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Communion in the Hand Debacle: Cardinal Sarah Weighs In

As Bishops finally begin to allow for public Masses, many of the Catholic faithful find themselves in a difficult situation, for now some bishops are demanding that reception of the Holy Eucharist be in the hand only.  This is a tragedy and a crisis of faith.

It should come as no surprise, however.  Remember this?Seven-in-ten U.S. Catholics believe bread, wine used in Communion are symbolic

According to this Pew Research Poll from last year, 69% of Catholics don’t believe in the Real Presence of Jesus in the Eucharist.  Therefore, most bishops will have no problem forcing Catholics to abandon it’s age-old tradition of receiving our Lord on the tongue all in the name of Sanitation.

But for the rest of us, those who have come to believe in the Church’s teaching and have come to understand her reasons for receiving on the tongue, this will be a heart-rending moment.  What to do?

For those who wish to be assured of their right to receive on the tongue–and you do have that right, regardless of what some bullying bishops may say–I will only direct you HERE where Fr. Z hashes it out once again.  Let me repeat, you have a right to receive the Eucharist on the tongue, regardless of what your bishops or priests may be saying.

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Enter Cardinal Sarah.  (Picture from Wikimedia Commons.)

And if Fr. Z isn’t enough for you, read Cardinal Sarah’s latest statement HERE.  As many of you know, Sarah is the Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments.  Let me put a few of his pointed remarks below:

“Nobody can prevent a priest from confessing and giving communion, nobody has the right to stop him. The sacrament must be respected. So even if it is not possible to attend Masses, the faithful can ask to be confessed and to receive Communion.”

“In Mass the priest has to look at God, instead he is getting used to looking at the camera, as if it were a show. We cannot go on like this.”

“There is already a rule in the Church and this must be respected: the faithful are free to receive Communion in the mouth or hand.”

“…the heart of the problem is the crisis of faith in the priesthood.”

In short, should you find yourself in this difficult situation wherein your bishops or priests are not allowing you to receive on the tongue, remember to be calm.  Likely these bishops and priests were not formed well in seminary after all, and heavy-handed bishops can make priests’ lives miserable for not obeying their worldly whims and fancies.

In any case, after asking the Holy Spirit for guidance, consider pointing your priest or bishop to Cardinal Sarah’s latest statement.  If he is still obstinate and refuses to give you Holy Communion on the tongue, remain steadfast and pray in your pew.  Don’t capitulate.  You will be vindicated at a later time, maybe in the next world.

5 thoughts on “Communion in the Hand Debacle: Cardinal Sarah Weighs In”

    1. Yes, it really is important. These are Universal Rights that no bishop has the authority to overrule, and yet some are. It will go unnoticed by many, however, because most Catholics receive in the hand. How I wish Catholics would wake up!

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      1. Hand or tongue none of us are truly worthy of what we are receiving. If only we all receive Jesus in the Eucharist with the most humble and reverent heart possible.

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  1. I wonder if the Eastern Rite is just as appalled that us Westerners commune with the Precious Body and Blood separately. They place their cubes of bread into the wine and “feed” it to the faithful with a spoon. The priest even welcomes you to the table by using your name. This is how I grew up. Since I’ve stopped going to the Ukrainian Catholic Church I’ve grown accustomed to receiving Communion in the hand. Perhaps you could explain for me why there is a major difference in how it’s received (hand vs tongue). If my body is the new tabernacle of God most High is not my hand as sanctified as my tongue? (At the same time, I do think it might be easier for people to steal hosts in their hands.) Thanks Kim! I love reading your posts. They challenge me and help me to think outside the box.

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