I am having another discussion with a non-Catholic who is insisting we should all share Communion together. You know, that kind of discussion, where a non-Catholic insists it is no big deal and we Catholics should realize our error, capitulate, and let them in.
As I explained to him, it isn’t that easy.
I told him that in order to be ‘in communion,’ we must agree on doctrine and theology as Christ left it with the church in the 1st century. For 500 years, there has been a separation of those who refuse to accept the teachings of the church and embrace an alternative type of doctrine and theology. They were called Protestants initially. Now there are protesters of the Protestants…thousands of sects. The only thing that seems to tie every post-Luther sect together is the fact that they all rail against the Catholic Church. [SIDEBAR: Martin Luther before his death was appalled at the number of protesters who did not believe as he did…as many beliefs as there were individuals…hmmm…but I digress]
I also explained that since the Eucharist has always been the source and summit of the Catholic faith, to share with unbelievers is not possible. It was strongly guarded since the beginning. It is not only for the protection of the Eucharist, but for the protection of those who would partake without recognizing the body and blood of Christ. And that comes right from holy scriptures. We as Catholics are protecting outsiders from bringing down condemnation from God because they are not recognizing Christ in the Eucharist and simply taking something they think is a symbol, when actually it has been consecrated and truly is the body, blood, soul and divinity of Christ. That is why we can not receive communion together.
Conversely, I shared, Catholics are not allowed to receive in a Protestant church. Why? It is because Protestants receive mere bread and juice as a symbol, yet equating it with Holy Communion. For a Catholic, it is not. It is an adulteration of what Christ did at the Last Supper, and a complete misinterpretation of the John 6 Bread of Life Discourse. He needs to read that with fresh eyes and an open heart.
I said that maybe he should research the early Church in the Catacombs and how closely they guarded the Holy Eucharist in the early Church from people who did not believe and understand the real presence of Christ. He might ask himrself: what was so precious that they guarded and even DIED protecting it? [See link about St. Tarcisius]. It’s no different now than it was back then. We are protecting Christ in the Eucharist from non-believers.
Maybe he should look closely at some of these suggestions. But he probably won’t.