From a reader…
Last week I saw one of our parishioners take the host back to his pew. I mentioned this to the visiting priest after Mass and he said to talk directly to the person involved — but he’d left before the final blessing.
I was so disturbed I left a note for our regular priest under his door, but found out later he’s away on annual leave.
This week he did it again with the same visiting priest. I’d done a spot of reading through the week, so I went and sat next to him and said (quietly) that he should eat the host before the priest. He said that he had a medical condition that prevented that (no saliva). [So, he is not taking it to a sick person.]
After Mass, he came up and was obviously disturbed (and probably offended) and proceeded to aggressively argue his point.
I’ll obviously try and see our regular priest when he gets back, but it’s left me perturbed — especially as he was personally aggressive.
Was I right or wrong? Maybe I should have seen him before Mass?
You were not wrong to talk to the man. Alas, the priest was a visitor who wasn’t able to follow up on this and your parish priest is away. That creates a bit of an awkward situation.
It is too bad that he has to bear the cross of this medical condition, but that condition doesn’t authorize him to do as he pleases with Hosts from Mass. The bottom line is that the fellow should not have, should not and should never take home a Host from Mass. If he has some problem swallowing, then he should see the priest before Mass and find out if there is a way to receive the Precious Blood instead of a Host.
But he cannot take Hosts like that. That’s just plain wrong.
This is something that the priest at the parish, even if he is not the pastor, should help with.