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Should a priest invite non-Catholics who believe in the Real Presence to receive Communion?

Full Question

During a wedding rehearsal for a Catholic and non-Catholic, the priest invited the non-Catholics to receive the Eucharist at the nuptial Mass by saying “Anyone who believes that the Eucharist is the body and blood of Jesus Christ is invited to receive Communion at the wedding.” Should he have done this?

Answer

Such an invitation was inappropriate. The Eucharist is offered to non-Catholic Christians only under certain extraordinary circumstances provided for in canon 844 of the Code of Canon Law, which are not met in this circumstance. With a mixed marriage, a Catholic and a non-Catholic Christian usually are counseled to have a nuptial liturgy outside of Mass to avoid the problem of a significant portion of the congregation—including the bride or groom—being unable to receive Communion.










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7 comments

  1. Mary MacKay Reply

    I think it should because Jesus did not turn anyone away

    1. Marv Ack Reply

      First one must confess, in order to be in the necessary state of grace before receiving Holy Communion.
      To receive Holy Communion when one has unconfessed mortal sins is to receive unworthily.

      So, point blank: You’re wrong.

  2. Rowena P. Castil Reply

    Catholic believers only have the right to receive communion, non-believers definitely should not take communion,

    1. Marv Ack Reply

      We *receive* Communion as we receive all gifts. We don’t *take* Communion.

  3. Marv Ack Reply

    Confession first, then Holy Communion. Otherwise, the communicant receives unworthily.

    Short answer: No. The priest was in error.

  4. Robert Tripp Reply

    I have ways had a problem when I hear such invitations. First, as an earlier posting stated, one must be in the state of grace when we receive communion (St. Paul alludes to this in Sacred Scripture). Second, any priest who makes such an invitation would seem to be violation of his vow/promise of obedience (if he says he is doing that as a matter of conscience, then his conscience is in opposition to the apostolic teaching authority of the Church). Third, the term communion means community, so in addition to accepting the real presence, a communicant must accept the whole of the teaching of the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic community. It is true that Jesus did not turn away anyone, and that remains true today–ANYONE who accepts Him as savior may approach the church for Baptism and Reconciliation. Once these Sacraments have been received out of love of Him, then one can receive him in the Eucharist.

  5. Kate Reply

    Time for the Roman Catholc Church to stop hoarding communion as if private treasure. Let all who hunger, eat. Let all who thirst, drink.

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