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Ask A Franciscan: Holy Communion for Everyone?

Because Jesus redeemed the world and everyone in it, isn’t it presumptuous to deny the Eucharist to anyone who professes Jesus to be their lord and savior? When the apostles complained that someone not of their number was healing in Jesus’ name, he told them that anyone who does not oppose him is, in effect, his friend.

People should be properly disposed to receive any sacrament. When I hold up a consecrated host and say, “The Body of Christ,” the Catholic Church expects the recipient to say, “Amen” (meaning, “I believe”). If he or she says, “Whatever” or “It’s only a symbol,” is this person properly disposed to receive this sacrament at this moment? I think not. I can give the person a blessing without presuming to pass God’s final judgment on the individual.