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Statement of Connecticut Bishops on Communion teaching

on Saturday, 01 January 2000. Posted in Church teachings, Sacraments

The April 16, 1999 issue of "The Catholic Observer" of Springfield, MA, published an article about the formal statement of the six Bishops of Connecticut on receiving Holy Communion. Moreover, the Vatican recently deplored that too many Catholics receive Holy Communion without first going to confession (One cannot receive Holy Communion if one has commited a mortal sin and did not confess it). Here are excerpts from this article:

Only those who "accept and believe what the Catholic Church teaches in general, and specifically about the Eucharist" can receive Communion in a Catholic church, they said.

Belief in the real presence of Christ in the Eucharistic bread and wine is essential. "This is a fundamental teaching of the Catholic Faith; anyone who does not believe this teaching may not receive Holy Communion," they said.

The Connecticut Bishops also reminded Catholics of their obligation to "go to confession frequently for the good of our souls" and to fast completely from food and drink, except water, for at least an hour before taking Communion... "It would be inconsistent and disrespectful to the Lord to eat a full meal or drink a significant quantity of alcoholic beverages before receiving Him," they added.

The Bishops also said that:

• Persons who have not yet been baptized should not receive Communion;

• No one who prefers the practice of receiving Communion on the tongue should be obliged to receive in the hand;

• When entering or leaving a church, Latin-rite Catholics should genuflect before the tabernacle.

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