Communion under both kinds: Bp. Morlino explains the situation to his priests.

You have by now read that His Excellency Most Rev. Robert Morlino, intrepid Bishop of Madison, helped the priests of that diocese to understand that the indult distribution of Holy Communion under both kinds upon a wide variety of occasions has expired.  As a matter of fact, it expired a few years ago.  As a result the rector/pastor of the cathedral parish in Madison explained in his parish’s bulletin that distribution under both kinds would conform to present law.  In other words, it would be a lot rarer.  A similar series of events occurred in the Diocese of Phoenix under Bp. Olmsted.

What the expiration of the indult for more opportunities for Communion under both kinds means is that the directives for same are now the General Instruction of the Roman Missal and Redemptionis Sacramentum and whatever law the local bishop establishes.

But let’s be clear about something.  Communion under both kinds is still permitted, but on on fewer occasions.  It is not being forbidden in the Diocese of Madison or the Diocese of Phoenix where similar measures are being followed.  It is just that the law is now being followed.

In some corners people are having a nutty over this, even claiming that these troglodyte bishops, who clearly are trying to repress the laity and destroy all the obvious fruits of Vatican II, are denying people their right to Communion under both kinds.  Hate-mongers!  Reactionaries!  Throw-backs!


I find it exceedingly ironic that when priests implement, for example, Summorum Pontificum in their parishes liberals start hollering “The bishop is the moderator of the liturgy in the diocese! The bishop gets to decide!  The bishop!  [sputter]  The BISHOP!”  But now when bishops act as moderators of the liturgy in their dioceses in the matter of Communion under both kinds liberals start squawking, “The bishop has no right to do this!”

Bp. Morlino has issued a more extensive explanation of what will now be the practice in the Diocese of Madison in a pdf available on the site of the diocese, here.  The bishop lays out in simple terms even those locked into spittle-flecked high dudgeon can understand the whys and wherefores of his particular legislation.

If I read him correctly, I think his main concern is that people are not in fact benefiting from Communion under both kinds in the way Vatican II envisioned. There has been danger of profanation of the Eucharist and a blurring of the roles of clerics and laity.  Therefore, measures must be taken.  Were those aspects of Catholic life in good shape, then he wouldn’t be doing this.  But they are not, so he has to do something about it.

Here is part of Bp. Morlino’s explanation.  Keep in mind that this is a communication addressed to the priests of the Diocese of Madison which he has also made public.  Therefore, the priests are the principle addressees and all others are being allowed in for a listen.  We jump into this in media res and with my emphases and comments:

Now, with the issuance of the Roman Missal, the Church gets more specific in matters such as these (thus the General Instruction which we are presently using as our guide). [Not the old GIRM, but the present GIRM.] The Missal goes further than the Vatican II document, [SC 55 mentions some occasions in which Communion under both kinds could be distributed, namely, to newly professed in the Mass of their religious profession, and to the newly baptized in the Mass which follows their baptism.  Those who think Vatican II was the be-all-and-end-all of the Church’s journey might consider that SC 55 isn’t terribly expansive.] instructing that the Chrism Mass and Corpus Christi would be good occasions for distributing Communion under both species, as might be the distribution to wedding couples at their marriage, to children receiving their First Communion, to Confirmation candidates at their Confirmation, to consecrated religious at their conventual Mass, to women and men on retreat, and to deacons and seminarians at any Mass.  The document also allows the pastor to choose certain other days, such as the patronal feast of the parish, to distribute under both forms, so long as the reasons are good and so long as all other conditions are met. [If you are going to have Communion under both kinds, these seem to be the moments to have it.  But, remember, the possibility of having it, doesn’t mean it is obligatory.] But it does warn pastors:

“In practice, the need to avoid obscuring the role of the Priest and the Deacon as the

ordinary ministers of Holy Communion by an excessive use of extraordinary ministers might in some circumstances constitute a reason either for limiting the distribution of Holy Communion under both species…(Norms, 24)”  [Do I hear an “Amen!”?  While some might want to argue that Communion under both kinds is a good in itself, there are other factors to consider as well, other goods to be upheld.]

The Third Edition of the Roman Missal reinforces the right of bishops to make additional

allowances for reception of Communion under both species, beyond that which the documents already mention:

“The Diocesan Bishop is also given the faculty to permit Communion under both kinds

whenever it may seem appropriate to the Priest to whom a community has been entrusted

as its own shepherd, provided that the faithful have been well instructed and that there is no danger of profanation of the Sacrament or of the rite’s becoming difficult because of the large number of participants or for some other cause (Roman Missal, 283).”

This permission has been assumed, if not expressed directly in the past.  I recognize this, and I understand fully that communion under both forms at every Mass has become common practice at some parishes.

[NB:] However, I have been told of, and have personally experienced, the reality that the provision both that the faithful be well instructed and that there be no danger of profanation of the Sacrament, is not being met. [Therefore, Communion under both kinds should not be offered at all, much less in the much more expansive way it was before the expiration of the wider permissions!] As such, while recognizing the need for patient, prudent and practical steps according to your individual parishes, I’ve asked you to move in this direction. As I’ve said, over and over again, and as you know well, this requires catechesis.  So many do not understand the Eucharist as the memorial of Christ’s Sacrifice, his death and resurrection; nor the real presence of Christ, body, blood, soul, and divinity, under both species of bread and wine; nor the role of the ordinary and, if necessary, extraordinary ministers of the Eucharist. [It seems to me implicit in this paragraph that were there to have been adequate catechesis and adequate provision to avoid profanation, then Bp. Morlino would not be changing the diocesan practice.  Consequently, if parish priests who have had this more expansive use of Communion under both kinds for a long time don’t like what Bp. Morlino is asking them to do, they would do well to blame themselves for the change, rather than blame Bp. Morlino, or Bp. Olmsted for that matter, or any other bishop who will also go in this direction.  Don’t blame bishops for doing their jobs.]

Most of all (and this has been my point from the start) so many of our people do not understand the kinds of reverence due at all times to the sacrament, whether within the Eucharistic Liturgy or outside the celebration.

This gets back to the need for the new translation, and every point I’ve attempted to make. What we say and do at the Mass, and what we do before the Lord present in the tabernacle matters.

Thus, I cannot in good conscience, allow us to go forward without addressing these matters.

That’s specifically what I’ve asked you to do.  Please help your people to know and understand the beautiful gift we have in the Eucharist, to know our obligations of preparing for reception of the Sacrament, both in terms of our preparation through the Sacrament of Confession, our observance of the pre-communion fast, our attending to our attire as best we can, and the like. Please help them to know of Christ’s presence, fully and entirely in the Sacred Host.  Our people know well, the aspect of the Mass which is the Sacred banquet, but help them to know the Eucharist at the Memorial of Christ’s loving Sacrifice for them.  Help them to understand your role in laying down your own life as the minister of Christ’s Body and Blood, present in the Host.


So, Bp. Morlino expresses his reasons for this move.  He sees that there are problems which need to be corrected.  Of course liberals will object that there is not any danger of profanation!  No danger of blurring of roles!  In this case, the diocesan bishop thinks differently.  He sees problems.  Therefore he is going to act for the good of the souls of the faithful under his charge.

Let’s track back to a point he made about the new, corrected translation.

Since I write a lot about the new translation here is how I read his words.

With the new, corrected translation more people will have an opportunity to hear more clearly the content of the original Latin prayers.  Setting aside whatever beef a few people may have with some awkward phrasing in the new text, blah blah blah, the new text is undoubtedly closer to the content of the Latin original.  Greater clarity is now possible.  Benefits will follow.  They must, over time, follow.  In a similar way, just as we clarify the content of the words we also have to clarify the content of the gestures.  Christ is the true Actor during Holy Mass.  Our words and our gestures communicate something of Christ’s own words and gestures.  We must be careful in what we say and do.  We must be faithful to the Church’s legislation, each person carrying out his or her own proper role in participation in the sacred mysteries.  From time to time that means examining our consciences about what we are doing.  We have to take stock, human nature being what it is, and make course corrections from time to time.

That is my take on what is going on.

Therefore, WDTPRS kudos to Bp. Morlino together with good wishes for a long and fruitful mandate in the difficult Diocese of Madison.

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  1. Tim Ferguson says:

    Just a minor little canonical point, that may have some significance: While the title of the GIRM or IGMR, the Institutio Generalis Missalis Romani is often – and by official sources – translated as the “General Instruction of the Roman Missal,” it is not the instruction spoken of in canon 34. Occasionally, there will be an armchair canonist, who pulls out his Code, looks at the index, finds canon 34 and says, “Aha! The GIRM is just an instruction! It’s not law, and therefore a local law trumps it!” Not true. The GIRM is an “institutio” not an “instructio” – it is law in the fullest sense of the word. I just put this out pre-emptively for your consideration.

  2. albizzi says:

    “There has been danger of profanation of the Eucharist ”
    The profanations of the Eucharist will cease once the communion in the hand will be suppressed.

    “…in terms of our preparation through the Sacrament of Confession, our observance of the pre-communion fast, our attending to our attire as best we can”…
    That is the invisible part of the iceberg of the profanations, the worst one: The priests seldom , if not never, address the need of a recent confession, of an eucharistic fast, of a spiritual preparation before receiving the Eucharist.
    Are they ashamed of recalling that? In my opinion they think (or they think that people think) that VATII get rid of these obsolete things.
    Anyways my modernist wife thinks so.

  3. pattif says:

    In my parish, things are done in a pretty orthodox manner. We only have communion under both kinds at the Evening Mass of the Lord’s Supper on Holy Thursday and at the Easter Vigil (we used to have it at the Solemn Mass on the Feast of Corpus Christi, but, since the transfer of the Feast to Sunday, it seems to have got lost). Unfortunately, my pp is terrified of there not being enough of the Precious Blood to go round, so he invariably insists on the spare chalices being filled far too much before the Mass starts. This leads to the unedifying spectacle of the Extraordinary Muppets standing round the credence table, looking for all the world as if it were closing time at the Dog and Duck. It doesn’t half mess with one’s post-Communion thanksgiving. GRRR!

  4. CatherineTherese says:

    Amen! Wahoo! Kudos to Bp. Morlino – what a precise and well-written letter. Would that priests and laymen and women outside the Madison diocese also reconsider catechesis on these central aspects. I pray that this may catch on more broadly.

    As a recent convert, I was shocked and disheartened (upon first venturing outside my home parish) to experience the not-so-reverent gestures, particularly the corral-style stations of 2-species communion, distributed casually by EEMs fanning out in jeans, t-shirts and sneakers. Is it not the MOST IMPORTANT PART?! Ah… brick by brick, as you say, Father Z.

  5. Trad Catholic Girl says:

    I have to admit that I don’t get this but then again, it doesn’t affect me personally. I think the Bishop should clearly state the problem in a positive, productive way, and clearly identify steps for moving forward toward an articulated end goal (or desired state). Also, I cannot stress enough the importance of open, clear and honest dialogue for establishing trust.

  6. Mr Ferguson: Thanks for that good reminder!

  7. Andrew says:

    It used to be so much simpler to be a Catholic.

  8. teomatteo says:

    In light of the use of Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion and Reader/Lectors i was just think’en. What if a priest/bishop required that anyone who will serve in this capacity, that is be within the santuary during the mass, they must get to mass 35min. before the sch. start and together as a group recite the holy rosary (before the Blessed Sacrament)? This would leave about 10 min. before mass for them to prepare and for silence for those who are not participating in that way. I think that it would be so fruitful. It would draw others to mass early and it would prepare the EF and Lectors in a special and important way. Would it be too ‘rigid’??

  9. jhayes says:

    I think Bp. Morlino’s letter is very helpful.

    It does not repeat the claim from tha cathedral rector’s letter that an indult had expired but says that whatever action he is taking is because he has been told, and has noticed himself, that in some parishes people are offered communion under both kinds without being properly instructed and without the danger of profanation — and that priests should get going with catechizing on these subjects.

    The letter doesn’t actually say what parishes that currently distribute under both forms at weekday and Sunday masses should do – whether they can continue if the pastor believes that the instruction/profanation criteria are met or whether thay should stop in any case. Presumably that is or will be in another instruction from the bishop.

  10. APX says:


    What if a priest/bishop required that anyone who will serve in this capacity,[…] they must get to mass 35min. before the sch. start and together as a group recite the holy rosary (before the Blessed Sacrament)?

    I think that might cut down on the number of EMHC’s for each Mass.

    I’m still wondering where regular reception under both species came from. It rarely existed when I was growing up, and I’m not that old! We only had it on First Communion, Christmas at Midnight Mass (not the other ones), Easter Vigil, and weddings (back when people still had Nuptial Masses).

    I know I’ve profaned the precious blood simply out of the bad habit of wiping dribbles with the top of my hand whenever I drink something.

  11. Desertfalcon says:

    I wish the Diocese of Madison had been more clear and I still find the presentation of their “take” on this to be a bit convoluted. I am assuming then from their statement that efforts to ensure proper catechises on the matter will be instituted so that what the GIRM envisions as a “more complete form and clearer expression” of Holy Eucharist will once again be offered? See, my problem is I suspect that that will never be the case with some parishes or perhaps with this diocese as what is really going on is a taking advantage of a change in order to institute what individuals may be personally biased toward even if contrary to what GIRM has stated as an endorsement of communing under both species. Madison, for example seems to also have even a different take on this then Phoenix, who statements I find much more clear and consistent with the GIRM. While it may in practice, (and certainly in the Diocese of Madison), will be more restrictive of what has been the common practice, world-wide, it is apparently intended to be a catalyst to a *greater and wider* practice of offering communion under both kinds. At least, that is how the Diocese of Phoenix reads it in their Q & A on the issue…

    —1. Is the Catholic Church forbidding Holy Communion “from the chalice”?

    No. In fact, just the opposite. The New Roman Missal is, according to the new norms, “significantly expanding those opportunities when Holy Communion may be offered under both kinds.” This is explained in the new document titled The Norms for the Distribution and Reception of Holy Communion Under Both Kinds in the United States.

    13. You say this is a “relaxing of restrictions,” but my parish “has the chalice” at every Mass, and under these conditions, we won’t. It seems more restrictive, even extremely restrictive.

    From one perspective, you’re correct to say that some Catholics within the United States may see these conditions as “restrictive.” In this country, the Church had special permission to experiment with Holy Communion under both forms for 25 years. The practice of both forms became very common in certain parts of this country, including parishes in Arizona. However, the vast majority of the parishes throughout the world have not had Communion under both forms. From the broadest, most inclusive perspective, the new norms are a great expansion of the practice. But it is true, from the more narrow perspective of a very small segment of the Catholic population, the norms could seem like a restriction. You can see, then, how the new norms will promote unity of practice around the world, even as it challenges almost every parish in the world to update its normal liturgical life. The norms invite us as U.S. Catholics to a more global and inclusive perspective, especially with those poor countries that cannot afford large amounts of wine for frequent usage.—

  12. Tina in Ashburn says:

    Good for Bishop Morlino!!

    Perhaps there could be a bit more specificity in any discussion about ‘both kinds/species’? Does the indult apply to all kinds of ‘both species’ or is there a difference between intinction and taking the Chalice in hand? I would really like to see bishops identify the specifics in their instructions.

    For instance, does the indult mean that both species no longer can be distributed by intinction? [where the priest offers the Consecrated Host and Wine by dipping the Body into the Wine and feeding it to the recipient] Using this method, only priests distribute both species, and it is impossible to use the Communion-in-the-Hand method. This is the reverent and careful method also used by the Byzantines, the difference is that the priest uses a gold spoon. Thus, both species are consumed and the high risk of profanation is eliminated [there is neither Communion in the Hand, nor is there risk of spilling the Chalice].

    I can see how the indult applies to taking the Chalice, as this method hands the entire Chalice of Christ’s Blood into the hands of the communicant where there is a high risk of drips, spills, splashes, and even dropping the whole Chalice. I have witnessed these events more than once! Additionally, by taking the Chalice, the communicant TAKES Communion rather than being fed.

    …just wondering.

  13. mitch_wa says:

    Setting aside the discussion of the changing law on communion under both species, it seems like intinction would be the best of all possible solutions. It allows for reception under both species, removes the plenitude of extra-ordinary ministers, requires communion on the tongue, is ecumenical because it brings us into greater agreement with how the Orthodox receive communion (they are often concern about communion under one species, lack of full sign, etc.), it would facilitate the return of altar rails, and it is a practice that did and has existed in our tradition. If the bishops said that parishes could either have communion restricted to one species, or they could do intinction, provided they follow certain norms it would provide an option for those who want both species but it would be a move towards the historical norms of the Church. Seems like an amicable solution to me.

  14. LaudemGloriae says:

    Whatever obedience in this matter requires is fine with me. But touching on motives … I can’t help but feel that if this is about proper reception/distribution of Holy Communion there are weightier matters (too many receiving all the time, lack of catechisis on confession and state of grace, etc). If this is about the proliferation of EMs then limiting the availability of communion under both species seems a circuitous method of addressing it.

    Touching on catechesis and symbols … I don’t think people are ignorant that “body blood soul and divinity” are equally present in each species. However the practice of restricting the availability of the precious blood does somewhat encourage the notion, even if only subconsciously, that there is some extra significance to the precious blood. This is reinforced I think when it is only made available at more solemn Mass occassions/sacraments, etc. I know these were impressions I had as a child in Catholic school.

    In my opinion the cult of the EM has very strong roots and to ferret out the abuses from the legitamate needs will take a stronger, more direct measure. The “indult expired” approach feels oblique and I fear more likely to ruffle and alienate the faithful than reign in the EMs.

    Time to pray for more vocations, and altar rails …

  15. Southern Baron says:

    I understand His Excellency’s reasons and I agree with him. However, while this is of secondary importance, I think this should be juxtaposed with some consideration toward those who cannot receive the normal host. I know of people with gluten intolerance who, at parishes that do not have low-gluten hosts, can only receive the Precious Blood, or else stay in the pew. This can be disappointing for someone who has perhaps just gone to confession, is looking forward to receiving the Eucharist for the first time in a while, but then cannot. Think too of a married couple who go to Mass together, are both in a state of grace, but then cannot receive Our Lord together. It’s not a disaster, but again, it’s disappointing.

    This is an avoidable disappointment, and can be accommodated without drawing much attention to the fact that some people are doing something different. I have seen this in some parishes where the communicant must go to the altar before the congregation; I would rather we avoid such a display. At my own parish, which has a rail but doesn’t use it (alas), the priest places a pyx separate from the ciborium next to him on the rail. When the communicant (who informed him beforehand) comes forth, he picks up the pyx. Minimum attention is drawn, and honestly, if we’re all staring at Father giving everybody Communion, maybe we should focus a bit on ourselves and prayer.

  16. SimonDodd says:

    So this has nothing to do with any kind of indult as it first appeared—it is simply an exercise of episcopal authority within the ambit permitted by the Holy See.

    The timing is unfortunate. The restriction will naturally if be associated with the new translation by careless and those poorly-disposed to the changes. Resentment against the withdrawal of the chalice will naturally and easily feed resentment against the new translation. +Morlino may do as he pleases, and some will support it for reasons that escape me—there are certainly some puzzlingly gleeful comments in support of his decision, most of which seem to have to do with excessive EMHCs, a separate issue—but I think this will engender some real and not wholly unreasonable anger.

    If the problem is too many EMHCs, deal with that problem. Say that communion under both kinds is just fine when there’s a second priest or a deacon, but that EMHCs will not be used, even for the precious blood. I could support that. I do not support this.

  17. Desertfalcon says:

    “If the problem is too many EMHCs, deal with that problem. Say that communion under both kinds is just fine when there’s a second priest or a deacon, but that EMHCs will not be used, even for the precious blood. I could support that. I do not support this.”

    You are making far too much sense, brother. :-) I agree.

  18. FrAWeidner says:

    was the Church wrong/not listening to the Holy Spirit for some 900 years when she only distributed under the form of the Host? That would seem to delegitimate the Catholic Church as Christ’s Church.

    If, however, one believes that the Catholic Church is indeed the Church founded by Christ, then the reduction under normal circumstances to distribution of the Host only shouldn’t cause any disquiet whatsoever. If I seem to be one of the ones gleeful about this movement by these two dioceses (whether it’s the movement of the universal Church seems to be a matter of confusion and debate), well, yes, because of the utraquist issue, and the overarching issue of the Catholic Church’s past and present identity as Christ’s Church. Distribution under both kinds can tend confuse the issue, IMHO. If the Church wasn’t wrong in the first place, why go back on our approach? On the other hand, this issue is not an absolute deal-breaker for me, as I am a very strong advocate of distribution by intinction. This manner not only fixes the other problems of the proliferation of EMHCs (your two priests/priest-and-deacon solution is inadequate, as it is a recipe for a 40 minute Communion rite) and the significant (and existentially real!) risk of spillage, but also encourages reception on the tongue, thus eliminating the many problems attendent to reception in the hand. The utraquist issue became a major concern for me when I had a visitor after Mass telling me the only thing she didn’t like about Mass at our parish was that we “denied the faithful the cup.” I tried to give her the appropriate answers, and she simply interrupted and said, “No, Father, you’re just wrong. I don’t care what some council years ago said about it, I’ll believe Jesus in the Bible.” Once again, that conclusion meant that the issue wasn’t distribution under both species so much as whether the Catholic Church is Christ’s Church or not.

    I certainly respect your comments as being your opinion, but you mentioned that the Phoenix/Madison approach was more restrictive of what had been the norm “worldwide.” That last word is incorrect; the Phoenix statement tried to clarify that. Rather, according to the Phoenix chancery, the Church’s new approach on receiving under both kinds *expands* the distribution throughout most of the world while restricting it in the United States, at least in those dioceses like Phoenix who choose to proceed as they have.

  19. Desertfalcon says:

    @ FrAWeidner,

    Oh, I don’t think I made any comment of whether this change would be more or less restrictive. I simply posted directly from the Diocese of Phoenix’s Q & A page available on-line. I did so because it at least in my opinion, was far more clear in their reasoning and seemed to comply more directly with, for example, GIRM no. 281. I understood from my first reading of it that it meant an *expansion* of the practice of communing under both species throughout the world. That is why I posted it. The problem I have is that I sense, like Simon, that so many of the “gleeful comments” are from those who essentially disagree with and reject, GIRM no.281.

    As to the point you made before answering me however, I wonder if the Church was then wrong for communing under both kinds for it’s first 1,000+ years? You asked, “If the Church wasn’t wrong in the first place, why go back on our approach?” I would answer, that is the question that many of us who are in *favour* of continuing offering communion under both kinds would pose. I’m not trying to be cheeky, Father, but just pointing out that while the change to the norm 800 years ago may have been to combat utraquism, I have not heard or read that expressed as a central reason why this change is being initiated now. The indult certainly had nothing to do with utraquism. It was a concern with the use of EMHC’s which seems to be the focus of the Diocese of Phoenix’s statements on the issue as well. I am just a lay person, but as I stated in another post, my personal experience is in encountering lay people with heretical beliefs about the Real Presence in Holy Eucharist in general and not ultraquism, specifically. They have them, whether they commune under one or both species. The issue is one of catechesis, just as the issue of EMHC’s should remain that, an issue that can be solved any number of ways without withdrawing the chalice from the laity. Like you Father, I am in favour of intinction and altar rails.

  20. Joe Magarac says:

    Here’s what I think has happened and is happening:

    Rome: Extraordinary Ministers of the Holy Eucharist should only be used in extraordinary circumstances. Sunday and weekday Masses are not extraordinary circumstances. Please stop using EMHCs every Sunday and weekday. If that means longer Masses, shorter homilies, or the use of an altar rail, so be it.

    Some Americans: But if we don’t use EMHCs, there won’t be anyone to distribute the Precious Blood!

    Phoenix and Madison: Distribution of the Precious Blood is also an extraordinary circumstance. Please stop distributing the Precious Blood every Sunday and weekday.

  21. SimonDodd says:

    @FrAWeidner Certainly not—no more than you are suggesting that the Church was wrong/not listening to the Holy Spirit for the last few decades when she distributed under both species. If the Church isn’t wrong now (to pull your point inside out), why go back on our approach? I assume that she had good reasons for her earlier practice. That by no means precludes my seeing the postconciliar change as a positive development. (Far too many people who rightly perceive serious problems in the postconciliar Church seem to carry it too far, giving the impression that they see nothing positive in what has happened.)

    Christ said that we must eat His flesh and drink His blood; your visitor may have been ill-formed and perhaps even pig-headed, but the fundamental concern she was articulating was not (from what you have described) error. And the Church accordingly teaches that receiving both His flesh and His blood is, while not strictly necessary, better (CCC ¶ 1390). “Better” is, of course, not prejudicial to countervailing interests, and I suppose that the Church stopped distributing the chalice for fear that it might be spilled. But to invert Father Z’s comment above, while Communion under both kinds may not be strictly necessary in the ordinary course of events, there are other factors to consider as well, other goods to be upheld.

    I must add, and I want to be very specific about this, that I do believe that the Catholic Church is indeed the Church founded by Christ—I wouldn’t have converted if I didn’t—and I find it troubling that you would allow your comment to imply (as I presume you did not intend) that anyone who disagrees with your position doesn’t believe that. Plese don’t mistake me (and others made anxious by these events) for you ill-formed visitor. It should be obvious that the withdrawal of the chalice would cause disquiet even among those laymen who most strongly support the Church’s prerogative to do so. (To accept the discretion of the Church to do something by no means forecloses exhortation that a proposed exercise of that discretion be done vel non—or are only clerical criticisms of the novus ordo acceptable, for example?) Indeed, the only people who one would not expect to be disquieted are those who do not believe in the real presence and thus don’t feel any real loss in not receiving the chalice, something those who are praising this decision seem to have backwards. There seems to be a supposition that the backlash will come from the least-catechized, from those who simply receive out of habit, but I think that’s backwards. The backlash will come from those who have the greatest sense of what we are losing.

    The other issues you raise are, as I see them, tangential. I fully support a return to communion on the tongue (so much so that I wrote a fourteen page memo reasoning out my preference in light of the traditions of the Church), but that has nothing to do with withdrawing the chalice. I fully support a return to use of altar rails, but that has nothing to do with withdrawing the chalice. I fully support a serious reduction of EMHCs, but that has nothing in itself to do with withdrawing the chalice. (I do not view the functional unavailability of it for want of an ordinary minister and exclusion of extraordinary ministers as being the same thing, although many will.) I could reluctantly support a complete elimination of EMHCs (I do not agree that this is inadequate because I cannot imagine anyone complaining about a forty minute Communion rite—call it a de facto period of Eucharistic adoration and prayer).

  22. SimonDodd says:

    Desertfalcon says:
    “I am just a lay person, but as I stated in another post, my personal experience is in encountering lay people with heretical beliefs about the Real Presence in Holy Eucharist in general and not ultraquism, specifically. They have them, whether they commune under one or both species. The issue is one of catechesis, …, an issue that can be solved any number of ways without withdrawing the chalice from the laity..”

    Right, and that’s an important point. If the supposed concern is that some in the congregation don’t believe in the real presence, then the basic concern is profanation—in which case, why is communion being distributed under either species? Why withdraw only the chalice?

  23. ejcmartin says:

    Are liturgical “refugees” accepted at either of these diocese? In Canada, the Bishop’s document “What is new in the GIRM 1” states in the Introductory Comments #10 “… the document reaffirms the Church’s desire for Communion under both forms as a clearer expression of the Eucharistic banquet”. All parishes in our diocese must also kneel only at the Consecration.

  24. abasham says:

    What would be the effect of this legislation on priests who give communion via intinction? Is intinction now to be used only on those “special occasions” which the legislation allows for?

  25. Nicole says:

    Why has it taken so long for people to realize that the indult ran out in 2005?

  26. SimonDodd says:

    Nicole, I suspect it happened because there wasn’t an indult. No one has yet been able to produce this supposed indult, or the need for it, or the request for its renewal, or the denial of renewal. And in the meantime, what we have found is a different indult that expired when this one was supposed to have expired, and a letter from the CDW denying that one when this one is supposed to have been denied. It seems to me that the whole indult business was a mistake, which is why his excellency +Morlino is now rapidly moving to reground the change on his own authority.

  27. JeffTL says:

    In the Episcopal Church we distribute the Blood of Christ without any additional risk of profanation (which, in this context, would most likely refer to a spill, since theft of the Eucharist is more difficult with the species of wine than with the species of bread). Whether the target is a hand or a tongue, hosts get dropped sometimes — though I suspect that the use of a communion rail reduces the risk of spilling either form. Obviously, Bishop Morlino has the appropriate jurisdiction in this matter and is striving to exercise it prudently, but adequate preparation or preference may be more relevant to this than the risk of profaning the Sacrament, which oughn’t be substantially greater.

  28. Lurker 59 says:

    I am located within the Madison Diocese and this whole situation touches a problem that I have run into with my parish priest. I had the opportunity to teach high school CCD this year and I needed to cover aspects of the liturgy and the new translation for one of my classes (using a book from 1994 that has no references to scripture or any catechism in it and rather dubious new age exercises in it – at least though I have tacit permission to rewrite the lessons in toto). I asked the CRE a question on how to deal with aspects of the liturgy where there are liturgical abuses and I used the example of EMHCs, as abuses surrounding EMHCs are well documented. The pastor ended up getting a copy of my email in question (which he shouldn’t have as I wasn’t asking for the multiple abuses to end as I know that will fall on deaf ears) and I received a rather unpleasant hard copy letter in the mail from the priest.

    I want to focus in on one part and let me quote exactly 2.) I have no particular quarrel with Nathan’s six points insofar as they encompass current directives, although I have reservations about the applications of 3,4, and 5 so long as the common practice of reception of the Eucharist under both Species continues to be allowed on a regular basis.

    The dating of the letter is September 29th. This is the day after the Presbytery Meeting that Mons. Holmes speaks of where Bp. Morlino spoke about the changes which will be implemented in his diocese where the norm for receiving Holy Communion will return to one Species.

    Obviously there is a major problem here.

    Others have spoken about this being a catechetical problem. I can assure you that my 9th and 10th graders could not give a proper 9th and 10th grade response on the Eucharist. But it is more than a catechetical problem – there is an instructional problem – the people who are in charge are not teaching proper Catholic theology, the material they are using is deficient, and the people at the top have agendas other than passing on the Faith whole and intact. It breaks my heart.

  29. RichR says:

    Bishop Morlino should hold his head high at the Fall gathering of US Bishops. I hope he is not too shy about explaining his praiseworthy actions on this issue.

  30. Nicole says:

    SimonDodd –

    Thanks for the reply. What is the other indult you write of in your reply to my question and where can I find it?

  31. SimonDodd says:

    Nicole, it’s the indult that allowed EMHCs to “do dishes” after communion; I don’t know where the original indult can be found, but a copy of Card. Arinze’s letter refusing its renewal can be found here: or here:

  32. Elizabeth D says:

    Lurker59 it sounds like the priests haven’t been told they have to change within a certain time frame. So technically it does continue to be allowed on a regular basis, right (I want to be charitable to your priest even if his letter was not that nice). It will need to be implemented in some parishes before others.

    I am grateful for everyone who is doing their best as a catechist, I’m sure it isn’t easy and could be better. Pray for the kids.

  33. Lurker 59 says:

    @ Elizabeth D.

    In the context of the full letter of what I wrote to my CRE and what I got back from Fr., he is arguing that he is not going to change the abuses that are going on with the EMHC because he wants people to receive both Species, as that is the long-established and widespread custom, and notwithstanding the directives from the Vatican (which he acknowledges as being true and correct), he won’t change anything unless the “NCCB” [sic] or the local ordinary issues something that directs him to.

    The day previous to the date on the letter, Bp. Morlino told all his priests that things were changing.

    I do want to point out though that in my email to the CRE, it was not at all about whether or not people should receive both Species (there was a throwaway line about that the desire to have both Species was not a valid reason to have EMHC according to the various docs from the Vatican) but rather was about asking how the CRE wanted me to teach the structure of the liturgy when we have liturgical abuses as well as how to handle questions from the kids. I was using the EMHC as an example of one of the abuses that I know goes on.

    I’m unemployed with a BA and MA in theology and sometimes I really feel as if I am beating my head against a giant wall when it comes to catechetics. I hightly dobut that CRE is going to let me teach another class.

  34. jhayes says:

    @SimonDodd, @Nicole: here is the 2002 Indult that was not extended when it expired in 2005:

    Congregation for Divine Worship
    and the Discipline of the Sacraments
    Prot. 1382/01/L

    In response to the request of His Excellency, the Most Reverend Joseph Fiorenza, Bishop of Galveston-Houston, President of the Conference of Bishops of the United States of America, made in a letter dated June 21, 2001, and in virtue of the faculties granted to the this Congregation by the Supreme Pontiff, JOHN PAUL II, we grant that in the dioceses of this same Conference, for grave pastoral reasons, the faculty may be given by the diocesan Bishop to the priest celebrant to use the assistance, when necessary, even of extraordinary ministers in the cleansing of sacred vessels after the distribution of Communion has been completed in the celebration of Mass. This faculty is conceded for a period of three years as a dispensation from the norm of the Institutio Generalis, edito typica tertia of the Roman Missal.
    All things to the contrary notwithstanding.
    From the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, March 22, 2002.
    + Jorge A. Cardinal Medina Estevez

    +Francisco Pio Tamburrino

  35. Jan says:

    Dear Friends in Christ,

    Our Eastern Orthodox Christian brothers and sisters have always received the Most Blessed Sacrament under both kinds. In our Holy Scripture, Jesus commands us to eat the bread which is His body and drink His blood from the cup: Matthew 26:26-29, RSV:

    “Now as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and blessed, and broke it, and gave it to the disciples and said, “Take, eat; this is my body. “And he took a cup, and when he had given thanks he gave it to them, saying, “Drink of it, all of you; for this is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins. I tell you I shall not drink again of this fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father’s kingdom.”

    If proper catechesis is lacking regarding the understanding and/or reception and/or administration of the Precious Blood, then wouldn’t the best answer by far be to give proper catechesis so that the Catholic lay faithful can fulfill Christ’s command? If the problem is too many Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion being utilized, what could be better than all of us receiving from the priest even if it takes a little longer to go through the communion line? In this case we would have extra time for quiet prayer and reflection after receiving Christ Our Lord.

    The biggest danger by far in our reception of the Holy Eucharist at Mass in the U.S. today comes not from the lay faithful being able to partake of the Precious Blood of Our Lord, but in the practice of receiving the Holy Eucharist on the hand. I have on numerous occasions heard of the sacred host being profaned (well known instances of Jesus being auctioned off on e-bay) or being stolen and utilized by our enemies in a blasphemous way. I have also myself found sacred hosts several times in the pews of churches. These kinds of things would not be happening near as much if the Blessed Sacrament was received on our tongues, which, by the way, is the normal way of receiving for most places in the world, except the U.S.

    Sincerely in Christ,

    Jan E.

  36. Nicole says:

    SimonDodd and jhayes,

    Thank you for the sources. I guess I am confused as to where the notion of this 1975 indult which expired in 2005 came from, now.

  37. SimonDodd says:

    @Jhayes So it really seems as though any talk of an indult is mistaken, right?

  38. frdgss says:

    Perhaps Holy Communion by intinction may be the answer to avoid the unnecessary use of EMHCs – but there’s a practical problem with this method, as any priest who has ever considered it will recognise: where do you obtain suitable and safe vessels? All the so-called intinction vessels that I have seen are way too small for even an average size congregation. And also, they’re utilitarian and unworthy for sacred use.

    Any juggling about with ciborium and chalice in one hand is unsafe and asking for trouble. I suppose a EMHC could stand next to the priest and hold the chalice – but this would invite drips and spills.

    Any thoughts? Maybe someone could design something worthy and useful for this purpose?

  39. jhayes says:

    @Jhayes So it really seems as though any talk of an indult is mistaken, right?

    @SimonDodd: I haven’t found any indult that expired and that relates to when communion can be distributed under both kinds. I’ve posted in several places asking if anyone else knows of one, but no one has replied.

    As I understand it, distributing communion under both kinds has always been at the discretion of the local bishop. Until the 2002 GIRM, he was limited to authorizing it only in the 14 cases listed in 242 of the 1975 GIRM or as added to that list by a conference of bishops. The USCCB added 6 more cases, including weekday and Sunday/Holyday masses.

    Under the 2002 GIRM, the involvement of conferences of bishops was dropped and the local bishop could authorize distribution under both kinds in whatever situations he felt appropriate – and could delegate that decision to the “priest to whom, as its own shepherd, a community has been entrusted”

    In addition, 283 of the 2002 GIRM lists several situations in which distribution under both kinds “is permitted.” It’s not clear that those require the permission of the bishop.

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