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English archbishop, ARCIC leader, foresees wider permission for shared Communion

Catholic World News - October 07, 2013

An English Catholic archbishop has suggested that the Vatican may be willing to allow wider latitude for sharing the Eucharist with members of other Christian denominations.

Archbishop Bernard Longley of Birmingham, the leading Catholic member of the Anglican/Roman Catholic International Commission (ARCIC), said that “I could imagine and foresee one of the fruits of our ecumenical engagement as moving towards a deeper understanding of communion and a deeper sharing, a deeper communion between our churches which perhaps would lead to reconsideration of some of the circumstances." He said that the standards for shared Communion, set forth in a 1993 ecumenical directory, could be updated. Archbishop Longley cautioned, however, that he “wouldn’t like to predict the rate or the pace of change.”

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  • Posted by: geoffreysmith1 - Oct. 08, 2013 7:35 AM ET USA

    "Archbishop Longley cautioned, however, that he “wouldn’t like to predict the rate or the pace of change.”" Neither would I. Longley may like to bet on a carthorse winning the Kentucky Derby, but I certainly wouldn't! Since most Anglicans do not believe in the Real Presence, it would be a blasphemy to allow them to receive communion in a Catholic church. Needless to say, no Catholic can ever be permitted to receive 'communion' at an Anglican service, for the same reason. No faith in John 6.

  • Posted by: impossible - Oct. 07, 2013 10:11 PM ET USA

    Scripture is clear that partaking of the Eucharist is among the highest signs of Christian unity: "Because there is one bread, we who are many are one body, for we all partake of the one bread" (1 Cor. 10:17). "For any one who eats and drinks without discerning the body eats and drinks judgment upon himself. That is why many of you are weak and ill, and some have died" (1 Cor. 11:29–30). No genuine Bible-believing Protestant would under the above circumstnces want to receive Holy Communion. 

  • Posted by: filioque - Oct. 07, 2013 7:07 PM ET USA

    Why is the good bishop even talking about this? If Anglicans want to receive Holy Communion in Catholic churches, all they have to do is assent to all essential elements of the Faith and become Catholics. Otherwise, why would they want to share Holy Communion? This only encourages seeing Holy Communion as a feel-good exercise. Go have a tea party if that's what you want.

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