Why does our church believe in closed Communion? I have asked this question to family members and different priests and keep receiving different answers. I understand why someone who does not believe that Christ is the living Son of God cannot receive Communion, but why do they specifically have to be Coptic?
Holy Communion is very precious. It is not just a matter of being Coptic, but being in full agreement with our doctrine, i.e., baptized by immersion, chrismated and confirmed with the Holy Myron Oil, regularly practicing the Holy Mystery of Confession, and then approaching the holy body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ in the Eucharist. These Sacraments/Holy Mysteries must be administered by an ordained priest in the Coptic Orthodox faith—meaning that the priest also abides, practices, and teaches the full doctrine of the Church. Many people of other denominations have issues with one or more of these requirements. Thus, these individuals are not in full communion with our Church. We cannot take a piece of doctrine from here and a piece from there. The doctrine of the Church must be sound, complete, and untainted as Christ Himself and His disciples and apostles delivered it to us. We are also obligated to deliver the same beliefs and traditions to others, from generation to generation, and be very cautious of erroneous beliefs that could creep into the Church, as St. Paul taught us in 2 Timothy 4:1-5.