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Q: Communion for a Lutheran?

Vexed and Perplexed…

Dear Editor,

Our pastor in his homily last weekend made a statement that really startled me. He said he was taking Communion to a member of the parish at a facility for the elderly and after he gave Communion to him/her a person who said he/she was a devoted Lutheran and wanted to receive Communion—so our pastor gave it to him/her. Is that proper to give Communion to a non-Catholic? Please let me know if this was proper or not. I am sort of bothered by it to say the least.

To Jesus Through Mary,

Don Keating

Via email

Adoremus replies: Under most circumstances, giving communion to a non-Catholic is not permitted. The Code of Canon Law says: “If the danger of death is present or if, in the judgment of the diocesan bishop or conference of bishops, some other grave necessity urges it, Catholic ministers administer these same sacraments licitly also to other Christians not having full communion with the Catholic Church, who cannot approach a minister of their own community and who seek such on their own accord, provided that they manifest Catholic faith in respect to these sacraments and are properly disposed.” (Canon 844 §4)

Adoremus Staff