Taking Communion When Not Catholic

Oh boy.  My friend, The Anchoress, is sure to get deluged with comments about this post on a fellow blogger who has decided to receive Communion, without having been received in the Catholic church.

Rick at Brutally Honest, for whom I have a deal of affection, and he’s been a a provocative read for years, has been away from the Catholic Church for a long time.  He and his wife have now decided to partake of Holy Communion within the Catholic Church, although without the sacrament of Confession or any sort of adherent “membership,” in the church. He feels free to do this, because “no man has a right to stand between another man and Jesus.” He believes Jesus would not turn him away, nor his wife.


And part of her reponse:

It seems to me that in a mature and respectful faith, if you want what the Catholics have, you go about partaking it the Catholic way. To do less is profoundly disrespectful and, dare I say it, immature. It would be like me coming into your house, sticking my head into your fridge and grabbing the thing you’d prepared for a family event, scarfing it down and saying, “what, it’s for everyone, right? Why should I wait? Why shouldn’t I have it now, when I want it?”

Read the rest here.

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9 years 5 months ago
When the Church denies the sacrament, under the circumstance described, is an act of charity. We are warned of the consequence of receiving unworthily in 1 Cor 11:27-30. Further the Church was given the Church authority to legislate and discipline in Mat 18:17-18.
9 years 5 months ago
It's interesting that today's gospel reading is Mt 22:1-14:
"And his servants going forth into the ways, gathered together all that they
found, both bad and good: and the marriage was filled with guests.

And the king went in to see the guests: and he saw there a man who had not on a
wedding garment.
And he saith to him: Friend, how camest thou in
hither not having a wedding garment? But he was silent.
Then the
king said to the waiters: Bind his hands and feet, and cast him into the
exterior darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

For many are called, but few are chosen"
So I would say to Rick, why do you come to the wedding and refuse to put on the wedding garment?
9 years 5 months ago
Bad analogy.  If you go into somebody's refrigerator and scarf down their dinner, then the other people get less (or no) dinner.  Nobody is going to go without communion if Rick receives.  Just direct your eyes to heaven and say a prayer and you won't even notice that he's receiving communion.
9 years 5 months ago
It seems to me your friend Rick is right. Up until the point that he decides to go public and blog what he intends to do. That opens him up to all sorts of opinions and imaginings and illusions. Wouldn't Jesus welcome someone who desired and felt called to approach him in communion? Sure Jesus would; only first Rick should go sell all he has, ha, ha. Seriously, no problem here and besides, what does comprise Catholic Church membership? No black-ball ceremonies here. He walks in, goes to mass and communion, and to seal the deal he could sign the list to get his "envelopes" for the collection basket. Nobody would question Rick's rights. Unless, of course, Rick turns out to be a flagrent, notorious public sinner which is obviously is not. Even if he is, that is up to Rick to deal with privately with a priest and if he didn't , it is not for anyone to suppose that he didn't.
However, now that Rick had blogged the fact he might want to consider the slight scandal involved but what that scandal is is not too clear. Might it be having not gone to church for a long time and thus not making a yearly communion? Maybe Rick was a pow all this time; or maybe he was in New York City which would be equivalent incarceration to some, ha, ha. Of course some close friends could suppose events where the most readers and this commentor are at a loss. My advice to Rick and his wife is to head to the beach and find a tourist Mass and do "it". Then, say no more and let Jim Martin and the rest of us die of curiosity as to how things turned out!
9 years 5 months ago
If one does not respect the laws and traditions of the sacrament, the question must needs arise, ''WHY would one then WANT to receive it?''
`There are any number of churches who offer communion to all who wish to receive it, in their own tradition.  If there is nothing different or special about receiving the Eucharist in the Catholic Church, why not just go to those others?
9 years 5 months ago
Well, John, I don't think it's the scandal that is really the issue. He seems to be at least aware of some Church teaching on the subject of when and how to enter into Communion. Let's take for a moment, the rather liberal view that the Church's teaching on the matter is not the "final say." It would still, I would think, be useful to understand _why_ the Church is so set against the unprepared recieved the Lord, and in so understanding come to more fully appreciate the Eucharist. I feel as though too many people are much to interested in making the Church into what they would prefer it, often because that seems easier or more convienant than anything else.
9 years 5 months ago
Corinthians is often misread on this.  There were no lists of "mortal sins" when it was written.  I presume Paul meant the apostate and the unbaptized.  Protestants who receive Communion are neither.  The flaunting of this verse is the kind of proof texting we castigate the Protestants for.  Also, Protestants who receive may by doing so realize that what Catholics teach about the real pressence is true all along and it may bring them to the Faith eventually.
9 years 5 months ago
Always amazing to me that so many go so far out of their way to defile the teaching of the Catholic Church.  There must be a very strong fear deep within that this is indeed the One True Church founded by our Lord and that to come and follow Christ requires far more than they are willing to do.  Give up everything and follow me was rejected as was the sayings are too hard and some walked away.  My answer is always where would we go Lord, for you are the truth and the light. 
Also find it funny that those who are using their own way to bash the Church cannot seem to let it alone.  It is as if they are pulled by the truth like a magnetic attraction, yet they cannot get their surrender in line to attract rather than push away.  Rick simply joins a long line of folks that simply tell Jesus, no Lord, what you teach is too hard. 
9 years 5 months ago
A while back, I attended a Catholic wedding with a pagan friend. I had to stop her from going up to take Communion. "I want to experience it for myself," she told me. She was very angry with me and, after a silent car ride, informed me, "Jesus wouldn't have stopped me."
Should I have let her go and hoped/prayed the Eucharist might lead her to the Church?
Not hardly.I pray for her conversion, like always, but she isn't going to learn anything from receiving the Eucharist in ignorance.
As far as she's concerned, the Trinity isn't any different from the Goddess (Maiden/Mother/Crone). And her understanding of Christ is closer to Gnostic than anything Christian.
9 years 4 months ago
Has Rick at Brutally Honest committed a mortal sin? If not, how does he go about becoming an ex-Catholic? If not, why should he have to jump through hoops to take communion? 
Who among us is without sin?
9 years 4 months ago
"If it is just a symbol then to hell with it" - Flannery O'Conner
What part of "this is my body" doesn't any one seem to get? People who don't see the problem with Rick or his wife recieving can't understand what the Eucharist is all about. It isn't a "meal" it isn't a "banquet" it is the Body Blood Soul and Divinity of Christ. We need to be in a state of grace to recieve HIM. period.


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