The Congregation for the Clergy’s 1997 “ON CERTAIN QUESTIONS REGARDING THE COLLABORATION OF THE NON-ORDAINED FAITHFUL IN THE SACRED MINISTRY OF PRIEST” [HERE] says that “the habitual use of extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion at Mass thus arbitrarily extending the concept of ‘a great number of the faithful'” is “to be avoided and eliminated.” This seems to go against the practice I’ve seen in most every church I’ve been too: the use of EMHCs at every Sunday Mass and often at weekday Masses. Is this against the law of the Church?
I think the questioner is onto something.
However, it would be a stretch to say that the ordinary use of extraordinary ministers is “against the law”.
In the rubrics (i.e., the “law”) the determination of the usefulness of EMHC’s is left to the priest to decide. That said, the the local bishop could issue a law restricting or delimiting their use.
Is it wrong to use EMHC’s at a daily Mass with 10 people, or a Sunday Mass with 150? Yes.
Is it against the law? No.
Meanwhile… I have a radical solution for the problem of who distributes Holy Communion. Why not just distribute hosts to everyone as they come into church? Then they can just give Communion to themselves! Right?
“But Father! But Father!”, you are surely fussing, “That’s not right! You can’t have people self-communicating! That… that eliminates the all important giving dimension, which Vatican II wants. But you hate Vatican II.”
True. You’ve got me there. Since we are all against self-communication, people can just turn to a neighbor in the pew and give her the host. See? All taken care of.