Thanks for the question.
You are definitely blessed to have a husband who is Catholic in heart.
For this you should be very thankful.
Nevertheless, what your husband has to understand is that one of the sad consequences of the Reformation was that Thomas Cranmer, under King Henry VIII, changed the form and the matter for Holy Orders.
Holy Orders is the sacrament that makes a priest, a priest. Once someone is a validity ordained priest, he can administer all seven sacraments in a valid manner.
The Reformed Church in Hungary is a Calvinist or Reformed church. (You may find this page interesting reading as well, Hungarian Reformed Federation of America.) This means any sacraments he received, except for Baptism, if it was administered properly, and Marriage, were invalid. Calvinists don't have a valid priesthood; none of the break off
churches from the Reformation have a valid priesthood as well.
For that reason, it is important for him to have the proper understanding of what the sacraments are in the life of a Catholic, before he receives them. This requires a bit of study and learning.
. . . there are 30 years missing of Confirmation and Communion certificates.
If they couldn't find any Communion or Confirmation records, then they probably couldn't find his Baptismal Certificate. The Church would at least need this to accept his Baptism.
If all of this is so, he will not become a Catholic, but will continue to attend Mass.
He would like to receive Communion.
- Does any Canon law apply here?
That's his choice! Neither you, nor any one from AskACatholic can force your husband to do something he doesn't want to do. It's also good that he is not receiving Holy Communion.
Receiving Holy Communion signifies that you are in a Common Union with the Church's teachings, which he is not. I think it's important for him to understand what he is missing out on.
The sacramental life of the Church is like the dynamite that helps us make clear moral decisions and brings us back to new life in Jesus after we sin.
Unlike in the Hungarian Reformed church, where the Eucharist is only a symbol, in the Catholic Church we, in awe, receive the Real Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus Himself!
- How can someone want to turn away from that?
If he wishes to go deeper, encourage him to consider buying a cheap copy of the Catechism of the Catholic Church to learn everything we believe as Catholics.
The purpose of Canon Law is to protect the rights of all Catholics in the Church, lay people and clergy alike, from:
- other lay people, and
You can't complain about not having a right, when one doesn't exist. If your husband is a Catholic at heart, he has to understand the sacraments and the importance of receiving valid sacraments in the only Church Jesus established on St. Peter and his successors.(Matthew 16:13-19)
Jesus did not found the Hungarian Reformed Church; He founded the Catholic Church and only the Catholic Church.
He feels as though the Catholics are saying that his religion is not good enough for them.
I would agree to a certain extent. Like I said, Thomas Cranmer changed the form and matter that makes a priest a priest. All Reformed churches threw away the concept of a sacrificial priesthood which is key to the Catholic faith. This was the effect of Cranmer's doing, not the Catholic Church's doing.
If he wants to belong to a church founded by a man, he has that right, but if he wants to join the one Church God Incarnate established on St. Peter, there is only one Church on the face of the earth where he can go:
the Catholic Church.
The choice is his, and nobody else's. You should encourage him but let him decide.
Hope this helps,