1. Standard memberNemesio
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    26 Jun '07 05:22
    What does the Church believe happens when, say, a Lutheran (knowingly) communes at a Roman
    Catholic liturgy? Let's assume that the Lutheran is doing so because of his belief of the philosophy
    of 'opened table.' That is, his motivation is not to disrespect the Church (although I realize that the
    Church would see his actions as such) but to follow his conscience. Assume, too, that he does so
    reverently, with a belief in the Real Presence and full participation at the Mass. (Assume the priest
    has no idea that he is Lutheran)

    Specifically, how does the Church view his actions? Is taking the Body of Christ a sin? Does the
    Sacrament have no or less efficacy?

    What of a Roman Catholic not in a state of grace (say one who uses contraception fully understanding
    and rejecting the Church's teachings)?

    Nemesio
  2. London
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    11 Jul '07 15:36
    Originally posted by Nemesio
    What does the Church believe happens when, say, a Lutheran (knowingly) communes at a Roman
    Catholic liturgy? Let's assume that the Lutheran is doing so because of his belief of the philosophy
    of 'opened table.' That is, his motivation is not to disrespect the Church (although I realize that the
    Church would see his actions as such) but to follow his con ...[text shortened]... ho uses contraception fully understanding
    and rejecting the Church's teachings)?

    Nemesio
    I fail to see how this person can say that he does not intend to disrespect the Church. It's a bit like a person who steals into a movie hall without tickets saying he does not intend to disregard the law and the authorities.

    Nevertheless, because the Eucharist remains the Body and Blood of Christ, it will always have some sacramental efficacy even when it is illicitly received.

    Is it a sin? "Following your conscience" is not a "Get Out of Jail Free" card when it comes to moral culpability - the person involved has the responsibility to develop a well-formed conscience in accord with the teachings of the Church. If the circumstances are grave enough, it wouldn't be a sin; but if it's done to "make a statement" then it seems to me that there is some sin involved. Would it be a mortal sin? Probably not with a single instance, but depends on the circumstances.

    As for the Catholic, if by "not in a state of grace" you mean someone in a state of mortal sin and without the required disposition then, yes, it would be sinful and receiving the Eucharist may actually do this person's soul more harm than good.
  3. Standard memberDoctorScribbles
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    11 Jul '07 15:39
    Originally posted by lucifershammer
    Would it be a mortal sin? Probably not with a single instance, but depends on the circumstances.
    LMAO! Probably not? You're saying that communing with the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ might actually doom your soul if you don't do it in accordance with the Catholic Church's regulations? The stuff you believe is really so pitiful.
  4. London
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    11 Jul '07 15:45
    Originally posted by DoctorScribbles
    LMAO! Probably not? You're saying that communing with the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ might actually doom your soul if you don't do it in accordance with the Catholic Church's regulations? The stuff you believe is really so pitiful.
    Value judgments and run-of-the-mill snarkiness aside, do you actually have a point or an argument here?

    Receiving the Eucharist when one is in a state of mortal sin (or as a mortally sinful act) can make things worse for one's soul, yes that is what I'm saying.
  5. tinyurl.com/ywohm
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    11 Jul '07 16:07
    Originally posted by lucifershammer
    I fail to see how this person can say that he does not intend to disrespect the Church. It's a bit like a person who steals into a movie hall without tickets saying he does not intend to disregard the law and the authorities.

    Nevertheless, because the Eucharist remains the Body and Blood of Christ, it will always have some sacramental efficacy even ...[text shortened]... and receiving the Eucharist may actually do this person's soul more harm than good.
    I'm curious about the theological, biblical background here. One thing that always annoyed me was the whole "...I'm not worthy to receive you, but only say the word and I shall be healed." At no time during the last supper did Jesus discuss worthiness or the circumstances under which someone could or should "take and eat." We know Judas received this first eucharist, and who knows who else was there also dining and receiving. It makes no sense to take a centurian's statement totally out of context and connect it to this communion. I can't be unworthy unless Jesus has defined worthiness and unworthiness. His willingness to dine with sinners seems to indicate that his standards don't match the official RCC stance. The belief that priests and bishops can (and must, I believe) receive eucharist at every mass regardless of their own soul's state just makes me wonder about the origins of these regulations.
  6. Standard memberDoctorScribbles
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    11 Jul '07 16:10
    Originally posted by pawnhandler
    The belief that priests and bishops can (and must, I believe) receive eucharist at every mass regardless of their own soul's state just makes me wonder about the origins of these regulations.
    Very interesting!
  7. tinyurl.com/ywohm
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    11 Jul '07 16:16
    Originally posted by DoctorScribbles
    [b]Very interesting![/b]
    I was stunned that you had never brought it up, in light of my impressions of you. Far be it for me to pour gasoline on a match ...
  8. London
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    11 Jul '07 16:22
    Originally posted by pawnhandler
    I'm curious about the theological, biblical background here. One thing that always annoyed me was the whole "...I'm not worthy to receive you, but only say the word and I shall be healed." At no time during the last supper did Jesus discuss worthiness or the circumstances under which someone could or should "take and eat." We know Judas received this ...[text shortened]... of their own soul's state just makes me wonder about the origins of these regulations.
    A little nitpick, but bishops and priests must receive the Eucharist only at masses where they're concelebrating (and not, for instance, masses where they're just part of the congregation). Of course, this means that they must be much more assiduous in caring for their own souls. Do you think there is a contradiction here?

    The "Lord, I am not worthy to receive you ..." line may not have direct Eucharistic significance in terms of the Biblical event when it was pronounced (actually, it is derived from the centurions comment), but it has long been a tradition of the Church to use those words prior to reception. It captures the sentiment rather nicely.

    Regarding discussions of worthiness at the Last Supper, you might want to look up Jn 13.11 (better still, just start with Jn 13 and read through to the end of Jn 16) - Jesus explicitly says that Judas is not "clean" and then effectively asks him to leave a few verses later. The fact that Jesus dined with sinners does not mean he accomodated sin ("Love the sinner, hate the sin"😉. There are plenty of instances where Jesus did not suffer unrepentant sinners or people not willing to accept Him on His terms and teachings, not theirs (e.g. Jn 6).

    That this understanding of worthiness to receive the Eucharist was how the early Church saw it is clear enough in Paul (Corinthians, I think, not sure).
  9. Standard memberDoctorScribbles
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    11 Jul '07 16:22
    Originally posted by pawnhandler
    I was stunned that you had never brought it up, in light of my impressions of you. Far be it for me to pour gasoline on a match ...
    Oh, if only I had known about that before now! I'm ignorant about the majority of Catholic doctrine. Whether that is a virtue or a vice remains an open question.
  10. London
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    11 Jul '07 16:23
    Originally posted by pawnhandler
    I was stunned that you had never brought it up, in light of my impressions of you.
    Unless your impression of Scribs was that he actually knows a fair bit of theology and philosophy, I don't see why you'd be stunned.
  11. Standard memberblakbuzzrd
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    11 Jul '07 18:31
    Originally posted by lucifershammer
    Nevertheless, because the Eucharist remains the Body and Blood of Christ, it will always have some sacramental efficacy even when it is illicitly received.
    I'm sure that is a great comfort to Protestants.
  12. Standard memberNemesio
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    11 Jul '07 18:35
    Originally posted by lucifershammer
    Receiving the Eucharist when one is in a state of mortal sin (or as a mortally sinful act) can make things worse for one's soul, yes that is what I'm saying.
    Is it safe to assume that you are representing a doctrinal position, not just your opinion?

    Let me elaborate. An ELCA Lutheran believes in 'opened table.' That is, s/he believes that anyone
    who wishes to commune -- one who feels of right mind and soul -- should be allowed to do so, no
    questions asked, that the genuine conscience of the individual is the sole arbiter of partaking.

    So, s/he would conclude that the Church has no authority to prevent a person from communing. Now,
    I realize that the Church disagrees with this, which is why I ask the question.

    Every single Sunday liturgy, there are literally thousands of American Roman Catholics who are in what
    the Church considers a 'state of mortal sin' as they are unapologetic users of contraception. So,
    every single Sunday liturgy, there are people who are violating the Church's explicit teaching. This
    is no secret; the Church is well aware of the situation but permits it to occur.

    This is why I ask about the Lutheran. It is the Church's contention that taking of the Body and Blood
    of Christ, His soul and divinity, can be of itself a sinful act and leave one's soul in an even worse state
    of grace than having not taken of it, right?

    Nemesio
  13. London
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    12 Jul '07 10:00
    Originally posted by Nemesio
    Is it safe to assume that you are representing a doctrinal position, not just your opinion?

    Let me elaborate. An ELCA Lutheran believes in 'opened table.' That is, s/he believes that anyone
    who wishes to commune -- one who feels of right mind and soul -- should be allowed to do so, no
    questions asked, that the genuine conscience of the individual is t ...[text shortened]... ne's soul in an even worse state
    of grace than having not taken of it, right?

    Nemesio
    So, s/he would conclude that the Church has no authority to prevent a person from communing.

    Does this person believe his/her 'open table' doctrine gives him/her unlimited licence to gatecrash any form of the Lord's Supper, anywhere?


    Regarding American RCs who use contraception, the Church does not automatically judge that they are in a state of mortal sin. Objectively what they are committing is grave sin, of course, but grave matter is only one of the elements of mortal sin. There may be a few who are actually in a state of mortal sin (not necessarily due to contraception - there are other equally or more grave sins as well), or there may not be.

    But yes, receiving the Eucharist in a state of mortal sin is, in itself, a possible mortal sin and would leave the person in a worse state of grace than before. This is a dogma of the Church and not my opinion (CCC 1385).

    Once again, I do not see why Scribs and yourself seem so surprised by this. For all the charges of being un-biblical laid at the RCC's door, this one is straight from St. Paul:

    "Whoever, therefore, eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of profaning the body and blood of the Lord. Let a man examine himself, and so eat of the bread and drink of the cup. For any one who eats and drinks without discerning the body eats and drinks judgment upon himself." (1 Cor. 11:27)

    And, if you read the five verses or so preceding this one, it's quite clear he's talking about the Lord's Supper.
  14. Standard memberblakbuzzrd
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    12 Jul '07 13:38
    Originally posted by lucifershammer
    [b]So, s/he would conclude that the Church has no authority to prevent a person from communing.

    Does this person believe his/her 'open table' doctrine gives him/her unlimited licence to gatecrash any form of the Lord's Supper, anywhere?


    Regarding American RCs who use contraception, the Church does not automatically judge that they are in a ...[text shortened]... verses or so preceding this one, it's quite clear he's talking about the Lord's Supper.[/b]
    Sure. He's talking about people who getting drunk and eating all of the food (the latter presumably precluding late-comers from participating). That's hardly the same thing as taking communion elsewhere with another group of believers.
  15. London
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    12 Jul '07 14:29
    Originally posted by blakbuzzrd
    Sure. He's talking about people who getting drunk and eating all of the food (the latter presumably precluding late-comers from participating). That's hardly the same thing as taking communion elsewhere with another group of believers.
    Actually, he talks about that immediately before, in v.18
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