26 September 2009

Can The Bishops Ban Communion On The Tongue?

Fr Z offered advice to a correspondent who was being hounded by her PP for genuflecting before Communion and receiving on the tongue. According to the CDW’s 2004 Redemptionis Sacramentum, it seems that communion on the tongue may not be prohibited. Is swine flu such a uniquely deadly disease that Bishops are entitled to ignore the instructions from Rome? In how many countries, and in how many dioceses in those countries has such a ban been introduced?

[90.] “The faithful should receive Communion kneeling or standing, as the Conference of Bishops will have determined”, with its acts having received the recognitio of the Apostolic See. “However, if they receive Communion standing, it is recommended that they give due reverence before the reception of the Sacrament, as set forth in the same norms”.
[91.] In distributing Holy Communion it is to be remembered that “sacred ministers may not deny the sacraments to those who seek them in a reasonable manner, are rightly disposed, and are not prohibited by law from receiving them”. Hence any baptized Catholic who is not prevented by law must be admitted to Holy Communion. Therefore, it is not licit to deny Holy Communion to any of Christ’s faithful solely on the grounds, for example, that the person wishes to receive the Eucharist kneeling or standing.
[92.] Although each of the faithful always has the right to receive Holy Communion on the tongue, at his choice, if any communicant should wish to receive the Sacrament in the hand, in areas where the Bishops’ Conference with the recognitio of the Apostolic See has given permission, the sacred host is to be administered to him or her. However, special care should be taken to ensure that the host is consumed by the communicant in the presence of the minister, so that no one goes away carrying the Eucharistic species in his hand. If there is a risk of profanation, then Holy Communion should not be given in the hand to the faithful.


Dorothy said...

The Bishop of Clifton has forbidden the sign of peace (I can live with that) and receiving Holy Communion on the tongue (which I find rather upsetting), presumably "for the duration", as I think they used to say in World War II.

I understand there has been an upsurge in cases of swine flu since the schools opened for the autumn term. In theory this could go on indefinitely.

JARay said...

I was distributing from the chalice the other day when one communicant approached with a Host and wanted to dip it in the chalice herself.
To my own surprise I found myself saying to her, "If you want intinction you must give me the Host, I will dip it and place it on your tongue. That is what the Church has ruled".
She did not demur but handed it over to me.