On non-Catholics and Communion. Again.

After last week’s discussion about what to say at weddings and funerals about receiving Communion, canon lawyer Ed Peters has read over some of the announcements in that post and has a suggestion: 

There are various reasons why one might not approach for Communion. One might not have fasted for an hour before Communion time or one might have already received that day. Granted, these are not likely reasons for refraining, and a few other rules apply even to them, but they are still on the books and would result in one’s not approaching for Communion despite being “in good standing with the Church”. On those grounds alone this language about “being in good standing” should be scrapped.

Of course there Catholics who are not “in good standing with the Church” and who should not, per Canon 916, receive Communion. But outside of the cases covered by Canon 915 (wherein, notice, the Church makes such determinations), it is the individual’s responsibility to refrain from sacrilegious reception, not the minister’s duty to have Catholics line up according to, I dunno what, degrees of holiness. Terminology such as that outlined above makes Catholics appear to be singling themselves out as being or not being “in good standing with the Church” which sort of self-incrimination the Church strenuously avoids imposing on her members.

A much better announcement would be something simple like “At this time, Catholics prepared to receive holy Communion may do so in the usual way.”

Read all of his commentary here.  


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