On receiving communion

Recently a RCIA facilitator informed those who were baptised last Easter that he/she cannot receive the Holy Eucharist if his/her marriage was not solemnised in the Catholic Church.

Oct 12, 2019

Dear Editor,
Recently a RCIA facilitator informed those who were baptised last Easter that he/she cannot receive the Holy Eucharist if his/her marriage was not solemnised in the Catholic Church.

I would appreciate it if someone in authority can clarify the above situation/statement as mentioned by the facilitator.

Chris H.
Via Email

EDITOR’s NOTE:

In the first place this situation should never have occurred. The RCIA team has the responsibility to enquire of the state of marriage of an inquirer at the onset of the RCIA process.

1. Is this the first marriage of the non-Catholic?

2. If married to a non-Catholic, is this the Catholic spouse’s first marriage?

If the answer to 1 and 2 is ‘Yes’ and they have only been married civilly, then the RCIA team should refer the couple to the parish priest for the convalidation of the marriage before the non-Catholic spouse is admitted to receive the Sacraments of Initiation. Then the question of receiving Holy Communion will not arise. Otherwise, we have done grave injustice to the candidate who received the Sacraments of Initiation and later to inform that he/she cannot receive Holy Communion. If this has happened then do the needful by helping the individual concerned to convalidate the marriage as soon as possible according to the norms of Canon Law. (A Catholic who gets married in a non-Catholic ceremony without a dispensation from canonical form is not validly married under canon law.) Meanwhile, the Parish Priest can attend to the pastoral care of those concerned. -- By Msgr Leonard Lexson, Chairman Kuala Lumpur Archdiocese Liturgical Commission

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