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October 26, 2016
The Last Supper by Valentin de Boulogne, 1625-1626

It is an infallible teaching of the Catholic Church that the Eucharist is a sacrifice—in particular, the one sacrifice of Christ. The Council of Trent declared:

If any one saith, that, by the sacrifice of the mass, a blasphemy is cast upon the most holy sacrifice of Christ consummated on the cross; or, that it is thereby derogated from; let him be anathema (The Canons on the Sacrifice of the Mass, canon 4).    

The Catechism of...

September 9, 2016

Every so often, when I appear on Catholic Answers Live, a caller asks whether a non-Catholic may receive Communion at a Catholic parish or a Catholic take the “Lord’s Supper” at a non-Catholic church. My answer always begins with canon 844 of the Code of Canon Law.

That canon has five sections. The first says that “Catholic ministers may licitly administer the sacraments to Catholic members of the Christian faithfully only and, likewise, the latter may licitly...

September 21, 2015

I was glad I was sitting down when I read about the priest in a small town in Wisconsin. His parish just finished purchasing extensive land on which to construct a new church and other buildings. The congregation had been in a celebratory mood. In the Sunday bulletin he reported that “we truly ‘christened’ our new property . . . when we carried the Blessed Sacrament in procession there. As I broke up particles of the Sacred Host and scattered them over our 37 acres . . .”

Whoa, Nellie...

July 7, 2015

The apologists here at Catholic Answers often hear from inquirers who want to figure out how to solve personal dilemmas about the Catholic faith, Catholic discipline, or Catholic customs, especially those dilemmas involving non-Catholics, but are having difficulty finding a way to do it without causing unnecessary upset or offense to other people. They are rightly concerned to find means to address difficult issues in ways that respect individual feelings while not compromising their own...

April 15, 2015

There are usually a few Masses per year at which there can be expected to be a large number of non-Catholics present. Christmas and Easter Masses are popular with non-Catholics, mainly because they are visiting Catholic family and friends. Nuptial Masses, especially when one of the parties to be married is a non-Catholic Christian, will have large turnouts of non-Catholics (sometimes up to half the congregation). Non-Catholics can also be expected at Masses offered for other sacramental...