Synod Proposal: Communion for non-Catholic Christians

The Tablet in the UK has published a response by a UK Archbishop to a Synod proposal allowing “non-Catholic Christians married to Catholics routinely to receive communion”. The archbishop objects saying: “Such a proposal would tend to establish a category of Christians not in full communion with the Catholic Church yet distinguished from other Christians by a “right” to receive Holy Communion at a Roman Catholic Mass on any occasion.”

But he also points out that current rules permit non-Catholic Christians to receive Communion in some circumstances: “It calls to mind the provision the Catholic Church already makes on the occasion of celebrating a marriage, and under the usual conditions, for a baptised member of another church or ecclesial community to receive Holy Communion with their new spouse during a Roman Catholic Nuptial Mass.”

This question of discipline is difficult. On the one hand, we know that there is only one true Church, and all baptized Christians are in one sense or another Her members. On the other hand, non-Catholic Christians are guilty of objective mortal sin for not accepting the dogmas taught by the Roman Catholic Church. They may still be in the state of grace, by invincible ignorance. But they are not in full communion with the Catholic Church.

My preference is to allow communion, ordinarily, only to believing and practicing Roman Catholics, free from objective mortal sin and actual mortal sin, who have been to Communion in the last 3 or 4 months. But the Church has the authority to loosen the rules, and permit any baptized Christian not conscious of unrepented actual mortal sin to receive.

Ronald L. Conte Jr.
Roman Catholic theologian and translator of the Catholic Public Domain Version of the Bible.

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2 Responses to Synod Proposal: Communion for non-Catholic Christians

  1. Dot says:

    There is no mention of opening up the Sacrament of Reconciliation for these individuals to make a prior Confession. The recipient would not even be required to believe in the Real Presence. Seems like very soon after this type of change, others would step up to demand the same, including public sinners who don’t subscribe to Catholic ethics, such as practicing homosexuals seeking acceptance of their sin. So it seems to me a backdoor ploy for these persons to incrementally get a foothold and subsequently demand Catholic marriage.

    • Ron Conte says:

      I think Pope Francis might loosen the rules for who may receive Communion, more than I would prefer, but not so much as to constitute a heresy or a disaster. Perhaps God prefers more persons to go to Communion, in preparation for the Warning and the tribulation. The next Pope will then tighten the rules, allowing a narrower range of persons to receive Communion.

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