Liturgy & Liturgical Law Forum: Reception of communion at Anglican service

Reception of communion at Anglican service QUESTION from alexander james franco December 14, 2001 Again, that ever present question in this age of ecumenism! of inclusivity. Recently, I attended an Anglican Service. At Communion time, the minister stated that this church practiced open communion--that all were invited to receive the bread and the wine. Everybody in the church received except me--and there were Catholics present-- including members of my family. Was I not liturgically correct? Does the Anglican Church have valid Orders? In other words does a valid Consecration occur at an Anglican service according to present Magesterium norms! Are we not giving tacit witness to complete Unity by such reception as Catholics? Finally--is it ever licit for a Catholic to receive communion at a non-catholic service?
Thank you and God bless you in this essential ministry!
ANSWER by Mr. Jacob Slavek on December 19, 2001 Dear Mr. Franco,
You were correct in not receiving communion at this service. Catholics are forbidden to receive sacraments from non-catholic ministers/churches. Canon Law gives this exception:
Whenever necessity requires it or true spiritual advantage suggests it, and provided that danger of error or of indifferentism is avoided, the Christian faithful for whom it is physically or morally impossible to approach a Catholic minister are permitted to receive the sacraments of penance, Eucharist, and anointing of the sick from non-Catholic ministers in whose Churches these sacraments are valid.(Can. 844) However this would not apply to the Anglican church, which does not at present have valid orders. Pope Leo XIII ruled in 1896 at a time of controversy that the Anglican church does NOT have valid orders. (So there is no valid consecration)
Mr. Slavek
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