Monday, February 26, 2007

Holy Communion for protestants

Christ is for all not an exclusive few

I read with interest the report “Update - Protestants cannot receive Holy Communion”(Herald February 11).

Of late in many of our Churches there are announcements and LCD projections reminding the congregation that Holy Communion is reserved only for baptized and practicing Catholics. This to me this is very disturbing and misleading.

Who is a practicing catholic – one who observes strictly all the rituals of the Church or one who genuinely carries Jesus into his daily living?

This action of our modern Church poses one important question in the minds of many liberal thinking Catholics – Is Christ for all or is He reserved for an exclusive few?

Yes, Holy Communion is not a trivial matter and the Eucharist is not to be toyed with, but denying our separated brethren the Eucharist because of their dispute with Catholics is definitely tantamount to revenge especially when this dispute is as ancient as the Church itself. If this is not a spiteful policy then what is it?

The practice of excluding some people from Communion may be Biblically based, and it reflects the mind and heart of the early Church, as they were taught by the Apostles. It would morally wrong on our part to carry the ancient animosity created by our ancestors onto the present generation of Christians who had no part in that ancient dispute.

None will deny that there must be conditions for receiving Christ in Holy Communion. It should be based on the condition of the heart of the receiver and not rituals he performs or group to which he belongs. The fundamental requisite should be faith and a sincere eagerness to welcome Christ into his life.

In a world torn apart by hate and revenge, Christ should an instrument of unity and peace among not only Christians of the various denominations but of the whole human race.

Christ belongs to all, including sinners, not to just a chosen few. He is not the founder of an exclusive club called Christianity or to be more specific Catholicism. Let’s not confine him to this club by imposing man-made rules and rituals. As his faithful we have a far greater obligation, to bring His love to all mankind.

Dr.Chris Anthony

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