Magazine article Anglican Journal

No Eucharist before Baptism, Bishops Say

Magazine article Anglican Journal

No Eucharist before Baptism, Bishops Say

Article excerpt

The House of Bishops of the Anglican Church of Canada has unanimously reaffirmed that the sacrament of the Holy Eucharist is to be given only to those baptized in the Christian faith. "We do not see this as changing for the foreseeable future," the bishops said in a statement released following their recent meeting in Niagara Falls, Ont.

The affirmation came out of a discussion led by Bishop James Cowan of British Columbia, on the concept of the "open table," in which Holy Communion is made available to everyone who wishes to participate, whether baptized or not.

In their statement, the bishops said they recognize that open table is being practised in some parts of Canada and that the practice "arises out of a deep concern to express Christian hospitality." According to the release, "the bishops will dismiss and offer guidance to the church on Christian hospitality and mission and how these relate to the Table of Christ" at their fall meeting in November.

To those who protested the Apr. 15 statement--charging that the bishops may be slamming the door on people who want to come to the table and from there into the church--Archbishop Fred Hiltz, primate of the Anglican Church of Canada, defended the bishops unanimous vote. …

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