There is perhaps no better demonstration of the crisis of authority in the Catholic Church than the percentage of a congregation who receive communion. The leaders of the church attempt to police communion. They say that those who are in a state of mortal sin (including, for example, the entertaining of impure thoughts) and those who stubbornly and obstinantly refuse to accept teachings of the Bishops that are part of the Magisterium (viewed as increasingly broad by the Bishops) should not receive communion. Given the percentage of Catholics who strongly disagree with the Bishops on a variety of important issues, one would expect a modest percentage of Catholics to receive communion. In the 1950’s when the overwhelming majority of Catholics agreed with church teachings, a sizeable percentage would not receive communion either because of a failure to fast or a belief that they were in a state of mortal sin. Today, very few Catholics do not receive communion.
Easter is a good example of this phenomenon. Most Catholics present are in a state of mortal sin because they have failed to regularly attend mass on Sundays; nonetheless they receive communion without going to confession. I am not sure they do this with a sense of guilt, but they are certainly not respecting the authority of the church.
In contrast, most Protestant churches engage in little or no policing of who should receive communion. The idea is that Jesus is inviting all (or all baptized) to come to the table including sinners and those of dwindling faith. Here is a prayer used at a recent Protestant service I attended. It is adapted from the Iona prayer book:
The table of bread and wine is now to be made ready
It is the table of the company of Jesus
and all who love him. ***
So come to this table,
you who have much faith
and you who would like to have more;
you who have been here often
and you who have not been for a long time;
you who have tried to follow Jesus,
and you who have failed;
It is Christ who invites us to meet him here.