At my parish since March of this year, the Holy Eucharist has been found on the floor 14+ times. Initially, when our Lord was found, I addressed it from the pulpit, asked certain parishioners to watch, inform me of any suspicious behavior, and wrote about the implications in the parish bulletin. When the sacrileges continued, I required all communicants to receive on the tongue until further notice in light of Redemptoris Sacramentum, 92. [“… If there is a risk of profanation, then Holy Communion should not be given in the hand to the faithful.”] A few weeks later, I received a letter from my bishop that stated I must allow parishioners the option to receive on the hand. If parishioners were adamant to receive on the hand, I would give holy Communion on the hand.
However, this past weekend, two sacred hosts were found. Now, I believe the only option is to not distribute holy Communion until the perpetrator is turned in.
Would you know if canonically, I am able to do this?
Please pray for me.
Know of my prayers for you and the Diocese of Madison!
It is hard to imagine how this happens. At the same time, given our state in the Church after decades of disaster it is not hard at all. Things will get worse before they get better.
It is also difficult to imagine a bishop not making the connection here. But it really isn’t, I guess.
Alas, you are in a tough spot. If the bishop insists that you disobey Redemptionis Sacramentum 92 – I am glad he put that in writing – then you might try one of those old fashioned solutions. You know the sort I mean, when there are one or two screw up in the platoon, then weekend leave is cancelled for the entire platoon until the screwing up stops.
If the mandate from the bishop is that you must permit reception in the hand, then you might significantly slow down the distribution of Communion.
Have ushers on either side of the priest distributing. As an individual comes up to communicate, require that those who opt to receive in the hand place the Sacred Host in his or her mouth and swallow before the ushers permit the individual to return to the pews.
This will also give the organist time to make it through all 57 verses of “Whatsoever You Do.”