UPDATE: A bishop urges priests to encourage reception of Holy Communion on the tongue, kneeling. Wherein Fr. Z rants.

UPDATE 19 April 2017:

The full, transcribed text of Bp. Morlino’s sermon is available HERE

___ Originally Published on: Apr 12, 2017

Last night, Tuesday in Holy Week, His Excellency Most Reverend Robert C. Morlino, the Extraordinary Ordinary, Bishop of Madison, celebrated the Chrism Mass.  The bishop blessed all the special oils used during our sacred rites in the upcoming year.  Customarily, the priests of the diocese who are able attend the Chrism Mass, not only in a sign of unity but also, practically, to receive the oils for their parishes.

My friend Fr. Heilman, who writes at Roman Catholic Man, records that, this year, Bp. Morlino asked the priests of the diocese – beginning in September – to encourage reception of Holy Communion on the tongue, while kneeling.


In his Chrism Mass homily, Bishop Morlino highlighted the fact that the Catholic Church is very good at social issues at every level – Catholic organizations, dioceses, parishes and individuals – but, ours is a crisis of faith, revealed by less than 25% of Catholics attending Mass any longer (less than 5% in many parts of Europe). Where we are failing is in a lack of fervor in our faith, Bishop stated. This is most evident in how we, as priests, are offering the Mass, and how the faithful are praying the Mass.

Bishop Morlino went on to speak about “actuosa participatio” as being more about “actual participation” than “active participation.” [Sound familiar?] Bishop lamented that we seem to feel everyone needs to be busy “doing something” at the Mass, when it is more important that we are deeply contemplating what is being done at the Mass … that God is made Present – Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity. This should stir our soul and fill us with awe and wonder. But, are we too busy to take notice?

Last Fall, as part of [the] Bishop’s overall plan to add sacred beauty and reverence to all Masses in his diocese, Bishop Morlino encouraged all of his priests to strongly consider Cardinal Sarah’s call to offer the Mass ad orientem. Bishop Morlino then announced he would, from now on, be offering all of his Masses ad orientem.

Now, during last evening’s Chrism Mass, Bishop Morlino concluded his homily by appealing to all of his priests in his diocese to strongly encourage their parishioners to begin receiving Communion on the tongue while kneeling, beginning this September.

Praise be Jesus Christ! Now and forever!

THIS is the New Evangelization, my friends.

What Bp. Morlino did brought to my mind the phrase cura animarum, now somewhat outdated, fallen into desuetude.

Cura animarum, “the care of souls”, is the office, or duty, of those to whom, pastoral roles are entrusted, to help the souls in their their care get to heaven.  The cura animarum in mainly connected with the offices of bishop and parish priests, pastors, though there are other roles in which a priest can care for souls.  The cura animarum involves, especially, the exercise of the threefold munera or offices of priest, prophet and king.  The pastor (French curé) tends to his flock and shepherds them towards heaven through catechetical instruction, sermons and other admonitions.  He sanctifies them through administation of the sacraments.  He has to be shrewd and prudent and use many methods and tactics to attain his goal: more souls in heaven, for their good and for God’s glory.  The pastor of souls, with the cura animarum, is responsible before God for the souls in his charge.  He will answer to God for these souls when his time for judgment arrives… and it will arrive.

The priest who senses the weight of the cura animarum, relying on the help of God to make his own hands strong enough for this work – so that ever good work is Christ crowning His own works in us – will come to sense zelus animarum, “zeal for souls”.   You might know the famous first antiphon for Tenebrae of Holy Thursday, Matins, Zelus domus tuae comedit me… Zeal for your house consumes me.  Since the first time I ever sang that antiphon at the first Tenebrae I ever participated in,  that’s been it for me.  Zeal for souls, zeal for God’s “house”, which means souls who are, as Paul describes, the stones that build up the Church, should animate a priest and a bishop.

Priests and bishops are not here to make you feel good about yourselves.  They are given by Christ the High Priest to the Church, to you, to help you get to heaven.  There are zillions of routes by which priests can work for the care of souls.  Sometimes it happens that they must stress material needs… but always with an eye on the true and over riding goal: a soul for heaven.

Earthly life is short.  Eternity is long.

Was it St. John Bosco who said, “Da mihi animas!  Caetera tolle!”?

Fathers, think about souls for heaven, not about being “liked”.  Don’t take the soft and deceptive road which might prompt plaudits and coos in this life.  Be a priest!  Be that immediately, local manifestation of Christus Medicus.   Hard times need hard love.  The doctor doesn’t stop applying the remedy just because the patient screams for him to stop.  “Nice” doesn’t get souls into heaven.  And you will be judged for your care of souls, dear Father… ohhhhh yes.  One day you will be in the presence of the Iustus Iudex, and you will have an explanation.  “These, who were mine, were lost!”

I cannot shake the sense that we are entering into a dark time such as we have never experienced before.  Christians have always, since the Ascension of the Lord, sensed themselves in the “end times”, and I don’t want to diminish that.  However, Our Lord also told us to watch the “signs of the times”.  I’m watching the signs of the time and I don’t like what I see.  I am left discomforted, which I suppose we all ought to be, given that one day we will go before the King of Fearful Majesty to render an account of our works and what we love.

What Bishop Morlino is going is exactly right.  It’s time to start growing more and more into serious, transformative sacred liturgical worship as individuals and as communities in the Church, small and large, families, parishes, dioceses, nations.  We have to sober up and grow up.

Our sacred liturgical worship was, as Benedict XVI so aptly described, fractured in the improper implementation of the reforms mandated by Vatican II.  We didn’t actually get what the Council Fathers mandated.  This rupture has reeked havoc with our Catholic identity.   Vast swathes of the nominally Catholic have little sense of the content of the Catholic faith, by which I mean both the fides quae creditur and the fides qua creditur.   Our liturgical worship has been screwed up for so long that the Lord’s vinyard as been, as Card. Sarah recently described, “devastated”.  Only the blind and obtuse – or those responsible for the devastation – don’t see this.

Years ago I posted my manifesto about the connection of what goes on in the wider world with our liturgical worship.  HERE  and especially HERE  For example,

Do we believe the consecration really does something? Or, do we believe what is said and how, what the gestures are and the attitude in which they made are entirely indifferent? For example, will a choice not to kneel before Christ the King and Judge truly present in each sacred Host, produce a wider effect?

If you throw a stone, even a pebble, into a pool it produces ripples which expand to its edge. The way we celebrate Mass must create spiritual ripples in the Church and the world.

So does our good or bad reception of Holy Communion.

So must violations of rubrics and irreverence.

Mass is not merely a “teaching moment” or a “celebration of unity” or a “tedious obligation”. Our choice of music, architecture, ceremonies and language affect more than one small congregation in one building. We are interconnected in both our common human nature and in baptism. When we sin we hurt the whole Body of Christ the Church.

If that is true for sin, it must also be true for our liturgical choices. They must also have personal and corporate impact. Any Mass can be offered for the intentions of the living or the dead.

Not even death is an obstacle to the efficacy of Holy Mass.

Celebrate Mass well, participate properly – affect the whole world. Celebrate poorly – affect the whole world.

If our liturgical worship as a Church is disordered, then everything else in the Church will be disordered.  The Eucharist is different from the other sacraments in that the Eucharist IS what It symbolizes.  The Eucharist is the great jewel around which the other sacraments glitter in Its glory.  The Eucharist, that is the Sacred Species as well as their celebration which is Holy Mass, is described as the “source and summit” of who we are, what we do.  Everything flows back and forth across our individual and collective lives in the Church, and therefore in the whole world, from and to the Eucharist.   If we don’t get this right, nothing else will be right.  If our worship isn’t properly ordered, then no other effort or initiative we undertake in the Church will bear fruit.

We have to rebuild our Catholic identity soul by soul.  The concrete physical gestures of worship, including getting down on our knees before GOD in the Blessed Sacrament, receiving rather than taking, humbly recognizing the anointed hands of the priest, help us in our spirit.  We are body and soul, both.  We need physical reminders of the invisible realities.

Hence, what Bp. Morlino did is exactly right.  He has provided a personal example.  He has shown leadership.  He has prudently allows a congruent period of time for instruction as well as dialogue with the priests and faithful.  This is great blessing to Holy Church as he fulfills faithfully his heavy mandate.  May his example be taken up by many pastors of souls.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
This entry was posted in ¡Hagan lío!, "How To..." - Practical Notes, ASK FATHER Question Box, Hard-Identity Catholicism, Just Too Cool, Liturgy Science Theatre 3000, New Evangelization, The future and our choices, Wherein Fr. Z Rants and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.


  1. lmgilbert says:

    At our Dominican parish in Portland we’ve had Mass ad orientem for some months now and it is going very well. We also have a communion rail, thanks be to God, and almost everyone receives on the tongue. There are no extraordinary ministers, nor chalice for the faithful. Beyond that, intriguingly, there is a coterie of women who insist that there be no women in the sanctuary, either as lectors or servers. A natural corollary of this is that there is a very large cadre of boys and young men who serve Mass and who do so expertly. There are four of us older men who routinely serve Mass and read during the week and till recently did so in street clothes. Now we are to wear dress shoes, and be vested in amice and alb. The pastor recently reintroduced the prayers after Mass, after the Noon Mass.

    But there is one more thing that cannot be mandated by the pastor, but happens nevertheless, and that is that many people remain after Mass to make a Thanksgiving. The parish is devout anyway, and it is difficult to know what is causing what, but almost never have we arrived to find the Church empty of people praying, or to leave without leaving behind us people in the Church on their knees, even fifteen minutes after Mass. By way of contrast, when I used to lector at the Cathedral here, the vast emptiness of that space just a few minutes after Mass was very noticeable and distressing.

    Maybe it sounds too much like commercial advertising, but generally do we not need some encouragement to commune with Our Lord after receiving Holy Communion? After going through the trouble it takes to go to Mass, what a waste not to reap the fullest possible benefit from having received Our Lord by spending some time in His company. How many graces we may have missed by hurrying off, perhaps even major graces such as a vocation, or wisdom for an intractable situation, or simply a fuller blessing from God on our lives.

  2. acardnal says:

    Hopefully, this effort will result in the return of communion rails, too!

  3. Nathan says:

    Hearty kudos to H.E. Bishop Morlino! And to the rant as well. The depth of Almighty God’s love for us and mercy to us and solicitude for us so so great and unfathomable that, as a matter of justice, mankind owes God our best, especially in worship. IMO, care of souls demands that be taught by example to the Faithful. After all, fallen human nature will almost invariably respond to the lack of giving Him our best in our worship (even with Our Lord doing His part in the liturgy) with “it must not be important, then.”

    This is why the full restoration of the TLM and Ad Orientem and elimination of Holy Communion in the hand and the restoration of actual Sacred Music instead of Broadway pop are not mere matters of liturgical taste, but rather matters of eternal life and death.

    In Christ,

  4. Sue says:

    God bless Bishop Morlino! I asked our priest what I could do to help make kneeling for the Holy Eucharist a permanent option and he replied “Pray”. We have plenty of room for the two kneelers to be left in place and when he tried it out during Advent the last two years, many people knelt. We tried out Mass facing the Lord also during Advent, after much much explanation as to why we should face east. Christmas came and that was the end of facing east and kneeling for the Holy Eucharist. After so much convincing explaining, why would we not continue? It’s like being teased. But I’m praying and remaining hopeful. Again, God bless Bishop Morlino!

  5. Tom A. says:

    I would say that is the OLD Evangelization not the new one. Also, I think some Council Fathers got exactly what they wanted with the Novus Ordo. A less catholic, more protestant liturgy.

  6. Charles E Flynn says:


    I often wonder whether the communion rail in my local parish, which was removed in the miserable aftermath of Vatican II, has been used for firewood, or is in storage somewhere, awaiting the return of reverence and sanity. It was the most beautiful turned wood I ever saw in my childhood.

  7. Serviam says:

    Hooray for Bishop Morlino and all the faithful in his diocese! This is how shepherding is done……

    Thank You, Lord.

    Keep praying brothers and sisters…..

  8. iamlucky13 says:

    “At our Dominican parish in Portland we’ve had Mass ad orientem for some months now and it is going very well.”

    You’re making me miss living in Portland and attending that parish when I could. The Dominicans there definitely did their part to help parishioners get as much as possible out of the Mass, starting with excellent availability of confessions.

    Kneeling at the Communion rail to receive was the norm as long as I’ve ever been there. It took me by surprise the first time I attended, and I had a brief worry there was something more I was supposed to know and a pointless teenage self-consciousness about sticking out my tongue, but I instinctively recognized the reverence of kneeling to receive Our Lord and not presuming to handle the Host if not necessary.

  9. acardnal says:

    Charles E. Flynn, it may very well be in storage. I have read stories where parishioners have purchased them and stored them for future use.

    Bp. Morlino is a Godsend. He has requested that his seminarians learn both forms of the Latin Mass, AND he has requested that pastors return the tabernacle to the center of the sanctuary, AND he celebrates Mass ad orientem, AND now has asked the members of his flock receive holy communion on the tongue while kneeling. AND vocations are surging! God bless him.

  10. Atra Dicenda, Rubra Agenda says:

    “The doctor doesn’t stop applying the remedy just because the patient screams for him to stop.”

    I completely agree with your thought process, but this line…well…actually…as a surgeon…

  11. OldProfK says:

    The concrete physical gestures of worship, including getting down on our knees before GOD in the Blessed Sacrament, receiving rather than taking, humbly recognizing the anointed hands of the priest, help us in our spirit.

    Now I understand. I never did before. Thank you, Father.

  12. GM Thobe says:

    Great news, hopefully many of the priests follow the lead. What is the project for next year? Latin? Chant? His Excellency sounds like a real Vatican II bishop. I’d love to see a few more…

  13. Charles E Flynn says:


    Thank you for giving me hope during Holy Week.

    The church of my childhood has been renovated, with spectacular results. It remains only to put the tabernacle back where it belongs, and to re-install the communion rail.

  14. yatzer says:

    I am profoundly grateful for my parish and the pastor who restored using the altar rail, etc. and the priests who have continued the same way.

  15. phlogiston says:

    …wherein Bishop Morlino paints a target on his own back. Vague, bogus accusations against him begin in 5…4…3…

  16. Nun2OCDS says:

    As we seek to rebuild “our Catholic identity soul by soul” let us not forget the importance of silence in Church. At our church where TLM is offered most Sundays, hardly anyone stays after Mass to make a thanksgiving; until recently our family was one who stayed but no longer. Why? because of so many people are talking in Church. We have now resorted to sitting in the car in silent prayer before going home.

    When we leave the altar rail our time with Our Lord physically present within us is about 15 minutes. Can we not remain SILENTLY in church for that long in loving communion, contemplation and thanksgiving?

  17. Charles E Flynn says:


    I usually arrive at mass about thirty minutes before it begins, as people are leaving from the preceding mass. I kneel wearing earplugs. So far, few people get the message.

  18. Elizabeth D says:

    I was at this Chrism Mass. I am not sure how the kneeling for Communion will work since it is not that practical if you are in a line. I will gladly do so if the bishop wants, but really yes we need the Communion rail.

    I can remember an occasion at a young adult group some years ago where Bishop Morlino was the speaker and in the course of this he told us some things meant to be humorous about people receiving Holy Communion on the tongue. His intention may have been to deflate any flat caricature of him and his traditional image, and if I recall, he also seemed to want to send a message that he would not try to ban Communion on the hand. If I told what he was saying in this context and the point he seemed to be trying to make, honestly it might raise surprised eyebrows. Then I blurted out: “that’s why we need the Communion rail.” The bishop pivoted 90 degrees and jabbed his finger at me silently, with an expression like: “bingo!” even though I had just apparently shot a cannonball in what he had been saying. I wonder if now-seminarian Steve Brunner (who led the Stations of the Cross ad orientem today) might remember this since I think he would have been there. I happened to be sitting next to the Cathedral rector who started twitching strongly, I did not dare look at his face to see if he was suppressing laughter or if he was irritated with me, or warning me not to mess with the bishop, or some combination. To me this is a very funny memory. But I think even before that there was an occasion or two at Sunday Mass when the Bishop had a kneeler or two placed at the front of the church for people to kneel for Communion if they chose to. So his preference about that was clear.

  19. Kathleen10 says:

    I wonder if Bishops or priests can imagine how many people read your words Father Z., and are silently hoping, hoping, that these words will take root and come to fruition. The people are starving for the Catholic faith, the real one. I don’t see anything wrong with religious nostalgia, I have no idea why that is so scorned by ecclesiastics, but in our case it is not religious nostalgia, since I don’t remember the old days of Latin, and a Pre-Vatican II Holy Mass. But this is what we want, what resonates with our hearts and souls. The more we see the demolition of the faith, the more in fact we want it.
    It all starts with the bishops and priests. The laity cannot bring the kind of changes we want to see, it can only come from Bishops and priests who do as Father Z. indicates here. We take our lead from you. Please, lead.

  20. William Tighe says:

    “Charles E. Flynn, it may very well be in storage. I have read stories where parishioners have purchased them and stored them for future use.”

    As in the English Reformation, where history records numerous cases of church ornaments and items connected with the Mass liturgy (missals, vestments, censers, etc.) being hidden away in 1559 by clergy and Catholic (or at least Catholic-minded) layfolk awaiting a restoration that, alas, never came. In some cases they were hidden away for decades, until either discovered by Protestant “snoopers” or surrendered by the “conformist” descendants of those that had hidden them; and in either case then publicly destroyed – as, for instance, at Masham, in Yorkshire, in 1595, after 36 years of surreptitious concealment.

  21. chantgirl says:

    God bless this Bishop! And may the laity pray for his protection, maybe offering one of their knelling-and-on-the-tongue Communions for him, that he may be protected from the world, the flesh, and the devil, and nefarious Churchmen.

  22. David Meyer says:

    This is great news, and I hate to throw any cold water on it, but here goes. Why is this merely a suggestion by His Excellency? Does he not clearly have the authority to simply require it? And my guess would be that the haters will crow just as loud if he required it or suggested it, so why not?

    Another point from experience, is when people try to do this in a damaged Church where the altar rail has been desecrated by removal, the process of receiving communion is much slower. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t mind it taking an hour if need be, but the “in-the-hand” crowd will often use this reasoning. It may be some parishes try it and find it takes to long and go back to standing and in the hand reception (although I have found altar rails to be much faster than standing, even at an EF mass).
    For this reason, commanding altar rails be restored may be the best way to solve many problems at once. Altar rails presuppose kneeling, and create a natural barrier to EMHC and lector infiltration.
    Having said this, may God bless this Bishop, and I hope we see more boldness from him.

  23. Elizabeth D says:

    It would be tyrannical and wrong to deny the Eucharist to people who have always received Communion on the hand and in some cases do so with faith and reverence. I grew up with that and when I began to want to change it was actually truly very hard and awkward. Trying to force people would have extremely negative effects and should not be done, but I think in general only lay people would seriously suggest it. Seriously, it is one thing to receive on the tongue willingly and peacefully and another for someone to try to force anything into another person’s mouth, which risks being experienced as humiliating and even as violent. The very nature of Communion on the tongue and an important aspect of what makes it a better way to receive Our Lord is that it is an attitude of willing receptivity. However, I think it is way, way more natural and less awkward for keeling (as opposed to standing) people to receive on the tongue and normalizing the use of the Communion rail would actually make it much easier for people.

    Teaching the children a better way is exactly right. I am one of the teachers of the First Communion kids Bishop Morlino’s Cathedral Parish and although I do explain both ways of receiving Communion I emphasize that it is more reverent and better to receive on the tongue and that is what they should do, and the only images I show are of people receiving Communion on the tongue. I hand out a holy card to every child of a boy or girl receiving Communion from Jesus in chasuble at the altar rail, the child in the picture kneeling and apparently going to receive on the tongue.

  24. lmgilbert says:


    “The people are starving for the Catholic faith, the real one. I don’t see anything wrong with religious nostalgia. ”

    I think the word you are looking for is “authenticity,” and it is true right down the line. When their souls are at stake, people do not want to be victims of innovation and subjects of endless experimentation. They want “the real deal” with all their hearts, because they want eternal life with all their hearts. The underlying unspoken question is, “Will this take me to Heaven . . .or not?” Does this liturgical upheaval and spirituality being foisted on us have any indication of divine approbation, of miracles, of white hot sanctity breaking out, of mass conversions? No, it does not. Whereas, with Padre Pio, with Vincent Ferrer, with St. Bernard and the spirituality and liturgical ethos which produced them, which they both exemplified and promulgated, we have obvious indication of Divine approval. Moreover, there is an interior witness of the Holy Spirit: “Here! Here is Divine Life! Do you not feel it welling up within you?”

    The same is true on the vocation front. Young women are being drawn to the traditional orders, and it is NOT because they have “nostalgia for something that never was,” as liberal orders have deceived themselves into thinking, but because in visiting a traditional Carmel, for example, they encounter authenticity, a touch of Divine approbation. Whereas, when they visit liberal motherhouses —centers of endless experimentation with habit, spirituality, charism— they encounter emptiness . . .albeit cheerful emptiness. In fact, I can think of one mother house here in Portland where young women thinking of entering the order are told, “Now you must understand that on entering here, you are entering a place of death.” Of course, the reference is to the average age of the nuns, but the metaphorical force would not be lost on a candidate looking for Divine Life, an authentic way to live out her life as a nun. Again, a major Benedictine mother house in the Chicagoland area, which has placed itself under the spiritual tutelage of Joan Chittister, O.S.B. for decades, and which used to be a teaching and a nursing order has now discovered a charism of hospitality. And why is that? Because to survive they need to sell off parts of their motherhouse to become condominiums for seniors. They are disappearing with as much decorum as possible.

    For my money, one of the biggest stories of the century on the spiritual front is the implosion of the Cistercians (Trappists). See, “The Waning Vigor of the Order” in American Benedictine Review last Fall by the Abbot General of the order. He proposes various logistic solutions similar to what we are experiencing here in the downsizing of parishes, but wholly misses the fact that the order has broken with the charism and spirituality of its founders, has lost its authenticity. Visit the various websites for the order and becomes very obvious that de Rance’ , founder of the Trappists, is now persona non grata in the order. Moreover, one of the monasteries in the very vanguard of mitigating away Cistercian spirituality has gotten in the casket making business, the symbolism of which was not lost on me when they first undertook it. Another Cistercian monastery is selling cemetery plots. So, unless they pull out of this swandive, Cisterican abbeys, too, are becoming places of death. It is so blatant, and why is so blatant as well.

    In fact, if one wanted a principle of discernment both for liturgical practice and religious life, far better than the conservative/liberal lens is that of authentic/inauthentic. That in turn can be resolved into the presence or absence of Divine Life/ fidelity or infidelity to the Magisterium/ conformity to the life and teaching of the saints or not/ good fruit or bad fruit/ life or death.

  25. benedetta says:

    I really like how this shepherd is encouraging his flock in this effort to an opportunity to as a community through their expressions of belief in receiving communion to be an edifying presence of witness, communion, belief, awe, reverence, and intentionality. Numerous saints, including contemporary ones, and holy people in our own age, have communicated that their witness of believers receiving communion prayerfully was a motivating element in their intensifying examination of the Faith and their own response to the goodness of God recognized in many myriad ways. In times which are generally very discouraging to all attempting the Christian journey, seeing one another in prayer and adoration and receiving in this way is a very powerful help to us to cohere together in solidarity in this struggle in this life. I will keep this Bishop in my prayers.

  26. Charles E Flynn says:

    From Further Problems With American Eucharistic Practice, by John M. Grondelski, for Crisis Magazine:

    In identifying issues with Eucharistic praxis in America, Christian Browne rightly puts our focus on how—wrongly—practices connected with Holy Communion in the United States have eroded important parts of our faith and identity. What’s most telling is that those practices are devoid of a rubrical base or warrant in the typical liturgical books. They often rest on the justification of the “spirit” of Vatican II. Fifty years later—and following the injunction of I John 4:1—we might deem certain spirits worthy of exorcism.

  27. trschroder says:

    Being older and a little stiff in the knees and wobbly, I would mention that kneeling and rising without a communion rail as a steadier is somewhat scary. So I would think the kneeling and the rail should go together.

  28. asburyfox says:

    Next on the agenda should be banning altar girls for the entire diocese. The diocese of Lincoln is the only lone diocese in the country to do so. We need more dioceses to the same. A movement that needs to increase among orthodox bishops and dioceses.

  29. hwriggles4 says:

    Last night I drove 75 minutes through construction and rush hour traffic to attend Holy Thursday Mass (I think they called it the Maudry) at the Anglican Ordinariate parish in Arlington, TX. Well worth the drive. Bishop Lopes was the celebrant and communion was done kneeling at the Altar rail and on the tongue. Bishop Lopes washed the feet of twelve men (readers – if your Holy Thursday liturgy consisted of twelve men please thank your priests), and the entire Cadre of Altar servers were male. I noticed how attentive the 18 and under crowd was to this Holy Thursday Mass (and quite a few were present) and I could tell that the congregation wanted to be there. Mass lasted two hours, and I didn’t notice anyone complaining or leaving early.

  30. comedyeye says:

    Bishop Morlino just LEAPED into second place on my Top 10 Bishop List (TM)
    behind Cardinal Burke.

  31. NBW says:

    God Bless Bishop Morlino!!!!! We NEED more bishops to do the same. I wish our bishop who is now a cardinal would do the same.

  32. Former Altar Boy says:

    Elizabeth D. (13 April 2017 at 8:47 AM) opined in part:

    “It would be tyrannical and wrong to deny the Eucharist to people who have always received Communion on the hand and in some cases do so with faith and reverence. I grew up with that and when I began to want to change it was actually truly very hard and awkward. Trying to force people would have extremely negative effects and should not be done,..”

    I imagined how the entire Church felt when we were denied the Eucharist on the tongue while kneeling when the nonsense and novelties of Vat2 were forced on us. I’m sure the NO will still be available in liberal parishes and those who find it too difficult to be reverent can travel to such parishes as the TLM adherents have done for 50 years.

  33. L. says:

    That is truly admirable.
    On a related note, I attended Mass on Easter Sunday morning outside of my home parish. I was struck by the fact that the Deacon, vested and at the altar, received communion in the hand, not on the tongue.

  34. Michael Giedraitis says:

    My guess is you are referring to The Queen of the Most Holy Rosary Parish (aka Holy Rosary). I call it the holiest place in Portland.

  35. Eugene says:

    How lucky you people of the Madison diocese are. I hope this man has many years left and that he won’t be replace by a Francis type bishop

  36. Pingback: Restoration Round-up: The Zeal For Tradition | The Deus Ex Machina Blog

  37. APX says:


    While kneeling at the altar rail and receiving communion on the tongue seems to be the preferred method of reception, but communion in the hand is still permitted. It’s not like it is in the EF.

  38. OldLady says:

    Cause for celebration but saddens me still;there was a time when this reverence would have been the norm not the exception. Which is exactly why we celebrate! There is light at the end of the tunnel, but many more people need to see that light. Thanks to all priests who work so hard to keep us on the straight and narrow…..

  39. Elizabeth D says:

    Bishop Morlino has his strengths and weaknesses.

  40. moon1234 says:

    Bishop Morlino’s urging of communion on the tongue while kneeling is a very thomistic view:

    “The dispensing of Christ’s body belongs to the priest for three reasons. First, because . . . he consecrates in the person of Christ . . . Secondly, because the priest is the appointed intermediary between God and the people, hence as it belongs to him to offer the people’s gifts to God, so it belongs to him to deliver the consecrated gifts to the people. Thirdly, because out of reverence toward this sacrament nothing touches it but what is consecrated, hence the corporal and the chalice are consecrated, and likewise the priest’s hands, for touching this sacrament. Hence it is not lawful for anyone else to touch it, except from necessity — for instance, if it were to fall upon the ground, or else in some other case of urgency.”

    For my own children I instruct them NEVER to receive communion in the hand for one simple reason. They will never know if any particle is left on their hands or may fall on the floor. For all of the particles are the full body, blood soul and divinity of Christ. Once this is understood it is only natural to receive only on the tongue and while kneeling (if ones body still permits kneeling).

    If one was to pour gold dust into your hands, how careful would you be to save every particle? How much more careful should we be with our Lord?

    – Communion in the hand.

  41. Elizium23 says:

    It is with a heavy heart that I report that I have been denied Holy Communion while kneeling. It happened in the parish where I frequent Daily Mass on Tuesday and Thursday nights. It was by the pastor of the place. He confronted me in the line and prevented me from kneeling. His explanation was “it is not the norm” and we can’t have that going on here. He also “corrected” at least one other man that I saw attempting to kneel.

    I am unsure how to proceed. I am unwilling to make a scene or cause a ruckus out of this. At the same time I am in a quandary about future reception during Mass. It is my right to kneel and it is my custom now, and has been for a whole year. The priest in question is a very holy and orthodox man, and uses quite a bit of Latin… I can’t explain this attitude in light of what I know about him.

    Please pray for me, and for him. Blessings.

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