From Aleteia’s Portuguese edition:
It happened on Sunday at Mass in the parish of Ginasio Moderno in Colombian Colombia (8 October). The faithful who participated in the Eucharist faced the vocalist of the U2 band, who had previously performed in Bogotá on the Joshua Tree tour in 2017. Despite the tense schedule, the singer found time for the Eucharist.
According to the parish’s faithful, Bono appeared at a Mass in the company of several of his crew. He took a seat at the back of the church, prayed in silence, and then attended the Eucharist and accepted the Communion. He behaved like any other normal parishioner attending a Sunday Mass.
But after Communion, it was difficult for him to remain anonymous. Everyone wanted to take a photo of him, and he patiently talked to all the people interested. Then, as he came, he left the church – quietly and without a flash. It was as if his only desire was to meet the living and the present God.
One report questions whether or not Bono made a mistake, since he’s known to be Christian, but not Catholic.
Catholic teaching on reception of the Eucharist, however, leaves some latitude:
There are five conditions set down in canon law by which a baptized Christian who is not Roman Catholic can receive with us. Like all church law these conditions are meant to be interpreted through the lens of charity.
Two of these conditions are that the person first must share our Catholic faith in the meaning of the Eucharist, and they must lack normal access to a minister of their own faith tradition. Think of the widow of a Catholic at his funeral, or a devout lady who is gravely ill in a nursing home whose minister never visits, the prisoner isolated from the church community, or a soldier who worships at Mass with his or her comrades on the eve of a dangerous mission. In each case the canonical provisions suggest that the desire to receive sometimes trumps our Catholics-only policy.
Canon law states:
Catholic ministers administer the sacraments of penance, Eucharist, and anointing of the sick licitly to members of Eastern Churches which do not have full communion with the Catholic Church if they seek such on their own accord and are properly disposed. This is also valid for members of other Churches which in the judgment of the Apostolic See are in the same condition in regard to the sacraments as these Eastern Churches
If the danger of death is present or if, in the judgment of the diocesan bishop or conference of bishops, some other grave necessity urges it, Catholic ministers administer these same sacraments licitly also to other Christians not having full communion with the Catholic Church, who cannot approach a minister of their own community and who seek such on their own accord, provided that they manifest Catholic faith in respect to these sacraments and are properly disposed.
It may be worth noting here that St. John Paul himself gave Holy Communion to Tony Blair before he became Catholic; and Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger famously gave Communion to the Lutheran Brother Roger of Taize at John Paul’s funeral.
Since you are here…
…we’d like to have one more word with you. We are excited to report that Aleteia’s readership is growing at a rapid rate, world-wide! Our team proves its mission every day by providing high-quality content that informs and inspires a Christian life. But quality journalism has a cost and it’s more than ads can cover. We want our articles to be accessible to everyone, free of charge, but we need your help. To continue our efforts to nourish and inspire our Catholic family, your support is invaluable. Become an Aleteia Patron today for as little as $3 a month. May we count on you?