Why Can’t Catholics Receive “Communion” at Protestant Services?

Dear Catholic Exchange:

Why are Catholics not to receive communion at churches of other denominations?

Thank you,


Dear Gail,

Peace in Christ!

The Catechism of the Catholic Church explains:

Ecclesial communities derived from the Reformation and separated from the Catholic Church, “have not preserved the proper reality of the Eucharistic mystery in its fullness, especially because of the absence of the sacrament of Holy Orders.” It is for this reason that, for the Catholic Church, Eucharistic intercommunion with these communities is not possible. However these ecclesial communities, “when they commemorate the Lord's death and resurrection in the Holy Supper…profess that it signifies life in communion with Christ and await his coming in glory.” (Catechism, no. 1400, quoting Vatican II’s Decree on Ecumenism Unitatis redintegratio 22 § 3)

Please see also our FAITH FACT Attending a Protestant Service, for a brief overview of how a Catholic may participate in a Protestant service.

United in the Faith,

Eric Stoutz

Information Specialist

Catholics United for the Faith

827 North Fourth Street

Steubenville, OH 43952

800-MY-FAITH (800-693-2484)

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