Magazine article The Christian Century

Canterbury Objects to Vatican Eucharist Ban

Magazine article The Christian Century

Canterbury Objects to Vatican Eucharist Ban

Article excerpt

Archbishop of Canterbury George Carey and another senior bishop in the Church of England have branded as "hurtful and unhelpful" the Vatican ban which prevents Roman Catholics from taking communion in non-Catholic churches.

Carey and colleague David Hope, the archbishop of York, expressed their view in the foreword to "The Eucharist: Sacrament of Unity," a statement by the Church of England's House of Bishops. The text states that Anglicans find the ban on Catholics receiving Anglican communion, even in exceptional circumstances, "an ecumenical, theological and pastoral affront."

Anglicans and Protestants are also prevented, by Vatican rules, from officially receiving communion in Roman Catholic churches. Despite this ban, many Anglicans take communion in Catholic churches, particularly when visiting Catholic countries such as France and Italy, and even at the Vatican itself.

The document calls for a more flexible approach by the Vatican. Sharing of the Eucharist between Anglicans and Catholics should not be reserved for the "end point of unity between separated churches." It also states that as the two churches share the same beliefs about the presence of Christ in communion, Anglicans should not be excluded from receiving the Roman Eucharist.

At a March 21 press conference on the report, John Hind, the Anglican bishop of Europe, made clear his view that Catholics are welcome to receive Anglican communion if their consciences permit it. …

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