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Anonymous Alexandra wrote:

Hi, guys —

I am a Catholic but my friend is a non-Christian. I was thinking about sending her a link to an online Mass. I was wondering:

  • In case she would ever want to visit a physical Catholic Church, is she allowed to receive Communion? and
  • What is a substitute if she is not allowed to receive Communion?


  { Can non-Christians receive Communion if visiting a parish and, if not, what is the substitute? }

Bob replied:

Dear friend,

That is great that you are sharing Holy Mass with your friend.

She will have to become a Catholic, however, in order to receive Communion. Some parishes do allow non-Catholics to receive a blessing at Communion time, but that is more the exception than the rule.

  • There really is no substitute for Communion, for how can you substitute for the actual Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus Christ?

That is the reality of the Eucharist. Christ himself changes the bread and wine into Himself, in a completely mysterious and miraculous way. The same is true for most sacred things Catholics do.
It is connecting to Christ, as He is right now, the Risen Christ, in a metaphysical way. We will never completely grasp how profound this act is.

Just to drive the point home, throughout the centuries there have been all kinds of Eucharistic Miracles where the Consecrated Host or Wine changed into actual Flesh. This often happened when certain priests were doubting the True Presence. You can learn a bit about that here:

Also, read John's Gospel, all of Chapter 6, to see how Jesus threw down this challenge to his followers, and they couldn't get their minds around it, so many left him. (John 6:52-71)

Today in the Church, belief in the Real Presence is sadly becoming more rare because we have not been well-formed in our faith. Take some time to learn more about our faith and then when your friend asks about it, you will be better equipped to talk about it.


Bob Kirby

Alexandra replied:

Dear Bob,

Thank you!

Also, recently another Christian said that I am a pagan because I am Catholic.

Someone else said that Catholics don't accept Jesus as their Lord and Savior and that I shouldn't be a Catholic because we pray to Mary and to the Saints, we pray the Rosary, and that Catholics use different doctrines and tried to change everything but . . .

  • Wasn't St. Peter the first Pope and don't we have 266 consecutive Popes after him?
  • If Jesus chose Peter to lead the Church to Him, which means the succession of all the Popes started with St. Peter, and all lead up to Pope Francis, why are there other denominations?


Bob replied:


Thanks for the questions.

Catholics are not pagans, and we do accept Jesus as our Lord and Savior; we have the fullness of truth. Protestant sects do not and they know little or nothing about devotion to the Blessed Virgin and the saints because of ignorance, and, in many cases, they prefer to keep these weapons of accusation rather than learning the truth about what we believe.

All who engage in this shall be held accountable, but God's Mercy is available if they do repent. Nothing upsets Jesus more than to have those who are supposed to be His own bad mouthing His and our mother, for that is who she is. Let's hope they can learn the truth and honor her the way Jesus does.

  • So what can we do when others (or even ourselves) injure and insult Our Lady?

Consider Fatima. Our Lady appeared to three shepherd children in 1917, bringing a request for people to keep a devotion of the first five Saturday's of the month, (consecutive months), in reparation for offenses to her Immaculate Heart, by which God is much offended. There are five blasphemies (See below), many perpetrated by Protestants, that account for this.

Here is a summary of the Five blasphemies:

Just to prove that what happened at Fatima was true, she promised to perform a miracle on the 13th of October. Over 70,000 persons gathered for this event to see whether what was promised would happen, and they weren't disappointed. Believers and non-believers alike, communists, the curious, and those trying to suppress the events of the apparitions (even kidnapping and jailing the children at one point), witnessed the spectacle of the Sun, which spun in the sky, dipped in a zig-zag way down toward Earth, turning all the world into a kaleidoscope of colors, and drying the soaked ground (everything and all had been soaked from torrential rain).

In the decades to follow, psychologists, who couldn't deny the event, tried to write it off as a mass hallucination, but witnesses saw it from many miles away, even in distant towns, and the instant drying of the deep mud, people and earth was no act of imagination. It was truly a miracle and it behooves us to find out more about it. (Several motion pictures have been made about it too.)

The miracle of the sun was published in papers around the world, and has become the most significant Catholic devotion and apparition in the world, really in history. Its importance cannot be overstated, because Our Lady had predicted the end of World War I, the Second World War, the spread of Communism and much more. There is even a secret from Fatima that is still in play today, something the Vatican will not reveal in full because certain agents want it suppressed. (There is much more to that, which cannot be explained here.)

So, these are all typical attacks on Catholics and our faith that Protestants have been throwing around for the last several hundred years. Today, most are said in ignorance, but these accusations are becoming easier for Protestants to gain traction with because of bad actors in the Church. Bad Catholics don't make our job any easier. Still, we are responsible for standing up to the lies, misunderstandings, and even to defend the Church when these evil actors are exposed, because while Judases will continue to plague the Church, Christ founded Her and He is its Head. We need to stand up for Christ!

What you should do is learn a little apologetics (the art of defending your Catholic faith), by studying up on these issues. You will find our database has many questions on these topics, as well as other sites like Catholic Answers. Certainly read your Bible, Catechism and even memorize a dozen or so verses that can help when addressing certain topics. For example, Matthew 16:19, where Peter is given the keys, a symbol of Christ's own authority, this is where he is made what we call the pope. Knowing how that relates to Isaiah 22 and the prophesy about Shebna and Hezekiah will help you to defend the ongoing papacy and not just a one-and-done reign with Simon Peter. Try reading both Matthew 16 and Isaiah 22 and see if you can figure it out for yourself, that is the text from which Jesus modeled his installation of Peter.

Here is a documentary on Fatima; it leaves out a lot of things, but some of it is really good but kind of long (90 minutes):

(Keep in mind, we make no claims about the organizations that have provided the linked material: their views are their own; we simply are using them for information purposes.)

God bless you, and sorry it took so long to respond; I've been super busy,

Bob Kirby

Alexandra replied:

Dear Bob,

Thank you again!

  • Also, do you consider those who are Orthodox, Catholics?

I am Roman Catholic, but my mom and her side of the family are all Orthodox. My dad and his side of the family are all Roman Catholics like me. We all go to a Roman Catholic Church (the church I was baptized in, received First Holy Communion, and received Confirmation), however, someone said those who are Orthodox are Protestants.

  • I've never really considered my mom a Protestant, but I was wondering if those who are Orthodox are also considered Catholic?


Bob replied:

Dear Alexandra,

Our team member Eric is probably the best versed in the Orthodox churches, so hopefully he can speak to any particular questions you may have. In any case, most Orthodox churches are not in communion with Rome, but they are considered authentic Apostolic churches.

In other words, unlike other Protestants, they have valid Holy Orders (and Eucharist) and like Roman Catholics, their genesis is from the Apostles (most Protestant churches broke and followed the theology of a particular individual who emerged in history, i.e., Martin Luther).

The problem emerged when there was a schism, which is kind of a long and complex story, with both political and theological substance, but at that point their break with the Roman Pontiff (the Pope) made them formal heretics and schismatics. In that way, they are comparable to Protestants so, they are not Catholic, but closer to what we believe than most Protestants.

There are different Orthodox churches that have reconciled with Rome, and they were called Uniate churches (although that term is not often used anymore), because they are in communion with Rome while holding their own traditions and liturgy. This Wikipedia article is useful, but very incomplete:

The short of it is, we regard them as brothers that need to be reconciled. I believe that the reconciliation would have been the fruit of the consecration that Our Lady ask for, through Fatima, for the Pope and the bishops to make (concerning Russia).

Just like Our Lady of Guadalupe converted 9 million natives to Catholicism in the Americas, when missionary efforts had failed, we should pray again that Our Lady would work another miracle to solve this sad division.

We have to pray that the Pope and bishops complete the request of Fatima to make this consecration.


Bob Kirby

Alexandra replied:

Thank you! Bob,

I also read about St. Faustina Kowalska who was a nun and she met Jesus, and He told her to pray the Chaplet of Divine Mercy. I've also read an article about the Pope performing a rare blood miracle.

Also, at church, the priest says,

  • "Behold the Lamb of God. Behold Him who takes away the sins of the world. Blessed are those called to the Supper of the Lamb."
  • What will the Supper of the Lamb look like and how do I get called to it?


Mike replied:

Hi, Alexandra —

You get called to it by being a faithful Catholic observing all the teachings of the Church and by following Her sacramental obligations. That phrase is from Revelation 19:9:

9 And the angel said to me, "Write this: Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb." And he said to me, "These are true words of God."

Revelation 19:9

Hope this helps,


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