The Day BuzzFeed Actually Gave Good Advice About Receiving Communion


If BuzzFeed is any guide to where our culture is at, we’re in bad shape.

The website shamelessly seeks out as many clicks as possible by posting funny memes, cat pictures (lots of cat pictures) and important cultural contributions such as “22 Celebrities You Probably Didn’t Realize Were the Same Age” (not kidding).

On any given day, I would definitely recommend steering clear of the feed.

So that said, imagine my surprise when I stumbled across an article on BuzzFeed titled “Are You Holy Enough to Receive Communion?” that was actually, um, useful!

Sure, it’s meant to be sarcastic and, yes, mocking.

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One of the Buzzfeed article questions

But in her effort to poke some fun at the Church as rigid and rule-obsessed, the author (Ellie Hall, a graduate of Notre Dame) managed to include plenty of accurate information about what Catholics believe!

How? By doing her homework. She got her answers from,, takes time to explain some of the nuances of the church’s teaching on the death penalty (for instance), and even quotes the Catechism (!), Canon Law (!!) and St. Thomas Aquinas (!!!).

At the end of the article she just goes crazy with long quotations from Canon Law and the Catechism, including what Church teaching holds will happen to you if you intentionally receive Communion unworthily.

She even responds to the common question “What about freedom of conscience?” Aren’t I free to make up my own mind about things like abortion and same-sex marriage?” (short answer: no. but she quotes Catholic Answers to give a more complete answer.).

Here’s how Ellie ends her article “Just realize that you might need to head to Confession before going to Mass on Easter Sunday? Me too. Here are some happy Catholic GIFs.” (The GIFs are good.)

I can’t emphasize enough how strange/amazing it is to see this kind of material on BuzzFeed, of all places! 

With Easter coming up and plenty of our friends (and family) possibly planning to go to Mass for the first time in a long time (or all year) this might be something we can jokingly share on our Facebook page etc. as a way of very subtly reminding them that the Church has real standards for who can receive Communion and who cannot.

Okay, now I’ll give the link to the article, but BE WARNED, some of the content on BuzzFeed is offensive and unsuitable for some ages: “Are You Holy Enough to Receive Communion?

By the way, you might want to hop on Twitter and tell Ellie you appreciated her article. She apparently writes on BuzzFeed about Catholic-related topics with some frequency — here’s a few from the past month:

My takeaway here: evangelization can take unexpected forms!

The views expressed here are those of the author, and do not necessarily represent the views of


About Author


Thomas Peters, 31, grew up in Southern California and attended college in Michigan. He has two graduate degrees in theology. He began his award-winning American Papist blog in 2006, which went on to become one of the most popular Catholic blogs in America. He was one of a handful of Americans invited to the Vatican’s first-ever Bloggers’ Meeting in Rome. Peters has appeared in dozens of TV, radio and online media outlets over the years discussing the intersection of Catholicism and political activism, debating topics related to life, family and religious freedom, in addition to writing and speaking about the future of social media and online organizing. Since 2010, he has served as an advisor to He and his wife Natalie live in Washington DC. You can follow him on Twitter @AmericanPapist.

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