Archbp. of Kampala forbids Communion in the hand, other decrees

From PML (Post Media Ltd in Uganda) comes this story.  HERE

The Archbishop of Kampala, Most Rev. Cyprian Kizito Lwanga (age 67), has issued some decrees.

First, he has decreed on 1 Feb 2020 that “every priest, be it a curate or parish priest, will be required to serve for three years in any given parish, school or area. From there, his contract can then be renewed for another three years, after which he will transferred to another area. He said no priest will be allowed to serve beyond two three-year terms at a parish.”

I suspect what this is a similar to the (I think bad) practice in these USA of assigning priests for a 6 year term, renewable. Instead, it is a three year term.

Moreover, Masses are not to be celebrated in homes.

Moreover, he has admonished cohabiting (unmarried) couples not to receive Communion.

Moreover, he has said that priests should avoid having lay people distribute Communion at Mass.

Moreover, priests and deacons are to wear proper vestments.

Moreover, and this is the big one, he has forbidden Communion in the hand. Separate story HERE

“Henceforth, it is forbidden to distribute or to receive Holy Communion In the hands. Mother Church enjoins US to hold the Most Holy Eucharist in the highest honor (Can. 898). Due to many reported instances of dishonoring the Eucharist that have been associated with reception of the Eucharist in the hands, it is lilting to return to the more reverent method of receiving the Eucharist on the tongue,…”

Hopefully this can be a model for decrees by other bishops across the world.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

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

    I can picture Cardinal Kasper rolling his eyes… We know how he loves the Africans.

  2. Charles E Flynn says:

    I have mixed feelings about the requirement that no priest serve more than six years at an assignment. There could be cases in which a priest needs six years or more to clean up the mess made by his predecessor, and it would be a shame if, having just cleaned up the mess, the priest were not allowed to enjoy the fruits of his labors. The layman is supposed to be able to enjoy the fruits of his labors on his day of rest, once a week.

    As for the rest of it, it is a pleasure to see that Robert Cardinal Sarah is not the only deeply-unconfused ordained African.

  3. Maximilian75 says:

    I’ve never been a fan of rotating pastors. If we expect pastors to be spiritual fathers, how can we expect them to build a good relationship with their flocks if they know they’ll eventually be moved? It also teaches parishoners to wait to address issues with Father’s successor rather than taking them up with the current priest.

  4. Gregg the Obscure says:

    any idea if his excellency is related to the glorious martyr St. Charles Lwanga?

  5. scoot says:

    Everything about this is fantastic. I have some thoughts on the priest rotation (echoing somewhat previous commenters), though I don’t know if I’m the unreasonable one or if the Church is being overcautious. I’ll note up front, if I was betting on either the Church being wrong, or me, it’s probably me.

    In any case: I have a vague notion that Priests used to be charged with the care of parish, both building and flock. A bad priests flock would dwindle, and a bishop would be alerted by the poor fruit coming from that particular branch that intervention is needed. I think that it would be good for there to be an anchor Parish Priest, whether the subordinate parochial vicars rotate or not. I suppose the three year “up/down” is a vote of confidence from the bishop, but I fear it could be used for ill as much as for good. A deceitful bishop might destabilize fathers who oppose him by moving him around; poor priests would affect more parishes than few.

    With full acknowledgement that I don’t see the big picture, is my understanding of “the old days” correct? Has there always been this priest rotation and I just am unaware? Is there a benefit to it that I’m not seeing?

  6. Several very good decrees.

    In re rotating pastors: one of the justifications I have heard for this is that it is meant to prevent a cult of personality from developing around priests. My reply to that is that the Church has been deliberately re-oriented to make man the center of everything, and this starts with the liturgy. The Novus Ordo Missae is inherently structured to encourage priests to put their own peculiar (and I do mean peculiar) stamp on the Mass, thus creating a situation where every Mass is different, depending on the celebrant. THAT, coupled with versus populum, encourages cults of personality to develop. In the Traditional Mass, on the other hand, the priest’s personality completely disappears. So if we’re serious about stamping out cults of personality, then restore the tabernacle to front and center; shelve the Novus Ordo in favor of the Traditional Mass, which does not admit of a lot of improv; and bring back the principle that it’s a mortal sin for priests deliberately to tweak the Mass. Then it will be a lot easier for priests to stop competing with God for our attention.

  7. PiusV says:

    I am ready for an African Pope. Straight forward no nonsense theology, Christ first in all things. I would have no reservations calling His Grace here Your Holiness. Political correctness is of the world and does not have a place in Holy Mother the Church as put forth in this decree.

  8. PiusV says:

    Oh, and the Curia following Canon Law, what a concept!

  9. Kerry says:

    Anita More, O.P.(lay). Hear hear!!

  10. FatherFinn207 says:

    There’s a lot to like about this!

    My one small quibble is with his assertion in no. 3 that canon 932 §1 requires “grave necessity” to offer Mass outside of a sacred place. Of course this shouldn’t be a regular practice, but the text of the canon speaks only of necessity: “The eucharistic celebration is to be carried out in a sacred place unless in a particular case necessity requires otherwise; in such a case the celebration must be done in a decent place.”

  11. William says:

    The Masses in homes interests me. I once went to a Mass in the home of a Jesuit priest. He was a parish priest, but he lived in a huge house with a couple other priests a mile or three away from the church in a pricey part of town. The atmosphere was formal but relaxed and lacked any sense of reverence, though it didn’t have irreverence either.

    On the other hand, I’ve known immigrant families (such as Filipinos) who have had priests (usually Filipino priests that they had some connection with) come from long distances to say Mass in their homes for special occasions, such as a house blessing or on the feast of their island’s patron.

    The latter were celebrations filled with joy and popular piety. The former was more like a secular upper-class house party that also happened to have Mass.

  12. Volanges says:

    Isn’t he just saying only those who have properly been appointed as EMHC can distribute, rather than saying not to use EMHCs? In two parishes where I was EMHC, our names were submitted to the Bishop by the Pastor, who also provided reasons why we were suited to the ministry. If we were accepted, the Bishop then sent back letters or certificates of appointment that made it clear that we were to serve only in our parish and giving a time limit to our ministry. I still have my original letter from ca. 1986.

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  14. Just Some Guy says:

    Ad multos annos!

  15. Suburbanbanshee says:

    Presumably some of this is intended to address specific Bad Things happening in Kampala. Some of it is just a good idea.

  16. Augustin56 says:

    Although I very much like the pastor we have at our parish, I think there may be a case for transferring priests regularly. I have seen priests become too popular to the point where they are following him rather than Christ. There was one priest in my home town whose Mass was usually packed. Why? Because he was FAST! Sunday Mass was always under 30 minutes! A 5 minute homily was very long and rare for him. But he did everything fast. He frequently got stopped by the cops for speeding. When they saw a priest with a collar, they’d just ask him to please slow down. No ticket.

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