Are we priests canonically allowed to limit this practice [Communion under both kinds] to 2-3 times a year of our own authority? We are not taught in the seminary that we may make this decision. I understand what Fr. Z has presented here but while in the seminary we were essentially told this is a call for the ordinary to make, not the pastor. (“…as judged first of all by the diocesan Bishop.”) It is always horrific to witness the profanation of the Blessed Sacrament but what may a priest do without finding himself thrown under the bus? Fr. Z gives wonderful advice most of the time (alright, all of the time!) but in many cases if a pastor were to follow his advice he would find himself under the disciplinary thumb of the chancery.
Yes, my road is the hard road, long, steep and thorny.
Your point drags us back into the whole clouded area of the bishop being the “chief liturgist” in the diocese. I interpret that to mean that the bishop has the authority and responsibility of making sure liturgical law – as it stands – is being observed to the fullest extent in the diocese. Especially important is that the bishop intervene in matters of serious abuses. Redemptionis Sacramentum is especially helpful for a bishop in this regard.
And then we come to things that are open to legitimate choices. Options such as the orientation of the altar, choice of vestment styles, both species, the sign of peace, which penitential rite to say, whether to have the foot washing on Holy Thursday (NOT whether to choose women – NO!), etc.) are left to the prudential judgment of the priests.
Others interpret the bishop’s role to mean that the bishop has the authority to clarify and even establish which options are best suited to the diocese. This interpretation violates the principle of subsidiarity, held so dear by so many on the other side of the debating squad. According to this interpretation, the bishop can mandate whether white wine or red wine is to be used, whether birettas are to be worn or not, whether Mass is said facing the altar or against the people, whether blue-violet is acceptable during advent, and whether roses or daisies are permitted on the reredos or, quod Deus averruncet, huge ugly red mums.
Redemptionis Sacramentum unambiguously establishes that distribution of both species is to be disallowed whenever there is a danger of the Precious Blood being profaned.
I do not see anywhere that that judgment is reserved to the diocesan bishop. That is to say, RS doesn’t take the decision away from the priest saying the Mass.
A pastor (parish priest) can, prudently, determine that regular distribution of Holy Communion under both species is not acceptable. He can restrict it to infrequent occasions or not have it at all.
Depending on the diocese, this pastor could wind up experiencing increased scrutiny from the chancery for having exercised his duties as a pastor in accordance with RS.
Finally, a few years ago, His Mightiness The Extraordinary Ordinary Most Rev. Robert Morlino of Bishop of Madison dealt with this issue in a way that could be a model for other places. Take a look HERE.