Communion For All is Dishonest
Fr Francois Dufour SDB, Ennerdale, Gauteng – I write in view of the German bishops’ deliberations regarding Communion for non-Catholic spouses.
At Communion, especially at nuptial and funeral Masses which invariably include a broad spectrum of Christians, we experience a heightened sense of the unfortunate divisions in the body of Christ.
But that can also, paradoxically, be where we grow most aware of the significance of COM-m-union.
And the reason for not leniently inviting all and sundry to receive it is precisely that it would then diminish that significance.
Like sexual intimacy in marriage, eucharistic Communion is the ultimate act of bonding among believers. It is not just a special moment of intimacy with Jesus, one on one, but a public act of faith that proclaims my commitment to and union with all others receiving Communion.
We Still Have Many Areas of Disagreement
Accepting Communion at a service of a denomination not our own, even though there are many convergences of faith between us, is inappropriate since there are regrettably still too many areas of major disagreement.
In fact to receive Communion together if we are not in-communion, is simply not being honest. We cannot sweep those differences under the carpet and pretend to be all one.
We must avoid reducing the Eucharist to a feel-good act, a spiritual hug, in the same way that sexual intercourse is too often reduced from what wedding vows declare, to meaning little more than “Let’s have a bit of fun together!”
In eucharistic Communion, just as in becoming one flesh in marriage, there is a basic rule of thumb which can help us: the level of our intimacy should parallel the level of our commitment, and until our commitment is absolute, then neither should our intimacy be complete! Those T&Cs apply.