Why Can’t Protestants Take Communion in a Catholic Church?

Q. Why can’t Protestants receive communion at the Catholic Church?

A. To protect them from Judgment.

1 Corinthians 11: 27 Therefore, whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be
guilty of sinning against the body and blood of the Lord.
28 A man ought to examine himself before he eats of the bread and drinks of the cup. 29 For anyone who eats and drinks without recognizing the body of the Lord eats and drinks judgment on himself. 30 That is why many among you are weak and sick, and a number of you have fallen asleep.

Since, Protestants do not believe in the Real Presence of Jesus in the Eucharist as we do, they do not discern or recognize that Jesus’ body is present under the appearance of bread and wine. We would be allowing them to eat and drink judgment upon themselves. The prohibition is actually very charitable but, unfortunately, it is usually seen as a rejection.

Evidence of this interpretation of this passage is supported by St. Justin the Martyr :

“We call this food Eucharist; and no one else is permitted to partake of it, except one who believes our teaching to be true…”
-Justin Martyr –FIRST APOLOGY, 66,20–(150 A.D.)

Q. Why do we call the bread “The Host”?

A. Our use of this term, to refer to the consecrated bread, comes from the Latin word hostia, which means ‘victim’. We believe that Jesus Christ is really present in the consecrated bread and wine on our altars. The mass is a re-presentation of the sacrificial death of Jesus on the cross. Therefore, Jesus is the victim of sacrifice and we call the bread the host/victim to help us remember that it is no longer bread but the Real Presence of our Lord Jesus Christ given to us to strengthen and keep us on the journey to Heaven.

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5 Responses

  1. Dear bfhu and whosoever may be concerned,

    Paul was speaking to Christians in 1 Corinthians 11 when he said those things. He was condemning them for not treating one another in a loving fashion while they were claiming to be observing the Lord’s Supper, which supper is also a representation of the entire church being “one bread and one body (Not literally one body, but all of us are one in Christ)” as we are the “body of Christ.” Therefore, when Paul says that they were not discerning the body of Christ, he was not referring to their failure to recognize that the bread was the body of Christ; rather he was condemning them for not recognizing one another as the body of Christ.

    They were claiming to love God for offering His only begotten Son and Christ Jesus for laying down His life for them, but they were not loving one another who are the body of Christ! He was not saying that Protestants and others who do not recognize that your Eucharist is literally the body of Christ will be eating and drinking damnation to themselves for the “error” if they partake of your mass.

    Much more could be said. Thank you for your time and may God bless your continued search for His truth.



  2. Dear Joseph,
    I know that, that is the Protestant interpretation. We take it more literally.

  3. Because of the nature of what it is conceived to be, I wouldn’t want to participate in the mass anyway. “Wherefore whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink this cup of the Lord, unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord.” (1Cor. 11v27) I always took this to mean that I should not partipate in a communion service, if there is unconfessed sin in my life, given that the Lord suffered, died and rose again that I might avail in that once for all sacrifice for sin. Therefore “let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup.” (Verse 28)

    Nowhere in scripture is the word “host” mentioned in this context. Scripture surely is final authority – not the words and decarations of men.

    • “Because of the nature of what it is conceived to be, I wouldn’t want to participate in the mass anyway.”

      What does that even mean?

  4. Dear Ready,
    Yes, that is the interpretation most often given for the meaning in Protestant churches. Do you see how much is interpretation? It doesn’t actually say that. But, since all Protestants read through passages of scripture in church, and possibly on their own at home this verse must be given an interpretation to allay any questions or fears that the Bible might be saying the same thing as the Catholic Church.

    The word “host” means victim. “Victim” is in the Bible:

    Acts 7:42 “But God (A)turned away and delivered them up to serve the host of heaven; as it is written in the book of the prophets, ‘(B)IT WAS NOT TO ME THAT YOU OFFERED VICTIMS AND SACRIFICES (C)FORTY YEARS IN THE WILDERNESS, WAS IT, O HOUSE OF ISRAEL?

    In English the Hebrew or Greek word translated into English is often translated as “sacrifice”. Here is a link to the Latin and the verses in which ‘hostia” occur (12 times).

    Hostia in Latin Translation

    However, are you aware that the words Trinity and Incarnation are not found in scripture either. Of course, the concepts are found there.

    Are you aware that there is nowhere in scripture that says all truth is found in scripture alone? Martin Luther made that up a mere 500 years ago.

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