Archdiocese of Mobile

Office for Evangelization and Family Life


Valid Eucharist?

Date posted: December 10, 2014

bread of lifeToday, we move on to the fourth challenge, “Is there any difference between receiving Holy Communion in a Catholic Church and going to communion in a Protestant worship service?”

 

Yes.  The end.

 

Just kidding.  So much to say, so little time…Let us presume that the particular Protestant service happens in a congregation that believes in the true presence of Our Lord in the Eucharist.  Even in this case the True Presence is not there.  For the Eucharist to be confected there must be a validly ordained priest; you and I cannot confect the Eucharist.  Unfortunately, at the time of the Protestant Reformation the line of validly ordained priests within their congregations came to an end.  In fact, in most cases they don’t even think they are ordaining priests, but ministers.  Even the congregations that “ordain” priests have changed the ordination substantially and it is no longer valid.  That is not a knock, just a historical fact.  In fact, they intentionally changed the ceremony to demonstrate their break with the Roman Catholic Church.

 

The same is not true of the Orthodox.  They maintain a valid priesthood and therefore a valid Eucharist.  While we are not currently in full communion with them, they in fact have maintained a valid line of bishops and priests and can therefore validly confect the Eucharist.

 

So, the question still needs to be answered about the propriety of receiving the Eucharist in other Christian communities.  To answer that I wanted to start by showing that in most cases what is being offered is simply bread and wine, nothing more.  But even acknowledging that at my friend’s Methodist Church it is just bread and wine, is there anything wrong with receiving this communion?  I don’t think I can answer that today in the space remaining, so you’ll have to tune in tomorrow.

2 Comments

  1. You do realize there are non Catholics reading this?

  2. I do. I love all of my brothers and sisters, and I think it is important for us to understand the reality of our painful separation. The blog is brief, but all of the historical comments are based in reality.

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