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Roman Catholic: Communion with non-Catholics


Well-Known Member
I posted this a while back on my personal forum (14 members and counting in two years.... watch out RF! hehe) and Economist jumped on today (thanks) and responded to a question I posed last October:

What, if anything, would you change about the Church?

However minor or not, I would like to know if there is anything (and I am sure no one will doubt a persons faithfullness to the Magesterium) that anyone out there would like to see for the future of our faith.

Economist said:
I think I've come up with something I would change. Why can't non Catholics receive communion? Jesus didn't say "do this in memory of me... but only with other Catholics." I think all people should have a chance to be a part of the miracle of the Eucharist.
A fantasic topic, my friend.... something I have often wondered myself.

As you probably have noticed, Ecumenism (primarily with our Orthodox brothers and sisiters) is the main focus of my apostolate.... and Communion (I'm talking about a concelebrated Mass, not total unity) would be a great thing in my opinion.
  • Communion is the "source and summit" of Christian life, and our entire ecclesiology is ordered towards the Eucharist.
  • What material food produces in our bodily life, Holy Communion wonderfully achieves in our spiritual life. Communion with the flesh of the risen Christ, a flesh "given life and giving life through the Holy Spirit," preserves, increases, and renews the life of grace received at Baptism. This growth in Christian life needs the nourishment of Eucharistic Communion, the bread for our pilgrimage until the moment of death, when it will be given to us as viaticum.
  • Holy Communion separates us from sin. The body of Christ we receive in Holy Communion is "given up for us," and the blood we drink "shed for the many for the forgiveness of sins." For this reason the Eucharist cannot unite us to Christ without at the same time cleansing us from past sins and preserving us from future sins.
  • As bodily nourishment restores lost strength, so the Eucharist strengthens our charity, which tends to be weakened in daily life; and this living charity wipes away venial sins. By giving himself to us Christ revives our love and enables us to break our disordered attachments to creatures and root ourselves in him.
In the year between my conversion and my Confirmation and First Communion it was AGONY to be without the Eucharist. I often shed tears at Mass when I had to sit there, knowing the Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity of Christ was present in the room and I could not be a part of it.

Now.... I understand all the reasons for Communion being only for members IN COMMUNION with the Church.... but would love to hear more discussion about thoughts concerning this topic.

Thanks again Economist for the great idea for the thread. Scott


What I was talking about when I posted it didn't have anything to do with the Nicene Creed, but eating the actual body and blood of Christ. I have heard the Church's reasoning for not giving communion to non-Catholics, but it is the one thing in the whole Catechism that doesn't make sense to me.


Well-Known Member
** MOD POST **

This is a ROMAN CATHOLIC Same Faith Debate..... if you are not a current member of the Roman Catholic Church you may not post in this thread.


Well-Known Member
Economist said:
What I was talking about when I posted it didn't have anything to do with the Nicene Creed, but eating the actual body and blood of Christ. I have heard the Church's reasoning for not giving communion to non-Catholics, but it is the one thing in the whole Catechism that doesn't make sense to me.
Yeah.... I would say that I agree in principle to what the Church teaches, but I don't understand how Communion became something more than the Sacrament it is.... it truly provides the Grace of God in our life.... to withhold that grace because of a theological difference (other than the basic faith... like the earliest Christians) seems to be contrary to the message of the Gospel.

Hope to get some other Catholics to respond!
I believe it is partially due to the extreme disconnect between Catholics and Protestants on the issue of the Eucharist. Because Catholics see it as the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ, Son of God, having someone treating the Eucharist as merely a symbol seems profane. However, this would prohibit based on belief rather than membership as is now done.

I believe the main arguement is that taking Communion indicates that you are in communion with the community. Sharing Communion when no communion exists is seen as a lie. However, it could also be a source of healing of the sad divisions. Either way, I hope for a renewed effort to meet with each other humbly and in a manner of reconciliation.


Active Member
I have asked this question before and will ask it again; What next? If we give non-Catholics the Body and Blood, are we going to start ordaining them priests after that? It just makes no sense.

Unlike protestantism, where you can jump from Church to Church without really think about it, becasue you can just join or leave, in Catholicism you must go through a somewhat lengthy process (RCIA) because the Church does not want to Baptize, confirm, and give the Lord's Supper to someone who is going to immediately hate the Church when they realize they have to stay married or it is a sin. An extreme example? Maybe. But it highlights the problems with giving someone Communion before they are in the Church.


1 Corinthians 11:
23 For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you, that the Lord Jesus, the same night in which he was betrayed, took bread,
24 And giving thanks, broke and said: Take ye and eat: This is my body, which shall be delivered for you. This do for the commemoration of me.
25 In like manner also the chalice, after he had supped, saying: This chalice is the new testament in my blood. This do ye, as often as you shall drink, for the commemoration of me.
26 For as often as you shall eat this bread and drink the chalice, you shall shew the death of the Lord, until he come.
27 Therefore, whosoever shall eat this bread, or drink the chalice of the Lord unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and of the blood of the Lord.
28 But let a man prove himself: and so let him eat of that bread and drink of the chalice.
29 For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily eateth and drinketh judgment to himself, not discerning the body of the Lord.

The Church prohibits others from receiving Holy Communion for their own good.

I agree also with the comments already made that have hinted at the fact that Holy Communion is a visible sign of the unity of the Church, and those that do not enjoy full cummunion with the Church, shall not participate in the sacrament that is an expression of that communion.


New Member
What's the difference between Roman Catholic and Orthodox regarding the Lord's Supper? I mean,
would you deny orthodox Christians? What about Protestants who fought against corruption in the church at that time? Do you mean, when you deny persons from communion, that they are not worthy to be saved or not just worthy of communion in your practicing universal church?