Tuesday, January 3, 2017

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

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

(Youcat answer – repeated) 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 1400) Ecclesial communities derived from the Reformation and separated from the Catholic Church, "have not preserved the proper reality of the Eucharistic mystery in its fullness, especially because of the absence of the sacrament of Holy Orders" (UR 22 § 3). It is for this reason that Eucharistic intercommunion with these communities is not. However these ecclesial communities, "when they commemorate the Lord's death and resurrection in the Holy Supper… profess that it signifies life in communion with Christ and await his coming in glory" (UR 22 § 3).

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 1401) When, in the Ordinary's judgment, a grave necessity arises, Catholic ministers may give the sacraments of Eucharist, Penance, and Anointing of the Sick to other Christians not in full communion with the Catholic Church, who ask for them of their own will, provided they give evidence of holding the Catholic faith regarding these sacraments and possess the required dispositions (CIC, can. 844 § 4).

(The next question is: In what way is the Holy Eucharist an anticipation of eternal life?)

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