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Lutheran delegation given Communion in St. Peter's basilica

January 21, 2016

A Lutheran delegation from Finland, which met with Pope Francis earlier this week, received Communion in St. Peter's basilica, although the priests celebrating Mass knew that the recipients were not Catholics, the National Catholic Register reports.

The members of the Finnish delegation crossed their arms to indicate that they would not receive the Eucharist, the Register reports. But the priests in the Vatican basilica ignored that gesture and administered the Eucharist. 

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  • Posted by: filioque - Jan. 23, 2016 2:02 PM ET USA

    jwa8230: Lutherans do not believe in the presence of Jesus Christ in the Eucharist in the same way as Catholics. For them it is a transient sign, not a permanent changing of the substance. That is a huge difference.

  • Posted by: k_cusick1963 - Jan. 22, 2016 9:05 AM ET USA

    This is a dangerous precedent, a stumbling block for true believers in the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist, and a Sacrilege to our Lord and Savior who was blasphemed in this misguided "act of unity". Pray for our separated brethren, pray for our misguided clergy. The Holy Eucharist remains the Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity of Jesus Christ. There is no value in forcing a "unity" that still does not exist. Pray that these misguided priests and their superiors will beg God's forgiveness.

  • Posted by: Faustina01 - Jan. 21, 2016 11:07 PM ET USA

    So in the name of unity, I suppose we may as well go anywhere to church....what's so special about the Church that Jesus began and we were to follow?????? Did they burn all the Catechism books at St. Peter's ???!!

  • Posted by: feedback - Jan. 21, 2016 10:24 PM ET USA

    Given all circumstances, this should have never happened at St. Peter's. The priests involved were abysmally ignorant of the Catholic Faith. The Lutherans knew better.

  • Posted by: james-w-anderson8230 - Jan. 21, 2016 7:26 PM ET USA

    I don't see any problem here. The Pope has already said that believing Lutherans believe in the real presence and can therefore receive the Eucharist.

  • Posted by: Foundas - Jan. 21, 2016 6:58 PM ET USA

    Wonder why Catholics do not believe in the true and divine presences? Anyone apparently can receive the Eucharist. The priests would not have given communion without the "higher ups" telling them to do so.

  • Posted by: filioque - Jan. 21, 2016 6:50 PM ET USA

    mhains8491, I am afraid that the Lutheran delegation was not so innocent. Why were they approaching in the first place, in any posture? And why did they accept Holy Communion? This is all a planned incursion to break down the practice of the Catholic Church.

  • Posted by: jalsardl5053 - Jan. 21, 2016 6:43 PM ET USA

    Keep pouring on the confusion and if you think these kind of "gestures" are going to bring people to the Church, guess again OR, better still, look at the track record of certain Protestant sects. What you are doing however is slowly but steadily undermining any confidence in you whatsoever.

  • Posted by: stpetric - Jan. 21, 2016 6:14 PM ET USA

    I assume a gesture like this was approved at a higher level, and it baffles me. I want to "think with the Church" but I am confused and discouraged. Where is the pope going with all this?

  • Posted by: mhains8491 - Jan. 21, 2016 6:00 PM ET USA

    It seems the Lutheran Delegation was more faithful to Catholic teaching than the Priests. Very sad.