(CEN) Canadian ”˜no’ to communion without baptism

The House of Bishops of the Anglican Church of Canada has rejected calls to permit those not baptized to be allowed to receive the “sacrament of the holy Eucharist.”

At the close of their April 11-15 meeting in Niagara Falls, Ontario the bishops reaffirmed the church’s canons and traditional practice stating only those baptized would be permitted to receive. “We do not see this as changing for the foreseeable future,” the bishops said.

The bishops’ debate follows a March 7 “Guest Reflection” published in Canada’s Anglican Journal by Dr. Gary Nicolosi who argued for a relaxation in the church’s Eucharistic discipline as a way of attracting more people to church.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Church of Canada, Anglican Provinces, Baptism, Eucharist, Sacramental Theology, Theology

11 comments on “(CEN) Canadian ”˜no’ to communion without baptism

  1. Cennydd13 says:

    As it should be, of course.

  2. NSHANDS says:

    I heartily agree.

  3. David Keller says:

    As has been pointed out before, there is a huge difference between open communion and communion of the un-baptised. That said, it is interesting that a group of Western Anglican bishops, so bent on approving SSB’s actually got this one (communion of the un-baptised) right.

  4. Chris Molter says:

    There’s just not a huge demand for reception of communion from the unbaptized.. and it generally isn’t a difficult thing to get baptized, so there isn’t much reason, even for the more extreme revisionist element, to overturn this tradition (at this point).

  5. SHSilverthorne+ says:

    Note, however, that parishes practising CWOB aren’t being told to cut it out. In this respect, the situation isn’t much different from SSBs. Even the very pro-gay New Westminster diocese in Canada permits SSBs in just a minority of parishes. Others are free to refuse, just as long as they don’t complain too much about those who do them.

    Partly, this is due to a simple lack of demand for SSBs and CWOB, meaning it’s not a big issue in most places. But more importantly it’s the everybody-do-what-is-right-in-your-own-eyes approach to theology which has taken over much of Western Anglicanism. I’ll use this gender-neutral liturgy over here, you do the 1549 BCP over there, the Buddhist monk/Episcopalian priest can just tinker with the baptismal formula in that parish across the street. By saying no to changing the canons, but not doing anything about those who disregard them, what are the bishops saying about theology and church order? Pick and choose as the Zeitgeist leads you.

    So, though I’m happy with this statement, I can’t see it as more than a pyrrhic victory.


  6. Jon says:

    Very thoughtful comment from Stephen just now.

  7. nwlayman says:

    Now will ECUSA proclaim something radical like no communion if in apostasy? Such as Muslipalians like Ann Redding? Still ECUSA in good standing. Still saying the Muslim creed. Deafening silence….

  8. Jon says:

    #7, the answer is no. If TEC bishops and priests can be apostate (e.g. Spong’s 12 Theses) and be the CELEBRANT at the altar, then they certainly aren’t about to restrict apostates from simply partaking.

    I’ll admit to thinking that restriction of the rank and file is probably going to far. Not that I don’t think the creeds don’t matter for laymen, of course they do! It’s just that the cure (empowering local priests to decide who has the right degree of orthodoxy in order to come to the altar) is worse than the disease.

    Better would be to have parishes begin a loving and firm adult ed campaign to teach parishioners the basic creedal faith, e.g. a class that goes through the Apostles or Nicene faith with a different line each week; and to couple that with sermons rooted in man’s deep entranched problem and in Christ’s mercy found on Calvary. Of course, that will only happen if bishops and priests believe in that, so don’t hold your breath…

  9. Lutheran-MS says:

    If you have a communion of the unbaptized, then it wouldn’t matter if you had a Budhist or whatever be at the altar to recite the words.

  10. nwlayman says:

    Has anyone else noticed that someone really *had* to be told this was a problem to begin with? Historically any layman could have given a quick answer to such a question. Nowadays there are places where clergy, even what passes for bishops, need to be reminded of the most basic truths. It’s easy to argue that there are places where the “laity” are so utterly uncatechized that they are ineligible to receive communion at all, even if baptized. The clerics who are so dull witted are with them. Here’s no possible talk of being “in communion” with people who shouldn’t be taking communion anywhere.

  11. MichaelA says:


    How many people actually want to take communion in ACoC churches anyway? I mean that in all seriousness – the church seems to be shrinking.