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A real-life Holy Communion dilemma

SIR – When is it appropriate for a non-Catholic to be admitted to Holy Communion? Some correspondents (Letter March 23), in their zeal for the Church’s rules, end up being stricter than the Church. I believe that we should not go beyond the prudent and pastorally sensitive provisions of the Directory on Ecumenism (it’s available for all to read on the website of the Holy See). But neither should we ignore those provisions. After all, when the Church makes special arrangements, those

arrangements are intended to benefit somebody. Aren’t they?

Jack and Jill had attended both their parish churches together every Sunday of their married lives, he Catholic, she Anglican. Jack had been following our course for lay ministers of Holy Communion before he became gravely ill. They had always respected the rules. But in the hospice, after Jack had made his confession and received the sacrament of the sick, it was time for Viaticum. Tell me now, dear reader, was I meant to offer the best and sweetest Gift to them both together, to their great contentment and holy joy? Was it right and fitting to do that? What do you think?

Fr Bob Eccles OP

Blackfriars, Cambridge

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