Who may receive holy Communion?

Only believing and practicing Catholic Christians, who are not conscious of grave sin may receive holy Communion.

“Presenting oneself to receive Holy Communion should be a conscious decision, based on a reasoned judgment regarding one’s worthiness to do so, according to the Church’s objective criteria, asking such questions as: “Am I in full communion with the Catholic Church? Am I guilty of grave sin? Have I incurred a penalty (e.g. excommunication, interdict) that forbids me to receive Holy Communion? Have I prepared myself by fasting for at least an hour?” The practice of indiscriminately presenting oneself to receive Holy Communion, merely as a consequence of being present at Mass, is an abuse that must be corrected (cf. Redemptionis Sacramentum, n. 81, 83).” (Cardinal Ratzinger, Worthiness to Receive Holy Communion, letter to Cardinal McCarrick, 2004).

Can. 915 Those who have been excommunicated or interdicted after the imposition or declaration of the penalty and others obstinately persevering in manifest grave sin are not to be admitted to holy communion.

Can. 916 A person who is conscious of grave sin is not to celebrate Mass or receive the body of the Lord without previous sacramental confession unless there is a grave reason and there is no opportunity to confess; in this case the person is to remember the obligation to make an act of perfect contrition which includes the resolution of confessing as soon as possible. (Code of Canon Law for the Latin Church, 1983).

Persons who generally may not receive holy Communion:

1. non-Christians
2. non-Catholic Christians
3. Catholics in a state of formal heresy
4. Catholics is a state of formal schism
5. apostate Catholics
6. Catholics who have committed one or more actual mortal sins, and who have not yet repented and been forgiven in Confession
7. excommunicated or interdicted Catholics
8. Catholics who have not fasted for at least an hour prior to Communion (not prior to the start of Mass), although some exception can be allowed for certain circumstances (e.g. illness, chronic medical problems, priests celebrating more than one Mass in a day, persons who must care for the sick, injured, young, elderly, etc.)

Examples of persons who often receive holy Communion in knowing violation of the belief and practice of the Catholic Church:

1. persons who are sexually active outside of marriage (e.g. premarital sex, masturbation) and are unrepentant.

2. persons who are using any method of contraception which deprives the sexual act of its procreative meaning (e.g. condoms, birth control pills, withdrawal method) and are unrepentant.

3. persons who procured a direct abortion, or have participated in helping someone else obtain a direct abortion (e.g. paying for an abortion, helping someone to obtain abortion services) and are unrepentant; persons who have used abortifacient contraception while sexually active and are unrepentant.

4. persons who formally cooperate with the grave sin of direct abortion (e.g. by supporting so-called abortion rights, by voting for a candidate “precisely because of the candidate’s permissive stand on abortion” [http://www.priestsforlife.org], or by expressing approval for another person’s decision to obtain a direct abortion) and are unrepentant.

5. persons who obstinately doubt or obstinately deny any required belief of the Catholic faith, and are unrepentant from this sin (formal heresy).

For example: any Catholic who knowingly rejects the definitive teaching of the Church:

(a) that contraception, direct abortion, euthanasia, premarital sex, homosexual sex, masturbation, and unnatural sexual acts even within marriage, are intrinsically evil and always gravely immoral;
(b) that two persons of the same gender can never have a true natural marriage, nor a valid Sacrament of Marriage;
(c) that Christ did not give His Church the authority to ordain women to the priesthood;
(d) that Sacred Tradition and Sacred Scripture are entirely inerrant;
(e) that the Magisterium teaches infallibly through solemn definitions of the Pope, solemn definitions of Ecumenical Councils, and the Universal Magisterium;
(f) or any other definitive teaching on an important matter of faith, morals, or salvation;

should not receive holy Communion.
Reception of holy Communion by such persons is itself a sin.

[1 Corinthians]
{11:27} And so, whoever eats this bread, or drinks from the cup of the Lord, unworthily, shall be liable of the body and blood of the Lord.
{11:28} But let a man examine himself, and, in this way, let him eat from that bread, and drink from that cup.
{11:29} For whoever eats and drinks unworthily, eats and drinks a sentence against himself, not discerning it to be the body of the Lord.
{11:30} As a result, many are weak and sick among you, and many have fallen asleep.
{11:31} But if we ourselves were discerning, then certainly we would not be judged.

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