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Anonymous wrote:

Hello,

This web site has been a blessing to me in my path back to the Church.

I was born and brought up with twelve years of Catholic Education. I pulled away after high school. My husband of 9 years is Protestant. We are in the midst of heated debates about how to raise our four and two-year old children. He is very resentful of the fact that he cannot receive Communion in my Church. He has a deep faith in Christ and feels it is a moment shared between him and his Christ. He feels judged by the Church when they do not accept or recognize his communion. I have tried my best to explain the Catholic perspective, in that the unleavened host substantially becomes Christ and, as Catholics, we must go through a preparation process in order to receive the Body of Christ. I feel we are being spiritually attacked through these dividing discussions about how to raise our children. He has a lot of very negative stereotypes about the Church, like the priest just being a man.  I need so much help in this effort.

If you could give me a reasonable explanation to the question why he cannot receive Holy Communion in our Church, I would greatly appreciate it.

Thank you again and please pray for our family.

Anonymous

  { Why can't my Protestant husband receive Holy Communion in my Catholic Church? }

Mike replied:

Hi Anonymous,

Thanks for your question.

Let me reply by addressing several issues in your e-mail:

Your husband not being able to receive Holy Communion.

In many Protestant denominations, unity is something that is worked toward, along the lines of Christ's priestly prayer for unity in John 21:17. This is good. Many Protestant denominations disagree among themselves. Probably the only thing they agree on is that Jesus did not found one visible Church that stands to this day on St. Peter and His successors.

Because the Catholic Church is ONE in [doctrines|teachings], unity is not something we have to strive toward; unity is something that is required UP FRONT. We are a Family of Divine Faith in Jesus, not of individual faiths. Not only on one or two issues, but on all the teachings Jesus wants us, your husband included, to believe in. I don't understand why he feels judged by a Church seeing he is not a visible member of the Church. By the sounds of your e-mail, I believe your husband is being called home to the Church. I sense he really does believe in the Real Presence.

Ask him this:

Would it be OK, while you were dating and before you were married, if you, as a couple had holy procreational sexual relations, then after you both brought forth a child, for him to leave?

No. Why?

Because you both weren't married. There is no commitment to bringing up, the children, the fruit of your love for each other.

The same is true with the Eucharist.  Your husband can't confirm a sacramental covenant with Jesus, via the Eucharist, when he hasn't even made one, nor believes in all His Church teaches!

He is correct that we do not recognize other Protestant communions, except the Greek Orthodox. Why? Because one of the sad outcomes of the Reformation was that King Henry VIII changed the rites for Holy Orders (actually it was Thomas Cranmer). This is the sacrament in the Catholic Church that makes priests, priests. Because the rite of priests in other Protestant denominations is invalid, a Protestant minister can try to consecrate the Eucharist as much as he wants, but to no avail. It remains a wafer in substance as well as in appearance.

RE: Your children.

One blessing is that you have a Christian husband.

Because your husband is a Bible Christian, one thing both of you should agree on,
is a daily or weekly period of prayer together, for the good of your marital relationship and your family. If he is open to saying the Rosary, I would recommend this.

Remind him, Catholic don't worship Our Blessed Mother. We only honor those God honors ...

PLUS the Rosary is not mainly about Mary, but about BOTH Jesus, Mary and their lives; lives dedicated to our salvation!

For you personally, make sure that even if you and your husband can't pray on a regular basis you:

  • pray daily and
  • stay close to the sacraments, esp. regular Confession, daily Mass, the Rosary and Adoration.

RE: His negative stereotypes about the Church.

I once heard either a revert or convert to the Church say the three main reasons why non-Catholics don't understand the Church are:

  • ignorance
  • personal bias
  • bad examples

I can't read your husband's heart but he is going to have to ponder whether he has fallen into any of these three areas. Let me address each:

Ignorance — He can eliminate this if he wants. Just tell him to consider buying a cheap copy Catechism of the Catholic Church.

Personal bias — only personal prayer and personal sorrow for his sins can help this. With time hopefully he will be able to be received in the Church and go to Confession.

Bad examples — This is a problem within our Church, but I would share with him,

"Don't leave Peter because of Judas behavior!"

On his journey:

  • Has he looked into the history of the Catholic Church?
  • Has he looked into the very first Christians, called the Early Church Fathers?

I would recommend a book, but he will say that it is biased so instead ask him to go to his local secular library an do some research on:

1. the history of the Catholic Church [ from various authors ]
2. the Early Church Fathers, the very first Christians from 33AD to 850AD, St .Ignatius of Antioch, St. Polycarp, St. Augustine.

Hope this helps; if you need more, just reply.

I will pray for your family and please tell you husband to visit our site and ask more questions if he wants.

Mike

Please report any and all typos or grammatical errors.
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The Early Church Fathers Church Fathers on the Primacy of Peter. The Early Church Fathers on the Catholic Church and the term Catholic. The Early Church Fathers on the importance of the Roman Catholic Church centered in Rome.