ASK FATHER: Can priests determine not to distribute Communion under both kinds?

From a priest (extracted from a comment)…

QUAERITUR:

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.

FacebookEmailPinterestGoogle GmailShare/Bookmark

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
This entry was posted in "How To..." - Practical Notes, ASK FATHER Question Box, Lighter fare, Liturgy Science Theatre 3000, Mail from priests, Our Catholic Identity, The Drill and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

34 Responses to ASK FATHER: Can priests determine not to distribute Communion under both kinds?

  1. TWF says:

    I lived in the Archdiocese of Vancouver for several years, and the distribution of Holy Communion varied considerably from parish to parish:
    -Host only while kneeling (yes in the Ordinary Form – even at the Cathedral at least half the faithful receive in this manner)
    -Host only while standing
    -Both forms
    It seems that recent Archbishops have left it 100% to the discretion of the local pastor. In the neighbouring Diocese of Nelson, however, every parish I’ve been to distributes under both forms and kneeling at the altar rail is unheard of…

  2. dominicop says:

    I’m totally on board with limiting Holy Communion under both kinds to more meaningful and theologically significant occasions, but given both this post and the previous one about spillage, I’m left wondering if there’s not another question here.

    Intinction has been offered as an alternative, and I employ this fairly often myself. But I have to wonder: Is the manner of our distributing the cup here part of the issue? I strikes me as telling that the Orthodox commenter on the last post seemed fairly horrified that the unordained should even be handling the vessels. Now of course intinction in the East works differently, but I guess what I’m curious about is the history of the “Anglican Method” wherein the minister never lets go of the chalice but the communicant simply tips the stem inward and the bowl outward. Obviously this works better if the communicant is kneeling, and there is a certain danger of spilling down one’s chin, but surely the kind of horror stories we’ve been recounting today are basically impossible. So I guess my question is, Where does the Anglican Method of receiving from the cup come from? Do we even know? At the time of the Council when Communion under both kinds was to be reintroduced was there a study done of this? Have alternative methods been adequately explored? Ultimately, is there a better way to do this, whenever we wind up doing it?

    [Intinction isn't really the the topic here.]

  3. TWF says:

    Personally, I strongly feel that intinction should be the only means of distributing Holy Communion under both forms. Unfortunately, many, both priests and laity alike, would scream bloody murder if we were to “deprive” the laity of the “privilege” of distributing the Chalice.

    [Intinction isn't really the the topic here.]

  4. Will D. says:

    It seems to me that distributing the Eucharist under both kinds should be done for the Mass of the Lord’s Supper on Holy Thursday, for the Easter Vigil, and for the Solemnity of Corpus Christi. I think it would make sense also when a group of children are making their First Holy Communion (and that only the priest should distribute Communion to them.)

    I’m not convinced it ought to be distributed under both kinds at every Mass every Sunday and weekday.

  5. mburn16 says:

    “Unfortunately, many, both priests and laity alike, would scream bloody murder if we were to “deprive” the laity of the “privilege” of distributing the Chalice.”

    I don’t think the privilege of distributing the chalice is as highly valued as the privilege of being able to receive the chalice. Indeed, this seems like one area where the idea of being “actively receptive” is valued highly among those with a…less traditionalist…liturgical persuasion.

    I don’t, actually, think there are too many people out there who believe they “need” to receive under both species for it to be valid – from watching the regular Sunday practice at my parish, the choice whether to receive the blood seems most highly correlated with the length of the line to do so. But people appreciate the fullness of being ABLE to receive both. To many, I suspect, limiting distribution only to the host has the appearance of doing the “bare minimum”.

    As I said in the last thread on this topic….I believe there is a view, frequently (but not entirely) unjustified, that those of the traditionalist persuasion believe lay participation should be limited to going to confession every weekend, giving the weekly tithe, and otherwise sitting quietly in the pew and praying the Rosary while the Priest conducts mass in an inaudible whisper of a funny tongue. Receiving greater support for more traditionalist practices – including instinction and a limitation on the chalice – is going to require a far better effort to combat such views.

  6. Augustine Thompson O.P. says:

    Salva reverentia, Pater, sed . . .

    To turn the bishop’s responsibility for the liturgy to the mere function of enforcing liturgical norms and rubrics printed in the books and legislation is itself a violation of subsidiarity. The bishop is a legislator in his own right, not merely a policeman for decisions reached in Roman dicasteries. Where the law gives freedom, a subordinate legislator may prudentially add to it or interpret it (but not abrogate it) as local circumstances allow. He should, of course, also favor freedom.

    The same principle applies to the parochial rector. He is no more a mere policeman than the bishop is. For his congregation, he may prudentially make decisions on local practice, always respecting universal and diocesan norms should those apply. But, again, he should favor freedom that has been granted or exists in the law.

    Perhaps I am wrong here, but I would be very interested in Ed Peter’s views on this first.

  7. L. says:

    “…if a pastor were to follow his advice he would find himself under the disciplinary thumb of the chancery.” In my diocese, “being under the disciplinary thumb” would be a mild reaction. In a manner like that described in the book “Goodbye, Good Men,” refractory Priests here are sent away for psychological testing or maybe for what’s described as “a rest” at a place where Priests with substance abuse problems or worse are sent. Counsel for our diocese (who is strangely involved in the day-to-day operation of our diocese) actually said to me, “We don’t disappear people.” But, they do.

    From what I can determine, there appear to be rules that govern when a Bishop can depose a pastor and when he can’t, when a pastor can appeal and when he can’t, but as a practical matter, what the Bishop wants, he gets, so Priests assert their rights at their peril.

  8. Joseph-Mary says:

    We have one priest at a neighboring parish that does not use extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion at his Mass (Novus Ordo) so the Precious Blood is not offered at his Mass. Also he usually omits the sign of peace which brings me a sigh of relief. This parish has kneelers in front so one has the choice of kneeling and receiving on the tongue (which I do) or standing and receiving in the hand. I am sure father would wish not to offer that latter option but he is appreciative of the other concessions. By the way, this is the young priest that offers the TLM on Sundays. He will offer the Novus Ordo during the week so can get by without EMHC and does not offer the Novus Ordo on the weekends with the little altar girls, pop music, etc. etc.
    Father’s Novus Ordo Mass is as reverent as they come, by the way.

  9. Tim Ferguson says:

    Fr. Augustine,

    You raise some good points, and certainly the bishop is a legislator, and not merely a middle manager; however, I’m not certain that his legislative ability reaches to issues – like the one at hand – of liturgical choices. Rome has clearly left certain liturgical matters to the Episcopal Conferences – but even there, requires a placet from the Holy See. Other matters, Rome has left to the parish priest; others to the priest celebrant. Offhand, I can’t think of any matters in the liturgical legislation that is given specifically to the diocesan bishop (nothing comes up in the IGMR).

    The liturgy is the Roman Rite, and as such, Rome has a determinative voice in the matter. What Rome has left to the prudential judgment of the priest celebrant, or the parish priest ought not be restricted by the diocesan bishop. I don’t think that does offense to his legislative authority.

  10. Priam1184 says:

    @mburn16 I don’t know if you can call me a ‘traditionalist’ since I have only been to one TLM in my life, at a hospital chapel in Lincoln Nebraska in 1997, but I have been to countless hundreds and into the thousands of Novus Ordo Masses. And it seems perfectly obvious to me from this vast (and continuing) experience of mine with the Novus Ordo Mass that the ONLY reason for the distribution of the Precious Blood at any parish I have ever attended is that it gives an excuse to have twice as many not so extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion traipsing up to the Altar and surrounding the priest on every Sunday and weekday Mass that they get the chance. That is not proper ‘lay participation’; it is merely the blurring of the line between the priest and the laity, the resulting confusion from which has done so much damage to the understanding of the Real Presence during our lifetimes.

    A better version of lay participation that you say you seek might be to properly prepare oneself and then to receive the Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity of our Lord with the respect and reverence due Him from consecrated hands. That is the greatest gift that we could possibly receive, and the greatest form of participation imaginable: to participate as such in the life of the Holy Trinity.

  11. Dr. Edward Peters says:

    I recognize mine fields when I see them, so I am avoiding for now weighing in on the question above. I make only an observation on the phrase ‘lest [a priest] be thrown under the bus’ for doing the right thing. Setting aside that I’m tired the image it conjurs up (btw, I knew two people who were run over by busses) let me just say this: if, Inquirer, it is your lot to be thrown under the bus for doing the right thing by Jesus and his Church, so be it. Your job is to be faithful and not give a, a, a second thought to whether you will be treated well, or badly, for doing it.

  12. jhayes says:

    Tim Ferguson, the GIRM allocates some decisions to Diocesan Bishops and others to Conferences of Bishops:

    387. The Diocesan Bishop, who is to be regarded as the High Priest of his flock, from whom the life in Christ of his faithful in some sense derives and upon whom it depends,[147] must promote, regulate, and be vigilant over the liturgical life in his diocese. It is to him that in this Instruction is entrusted the regulating of the discipline of concelebration (cf. nos. 202, 374) and the establishing of norms regarding the function of serving the Priest at the altar (cf. no. 107), the distribution of Holy Communion under both kinds (cf. no. 283), and the construction and ordering of churches (cf. no. 291). It is above all for him, moreover, to nourish the spirit of the Sacred Liturgy in the Priests, Deacons, and faithful.

    388. Those adaptations spoken of below that necessitate a wider degree of coordination are to be decided, in accord with the norm of law, in the Conference of Bishops.

    389. It is the competence, in the first place, of the Conferences of Bishops to prepare and approve an edition of this Roman Missal…

    390. It is for the Conferences of Bishops to formulate the adaptations indicated in this General Instruction and in the Order of Mass and, once their decisions have been accorded the recognitio of the Apostolic See, to introduce them into the Missal itself. They are such as these:

    • the gestures and bodily posture of the faithful (cf. no. 43);

    • the gestures of veneration toward the altar and the Book of the Gospels (cf. no. 273);

    • the texts of the chants at the Entrance, at the Presentation of the Gifts, and at Communion (cf. nos. 48, 74, 87);

    • the readings from Sacred Scripture to be used in special circumstances (cf. no. 362);

    • the form of the gesture of peace (cf. no. 82);

    • the manner of receiving Holy Communion (cf. nos. 160, 283);

    • the materials for the altar and sacred furnishings, especially the sacred vessels, and also the materials, form, and color of the liturgical vestments (cf. nos. 301, 326, 329, 339, 342-346).

    It shall be permissible for Directories or pastoral Instructions that the Conferences of Bishops judge useful to be included, with the prior recognitio of the Apostolic See, in the Roman Missal at an appropriate place.

  13. Vecchio di Londra says:

    Father, just reaching behind this issue (my own unimportant and probably minority opinion is that we should never have rescinded the wise practice of the previous centuries, as formally decreed by the Council of Trent) I picked up on your remarks about the difficulties involved in taking the path you have chosen.
    I shall pray at the Mass of the Seven Sorrows tomorrow that you may have a less steep and less thorny road: still long, Deo volente, but blessed and happy.* We gain so much from it, after all.
    *”longitudine dierum implebo illum et ostendam ei salutare meum”

  14. Uxixu says:

    When my work schedule permitted, I was attending a daily Novus Ordo where there was no Precious Blood for Communion and “only” in one kind for the laity (as if that should not be enough) and it’s kneeling and on the tongue as a rule. The sense of reverence is palpable. The only way it’s ever more reverent in this parish is the High Mass in the Extraordinary Form on Sundays.

  15. Grateful to be Catholic says:

    Several years ago a young priest from Chicago insisted to me that Communion under both kinds was actually required by Vatican II. I knew that wasn’t true and said so, pointing out that in the Archdiocese where I reside it is quite unusual, but I was not able to quote Sacrosanctum Consilium on the spot. I have to suppose that he had been taught this in the seminary. Perhaps not incidentally, the topic came up because he was complaining about how long it took to cleanse all the sacred vessels. More than one problem here, I fear, and an example of poor formation and catechesis.

  16. arickett says:

    A couple of years ago there was a directive to us in the UK requesting we offer communion under both kinds were possible. Up until then all masses were offered under one kind. The Bishop passed the request on the the parish Priests as a request noting that were possible was a request not a order.

    All Sunday masses have both kinds now week day masses do not

  17. Imrahil says:

    Short answer is, yes he can.

    I also believe the practice of distributing the Chalice a couple of times in a year, not more often, is preferrable (not at all in an EF context, for the time being), and should, perhaps, be reintroduced. (And that is though I personally like to receive the Precious Blood if it is there).

    However, I do not see so much risk of profanation – other than such easily preventible by the celebrant, and such that is only profanation due to the recipient’s soul status.

    So seems to think the questioner: for if there is profanation, then we don’t talk about “only thrice a year henceforward” but about “discontinue and ban altogether”.

  18. Imrahil says:

    So, our priest can

    a) change the practice (it’s in his right) or
    b) wait for a general change of Church (diocesan, etc.) policy – here the bishop does come into play -, and in the meantime, perhaps, be extra cautious, and tell people he had preferred it otherwise, but for the time being he leaves it as it is, although (that they don’t get ideas) he could change it.

    Both legitimate. If “thrice a year” is abstractly the better policy, something is to be said for a); but there is also something to be said to walk the softer of two legitimate paths, especially for those who, as probably most pastor will, have enough reasons for exhaustion in the good fight already.

  19. vetusta ecclesia says:

    In my rural parish in UK the chalice is available at all Sunday Masses, distributed by EMs (of which I am one). I usually function at the Saturday anticipation and less than 1/3 communicants take the chalice. I do not know why: aversion to EMs? lifetime habit? I should be interested in the experiences elsewhere.

  20. Athelstan says:

    “And it seems perfectly obvious to me from this vast (and continuing) experience of mine with the Novus Ordo Mass that the ONLY reason for the distribution of the Precious Blood at any parish I have ever attended is that it gives an excuse to have twice as many not so extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion traipsing up to the Altar and surrounding the priest on every Sunday and weekday Mass that they get the chance.”

    It’s been obvious to me for a long time that this is a major motivation for this practice.

    But there are dubious theological impulses at work – the idea that communicants are getting “more Jesus,” or to reduce the distinction between clergy and laity even more, for example.

  21. Titus says:

    There is a one-word solution to the profanation problem (albeit not to the liturgical-ministers problem): fistula.

    This business of passing chalices around is bonkers. There ought to be legislation adopted making communication via a fistula the norm for reception of the Precious Blood by the laity. It would be an innovation of sorts, but there would be, I think, far fewer spills. (And when you compare the chalices in use today to the two-handed flagons from the pre-Carolingian liturgy where universal reception under both kinds was more common, are they that similar?)

    Fr. Thompson writes, “To turn the bishop’s responsibility for the liturgy to the mere function of enforcing liturgical norms and rubrics printed in the books and legislation is itself a violation of subsidiarity. The bishop is a legislator in his own right, not merely a policeman for decisions reached in Roman dicasteries. Where the law gives freedom, a subordinate legislator may prudentially add to it or interpret it (but not abrogate it) as local circumstances allow. He should, of course, also favor freedom.”

    This is certainly true. But I think Fr. Z’s comment was directed at attempting to locate the line at which papal legislation stops. Where the universal law vests discretion in, say, a pastor or celebrating priest, the degree to which particular law can restrict that discretion may be limited. If the Pope says, “you may do A or B, as you choose,” and the bishop says “you may only do B,” he has altered the Pope’s command. That being said, applying this idea in practice requires resorting to interpretive norms, rules of construction, and similar legal tools. Since I am not well versed in the way those mechanisms work in canon law, I shan’t opine on the merits. But it is not unreasonable to think that there are at least some situations in which the creation of options by universal law acts as an implicit proscription of a particular law of prescription on the same topic.

  22. MikeCGannon says:

    INTINCTION. INTINCTION. INTINCTION. [Intinction isn't really the the topic here.]

    At all the Ordinary Form Masses at my parish, Holy Communion is distributed under both species…with the caveat that a) if you desire to receive the Precious Blood, you have to line up in front of one of the priests (which is not difficult, as our situation is two priests distributing Communion in front of the sanctuary, and two extraordinary ministers at the back of the church), and b) you will receive it via intinction, and on the tongue. If you want to receive in the hand, you simply indicate that the priest before before he dips the Sacred Body into the Precious Blood.

    This strikes me as an excellent system that allows for the faithful to receive under both species while ensuring that the Precious Blood is treated with due reverence and care. And of promoting receiving Holy Communion on the tongue.

  23. dans0622 says:

    In general, it seems to me that the diocesan bishop’s role is to make sure that liturgical law is faithfully observed because that law, as promulgated by the Holy See and Conference of Bishops, is so detailed these days that there is relatively little room for the bishop to institute his own norms. There are a few occasions for such legislation but it always has to be in accord with the higher law and if the higher law allows options to the priest celebrant, the lower legislator cannot remove them. As far as distribution of the Precious Blood–the paragraph from RS says the judgment is made “first of all, by the Diocesan Bishop.” So, any priest should see what his bishop’s judgment actually is. Obviously, he better give that judgment due consideration. But, at the end of the day, I do think the priest (pastor) could come to his own, contrary conclusion.
    If the bishop actually establishes norms on this issue (see GIRM # 283), the law clearly states that the norms are to be permissive in nature: “The Diocesan Bishop is also given the faculty to permit Communion under both kinds whenever it may seem appropriate to the priest to whom, as its own shepherd, a community has been entrusted, provided that the faithful have been well instructed…no danger of profanation…or…the rite’s becoming difficult because of the large number of participants or some other reason” (ibid).
    Dan

  24. madisoncanonist says:

    Canon 838 §3: “Within the limits of his competence, it pertains to the diocesan bishop in the Church entrusted to him to issue liturgical norms which bind everyone.” So there can be no doubt that the bishop can regulate the liturgy through diocese-wide norms, beyond the simple enforcement of universal liturgical law.

    What are the limits of his competence? Well, a few limits are:
    Canon 135 §2: “…A lower legislator cannot validly issue a law contrary to higher law.”
    Or if the bishop regulates the liturgy by executory norms instead of legislative norms, canon 33 §1: “General executory decrees…do not derogate from laws, and their prescripts which are contrary to laws lack all force.” and similarly, canon 34 §2 “The ordinances of instructions do not derogate from laws. If these ordinances cannot be reconciled with the prescripts of laws, they lack all force.”
    As someone has mentioned above, the GIRM specifically places certain liturgical matters within the competence of the diocesan bishop, but I do not see a reason why that list should be considered exhaustive.

    I conclude that as long as he neither prohibits what the universal liturgical law commands/allows, or commands/allows what the universal law prohibits, the diocesan bishop is within his competence. Sometimes that might mean that a bishop requires huge, ugly, red mums, which is bad. But other times it might mean that the bishop requires the altar to be arrayed in the Benedictine arrangement, which is good.

    I don’t think the argument from subsidiarity can be taken too far: in the first place, subsidiarity might *guide* the diocesan bishop’s use of his power to regulate the liturgy, but it would not circumscribe the power itself. Second, the principle of subsidiarity says that an issue should be addressed at the lowest *capable* level, but subsidiarity itself doesn’t tell you what level that might be in a given case.

  25. Widukind says:

    I knew of a priest, a canon lawyer, who said that there was a “moral” obligation for the
    pastor to provide for the reception of the Precious Blood at each and every Mass.

  26. Priam1184 says:

    After all of this rigamarole I would like to hear the answer to this question that I have never gotten a good answer for: what exactly is the great need for or desire to distribute the Precious Blood based on i.e. what exactly is the argument for distributing the Precious Blood, other than it doubles the number of not so extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion who get to go up on the altar?

  27. Tim Ferguson says:

    midwestcanonist makes some very good points. I think the whole area is something worthy of deeper study – precisely what is the bishop’s role and authority as “chief liturgist”?

    It seems that, since Trent, one of the major concerns, liturgically, of the Church is the avoidance of the proliferation of various and sundry diocesan “uses.” Hence, the restrictions placed on the diocesan bishop with regards to liturgical legislation. With the Conciliar reassessment of the sacramental dignity of the episcopate, perhaps we have moved beyond that post-Tridentine era. Yet, I think many concerns remain, particularly considering the mobility of the lay faithful in our modern era: when liturgical rules and regulations start varying from diocese to diocese, the faithful easily and often find themselves lost when they enter into a new church.

    For example, here in the ecclesiastical province of Portland, the faithful are instructed not to kneel after the Agnus Dei, unlike my home province of Detroit, where we kneel at that time. It was jarring (albeit only slightly) to have to make that rubrical change. I can only imagine how disconcerting it would be if slight changes like this were to be multiplied many times over. One of the strengths of liturgical worship is the manner in which it becomes second-nature, allowing the soul to be freed to focus on God.

  28. jhayes says:

    Priam1184, The USCCB established (with the recognitio of the Apostolic See) the “Norms For The Distribution And Reception Of Holy Communion Under Both Kinds In The Dioceses Of The United States Of America”

    an appreciation for reception of “the whole Christ” through one species should not diminish in any way the fuller sign value of reception of Holy Communion under both kinds. For just as Christ offered his whole self, body and blood, as a sacrifice for our sins, so too is our reception of his Body and Blood under both kinds an especially fitting participation in his memorial of eternal life….

    Holy Communion has a fuller form as a sign when it takes place under both kinds. For in this form the sign of the Eucharistic banquet is more clearly evident and clearer expression is given to the divine will by which the new and eternal Covenant is ratified in the Blood of the Lord, as also the connection between the Eucharistic banquet and the eschatological banquet in the Kingdom of the Father….

    21. The extension of the faculty for the distribution of Holy Communion under both kinds does not represent a change in the Church’s immemorial beliefs concerning the Holy Eucharist. Rather, today the Church finds it salutary to restore a practice, when appropriate, that for various reasons was not opportune when the Council of Trent was convened in 1545.32 But with the passing of time, and under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, the reform of the Second Vatican Council has resulted in the restoration of a practice by which the faithful are again able to experience “a fuller sign of the Eucharistic banquet.”

    HERE

    That same document also explains that the Diocesan Bishop can set a uniform policy for his diocese or leave it to the judgement of each pastor of a parish.

  29. dans0622 says:

    Tim Ferguson and madisoncanonist: yes, that is a good topic for deeper reflection. But, for this topic in particular, given what is said in GIRM 283, it seems the bishop’s latitude is narrow: he can permit pastors to decide when to allow Communion under both kinds (in addition to those occasions at which this is permitted in the universal law). Or, he can decide to not permit it. Since he is only “given the faculty to permit” the pastor to decide, he cannot force the parish pastor to administer Communion under both kinds, can he? Or, is there some other norm I am overlooking?
    Dan

  30. St. Rafael says:

    GIRM 283 also states that
    “…The Diocesan Bishop may establish norms for Communion under both kinds for his own diocese, which are also to be observed in churches of religious and at celebrations with small groups.”

    While a Diocesan bishop may establish norms for Communion under both kinds, he doesn’t have to. He is perfectly free to decide that he will not establish any norms for Communion under both kinds. A bishop therefore has the right to legislate only Communion under one kind for the entire diocese. The norm of the law would be followed and there would be no indults or norms set up for Communion under both species. A bishop can permit an indult, but he cannot force an indult. Indults by their very nature, are only permissions to do what is contrary to the law.

  31. jhayes says:

    dans0622, the USCCB Norms referenced in GIRM 283 say:

    24. The General Instruction then indicates that the Diocesan Bishop may lay down norms for the distribution of Communion under both kinds for his own diocese, which must be observed. . . . The Diocesan Bishop also has the faculty to allow Communion under both kinds, whenever it seems appropriate to the Priest to whom charge of a given community has been entrusted as [its] own pastor, provided that the faithful have been well instructed and there is no danger of the profanation of the Sacrament or that the rite would be difficult to carry out on account of the number of participants or for some other reason.

    Seems to say that the bishop can require or forbid both forms in all churches or he can leave the decision to pastors (not individual priests).

  32. dans0622 says:

    jhayes: I would read that to mean that the bishop can have norms saying “When you distribute Communion under both kinds, do it like this…..” and, related to that but distinct from it, norms which say “Communion may be distributed under both kinds on these occasions, if the pastor thinks it is appropriate.”
    Dan

  33. James Joseph says:

    Why I Never Headed for Seminary. – Reason #512342

    If called into a chancery and given a li’l fuss, I would have likely made myself very unwelcome apologizing that I must be interrupting date night.

  34. MustangSally says:

    As a simple layperson, I state 2 reasons I believe this practice is, well, not such a good idea (except for special occasions, once in a while).

    1. It causes confusion about transubstantiation. You would think a church full of Catholics would be united in their understanding of the faith. Yet errors creep in, or even superstitions, about “half of Jesus,” “the blood helps a woman conceive,” “the host is all of Jesus but the blood is only half of him,” “We have to drink the blood or we would be Protestants,” “You cannot take the blood only (untrue).” ETC. Note INTINCTION causes this same sort of misunderstandings. However, a good priest will not let these ideas fester.

    2. We have a parish of about 100 active people. About 50 of them are “Ministers of the Cup”! There is no task too trivial for the Chalice not to be grabbed by someone and carried off somewhere. Same true of the Pyx. It’s out of control and many in these roles have never been trained.