Can Someone Be Denied Holy Communion?

Sometimes we can be tricked into thinking that the Holy Communion we receive at Mass every Sunday is somehow owed to us; that we have a right to receive it. However, the Eucharist, which is Jesus Christ’s own body and blood, is a divine gift bestowed upon us by our Heavenly Father. And because it’s a gift, the way we receive it and the state of our souls matter greatly to our relationship with God. Which begs the question: can someone be denied Holy Communion?

Today, Fr. Mike explains whether communion is a gift that can be taken away, and what that means for public figures who openly support practices against the Church, like abortion.

If you or someone you know has had an abortion and is seeking help and healing, visit for resources and guidance.

Meet Fr. Mike Schmitz

Fr. Mike Schmitz serves as Director of Youth and Young Adult Ministry for the Diocese of Duluth and as chaplain for the Newman Catholic Campus Ministry at the University of Minnesota-Duluth.

He is a presenter in Ascension’s ChosenAltaration, and The 99 programs, and has a channel on Ascension Presents. He is also the host of the Ascension podcasts The Bible in a Year and The Catechism in a Year.


  1. Father Mike,
    Overall I believe you did a good job discussing a difficult subject and turning the conversations to ourselves, our own houses. We can never know what is in someone else’s heart or whether they are confessing their sins.

    I have do have a query though…
    Where is the seat of the “Roman” Catholic Church? USCCB? Or the Vatican? USCCB continually defies Rome, whether on this subject or vaccines, or…
    I believe that there has been a dangerous shift in the Catholic Church in the United States. In your podcast you are appalled by a public figure who says “I defy the bishops…” Isn’t that exactly what the bishops are doing with the Vatican? Where is the Rock upon which Jesus built his church? I don’t think it is USCCB. Does this “American” church still believe in the Pope and that he is the Vicar of Christ? If so, then in defying the Pope or the Vatican aren’t they defying God?

    I would also like to say that I have never met anyone who is pro-abortion, they are pro-choice, including myself, and that it is a very important distinction. A person can “choose life” as well, but it is their choice. We always want to advocate for the sanctity of life, like getting vaccinated to protect our “brothers & sisters.”

    I have not taken communion in 45+ years, because “Lord, I am not worthy to receive you.” My pro-choice belief pretty much negates my existence as a worthy human being in the eyes of this church. No matter what type of person I am, the good I may do, none of it matters, because I believe it is not my choice to make for someone else. But please remember it is “Pro-Choice” NOT “Pro-abortion.” And people need to stop equating pro-choice with anti-life.
    I am so tired of the rhetoric.

  2. Right on, Father. Thank you for explaining why someone might be denied access to the Holy Sacrament. I also believe that God loves us and wants to forgive us more than we want to ask for it. I am not a Roman Catholic Christian, but I am so pleased to hear that your church and mine share so many basic truths from God’s Word.

  3. Fr. Mike, does this apply regardless of mortal sin? If someone publicly advocates murder (death penalty) would that require the same treatment? Would Bishops recommend the same in that case?


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