Diocese of Madison, WI, to stop regular Holy Communion under both kinds. The indult ran out in 2005.

On the site of the parish of the Cathedral of Madison in Wisconsin, where His Excellency Most Rev. Robert Morlino is, by the grace of God, the ordinary, there is a pdf of the parish bulletin in which it is explained that they are ending regular distribution of Holy Communion under both kinds.

You will recall that at the Cathedral of Phoenix, where Bishop Olmsted is, by the grace of God, ordinary, the same decision was made.

Here is the bulletin blurb from Msgr. Kevin Holmes, Rector of the Cathedral in Madison with my emphases and comments.

Dear Friends in Christ:
Maybe you noticed a story in last week?s Catholic Herald about new
norms for Communion under both species in the Diocese of Phoenix. You may have wondered why this story from Arizona received such prominent coverage here (on page 3 of the Catholic Herald, where letters from Bishop Morlino appear). In fact, the story was featured because it will be significant for us as well. Bishop Morlino spoke to us priests about this while we together at Wisconsin Dells at the end of last month.

In the last couple of decades, Communion under both species (with the congregation able to receive the Pre-cious Blood as well as the Sacred Host) has become routine in our experience. I knew (as many of you do) that Communion under both species was first introduced, on a limited basis, after the Second Vatican Council, and that it has become much more common since. What I did not know was that the widespread American practice of offering both species at most Sunday Masses began here under an indult (special permission) given by the Vatican in 1975, which expired in 2005.  [Get that everyone?  The key points: it was a special permission to depart from the norm and that permission expired.]

Almost no one realized that until very recently. Maybe we can be
forgiven for forgetting that we were operating under a temporary
indult. After thirty years, something can seem pretty permanent. But it wasn’t. The bishops of our country did apply for an extension of the 1975 in-dult, but that was denied.

So, all over the United States, we now find ourselves needing to bring our practice into conformity with current regulations (and with the rest of the world). In his comments at Chula Vista, Bishop Morlino mentioned a few instances in which Communion under both kinds is still permitted: the Chrism Mass, the Feast of Corpus Christi, for the bride and groom at a Nuptial Mass, and for those so allergic to wheat that they cannot tolerate even low-gluten hosts. Beyond those occasions and circumstances, Communion can be offered under both species at celebrations of special importance. But it is clear that we will not be seeing Communion under both species as a weekly practice.

Bishop Morlino understands that this comes as news to all of us. He is giving pastors considerable latitude as to the timetable for implement-ing this change. He suggested that the beginning of Advent (when the new translation of the Missal is fully implemented) would be one plausible date to make the change. That will be our timetable here at the Cathedral Parish (and also at St. Paul’s University Catholic Center, the other parish clustered with us).

Msgr. Kevin D. Holmes

Times are changing.

WDTPRS kudos to Msgr. Holmes and to Bp. Morlino … again

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. Dr. K says:


    May more dioceses join in.

  2. danphunter1 says:

    Does this mean that it is now illicit to offer Communion under both species?

  3. Frank H says:

    Man! I think I just heard some molars cracking over at PT blog!

  4. Rellis says:

    Here is my theory, for what it is worth:

    1. The 2005 permission is not renewed by CDWDS.
    2. Attention soon is occupied at USCCB and CDWDS by the corrected English translation
    3. The English translation gets put to bed.
    4. The CDWDS (Archbishop DiNoia?) reminds USCCB that the 2005 permission is very expired
    5. Repeat (4) as needed
    6. The USCCB sends a letter to all the bishops giving dioceses the same latitude-within-reason that this diocese is giving pastors
    7. Phoenix.
    8. Madison.
    9. A diocese near you.

    Deo gratias.

  5. Elizabeth D says:

    And thanks also to my own pastors, Fr Eric Nielsen and Fr Eric Sternberg of St Paul’s, also mentioned in the article. Bishop Morlino’s leadership is terrific. I think our priests were already willing for this, in fact in the past after I forwarded to them an item I found here that another Diocese of Madison priest, Fr Rick Heilman, was ceasing to use EMHCs, our pastors started much more often helping distribute Communion at one another’s Sunday Masses, which is laudable and cut down on certain abuses. They continued using EMHCs to distribute the Precious Blood. Without this directive it would have been hard for this parish to change that because the other nearby parishes do so and the lay people expect it. On a recent Sunday in early September an irritated middle aged woman left a note in the sacristy at St Paul’s complaining why didn’t they have the “wine” and demanding an explanation–the reason was simply that at the beginning of the academic year there were not enough EMHCs signed up. Now, Deo gratias, EMHCs may be unnecessary and there will be a privileged opportunity for some needed Eucharistic catechesis.

  6. TravelerWithChrist says:

    Deo Gratias.

    Uh, somebody applied for the indult extension, somebody received the letter denying such extension – how did they fail to see such response in 2005?

  7. rollingrj says:

    The question is when will the other 190+ diocese get a clue. And why, after the extension was denied, haven’t the bishops, either individually or as a whole, haven’t acted sooner.

    At The Chant Cafe (Fr. Z, if you haven’t bookmarked this blog, I highly recommend you do), there have been a couple of posts by a priest from South Carolina (one of their regular contributors) studying abroad commenting on Communion under both species and a theological angle on why receiving the Sacred Host only is a better way to go. The noisiest objector is another blogger (CatholicSensibility) who wonders why the Church is being so “stingy”. It seems his comments are about on par with what may be regularly found at PrayTell. He has coined a phrase, the “Hermanutic of Subtraction”, regarding this (and, I would venture to guess, other related things).

  8. Rellis says:

    In re: “hermaneutic of subtraction”:
    The entire liturgical deformation can be summed up in one word–“vel.”

  9. mrose says:


    I second your comment about the Chant Cafe! And I too have noticed “catholicsensibility”‘s strange comments on this and certain other topics…alas.

    On the topic at hand, I too want to know when the termination of this indult will happen in every other U.S. diocese. A lack of catechesis I think makes it much more difficult, because we have a clear, even if somewhat subtle, return of the heresy that led to the Western practice of Communion under one kind. The average person seems to actually think he gets “more Jesus” if he receives both the Sacred Host and the Precious Blood. As it was pointed out on the Chant Cafe, this seems to undermine the dogma concerning the real presence of Christ’s Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity substantially present in every “piece” of the Eucharist, whether Body or Blood.

    Couple that with
    1) a popular embrace of materialism and subjectivity and subsequent loss of the very concept of “substance,”
    2) the idea that participation at Holy Mass means minions of laypeople “doing things,” and we need the Chalice because we need 8 EMHC’s (now called Communion ministers or any other title that excludes the word “extraordinary”), and
    3) American bishops who care little for the Vatican and the Holy Father, and even less for Tradition, and viola we are 6, almost 7 years past the expiry of this indult, with every Bishop likely aware of the refusal for a renewal of the indult, and yet things go as they go.

    Funny how indult means one thing for 20 years with Ecclesia dei and another with this practice.

  10. Joan M says:

    This is all very, very interesting to me, here in Trinidad, West Indies, since we also have Communion under both species in many parishes. In my territorial parish it is so at each Sunday Mass (very unwise, since it is almost impossible to determine how much Precious Blood will be needed and has resulted in large quantities left over). At the parish where I am registered Communion under both species is given at every daily Mass.

    There has not been any indication that there would be any change. I have no knowledge of whether our archdiocese had an indult, when it was given, when it would have expired, etc. etc., and wonder how I could find out.

    Any suggestions?

  11. YoungCatholic says:

    I’m so proud that it al,l started here in Phoenix ! Long Live Bishop Olmsted!

  12. RichR says:

    Fewer vessels to purify, no spillage to worry about, fewer Extraordinary Minsters of Holy Communion needed, a re-catechesis about the whole of Christ being present under each Kind, and no one getting tipsy on “accidents” of wine.

    What’s next, return of Communion Rails? {heh heh}

  13. What about Canada? We have communion under both species in some dioceses as a norm. If anyone knows it would be appreciated.

  14. Central Valley says:

    Diocese of Fresno take note.

  15. jhayes says:

    Under the GIRM, each bishop can decide what he antsto do about communion under both kinds in his diocese (beyond the few limited cases defined in the GIRM)

    Bishop Olmstead and bishop Morlino could as well have said “keep on doing what you’re doing” just as easily as saying “stop doing what you are doing.”

    See GIRM 283:

    “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. 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,”

    I think it would have been better if both bishops had said “I’m the bishop and this is my call on this.” rather than giving the impression that they were required to do what they have done.

  16. Reminds me of the the history of the 1984 Indult concerning the Mass of St. Pius V. Pope Benedict says that the Tridentine Mass was never abrogated. Why then the need for an Indult? Here, the Indult had a 30 year shelf life – perhaps because it was seen as a temporary change in 1975 that would one day become a universal custon as is the practice now? I am not understanding why an Indult would have a shelf life, but I bet there’s an answer out there. The fact that it was given under the Pontificate of Pope Paul VI is at least part of the answer.

  17. frjim4321 says:

    These broad shifts in fashion, e.g., Comme le Prevoit to Liturgiam Athenticam, encouraging the sharing of the cup to denying it, are in a way helpful when considering idiosyncratic papal preferences, e.g., recently proposed restrictions on ordination to the presbyterate. Things can and do change.

  18. cehwiedel says:

    This issue is personal for me. I cannot receive Communion in the form of wheat bread because I am wheat-intolerant. My pastor knows this because I spoke with him at the time I was diagnosed. He instructed me to walk past the ministers offering bread directly to one offering wine. [The Most Precious Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ, under the appearance of wine, the wine having been entirely changed to the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity, of the Second Person of the Trinity made flesh… I’m just sayin’…] That all the comments here praise restriction to bread only brings me close to tears. If observance of the expiration comes to my diocese (Orange in California), how will I receive Communion?

  19. Prof. Basto says:

    TravelerwithChrist makes a good point. He wrote: “(…) Uh, somebody applied for the indult extension, somebody received the letter denying such extension – how did they fail to see such response in 2005?”

    If the USCCB voted to ask that the indult be renewed, and if the USCCB President submitted that request to the Holy See, and if the Holy See’s CDWDS then replied refusing the requested extension of the indult, then how on Earth could the expiration of the indult have been “forgotten”.

    It would be one thing if the indult had been granted in 1975, if no subsequent action had been taken, and if then in 2005 the indult had expired without anyone noticing or remembering that this was a temporary, 30 year, grant. But the USCCB did remember: to the point that they took the step of asking for a renewal. Then, if the indult expired, and if the extension was expressly denied by the Holy See, the interruption of the widespread distribution under both kinds should have taken place AT ONCE, in all dioceses of the United States of America, and without further delay.

    When the Bishops want to comply with something, they do it speedily: the question surrounding the Name of God comes to mind. I applaud the bishops who are now implementing the universal norms and advising their priests that the indult has elapsed, but I applaud their attitude only up to a point: I have great reservations about this “latitude” that is being given regarding the phasing-out of the practice of widespread Communion under both kinds. Do the Bishops even have the authority to grant such “latitude” in the first place? I don’t think so: they have no authority to grant any additional extensions of time.

    This is a liturgical matter reseved to the Holy See and regulated by the Holy See. The only reason why the American dioceses were “shielded” from the universal laws of the Church regarding this matter was because of the indult, granted by the Holy See. The Bishops, by themselves, could not change the norm, they needed the authority of the Holy See. So the special permission of the Holy See was necessary to allow the American practice regarding Communion under both kinds to take place. Otherwise such practice would be (and now is, illicit). The indult was temporary and it ran out. An extension was expressly refused by the Holy See. In that situation, the only thing a Bishop could do is say: dear priests, our pratice of widespread Communion under both kinds every Sunday needs to end AT ONCE. The Bishops cannot grant a “survival period”, even a short one, for a norm that has ceased to exist, and that has ceased to exist precisely because an extension of time was refused by the competent superior authority.

  20. Jackie L says:

    “those so allergic to wheat that they cannot tolerate even low-gluten hosts” Perhaps I’m a cynic, but I see many people suddenly developing allergies, and each of these people will have stories written about them.

  21. RichardT says:

    As Prof. Basto says, the fact that a renewal was applied for and refused makes this even more serious.

    The temporary nature hasn’t just been forgotten; Rome has actually said “no”.

    Does anyone know what the indult position in England is?

  22. frjim4321 says:

    Actually there are two parishioners here who cannot tolerate gluten; the cup is the only way they can receive. That does not include the dear D.S. boy who is not allergic but has a marked preference for the cup – something about the texture of the host is very disagreeable to him.

    Restricting the cup will result in excommunicating at least one or two people at each parish, more at large parishes. True profanation is being more concerned about microscopic particles and droplets than about faithful parishioner who are properly disposed to receive communion but are unjustly denied the opportunity to do so.

  23. frjim4321 says:

    ps, I also know that several people who are allergic to gluten also have a reaction to the mold that forms on grape skins and can be present in wine. That is not the case with my parishioners here.

    This would not be the first time I have heard of bishops being calloused toward health issues. There was a bishop here for the anointing mass who was very upset about children and teenagers receiving the anointing of the sick. I knew each of their cases and knew that they had serious health problems. Just because a person looks strong and healthy does not mean they are free of serious health issues.

    One boy – a rugged looking soccer player – is deathly allergic to peanuts and must carry an Epi-Pen at all times, another little girl has a serious metabolic disorder. And so on.

    It makes me very, very sad to know that there are bishops who deny the sacraments to worthy participants.

  24. St. Rafael says:

    For six years Communion under both kinds has been de facto illegal in the United States, Yet it is only now that only 2 dioceses have noticed and are going into compliance.

    It is the duty of every pastor and every priest, in every diocese in the entire United States, to immediately start celebrationg Communion according to the norm and cease illegal liturgical abuse of offering under both kinds. Every priest must ask, persuade, and get the bishop of his diocese into compliance.

  25. mrose says:

    “Restricting the cup will result in excommunicating at least one or two people at each parish, more at large parishes. True profanation is being more concerned about microscopic particles and droplets than about faithful parishioner who are properly disposed to receive communion but are unjustly denied the opportunity to do so.”

    So, frjim4321, the Latin Church was wrong and backwards, etc., for not offering the Precious Blood to the laity for a millennium or s0 (sorry, I do not know the precise history, just that it was a very long-standing practice)?

  26. jhayes says:

    Prof. Basto:

    An Indult is only required too do something that is not otherwise permitted.

    The GIRM has changed since 1975. Under 283 that I quoted in an earlier post , the diocesan bishop can decide that:

    1. Communion shall be distributed under both firms at eve very mass celebrated in this dioces.

    2. Communion shall not be distributed under both forms at any mass in this diocese except for the limited list in the GIRM.

    3. Individual pastors may decide when communion should be distributed under both forms in their parish.

    4. Some other policy for distributing under both forms.

    Some bishops will choose one of those, other bishops will choose another.

    No Indult required.

  27. frjim4321 says:

    mrose, of course the Latin church has made mistakes with respect to its practices around communion and you don’t have to go very far back in history to find some of them. My grandparents were denied communion until the late teen years. For centuries the faithful were unwelcome to receive and thus ran from side altar to side altar because seeing the elevation was the closest they could come to communion. The history, mrose, is incontrovertible. Yes, the Latin Church has been wrong in its practices over the years. Look at those who decry the ICEL1974 – surely they would agree that the church has made mistakes in its practices.

  28. So, with the expiration of the indult, is it still permissible for a priest to distribute the Eucharist via indinction (on a regular basis, not the special times specified above) if he wishes to or not (last I checked, indinction was still a legal way of distributing the Eucharist in the Roman Rite, right?)?

    Also, can someone please post a link to the (actual) text of the indult allowing for communion under both species? I am having a hard time trying to find the actual text.

  29. cehwiedel says:

    I cannot tolerate “even low-gluten hosts.” I cannot tolerate, for example, chocolate milk made with Nesquik because the chocolate powder is made on equipment that is also used to make something with wheat in it. I was not looking for a disquisition on the historical norms of liturgical practice of the Catholic Church. I was looking for a way to receive Communion if wine is no longer offered and consuming a wheat wafer makes me ill. Please believe me when I say that I’m looking forward to a slice of fresh-baked bread in Heaven (after a suitably long and arduous polishing in Purgatory). [Do I hear an “Amen!”? I wonder if some Blessed or Venerable would undertake to obtain a miraculous healing for you from God.]

    I do not see myself as “excommunicated” by restricting Communion to bread only. [Even with your quote marks, you are using the term “excommunication” incorrectly. Excommunication is a censure for a sin a person commits. However, if you go to a parish and the priest has no idea of your condition, and therefore makes no provision that you can receive the Precious Blood separately, you have not been “excommunicated”. This is a cross you have to bear.] By no action of my own would I be unable to receive Communion. All other sacraments are still available to me, and were this to come to pass I see myself using reconciliation more frequently. I would still attend Mass. But being unable to participate in Communion would be a would opened freshly with each Mass attended.

  30. Geoffrey says:

    If the GIRM says that it is up to the diocesan bishop, there are some places that will see no change. I admit, I recently began receiving under both kinds more frequently. However, in my diocese, Communion under both kinds is given even at weekday Masses. THAT should be stopped across the board. Unless it is a major feast or holy day of obligation, I just cannot see that.

  31. If we all read the above news item carefully, you will see that they explicitly envision people with gluten allergies or other good medical reasons (like the folks who can only receive Communion through a straw, presumably, as well as the person with difficulties with the Host) continuing to receive Communion from the chalice.

    And unless there’s some bizarre en masse clamor for the Precious Blood only (which I do not envision from even the most ornery, because it would raise hard questions about whether one were an alcoholic), presumably most parishes are able to cope with taking care of their known folks, and most parishes would be able to figure out some kind of common procedure to take care of visitors with unusual requirements.

    This is not brain surgery or even deep theology; it is just good old logistics.

  32. Mitchell NY says:

    I am still confused. The indult has expired and permission was asked for an extension. It was denied for whatever reasons the Holy See seems fit. But the GIRM states that Bishops may decide in their Parishes and Dioceases. So is the passage in the GIRM only allowed assuming that the indult is in place or has been established as a universal norm? And if so how can they go forward with Communion under both kinds if the extension of an indult has been strictly denied? Isn’t this a serious matter that the Holy See would pronounce or something? I personally feel content and happy with Bread as the whole of Christ. I think during my lifetime I have opted for the Chalice less than a dozen times. I don’t think it would be so difficult to maintain one Chalice for those individuals that for medical reasons can not under any circumstance receive the Host in Bread Form due to the presence of Gluten or another substance not tolerated. In fact I would think out of sensitivity and common sense this would be the practice once a Priest or Bishop was alerted to the problem. But if the indult is expired and been denied extension I find it a bit shocking that only 2 Dioceases in the US have stopped the practice. When Bishops lead like this how on earth do they expect the Faithful to be obedient to them and/or The Holy See? Really I have been shocked to hear this.

  33. David2 says:


    Canon 925 deals with the situation of allergies:

    Can. 925 Holy communion is to be given under the species of bread alone or, in accordance with the liturgical laws, under both species or, in case of necessity, even under the species of wine alone.

    Besides, communion from the chalice is permitted under the new norms for “those so allergic to wheat that they cannot tolerate even low-gluten hosts.”

    How then, is anyone “excommunicated”?

  34. Elizabeth D says:

    FrJim, honestly. No one is being insensitive to the sick and disabled. Monsignor Holmes’ letter from the bulletin says “…Bishop Morlino mentioned a few instances in which Communion under both kinds is still permitted: …and for those so allergic to wheat that they cannot tolerate even low-gluten hosts.” It seems obvious that Bishop Morlino’s intent is not to refuse Communion to anyone to whom the “accidents” of bread are a real obstacle.
    The beloved former coordinator of our Perpetual Eucharistic Adoration Chapel had a stroke, is now fed by gastro-tube, and I understand he cannot receive a Host but must receive a drop of the Precious Blood. Monsignor Holmes and Bishop Morlino know well that this and other such situations exist, and so do other pastors. To say that Communion under one species, which was the norm in the past and is still the norm in most of the world, is “excommunicating” people is preposterous and a wild misuse of the term excommunication!

  35. mrose says:


    I am aware that churchmen and the human element within the Church have made plenty of mistakes – the passing ICEL “translations” being one good example.

    However, I think those things are qualitatively different than such a practice as the distribution of Holy Communion, if nothing else because of the notable rise of the same heresy that led to the restriction of Holy Communion to one species in the first place. Nobody seems to be suggesting that those who cannot bear gluten be denied the chalice; certainly, that is a different issue than those clamoring for “more Jesus.”

    I am not trying to dogmatize a custom, however long-standing it may be. And in principle, I agree that it could be considered a mistake. The point is that the custom arose in response to a certain heresy; the custom was abandoned, and the heresy appears to have reared its head again.

  36. cehwiedel says:

    Suburbanbanshee threads the needle exactly. I confess to careless reading. Thank you for making me read the item more carefully.

    It will become a matter of talking with my pastor to ensure the availability of the Precious Blood for those of us who are wheat-intolerant.

    Praise be to God for the leadership shown by bishops with backbone, and for mercies showered upon the undeserving but needy.

  37. jhayes says:

    Mitchell NY,

    It has been established as a universal norm by the GIRM. I think there is confusion about the indult that was not extended. Unless someone knows of another, I believe it is the one described in this October 12, 2006 letter from Cardinal Arinze and affects only the issue of whether EMHC can purify the sacred vessels.

    “Prot. n. 468/05/L Rome, 12 October 2006
    Your Excellency,
    I refer to your letters of 9 March 2005 and 7 March 2006, in which, in the name of the Conference of Bishops of which you are President, you requested a renewal of the indult for extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion to purify the sacred vessels after Mass, where there are not enough priests or deacons to purify a large number of chalices that might be used at Mass.

    I have put the whole matter before the Holy Father in an audience which he granted me on 9 June 2006, and received instructions to reply as follows:

    read the rest of teh Arinze letter here on page 38, here:


    There is a report from the Committee on the Liturgy on page 37

  38. Glen M says:

    There’s another Holy Communion indult I hope ends soon. Bravo Bishop Morlino for his obedience to Rome and instruction to his flock.

    Let’s remember Church law is to receive Holy Communion once a year. We are not required nor entitled to receive Holy Communion every week.

    Based on the near rejection of the Sacrament of Confession in many parishes, it stands to reason many people presenting themselves for Holy Communion are not properly disposed.

  39. FrAWeidner says:

    frjim4321 said, “True profanation is being more concerned about microscopic particles and droplets than about faithful parishioner who are properly disposed to receive communion but are unjustly denied the opportunity to do so.”

    Existentially speaking, the particles and droplets generally speaking in the circumstances of concern envisioned aren’t microscopic but visibly of the appearance of bread and wine. Collectively and individually, their name is “Jesus,” although you might address them/Him “My Lord and my God.” To have an issue with this is to have an issue fundamentally with the doctrine of the Real Presence. Jesus calls upon His followers to love God with all their heart, soul, mind, and strength, but rather to love their neighbor “only” as they love themselves. A priest does his flock zero pastoral favors in charity by demonstrating an indifference toward God, but rather does them a great deal of spiritual injury. Meanwhile, as others have pointed out, the original articles of course said nothing about denying Holy Communion to the gluten intolerant, but specifically mentioned the exception extended to them. Since I am using my real name in these comments, I will refrain from indulging in the zinger that comes to mind regarding your apparent motives.

  40. Elizabeth D says:

    jhayes, I found that also but I don’t think that can possibly be it, because it simply is not what Bishop Morlino (and Bishop Olmsted of Phoenix) described, a 30 year indult for Communion under both kinds from 1975-2005. Nobody seems to have produced an actual document of that description online though let us believe the Bishops that it exists. Is it possible that the English version of the GIRM (which I don’t think is universally identical) reflects the indult that is referred to, and that has actually now expired, though nobody quite realized that till just now? It would be good to have further clarification.

  41. Desertfalcon says:

    @ jhayes, I agree with your take on it which would seem to indicate that either the Diocese of Madison does not really understand what the nature of the indult actually was, or their statement explaining their decision is very poorly written and/or misleading. GIRM no. 283 certainly reads very contrary to the reasons the diocese stated for it’s decision. What that decision will succeed in doing is confusing and angering many faithful Catholics.

  42. Maggie says:

    I was blessed to be visiting St Paul University Catholic Center for Mass this morning, and to my delight, only the Sacred Host was offered. When I was a student there (not too long ago) we often had *eight* EMHC offering the Precious Blood, which was… logistically tricky in the small space. But the Fathers Eric (Nielsen and Sternberg) who co-pastor the student center are delightfully orthodox and faithful to Bishop Morlino, and it was refreshing.
    (for a quick promo of the student Catholic center, especially if you know a young person attending the UW-Madison, go here )

  43. Mrs. O says:

    Is this similar to the age for Confirmation too? Was that an indult also? I thought I had read, Dr. Peters, regarding Confirmation. If that is the case, and the USCCB doesn’t have authority to allow each Bishop to decide on his own age, will this be returning to the age of discretion also?
    Thanks for pointing this out, indult.

  44. jhayes says:

    @Desertfalcon, I suspect the confusion is that there was a USA Appendix to the 1975 GIRM. That went out-of-date when the 2003 USA version of the GIRM was confirmed by CDWDS in a Decree of Confirmation signed by Cardinal Arinze on March 17, 2003.

    The 2003 USA version of the GIRM and the Decree of Confirmation are posted on the Vatican website at http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/congregations/ccdds/documents/rc_con_ccdds_doc_20030317_ordinamento-messale_en.html#Decree_of_Confirmation

    That 2003 GIRM has the following provisions:

    Communion under Both Kinds

    281. Holy Communion has a fuller form as a sign when it is distributed under both kinds. For in this form the sign of the Eucharistic banquet is more clearly evident and clear 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 relationship between the Eucharistic banquet and the eschatological banquet in the Father’s Kingdom.[105]

    282. Sacred pastors should take care to ensure that the faithful who participate in the rite or are present at it are as fully aware as possible of the Catholic teaching on the form of Holy Communion as set forth by the Ecumenical Council of Trent. Above all, they should instruct the Christian faithful that the Catholic faith teaches that Christ, whole and entire, and the true Sacrament, is received even under only one species, and consequently that as far as the effects are concerned, those who receive under only one species are not deprived of any of the grace that is necessary for salvation.[106]

    They are to teach, furthermore, that the Church, in her stewardship of the Sacraments, has the power to set forth or alter whatever provisions, apart from the substance of the Sacraments, that she judges to be most conducive to the veneration of the Sacraments and the well-being of the recipients, in view of changing conditions, times, and places.[107] At the same time, the faithful should be encouraged to seek to participate more eagerly in this sacred rite, by which the sign of the Eucharistic banquet is made more fully evident.

    283. In addition to those cases given in the ritual books, Communion under both kinds is permitted for

    Priests who are not able to celebrate or concelebrate Mass;

    The deacon and others who perform some duty at the Mass;

    Members of communities at the conventual Mass or “community” Mass, along with seminarians, and all who are engaged in a retreat or are taking part in a spiritual or pastoral gathering.

    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. 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 and there is no danger of profanation of the Sacrament or of the rite’s becoming difficult because of the large number of participants or some other reason.

    In all that pertains to Communion under both kinds, the Norms for the Distribution and Reception of Holy Communion under Both Kinds in the Dioceses of the United States of America are to be followed (see nos. 27-54).

  45. Supertradmum says:

    Cardinal Arinze once said that if a lay person wants to have the right to pass out Holy Communion, that person should become a priest or deacon, as the laity have NO right to such. All I can say is that this abuse has not only outlived its sell-by-date but deserves a complete suppression. God bless Bishop Morlino and the other bishops who have halted this abuse.

  46. It appears to me that people are quoting the provisional 2003 English translation of the GIRM. I understand that the final corrected 2011 English translation (which I have not seen personally) of the GIRM has some significant changes from the provisional translation which apparently reflected the 1975 indult. I do not know what the legal force of the GIRM is — whether any particular provision of it is norm or law, descriptive or prescriptive–nor whether any of the alleged changes affect the matter at hand.

  47. jhayes says:

    @Henry Edwards

    Here’s the Latin text of 283. My Latin isn’t wonderful after all these years but it looks as if the English version I quoted is serviceable. In that English version, the final paragraph of the Latin text has been replaced with a specific reference to the USA Norms.

    283. Communio sub utraque specie permittitur, praeter casus in libris ritualibus expositos:

    1. sacerdotibus qui sacrum celebrare vel concelebrare non possunt;
    2. diacono et ceteris qui aliquod officium in Missa implent;
    3. sodalibus communitatum in Missa conventuali vel in illa quae «communitatis» dicitur, alumnis seminariorum, omnibus qui exercitiis spiritualibus vacant vel conventum spiritualem aut pastoralem participant.

    Episcopus dioecesanus normas circa Communionem sub utraque specie pro sua dioecesi definire potest, etiam in ecclesiis religiosorum et in parvis coetibus servandas. Eidem Episcopo facultas datur Communionem sub utraque specie permittendi, quoties id sacerdoti celebranti opportunum videatur, dummodo fideles bene instructi sint et absit omne periculum profanationis Sacramenti vel ritus difficilior evadat, ob multitudinem participantium aliamve causam.

    Quod autem ad modum distribuendi fidelibus sacram Communionem sub utraque specie, et ad facultatis extensionem Conferentiae Episcoporum normas edere possunt, actis a Sede Apostolica recognitis.


  48. Desertfalcon says:

    That you, jhayes. That seems to again indicate that either the decision of the diocese was based on faulty information, (i.e., that such a decision was required due to the expired indult), or that the diocesan statement they issued regarding the decision was very faulty. Clearly the question is only in the care necessary in distributing communion under both species and the issue of EMHC’S, (and that was the issue the indult was concerned with, not offering communion under both species.). Nevertheless, the GIRM seems to state that such a decision is up to the bishop of each diocese.

    There are alternatives to using EMHC’S, restoring altar rails and distributing as so many of the Anglican churches do comes to mind, but that is a separate issue from the spiritual benefit of distribution under both species which the GIRM endorses.

  49. LadyMedievalist says:

    I just want to ask about my own obligation regarding the Blessed Sacrament since this indult has expired. I am in a diocese that is still offering the Sacrament under both species. Ought I only to receive the Precious Body when I go up to Communion, or is it permissible for me to continue receiving the Precious Blood as long as it is offered? Are the faithful in the pews supposed to wait for the bishop to take the lead? Having been born after the indult was granted, I’ve received under both species since age 7 and am accustomed to doing so, but will gladly receive only the Sacred Host if that is my obligation

  50. Cricket says:

    My sympathies to those with wheat sensitivities who are unable to receive Jesus Christ in the form of bread. There’s a severely disabled young man who attends Mass with me at Holy Redeemer Church (1 of 2 churches linked to the “Cathedral Parish” in the Madison diocese). He’s unable to swallow the consecrated Host, so the priest celebrating the Mass gives him Holy Communion from the chalice, using a tiny golden spoon. I don’t know the proper term for this, or the rubrics which govern the practice–all you priest readers out there, feel free to comment–but it seems a dignified, reverent option for some.

  51. FrAWeidner says:

    Jhayes, after reading the whole thread, I think you’re still being harsher on Bps. Olmsted and Morlino than they deserve. You make it sound as if they are pretending that they have no choice in their decisions, whereas they do according to the GIRM. However, the GIRM options notwithstanding, it seems to me that the choice by a bishop (in particular, these two bishops) to follow Roman standardization is neither “Republican” or “Democrat” (flavor of the month/flavor of the Church options) but simply a prudent baseline and a docility to the universal Church.

    “Needing to bring our practice into conformity…” That can easily be seen as a moral/conscience need as opposed to being forced by an outside authority without significant prevarication.

    Moreover, I still think that Henry is onto something in that there’s a missing piece which trumps the language of GIRM 283. I still have the strong impression that some Roman action accompanied the expiration of the indult that leaves that language moot. This impression comes from my ongoing experience that Bps. Olmsted and Morlino are intelligent, careful, and morally upright bishops.

  52. Jill says:

    I apologize if this is already addressed in the comments (please just point me there) but can someone explain why we shouldn’t be giving the wine out weekly with the bread? [I am sure we are talking here about the Precious Blood and Body of our Lord. Right?] I remember as a child it was thought to be special, but I’m not sure I ever learned why it is special.

    Any help?

  53. Desertfalcon says:

    @ FrAWeidner, the problem what they are stating as the, “conformity” that they need to bring in line, is being read as, “communion in general masses must only be offered under the species of the consecrated host, alone.” That, AFAIK, is *not* what the indult pertained to and not only is it not what the GIRM requires, the GIRM actually encourages the opposite. The issue, (and the indult), has to do with the use of EMHC’s and the method and care of distributing the Precious Blood, not the spiritual endorsement or prohibition of doing so. The problem this statement has created is illustrated by the comment of ‘LadyMedievalist’ above yours. Now you have Catholics thinking that it is the *act* of receiving the Precious Blood that is somehow prohibited or wrong, instead of clearly stating that is the *method*, or the use of EMHC’s that is the problem that needed to be addressed. How will we know that this will be misinterpreted? Because I can almost guarantee you that, especially in the larger parishes in that diocese, that distribution of the Host by EMHC’s will continue, (there is little practical choice.), and yet ironically, at least in my experience, it is with the Host, and not the chalice, that the vast majority abuses occur.

  54. Mercyknight says:

    Bishop Morlino is my bishop. Under his leadership and inspiration I have made the move to cease using EMHCs, and we no longer offer the Precious Blood. Altar Servers attend distribution with pattens, and a kneeler is placed in front of me, as our Holy Father exemplified, to offer this to those seeking this “legitimate option.” I have even taken the step to direct my MCs to wear white gloves and be exclusive in handling sacred vessels (you can find “inspection gloves” by the dozen online).

    The impact of greater reverence on my parishes has been amazing! Yes, I had my share of those who chose to go to the parish down the street because we were too pre-Vatican II, but I do not regret helping my parishioners understand, more deeply, that this is, in fact, God.

    As far as those who have allergies, my MC stands near me with the chalice and purificator (wearing his white gloves), and we offer the Precious Blood to the two people with such allergies. It is sacred and flows rather nicely.

  55. Desertfalcon says:

    My question would be, Mercyknight, if you have an MC standing near you with a chalice and purificator, why would you not offer the Precious Blood, for those who may wish to commune under both species, in general? As GIRM no. 281. states, “Holy Communion has a more complete form as a sign when it is received under both kinds. For in this manner of reception a fuller sign of the Eucharistic banquet shines forth. Moreover there is a clearer expression of that will by which the new and everlasting covenant is ratified in the blood of the Lord and of the relationship of the Eucharistic banquet to the eschatological banquet in the Father’s kingdom.” I would think that misters of Holy Eucharist would take this at it’s meaning and do all they can to offer in a, “more complete form” and with “clearer expression”. Again, both indult and GIRM were a response to the *method* and not the *act* of the laity communing under both species, but the diocesan statement, and indeed the expressed sentiments of many who applaud it, seems to wrongly applaud the idea that the *act* of receiving the Precious Blood, is somehow wrong and to be discouraged.

  56. jhayes says:

    Jhayes, after reading the whole thread, I think you’re still being harsher on Bps. Olmsted and Morlino than they deserve. You make it sound as if they are pretending that they have no choice in their decisions, whereas they do according to the GIRM.

    I believe Bps Olmstead and Morlino have the authority to make the choices they have made – for whatever reasons seem good to them.

    I am concerned that the the published articles have put forth the idea that an indult affecting when communion can de distributed under both species expired in 2005. I don’t know what that indult could be, but if anyone can produce a link to it, that would certainly clear up the confusion before other bishops (or laypersons) start taking actions based on a misunderstanding.

    I did suggest that it might be a confusion with the indult permitting EMHCs to purify the sacred vessels. That was issued in 2002 with a 3-yr (not 30-year) lifespan, so it expired in 2005, despite the request of the USCCB that it be extended. It would be unfortunate if a simple error of identification resulted in people taking actions they didn’t need or want to take.

    Can anyone identify the 1975 indult said to have expired in 2005?

  57. St. Rafael says:

    That is great. The changes you have made are definitely the right direction and will aid in the sanctification of the faithful.

    I hope you will consider offering the Mass Ad Orientem if you are not doing it. Facing the liturgical East in the same direction as the laity assisting at Mass, will orient everyone towards the vertical worship of God, the transcendant, and the sacrificial aspect of the Mass as the representation of Calvary. Mass facing the people, de-emphasizes all this in favor of the horizontal, the community, and the banquet, while putting the spotlight on the priest instead of the liturgy.

  58. FrAWeidner says:

    DesertFalcon, I can see multiple reasons not to distribute the Precious Blood regularly. The first has to do with profanation, or spillage. To be frank, I don’t trust a child under 10 – nor many older people – to handle a chalice half- (or more) filled with the Precious Blood. People don’t gauge the weight correctly, and in those cases the chalice suddenly dips such that either the Blood is spilled or it’s a small miracle that it isn’t.

    Another reason is that it falsely builds up among the faithful the utraquist heresy, the belief that one must receive under both forms to receive the Eucharist fully. I would submit that there is a tremendous value in distributing only under the species of bread as a direct means of teaching that we receive the Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity of our our Lord whenever we receive under one species alone, and to refute stoutly the contrary. As alluded to elsewhere, one value in this is the reassurance of those who are gluten intolerant that when they receive only from the chalice they aren’t losing out in some way.

    Another reason is to highlight the theological difference between the priest’s Communion and the Communion of the faithful. The prior is necessary for the validity of the Sacrament of Eucharist, of the Mass. The latter is not.

    Another is because the position of EMHC is often abused in the sense of being exercised with the direct intention of the clericalization of the laity, a movement against the health of the Church and the faith. In the case of the distribution of the chalice, that is to say that the chalice is being offered by some parishes and priests for the specific purpose of clericalizing laypersons. Vatican II is carried out through the laity exercising their baptismal priesthood by sanctifying the world in which they live and work, not by becoming quasi-ordained and doing what priests can and should do.

    Another is the other side of that same coin, the unnecessary proliferation of EMHCs in order to distribute the chalice. This is not to attribute the bad faith addressed in the last reason to some who wish to distribute the chalice to all, but to say that the unnecessary proliferation of EMHCs is enough of a phenomenon to avoided in and of itself that distribution of the chalice to all should also be avoided.

  59. FrAWeidner says:

    I cannot link to the specific text, but my understanding from when Bp. Olmsted made his announcement was that the 1975 indult was an experimental permission to extend and universalize the distribution of the Precious Blood if bishops in the areas under the indult so chose. You may be correct that the new GIRM superceded the indult, but it seems from Bp. Olmsted’s claims that something in the response in the non-renewal of the indult indicated that the GIRM itself has been superceded. Either that, or Bp. Olmsted is looking at the basic Roman norms to make a pastoral decision, as you indicated. As I argued earlier, that would not be a question of “I’m the bishop and this is what I want,” but rather “This is what the Church essentially wants (as opposed to “compels”) us to do.”

  60. amfortas says:

    GIRM 283 has not been revoked,

  61. Desertfalcon says:

    @ FrAWeidner,

    Most of the objections you state certainly have merit. They have been a concern to me as well. Even the fear of the laity doing so giving credence to ultraquism. But that really is a problem of catachesis of each diocese and I think goes to a much greater problem of beliefs concerning the Real Presence, in general. IOW, even if only the Host is offered, ignorant and heretical beliefs sadly abound, of many who receive. My problem is that the decision was based in this case, on what appears to be a misunderstanding of an indult, (assuming we are even talking about the correct one.), that was concerned with the care and *method* of distribution of the Sacred Blood and not the benefit of doing so. My concern is that a diocese or parish rector may take it upon himself to look at what the GIRM states, (which I have to assume is the mind of the Holy See on the matter.), and contrary to it’s statements that the laity’s reception of the Precious Blood is a, “more complete form” and with “clearer expression” of communion, they simply decide, no, I don’t agree with GIRM on this and deny it to the laity, many of whom like myself, desire it and have so communed for my entire life as a Catholic.

  62. TravelerWithChrist says:

    I thank God for priests like you who are working to bring reverence back to the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass as is deserved. I believe the priest’s actions lead the laity to greater or lesser reverence given to Jesus.

    A question on my mind – if receiving the Eucharist is a Sacrament (one of 7), why can lay people daily administer the Sacrament when only priests or deacons are supposed to administer Sacraments under “normal” situations? It doesn’t seem as “sacred”.

  63. jhayes says:

    I cannot link to the specific text, but my understanding from when Bp. Olmsted made his announcement was that the 1975 indult was an experimental permission to extend and universalize the distribution of the Precious Blood if bishops in the areas under the indult so chose.

    @FrAWeidner, I think the word “indult” was only used in Madison. I haven’t seen the specific word “indult” in the material from Phoenix although it does assert that something expired in 2005. The press release there says:

    “From 1975 on, the United States, United Kingdom and Oceania were given experimental privileges for the distribution of Holy Communion under both kinds. These privileges expired in 2005 and were not renewed by the Holy See. The new norms issued in June 2011 are what guide the liturgical practice today and in the future.

    These universal norms for the distribution of Holy Communion under both kinds greatly expanded those times when the chalice could be offered to the lay faithful for most of the Catholic world (since in most countries their practice was virtually non-existent). In the Diocese of Phoenix, like other places where the practice of reception from the chalice became frequent or even commonplace, the new norms call for the practice of less frequent distribution of Holy Communion under both kinds than the faithful may have been accustomed.”

    However, the FAQ says (note the word “relaxing”):

    “3. What is new, then?

    What is new is the relaxing of restrictions regarding when bishops may permit Holy Communion under both kinds. Since 1985, there were 14 instances listed in the GIRM when Communion under both forms could be offered, and only a Conference of Catholic Bishops could extend the practice. The process of extending the practice has been greatly simplified. The number of instances listed in the GIRM is now reduced to three, but now the new GIRM states that the diocesan bishop may establish additional norms and, further, the diocesan bishop “is 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…”.

    In addition to the 14, the USCCB added 5 more (including weekday masses) in 1970, and one more (Sunday and holyday masses) in 1978

    As the Phoenix statement points out, that long list was reduced to 3 items in the 2011 GIRM and the diocesan bishop was authorized to establish his own list beyond that point.

  64. Harald says:

    Thank you Brothers and Sister in Christ, You have wunderfull Comments. I Have Been doing this for 50+ yrs, It is Very Easy: Jesus said ; Do this in memory of me. And for Girm; I have Jesus, I never git sick from Communion. Have Faith. God be with you.

  65. SimonDodd says:

    I have three things to say. The first two presume that communion under both kinds was in fact only by indult, an indult which expired and renewal of which has been rejected; the last does not.

    First, I must admit that I view this as a sad development (cf. Jn 6:53; GIRM 240), and I’m altogether perplexed by responses above that appear to greet this development—something that I see as a “necessary evil” at best—with something approaching joy. What’s with that? Is it really just the presumption reflected in MRose’s assertion that “[t]he average person seems to actually think he gets ‘more Jesus’ if he receives both the Sacred Host and the Precious Blood”?

    Second, Where does this leave us in the meantime? If communion under species of wine is allowed only by indult and the indult has expired, what is the status of one who receives the chalice?

    The third point does not assume the premise. This all seems terribly sketchy; was anyone else aware that communion under both kinds was by indult only? Where can we see the indult? Where can we see the letter rejecting its renewal? jhayes’ 8:48 comment rings an urgent alarm—has a mistake been made? Has the 2006 refusal to renew a different but related indult been misread? It strikes me that until this point is clarified, it would be precipitous and unwise for any bishop to take any steps that may later be seen in hindsight as unwise. Jhayes asked in a later comment whether “anyone [can] identify the 1975 indult said to have expired in 2005”; it seems extraordinary that any bishop (still less two) would make a decision like this without supplying documentation, if not to avoid the inevitable flaying from the liberal press then at least to palliate the wound their flocks will inevitably feel.

  66. Ben Yanke says:

    @ MercyKnight

    Yep… everything goes wonderfully, except when the MC doesn’t know what’s going on… [cough, cough] :)

  67. Ben Yanke says:

    @ St. Rafael

    I hope you will consider offering the Mass Ad Orientem if you are not doing it.

    He does, on a very regular basis. :) His Masses are amazing.

  68. Elizabeth D says:

    Mercyknight appears to be Fr Rick Heilman who I had mentioned upthread and who is also founder of the group “Knights of Divine Mercy”. Back in February he explained on his blog http://www.knightsofdivinemercy.com/2011/02/14/extraordinary-ministers-no-more-gulp/ why, after study of liturgical law, he was led by conscience to cease using Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion at his parish (a choice which Bishop Morlino seems to have approved of). Without EMHCs, it would not be practical to offer Communion under both species.

    Bishop Morlino has been a great advocate for Eucharistic reverence and favors receiving kneeling and on the tongue also.

  69. Robertus Pittsburghensis says:

    As Suburbanbanshee remarked, the bishops have extended and will continue to extend the chalice to those with coeliac disease. I see no evidence of them being “calloused toward health issues” as Frjim4321 has erroneously implied.

    My wife has coeliac disease, and even microscopic amounts of gluten cause her gastric distress, which is quite unpleasant. We have to make a point of sitting up near the front of the church so that she can be first in line for the chalice before those with gluten on their lips contaminate it. Restricting the chalice to those who do not receive a host would be a big help to us.

    I welcome this “new” practice of following the norms.

  70. aquinasnmore says:

    I have gone through the book Documents on the Liturgy 1963-1979 which is the encyclopedia of every official liturgical document and can find no mention of an indult being given in 1975.

    The closest thing is Sacramentali Communione from 1970 which gives bishops the power to decide how and when to implement the practice. The 1975 GIRM contains all of the possible circumstances mentioned in this earlier document.

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