On Receiving Communion from Unworthy Priests

St. Nicodemus the Hagiorite 1749-1809

St. Isidoros of Pelusium often reproves unworthy Zosimos, by telling him: “Keep out of the divine altar lest at any time a stroke of lightning hit your head” (his Letter No. 570). Yet Christians ought to receive the divine Mysteries indiscriminately even from unworthy priests, since the unworthiness of the priests does not affect them just as the same Isidoros in some of his letters tells whose who were scandalized and refused to receive communion from lascivious Zosimos. As examples he cites Balaam and Caiaphas, who though unworthy prophesied, and Elijah, who received food by means of an unclean raven (I Kings 17:4-6) (The Rudder: Footnotes to the Five Holy Canons of St. Cyril of Alexandria)