Archive for the ‘The Mass’ Category

The Communion Controversy

20120903-073641.jpgOne thing that has been a common refrain in my conversations with fundamentalists is a criticism that the Catholic Church forbids communion or participation in the Eucharist by non Catholics. They seem to view it as a personal affront and a suggestion that the church does not view them as christian.

Nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, I would submit to you that it is the height of charity to deny communion to those who do not recognize it for what we as Catholics see it to be: the real flesh and blood of God’s Incarnate Son.

Saint Paul is very clear in saying that when we participate in communion without discerning the flesh and blood of Our Lord, we eat and drink judgement on ourselves (1Corinthians 11:29). The Catholic church takes the sacrament of Holy Communion extremely seriously. In all loving kindness, the church seeks to prevent fellow christians from what they believe to be calling judgement on themselves.

Respect for Beliefs

On another, more relatable note, consider this: in my earlier years, as a non practicing catholic, I would attend church with my wife at her independent bible church. I knew that they did not consider my catholic baptism to be valid. Out of respect for them, and their beliefs, I declined to receive communion there. At the time, I believed I was a baptized Christian even thought they did not, and I believed that I was entitled to receive communion. However, because I respected the fact that they were entitled to their beliefs, and because I knew it was important to them, I refrained. The question arises, then, why would one desire to receive communion at a Catholic church to begin with if they do not believe the same things about it?
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