H1N1 “Swine Flu” Pandemic. Right?
Here’s some food for thought for bishops out there who think that they can simply run over the law – and people – via the excuse of can. 223.
Meanwhile, in a US diocese, these directives were sent out to the priests. I note a couple of things. My emphases and comments:
Several questions have been posed regarding how ministers should address situations in which communicants insist on receiving Holy Communion on the tongue at Mass.
First, it should be noted that the recent diocesan liturgical guidelines indicate that Holy Communion will be distributed in the hand. This is the ancient and reverent option that Bishop ___ is asking the faithful to adopt during this time. [It is true that it is “ancient”. It is also true that distribution on the hand was NOT then as people do it now!] It is also noted that the Bishop is not forbidding anything permitted in Church law which does grant the faithful the right to receive Communion on the tongue. [So, he’s is not forbidding something that he can’t forbid.]
Should person(s) insist [DING DING DING – Say the magic woid, and win a hunud dahluhs. Those people who “insist”. They are such a bother.] on receiving Holy Communion on the tongue, this should take place after all in the congregation who are receiving in the hand have received per the directives. In other words, no one insisting on receiving on the tongue should precede those receiving in the hand. [Separate and not equal. But, as I mention below in a comment, since there is far greater chance that the priest will touch the grubby disease ridden hand of the communicant immediately before you, perhaps it’s better that all of those hand-sticker-outers be segregated away from those who desire to receive on the tongue.]
Additionally, Communion ministers must sanitize their hand if there is contact with the communicant’s tongue, face, hand, or breath before distributing Holy Communion to the next communicant. This can be arranged by having purification materials, e.g., disinfectant wipe/sanitizer, nearby in the event it is necessary as the possibility of transferring any contagion is to be mitigated for the benefit of everyone’s health.
See my solution. HERE
Look. In this case the bishop admits that he won’t forbid what he can’t forbid. He doesn’t, as some have, say that those people – you know, those people who “insist” – have to receive Communion after Mass.
But was it really necessary to use that snarky tone? Really? It signals a great deal. He would ban communion on the tongue if he could. He’ll continue to allow those people who insist to receive as they choose.