Can a non-Catholic friend of mine can go to a priest and receive the sacrament of reconciliation? I believe he’s been baptized but has never really practiced any faith.


Full Question

Can a non-Catholic friend of mine can go to a priest and receive the sacrament of reconciliation? I believe he’s been baptized but has never really practiced any faith.

Answer

The Code of Canon Lawmakes provision for this in only limited circumstances:

If the danger of death is present or if, in the judgment of the diocesan bishop or conference of bishops, some other grave necessity urges it, Catholic ministers administer [the sacraments of penance, Eucharist, and anointing of the sick] licitly also to other Christians not having full communion with the Catholic Church, who cannot approach a minister of their own community and who seek such on their own accord, provided that they manifest Catholic faith in respect to these sacraments and are properly disposed. (CIC 844 §4)

I recommend referring your friend to a local priest for further discussion.

 


Jim Blackburn