Monday, January 2, 2017

Youcat commented through CCC – Question n. 222 - Part I.

YOUCAT Question n. 222 - Part I. May the Eucharist be administered to non-Catholic Christians also?

(Youcat answer) Holy Communion is the expression of the unity of the Body of Christ. To belong to the Catholic Church, one must be baptized in her, share her faith, and live in union with her. It would be a contradiction if the Church were to invite to Communion people who do not (yet) share the faith and life of the Church. It would damage the credibility of the sign of the Eucharist.

A deepening through CCC

(CCC 1398) The Eucharist and the unity of Christians. Before the greatness of this mystery St. Augustine exclaims, "O sacrament of devotion! O sign of unity! O bond of charity!" (St. Augustine, In Jo. ev. 26, 13: PL 35, 1613; cf. SC 47). The more painful the experience of the divisions in the Church which break the common participation in the table of the Lord, the more urgent are our prayers to the Lord that the time of complete unity among all who believe in him may return.

Reflecting and meditating 

(Youcat comment) Individual Orthodox Christians may ask to receive Holy Communion at a Catholic liturgy, because they share the Eucharistic faith of the Catholic Church, although their Church is not yet in full communion with the Catholic Church. In the case of members of other Christian “ecclesial communities” or denominations, Holy Communion may be administered to an individual if there is a grave necessity and evidence of faith in the Real Presence in the Eucharist. Joint celebrations of the Eucharist / Lord’s Supper by Catholics and Protestants are the goal and the wish of all ecumenical efforts; to anticipate them, however, without having established the reality of the Body of Christ in one faith and in the one Church is dishonest and therefore not allowed. Other ecumenical liturgies, in which Christians of various denominations pray together, are good and are also desired by the Catholic Church.

(CCC Comment)

(CCC 1399) The Eastern churches that are not in full communion with the Catholic Church celebrate the Eucharist with great love. "These Churches, although separated from us, yet possess true sacraments, above all - by apostolic succession - the priesthood and the Eucharist, whereby they are still joined to us in closest intimacy." A certain communion in sacris, and so in the Eucharist, "given suitable circumstances and the approval of Church authority, is not merely possible but is encouraged" (UR 15 § 2; cf. CIC, can. 844 § 3).

(This question: May the Eucharist be administered to non-Catholic Christians also? is continued)

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