Why can’t Protestants receive communion at the Catholic Church?

Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 11:27-30

Therefore, whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of sinning against the body and blood of the Lord. A man ought to examine himself before he eats of the bread and drinks of the cup. For anyone who eats and drinks without recognizing the body of the Lord eats and drinks judgment on himself. That is why many among you are weak and sick, and a number of you have fallen asleep.

In his first apology (150AD ish), Justin Martyr wrote:

“We call this food Eucharist; and no one else is permitted to partake of it, except one who believes our teaching to be true…”

Since Protestants do not believe in the Real Presence of Jesus in the Eucharist as Catholics do, they do not discern or recognize that Jesus’ body is present under the appearance of bread and wine. We would therefore, according to Paul, be allowing them to eat and drink judgment upon themselves.

The intention is to avoid giving occasion for sin to our Protestant brothers and sisters, with whom we enjoy a spiritual communion in the Body of Christ, although imperfectly. Sometimes interpreted as close-minded and mean-spirited, we mean it as an act of love.

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