Faith/Spirituality Forum: Communion in a Baptist Church
Communion in a Baptist Church QUESTION from Maldonado on December 27, 2002 Dear Brother Ignatius,
I am Baptist and my husband is Catholic. We attend services at both a Baptist and Catholic church as we feel it's important to worship together as a Christian family.
My question regards communion. Is it sacrilegious (or perhaps - against RC doctrine) for our son to take communion in the Baptist church before he has had First Communion in the Catholic church? (He was baptised Catholic.) Additionally, is it o.k. for my husband to take communion in the Baptist church?
My thoughts were that since Baptists believe that communion is a symbol of Christ, as opposed to the Catholic belief, that it wouldn't count as communion in the eyes of the Catholic church.
My husband, isn't sure what to think. Thank you very much for your time. Most Sincerely, Mrs. Maldonado
ANSWER by John-Paul Ignatius, OLSM on December 27, 2002 Dear Mrs. Maldonado:
The Church teaches that your husband who is a Catholic MUST attend the Catholic Mass each and every Sunday. He cannot substitute the Baptist service for the Mass. To avoid Mass is sin.
To foster family relationships he may visit the Baptist services, but he CANNOT take communion with the Baptists and MUST still go to Mass.
The Church also teaches that in a mixed marriage between an Catholic and a non-Catholic that the children MUST be raised Catholic. In fact this is a condition of the Church allowing a Catholic to marry a non-Catholic.
Thus the kids really should not be attending the Baptist services as this will confuse them.
Since they are to be raised Catholic they cannot take communion in the Baptist fellowship. They are only allowed to take communion in the Catholic Church.
Also, your husband may be unable to take communion in the Catholic Church unless your marriage as been blessed in a Catholic Church. In mixed marriages the wedding ceremony MUST be a Catholic ceremony, although the Baptist minister may be present and say a blessing. The offering of vows, however, must be before the Catholic Priest.
If this was not done in your case, then your husband needs to see about regularizing the marriage and have it blessed by a priest. It would be sacrilegious for your husband, and a sin, for him to receive communion unless this marriage has been blessed in the Catholic Church.
It is true that Baptist communion does not count as a sacrament, but communion is also a symbol of unity and communion between us. To take communion in a church that one does not belong and that has doctrines different than one's own is to suggest a unity that does not yet exist. It is a lie.
In any event, Catholics are barred from accepting communion in fellowships such as the Baptists.
This may not be the answer you were hoping for, but this is the answer that your husband, as a Catholic, must be bound to.
We will be in prayer for your situation.
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