Nancy Katson wrote:

Hi, guys —

I am currently an Extraordinary Minister of Communion and have a situation I'm not sure how to handle.

  • If you know someone who comes to Mass is not a Catholic are you allowed to give the Eucharist to that individual?
  • If a priest, who is aware this individual is not a Catholic, tells me to give this person Holy Communion, do I do it, or do I refuse to do it?

His explanation is that anyone who comes to Mass is able to receive the Eucharist regardless if he is Catholic because we want to make everyone feel welcome.

I appreciate any advice you are able to give me in order for me to handle the situation respectfully and appropriately.



  { Are you allowed to distribute the Eucharist to someone who is not Catholic but comes to Mass? }

Bob replied:


Your priest is mistaken, non-Catholics can be made to feel welcome without the illicit reception of Communion. Tell him that other parishes offer non-Catholics a Blessing by having them come forward and crossing their arms across their chest — that can act as a signal that they desire the blessing. They are ineligible to receive Communion.

Give him this analogy:

  • Why would a young man who can live with his girlfriend and have all the relations he wants without cost or consequences ever feel compelled to marry her?

So it is with those who come to the Catholic Mass but are never challenged to become truly Catholic. It is false marriage — one that could bring judgment to those involved.

If you must, resign from being an Extraordinary Minister if he doesn't come around, otherwise, you too could be an instrument of sin.



Mike replied:

Dear Nancy,

I just wanted to add to what was implied in Bob's answer.

From a Catholic view, when one receives the Eucharist in the Catholic Church, it is also an acknowledgement that [he/she] believes in all that the Roman Catholic Church teaches and believes — that the recipient is in a Common Union with the Church. You don't hear this as much from the pulpit these days, but you should. Believing in all that the Catholic Church teaches, yet going to another church on a regular basis, would be a contradiction between what a person "says" and "does".

I would notify your local bishop about this priest's view on the issue; it's important.

Hope this helps,


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