Please give an answer to whether we may receive Holy Communion at an Anglican eucharistic service. G Delange
King Henry VIII, the effective founder of the Church of England from which Anglicanism derives, in the 16th century rejected the authority of the Catholic Church including the pope, and made himself the head of his own church.
He ensured that this new church would be essentially Protestant. The Mass was suppressed together with some other sacraments and practices but the role of bishops and priests was retained.
Shortly afterwards, Pope Paul IV declared that the bishops of this new church intended to ordain its clergy in the Protestant rather than the Catholic sense, with the result that their ordinations were invalid. In other words, men ordained as bishops and priests according to Henry’s Protestant ordinals remained unordained and were not priests in the traditional sense.
This declaration was reaffirmed in 1896 by Pope Leo XIII in his letter Apostolicae Curae.
Consequently, as they evolved with British imperialism and expansionism around the globe, Anglican church structures were planted far and wide. Both extreme Protestant fundamentalism and High Church Catholicism found their place among them, and much of the characteristic beauty of worship and song in the Anglican liturgy has drawn many to appreciate Anglicanism’s positive role in evangelisation. Anglicanism has produced some great and holy Christians, and Catholics have not failed to recognise and appreciate this.
In recent years, Anglicans and Catholics have met at the highest levels to find common ground towards mutual acceptance of their ministries but progress is sporadic.
Anglicans permit Christians of other denominations to receive their Eucharist, usually on the grounds of encouraging ecumenical unity. However, the Catholic Church does not accept that celebrating and sharing the Eucharist is an ecumenical exercise. It is a liturgical action in which the faithful who share the same faith, hierarchical authority, sacramental system and solidarity of the People of God, express their communion with Christ and with one another.
So, even if you attend an Anglican service in which the participants all believe that Christ is really present in the Eucharist, the Catholic Church’s discipline prevents you from accepting a sacrament that is invalid, dubiously valid or even certainly valid, while it is celebrated outside the organic unity of the Catholic Church.