h/t Celtic Anglican.
Episcopal Church leaders bellow that "Everything is allowed if you are baptized!" But in the neurotic Episcopal game of "can you top this?", many clergy now assert that baptism is not a necessary precondition for receiving Holy Communion.
In a refreshing change of pace, two Episcopalian insiders have come out against this "open communion" schtick.
One is Bishop Christopher Epting, the Ecumenical Officer of the denomination. (Frankly, I've had some harsh things to say about his performance in other aspects of church life, but on this he's correct.) It is significant that a guy tasked with building interdenominational and interfaith relationships is taking this traditional position.
The other is Dr. Louis Weil, an influential worship authority in Episcopal seminaries who seems to have the ear of denominational leaders most of the time. Another significant and pleasantly surprising voice for the traditional position.
The Bible and Church tradition teach Christians to approach the sacrament reverently, penitently and in full awareness of its meaning. This is spelled out in I Corinthians 11:23-32. The Canon Law of the Episcopal Church is specific: "No unbaptized person shall be eligible to receive Holy Communion in this Church" (I.17.7).
"Open communion" (aka "communion of the un-baptized") is one of those stupid ideas by people who think that churches grow by throwing out their core values and central practices. "Golly gee, there are so many people who would join us if we just threw communion wafers at them like guitar picks at a concert." This is the same failed strategy around most Episcopal innovations - "If we just have gay bishops, then all the LGBT/secular/young/pick-your-niche-group folks will come flooding into our churches." And of course just the opposite goes on. The niche groups never come in and the existing members walk out.
And I could go on for days about the arrogance and duplicity of ignoring centuries of Christian faith and practice, not to mention a clear Canon of the denomination. But neurotic Episcopal "can you top this?" speaks for itself.
So I'm glad that Bp. Epting and Dr. Weil came out against communion of the un-baptized. The whole post is at Bp. Epting's blog.