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 Post subject: communion in non-Catholic/non-Orthodox church
PostPosted: Fri Oct 21, 2011 6:01 pm 
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While I was Orthodox I didn't feel good about being in other types of churches, because the Orthodox church did not want me to take communion in a non-Orthodox church.

To my way of thinking the bread and wine in church X is either graced by God to become Jesus's body and blood or it isn't. If it is Jesus then how can I sit back and abstain? If it isn't Jesus then what is the big deal? Why not take part to be polite? Or is it bad because it might be Jesus but church politics would create doubt in my mind which would make me take communion without the proper frame of mind?

So what is the Catholic thinking on this?


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 Post subject: Re: communion in non-Catholic/non-Orthodox church
PostPosted: Fri Oct 21, 2011 6:03 pm 
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A Catholic cannot receive communion in a Protestant church. A Catholic may, according to our principles, receive communion from the Orthodox, but because they do not want us to do that, I don't encourage the practice.

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 Post subject: Re: communion in non-Catholic/non-Orthodox church
PostPosted: Fri Oct 21, 2011 6:39 pm 
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To piggy-back on Father. The Sacrament of the Eucharist is more than just the reality of the real presence. It is, for us, a Sacrament of "initiation" or of accepting Jesus completely. We cannot say we accept the sacrifice of Christ in the Eucharist, but reject him in other ways such as rejecting his teaching. This is why receiving Christ in the Eucharist in mortal sin is itself a sinful act. To use a really graphic demonstration, imagine a husband who is having a sexual love affair with another woman. Doesn't the presence of this adultery redefine the act of intercourse with his own wife? Even if he loves his wife, intercourse with her, no matter how gentle and loving, is an atrocity... and this would be made clear if the wife knew of the affair.

So, we must respect each denomination. When a church performs the communion ritual they are asking for more than just accepting Jesus. They are saying that you accept Jesus in the same way THEY accept him. So, there is a creedal aspect to you receiving communion in any church. It is not just between you and Jesus (or you and this representation of Jesus) but also between you and the other people around you. It is a communal act (hence the name communion) whereby through this act of communal reception you profess the same creed. For you to have an entirely different creed, while performing an act that says otherwise, is like the man above cheating on his wife. It is wrong in and of itself, and also very disrespectful to the others in that denomination.

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 Post subject: Re: communion in non-Catholic/non-Orthodox church
PostPosted: Fri Oct 21, 2011 8:35 pm 
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Thanks, the creed issue would explain this a little. There is always a dispute over theology that no average parishioner can comprehend and then each side is out of communion with the other.

When a Catholic church has communion I think there is probably great diversity in their religious views (at least that was true of my Orthodox church). Maybe this sounds bad, but I don't understand the Nicene Creed. Whenever I recite it I feel like I'm reading a legal document.


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 Post subject: Re: communion in non-Catholic/non-Orthodox church
PostPosted: Fri Oct 21, 2011 9:09 pm 
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cloudyday wrote:
Thanks, the creed issue would explain this a little. There is always a dispute over theology that no average parishioner can comprehend and then each side is out of communion with the other.

When a Catholic church has communion I think there is probably great diversity in their religious views (at least that was true of my Orthodox church). Maybe this sounds bad, but I don't understand the Nicene Creed. Whenever I recite it I feel like I'm reading a legal document.


One can only truly appreciate the Nicene Creed if they understand Docetism and Arianism. When the Church came out of Her 300 years of persecution there were some heresies that had taken hold. Docetism denied Christ's humanity, holding that He was a divine being that only appeared to take on human nature. Arianism denied Christ's divinity, holding that he was a creature who was elevated to such a height that he could die for all of humanity. Both of these, but especially the latter, split the Church. The Council of Nicea in 325 was called to answer the questions posed by these two heresies. The result was a creed that addressed them in very expressive language. To the Arians we say with the repetition and clarity of a litany that Jesus is "God from God. Light from Light. True God from true God. Begotten, but not made. Of one substance with the Father." The Apostles Creed was not so expressive about his divinity, so the superlatives were needed to settle the dispute. The repetition of the same thought is to put the nail in the coffin of any theology that denies that Christ is God. And to the Docetists, we are reminded that He came down and "was incarnate and made man" and that "he suffered" as a man suffered. Again, this puts a nail in the coffin of any theology that denies the incarnation.

So, when you understand the attack on Christianity that Nicea was called to defend against, then you can appreciate and learn to say proudly the creed that dispelled these terrible attacks on Christology.

FJ

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 Post subject: Re: communion in non-Catholic/non-Orthodox church
PostPosted: Sat Oct 22, 2011 4:42 am 
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Piggy-backing on Father and FJ, I would like to point out that the Bible is clear in its teaching on unity. It is both creedal and sacramental. The best example is Acts 2:42, where we read that the first Christians “devoted themselves to the teaching of the Apostles and to the communion; to the breaking of bread and to the prayers.” (All Scripture quotations from RSV-CE)

We also see this in 1. Corinthians:

    I appeal to you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree and that there be no dissensions among you, but that you be united in the same mind and the same judgment. For it has been reported to me by Chloe’s people that there is quarreling among you, my brethren. What I mean is that each one of you says, “I belong to Paul,” or “I belong to Apollos,” or “I belong to Cephas,” or “I belong to Christ.” Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Or were you baptized in the name of Paul? (1:10-13)

    The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not a participation in the blood of Christ? The bread which we break, is it not a participation in the body of Christ? Because there is one bread, we who are many are one body, for we all partake of the one bread. (10:16-17)

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 Post subject: Re: communion in non-Catholic/non-Orthodox church
PostPosted: Sat Oct 22, 2011 5:13 am 
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Closet Catholic wrote:
Piggy-backing on Father and FJ, I would like to point out that the Bible is clear in its teaching on unity. It is both creedal and sacramental. The best example is Acts 2:42, where we read that the first Christians “devoted themselves to the teaching of the Apostles and to the communion; to the breaking of bread and to the prayers.” (All Scripture quotations from RSV-CE)

We also see this in 1. Corinthians:

    I appeal to you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree and that there be no dissensions among you, but that you be united in the same mind and the same judgment. For it has been reported to me by Chloe’s people that there is quarreling among you, my brethren. What I mean is that each one of you says, “I belong to Paul,” or “I belong to Apollos,” or “I belong to Cephas,” or “I belong to Christ.” Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Or were you baptized in the name of Paul? (1:10-13)

    The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not a participation in the blood of Christ? The bread which we break, is it not a participation in the body of Christ? Because there is one bread, we who are many are one body, for we all partake of the one bread. (10:16-17)


Closet Catholic,

This seems to be an example of the same Bible verse meaning different things to different readers.

I could substitute words where it says: "What I mean is that each one you says, 'I belong to the Orthodox Church', or 'I belong to the Catholic Church', or 'I belong to the Methodist Church', or 'I belong to Christ.' Is Christ divided? Was the Orthodox Church crucified for you? Or were you baptized in the name of the Orthodox Church?

Thanks, I know the responses probably accurately reflect the Catholic Church's thinking (and probably also the Orthodox Church's thinking). I'm just trying to find a religion that works for me, and I'm beginning to see that Catholicism isn't what I'm looking for.


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 Post subject: Re: communion in non-Catholic/non-Orthodox church
PostPosted: Sat Oct 22, 2011 6:01 am 
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cloudyday wrote:
I could substitute words where it says: "What I mean is that each one you says, 'I belong to the Orthodox Church', or 'I belong to the Catholic Church', or 'I belong to the Methodist Church', or 'I belong to Christ.' Is Christ divided? Was the Orthodox Church crucified for you? Or were you baptized in the name of the Orthodox Church?


There is one church. The universal Catholic Church. The others are breakaway groups that need to return home.

Quote:
Thanks, I know the responses probably accurately reflect the Catholic Church's thinking (and probably also the Orthodox Church's thinking). I'm just trying to find a religion that works for me, and I'm beginning to see that Catholicism isn't what I'm looking for.


Rather than finding something that "works", which to me suggests "I like the doctrines" and "it makes me feel good" (if I'm wrong, please correct me), perhaps you should start by asking the Lord to guide you to the Church that has the truth?

Catholic doctrines aren't always popular, but that's not why we believe them.

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 Post subject: Re: communion in non-Catholic/non-Orthodox church
PostPosted: Sat Oct 22, 2011 7:02 am 
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To understand the Creed a little better, you may want to check out the "Credo of the People of God" by Pope Paul VI. It expands on the Creed some and goes into specifics a little more.

You may also find this listing of several catechisms helpful. The first part of all of them covers the creed. You can find which sections of the creed you have questions on and look up the information easily.

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 Post subject: Re: communion in non-Catholic/non-Orthodox church
PostPosted: Sat Oct 22, 2011 8:10 am 
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Jayne wrote:
Rather than finding something that "works", which to me suggests "I like the doctrines" and "it makes me feel good" (if I'm wrong, please correct me), perhaps you should start by asking the Lord to guide you to the Church that has the truth?

Catholic doctrines aren't always popular, but that's not why we believe them.


Jayne, let me clarify my motivation. If I was looking for a belief I felt comfortable with then I would be an atheist - that's what I've been most of my life. I used to think all religions were for people who were too cowardly to admit the obvious truth of atheism. But now I'm not so sure, because I've apparently had some religious experiences (either that or I'm starting to have psychological problems).

I'm not a person who is going to be able to believe things without discovering the truth myself. I'm probably better off in a church that doesn't expect that. All I want is to make sure that I'm doing what God wants (if he even cares at all). Otherwise I'm happy doing and believing as I have always done.


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 Post subject: Re: communion in non-Catholic/non-Orthodox church
PostPosted: Sat Oct 22, 2011 8:28 am 
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But what if the truth is that God wants you to believe in things that you cannot discover on your own? On what grounds do you go about discovering truth in general? On what grounds do you accept those grounds?

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 Post subject: Re: communion in non-Catholic/non-Orthodox church
PostPosted: Sat Oct 22, 2011 10:19 am 
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Obi-Wan Kenobi wrote:
But what if the truth is that God wants you to believe in things that you cannot discover on your own? On what grounds do you go about discovering truth in general? On what grounds do you accept those grounds?


I think if he expects than then he is going to be disappointed.

Take a parachute jump as an analogy. I've never jumped, but I know the first time I would need somebody to kick me out the door. It doesn't matter that I have friends that jumped and lived, and it doesn't matter that I know it is safe, I would be scared to death until I've done it a few times. That's how I look at faith - you start with a little and experience makes it grow.

So I don't think anybody can be told what to believe.


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 Post subject: Re: communion in non-Catholic/non-Orthodox church
PostPosted: Sat Oct 22, 2011 12:47 pm 
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Faith is not an irrational leap in the dark (or out of an airplane door); there are reasons to believe. There are also reasons (good ones) to believe, solely on a natural level, that 2000 years' worth of theologians might be able to understand things better than I do. Really, no one, including you, believes only things you could figure out on your own.

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 Post subject: Re: communion in non-Catholic/non-Orthodox church
PostPosted: Sat Oct 22, 2011 5:20 pm 
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Obi-Wan Kenobi wrote:
Faith is not an irrational leap in the dark (or out of an airplane door); there are reasons to believe. There are also reasons (good ones) to believe, solely on a natural level, that 2000 years' worth of theologians might be able to understand things better than I do. Really, no one, including you, believes only things you could figure out on your own.


There are so many different religions out there with long histories, so why do I choose Christianity and in particular Catholic theologians? I think we can't expect experts to tell us the truth about religion because there are too many experts with too many conflicting opinions. it's different from studying science where the experts are forced into agreement by experiment. It makes me think religion is mostly disconnected from the truth or the truth would have forced an agreement by now. I'm not saying there isn't some truth in religion, but I think it is mostly nonsense. The only way to find that truth is to compare all the religions side by side and look for commonalities.


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 Post subject: Re: communion in non-Catholic/non-Orthodox church
PostPosted: Sat Oct 22, 2011 5:52 pm 
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Really? How do you know?

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 Post subject: Re: communion in non-Catholic/non-Orthodox church
PostPosted: Sun Oct 23, 2011 6:46 am 
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Obi-Wan Kenobi wrote:
Really? How do you know?


Hokey religions and ancient weapons are no match for a good blaster by your side, Obi-Wan.

Richard Feynman said in science you come up with a theory, you predict expected results, and then you compare with actual results. You can never know you are right, but you can know you are wrong.

Up until a couple of years ago, my theory was atheism and that fit everything I experienced. Then I had some apparently spiritual experiences that didn't fit with atheism (unless I decide they were psychological). I tried the Orthodox Christian theory for a couple of years but that seemed to require me to suppress my common sense. It was like those Christians that cling to the literal truth of the bible and find themselves arguing against evolution. I would struggle to believe certain things and realize how totally self-serving these ideas were if I let myself be cynical about the Church's motives. Then I would look at other religions and not see much difference in the actual results.

I'm not trying to persuade anybody.


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 Post subject: Re: communion in non-Catholic/non-Orthodox church
PostPosted: Sun Oct 23, 2011 10:14 am 
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cloudyday wrote:
Obi-Wan Kenobi wrote:
Really? How do you know?


Hokey religions and ancient weapons are no match for a good blaster by your side, Obi-Wan.

Richard Feynman said in science you come up with a theory, you predict expected results, and then you compare with actual results. You can never know you are right, but you can know you are wrong.

Up until a couple of years ago, my theory was atheism and that fit everything I experienced. Then I had some apparently spiritual experiences that didn't fit with atheism (unless I decide they were psychological). I tried the Orthodox Christian theory for a couple of years but that seemed to require me to suppress my common sense. It was like those Christians that cling to the literal truth of the bible and find themselves arguing against evolution. I would struggle to believe certain things and realize how totally self-serving these ideas were if I let myself be cynical about the Church's motives. Then I would look at other religions and not see much difference in the actual results.

I'm not trying to persuade anybody.


Feynman was right with respect to science ... who says the same thing has to apply to anything else? We know there are things it doesn't apply to (math, for instance). Why can't religion be one of those things?

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 Post subject: Re: communion in non-Catholic/non-Orthodox church
PostPosted: Mon Oct 24, 2011 7:27 am 
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Louis-Marie Flambeau wrote:
Feynman was right with respect to science ... who says the same thing has to apply to anything else? We know there are things it doesn't apply to (math, for instance). Why can't religion be one of those things?


I guess what I have been desiring all my life is first-hand experience of God. I'm not trying to subject God to a scientific experiment, but I know that experience is the only way I will make progress. It needs to be a continual experience to gradually build faith and the faith needs to adjust my behaviour.

The Orthodox church calls theology "the science of sciences". Probably the Catholics do too.


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 Post subject: Re: communion in non-Catholic/non-Orthodox church
PostPosted: Mon Oct 24, 2011 9:04 am 
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Closet Catholic wrote:
Piggy-backing on Father and FJ, I would like to point out that the Bible is clear in its teaching on unity. It is both creedal and sacramental. The best example is Acts 2:42, where we read that the first Christians “devoted themselves to the teaching of the Apostles and to the communion; to the breaking of bread and to the prayers.” (All Scripture quotations from RSV-CE)

We also see this in 1. Corinthians:

    I appeal to you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree and that there be no dissensions among you, but that you be united in the same mind and the same judgment. For it has been reported to me by Chloe’s people that there is quarreling among you, my brethren. What I mean is that each one of you says, “I belong to Paul,” or “I belong to Apollos,” or “I belong to Cephas,” or “I belong to Christ.” Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Or were you baptized in the name of Paul? (1:10-13)

    The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not a participation in the blood of Christ? The bread which we break, is it not a participation in the body of Christ? Because there is one bread, we who are many are one body, for we all partake of the one bread. (10:16-17)


cloudyday wrote:
Closet Catholic,

This seems to be an example of the same Bible verse meaning different things to different readers.

I could substitute words where it says: "What I mean is that each one you says, 'I belong to the Orthodox Church', or 'I belong to the Catholic Church', or 'I belong to the Methodist Church', or 'I belong to Christ.' Is Christ divided? Was the Orthodox Church crucified for you? Or were you baptized in the name of the Orthodox Church?

Thanks, I know the responses probably accurately reflect the Catholic Church's thinking (and probably also the Orthodox Church's thinking). I'm just trying to find a religion that works for me, and I'm beginning to see that Catholicism isn't what I'm looking for.
You should never, ever look for a religion that ‘works for you.’ It will inevitable result in you not seeking truth, but comfort.

My point is that the texts tell us that agreement upon doctrine is essential for communion.

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 Post subject: Re: communion in non-Catholic/non-Orthodox church
PostPosted: Mon Oct 24, 2011 2:55 pm 
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Closet Catholic wrote:
You should never, ever look for a religion that ‘works for you.’ It will inevitable result in you not seeking truth, but comfort.

My point is that the texts tell us that agreement upon doctrine is essential for communion.


Thanks, what you say explains church behaviour.

What I mean by a religion that "works for me" is a religion that "makes me a better person". That's partly selfish and partly selfless. If I could love my neighbour then my neighbour would benefit, but I would also benefit because I wouldn't be tortured by measuring myself against my neighbour. I could take joy in seeing my neighbour happy. That's all I care about, and that's the main reason I decided the Orthodox church doesn't work for me. It seemed that loving thy neighbour wasn't a high priority compared to "being Orthodox".


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