Our priest was approached by a woman who challenged him with this question. “Why can’t a non-Catholic take communion in the Catholic Church? And why can’t a Catholic take communion in a Lutheran or protestant church?” The priest said, “Let me ask you this; what do you do with the leftovers of communion?” She said, “Well, we put it (the wafers) back into the little zip baggie and put it back into the cupboard, or we take the homemade bread home and eat it with lunch.” The priest said, “We as Catholics would gasp at that. We put what hosts are left from Communion in a Tabernacle because we believe it IS the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus.” She said to him, “But we believe that Jesus is with the bread too. Aren’t they the same?” He said, “We don’t believe it’s a symbol or that Jesus is under the bread, we believe that the bread has turned into Jesus and is no longer bread anymore.” He also said that if a non-Catholic is not in union with the beliefs of the Catholic Church, then they should not partake of the comm-union of the Catholic Church. The same is true with a Catholic taking communion in a protestant church. A Catholic doesn’t believe the same as a protestant and is not in union with that church so they should not partake in their communion. In leaving, the woman said to him, I guess I never thought of it that way.
I spoke with another priest who told me that some protestants had visited his Cathedral and had a church service in their rooms while they stayed. After they had left, the priests had found their “blessed bread” in the garbage. You would never find that in the Catholic Church because we don’t throw away Jesus, we adore and honor Him. (see below photos)
Therefore whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord unworthily will have to answer for the body and blood of the Lord. A person should examine himself, and so eat the bread and drink the cup. For anyone who eats and drinks without discerning the body, eats and drinks judgment on himself. 1 Corinthians 11:27-29
This would not be true if it was just a symbol or if Jesus was with the bread. This is only true if the Eucharist/Holy Communion actually IS the Body of Jesus and not bread anymore. A miracle occurs each time we are at Mass; the bread and wine become the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ. This is why we call the Eucharist, The Blessed Sacrament.
So to tell someone who is non-Catholic that they can’t receive communion in the Catholic Church is not being snobbish, it’s to help them understand that Jesus truly is present in the Eucharist and you need to understand that and be in union with the Catholic Church to receive. We certainly don’t want someone to drink and eat Judgment upon themselves.
Photo credits: Pinterest, Catholic Answers Forums