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Albert Ranallo wrote:

Hi, guys —

  • Can those of the Episcopal faith who believe in the Real Presence of Jesus in the Eucharist receive Communion in a Catholic Church?


  { Can Episcopalians who believe in the Real Presence receive Holy Communion at a Catholic Mass? }

Mike replied:

Hi Al,

Thanks for the good question.

No, Episcopalians, even if they belief in the Real Presence of Our Lord Jesus in the Eucharist, cannot receive Holy Communion at a Catholic Mass.

Your belief in the Real Presence of Our Lord Jesus is a testament that you are personally being called by Him to become Catholic.

Let me give you some reasoning behind my answer. When Catholics receive Communion at a Catholic Mass, whether they know it or not, they are publicly saying they are in a Common Union with the Teachings of the Catholic Church. Though you personally believe in the Real Presence, there are probably other teachings you:

  • Are not aware of
  • Don’t believe in, or
  • Struggle to understand.

My colleague Bob made this related comment when answering another question:


Think back on when your husband made his vows to you in your marriage; it was a big deal. It meant he was buying into being with you for better or for worse, richer and poorer, sickness and health, physical attraction or no sex appeal — let's face it, marriage is an all in proposition. He thought about it, weighed his options and gave you himself, knowingly and purposely.

That is what becoming Catholic is supposed to look like: going all in. That means accepting Christ, His Church, and all the sickness and health that goes with it. The Church isn't always pretty, appealing, or fun to be with — but it is the source of Life and Goodness for all who partake of Her because Christ put Himself all in with Her.

So RCIA is the process of education and discernment for those who want to consider becoming Catholic and Holy Communion is the sacramental expression of that Covenant, once baptized; it can't be side-stepped. Your husband needs to discern for himself, not the kids, where he stands.

RCIA is the process for that. If there was a good reason to seek an alternate path, your priest could help him with that but, in any case, you should meet with your priest to discuss it.

In short, Holy Communion is like a marital act, it expresses something from the heart and soul about one's relationship, in this case, to Christ and His Church, so it can't be done without the corresponding commitment.

More should be done within our current CCD classes to re-enforce the points made in both our replies.

I hope this helps,


Al replied:

Thank you for your answer Mike.


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