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16 Nov 2014 Q&A No comments

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Why can’t Anglo-Catholics receive the Eucharist at a Roman rite Mass?

Full Question

Why is it that Anglo-Catholics (or Anglicans and others who are considered Catholic) who observe the Eucharist cannot receive Communion at a Roman Catholic Mass? What is required in order to do so?


Anglo-Catholics may consider themselves Catholics, but the Catholic Church does not. This isn’t a matter of snobbery; it is simply a matter of the Catholic Church remaining consistent with what it has taught and believed for over 2,000 years.

In the Anglican communion, it remains legitimate to believe that the sacrament is merely a symbol of Christ’s body and blood. Further, if one has not received valid orders, he cannot confect a valid consecration, and thus there is no Eucharist. Because of this and other theological differences in the way we understand the Eucharist, the Catholic Church has not normally allowed intercommunion with Anglicans. The Eucharist cannot honestly signify unity until that unity exists.


  1. Edward A. Hara Reply

    With the exception, of course, of the Anglican Ordinariate in America.

    1. robert mayo Reply

      Depends on who you talk to. I am an Episcopalian & have received in Roman churches for years. So far the “Communion Police” have not come to my door. Communion is w/the Almighty, not some sour-grapes cleric still smarting from the Reformation.

      1. jaimcito Reply

        Like to stir the pot, do you? How spiritual.

      2. jaimcito Reply

        Well, evidently it doesn’t depend on who you talk to.

  2. Chris Reply

    This answer need a lot of elaboration to be acceptable and understandable to most Catholics and Anglicans. What does it mean to “receive valid orders” and who is defining what it valid? Many Roman Catholics do NOT believe in the real presence and take communion anyway. Many Anglicans and even Methodists DO believe in the real presence.

    1. DefenderofChrist Reply

      What some unfaithful Catholics do doesn’t change the way the Church teaches and what some Anglican believe doesn’t change it either. Then come to be a Catholic in the correct church and then you can recieve. To be a Catholic you have to believe it is the body and blood of Christ, but since it is a mystery it is unbelievable in a sense because we can’t really understand, but because he said it was him, you have to believe it is. That saying I believe but help me with my unbelief.

  3. Sylvia Barnard Reply

    Of course, we communicate at Roman rite Masses especially when we are on the Continent and there isn’t an Anglican church or we don’t know where it is. You just don’t know we’re there. But we are faithful weekly communicants and put receiving Christ’s Body and Blood over denominational silliness.

  4. John Donnelly Reply

    The very worst is when a barely-educated Roman priest makes a great, nasty verbal show of swatting the rest of us catholics away from the comfort of God’s presence in the Eucharist at a RC funeral mass.

  5. Angela Reply

    I fully believe in transubstantiation. So am I good to go then?

  6. Revd,Shaun ao'Routke Reply

    Having read why can’t Anglican priests proform communion rite.
    As an ex Roman carholic now an Anglican priest, let me just add a little, first the majority of Anglican priests absolutely believe that Christ is present in the bread and wine, some Roman Catholic priests would argue also that it is a memorial of the event that Vhrist asks us to remember, the other point I would like to remind you is that the Anglican bishops have a direct line of apolitical line to St Peter, before Henry v111 the English bishops were in direct line and so it has remained, weather that’s liked or not it is a fact.
    And in scripture and in accordance with the words of Jesus Christ he commanded that we all do this in rememberance of him, know where in scripture does Jesus or the followers of Jesus say it has to be a priest, there were no priests, just elders, so the argument in the words of Jesus tells us all to do this at the breaking of bread we are baptised into a holy priesthood we are the saints in the light of Christ, we sometimes forget who is the boss ,

    1. Gustavo Roca Reply

      The direct line was ruptured when Henry the VIII left the Church founded by Jesus and started his church. God is a God of order and unity. As a former Catholic priest, you know that the promise was given to the Church Jesus founded over 2000 years ago. Contemplate on every single word of St. Peter 16:18-19! Also remember “I pray that they may be ONE as I am one with the Father”. I pray that you may reconcile your differences with The Church! I pray that you read the Diary of Sister Faustina. May God be with you and with all of us and guide us.

    2. jaimcito Reply

      For 150 years, officials of the Church of England were sworn to disavow transubstantiation.
      The oath for the Test Act of 1673. Look it up. ”The Church is the pillar of truth.” Look that one up to.

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