I Still Don’t Understand! Communion for Non-Catholics?
Shirley Doyle,Sheffield Beach, KZN – With regard to the ongoing debate on Communion for non-Catholics, the Catechism of the Catholic Church in the section on the Seven Sacraments of the Church says: “Only validly ordained priests can preside at the Eucharist and consecrate the bread and the wine so that they become the Body and Blood of the Lord” (1411).
Ecclesial communities derived from the Reformation and separated from the Catholic Church “have not preserved the proper reality of the Eucharistic mystery in its fullness, especially because of the absence of the sacrament of Holy Orders”, the Catechism states (1400).
It is for this reason that Eucharistic intercommunion with these communities is not possible for the Catholic Church. However, these ecclesial communities, “when they commemorate the Lord’s death and resurrection in the Holy Supper… profess that it signifies life in communion with Christ and await his coming in glory”.
[And yet it seems that bishops’ conferences are debating this?]
To simplify the above: non-Catholics may not receive the Eucharist. Catholics may not receive Communion in churches that are not Catholic. If you are a member of the Catholic Church you are obliged to follow this teaching.