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October 1, 2005 at 5:31 am #1138
question…first of all, the answer is most likely in this forum…but there’s a LOT to read.
my girlfriend is Catholic, i am Pentecostal. About a month ago i went to church with her and her parents. right before communion took place at the end of the service, her dad leaned over to me and said that i could feel free to sit, or i could go up for a blessing. obviously i didn’t want to look like i didn’t want to be there so i followed them and went for a blessing. a couple weeks later she came home with me and came to church with my family. unlike catholics, our church doesn’t have communion every service, but once a month “communion sunday.” and, it just so happened that that was it. we’re from a small town, and everyone in the church knows everyone. so whenever our pastor knows there are visitors on communion sunday, he says, if you’re visiting this morning and you love the Lord and accept what he did for our salvation, feel free to join in the communion, but if you’re unsure, just let it pass by, and no one well ask any questions or point any fingers (we have ushers come to the pews and pass out the emblems). and just to re-assure her i wispered to her to feel free if she wants, so she took part. recently we were talking about our faiths, just over msn, and i asked her if she felt it was a problem if we took part in communion in each other’s churches, and she said that you’re not supposed to in a catholic church unless you belong to the church. this slightly confused me, because in each church, the exact same scriptures were read before communion, and the fact that i was inside a different church didn’t bother me and i would have been happy to take part. she’s going to university right now, to eventually teach in the catholic school system, so she’s taken several religious studies classes, and probably even knows more about my denomination than i do. she explained that in my church communion is more of a commemorative meal, where we simply view the bread and wine as symbols of Jesus’ blood and body. and in the catholic church they believe in what she called the holy mysteries and that when the priest says those words, it actually becomes Jesus’ blood and body, which only Catholics and Orthodox believe, for which reason non-Catholics aren’t supposed to take part. now when i took communion in my home church, during it i thought in my mind that ya, this is Jesus’ blood and body, only i knew they were symbols to remember it by, and i guess i never actually did take it literally. So where i think all the contradiction is, in the verse where Jesus says…take, eat, this is my body, do this in remembrance of me. so i think that protestants focus more on the second half of that statement, and catholics the first, and neither of us really read the whole thing and decide what Jesus literally meant. Did He just mean that at the last supper it was his blood and body, and that we are to use the same emblems to remember Him, or did he mean that whenever we take part to remember Him, it’s still ACTUALLY His blood and body?????
sorry about the length, and if it was an easy question and answer, there wouldn’t be any controversy ” title=”Wink” /> if someone could help me clear things up that would be great. thanksOctober 1, 2005 at 12:38 pm #5452
There are a few articles on the Real Presence (communion being the actual Body and Blood of Jesus) on AboutCatholics.com.
[quote:2963t6ld]so i think that protestants focus more on the second half of that statement, and catholics the first, and neither of us really read the whole thing and decide what Jesus literally meant.[/quote:2963t6ld]
Catholics actually put a lot of focus on both halves. We believe the Eucharist is transubstantiated into the Body and Blood of Christ and, because we are to partake of communion in remembrance of Him, every parish celebrates the Eucharist at least once a week on Sunday. (Some do it more often. My parish offers communion 22 times a week.)
[quote:2963t6ld]Did He just mean that at the last supper it was his blood and body, and that we are to use the same emblems to remember Him, or did he mean that whenever we take part to remember Him, it’s still ACTUALLY His blood and body?[/quote:2963t6ld]
We believe that Jesus was not only telling the Apostles to receive communion in remembrance of Him, but to follow His blessing, breaking, and giving. We believe that the Apostles constitute a sacerdotal priesthood formed and given authority by Christ and, therefore, that they truly offer the same Eucharist as Jesus did.
[quote:2963t6ld]i followed them and went for a blessing. . . . she took part. . . . she said that you’re not supposed to in a catholic church unless you belong to the church.[/quote:2963t6ld]
Because the Catholic Church believes that the Eucharist is really the Body and Blood of Christ, we do not allow non-Catholics (other than our Orthodox brethren) to receive communion because, as St. Paul tells us, “he that eateth and drinketh unworthily eateth and drinketh judgment to himself, not discerning the body of the Lord. (1 Corinthians 11:29)” Because no Protestants believe the same as the Catholic Church concerning the essence and purpose of the Eucharist, we cannot allow them to “eat and drink judgment to themselves.”
On the other hand, Catholics are not allowed to receive communion in other churches (except the Orthodox Churches under certain circumstances). There are several reasons for this, but I feel the most poignant reason I have heard is because we do not believe in fornication. You can get a free CD on Marriage and the Eucharist by John Martignoni at the Bible Christian Society[/url:2963t6ld] that explains what that means.
Communion is meant to express communion. As much as we are both Christian, I do not have communion with Pentecostals and you do not have communion with the Catholic Church. So it is, in a way, lying to receive communion among those with whom I am not in communion. And if not because they believe it so, then because I believe it so (i.e., even if every member of your parish told me they view communion as a communion of Christians, and therefore have no reason to deny me communion, I still view communion differently and could not receive).October 1, 2005 at 3:28 pm #5453
About Catholics TeamKeymaster
[quote:2j8exukk]On the other hand, Catholics are not allowed to receive communion in other churches (except the Orthodox Churches under certain circumstances). There are several reasons for this, but I feel the most poignant reason I have heard is because we do not believe in fornication.[/quote:2j8exukk]
At first I was confused by this statement. I was like, “what Christian church does?” Then it dawned on me when you referred to marriage and the Eucharist so I just want to expand on that a little.
I believe what Benedict to be saying is this:
There quite a few similarities between communion and marriage. What we are really getting at is that when we partake of the Eucharist, we are joining ourselves to the body of Christ. We do that in the following ways:
[b:2j8exukk] ¬? [/b:2j8exukk]We are joined to Jesus Christ, himself, as we consume his flesh and drink his blood
[b:2j8exukk] ¬? [/b:2j8exukk]We are joined spiritually with all other believers who are also eating his flesh and drinking his blood
The parallels between the sacrament of the altar (communion or Eucharist) and Holy Matrimony are astounding. In marriage the renewal of those vows and the marriage covenant is done through sexual intercourse – the joining of the man and woman as one. There is an act of unification there.
However, if a man and a woman who are not married are having sexual intercourse then they are fornicating (a.k.a. pre-marital or extra-marital sex). They are doing something that is a sign of marriage without actually being married. Neither one of them professed their lifelong committment to each other before the community and before God in a marriage ritual, therefore they are not married and not permitted to engage in sexual intercourse.
When we eat Jesus’ body and drink his blood we are uniting ourselves to Jesus in the same way a married man and a married women unite themselves in sexual intercourse. While we are not having sex with Jesus the same type of bond is being formed between our God and his people. Partaking in the Eucharist is the act of renewing our covenant with God.
However, if you are not in good standing with God you may not receive the sacrament – you should reconcile with him first.
So, to make a long story short since non-Catholic Christians are not Catholic, they are separated brethren, they are not permitted to receive communion because they do not believe all the same things Catholics believe – especially about what is taking place in the Eucharist.
We believe that it is literally the Body and Blood, soul and divinity, of our Lord Jesus Christ whereas a non-Catholic does not. In that sense, for a non-Catholic to walk up and take communion would be to fornicate.October 1, 2005 at 7:30 pm #5454
benedict…do you truly believe that catholic is the only denomintation against fornication??? it says right in the bible that fornicators will not enter the kingdom of heaven. so us “bible christians” as you call us obviously also believe that. i don’t know where that came from…October 1, 2005 at 8:03 pm #5455
About Catholics TeamKeymaster
[quote:gjbjb9vt]benedict…do you truly believe that catholic is the only denomintation against fornication??? it says right in the bible that fornicators will not enter the kingdom of heaven. so us “bible christians” as you call us obviously also believe that. i don’t know where that came from…[/quote:gjbjb9vt]
Read my post that’s right above yours. ” title=”Wink” />October 1, 2005 at 8:21 pm #5456
lol, ya i read it right after i posted…sorry benedict…
but let’s say for example i attended a catholic church on my own, just to learn about it, and durning communion i felt as though everything was what i was used to, so i take part…did i bring judgement on myself? what if i didn’t know any better???October 2, 2005 at 3:42 pm #5457
In Catholic theology, one must knowingly and willingly go against God’s will in order to sin. You would be “guilty” of wrongdoing, but it would not be sinful.
Also, at the beginning of the missalette, it points out that non-Catholics are not permitted to receive communion without prior permission from the Bishop.
As Catholics, we fully participate in the celebration of the Eucharist when we receive Holy Communion. We are encouraged to receive Communion devoutly and frequently. In order to be properly disposed to receive Communion, participants should not be conscious of grave sin and normally should have fasted for one hour. A person who is conscious of grave sin is not to receive the Body and Blood of the Lord without prior sacramental confession except for a grave reason where there is no opportunity for confession. In this case, the person is to be mindful of the obligation to make an act of perfect contrition, including the intention of confessing as soon as possible (canon 916). A frequent reception of the Sacrament of Penance is encouraged for all.
For our fellow Christians
We welcome our fellow Christians to this celebration of the Eucharist as our brothers and sisters. We pray that our common baptism and the action of the Holy Spirit in this Eucharist will draw us closer to one another and begin to dispel the sad divisions which separate us. We pray that these will lessen and finally disappear, in keeping with Christ’s prayer for us “that they may all be one” (Jn 17:21).
Because Catholics believe that the celebration of the Eucharist is a sign of the reality of the oneness of faith, life, and worship, members of those churches with whom we are not yet fully united are ordinarily not admitted to Holy Communion. [b:2zqhu4no][u:2zqhu4no]Eucharistic sharing in exceptional circumstances by other Christians requires permission according to the directives of the diocesan bishop and the provisions of canon law (canon 844 ¬ß 4).[/u:2zqhu4no][/b:2zqhu4no] Members of the Orthodox Churches, the Assyrian Church of the East, and the Polish National Catholic Church are urged to respect the discipline of their own Churches. According to Roman Catholic discipline, the Code of Canon Law does not object to the reception of communion by Christians of these Churches (canon 844 ¬ß 3).[/quote:2zqhu4no]December 24, 2005 at 6:31 pm #5630
Note this part especially:
42. The safeguarding and promotion of ecclesial communion is a task of each member of the faithful, who finds in the Eucharist, as the sacrament of the Church’s unity, an area of special concern. More specifically, this task is the particular responsibility of the Church’s Pastors, each according to his rank and ecclesiastical office. For this reason the Church has drawn up norms aimed both at fostering the frequent and fruitful access of the faithful to the Eucharistic table and at determining the objective conditions under which communion may not be given. The care shown in promoting the faithful observance of these norms becomes a practical means of showing love for the Eucharist and for the Church.
43. In considering the Eucharist as the sacrament of ecclesial communion, there is one subject which, due to its importance, must not be overlooked: I am referring to the relationship of the Eucharist to ecumenical activity. We should all give thanks to the Blessed Trinity for the many members of the faithful throughout the world who in recent decades have felt an ardent desire for unity among all Christians. The Second Vatican Council, at the beginning of its Decree on Ecumenism, sees this as a special gift of God.89 It was an efficacious grace which inspired us, the sons and daughters of the Catholic Church and our brothers and sisters from other Churches and Ecclesial Communities, to set forth on the path of ecumenism.
Our longing for the goal of unity prompts us to turn to the Eucharist, which is the supreme sacrament of the unity of the People of God, in as much as it is the apt expression and the unsurpassable source of that unity.90 In the celebration of the Eucharistic Sacrifice the Church prays that God, the Father of mercies, will grant his children the fullness of the Holy Spirit so that they may become one body and one spirit in Christ.91 In raising this prayer to the Father of lights, from whom comes every good endowment and every perfect gift (cf. Jas 1:17), the Church believes that she will be heard, for she prays in union with Christ her Head and Spouse, who takes up this plea of his Bride and joins it to that of his own redemptive sacrifice.
44. Precisely because the Church’s unity, which the Eucharist brings about through the Lord’s sacrifice and by communion in his body and blood, absolutely requires full communion in the bonds of the profession of faith, the sacraments and ecclesiastical governance, it is not possible to celebrate together the same Eucharistic liturgy until those bonds are fully re-established. Any such concelebration would not be a valid means, and might well prove instead to be an obstacle, to the attainment of full communion, by weakening the sense of how far we remain from this goal and by introducing or exacerbating ambiguities with regard to one or another truth of the faith. The path towards full unity can only be undertaken in truth. In this area, the prohibitions of Church law leave no room for uncertainty,92 in fidelity to the moral norm laid down by the Second Vatican Council.93
I would like nonetheless to reaffirm what I said in my Encyclical Letter Ut Unum Sint after having acknowledged the impossibility of Eucharistic sharing: “And yet we do have a burning desire to join in celebrating the one Eucharist of the Lord, and this desire itself is already a common prayer of praise, a single supplication. Together we speak to the Father and increasingly we do so ‘with one heart'”.94
45. While it is never legitimate to concelebrate in the absence of full communion, the same is not true with respect to the administration of the Eucharist under special circumstances, to individual persons belonging to Churches or Ecclesial Communities not in full communion with the Catholic Church. In this case, in fact, the intention is to meet a grave spiritual need for the eternal salvation of an individual believer, not to bring about an intercommunion which remains impossible until the visible bonds of ecclesial communion are fully re-established.
This was the approach taken by the Second Vatican Council when it gave guidelines for responding to Eastern Christians separated in good faith from the Catholic Church, who spontaneously ask to receive the Eucharist from a Catholic minister and are properly disposed.95 This approach was then ratified by both Codes, which also consider ‚Äì with necessary modifications ‚Äì the case of other non-Eastern Christians who are not in full communion with the Catholic Church.96
46. In my Encyclical Ut Unum Sint I expressed my own appreciation of these norms, which make it possible to provide for the salvation of souls with proper discernment: “It is a source of joy to note that Catholic ministers are able, in certain particular cases, to administer the sacraments of the Eucharist, Penance and Anointing of the Sick to Christians who are not in full communion with the Catholic Church but who greatly desire to receive these sacraments, freely request them and manifest the faith which the Catholic Church professes with regard to these sacraments. Conversely, in specific cases and in particular circumstances, Catholics too can request these same sacraments from ministers of Churches in which these sacraments are valid”.97
These conditions, from which no dispensation can be given, must be carefully respected, even though they deal with specific individual cases, because the denial of one or more truths of the faith regarding these sacraments and, among these, the truth regarding the need of the ministerial priesthood for their validity, renders the person asking improperly disposed to legitimately receiving them. And the opposite is also true: Catholics may not receive communion in those communities which lack a valid sacrament of Orders.98
The faithful observance of the body of norms established in this area 99 is a manifestation and, at the same time, a guarantee of our love for Jesus Christ in the Blessed Sacrament, for our brothers and sisters of different Christian confessions ‚Äì who have a right to our witness to the truth ‚Äì and for the cause itself of the promotion of unity.
Doesn’t leave a lot of doubt does it?
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