cara, my church has continuing programming throughout the year for all adults. They have lectures, discussions and prayer-centered programs. This is separate from the Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults classes which are designed for people who are interested in becoming Catholic and obtaining the sacraments.

    I’m glad you heard from God. Priests are all different and people always have preferences; if it was up to me, I’d adjust my mass attendance to see my favorite priest. Since my church doesn’t publish a schedule, that isn’t an option, but I’d be disappointed if that priest was on the schedule and it had changed. I’d also lose a lot because each priest offers something different; I went to Mass and saw that I’d missed my favorite, but if I had gone to his Mass, I’d have lost out on something better. In that instance, the priest reminded me of the priest from my childhood, and it was fun as this isn’t one of the priests in the normal rotation. In any case, I learn something different from each priest so would narrow my learning opportunities if I tried only to go to Mass with the one priest.

  124. bfhu says:

    Cara,
    Oh, well, what do you know? I was in an EV Free Church too for the last 17 years before my conversion to the Catholic Church. Before that southern Baptist, before that Charismatic, Calvary Chapel, and I grew up in Dutch Reformed at what is now the Chrystal Cathedral. It wasn’t a negative experience at the time b/c I just thought I was being taught the truth about the Catholic Church.

    But once I found out what the Catholic Church actually believed, I was very annoyed that so much misinformation was passed on to me by people I trusted to have done the research…but then I realized they were trusting others, who trusted others and someone along the line did not do the proper research.

  125. Wycliffe 36 says:

    Nan,
    Your understanding of communion is not scriptural and you really should research the historicity of communion.

    It was lovely, and as for the Pope………

    I pray for you.

  126. Nan says:

    Wycliffe, I have never claimed to have beyond a 7-year-old’s theological education; however, the Catholic church does not have open communion; everyone being welcome does not mean that communion is given to everyone. Your wife’s church is not properly dispensing communion if it goes to everyone.

    Protestantism uses sola scriptura, Catholicism doesn’t; whether I have a scriptural understanding of communion or not , I would also need to understand tradition with regard to communion as tradition was passed from Jesus to the Apostles and only centuries later was scripture canonized.

    Everyone is welcome in the church and is welcome to have a blessing. The rest? It’s conditional, based on beliefs; one must first believe in the real presence of Jesus Christ in the Eucharist. After that? Catholic tradition requires sacraments including baptism, confession/reconciliation, first communion and historically confirmation (the order has been reversed for children so confirmation comes later to facilitate understanding). But that’s not all; you must also be in a state of grace, which means a continuation of the confession/communion cycle. Only then should someone take communion.

    If the priest truly distanced himself from the Pope, then he isn’t playing follow the leader, which is part of what he agreed to when he became a priest.

  127. Wycliffe 36 says:

    Good point well put – I was rude and I DO apologise to you personally Nan, especially as this is not a private correspondence. Builders not destroyers be.. I should know better, I’m sorry.

    It was a nice service, however the follow the leader point you make is a good debate to be held.

    The sacraments not withstanding; Protestantism does, I believe, benefits from a certain freedom of clergy positions, education and beliefs – where else could a radical like me go? I do respect the catholic church for having a strict ‘party line’ but the catholic church is so big and wide is it really possible to play follow the leader in so many differing cultures and educations?

  128. Nan says:

    Apology accepted.

    The Catholic Church is a hierarchical organization, not a democracy; a basic premise of the priesthood is to submit to the Pope’s authority through Apostolic Succession, as it comes down to parishes through Archbishop and Bishop. Historically there was less education than there is today and information was provided through statues and stained glass windows, which were designed to educate the illiterate by showing attributes of saints which made them easily identifiable.

    Another thing about the Catholic church is the constancy of it; I should be able to go to Latin Rite Mass anywhere and understand it, no matter the language or country of origin. Why? Because the format is the same. It’s the people who add non-standard elements that create problems.

    The Catholic church has always covered a lot of cultural ground but does have room for some cultural elements specific to a given population. There is a church here that ministers to the Hmong population and is staffed by priests from my church. Last Sunday they celebrated the Hmong New Year so we had the weekend guy for 10:00 Mass and they had the associate.

    Many other churches in this country originated with communities of various ethnic groups and while the population of the parish may have become more diverse since it was founded, it’s typical for the parish to continue with ethnic celebrations. One well-known example here is the celebration of St. Patrick’s Day, which has gone out of the church and become a secular celebration for all.

    I don’t see the problem with playing follow the leader within a diverse group of cultures; that, too, is part of Catholic tradition. Education is important and historically, Priests and Monks were among the most educated, wherever they were. In Maryland, St. John de Matha High is operated by the Trinitarian Order, which is not an order predicated on educating the masses; they educated their own and after enough people in the surrounding area asked them to educate their sons, they ended up with a high school.

    Freedom of clergy positions, education and beliefs such as those fostered by Protestantism lead only to fragmentation and splintering of those fragments, which is why there are so many variations involved. I’m by no means an expert on forms of Protestantism, but find it interesting that within my suburb, there are at least 28 Protestant churches in varying denominations and one Catholic church. There always seem to be crises among one group of protestants or another which usually end up creating a new church.

  129. happy says:

    Happy New Year! After a week of vacation it is fun to catch up!

    I think the Protestant churches need a lot more of “follow the leader.” I know many who don’t know history of their church and (agreed) most don’t know that they are “protesting” the Catholic Church or that they even started from the Catholic Church. I know many who really,really misunderstand the Catholic Church.

    Wycliffe, it saddens me to hear your story whether it is a Catholic Church or not. I feel that in these days and times it is all a bit loosey goosey. Like I said before, too many are trying to make God and Church fit their comfort level. I hope that Mass like the one you attended are very rare.

    I believe Truth is not to be tampered with!

    When you do study the Eucharist and understand, you know that it is not just “everyone come to the table type thing”. The Church isn’t trying to hurt anyone or make anyone feel left out either. (As I believed in the past!) :)
    I am no longer taking communion in my church(it feels empty to me) and of course never have in the Catholic Church. My husband could probably continue without the priest knowing, but, God knows and we want to be obdient.

  130. Wycliffe 36 says:

    Hi, happy new year to all too.

    Excellent comments I enjoyed them.

    I wonder at a scriptural level whether to portray Jesus as an enquirer, a person open to new learnings and insights in not more truthful?

    This view has been overlooked and smothered by the church. Anslem reinforcing this tradition because learning implies imperfection, the gospel of Thomas equally; the adolescent Jesus could not be taught in the temple but rather becomes the teacher.

    This is still practiced today in the church in reference to ‘follow the leader’. In protestantism there is a democratization of belief which does not encourage one to accept the views that the higher up a person moves in the religious hierarchy the less they have to learn and more they have to teach.

    I like this mostly held protestant view; it’s platonic in nature moreover an awakening of the truth itself.

    Therefore; the truth of communion is an awakening to the personal truth, a voyage of religious self discovery only this way can it be truly honest.

    Latin mass can be beautiful I can not disagree with you however it was only really appropriate for the 1st to 17th century, the church now must adopt a world building activity not a late medieval world view trying to keep alive a world view many do not now recognize.

    Happy; I would say All truth has a history and is developed within the human conversation and as language develops truth develops also.

    That why I liked what was said by the priest in question; it was about personal honesty to God.

    It’s about our faith in God a ‘bottom up’ not ‘top down’ order. Our views and truths and beliefs are constantly being (re)negotiated and by our language…… values ……. thus reconstructing ourselves and attitudes we may have to rethink God’s communion as the world changes around us…..

  131. bfhu says:

    Wycliff,

    Your ideas are not authentic Catholic Theology. They would not even be accepted by most faithful Protestant Christians. Especially your New Age-ish view of Jesus. Please see my post Here about the divinity of Christ.

  132. happy says:

    Wycliffe,
    I believe that it is “rethinking God’s communion as the world changes around us” is exactly what has brought me to the Catholic faith. I have a pull to the Eucharist and no longer wish to carry out a symbolic demonstration of it. That is not the only pull for me, though. This is the studying and gathering of many years of information for me. It is a very personal decision and one that each person needs to make for themselves. You are Protestant and your wife Catholic? right. I am Protestant and my husband Catholic. I have an entire lifetime of background in Protestant Church. I knew very little about the Catholic Church. Had I not married a Catholic I may have just stayed on the same religious path. I wonder if it has been a pull to you during your marriage. I have absolutely NO pressure from my husband to become Catholic. ( I did see pleasure when I told him of my intentions and ask for his prayers though!) I personally find it like a breath of fresh air every time I go to Mass.

    The thing that concerns me with the world is the attitude of I like to see Jesus as……..fill in the blank.
    Kind of like “talledega nights” where he says “I like to picture my Jesus in a tshirt singing lead singer for Lynard Skynard”, Well, you may like to picture Him like that or some may want to picture Him however, but I don’t believe it is a very accurate picture. I see people with new age Jesus, country and western Jesus, Rock and Roll with tatoos Jesus. I mean REALLY!!???? we are talking about our Lord and Saviour here. King of Kings. I think that the world changing and bending God to fit our needs is wrong. We are here to Worship Him. He is our Creator, our Lord, our King. I find it disheartening to here of the priest in your wifes church. I can’t imagine how giving a sermon on homsexuality and not following the pope would edify anyone in the service.

  133. Christian says:

    I recently attended a Catholic funeral mass and I took Communion. I am a practicing Christian in an Anglo-Catholic traditional church and I do accept the prescence of Christ in the Communion Elements. Many Catholics participate in eceumenical services at my home chuch and it is their personal choice to do so. I made a personal choice, based on my faith to participate more fully in the funeral service of a relative by marriage. My choice, any judgement will be on me and I accept and rejoice in that judgement. I know God to be a loving and forgiving God and came prepared with a contrite heart to receive communion as I do regularly in my own church.I will pray for the priest who unknowingly administered communion to a non-catholic and I know that both he and I will receive the blessings of our Lord Jesus Christ and His forgiveness. Jesus was not concerned about the beliefs, moral fibre or day to day activities of the people He broke bread with. He sort to teach and educate by example.

  134. Nan says:

    Christian, that’s so disrespectful!!! And bragging about it? That’s plain nasty.

    1. you know that Catholic communion isn’t open to all;
    2. you took communion;
    3. without being in communion with the church;
    4. without having properly confessed (which in the Catholic tradition means to a priest after you’re already Catholic);
    5. premeditating the later forgiveness of your upcoming sin;
    6. excusing yourself by the behavior of others, who attend services at your church;
    7. which has no relation to your behavior;
    8. And you knowingly take the priest with you.

    Sins aren’t about relativism. Other peoples actions have no bearing on the sinfulness of yours. Especially when you know you’re in a sinful state.

  135. Christian says:

    Nan.
    I was not bragging about it nor was it premeditated. I came across this site looking, after the event , for information as to whether I had done something wrong. Obviously from reading through the posts I have. It was not intended to be disrespectful.
    However you speak of nasty – i think you need to look in a mirror.

  136. Nan says:

    Christian, there is nothing in your initial post that indicates you were unaware that Catholic communion is restricted. If there had been, my response would’ve been different.

  137. Christian says:

    To all who might read this I will leave this site (forever) with two things.
    1. A couple of verses from one of our Eucharist Hymns this morning.

    ‘An altar stands within the shrine whereon, once sacrificed
    is set immaculate, divine, the Lamb of God, the Christ.

    There rich and poor, from countless lands, praise Christ on mystic rood;
    there nations reach forth holy hands to take God’s holy food.’

    and 2 as the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity draws to a close a poem by Marjorie Dobson entitled Peace is…

    Peace is the resolution of conflict as we make our peace.
    Peace is the struggle for harmony as we live in peace.
    Peace is being set free from anxiety as we are left in peace.
    Peace is our Christian calling as we share the peace.
    Peace is our blessing from worship as we go in peace.
    Peace is God’s final resolution as we rest in peace.

    The Peace of the Lord be always with each and everyone on this site.

  138. Jazzz says:

    After reading these posts, I have to agree with JM Happy & especially Christian. I am doing the same. I see alot of catholics here have gotten lost in ritual & lost the true meaning in their faith. How sad. God said, “love the Lord your God with all your heart, mind & soul & love your neighbor as yourself” If you follow this, you will be following all the laws. From reading the posts it appears to me alot of old-time catholics have lost the most important of all, LOVE. How very sad, I would really question whether they should be taking communion in such a state as this if they wouldn’t be bringing judgment upon themselves. God loves us all & we are to love one another, in doing this we are fulfilling all other laws. God bless you’s all!!

  139. Jazzz says:

    After thinking about all that I read here, then researching the facts about history of the first church & the schism & where catholics came from & how they got their beliefs. I see now how they have become so lost, judgmental, closedminded. It’s obvious to me their religion is based or original lies & deceit, & a definite greed for power. I would have to say even power above God. That’s where Lucifer fell from God’s beloved angel to becoming Lucifer. I know realise how much I definitely do not want to partake in this religion at all!! I t sure explains my experiences, my confusion & what I have repeatedly seen of catholics over many years. However I still love you’s all with the love of God in my heart. Jazzz

  140. Jazzz says:

    I also would like to say, catholics believe their church is infallible & can do no wrong, & how much someone would be condemned for taking communion without your consent. Well what happened with the overwhelming repeated sexual abuse of innocent children by supposedly infallible priests. OMG people open your eyes!!!!

  141. bfhu says:

    Jazzz,
    Who did you say was judgemental? The Church is made up of sinnful human beings. You make general denunciations of the Catholic Church without any specifics so there is nothing concrete to respond to.

    Have you spoken with charity?

    The Catholic Faith is infallible, this means unerring in the teaching of the One, Holy, Apostolic and Catholic FAITH. Anyone who thinks that we think, the members of the Church can do no wrong, makes me LOL :)

    Why do you think we have confession…hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm

  142. Anonymous says:

    I doubt very much that God will be speaking to preists on their judgment day with very much charity?

    BFHU: How God speaks to anyone on Judgment Day will depend upon their repentance or not. All things can be forgiven.

    There has to be justice.

    BFHU: Of course. But Justice and Mercy will kiss. Strict justice would require yours and my anihilation long ago without the Mercy of God.

    That is the ultimate of all injustices!! I’m sure God sees it that way. Using the name of God & authority as a priest with little children to destroy them like that,

    BFHU: I agree.

    yet the catholic church seems to have more pity towards these inhumane acts done in the name of God, than towards outsiders who quote “haven’t been baptized in the catholic church”.

    BFHU: That is NOT TRUE at all. The Catholic Church and her ministers are always reaching out to bring to the light and love of Christ all people.

    It’s funny the word catholic or pope doesn’t appear once in any bible, pretty obvious those were man-made words.

    BFHU: Ahem. Trinity and Incarnation also do not appear in the Bible. But not only that the Bible never instructs us to belive ONLY what can be found in Scripture. THAT is a Protestant invention.

    The way you responded made it sound like yea it’s allll ok I guess these preists can just go to confession, that’s what it’s for. This makes me sick to my stomach literally.

    BFHU: Well, you have made a hasty and unfounded judgment lacking in charity.

    I’m outta here.

    BFHU: Good bye.

  143. Jazzz says:

    Afterall it doesn’t take someone with 1/4 of a brain to figure this out, it was the Romans who killed Jesus in the first place, it’s not hard to see that’s exactly where the Roman Catholic church comes from, no wonder they’re still hurting God’s children today.

  144. Joel says:

    Jazzz,
    You are really beginning to show your ignorance. You should quit while you’re ahead.

  145. Jazzz says:

    Well I guess you haven’t been following me here, obviously your eyes & ears are closed so there is no point to try here.

  146. Jazzz says:

    Dear bfhu, I sincerely apologize here for my anger. I am going to tell you some about me. My husband who just passed away this past August, who was the only man in my life who was ever there for me 100%. He was the kindest, gentlest, giving man I have ever known, to all. Who would defend & help the downcast. My heart breaks that I have lost him, but am very grateful for knowing so much love from such a special person. I truly believe with all my heart he is in heaven, God gave me & my kids strong signs of this. I had just gone to the catholic church & was very interested in becoming catholic & being baptised. But when I spoke to the preist, during our discussion he basically told me that me husband who had died was now in Hell because he had not attended church regularly & done all his church obligations. I have decided to let this go, because I know God is with me & I believe he is in Heaven & helping me. I am sorry if I offended anyone here. Thank-you for responding to me. Jazzz

  147. Joel says:

    Jazzz,
    Sorry to hear about your loss. Please do not let the opinion of one man ruin what you can find in the Catholic Church. I am also a convert from Protestantism and found absolutely nothing more fulfilling that what we have in Catholicism. Just to clarify what the priest told you, the Church is in the business of saving souls, not condemning them. Satan’s business is condemning souls to Hell. That is why the Church only proclaims who is in Heaven, never who is in Hell. When someone tells you a specific person is in Hell after death that is soley the opinion of one individual and holds no bearing on the hereafter. The Church teaches that God gives everyone exactly what they need to recieve salvation at the time of their death and it is up to them to accept it or reject it. If you feel your husband has been recieved into Heaven then I make every encouragement for you to hold on to that and when you pray be confident that your husband can still make intecessions and hear what you say before God.

  148. bfhu says:

    Dear Jazzz,

    WHOA! Thanks for telling us. I second all that Joel said. Remember too that God wants ALL of HIS CHILDREN in Heaven with Him…ALL. So, we can definitely count on Him to have done all that was necessary to make sure your husband would be in Heaven. God Bless you as walk this shadow of death XOXOXO.

  149. Jazzz says:

    Thank-you’s both sooooo much, I have cried alot today. I believe what you’s said is true, thank-you’s. I actually was sick to my stomach over it, but today is a new day, believe it or not I went to a different catholic church today, & it was wonderful. Words cannot describe how it made me feel. They sang “Be Not Afraid”, I loved it, everything touched my heart. Thank-you’s & God Bless you’s here. Jazzz

  150. happy says:

    Jazzz,
    God bless you. I am so sorry for your loss and I am praying for your pain. PLEASE do not let one person steer you away from your faith. I am protestant and in RCIA and I am already so blessed by the fullness of the Catholic Church! I would encourage you to pray about your journey. There is a grief ministry at the church we go to. Maybe that is available in your area. May God bless you as you heal and move forward! Ally :)

  151. Jazzz says:

    Thank-you happy. God bless you. Yes I need prayers, thank-you. Your sister in Christ, Jazzz.

  152. Jazzz says:

    I have been reading the book “Catholocism for Dummies”, I have found it very informative & helpful. It says that the Catholic Church does recognize other churches baptisms as valid & names the various churches it does consider valid baptisms. The church I was baptized in when I was young is listed. I have spoken to the priest about this & am now in the process of trying to locate my baptismal certificate, the church is closed now with no minister. Actually I am very pleased to hear that as I feel it did alot of damage to people. Also the priest told me that I can go up with everyone else for the eucharist & not take the eucharist but instead he will give me a special blessing. So I can feel welcome. Until I become full Catholic. What a blessing for me to have found such an understanding & welcoming priest. Jazzz.

  153. Nan says:

    Would your parents have a copy of your baptismal certificate? Does that church have a central organization that would have records from closed churches?

  154. Jazzz says:

    No there never was any certificates given or records of any baptisms done. There beliefs about it are completely different. I found the headquarters in the States on internet, they gave me some long distance phone #’s. I called & no there never was any papers about baptisms. T hey asked me why I wanted it & I told them that I need them because I want to become Catholic. I found out the minister is now 92 yrs. old now & living out west. I remember him always preaching that we were the only ones going to heaven, that church. I remember him always preaching against the Catholic Church alot. I don’t think anyone would help me even if they could.

  155. Kathy Stewart says:

    I am not a catholic yet but an Especialian for many years. I understnd why Prodestants cannot take communion but why is there no exceptions for an Episcopalian when they are somewhat close to the catholic faith. I have taken RCIA,and have attended mass for three years including masses for Lent, Easter, Christmas but still not able receive full comunion, but a blessing. Is there any way that there can be an exceptions to the rule? I have always believed the true meaning of Christ with communion, for my lifetime and say the important prayers daily. Not joining the catholic church is what i would like but a family problem faces me that I cannot join. Do you have any sugestions how I could handle this?
    Peace, Faith, Hope, Love Always, Kathy Stewart
    (from Iowa)

  156. Jazzz says:

    Hi Kathy, from my understanding, it’s not based on being valid because of that church’s belief’s, or even if the minister who baptized was a true christian. What matters is if the baptism was done properly. Mine was a full immersion in a lake in the name of the Father, the Son & the Holy Spirit. That is why mine would be considered valid.(to my understanding) It has to be have been done so that there is no room to doubt that water went on your skin, & it has to have been done in the names of all the trinity, the father, son & holy spirit. Some churches beliefs could also make it invalid as they don’t believe in the trinity or baptize with water. To me it doesn’t matter at this point, whatever I have to do to come into full communion within the catholic faith I am willing. God Bless you. Jazzz.

  157. bfhu says:

    Kathy,
    I am sorry you are unable to join the Catholic Church. God knows what is going on. Pray for this to change so you can be received into the Catholic Church.

    But in the meantime you will please God much more by obedience to His Church by refraining from communion despite the hunger of your heart. Look at it as a Holy Fast and at every mass and every visit to the Blessed Sacrament, ask God to give you the graces of a Spiritual Communion.

    The Grace any Catholic receives at communion is given by God and greater graces are given to those with a better disposition to receive them.
    So, God is able to give you grace as He wills for this journey to holiness.

    I Samuel 15:22 Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice.

    Prayer for Spiritual Communion ( or say your own)

    Visit to the Blessed Sacrament
    3 times:
    Blessed and praised every moment is the Most Holy Sacrament of the Altar
    Blessed and praised every moment is the Most Holy Sacrament of the Altar
    Blessed and praised every moment is the Most Holy Sacrament of the Altar

    Glory Be to the Father and to the Son …etc

    Spiritual Communion

    Lord Jesus, I firmly believe that you are present in the most Blessed Sacrament. I adore You as true God hidden here. I ask Your pardon for my sins; and because I love You above all things, I desire to receive You spiritually in this moment.

    (Pause–Spiritual communion)
    I thank You for having united myself to You and I submit myself entirely to Your Holy Will.

  158. Jazzz says:

    Kathy, not sure what kind of family problem you mean, but maybe if that’s the case it’s just ne meant to be right now?? I know for me I have repeatedly had tried to go Catholic & something would happen that would make me turn away, like repeatedly hitting a brick wall. It left me feeling hurt, confused, angry. At this time in my life I am determined, & I am not going to let anything or anyone stop me as I have wanted this for a very long time. Your sister in Christ Jazzz.

  159. happy says:

    My baptism certificate couldn’t be located so my parents wrote a statement that I was baptized when, where who and that they were witness and signed it and that is what I used for my annulment and registering with the church.

    Thanks Pam for the prayer. That is very nice!

    Be blessed.

    Ally

  160. happy says:

    2 Questions….
    We have recently started attending a different parish, which we LOVE and I attend RCIA.
    We always in the past go down for a blessing at commuion,the whole family goes(my stepsons take communion, myself, my husband and daughters go for blessing)anyway, we went down to this one and they don’t bless. The just held up the host and said body of Christ.(and look a little put out that we came down!) It was very uncomfortable for all of us including my Cradle Catholic husband. He said he had never been to any mass that they don’t go down for a blessing. We have since then been remaining in our seats, which is akward for everyone around since then they have to step over us. Should I ask the priest about this? Is this common? I realize once I have converted and our marriage acknowledged by the church both my husband and I will be taking communion, but for my children it will continue to be an issue(Unless they join!).

    Also, please help me to answer some family questions. When I was explaining the reasoning behind the Church not allowing Protestants to take communion the question was~”Why does the Church think they have the authority to decide if I am in the right position to be able to take communion?”

    Thanks and blessings to all
    Ally:)

  161. bfhu says:

    Dear Ally,

    I do not know the history of the blessing of non Communicants. It may be a very old practice that originated as a blessing for small children who accompanied their parent to the altar but had not had their first communion yet. I think at some point, priests began blessing anyone who could not receive communion. My guess is that this was just one among many liturgical innovations introduced by individual priests without the green light from Rome after Vatican II.

    This is a very warm and welcoming practice but perhaps it creates scandal b/c not everyone can see that they are only receiving a blessing. Some might think non Catholics are receiving communion. Not sure, but in my experience the Church always has a sublime reason for everything. It is NEVER just an exercise of power.

    I have read however, not too long ago that this was improper. I will try to find something on it. My own husband has stopped going forward too, even though our priests still do this.

    I personally feel sad b/c it is a nice way to be welcoming to the non Catholics and keep them from sticking out like a sore thumb. But I need to obey the Church. I would say you are in a very-loyal-to-the-Church-Parish if they don’t do this blessing so I would still want to stay there if I were you.
    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    As for where does the Church get her authority to decide who can take communion;

    Jesus gave the Apostles His authority to Rule:

    Luke 9:1 When Jesus had called the Twelve together, he gave them power and authority to drive out ALL demons and to cure diseases, 2 and he sent them out to preach the kingdom of God and to heal the sick.

    Luke 10:19I have given you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and to overcome ALL the power of the enemy; nothing will harm you.

    Mt. 16:17 Jesus replied, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by man, but by my Father in heaven. 18And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it. 19 I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.”

    Matthew 18:17-18 “If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church; and if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector. 18″Truly I say to you, whatever you bind on earth shall have been bound in heaven; and whatever you loose on earth shall have been loosed in heaven.

    Binding and loosing as used in the last two passages is a Hebrew idiom that means “The power to rule”. So Jesus gave His Church via the Apostles and later the Bishops to rule the Church with authority in Jesus’ absence. The keys of the Kingdom indicates the authority to act and make decisions in the name of the King. Just like a Prime Minister.

    Luke 10:16 “The one who listens to you listens to Me, and the one who rejects you rejects Me; and he who rejects Me rejects the One who sent Me.”

    1 Timothy 3:15 but in case I am delayed, I write so that you will know how one ought to conduct himself in the household of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and support of the truth.

    John 20:21 So Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you; as the Father has sent Me, I also send you.”

    Can’t get anymore clear than that.

  162. happy says:

    Yes, you are correct this is a very loyal parish and I have noticed that. My husband appreciates it because it is like the one he grew up in.
    The other ones have the big screen with the music, announcements and information on it. This one has misslets(spelling?). We can follow along with the readings. They also hold the plate under when you go for communion and ring the bell.(If any of this makes sense to you!). I do like it, it just surprised us! We have even been to weddings that they invite all to come for a blessing and instruct non catholics on what to do.

    Thanks with the help to the answers.
    Now the debate is(I am sure you have heard it all before)”it is not to be taken literally, He said I am the vine and you are the branches”…we are not really branches. “I am the shepard and you are the sheep”…. we are not literally sheep.” One in the same this is not really Jesus’ prescence.

    I just want to be a good representative!
    :)Ally

  163. Nan says:

    Ally, when you say “they” do you mean the priest or an EHMC? EHMC’s don’t bless, but I have also heard that blessing isn’t proper; if they still use the paten (aka plate) and ring the bell, they likely never blessed those who weren’t taking communion.

    As far as those who have to step over you, that happens. Not to worry.

    The way my pastor explains it is that we’re going back in time to a re-presentation of the Crucifixion. That moment is eternal, thus through the power of the holy spirit, bread and wine are transformed into the Body and Blood of Christ. We may not literally be sheep, we may not literally be branches, but it’s definitely the Real Presence.

  164. happy says:

    :) Nan, both,either.
    Ha, we thought because it was a small church and few non~Catholics that they were perplexed when we came up arms crossed so we moved to the other side so we could get the priest next time… same thing! I like the blessing as it is nice to be able to go down as a family and some take and some are blessed, but if it is something they are not suppose to do that, I understand that.

  165. Caitlyn says:

    Hi. I came across this site while trying to find an answer to this very question. I was raised in a Protestant church, but was also taught to pray to saints, that the Eucharist is the body and blood of Christ. I follow the Nicene Creed as Catholics also do. I believe in the Trinity, in the Immaculate Conception, the death and ressurection of Jesus Christ…and so on and so forth. Yet I have to sit out of receiving Communion, not because of what I believe, but because of where I have worshiped our Lord and Savior. And why is confession to a priest any different than confession with a pastor?(which I have done by the way).

  166. bfhu says:

    Caitlyn,

    It sounds like you are more Catholic than Protestant. Have you considered entrance to the Catholic Church?
    Regarding confession: You can confess your sins to your pastor but he cannot administer the sacrament of absolution whereby you can receive grace to progress in overcoming sins. Catholic Priests have been ordained by bishops who have been ordained by bishops in an unbroken line back to Christ. You might want to see these posts.

    Confession to a Priest

    Church Fathers on Confession

    Why do we need to confess to a priest?

    Why can’t I just confess to God?

  167. Caitlyn says:

    As a matter of fact, all of what I believe was taught to me in a Protestant Church. And pastors are still ordained by bishops who have been ordained, etc…and we too can trace our lines back to Christ as Protestantism arose from Catholicism in the first place. Many people forget that we all came from the same beginning. Thus we are more similiar than we are different.

  168. bfhu says:

    Caitlyn,
    Were you raised Lutheran or Episcopalian/Anglican? They are the only two Protestant denominations I know of that have nearly Catholic beliefs. I am not sure that Lutherans have bishops though. Yes all Protestants came out of the Catholic Church. And, yes you are so right that we have many more similarities than differences.

    I am going to guess you are Anglican/Episcopalian since you trace your bishops back to the apostles. If they had adhered to the rite of ordination all Anglicans and Episcopalian would have retained a valid priesthood and sacraments. But, this they did not do. Therefore, they are not admitted to Catholic Sacraments because they are not in Comm-UNION with us and they do not have the same beliefs in these sacraments as Catholic do.

    You can read more HERE–> Catholic Encyclopedia

    I also found this answer online Here at yahoo answers.

    Yes, a person has to be Catholic (or Orthodox) to receive communion in Catholic churches (all rites), because Catholics & Orthodox have a particular understanding of the Holy Eucharist. Anybody who does not share that understanding should not partake.

    I liken it to the guy who marries a vegetarian and brings her home for Thanksgiving dinner. Since she does not believe in eating meat, one would expect her to naturally refrain from eating the Thanksgiving turkey. It’s not an affront to her to have the turkey on the menu to serve all the other family members who DO believe in eating meat. She’s still welcome to join in the festivities, but why would she want to eat turkey if she believes it’s wrong to eat turkey?

    So it is with the Holy Eucharist at a Catholic or Orthodox liturgy. We believe that the bread and wine are transubstantiated into the true Body and true Blood of Christ. Somebody who does not believe in transubstantiation simply should not partake — nor should they want to partake. Why would you want to do something you don’t believe in?

    But it’s not a slight. The Holy Eucharist is there for the people who DO believe. The ones who do not are welcome to participate in the rest of the liturgy, but we assume they aren’t going to want to do something that they don’t believe in. And if a person does believe in transubstantiation, we invite them to become Catholic.

  169. John says:

    Some churches in the Lutheran World Federation have bishops, some do not. ELCA in the US, Sweden, Norway, Tanzania all have bishops, and Sweden and Tanzania believe themselves to have preserved (or acquired) the Historic Succession (the Catholic church, of course, does not concur). In many instances Anglicans and Lutherans now participate in each other’s episcopal ordinations.

  170. Caitlyn says:

    I was raised in Presbyterian Church as well as a Congregational one(we moved when I was 10). I also attended a Lutheran school for about 3 years.
    What bothers me is the fact that I DO believe in everything the Catholics do(including transubstantiation), but because I was not baptized/raised in a Catholic church, I cannot partake in Communion. Not because of myself, but because of those who brought me up. Why should I be denied when it is not I who am not in union with the Church? Why do I have to “convert”(I’m putting it in quotes since I already have the same beliefs).
    I understand not allowing non-Christians, or those who do not believe in transubstantiation.

    Also I know Catholics who do not believe in everything the Church teaches, and yet they can and do partake in Communion.

  171. Nan says:

    Caitlyn, it isn’t as simplistic as you believe; your church isn’t in Communion with Rome and receiving communion in a Catholic church implies more than has been discussed here.

    If you were validly baptized (in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit), your Baptism would be considered valid; however, you still wouldn’t be able to receive Communion, you would first have had religious education, confess to a priest and only then have your First Communion. To become a full member of the Church, you’d have yet more religious education and be Confirmed. Those who convert as adults will be brought into the Church on Saturday at Easter Vigil; those with valid Baptisms will be Confirmed, then will have their First Communions while those who were never Baptized or whose Baptisms were invalid will be Baptized, be Confirmed and have their First Communions.

    I can’t comment on the people who don’t believe everything the Church teaches as people have different levels of understanding; there are people who have had bad formation to begin with so don’t realize they weren’t taught true to the church, and others who don’t believe they need to adhere to the teachings. That’s between them and God. Please God that they’re inspired to believe in Church teachings and to take advantage of Confession.

    The Vatican is rumored to have rejected three candidates as Ambassador from the US on the grounds that as they were all pro-abortion.

    You might want to consider poking about in the Catechism or talking to a priest in your town to get a better understanding of what the differences are, so you can understand what we think is different and why we think so.

  172. Caitlyn says:

    My baptism is valid. I don’t know what the comment about abortion has to do with Communion, but I am pro-life in case that matters.

    My church? I was raised in several different churches.
    Even though I was confirmed in a Congregational Church, I only attend once a month to receive Communion. The rest of the time I attend Catholic Mass with my fiancee.

    My beliefs are the same as Catholics(and I know they are from conversations with my fiancee, as well as a nun). The only difference between myself and my Catholic fiancee is the idea of Confession. But because the church I was confirmed in is not in union with Rome, than I am barred from taking Communion. So it is more about(at least in this case) the church itself, than what I personally believe.

    So what you’re telling me is that one MUST be confirmed in a Catholic or orthodox church in order to receive Communion?

  173. Nan says:

    Abortion is one of the things that automatically excommunicates you; pro-abortion politicians, such as Kathleen Sebelius and Nancy Pelosi, shouldn’t present for communion as they fall under the category of procuring abortions presumably due to advocacy and their ability/voting histories on pro-abortion policies.

    With Mass attendance, Catholics believe that failure to attend Mass on Sunday is a Mortal Sin; in that case, confession to a priest is required before going to Communion again (keep in mind that attending Mass doesn’t require receipt of Communion).

    Actually, it would have to be a Catholic church; Orthodox aren’t in Communion with Rome, and while Catholics would be fine giving Communion to the Orthodox, the Orthodox priest would frown on it if his people received Communion in a Catholic church and would not want a Catholic coming to him for Communion.

    FYI, Orthodox tradition is a bit different and babies get three sacraments, baptism, communion and chrismation (which is what they call confirmation) at the same time. Orthodox intinct, meaning they have bread and wine together, given by spoon to the faithful. Some Eastern Catholics do the same.

    I’m afraid that you must be confirmed in a Catholic church to receive Communion. As you can see, there are differing traditions between your church and ours, so believing the same things doesn’t quite get you to the same place.

    Do you have a wedding date set? Hasn’t your church suggested RCIA?

  174. bfhu says:

    Dear Caitlyn,

    Since your beliefs are Catholic why not seek reception in the Catholic Church? And I admire your integrity of not receiving communion in the Catholic Church out of respect for her beliefs even though it seems legalistic to you. As I am sure you are away humility is a great virtue. And one of the surest paths to it is obedience to authority. You can’t just will to be humble you have to do painful obedience in spite of
    your own opinions. When i went through RCIA on some days I knew more about the Catholic Church than the volunteer teacher but I decided out of humility I would just go with the program. It was my first lesson in obedience to the Church. It was difficult b/c my Protestantism had steeped me in pride.

    One thing you can do when you attend the Catholic Mass is ask Our Lord for Spiritual Communion.

    Spiritual Communion Prayer

    My Jesus, I believe that You are present in the Most Holy Sacrament.
    I love You above all things, and I desire to receive You into my soul.
    Since I cannot at this moment receive You sacramentally,
    come at least spiritually into my heart.
    I embrace You as if You were already there and unite myself wholly to You.
    Never permit me to be separated from You.

  175. Caitlyn says:

    We are getting married in June in a Protestant Church for various reasons(most of my family is protestant, we wouldn’t be able to have a full Catholic Mass, my grandfather had left the church over 50 years ago, and doesn’t really feel comfortable,etc…) We are having a priest participate in the ceremony to bless the marriage. And no, he has never mentioned RCIA to me. That might be because my fiancee and I already agreed to raise our children in the Catholic church(but also sharing with them my own Protestant heritage). I have considered converting, and am still somewhat wrestling with the decision. This has been one thing that has been nagging at me, and why I’ve been asking questions, trying to understand why.
    I apologize if I have seemed argumentative, but I’m just trying to get answers. Thank you for the information you have given me.

  176. happy says:

    Hi Caitlyn!
    I was in exactly your situation and I understand your questions and confusion! My husband is Catholic and we were married in a protestant church. Neither he nor I take communion right now and we attend Mass weekly if not more! I started out with the same feelings as you in many ways. I am going to join but I have to pray for patience because that will not happen until 2010! (This has been a particularly difficult time as many fortunate others are preparing for Easter!!!!) I feel like I am just about to flip in anticipation! ha…. Anyway, I had thoughts and feelings like yours about other people.(I know people who never go to confession and still go to communion…I know people who’s marriages are not annulled in the church and they are remarried and still taking communion…on and on.)

    I think, though the most important thing is that YOU be obedient! Some of it I think that whether it makes sense to you or not there is just a little of just chocking it up to that’s the rules!
    We(myself and my husband) pray the prayer that Pam (BFHU) gave to you and we pray that our Father will delight in our obedience!
    I pray that for you also.
    I will say that if your husband is Catholic and you share those beliefs also I would think it would be a huge blessing to hop on over!!!!!
    Best Wishes on your journey
    May God bless you and keep you!
    Ally :)

  177. bfhu says:

    Caitlyn,
    Congratulations on your upcoming wedding!!!

    No question is out of bounds. Ask away please. You do not seem argumentative at all. When I was trying to get answers to my questions I would go to RCIA all prepared with questions but when I sat down with a Catholic and thought about what I wanted to ask and my questions sounded so rude to actually ask this sweet volunteer Catholic. So I would try to word it so as not to sound rude but then I wouldn’t actually get my REAL question answered. So, I just want to give you permission to ask away and do NOT worry if it sounds rude. I have been there done that. You can read my conversion story HERE–> My Conversion

  178. Nan says:

    Caitlyn,

    Congratulations on the wedding.

    I’m a bit surprised that you weren’t told about RCIA; most likely because you aren’t getting married in the Catholic church, I’m guessing you haven’t gone through their pre-marriage counseling. I know that people here have gone into RCIA after their first meeting, once the deacon discovered that one was not Catholic. I have an acquaintance who is Catholic but was not confirmed and when she and her fiance went into the pre-marital counseling, she was put into the class, had a few make-up sessions for important topics she missed and was Confirmed last week; converts are brought into the church during Easter Vigil but Catholics are supposed to be Confirmed at some other time. This may vary with the church, since I go to the Cathedral and the Rector does everything properly.

    I don’t mean to imply that it’s a forced conversion, which is how it sounded when I re-read that section; rather it’s a way to learn more about the church in structured environment. You read excerpts from the Catechism, among other things, but learn a lot about Catholic tradition. People are free to convert or not. You might want to consider it if for no reason other than to learn more about the faith in which you have committed to raising your children.

    My grandma started life as a Baptist; my grandparents were married first in her church, then, the next year, in his church, and she converted during the several year gap between her second and third child. It sounds wrong to say they were married twice, but they’re on record with both churches; I think the norms have changed and my grandpa was an Eastern Catholic so his church may not have recognized the Protestant wedding in the 30’s. People convert if and when they’re ready, not before so don’t think that it would be odd if you decide to go into the class. Each parish decides how they do things, and mine starts a class together so people learn as a group, which is how it was done in the beginning; a parish closer to my house says you can start any week of the year. You may find a different situation.

    You can also buy a catechism to read or look at the text online as there’s a version out there. I would encourage you to at least do that as a way to learn more about similarities and differences; please do come back with your questions, which we’ll try to answer.

    You sound frustrated more than anything and hopefully we’ll be able to help you sort things out for yourself so that you have a greater understanding of where the churches diverge.

  179. Dora Bradley says:

    I read these comments. I don’t know what to say but I can tell you from my experience. Since I was little, my family was regular churchgoer and I felt Jesus’ Presence through love but I never cared about being Protestant or Catholic until I was 8 or 9 years old. I went home for Easter weekend. I lived in a boarding school. That night my family prayed at bedtime without me…I am only Deaf in the family. So I waited for them to fall asleep. I kneel quietly and said my prayer in sign language. I woke up because my knees were painful from kneeling. My legs were numb and I pulled my body to get on my cot. The pain in my knees was so bad. I looked up at the ceiling and asked God to take the pain away. He took it away in less than a second. I was fearful of Him and pulled the bed sheet over my head. I was ashamed because I was doubtful about God’s Existence at first place. I was worried about morning coming. I wanted to bury my head somewhere because I was not insignificant to God. At the dawn, I saw a fireball flying through no screened open window into the room. The fireball changed into the form of human. My body was shaking. Suddenly I felt lukewarm “something” flowing inside from my toes to my head fully. I felt so loved. I wanted to go with Him but it was not my time, He said. He turned back into the fireball and left out of the window. I felt no longer afraid and I was loved. I was excited when I went to my family church, but I sensed something missing. I prayed and felt the call to become Catholic. I converted to the Catholic Church. God bless you.

  180. Dora Bradley says:

    correct my English…”I wanted to bury my head somewhere because I felt insignificant to God.”

  181. L. Chamberlain says:

    Why is it that Roman Catholics ASSUME that they are the only ones who see the Bread and Wine as “the actual body of christ”? The Lutheran church and many others believe the same. Let us remember that Martin Luther was a Roman Catholic Priest who broke off from the Catholic church because he did not believe some of the practices. However, sacrament of Holy Communion was not one of them. In fact in the Lutheran Church we still to this day recite the Nicene Creed and in some churches (considered High Church) make the sign of the cross. At any rate the Holy Communion or Eucharist is a Gift or Blessing from God and it should not be for any Man to deny it from another because They feel they aren’t doing it properly. As a Christian, if I was dying and the only person who could administer the sacrament of communion to me was a Catholic Priest would you deny me that right and blessing from God?

  182. bfhu says:

    We do recognize that the Lutherans and Anglicans (the ones I know about)believe Christ is present in the Eucharist. Communion has always been denied to those not in commUNION with us.

    “We call this food Eucharist; and no one else is permitted to partake of it, except one who believes our teaching to be true…”
    -Justin Martyr -FIRST APOLOGY, 66,20–(150 A.D.)

    Lutherans certainly DO NOT believe our teaching is true. That is why they are Lutheran.

    There are dispensations in the case of death but I am not sure about the case you mention for a Lutheran. If there is no dispensation for a dying Lutheran it is a mercy because:

    1 Corinthians 11: 27 Therefore, whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be
    guilty of sinning against the body and blood of the Lord. 28 A man ought to examine himself before he eats of the bread and drinks of the cup. 29 For anyone who eats and drinks without recognizing the body of the Lord eats and drinks judgment on himself.

    Allowing a dying Lutheran or anyone else to “eat and drink judgment” upon themselves moments before death, would be evil.

  183. Nan says:

    That article isn’t persuasive; Catholics believe in Scripture and Tradition and understand that not all traditions were memorialized in Scripture.

    Tradition is that only those who are in Communion with Rome and are in good standing with the church may receive Communion.

    The opinions of a non-denominational minister, who may believe anything are immaterial to who may properly receive Communion in the Catholic Church.

  184. John says:

    In the United States, the USCCB has extended Eucharistic hopitality to Orthodox Christians, and to members of the Assyrian Church of the East, and the Polish National Catholic Church, even though these churches are not in full communion with the see of Rome.

  185. Dora Bradley says:

    Catholic means the ancient and first Church and it originated by Jesus’ Apostles. The Apostles sat with Jesus at the Last Supper. They heard Jesus’ Words when He broke the Bread and drank the Cup. He shared His Bread and His Cup with them. Jesus breathed His Holy Spirit on His Apostles. Roman Catholic priests have received the Holy Spirit from God through Jesus’ Apostles. Non-Catholic evangelists do not receive the Holy Spirit because they don’t believe the Bread and the Wine are Jesus’ Flesh and His Blood. They label the Bread and Wine as symbols. Non-Catholic people will be judged if they take a Communion…Jesus’ Words – 1 Corinthians 11: 27

    Holy God, Holy Mighty One, Holy Immortal One, have mercy on us and on the whole world.

  186. Morse says:

    As a member of the Liberal Catholic Church I understand why people who are not in communion with Rome should not take communion in an R.C church, it more to do with respect than the theology of Mass, because have no issues with contraception, the gay community, and married priests etc…..

    But really Dora; I think the ‘Holy Spirit’ is wiser and more available than you give ‘it’ credit…..The Holy Spirit can be experienced in other churches and Christian Communities away from Rome.

    If Jesus was here today – where would he be – with sinners like me!

    Please do not ‘box’ up the Holy Spirit in the R.C Church but rather be joyful in the freedom of the spirit, so all who fall to their knees and ask God into their lives can experience what I’m certain you also experience.

    Best regards
    Morse, U.K

  187. Byng says:

    As an anglican,like the Roman Catholics, I believe
    in one Catholic, and Apostolic Church-(from the Creed)
    same as Roman Catholics- and yet still cannot
    take Holy communion at a RC service, am sure if
    Jesus were looking down at this RC service he would
    be shaking his head in dis belief.-its no wonder
    there is such division in Christian churches todayI was told once by a RC Priest at mass that only Roman Catholics can enter the kingdom of heaven
    give me a break. anyone that believes that jesus Christ
    is his master and savior will see the Lord in heaven.

  188. bfhu says:

    The idea that only Catholics can enter Heaven is a heresy. Pure and simple. And it doesn’t matter if a Catholic priest said it or not. It is still heretical.

    But, why would any non-Catholic want to take communion in a Catholic Church? It represents UNION… but non Catholics are not in UNION with the Catholic Church so taking commUNION in a Catholic Church would be to lie with your body, in addition to the other dangers listed by St. Paul above.

  189. Irish Will. says:

    Hi Guys

    Just a quick question – what are peoples thoughts regarding ‘The Old Catholic Church’

    It seems what what I can find on the net their orders are valid whilst illicit due to a split in the 18th C.

    I would appreciate some thoughts pertaining to this issue. Seems mixed messages from both corners; some R.C’s recognize some do not…..

  190. John says:

    There are two splits that make up the Communion of Utrecht (aka Old Catholics). First, a group in Holland that split in the 18th century. Second, a group that objected to the proclamation of Papal Infallibility in the 1870s, split from Rome, and affiliated with the Dutch group. I, too, would be interested in what the Catholic church thinks of their orders now, as they have ordained women to the priesthood for some time, and some have approved rites for gay marriage.

  191. Irish Will. says:

    Thanks John,

    In Ireland it seems to very much depend upon the priest with whom ones speaks – my understanding too is that the Old Catholic Church is recognised, or at least was by the late John Paul, but not know by Pope Benedict – like all orders outside of the Rome see….

  192. John says:

    Interesting that the USCCB has extended Eucharistic hospitality to members of the Polish National Catholic Church, an Old Catholic body that has severed ties with Utrecht over the issue of women’s ordination.

  193. don says:

    No I did not read above article. but let me ask you is it not true under canon law that a priest is not to refuse anyone who wants communion is NOT to be refused…..even if protestant……don

  194. Dora Bradley says:

    Morse, …let me paste the quote from Wikipedia:

    Jesus addresses Simon by what seems to have been the nickname “Peter” (Cephas in Aramaic and Petros in Greek, meaning “Rock”) and says, “On this rock (also cephas in Aramaic and petra in Greek) I will build my church” which will overcome all the evil forces arrayed against it.

    So…Simon Peter or Cephas, the first pope, Prince of the Apostles, and founder, with St. Paul, of the see of Rome…it originated Roman Catholic.

    Peter was there with Jesus at the Last Supper. The Living Bread and Living Blood through Jesus’ Words has been passed on by Simon Peter, the Rock, as Roman Catholic.

    I was not born Roman Catholic. I looked for Jesus and He came to me. I converted to Roman Catholic.

    God loves you because you are His child.

  195. Mary Ann says:

    I am an Anglican Catholic. As such, any baptized person, despite their denominaton, is welcome to receive the body and blood of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. In the Anglican Church, we too, believe that Holy Communion is not just a representation or “recreation”. We believe that we are receving the body and blood of our Lord. What I have never understood, is why does the Roman Church seem to think that they are the “only” church, and what they believe is the “only” way to believe. To me, when I have attended Mass in a Catholic Church, it seems to me that they are a bit hypocritical….they are like a “closed country club”….if you don’t belong, you are not welcome to participate in the most important aspect of the Mass, which is Holy Communion. Remember, this is a man made rule the Catholic Church has, not a rule made by the Father or by our Lord. Think about that. To me, it is not a very Christian way of being to exclude people who are attending Mass from participating in Communion. I have been arguing this point, to no avail for over 34 years now. Acceptance is the key…not who is Catholic and who is not. God has commanded us to love one another, not discriminate against one another. It truly is sad.

  196. Need Help!! says:

    I was baptized and raised Catholic. I really thought I was going to stay Catholic my whole life. I got married in the Catholic Church when I was 20. Three years later, the man I married said that he was not “in love” with me and wanted a divorce. He remarried 7 months later. I then began the annulment process. But,before I received a decision on the annulment, I remarried outside of the Church. My husband was baptized, raised, and confirmed in a Lutheran church, where we both now attend. He would never consider having our church blessed by a Catholic Priest. So, I’m stuck. Based on decisions I made when I was young and unstable, I will never be allowed to take Holy Communion in the Catholic Church. And, although I believe in the same things as Catholics, including the real presence of Jesus Christ in Holy Communion, the Catholic Church says that I am living in mortal sin, and therefore, will not be able to go to heaven. I don’t understand this. I love the Lord!! I serve the Lord as a Sunday School teacher at the Lutheran Church I attend. I am a lectern and serve on Church Council. I teach my children about Jesus, read them Bible stories. I donate as much as I can to needy causes. But why even bother?….According to the Catholic Church, I will never make it to heaven because I no longer belong to the Catholic Church. I just don’t understand how an all-knowing, all-powerful, and all-loving God would turn his back on me like this? I don’t feel like I’ve denied him. I am just trying to find an alternative way to serve him, since I can no longer be in full unity with the Catholic Church. I am not saying there is anything wrong with being Catholic (because I still feel that I am in my heart). I just don’t know if I am going to Heaven or Hell and I really want to go to Heaven! I wish that God would answer email, so I would know one way or another!

  197. bfhu says:

    What ever happened with your annulment? Why not pursue that? If it was granted you could have your marriage blessed. If your husband really loves you and it was important to you I am sure he would assent.

    You say, “According to the Catholic Church, I will never make it to heaven because I no longer belong to the Catholic Church.”

    Where did you hear that? It is heresy. The Catholic Church does NOT teach that only Catholics are going to Heaven.God has not turned His back on you. He is calling you to come back to the one Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church. People in irregular marriages still go to Church in the Catholic Church and refrain from Communion. You could do that until the annulment process is complete.

    Are you sure you have not turned your back on Him?

    • Need Help says:

      I know for sure that I have not turned my back on the Lord. I feel like I am a stronger Christian now than I have ever been in my life. I love the Lord! I try to serve him any way I can. I’m just very sad because it sounds like the Catholic Church teaches that a Catholic who leaves the Church has committed a mortal sin and cannot go to heaven without going to reconciliation and going back to the Church. (By the way, I heard that on the Catholic radio station, Redeemer Radio, Catholic Answers Live. That’s what triggered me researching this further.)

      My annulment was approved. However, my husband, since he was born and raised Lutheran, can not understand why it is necessary to have our marriage blessed (after 12 years) by the Catholic church, He is very stubborn!) I wish things were that simple.

      I know that I could still go to the Catholic Church and not take Communion. But what’s the difference, then, between going to a Lutheran Church(which has the same Bible readings each Sunday as the Catholic Church) with my husband or, going to the Catholic Church (and not taking communion) without him?

      By the way, your question about me turning my back on Him really hurt me. I am just trying to figure out what He really wants me to do! Have you ever struggled with any of this kind of stuff?

      • bfhu says:

        Please forgive me for offending you. I can tell you have not turned your back on God. I am glad to hear your annulment was granted.

        I have not had to struggle myself but two of my children married fallen away Catholics outside the Church.

        My girsl were not raised Catholic and are still Protestants. I am praying for them to become Catholic and have their marriages blessed in the Church. So they are in a similar place. I know our God is merciful and loving so I can only commend them to Him and pray for all to get worked out.

        If I were you I would go to the Lutheran Church with my husband and go to the Catholic Church during the week or Sat. evenings or sometime to be in the Real Presence of Jesus and worship Him in the Mass in the Church He founded and pray pray pray for your husband to relent.

  198. Morse says:

    Dora,

    I thought you may enjoy this:

    I fear that Roman Catholic short-sightedness limits ‘God’ and what ‘God’ is and for whom.

    This is often because the Roman Catholic tends to be for the most part a cradle to grave inculcated religion and faith – although I note not in your case.

    I doubt not that you will disagree with some of what is said I hope some of it may be enlightening.

    Thank you for your engagement.
    Yours Morse
    (I’m a non-realist)

  199. Morse says:

    Dear bfhu.

    “If I were you I would go to the Lutheran Church with my husband and go to the Catholic Church during the week or Sat. evenings or sometime to be in the Real Presence of Jesus and worship Him in the Mass in the Church He founded and pray pray pray for your husband to relent.”

    The real presence of Jesus – my God! you people ( R.C.’s) really are insufferable. What a pathetic and very poor theological answer to a heart felt question.

    Dear ‘Need Help’ whilst Roman Catholic priests are not exactly known for being the brightest theologically (other than Hans Kung, they threw him out! and Karen Armstrong who left – thank god) they the priests may have a more liberal understanding of scriptures and the ‘mass culture’ than the dangerous backward minded inculcated individual that answered your question.

    Most R.C’s do not know or understand the scriptures have no knowledge of the greek or hebrew language and more often than not have a very poor understanding of their own church history, as is clearly indicated above.

    ‘Need Help’ please watch laugh and enjoy the link I placed above and you will realize that it does not matter where you worship or how you take the bread and wine. The most important thing is that you find peace with YOUR God and live and enjoy YOUR life.

    Stay clear of this oppressive, dangerous, sexually repressive ideology that calls itself ‘catholic’

    Hope this is clear enough?
    Dr Morse.

  200. Robert says:

    NeedHelp,

    If your husband is utterly opposed to renewing your vows, there is a way to ‘get around’ this called ‘radical sanation.’ If you greatly to desire to return to the Catholic Church, and if you have removed all impediments to marriage (like, for instance, getting a decree of nullity), then this may be a path to look into. Check this out:

    http://www.catholic.com/thisrock/1995/9504qq.asp

    God bless you. Start praying, start talking to your pastor or priest, and long for our Eucharistic Lord. He will bring you safely through your trials.

    God bless,

    -Rob

  201. Need Help! says:

    Good information! Thank you, Rob! I will definitely be praying about this!

  202. Robert says:

    Need Help,

    Here is the official information, in canon law, regarding “radical sanation.” God bless you. Hope!

    http://www.vatican.va/archive/ENG1104/__P47.HTM

    Can. 1161 §1. The radical sanation of an invalid marriage is its convalidation without the renewal of consent, which is granted by competent authority and entails the dispensation from an impediment, if there is one, and from canonical form, if it was not observed, and the retroactivity of canonical effects.

    §2. Convalidation occurs at the moment of the granting of the favor. Retroactivity, however, is understood to extend to the moment of the celebration of the marriage unless other provision is expressly made.

    §3. A radical sanation is not to be granted unless it is probable that the parties wish to persevere in conjugal life.

    Can. 1162 §1. A marriage cannot be radically sanated if consent is lacking in either or both of the parties, whether the consent was lacking from the beginning or, though present in the beginning, was revoked afterwards.

    §2. If this consent was indeed lacking from the beginning but was given afterwards, the sanation can be granted from the moment the consent was given.

    Can. 1163 §1. A marriage which is invalid because of an impediment or a defect of legitimate form can be sanated provided that the consent of each party perseveres.

    §2. A marriage which is invalid because of an impediment of natural law or of divine positive law can be sanated only after the impediment has ceased.

    Can. 1164 A sanation can be granted validly even if either or both of the parties do not know of it; nevertheless, it is not to be granted except for a grave cause.

    Can. 1165 §1. The Apostolic See can grant a radical sanation.

    §2. The diocesan bishop can grant a radical sanation in individual cases even if there are several reasons for nullity in the same marriage, after the conditions mentioned in ⇒ can. 1125 for the sanation of a mixed marriage have been ful-filled. He cannot grant one, however, if there is an impediment whose dispensation is reserved to the Apostolic See according to the norm of ⇒ can. 1078, §2, or if it concerns an impediment of natural law or divine positive law which has now ceased.

  203. Need Help! says:

    I have a question about the difference between Catholic and Lutheran beliefs of Holy Communion. I know that Catholics believe that the bread and wine actually become the body and blood of Christ. (I believe it’s called Transubstantiation.) The Lutheran church that I go to also believes in the “Real Presence” of Jesus in the bread an the wine. It’s my understanding of this that at Holy Communion the bread and wine are Jesus’ Body and Blood, but after Communion, they go back to being bread and wine. Am I correct here? If so, why is it a sin for a Catholic to take Communion in a Lutheran Church when they are taking the Body and Blood of Jesus?

  204. Robert says:

    Need Help,

    This is a tough question, and it’s difficult to make clear. I’ll try my best. There are several different aspects to differentiate. I would also note that depending on who you are talking to about the Lutheran belief there might be some different takes.

    1. Do Lutherans profess a belief in the Real Presence? Absolutely. The traditional belief in the Lutheran churches is that Jesus is truly present. But how does it differ from the Catholic belief?

    The traditional belief in the Eucharist, which the Catholics adhere to, is somewhat different than the Lutheran belief, although both claim the ‘Real Presence.’

    The traditional view is that “what the bread is” becomes the Body of Christ, and that “what the wine is” becomes the Blood of Christ, while at the same time the appearance remains that of bread and wine. Let’s call this the “traditional conversion view.” This is pretty well covered in J.N.D. Kelly’s “Early Christian doctrines” when he discusses what the early Fathers thought about the consecration.

    The Lutheran position typically denies this doctrine. Instead of having a “conversion” view, i.e., that the elements are “changed” into the Body and Blood of Jesus, they have some sort of “co-presence” view. They typically think that the presence of Jesus comes in *alongside* the presence of the bread and wine. Bread is present alongside our Lord’s Body, not only in appearance, and likewise with the wine and our Lord’s Blood.

    The traditional view has been formally, doctrinally proclaimed by the Church since the middle ages as “transubstantiation.” That’s just a fancy word for “changing substance.” Quite literally, the elements (bread, wine) change, or undergo a conversion of substance (“what they are”) and become the Body and Blood of Jesus.

    Lutherans object to “transubstantiation” on many levels, but it is ultimately a denial of an ancient, apostolic truth.

    The Lutheran doctrine also leads to absurd practice. We might ask ourselves, “May we worship the Eucharist?” The Catholic answers unreservedly– as St. Augustine did in 400AD– that there is no eating our Lord’s Body without also worshiping Him. But what of the Lutheran? Since he admits there is bread and wine still remaining, it would seem to be idolatrous to worship the sacrament.

    2. What happens at the Lutheran consecration?

    Historically, the very first Lutheran priests were Catholic priests. Martin Luther himself was a true priest, ordained by Bishops in possession of true, apostolic orders. Thus, Martin Luther validly and truly consecrated the Eucharist But what about Lutherans historically?

    Lutherans deny apostolic succession in the strong sense. They deny a fundamental difference between the ministerial priesthood and the priesthood of all believers. For this very reason, Lutherans did not care about preserving apostolic succession. Lutherans think it is irrelevant (perhaps, with some minor, minor exceptions). But this means that, historically, Lutherans did not persist with true, apostolic orders. And, lacking bishops, the Lutherans lack true priests. (Lutherans also fail to ordain their priests to offer “sacrifice” in the traditional, apostolic sense, and indeed, contrary to this sense, which is a defect of form which would cast doubt on their orders even if they had tried to preserve them.)

    Since Lutherans are without apostolic orders, their priests are unable to consecrate the Eucharist. Since Catholics hold that the ministerial priesthood is a distinct reality, conferred by the sacrament of Holy Orders, it is a simple conclusion to make: there is no Real Presence in the Lutheran service.

    Catholics do not believe that Lutherans validly consecrate the Eucharist.

    3. Why is it wrong to receive communion at the Lutheran church?

    The Missouri Synod Lutheran church used to have an excellent article on this, but I can’t find it now. They practice– as do all historic Christian churches– “closed communion.” Communion is restricted (under normal circumstances) only to those who are members of that church. So, even Lutherans do practice this (although the more liberal, mainline ELCA may not do this any longer, it still is historic Lutheran practice).

    The reason, oddly enough, is a distinct question from whether they have a valid Eucharist. It seems to follow rather trivially that if they don’t, one ought to refrain from receiving (for instance, it might imply that you believe that the Lutherans are right about the nature of Holy Orders, and that Catholics are wrong, it would seem to implicitly risk appearing as a denial of a central doctrine of the faith).

    But let’s suppose even if Lutherans did have valid orders and the Eucharist. What then? Well, even still, communion is a sign and also, it is what it signifies. So communion is a cause of greater “communion” within the Church as well as a sign of that communion. The first consideration is that “communion” with people whom we are definitively separated can become a sort of “lie”– we definitely are not in communion, nor even close to being so, with the Lutherans. We do not profess belief in common. To commune at a Lutheran church is to “act” in communion without being in communion.

    Indeed, the unity of practice must assume first the unity of belief. It is unity of belief that is the ordinary precursor to unity of practice. And it is a lack of unity in belief that separates us. Confessional unity has always been seen as a necessary precursor– even St. Justin Martyr in the 2nd century wrote that, beside baptism, common belief was necessary to partake with the Church in the Eucharist.

    Any more questions?

    God bless,
    Rob

  205. Need Help! says:

    Thank you for this explanation, Rob. I can tell that you have really studied this matter. Are you a Catholic priest? You are very factual and sincere in your answers and I really do appreciate your input.

    I’m still praying about this. I just feel like I am receiving Jesus’ body and blood during Communion at the Lutheran church, even though the Catholic Church says I’m not. I guess it’s just that I have “faith” that it is. I do attend an ELCA congregation (which hopefully will be voting soon to leave the ELCA due to their recent statements on Sexuality).

    I really do want to do what God wants me to do, but I just don’t know how picky (I know that’s an awful word to use) he will be when I see him at my judgement about why I went to the Lutheran Church instead of the Catholic Church.

    Please pray for me (and my husband)! Thanks again for your input.

  206. Robert says:

    Need Help,

    I’m just a young layman. Thanks, though!

    I’m happy to hear that you’re fighting the good fight in the ELCA. Keep it up!

    Let me leave you with a few considerations.

    What is “faith?”

    Our contemporary usage of faith converges very closely with “feeling.” Your response highlights this well. You say, “I just feel like I am receiving Jesus’ body and blood.”

    I don’t say this to cast doubt on it. Sometimes our ‘gut feelings’ or ‘instincts,’ or as I prefer, our ‘intuitions’ are powerful markers of truth.

    But there is a more classical, if I may, a more traditional understanding of faith.

    Faith is the virtue of obeying what is heard. St. Thomas Aquinas wrote a famous Eucharistic hymn called the “Adoro Te Devote,” which means, “Devoutely I adore You.” The second stanza reads:

    Visus, tactus, gustus in te fallitur,
    Sed auditu solo tuto creditur.
    Credo quidquid dixit Dei Filius;
    Nil hoc verbo veritátis verius.

    Quite literally, he says: “Sight, touch, and taste are deceived in You.” As we know, the Eucharist is not something we know by the ordinary senses. He continues, “But, by hearing alone safely it is believed .”

    Why is this the case? Why does one sense, the sense of “hearing,” have a primacy over the other senses? For one reason only: hearing is the sense by which we receive the testimony of another person. We believe “by hearing,” but not because the sense of hearing gives us sense-perception knowledge of the object of faith, but because hearing lets us listen to the testimony of another person and obey him.

    And so he continues in the third line, “I believe whatever the Son of God has said.” The reason we believe unerringly in revealed truths is because the authority Who proposes these truths to us is utterly and completely trustworthy. As the Church says, we receive them from a God “who neither deceives nor is deceived.” God can’t be wrong about what He tells us, because he knows better, and because He does not deal deceptively with us.

    And so St. Thomas finishes the verse, “Nothing is truer than the Word of truth.” Or, as Gerard Manley Hopkins S.J., the famous Catholic poet translated it,

    “Seeing, touching, tasting are in thee deceived:
    How says trusty hearing? that shall be believed;
    What God’s Son has told me, take for truth I do;
    Truth Himself speaks truly or there’s nothing true.”

    Now we have to ask ourselves, what is the decisive sense of “faith” that we are supposed to have in the Eucharist, and in the truths of the faith? Quite clearly, it is the second sort of faith which I outlined above.

    Now this is the critical question: should you believe that you are receiving the Eucharist at the Lutheran service on faith type-2?

    This necessitates a return to the sources of the faith and to pray. I’m sure you will examine this on your own. I’d love to help you to examine the evidence, of course, so feel free to ask me.

    But I’ll leave you with this consideration: the evidence shows that the Church has always thought of ordination as a sacrament and that priests are made distinct from laymen. The problem which the Lutheran runs in to is a typical problem which I think Protestants should pay attention to, and have an answer for if they wish to maintain their belief. It will turn out that some belief has been the normal way in which the Church has taken some Scriptures to mean, and that belief has been constant throughout the ages. And then some group will come and claim that that belief is false. And we’re left with this problem: we are being told to abandon the common and universal belief of the Church in favor of some better, supposedly purer understanding of the Scriptures.

    The prime example is the doctrine about the “sacrifice” of the Mass. Luther, I believe in his “the Babylonian Captivity,” famously says that we should reject the doctrine of the sacrifice of the Mass… even though all the Fathers universally supported it! But this is a problem, for why should we suppose that the Church was so wrong, for so long, and that of all people, this one man is the privileged man to set the Church aright?

    Likewise on the question of Holy Orders and the distinct nature of the ordained priesthood. Why ought we reject the Church’s constant teaching for this?

    And lastly: what does God want us to do? How will He judge us? Or rather: does God really care?

    A few considerations, I think, will show that God does really care. The first is that Jesus Christ, His Word, is Truth. This gives us good reason to think that God cares whether we have ‘the truth.’

    The second is this question: what is a rejection of a revealed truth? Ultimately, a rejection of a revealed truth is a rejection of the Revealer. If treat the question indifferently (as if it didn’t matter), or if you reject a true, revealed doctrine when you ought to know better, then it does amount to a rejection of the Revealer.

    The third consideration is this: how important is Church unity and membership in the Church in the Christian faith? There are many Scriptural injunctions about unity. Jesus prays that we may all be one as He and the Father are one… *so that the world may believe* in Him. Unity may be “internal” but it is ultimately evangelical. Our unity is a sign of our divine mission to those who do not believe in the faith. So, first, for the sake of souls we ought to be united in one Church. Then, there is also the consideration of salvation. We, the body, are saved by our incorporation into the body, whose head is Jesus Christ. Apart from the body, we lack life.

    Now, this is not for me to judge that you are damned– I could not presume to do so and do not intend to. It is for me to say this: it is not a matter of indifference. God really *does* care.

    I’d be happy to help you find information on any topic which you need help with. I assure you: there is information out there, although it may be difficult to find. (I also assure you that there is information which supports the Catholic position, and that I’m happy to do my best finding it for you.)

    I will pray for you tonight at Eucharistic Adoration. God bless you.

    Sincerely,
    Rob

    Appendix:

    Here is a small selection of quotes about the “sacrifice” of the Mass, which Luther rejected, but the Fathers unanimously supported:

    http://www.catholic.com/library/Sacrifice_of_the_Mass.asp

    Here is an audio file of the “Adoro Te Devote” of St. Thomas Aquinas:

  207. Need Help! says:

    Thank you again, Rob. I appreciate your prayers! I will continue to pray about this, too. I am planning on attending Mass either this weekend or next (even though I will not be able to take Communion) to see if I can get some Divine Inspiration!! Do you have any good books you can recommend for someone struggling like me? It’s also difficult for me because I know that my husband will be very angry. (I haven’t mentioned to him that I am struggling with this as he would not understand!) He does not like the Catholic Church because it so exclusive. Also, I have two little girls (age 9 and age 7) who love the church we now attend. This is the worst part!!

  208. Gary Richardson says:

    I am a non-denominalation pastor, 28 years service. I love the Catholic Church and it’s people. I have had some very moving experiences at a Catholic Monastery in my area. I would love to be able to go to Mass and receive communiion, but I know that I am not welcome. It saddens me. I can’t change what I am, but would love to be in some sort of fellowship with Catholics and the Church. I love you all regardless.

  209. Nan says:

    Gary, it isn’t that you’re not welcome, it’s that you don’t share the same beliefs and aren’t in Communion with Rome.

    Catholics not in good standing with the church may not receive communion either; “not in good standing” may simply mean they didn’t go to Mass last Sunday and haven’t yet gone to Confession. Missing Mass for other than a good reason is considered a Mortal Sin, to which one must confess before receiving Communion or it could be for serious lifestyle reasons.

    Nevertheless, you may make a Spiritual Communion if you believe in the Real Presence:

    An Act of Spiritual Communion

    My Jesus, I believe that You are present in the Most Holy Sacrament.

    I love You above all things, and I desire to receive You into my soul.

    Since I cannot at this moment receive You sacramentally, come at least spiritually into my heart. I embrace You as if You were already there and unite myself wholly to You. Never permit me to be separated from You. Amen.

  210. Robert says:

    What sorts of books, Need Help? I’m hard pressed to think of any specific books on this particular topic.

    General books on conversions from Protestantism to Catholicism? Or on Catholic apologetics (focusing on apologetics about things Protestants controvert)?

    Tell me.

    God bless,
    Rob

  211. Need Help! says:

    Robert – I guess I was looking for a book on why it does matter whether I take communion from a Catholic priest rather than from a Lutheran minister….. and, more specifically, how to explain this to my husband and children. I don’t want to oconfuse my children (who were baptized in the Lutheran church) why they’ve went to a Lutheran church every Sunday of their life and now I’m making them change to a Catholic church, but their dad is still going to the same Lutheran Church.

    Thanks!

  212. Morse says:

    Need help!

    Read the book: ‘Mass Culture’ a series of essays from various scholars, priests and ministers on the subject of which you express confusion.

    It will, with clarity, explain that no specific church has eternal truths, presence, all offer a unique way of offering ‘communion’ and further explain what ‘communion’ actually is…..

    You are getting very stressed by something of which should be simple and a gift – if you believe; and whilst I do not, as a purely academic theologian I think this book ‘Mass Culture’ may offer some much needed guidance.

    Robert – is a strict roman catholic, I like him and his writing and I doubt not his knowledge of roman catholicism, but he is simply keeping the ‘party line’ and I feel you need counsel and thus to discuss this with your lutheran pastor.

    Simply ask yourself why the roman way?

    Good luck.

  213. Robert says:

    Need Help,

    I’m working on finding any sort of literature I can for you. But, in the meantime, I’m going to offer you some references to literature on Catholic doctrine. It will be easier to understand the differences if you’ve studied what Catholic doctrine is.

    I recommend going to the Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC) and reading on these topics.

    (1) the Eucharist.

    http://www.vatican.va/archive/catechism/p2s2c1a3.htm

    (2) Holy Orders.

    http://www.vatican.va/archive/catechism/p2s2c3a6.htm

    And because this is bound to come up in discussions with Lutherans,

    (3) Grace and Justification

    http://www.vatican.va/archive/catechism/p3s1c3a2.htm

    Here is the general link to the Catechism:

    http://www.vatican.va/archive/catechism/ccc_toc.htm

    I recommend becoming familiar with the Catechism on topics which you have questions. It may take a few re-readings to familiarize yourself, because the language is strange… but it will bear a lot of fruit in the long run.

    If you make good use of the Catechism, and immerse yourself in the Scriptures (especially the New Testament), you’ll have the perfect background for understanding Catholic doctrine, and how it differs from Lutheran doctrine.

    By the way, this is a searchable Catechism:

    http://www.scborromeo.org/ccc.htm

    I hope this helps. Start with that and get back to me. Hopefully I’ll find something helpful soon.

    You are in my prayers. God bless,
    Rob

  214. Nan says:

    Needs help, please disregard Morse as he’s out of line and I’m sorely tempted to delete his comment.

    How old are your children? Are they old enough to have received their First Communion in a Catholic Church?

    The Catechism might help you re-orient yourself.

    Catholic Answers might help.

    Scott Hahn converted and has since written a lot of books. Reasons to Believe might help you too. I can’t find a citation for it, but I believe he was doing research to prove Catholicism was wrong and couldn’t.

    It does matter where you receive Communion. If you didn’t believe that to be true, you wouldn’t be looking for answers. I can’t cite chapter and verse like some, but we have Apostolic Succession; there’s an unbroken line of Priests (Bishops, Archbishops, Cardinals, Popes), dating back to St. Peter and all the Apostles who received their mandate from Christ himself. These Priests are our link to Christ. They have the ability to stand in persona Christi, to transform bread and wine into the body and blood of Christ, whose death we revisit at every Mass; they stand in persona Christi while receiving your Confession, absolving your sins (mine too, along with everyone else’s) and assign penance.

  215. Morse says:

    Need Help:

    Ask yourself – is following the Roman Way really worth spitting your family?

    Jesus can be found in all churches all all mass and is bigger and more special than small minded folks one finds on this site – Nan please note.

    The fact Nan can not back up her argument is the very evidence that she has no theological knowledge and poor knowledge of the roman historicity.

    Please for the sake of your family speak with your own pastor……….
    M

  216. Morse says:

    Nan: if you do delate my comments above then please ask yourself – are you not denying freedom of speech? and that really is a very very dangerous road you are going down. Do you not read history?

  217. Morse says:

    Dear Robin,

    I thank you for your kind words but I think you flatter somewhat..re academia my typing ability or inability often lets me down I’m afraid – I’m still a fountain pen and paper person.

    I was/ am still ordained in the U.K and in the 60’s we hoped for a critical orthodoxy but that seems not now to be likely. Christianity was in change across europe as was everything, excellent books like ‘With Love to the Church’ Monica Furlong, J.T.A. Robinson has revolutionised metaphysical thought in the pews with ‘Honest to God’ ( although Universities had long undertaken such a revolution )

    ‘non-realism’ thought progressed through to the 80’s when Cupitt published the ‘Sea of faith’ where he rightly points out that super-natural thought passed away in the mid-late 18th C.

    This was a turning point and a group of ‘radical clergy’ came together to begin a network of non-realism; Anglican, Roman, free Church, all christian but persons who had long given up the super-natural.

    However; the media got wind and published an article entitled ‘the godless vicars’ shock waves were to follow and a member was actually tried for heresy – the only person last century.

    We continue to push for a reform of Christianity in many ways and mediums but its sad that today that fundamentalism is rising in Christianity ( the theologically dreadful Alpha) perhaps as a result of the Islamist threat.

    Why this site? – well to be fair I well tolerated really given my obvious dislike for any belief system that claims it alone has the ‘truth’ or the only line to some super-natural being…

    You are of course correct in saying that to deny ones right to free speech is a most dangerous road and persons should be warned; some of what I have said has been removed – on other sites too; again that is all the more reason to be a dissenting and critical voice when faced with fundamentalism in religious though.

    I hand- on- heart wish not to ‘turn’ people from their religious views for that would by default make me into the kind of person I academically dislike; it moreover about challenging pre-suppositions and belief systems in a safe arena; if however someone passionately hold to a particular belief then they should expect to be challenged with full force – and should not complain.

    In many ways I perhaps should not be so critical – but there is a lot to be critical about as I care passionately about all people being able to discover the ‘truth’ for themselves and thus I share your opinion of state funded religious inculcation in schools.

    I spend my time now writing and speaking/ lecturing / preaching on reform in Christianity and hold fast to my Cupittean philosophy.

    Yours
    Rev’d Dr ‘Morse’

  218. Nan says:

    Morse, don’t be an ass. I have never claimed to know theology so there’s no reason to point out my lack of knowledge. If you personally insult me again, I will delete your comments; you’re absolutely out of line trying to persuade needs help against returning to the church as she desires.

    Merely stating that I have no backup for my statements doesn’t make it so; I’m familiar with the Catholic Catechism, to which I linked. I can’t help if if you aren’t familiar, have other beliefs or believe in nothing at all.

    In re: Freedom of Speech, if you check the American Constitution, you’ll realize that it relates to government alone, not to private parties or any other entity; with regard to the UK, my understanding is that you really don’t have freedom of speech anyway.

    While you have claimed to have had your comments deleted, I doubt that’s true on this site; I don’t have a way of knowing whether others have deleted anything or cleared any comments out of the spam folder but I have only ever deleted spam and one vitriolic comment made by someone who personally insulted me due to my beliefs.

    Update: I did just check the spam folder and found several of your posts, Morse, which I subsequently approved; in addition to not being a theologian, I am also not a software expert so have no idea what triggers sequestration in the spam folder so please stop accusing us of deleting your comments.

  219. Morse says:

    Nan;

    Whose trying to persuade whom??

    Re your knowledge and historicity; well then the answer is simply – do not put yourself in a position of offering advice and guidance and then get angry when said guidance is challenged.

    I have done nothing than guide ‘Need help’ to speak with her pastor – a professional and question her own reasons and traditions. ‘need help’ will see that most clearly – its a shame you do not!.

    Regarding censoring comments and freedom of speech you totally miss my point Nan.

    I take you writings on my specific comments in good faith.

  220. Dr Morse says:

    Re Gay Marriage.

    ‘biblical reasons’ …..’heaven’ help us all

  221. Nan says:

    Morse, there was no need to personally insult me, which was the area of objection. I provided information requested, from a Catholic perspective; in any case, Needs Help is asking for information to assist her return to the Catholic faith, not asking for a way to rationalize remaining in a church in which she doesn’t truly believe. The pastor to which you refer her will not give her the sort of information she is seeking as he is lutheran.

    Considering that I’m part of a vilified group, yes; if you read the posts here, you’ll see that I have posted information on many beatified victims of oppressive regimes, who died for their faith in recent years.

    However, this is a blog and if I find comments objectionable, I’m free to delete them at my discretion; you may do the same on your blog as do others on their blogs.

  222. Anonymous says:

    there was a programme on television, they say that a divorzed couple who are catholic are not entitled to the holy communion, but in Germany they are allowed, i think its wrong that the church does not allow this, if god can forgive a murdered person, god can forgive anyone, the church allows single mothers to baptise children, actress going in churh in a wedding dress half naked, is this right or wrong, when i went to Milan i was not allowed to go un church because i had a sleeveless top, like everything else theres one rule for one and one rules for others its about time the catholic church should change, god cant do it because i know hes allarond us but cannot change whats done. Theres more, i await for a reply, thank you.

    • bfhu says:

      Dear Anonymous,
      It is NOT TRUE that a divorced couple or person may not receive communion. A Catholic who is divorced and REMARRIED without a Declaration of Nullity of the former marriage may not receive communion because as Jesus said several times,

      Mark 10:11And He said to them, “Whoever divorces his wife and marries another woman commits adultery against her;12and if she herself divorces her husband and marries another man, she is committing adultery.”

      Therefore, re-married sexual intercourse is adultery. It surely can be forgiven. But it is presumed that a re-married couple continuing in their irregular marriage will be continuing their marital relations and thus there is not true repentance and avoidance of the sin of adultery. There can be no forgiveness unless the person intends not to sin again. In some cases, if a married couple promise to live as brother and sister (no sex) until their previous marriage(s) is annulled a pastor may admit them to communion. But in this case they are allowing themselves to remain in the near occasion of sin so this sort of dispensation is not easy to obtain.

      Most Catholic Churches do not allow brides or bridesmaids to to wear strapless or spaghetti strapped gowns, their shoulders must be covered to maintain modesty. The actress thing was surely an aberration and not permitted by the Catholic Church. Unfortunately, the dress code in American churches leaves a lot to be desired at your average Sunday mass, especially during the summer.

  223. Robin says:

    …and the passage quoted from Mark’s gospel come from where exactly? BHUF..the very mouth of the historical Jesus? I doubt that very much…if you think so, then you clearly know very little of the quest for the historical Jesus.

    To simply use this short passage tells us everything about R.C teaching and R.C dogma.

    ..and as for your use of the term ‘sin’ we are back to pre-enlightened thinking..poor you.

  224. Joel says:

    Robin,

    You have not done your homework on Catholic teachings. What we believe is that if Jesus did not say the exact words found in scripture then the words found in scripture remain true to the real message. While they may not be “a faxsimilie transmitted from Heaven” they are close enough to quote with reassurance. If that hairlips you then let me remind you that the Bible is our book. The Catholics wrote it, we assembled it and we preserved it for the Protestants to check it out on loan.

    And we would all do well to get back to the “pre-enlightened thinking.” Actually the “Enlightenment” is a bit of a misnomer. What truly happened during the “Enlightenment” is an abandoment of those things that are good and holy and edifying.

  225. Robin says:

    Hi Joel,

    Firstly the ‘poor you’ comment I regret it reads rude..

    However; the ‘our book’ comment made me smile, rather ironically, but that all.

  226. Joel says:

    I am glad we are still friendly.

  227. Robin says:

    Absolutely….

    I genuinely endeavour to understand how others think.. especially in light of science, rationality, theological advancements and my particular discipline ‘theology post Shoah’.
    B.W.

  228. Spacecat78 says:

    Being the “Johnny come lately” in these postings,I found it difficult to put my two-cents worth in. I respect the Roman Catholic doctrine of “in house” only communion, though I do not believe that is the accurate viewpoint. Other groups (e.g., Wisconsin Synod Lutherans) have closed communion also. For me, it is a moot point when I have attended Catholic Mass, for I have a problem with the “common cup” distribution of the blood of Christ. I find that the different denominations (I know the the Roman Catholic Church does not like that description)have something to offer. I like the sense of awe and liturgical chanting and worship and confessional times that is found in Roman Catholic Churches. I like the doctrine of Justification by faith through grace that is emphasized in Lutheran Churches. I like the music of the Evangelical Free Churches. I like the emphasis of spiritual warfare and overcoming the evil one and the praise times that is found the Pentecostal churches. Sooo, perhaps I am a true “catholic” (meaning “universal”)!

    Blessings!

    Spacecat78

  229. Spacecat78 says:

    And besides that, a good old fashioned Methodist Altar call never hurt anyone!

    • Tereese says:

      Catholics have an altar call as well:
      It is the call of the EUCHARIST IN COMMUNION
      And you are free to like all those things you say you like in the different churches but I submit to you that maybe those who like to pick and choose – have not any boundaries set up for discipline and obedience to authority, so anything and everything they like is good. But, we all know that is not true!

  230. bfhu says:

    Dear Rex,
    It looks like you put a lot of time and effort into this post. First I would like to take a look at

    John 6:51 I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever: and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.

    52 The Jews therefore strove among themselves, saying, How can this man give us his flesh to eat?

    53 Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you.
    54 Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day.

    55 For my flesh is meat indeed, and my blood is drink indeed.
    56 He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, dwelleth in me, and I in him…. 60 Many therefore of his disciples, when they had heard this, said, This is an hard saying; who can hear it? …66From that time many of his disciples went back, and walked no more with him.

    Those who left Jesus are the same ones who said, “How can he give us his flesh to eat”. v. 52

    It is the unbelievers who cannot accept the hard saying of Jesus that we must eat His flesh and drink His blood in order to have eternal life. That is what He said.

    The attempt to make the plain words of Jesus, saying seven times that we must literally eat, gnaw on His flesh and drink His blood, in order have eternal life, symbolic and to nullify them with the verse:

    John 6:63 It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.

    Proves too much. It just does not work for two reasons:
    1)Spiritual realities are REAL they are NOT in any way, shape, or form symbolic. The flesh of Christ IS His Spirital/physical BODY.

    2)When this verse is used to explain away the literal interpretation of Jesus’s words it may at first be a comfort to Protestants. But, it cannot be accurate because if one says that the “flesh profits nothing” but ONLY the Spirit gives life then what about the death of Jesus in His flesh?

    So, trying to say all of the talk about flesh and blood was just symbolic has ABSOLUTELY NO BASIS IN SCRIPTURE. The basis for the Protestant belief that communion is mere symbolism resides nowhere in Sacred Scripture.

    It is nothing more than an attempt to explain away the explicit and LITERAL meaning of Jesus’s words in John 6 and in the other Gospels when He says, “This is my body. This is my blood.”

    The Catholic understanding of all of these verses makes cohesive sense of scripture and rejoices the heart and mind in its simplicity and sublimity.

  231. Isaac says:

    How long does it take to become a Catholic? Does it take days to go through the formalities?

    If this process does take days, how would it feel to deny someone, who wants to believe in Christ and be forgiven of sin, the opportunity to receive communion and they die the next day?

    According to Catholicism, what does it take to get to Heaven?

    I am assuming that Catholics believe that communion is one of the criterions.

    • bfhu says:

      Isaac, Don’t worry. We don’t believe God is NOT so unjust as to send a person to Hell who was seeking TRUTH. God desires all in Heaven with Him but many reject His offer.

      It is very important that a person understand the basics of the commitment they make when becoming Catholic. It is a much bigger commitment than the one taught by the Protestant Churches I used to belong to. It is much harder to be Catholic than to be a Protestant.

      God Bless Pam Forrester bfhu.wordpress.com

  232. Rex says:

    Please pray for people who suffer from schizophrenia.

  233. j linka says:

    It is seen as a rejection- a very hurtful feeling to be denied communion as a Christian.

    • bfhu says:

      Dear j linka,
      I find it sad that you look at it as rejection in spite of the fact that I clearly explained that it was a PROTECTION of Protestants from condemnation.

      1 Corinthians 11: 27 Therefore, whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be
      guilty of sinning against the body and blood of the Lord. 28 A man ought to examine himself before he eats of the bread and drinks of the cup. 29 For anyone who eats and drinks without recognizing the body of the Lord eats and drinks judgment on himself. 30That is why many among you are weak and sick, and a number of you have fallen asleep.

      Since, Protestants do not believe in the Real Presence of Jesus in the Eucharist as we do, they do not discern or recognize that Jesus’ body is present under the appearance of bread and wine. We would be allowing them to eat and drink judgment upon themselves. The prohibtion is actually very charitable but, unfortunately, it is usually seen as a rejection. And….it has been a rule of communion since the very beginning.

      -Justin Martyr, 150 A.DWe call this food Eucharist; and no one else is permitted to partake of it, except one who believes our teaching to be true…”
      -FIRST APOLOGY, 66,20–.)

      • j linka says:

        J linka: I am Lutheran and know we are saved by believing in Jesus Christ. I have not read all of your replies carefully but feel you are saying that the Catholic Church does not believe we are receiving real communion in our own church. Is that the Catholic view?

        Bread From Heaven:

        You may be receiving communion with the members of your church but you are not receiving the body and blood, soul and divinity of Jesus Christ.

        Your beliefs are not in union with us because we believe that we are saved not merely by believing in Jesus but also by eating and drinking His flesh and blood as He tell us in:

        John 6:48 I am the bread of life. 49Your forefathers ate the manna in the desert, yet they died. 50But here is the bread that comes down from heaven, which a man may eat and not die. 51I am the living bread that came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever. This bread is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.”

        52Then the Jews began to argue sharply among themselves, “How can this man give us his flesh to eat?”

        53Jesus said to them, “I tell you the truth, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you. 54Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day. 55For my flesh is real food and my blood is real drink. 56Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me, and I in him. 57Just as the living Father sent me and I live because of the Father, so the one who feeds on me will live because of me.

        The Lutherans along with all Protestants do not have a valid Eucharist in the sense that after the prayers it is still merely bread and wine or grape juice. In the Catholic Church after the prayers of a validly ordained priest, it is no longer bread and wine, except in appearance, but it is actually the real body and blood of Our Lord.

        So, it is safe for you to partake of your Lutheran bread and wine b/c it is merely bread and wine. It only symbolizes Jesus. If it were the real body and blood of Jesus Lutherans would not just get rid of the leftovers as so much garbage but reverently reserve it in a holy place as Catholics do.

        You might find some other posts here interesting:
        Eucharist p.2
        Eucharist p3

      • j linka says:

        Lutherans do not believe the bread and wine are symbols–they are the body and blood of Christ. I am certain that Christ did not give his life for the forgiveness of those who take communion blessed by certain people–that is giving more power to humans than to the Son of God. The gift given was Christ was given by Him– wanting us to work together to bring everyone to faith in Him– caring and nurturing each other towards that faith. I am concerned that turning people away because of certain rituals is opposed to what is written in the New Testament and resembles the attitudes of the Pharisees. When I was turned away from communion at the funeral of a dear Catholic friend–I felt that I was being set aside as not being good enough to receive what I knew I believed in—I know your position is that I was being protected– Since my faith is strong, I know I am “safe” in taking communion in my church and have of course been taking communion at our regular services–but how do you think that situation helps someone who is maturing in faith. Doesn’t the Bible say that we accept people at their level of faith–if they were at that funeral with a less mature level of faith and were turned away feeling not as good enough–wouldn’t they be inclined to not return to church or to Christ? I know this is an ancient debate- one that cannot be agreed upon–but I have really been impacted by that service–It really alarmed me–particularly since I felt the Catholic and Lutheran churches had resolved so many of their issues.

    • I certainly understand your thinking on this… But stepping back and taking a look at the picture beyond the emotive or the level of feelings, reason, obedience, clarity and theology are behind the practices taught by Holy Mother Church on this one. Perusing through the course of the article and comments to this post, they are rather well outlined.

  234. John (1) says:

    At a Lutheran Mass, the bread and wine become (or so we believe) the body and blood of Christ. We do not “…get rid of the leftovers as so much garbage.” Some parishes reserve the Sacrament publicly, in a tabernacle, so that the faithful may spend time in prayer in Christ’s presence. In other parishes, the reserved Sacrament is kept in the pastor’s office, and it is used for the communion of the sick and homebound.

  235. Will says:

    1) Anglicans, Lutherans definitely believe in the Real Presence and I would argue many Reformed Christians believe in the Real Presence too. It is inaccurate to say about any of the above groups that the sacrament is only symbolic for them. Even the Presbyterians say that the sacraments are: effective channels of that which they represent. This strikes me as essentially saying that Christ comes to us in the bread and wine.

    2) As far as the “fencing” of the Lord’s table, perhaps this excerpt from an Iona liturgy for Holy Communion will add something helpful to the discussion:

    “This is the table, not of the Church, but of the Lord. It is to be made ready for those who love him and who want to love him more……Come, not because it is I who invite you; it is our Lord. It is his will that those who want him should meet him here.”

  236. josh says:

    There is not one that has posted that understands Christ.

  237. Anonymous says:

    There is some very good information here.

  238. Anne says:

    OK, I am protestant – for now. My son wants to convert to Catholicism. I am, frankly, whoa, quite upset by things you have posted on here. I am shocked at the religious fervor that I have read. My son has encountered lovely, encompassing and nurturing people at his school, but hearing you lot has made me wonder at the Catholic faith as a whole. You sound like a bigoted bunch of has-beens that are clinging on to a lost world. I seriously hope this is not the bigotism of the real world and just the cyber world of late night Catholicism. I am in fear that my worries that this religion is a trouble are a reality. My hope is that someone will speak purity and truth about Jesus and his teachings and not racial ranting. IHS

  239. Henrik says:

    well, the pope gave eucharist to the protestant brother roger so non-catholic can receive eucharist!

  240. J Bennett says:

    Oh Anne – you sound as confused as I as. Both my Husband and I believe in God but at present are not churchgoers. We would like to attend regularly together but he is Catholic and I am Protestant. Surely there must be some way that we can find a church that can bridge this gap so that we can both receive communion – an act that we both believe is important to us. All we want to do is follow a Christian way of life and worship together.

  241. Tom says:

    At the Last Supper, Jesus told the twelve disciples that one of them would betray him. He had to know that was Judas. Yet, when he broke the bread, he said , “take this all of you”. He didn’t say “All of you except he who will betray me” or “All of you except Judas.” If Jesus included Judas, who would commit the greatest sin ever, why then would Jesus not want any Christian to receive him in the Eucharist at Catholic Mass?

  242. bfhu says:

    Dear Tom,

    That is an interesting question. Here are my thoughts.

    1) Judas had not betrayed Jesusat the last supper. Catholics who are in a state of grace may receive the Eucharist. We are not barred from communion because of sin we might or will commit in the future.

    2) Our Lord gives us grace through valid reception of the Eucharist and He is ALWAYS doing all He can to bring us out of sin and into holiness. Perhaps, Jesus was giving Judas all the grace He could to prevent his defection. Others would have had Jesus crucified if Judas repented. Even later in the Garden Jesus looks into Judas’ eyes after the kiss and asks, ““Judas, are you betraying the Son of Man with a kiss?” He was still seeking repentance and salvation for Judas.

    3) Jesus does want all Christians to receive him in the Eucharist at a Catholic Mass but apparently not if they do not believe they are merely receiving bread and wine. Remember what St. Paul said in I Cor. in the post above.

    Why would a Protest-ant Christian even want to receive the Eucharist if they reject the reality of His body and blood in Communion?

    Why would a Protestant want to partake in commUNION if they are not in union with the Catholic Church?

    Why would a Protestant want to receive the Eucharist if they drink judgment upon themselves because they do not recognize the BODY an Blood of Jesus in the Eucharist?

    Why would a Protestant want to go to communion in a Catholic Church if they reject Catholic theology?

    • Tom says:

      bfhu:
      With reference to your point no. 3, I believe, no I am sure, that many mainline Protestant denominations believe in the Real Presence.
      On the other hand, according to a 1992 Gallup Poll, only 30% of Catholics believe in the Real Presence.
      And a 2010 poll, (Pew Research I believe) had a similar finding.
      What is to become of the other 70% ?
      If all of them are denied the Eucharist, then the communion lines would be very short.
      Or, are most of our parishioners committing grievous sin ?

  243. bfhu says:

    Tom,
    I am pretty sure only Anglicans/Episcopalians and Lutherans believe in the real presence of Jesus.

    If the polls are correct then we should have short communion lines. Wow, interesting question. I had never put those two together.
    Wow, maybe…..

    “That is why many among you are weak and sick, and a number of you have fallen asleep.”

    I don’t know if it is grievous sin, though it is a sin against the body and blood of Christ. That sounds pretty serious, but I have not ever heard that it is grievous. Hmmmmm……..But, regardless, our priests need to clearly instruct our people so that they do not “eat and drink judgment upon themselves.”

    • Tom says:

      bfhu,
      It has been an interesting discussion. Thanks.
      Is there a similar discussion about the new Missal?
      There have to be lots of opinions about that.
      I did a search at the top of this site with no link.

    • Tom says:

      Well, I thought I was finished, but . . .
      I would really like to see the original question answered ,”Why Can’t Protestants Take Communion in a Catholic Church?
      If, as you wrote, “…Anglicans/Episcopalians and Lutherans believe in the real presence of Jesus.” .
      I have the feeling that an Anglican or Lutheran who professed a sincere belief in the Transubstantiation and the Real Presence, would still not be allowed to receive communion in our churches.

      • bfhu says:

        You are correct. Tom, Lutherans, Anglicans and all Protestants PROTEST against the Catholic Church. That is why they all started their own churches. They REJECT many Catholic doctrines. Communion is an act of UNION with Jesus and His Church. Since Protest-ants are not in union with the Church that Jesus founded to take communion would be to lie with their bodies, with their actions.

        Again, I will ask you, “Why would any Protestant want to commune with Catholics in the Eucharist?” I think, from my experience they do not want to unite with Catholics. They simply want to assert their EQUALITY with Catholics. This is lacking in humility and showing disrespect to the Catholic Church and her rules for a selfish purpose. Communion, is not about making a statement, asserting equality, rejecting the rules of the Catholic Church or anything of the sort. So, even if a Lutheran or Anglican do believe in the Real Presence, their heart is not in the right place, if they TAKE communion in a Catholic Church.(assuming they know the rules) When their hearts are truly right, in union and humility they will enter the Catholic Church in order to receive the Eucharist.

        Also, we believe that God communicates grace through the sacraments and especially, of course, through the Eucharist. But this is not automatic. A Catholic in mortal sin does not get any grace and compounds his mortal sin with sacrilege. A Catholic who is just going through the motions does not get as much grace from God as a Catholic who is at mass to fervently worship and receive our LORD. A Protestant, at a Catholic Mass will receive more grace from God by humbly praying for grace in the pew, than by going up to communion and breaking the rules.

  244. Tom says:

    Just to be clear, I am not a Protestant rapping at the Cathedral door. I am Catholic.
    It seems settled that Protestants cannot be allowed to receive communion in a Catholic church.
    Does the Church allow a Catholic attending a service in a Protestant church to receive communion?

    • bfhu says:

      No. Catholics are not to receive communion in a Protestant Church because we are not in union with Protestants. Also the Church wants her children to be certain that a Protestant communion in not the Eucharist and attendence at a Protestant service does not fulfill the Sunday obligation to attend mass.

  245. Tom Payne says:

    I’m not Catholic, but ….. I respect the Catholics. I believe that Catholics are true Christians. I have no problem attending a Catholic service.
    While at a Catholic Church I have no trouble following their rules. If they reckon you have to be Catholic to partake of their communion that is their business.
    They are brothers and sisters in Jesus Christ. They believe in the birth, death and resurrection of Jesus. They believe that Jesus is the one path to heaven.
    Heck they don’t just believe in the Nicene Creed, they wrote it.
    If I was attending a dinner at a Church that thought drinking was wrong I wouldn’t have a wine with dinner. If I was attending a Jewish function I wouldn’t expect to have a pork sandwich.
    Stop the whining and get on with life.

    • Tom says:

      Tom Payne,

      We Catholics are entitled to ask questions and discuss issues of our faith without “whining“ aren’t we?

      Another “Tom Paine” wrote a tract called, “Common Sense”. Pretty good stuff.

      • bfhu says:

        Dear Tom,
        I think Tom Paine was directing his comment to Protestants who whine b/c the Catholic Church does not allow them to receive communion. If you reread his comment I think you will see the whining in context.

  246. John says:

    I am Catholic but look St Paul said it shouldn’t be about philosophy and teachings but the POWER of GOD. He also said we are all brothers (and sisters) but through arguments and lack of belief the Church of Jesus (this was meant to be his BODY)has separated. Don’t you people think the Devil (to think some Christians don’t believe in the Mortal Enemy) would be applauding by weakening Christ’s church we weaken ourselves. The Catholic church (I believe through faith not sight that this is so) believes that the Communion is transfigured by God’s power into the Body and Blood of our lord and saviour Jesus Christ. Jesus said it didn’t he this is my body this is my blood? Why did he say it? Hmm could be because he is God and could do anything. He could raise the dead, cast out demons and heal the sick. One of Jesus’ parables was if faith was the size of a mustard seed you could command a tree to uproot itself and plant itself in the sea. Martin Luther, Henry the 8th and others have all had gripes with the Church but with a bit of humility, kindness and respect the problems could have been averted. A body cannot function well if for example and arm is missing that is why St Paul said we are all one body and that body is the Church.

    God may your people harden not their hearts and believe in your miracles. May they forgive and find love for their brothers and sisters in Christ.
    Amen

  247. Tom says:

    In a post on Dec. 15 2010 (above), J Bennett said,
    “Both my Husband and I believe in God but at present are not churchgoers. We would like to attend regularly together but he is Catholic and I am Protestant. Surely there must be some way that we can find a church that can bridge this gap so that we can both receive communion – an act that we both believe is important to us. All we want to do is follow a Christian way of life and worship together.”

    I sympathise with her. I see couples at Mass where one regularly receives communion and the other does not. And I wonder what the one who is the communicant feels for the other.

    Why is it that a Catholic and a non-Catholic may receive the sacrament of Holy Matrimony in a Catholic church, but when they attend church together they may not both receive the sacrament of the Eucharist. even if both sincerely believe in the Transubstantiation of the bread and the Real Presence of Jesus in the Host?
    Because one of them is “not in union with us” seems rather flimsy.
    Jesus didn’t make this rule, the bishops did.

    In Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians, 11:29, he said, “For anyone who eats and drinks without recognizing the body of the Lord, eats and drinks judgment on himself.”
    Paul didn’t say, “Anyone who has not gone through a formal process to join the Church of Rome”

    I don’t think I am a bad Catholic for wanting all real believers to receive Jesus. Am I?

  248. Tom says:

    bfhu,
    I began to read the posts on this site from the top.
    A post by John Schuster-Craig on Aug 22, 2008 at 10;37 PM is very interesting with regard to our discussion. Please give me your opinion on it.
    Much thanks for all your comments. While we are not in full agreement, they are very instructive.

  249. Tom says:

    Pope John Paul II said,

    46. In my Encyclical Ut Unum Sint I expressed my own appreciation of these norms, which make it possible to provide for the salvation of souls with proper discernment: “It is a source of joy to note that Catholic ministers are able, in certain particular cases, to administer the sacraments of the Eucharist , Penance and Anointing of the Sick to Christians who are not in full communion with the Catholic Church but who greatly desire to receive these sacraments, freely request them and manifest the faith which the Catholic Church professes with regard to these sacraments. Conversely, in specific cases and in particular circumstances, Catholics too can request these same sacraments from ministers of Churches in which these sacraments are valid”.9
    7
    These conditions, from which no dispensation can be given, must be carefully respected, even though they deal with specific individual cases, because the denial of one or more truths of the faith regarding these sacraments and, among these, the truth regarding the need of the ministerial priesthood for their validity, renders the person asking improperly disposed to legitimately receiving them. And the opposite is also true: Catholics may not receive communion in those communities which lack a valid sacrament of Orders.98

    The faithful observance of the body of norms established in this area 99 is a manifestation and, at the same time, a guarantee of our love for Jesus Christ in the Blessed Sacrament, for our brothers and sisters of different Christian confessions – who have a right to our witness to the truth – and for the cause itself of the promotion of unity.

  250. A.J. says:

    If you guys want people to convert to Catholicism before receiving communion then make it easier to become Catholic. Taking classes for months at a time is something I have always though was exclusive. Sure, sure you can obfuscate this and say its so people are prepared for “the devotion it takes” or “the commitment” or even “make an informed decision”. I don’t buy it though.

    The fact is many people such as myself have read through the Catechism, as well as Catholic forums and Vatican sanctioned sites enough to make an informed decision.

    • bfhu says:

      AJ
      RCIA is not mandatory.You could find a priest who would receive you outside of RCIA with the bishop’s permission.

      It is an attempt to provide a methodical and comprehensive way to prepare people for the reception of the sacraments and reception into the Catholic Church. It is very flexible depending upon the amount of understanding you have of Christianity.

      By the time I knocked on the door of the Church I already knew all I needed to know. I did not learn all that much by going to RCIA. But it was nice to get to know some parishioners and for them to get to know me so I had some sense of familiarity with people and the church itself. But, as a Protestant, I had been filled with pride regarding my understanding of Scripture and I regarded obedience to the Church in regard to RCIA as a very good first lesson in humility.

      Since the Catholic Church is His I hope …

      “Whatever He says to you, do it.”John 2:5

  251. Tom says:

    A.J.
    The point you make is one that would be good in another forum. There are a lot of topics that I would like to discuss. Your’s about the RCIA could be one.
    But, the question posed in the topic of this site is, “Why Can’t Protestants Take Communion in a Catholic Church”?
    In Pope John Paul II’s encyclical, above, as I read it, he said that non-Catholics CAN receive the Eucharist in a Catholic church, under very narrow and prescribed conditions.
    And that Catholics amy receive it in non-Catholic churches also under very narrow conditions,
    I would like to see some discussion of the meaning of John Pauls encyclical.

    • bfhu says:

      Tom,
      Catholics may only receive sacraments in a church where they are valid. This would only be any Church in union with the Catholic Church and the Eastern Orthodox Churches. I don’t think there are any other churches with valid sacraments other than these.

      Catholics may not receive communion in those communities which lack a valid sacrament of Orders.98

      As for a non Catholics they may only be given sacraments if they are dying and ask for them. There is no time to be formally accepted into the Church, or perhaps they are members of RCIA.
      These are the narrow conditions. I am pretty sure that is it. It is not like John Paul II changed the rules. He merely clarified exceptions to the rule.

  252. Tom says:

    bfhu,
    I am glad to hear from you again and hopefully to dialog with you again.

    Faith and belief are not an end. They are an endless journey we all undertake.
    Otherwise, there would be no point to the readings of Scripture and the Gospel at the Mass.

    Some parts of our Faith are immutable, But others can, and I believe should be, discussed, explored and developed in that endless journey.

    About that part of John Paul’s encyclical regarding non-Catholics receiving Communion: you said,
    “This would only be any Church in ‘union’ with the Catholic Church and the Eastern Orthodox Churches.”

    But, in the encyclical, John Paul said,
    (the) “Eucharist , Penance and Anointing of the Sick (may be granted) to Christians who are not in full communion with the Catholic Church….”

    May we continue this journey ?

  253. bfhu says:

    Tom,
    You are mixing up two different issues.

    1)Catholics receiving sacraments in non Catholic Churches

    2)Protestants or Eastern Orthodox receiving sacraments in the Catholic Church.

    Catholics MAY NOT partake of communion in a Protestant Church. Period. It is not valid. It is merely bread and grape juice. If they go to a Protestant service they have not fulfilled their Sunday Obligation and must still attend a valid Catholic Mass. But Catholics have always been permitted to partake of the Eucharist in any Church with valid orders such as the Eastern Orthodox or SSPX when necessary but not on a regular basis, I don’t think, unless there is not Catholic Church for miles around. That is because the Eucharist is the Body and Blood in any liturgy with valid priestly orders.

    But, the Eastern Orthodox do not want Catholics receiving in their Churches and I don’t think they permit their members to receive in a Catholic Church.

    I explained to you the circumstances in which a Christian who is not in full communion with the Catholic Church may receive sacraments. Basically, threat of death (is the only spur of the moment) or with permission of the diocesan bishop, or the Conference of Catholic Bishops. It is not something a Protestant can just decide for themselves on the spur of the moment., except when they are dying. They have to get permission from the Catholic Hierarchy. That takes time and paperwork. :) The Following is excerpted from Catholic Answers.

    Other Christians and Communion

    The guidelines for receiving Communion, which are issued by the U.S. bishops and published in many missalettes, explain, “We welcome our fellow Christians to this celebration of the Eucharist as our brothers and sisters. We pray that our common baptism and the action of the Holy Spirit in this Eucharist will draw us closer to one another and begin to dispel the sad divisions which separate us. We pray that these will lessen and finally disappear, in keeping with Christ’s prayer for us ‘that they may all be one’ (John 17:21).

    “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 Communion. Eucharistic sharing in exceptional circumstances by other Christians requires permission according to the directives of the diocesan bishop and the provisions of canon law. . . . ”

    Scripture is clear that partaking of the Eucharist is among the highest signs of Christian unity: “Because there is one bread, we who are many are one body, for we all partake of the one bread” (1 Cor. 10:17). For this reason, it is normally impossible for non-Catholic Christians to receive Holy Communion, for to do so would be to proclaim a unity to exist that, regrettably, does not.

    Another reason that many non-Catholics may not ordinarily receive Communion is for their own protection, since many reject the doctrine of the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist. Scripture warns that it is very dangerous for one not believing in the Real Presence to receive Communion: “For any one who eats and drinks without discerning the body eats and drinks judgment upon himself. That is why many of you are weak and ill, and some have died” (1 Cor. 11:29–30).


    Possible exceptions

    However, there are circumstances when non-Catholics may receive Communion from a Catholic priest. This is especially the case when it comes to Eastern Orthodox Christians, who share the same faith concerning the nature of the sacraments:

    “Catholic ministers may licitly administer the sacraments of penance, Eucharist and anointing of the sick to members of the oriental churches which do not have full Communion with the Catholic Church, if they ask on their own for the sacraments and are properly disposed. This holds also for members of other churches, which in the judgment of the Apostolic See are in the same condition as the oriental churches as far as these sacraments are concerned” (CIC 844 § 3).

    Christians in these churches should, of course, respect their own church’s guidelines regarding when it would be permissible for them to receive Communion in a Catholic church.

    The circumstances in which Protestants are permitted to receive Communion are more limited, though it is still possible for them to do so under certain specifically defined circumstances.

    Canon law explains the parameters: “If the danger of death is present or other grave necessity, in the judgment of the diocesan bishop or the conference of bishops, Catholic ministers may licitly administer these sacraments to other Christians who do not have full Communion with the Catholic Church, who cannot approach a minister of their own community and on their own ask for it, provided they manifest Catholic faith in these sacraments and are properly disposed” (CIC 844 § 4).

    It is important to remember that, under the rubrics specified above, even in those rare circumstances when non-Catholics are able to receive Communion, the same requirements apply to them as to Catholics.

    Non-Christians and Communion

    The U.S. bishops’ guidelines for receiving Communion state, “We also welcome to this celebration those who do not share our faith in Jesus Christ. While we cannot admit them to Communion, we ask them to offer their prayers for the peace and the unity of the human family.”

    Because they have not received baptism, the gateway to the other sacraments, non-Christians cannot receive Communion. However, in emergency situations, they can be received into the Church via
    baptism, even if no priest is present, and an extraordinary minister of Holy Communion may bring them Communion as Viaticum. ” Catholic Answers

  254. Tom says:

    bfhu:

    I have read and re-read your last post (above). Thank you.
    I think I was reading John Paul’s words without understanding the context in which they were made.
    I was probably hoping that he had opened the possibility that good faithful Christians might share the Eucharist with us.
    I read your references to the Scriptures.
    You referenced John 17:21 I read all of Jn, 21. and the preceding verse, 17:20, where Jesus said,
    “I pray not only for them, but also for those who will believe through their word… (17:21)… so that they may all be one”
    Maybe some day, even if we are not yet one, we can share with others who also believe.

    Can we can acknowledge, accept and follow the ordinances of the Church without agreeing with them ?

    Thank you for your extraordinary patience with me.

  255. bfhu says:

    Yes, we can humble ourselves and trust the Church established by Jesus.

  256. Sandee says:

    whoah…There are many differnces here.. First of all “The Church” is all who belive and serve our Lord who is our Savior..Catholic, Protestant, etc..
    The differences of each body of believers is really what man has placed on God’s Holy Word…What is truth is what Jesus speaks and what He has given Spiritually to his disciples, apostles, and men of the Old Testament to disciple us unto Him. The Last Supper was a testament to who Jesus is..and He related that we are to do this (Communion) in rememberance of Him.. When you place legalism on a belief system you get caught up in so much controversy. So to answer the question Should a non Catholic receive communion at a Catholic service.. It is a judgement call to the beleiver.. I myself now do not receive out of a sense.. and I say sense…of respect for their beliefs which I strongly disagree.. I believe Jesus will accept any and all who receive, because He has called us to Peace and He deserves all the glory.. not the Catholic Chuch or any other Church for that matter. God bless each and everyone who visits this site.

    • Tinkssprkle says:

      I agree w u sandee…took words r out of my mouth!!! I wanted to further it w my last comment n 1 Peter 2:9 we r a royal priesthood so n my opinion that qualifies us and if we disagree then we say the word is a lie…He meaning Christ has set us a part and sanctified us and made us a royal priest hood we no longer need to go through traditional priests n my opinion we simply believe n Christ and ask Him into our lives to take over n live for Him and He comes to live n us and God not recognizing us when we approach the throne recognizes Christs blood poured out over us as a sacrifice the last offering the only one that matters …now when we approach the throne we approach it boldly because of His work on the cross and our humility n accepting we cannot enter n His Holy of Holies without Him makes it so…this is why people!!! this is why we are believing that ‘we’ whether catholic protestant baptist or messianic Jew can go boldly before God almighty and receive communion :)

      • bfhu says:

        Tinks,
        Then why go to any church at all? Since you can be your own priestess and serve yourself communion, why join a church? While it is true that all believers are a part of the universal priesthood, it is also true that Jesus ordained a ministerial priesthood with a hierarchy of Bishops, priests and deacons as delineated in Acts. Because of the bias that you are taught you are blinded to the reality of what Scripture teaches. And the ironic thing is, that your foundational doctrine is Sola Scriptura, Scripture alone and yet it is no where to be found in the scriptures. Sola Scriptura is a Protestant tradition of men.

      • Anonymous says:

        Amen, bfhu! And your Bible does not even contain the Scriptures EVERY Christian had from the time of the compilation of the Bible – c.400 AD – to the 1500s. At least even the Catholic Church had the deuterocanon – Judith, Tobias, 1 and 2 Machabees, etc. Protestants do not even include THOSE books in their canon. So, really, how much weight do the “Deformers” 40,000 different and contradicting interpretations have when they interpret Scripture FROM AN INCOMPLETE BIBLE?

        None! And they interpret Scripture “to their own destruction”. We do not sanction such stupidity as complete private interpretation (which gave us 40,000 different churches, the Jehovah’s Witnesses, the Mormons, and a number of other non-Christian heresies) and we never will. And the Protestant movement has perfectly demonstrated why.

        Sola Scriptura, with no authority or tradition to follow, can only lead to self-centeredness, followed by false ecumenism (pan-denominational and non-denom “churches” and councils of churches), ending in total relativism, apatheism, and atheism. Modern, sceptical atheism, I am convinced, is the grandchild of the “Reformers” and their churches, and their unwillingness to submit to history and admit that their interpretation might POSSIBLY be wrong!

  257. bfhu says:

    Dear Sandee,
    I agree that all are a part of the Body of Christ and that the Church is the People of God. However, there is a sense also that Jesus founded a Church:

    “You are Rock and on this Rock I will build my Church.”

    Jesus wants us to be ONE.

    John 17:21 I pray that they will all be one, just as you and I are one—as you are in me, …22 …, so they may be one as we are one. 23 … May they experience such perfect unity that the world will know that you sent me

    1 Corinthians 1:13
    Has Christ been divided into factions?

    1 Corinthians 11:19
    For there must also be factions among you, so that those who are approved may become evident among you.

    Galatians 5:20
    ..idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions,

    1 Corinthians 11: 27 Therefore, whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be
    guilty of sinning against the body and blood of the Lord.
    28 A man ought to examine himself before he eats of the bread and drinks of the cup. 29 For anyone who eats and drinks without recognizing the body of the Lord eats and drinks judgment on himself. 30That is why many among you are weak and sick, and a number of you have fallen asleep.

    Since, Protestants do not believe in the Real Presence of Jesus in the Eucharist as we do, they do not discern or recognize that Jesus’ body is present under the appearance of bread and wine. We would be allowing them to eat and drink judgment upon themselves. The prohibtition is actually very charitable but, unfortunately, it is usually seen as a rejection.

    Evidence of this interpretation of this passage is supported by St. Justin the Martyr :

    “We call this food Eucharist; and no one else is permitted to partake of it, except one who believes our teaching to be true…”
    -Justin Martyr -FIRST APOLOGY, 66,20–(150 A.D.)

    Your Protestant Traditions are causing you to miss these scriptures. And Protestant Tradition totally ignores everything about the Christian Church after the book of Acts until the days of Martin Luther. It is as if Church history did not exist except as something to denigrate, as in the Crusades. But, the truth is, the Church of the Crusades was the only Christian Church around for 1500 years. The Catholic Church of history is the Church of Protestant history as well.

  258. Tinkssprkle says:

    I truly believe that the Word of God was meant for everyone to read & hear – About who Christ is and receive His as our Savior being the Son of God – allowing us to be able to develop a Relationship with Christ…
    And because I believe God left His Word for All mankind ….I read and believe 1 Peter 2:9… But you are a chosen race , a royal priesthood, a holy nation , a people for God’s own possession , so that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light;……Christ left us All a kingdom of priests we are All able to go boldly before His thrown…not because we chose to worship a religion but because we chose to believe Christ Jesus has made us able to…we are dividing the body when we make division because of a building….Diane I get that u r passionate about ur religion but Christ is passionate for me just like u and He has made me a Priest just like u whether u choose to believe His word is ur decision but this n my opinion says I am able to go boldly before the throne of God and take communion… :)

    • bfhu says:

      Tinks,
      I agree that the Word of God was meant for everyone, that we all can have a relationship with Christ, 1Peter 2:9, we all can come boldly to the Throne of God, and that we are a kingdom of priests offering spiritual sacrifices.

      But, I want to state clearly that we don’t worship a religion we worship God in Three Persons, the Holy Trinity. We, Catholics have not divided the Body of Christ. Martin Luther began the division along with Calvin, Zinglwi etc. down to our own day when individuals leave and start their own denomination or church that later becomes a denomination, as Calvary Chapel is the latest and most successful division. The Catholic Church was founded by Jesus Christ. Of course, heretics were constantly disrupting the unity that existed in the ONE, HOLY, CATHOLIC and APOSTOLIC Church. The first major division occurred around the year 1000 AD when the Eastern Churches split. Then The Reformation caused a huge division that has fragmented and splintered into thousands of divisions. Heretics have always caused division in the Catholic Church and they are still with us today as they have always been with us in the past.

      Regardless of what your opinion is regarding communion in the Catholic Church it would be against the rules of our church and very disrespectful for a non Catholic to TAKE communion at mass. I am not trying to be rude but just the way you word this reveals a certain arrogance. We do not “take communion” we receive it because it is given to us. It is not something to be taken without permission.

  259. Tracey says:

    You are absolutely right communion is for anyone who believes in Him…..Jesus wasn`t Catholic he was Jewish and loves all His believers….i`m not a religion….not catholic or protestant or jewish i`m proud to say i`m a FOLLOWER OF CHRIST….He died for me and you and we have every right to take communion if we feel we want to. He doesn`t choose a religion He chooses His followers who believed He died on the cross for our sins.

    • bfhu says:

      Tracey,
      Jesus founded the Catholic Church. Why would you be proud to NOT belong to the Church He founded 2000 Years ago? Yes He died for all of us, but even in your church there are warnings about taking communion without examining yourself. Even your church has rules. It would be very arrogant for a Protestant to come into a Catholic Church, take communion in contempt for the rules of our Church. That is just plain bad manners whether you agree with the rules or not.

  260. Tracey says:

    That is just it…rules….in our church there are no rules….we believe you have a relationship with Christ and you love and forgive your enemies. I never read in the Bible that Jesus founded the Catholic Church…my husband is catholic and he has also told me Catholic is just another religion…..you may be right about Him finding the church…but i`ve never read it. He is not about religion He is about relationship….so in our church we receive communion in honour of Him just as you do in yours. We believe if you have accepted Him in your heart then you are saved….I will always believe that in my heart. I`m not hear to argue about your religion…we all love the same God….so why not just agree to disagree….

  261. Abbi says:

    wow…..that’s sort of unfair….I mean really non-Christians won’t want to become Believers when certain donominations won’t allow others to recieve Communion. That’s how people get the impression that Christians are uptight and that they’ll never be accepted, I’ve been there.

  262. Aaron says:

    Allow me to join to this fair of contest if you will. This is an ole debate between Romans, Luther, and good Calvin and the meaning of certain of key passage of the scripture in the Holy Bible. I can say this that there are closed communions outside Catholics church RP and PCA do it. The only reason why you foolish Catholics do it is because you truly believe that you are drinking and eating Christ blood and body which is an error made by you silly priest. Transubstantiation is error!

  263. fountain pen, fountain pens…

    […]Why Can’t Protestants Take Communion in a Catholic Church? « The Black Cordelias[…]…

  264. Thomas says:

    the catholic church is not just another religion. catholic means universal and it was the original christian church that was founded by Jesus Christ upon his rock peter. All other denominations that are around today were founded by men that disagreed and started there own version of Christianity. yes there is some truth to the other denominations and i am not condemning them but the catholic church is the only original church founded by Jesus himself. you are right that communion is for everyone. but you have to remember that when Catholics receive the host, it has become the body and blood of Jesus Christ. and so if you do not believe that it really is the body of Christ why would you want to take communion in the catholic church? if you do not believe in what we are doing it seems a bit disrespectful to come in and receive our lord when you don’t even believe it is him. every christian church- the Catholics, Orthodox and protestants must bend and unite. how can a body function properly when it is divided? They all must unite under the chair of Peter (the pope) but EVEN the Catholics must bend.

  265. Tracey says:

    Yes totally agree to the point that to take the bread you must believe it is the body of Christ….but you most definitely do NOT have to be catholic to do this……religion separates people……be a FOLLOWER OF CHRIST….believe He died for you sins and has forgiven you when He rose when you REPENT……you don’t have to be catholic…protestant….baptist…pentacostal….you need to believe in Him…..I take communion @ my church when the pastor gives in in Honour of my Lord.

  266. bfhu says:

    The divisions in the Christian Church were created by men who in their pride separated themselves from the Church founded by Jesus Christ.

    Jesus said:

    Mt. 10: 34 “Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. 35 For I have come to turn

    “‘a man against his father,
    a daughter against her mother,
    a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law—
    36 a man’s enemies will be the members of his own household.’

    It is not religion that divides it is men who reject Christ and His Church who split off and start their own church and then blame the Catholic Church for causing division. They have it backward.

  267. SR says:

    Another month later comment on this. Tracey is correct in saying “we must believe it is the body of Christ.” What is missing here though is, when Jesus said, “Do this?” What was the “do this” He was talking about? He gave instructions for the action He wanted done. It must be blessed, we must give God thanks, it must be offered to God. It must be done by a Priest. Otherwise it is just bread and wine and an offer of bread and wine would serve what purpose? Jesus is the one and only sacrifice we have to offer to God that He will accept. This is done in the Holy Eucharist. There is no other way to do it then the way the Catholic Church does it.

  268. Julie says:

    Dear Brothers and Sisters,
    My heart aches and my confusion mounts. I was raised in a nonpracticing Catholic home. My parents made sure I was baptised, made my holy communion, and confirmation, but rarely attended mass. I loved mass and the Church. I longed to go, but could not make my parents take me. I always longed for Jesus and have prayed every day of my life that I can remember. My home was very abusive. As a young girl my mother went to the priest to get help. My father was very abusive and she could no longer take it. The priest told her to go home and obey her husband. She had no where to turn. She went home and lived out her marriage in abuse. Having witnessed abuse and a longing for love I took love where I could get it and had allowed myself to be used and have sinned terribly in my life. I was pregnant by age 18. I had my daughter and baptised her in the Catholic church. I began to suffer debilitating panic attacks and found help and love in a protestant church (Calvary). It was there that I began to truly know Jesus and much of the abuse I grew up with was healed. It was there that forgiveness, mercy and compassion was given to me by Jesus and I began to read His Word. I was baptised in a Four Square Church, but I never knew I was doing anything wrong. I just loved my Jesus. I wanted Him and needed Him. I can’t imagine life without Him. I was married to a protestant many years later and we have loved the Lord together. I read His Word everyday. I love the Catholic Church and have never knowingly turned my back on her. My mother is probably going to die in the next year or so (very sick) and she has asked me to take her to mass. I took her to confession so she could recieve communion. I went to talk to the priest because I wanted to recieve communion with my mother. He told me that I could not recieve communion because my marriage is not recognized by the church and I am living in sin. I had no idea. Though I was raised in the Church I was not taught or probably retained much. I read the bible and confess daily in prayer and God’s Word has taught me of His love and forgiveness. I want to recieve communion in every church because communion is His Body and Blood no matter what others around me might think. I love Him and it grieves me. I respect the rules and obey them, but I hurt. I don’t want to leave the protestant church who has loved me so much. I don’t want to leave the catholic church who first introduced me to my Savior and the mass is so beautiful. I love them both. I want to go to heaven when I die and all this debate gives me such doubt to that. This feud pains me deeply. Why oh my God must it be this way? I love You. I understand the differences between how the body and blood is perceived, purgatory, praying to the saints and Mary, etc….. I’ve read God’s Word and can honestly say I can understand both theologies. I just want to leave the truth up to God since no one can agree. Whatever God says I want to obey. I guess our faith in Him cannot be perfected in this imperfect world until our Savior returns and reveals all. God bless everyone to lead us into truth everlasting.
    In Jesus name
    Amen
    Julie in West Sacrament

    • Believer says:

      Julie, Jesus Christ loves you. No membership in a church is going to get you to Heaven. Jesus said “whosoever calls on the name of the Lord” not, “whosoever is a member of the Catholic Churc”. Salvation is not to be overcomplicated. You ask the Lord for forgiveness and proclaim your belief. You clearly have a beautiful heart. Priests/bishops/pope/pastors/ministers…they are all just people and they sin. The priest clearly made a huge mistake. You rose above it. Just ask God where you belong and he will not only place you there, he will bless you for being obedient. :)

  269. Tom says:

    Julie, you are not “living in sin” in Gods eyes. The bishops sometimes make up rules that have no basis in God’s ordinances or in the teachings of Jesus. Just remember, Jesus offered Himself in the broken bread and the cup to even Judas. He would surely want you to receive Holy Communion.
    Talk to a different priest.

  270. Tom says:

    Julie,
    Since the Church does not recognize your Protestant marriage as valid, I believe you could be married in the Church by a priest. Then your marriage would be recognized. And, perhaps a good confession would erase the prior “sinful state”.
    Do talk to another priest.

  271. bfhu says:

    Dear Julie,
    You should receive communion in the church you believe has all of the Truth. You can figure it out. The Catholic Church was founded by Jesus and Martin Luther, with malice, broke away and started his own church. That is where the division started. And Protestant churches have been breaking away and starting new denominations since then. Calvary Chapel is one of the newest. It is less than 50 years old.

    Protestants, especially Calvary Chapel, (Chuck Smith was raised Catholic) accuse the Catholic Church of believing all kinds of false doctrines. At the root of this lies differing interpretations of Sacred Scripture and the Protestant tradition-of-men, Sola Scriptura. Protestants accuse Catholics of believing doctrines NOT found in the Bible and yet Protestants base this denunciation upon Sola Scriptura which is nowhere to be found in the Bible either.

    If you think Chuck Smith, nearly 2000 years after Jesus’ birth has the truest truth despite all the Christian scholars and all those who died for their faith such violent deaths for the past 2000 years ( and some of them were Protestants of other denominations) then of course you would choose Calvary Chapel.

    But here is my problem. Jesus said very clearly in John 17 that He wanted all to be ONE. So, if that is true, how can Luther and Chuck Smith have been in union with Jesus when starting their own church?

    Protestants got the New Testament from the Catholic Church. How does it make sense to accept these writings if the Catholic Church was so corrupted?

    There are writings from the first few centuries of Christianity that prove that what the Catholic Church believes now, she has always believed b/c that is what Jesus taught the disciples.For instance as quoted above:

    “We call this food Eucharist; and no one else is permitted to partake of it, except one who believes our teaching to be true…
    -Justin Martyr -FIRST APOLOGY, 66,20–(150 A.D.)

    The Catholic interpretation of disputed passages go back to the birth of Christianity. The various Protestant interpretations of these passages are 40 (Chuck Smith) to 500 (Luther) years old. I used to attend Chuck Smith’s church. My mother still does. Pray for him because he has been diagnosed with Lung Cancer. I like Chuck Smith. My mom and I went to Israel with a group from his church after I was Catholic. We always had to hold meetings in alternate nearby locations to historically sacred sites in the life of Christ b/c ancient Catholic Churches had been built on the sacred sites.

    None of this is to say that Protestants are bad. There are many very lovely Protestants. My parents for instance.

    Your personal situation is not your fault. Baptized Catholics are held to the standards of the Catholic Church. It was not your fault that you were not well educated in the Catholic Church. It is not like you rebelled and left the Church and married outside of the Church on purpose. Through no fault of your own you find yourself barred from communion in the Catholic Church, like every other Protestant. And, like every other Catholic who married outside of the Church.I have a friend who married a divorced Catholic who goes to Church faithfully every Sunday and when she can to daily mass. But she cannot receive communion b/c her husband will not get his first marriage annulled. I very much admire her great, obedient faith. She can pray to recieve Spiritual Communion at every mass and receive all the graces that Our Lord wants to give her. You can also do this when you go to mass with your mother.

    The Church is not trying to be mean. She understands the various circumstances that lead to these situations, especially in our secular culture. She is simply upholding the purity of the Gospel. There is no reason that one should receive communion in the Catholic Church if they are not in total union with her beliefs. It is not about sentimental desires and feelings. It is about receiving the actual body and blood of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ-a Holy Fire.

    If you wish to return to the Catholic Church and you REALLY desire the Eucharist, you can do your own research to see if you are convinced that the Catholic Church really is THE CHURCH that Jesus founded. Then ask for instruction from the Catholic Church and have your marriage blessed.

  272. Phil says:

    I read on another site that it is not FORMALLY prohibited by the Catholic Church that a Protestant can receive communion in a Catholic Church, but they won’t because they believe that it is only a symbol of Jesus’ body and blood. This site seems to say it is forbidden. What are the true facts?

    • bfhu says:

      That site was in error. Protestants are not allowed to receive communion in the Catholic Church. If they do they eat and drink condemnation upon themselves as St Paul warned. See the post above for the quote.

      • Believer says:

        Please explain further. So a Protestant would be sinning if they took communion at a catholic mass?

  273. Darwin de la Cruz says:

    I am Darwin de la Cruz from the Philippines, a strongly Catholic country…How dare these protestants to take the Eucharist in the Catholic church, when they dont even believe the true presence of Jesus in the sacred host?? You always attack the doctrines of the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church, and now you seem to be angry because we forbid you to take communion? Its BLASPHEMY!!!! Im so sure, the Devil uses PROTESTANTS to confuse and divide CHRISTIANITY!! God bless the Roman Catholic Church!!! We love our closest brothers in faith, the Orthodox Church!

  274. Anonymous says:

    I am Lutheran and my wife is Catholic. When my daughter took first communion in the catholic church I wanted to receive communion with her. I was told by the Priest to call the Bishop for approval. After some run around I was told by the Bishop office that if I wanted to take communion with my family to go to a Catholic Church where they didnt know me. Talk about pure Hypocrisy!!!

  275. bfhu says:

    Please note it was the bishop’s office and not the Bishop. Yes that was hypocrisy and wrong. If you want to take communion with your daughter you will need to join the Catholic Church. We are not all hypocrites. But they are everywhere in every church. I am sorry for your experience. Some people have a hard time defending the teachings of our Church and try to find a way to keep from offending people. But it did not work did it?

  276. Anonymous says:

    We must remember that in the bible when referring to ” The Church”

    “The Church” meant the body of believers in Christ not a religion or building. Catholic or Protestant if you believe that Christ died on cross and shed his blood for for your sins and live in HIS ways then you are a follower of Christ Jesus!

  277. Believer says:

    I’ve read a lot of the comments. Now,I have some of my own and some questions.

    I am a Christian…yes, I am the dreaded “non-denominational” Christian. I was brought up southern baptist. I love my Jesus. He is my Lord and savior. I called upon the name of the Lord and was baptized when I was 19. I started experiencing other churches. Traveling around to see what was out there. I went to a methodist church for awhile, AG, Lutheran, etc. All protestant. After much prayer and a lot of conversations with the Lord, I came to the conclusion that not one denomination has it all together. I didn’t necessarily disagree with anything they said, the Lord just directed me elsewhere. ALOT of good is done in Christian churches of every denomination!!!! I now go to a church that is fantastic, bible based, non-denominational and have been for about 2 years. Again, not perfect, but what church is?

    ANYWAY, I met my future husband about 1.5 years ago and he just so happens to be a Catholic. Very devout and the most amazing man I have and probably ever will meet. Of course the denomination talk had to come up and it did on the first date. We are both VERY passionate about Jesus so this was so very important to us. To make a year of discussion really short, basically, I started going to Catholic classes/he started going to my church. I asked ALOT of questions. I just wanted to make sure that I did not leave any stone unturned. I prayed a lot, we even broke up at one point because of our differences. The Lord taught us a lot during those months apart. And we basically came to the conclusion that we are both after God’s heart, we just go about it a little differently. There is no reason a denomination within the Christian faith should divide us as long as our core fundamental beliefs are the same.

    ANYWAY, now, we go to both churches. I go to mass every Sunday night and my church in the morning. We have also agreed to have a Catholic wedding. Fine by me. I can love the Lord in any Christian Church! BUT, here is my 2 issues.

    #1 I am divorced. My ex cheated on me and left. No fault on my part here. HOWEVER, I am required to pay $450 dollars, relive that HORRENDOUS time of my life and essentially have to be pardoned by the church lawyers (maybe) if they deem my case worthy of forgiving. BIG PROBLEM. First and foremost. If you read Matthew 19, then you would know exactly what I’m talking about. SECONDLY, a woman can have 5 children out of wedlock and walk in to be married in the church no problem. I think the moral requirements are, in my humble opinion, confusing (to say the very least)

    #2 Communion. So I go to mass. Love the same Jesus you love, but when it comes to communion, huh uh…you don’t know the “secret handshake” (as a catholic teacher at the classes told me). She said “you don’t believe the wine and bread isn’t the actual body and blood of Christ so why would we let you?”

    I said, “Well there is the problem, A. you don’t know what I think. Just because I’m not a Catholic, doesn’t mean I can’t hold a Catholic belief and B., when you say “WE wouldn’t let you”, well I’m pretty sure “you” are not Jesus and Jesus would NOT tell his daughter “no, you’re not a Catholic so you can just sit there in the pew like a second class Christian while my “real” children go up and take communion.” She didn’t have a response.

    My whole point in writing this is that I want a Catholic priest or someone who actually knows what they are talking about to comment on my #1 and #2.

    Thanks

    • bfhu says:

      Believer,
      I am so happy that you love Our Lord so much. I agree that much good is done by Protestant denominations and so many Protestants are beautiful souls. I have many friends and family who are Protestant.

      I am not a priest but i converted to the Catholic Church 12 years ago. You can read my conversion story How Can I Stop My Heart From Singing.

      Consequently I had to do a lot of research trying to NOT have to become Catholic. But I succumbed to the historical Truth.

      #1 Divorce is a thorny issue. I have heard that the anullment process is heartwrenching. I am sorry. The process of granting a decree of nullity is pretty involved and similar in many ways to civil court. So $450 is prettty cheap but I think they will waive it if it is a hardship for you.

      Regarding why adultery is not proof of nullity please read this–>Did Jesus say Adultery is Grounds for Divorce?

      The Catholic Church is actually upholding Jesus’ prohibition of Divorce. No other denomination really does. They may teach against it but they really just have to put up with it b/c the interpretation of Mt 19 is so superficial and unhinged from the historical reality in which it was written. But I as a Protestant also, used to believe the adultery exception to divorce. I think the woman with 5 kids out of wedlock example is a good one. We humans sin in so many messy ways. But, she can go to confession repent, and turn from her sin. But, a person who is married, divorces and remarries is in an adulterous relationship and cannot make one confession, repentance and turn from sin b/c the sexual relationship in the 2nd situation is ongoing. That is the problem and why they are treated differently.

      #2 The teacher was pretty insensitive if that is really how she answered your question. We take St. Paul seriously when he warns that anyone who does not discern the body and blood of Christ in communion eats and drinks condemnation upon themselves. So, for both reasons of true unity commUNION of Faith and to protect people from eating and drinking condemnation upon themselves we ask that people not present themselves for communion unless they are a Catholic in good standing(no unconfessed mortal sin). However, you may make an act of Spiritual Communion if you really do believe in the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist. By this God can give you whatever graces He desires to give you. And your obedience will reap more grace that presenting yourself for communion illicitly.

      Spiritual Communion Prayer

      My Jesus, I believe that You are present in the Most Holy Sacrament. I love You above all things, and I desire to receive You into my soul. Since I cannot at this moment receive You sacramentally, come at least spiritually into my heart. I embrace You as if You were already there and unite myself wholly to You. Never permit me to be separated from You.

      This is a beautiful chance for you to deepen the virtue of humility in your soul, by obedience to the Church. And it will increase your love and desire to receive Jesus’ body and blood in Communion one day.

      Psalm 42:1 As a deer longs for flowing streams, so my soul longs for you, O God. 2 My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When shall I come and behold the face of God?

      You are not a second class Christian. You are one of our separated brethren by virtue of your baptism. You are a member of the body of Christ. You are not the only one who cannot yet receive communion. I have a friend who wandered away from the Church in college and married a non Catholic in a civil marriage. She has returned to the Church. She loves Our Lord and has a very strong Faith and even goes to Daily Mass every chance she gets. But she cannot receive communion either, because she is not married in the church and her husband won’t. We do not look at her as a 2nd class Catholic. We are sad for her but that sadness is mingled with a lot of respect. Her humble obedience demonstrates a love for God that is an inspiration for me. And I know several like her. We have even been instructed to refrain from communion on occasion in union with those who are unable to receive. We love you and rejoice that you are at mass. It is Our Enemy who is telling you we are frowning and despising you.

      I apologize for the flippant way you were treated by the teacher. Going through those classes is sometimes, also chance to grow in humility. I learned more on my own but I so wanted to leave behind my independent Protestant ways. I did meet many good people in RCIA though.

      Every human person is a REAL Child of God. God desires that all men be saved. I realize this may make you feel like we look down on you or something but that is not it at all. We are all so happy when a new Catholic is received to the Table of our Lord. I think Our Enemy is tempting you to make you angry at the Church.

      I hope I have helped you with my answers but please ask another question if you need to. I will pray for you and your dearly beloved.

  278. Tom says:

    The Eucharist was not given to us by the Bishops. It was given to us by Jesus at the Last Supper.
    It is his will and his intent that we must follow.
    At the Last Supper, Jesus told the twelve disciples that one of them would betray him. He knew that was Judas. Yet, when he broke the bread, he said , “take this all of you”. He didn’t say “All of you except he who will betray me” or “All of you except Judas.” If Jesus included Judas, who would commit the greatest sin ever, in receiving his body and blood, why then would Jesus not want any Christian to receive him in the Eucharist at Catholic Mass?

    • bfhu says:

      That is a very good point Tom. And while Judas had, by this time surely sinned by arranging to betray Jesus, he had not committed this terrible sin, yet. Even though Jesus knew the future He, in His mercy gave Judas every chance.

      The grace of communion in His Body and Blood. And later, in the Garden Jesus looks at Judas with love and asks him, “Judas, are you betraying the Son of Man with a kiss?”

      But Judas persisted. St. Paul in the NT warns people away from receiving communion without discerning the Body and Blood of Jesus (most Protestants) and in the 2nd century AD ,Justin Martyr tells us that those who were not Christian were not admitted to communion.

      “We call this food Eucharist; and no one else is permitted to partake of it, except one who believes our teaching to be true…”
      -Justin Martyr -FIRST APOLOGY, 66,20–(150 A.D.)

      We have no record of what Jesus taught regarding this issue in the NT, one way or the other. But this is a very ancient practice and i don’t see why you don’t think we should honor it. Justin taught this 250 years before the NT was canonized.

    • Anonymous says:

      Which has more weight – St. Paul’s opinion or Jesus example?

  279. Tom says:

    In your last paragraph, you say,
    “We have no record of what Jesus taught regarding this issue in the NT, one way or the other”, (regarding who may receive Communion).
    By the same reasoning, we have no record in the Gospels, as to whether the disciples believed that it was His body and blood or that it was merely bread and wine, and that they may have believed Jesus was speaking metaphorically as when He called himself a vine.
    It may well be that the disciples did “not discern the Body and Blood of Jesus”.

    • bfhu says:

      Tom,
      Jesus was not speaking metaphorically as in when He says I am the vine, or I am the door. I have addressed this common Protestant work around for the literal interpretation of John 6 in the following posts.

      Communion-Symbol Only?

      The Body of Christ is Symbolic!!!

      I see how you might think even the disciples did “not discern the Body and Blood of Jesus”. We don’t know b/c we have not been left a record. But, even if they did not discern or were totally confused at the Last Supper, this was all VERY new and our gracious Lord would give them grace during this time of transition. Surely, after the resurrection they understood, a short three or four days later.

      But, I think it is very likely that the Last Supper was a big “Ah Ha!” moment for them. A year earlier near the time of the Passover, Jesus had multiplied the bread and fish and then told everyone that they must eat His flesh and drink His blood in order to have eternal life. Many others left Jesus but the disciples stayed but were surely puzzled by this seeming reference to what sounded like cannibalism.

      So, when Jesus said of the bread, “Take and eat; this is my body.” and of the cup “Drink from it, all of you. This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.” They must have breathed a sigh of relief and thought, Oh! So, this is what Jesus meant last year about eating His flesh and drinking His blood.”

  280. Leslie says:

    I imagine that the Lord’s Supper (also known as Communion, the Lamb’s Supper, and the Eucharist) is one of the most difficult and emotionally charged issues for a non-Catholic Christian to discuss. Resentment, bitterness, and division are perpetuated in the name of our Lord Jesus, who prayed so earnestly for our unity. I do appreciate the replies in this conversation by bfhu, who demonstrates humility, patience, and understanding. I wonder how Jesus really views us Christians who are pained and confused by this “hard saying” (John 6:60).

    I have recently listened very earnestly to a CD by Dr. Scott Hahn, a former protestant theologian/minister and convert to Catholicism, who very thoroughly explained his study of the scriptures in search of the truth concerning this issue. I would recommend it to all of you, in hope that we could begin to understand the experience of someone outside our limited life experience who has struggled with this same issue. Jesus was full of compassion for humanity, and so we should be also. Dr. Hahn brings wonderful insight into the fulfillment by Jesus our Lord of the Old Testament need for sacrifice – and the Passover sacrifice that protected the life of the Israelites’ firstborn sons. He reminds us how Jesus was celebrating the Passover with his disciples in the upper room the night of his betrayal, and how he himself became the Lamb that was slain for our transgressions, ushering in the New Covenant in his blood.

    I have respect for the Catholic Church for many reasons, and particularly for having served the Lord by copying the and protecting the written word of God. The Catholic Church has also over the centuries held firmly to certain doctrines and beliefs which were at a later date changed, and I believe it is possible there may be other errors which if discovered or admitted could create enormous upheaval. If so, I believe that at the right time God will reveal these things.

    ***

    1 “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God; 3 all things were made through him, and without him was not anything made that was made. 4 In him was life, and the life was the light of men”
    ~John 1:1-4

    63 “It is the spirit that gives life, the flesh is of no avail; the words that I have spoken to you are spirit and life.”
    ~ John 6:63

    1 “That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon and touched with our hands, concerning the word of life– 2 the life was made manifest, and we saw it, and testify to it, and proclaim to you the eternal life which was with the Father and was made manifest to us– 3 that which we have seen and heard we proclaim also to you, so that you may have fellowship with us; and our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ. 4 And we are writing this that our joy may be complete. 5 This is the message we have heard from him and proclaim to you, that God is light and in him is no darkness at all. 6 If we say we have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not live according to the truth; 7 but if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin.”
    ~I John 1:1-7

    ***

    “…I pray that the sharing of your faith may promote the knowledge of all the good that is ours in Christ.”
    ~Philemon 1:6

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  282. Canonn Law TT says:

    The Code of Canon (Church) Law also has something to say on the subject:
    Can. 844 §1. Catholic ministers administer the sacraments licitly to Catholic members of the Christian faithful alone, who likewise receive them licitly from Catholic ministers alone, without prejudice to the prescripts of §§2, 3, and 4 of this canon, and ⇒ can. 861, §2.

    §2. Whenever necessity requires it or true spiritual advantage suggests it, and provided that danger of error or of indifferentism is avoided, the Christian faithful for whom it is physically or morally impossible to approach a Catholic minister are permitted to receive the sacraments of penance, Eucharist, and anointing of the sick from non-Catholic ministers in whose Churches these sacraments are valid.

    §3. 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.

    §4. 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.

    §5. For the cases mentioned in §§2, 3, and 4, the diocesan bishop or conference of bishops is not to issue general norms except after consultation at least with the local competent authority of the interested non-Catholic Church or community.

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  284. Anonymous says:

    To help understand the Church’s position regarding non-Catholics receiving the sacrament of the Eucharist – If a truly repentant non-Catholic Christian came to a Catholic priest and asked the priest to hear a confession and then to receive absolution and a state of grace, would the priest be obligated to refuse him?

  285. bfhu says:

    The priest would be kind and merciful.

    • Anonymous says:

      The Church will grant the Sacrament of Reconciliation to a non-Catholic, recognizes a non-Catholic baptism a being valid, but withholds the Sacrament of the Eucharist..
      Seems inconsistent.

      • Anonymous says:

        I recently went to mass in support of my cousin upon returning from an ACTS retreat. Of course I did not partake in communion. I am completely comfortable nor do I wish to participate in a Catholic communion. Not in an ugly snide intent, but I do realize our communions are not in the same beliefs. Being a Protestant I believe it is symbolic of Christ and what he did for us on Calvary. Catholics from what I understand believe it is the actual body of Christ in a miraculous way. Why would I partake in Catholic communion and vice versa when it is totally not the same thing??? I was not insulted at Mass bc it is not what I believe. I’m proud that my cousin is following Christ and for that I give God the Glory!!

  286. JRB says:

    From I Corinthians 1:

    Now I exhort you brethren by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all agree, and there be no divisions among you but you be made complete in the same mind and in the same judgment. For I have been informed concerning you, my brethren by Chloe’s people that there are quarrels among you. Now I mean this that each one of you is saying, “I am of [Catholicism], and I am of [Protestantism], and I am of [Orthodoxy], and I of Christ. Has Christ been divided?”

    Yes

    From John: 17 when Jesus prayed to the Father:

    “I in them and Thou in me, that they may be perfected in unity, that the world may know that Thou didst send Me and didst love them, even as Thou didst love Me…and I have made Thy name know to them, and will make it known; that the love wherewith Thou didst love Me may be in them, and I them.”

    Is there unity? No
    Is there then love? I’ll let you answer that question.

    I wonder what the thief on the cross would say to you? The one who said to our Lord, “Remember me when you come into Your Kingdom.”
    He was not baptized, nor did he ever receive communion, Yet he entered glory with His Savior.

    The hypocrisy in the church. And is there true communion in the church when one can receive the bread without the wine??

    Have we decided to ignore Jesus’ words:

    “A new commandment I give to you that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”

    Did He say, only if you take communion or are baptized a certain way?

    Love one another. Unconditional love. The hardest thing to do, isn’t it.

    .

    • bfhu says:

      Dear JRB,
      We must love one another! I could not agree more. But, then, do you think it would be loving to allow people who do not recognize the body of the Lord in Communion to eat and drink judgement upon themselves?

      1 Corinthians 11: 27 Therefore, whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be
      guilty of sinning against the body and blood of the Lord. 28 A man ought to examine himself before he eats of the bread and drinks of the cup. 29 For anyone who eats and drinks without recognizing the body of the Lord eats and drinks judgment on himself. 30That is why many among you are weak and sick, and a number of you have fallen asleep.

  287. Rob T says:

    I am and Anglican by Baptism but I do always receive communion when I go to a Catholic Church, we are all invited to Gods Table to share his feast and whilst I don’t want to offend anyone, no fellow sinner has the right to refuse me.

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