I work in a local Catholic long term care facility. We have had, over the
last several months, ecumenical prayer services in our chapel one
afternoon a month to accommodate our non-Catholic residents.
Ironically more of our Catholic residents attend than our non- Catholic
The director of our pastoral care department. Last week she scheduled
a protestant communion service officiated by a female presbyterian
minister in our chapel and intended it to be open to both Catholics and
non Catholics. After some controversy over this , some refused to take
Catholic residents to the service. One of our resident priests whom I
would classify as "moderate" expressed concern and did not himself
attend. Chapel services are broadcast on in-house t.v. network. The
director herself received the protestant communion. Was such a
service in a Catholic chapel inappropriate and why. Why should
Catholics not participate?
Ecumenical prayer services may be held in a Catholic chapel with the Bishop's permission, but a Protestant Communion Service is beyond the pale, particularly in a long-term care facility. It would be too easy for Catholic patients to suppose this form of celebration was approved by the Catholic Church, or that the "sacrament" received was the Body and Blood of Christ.
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