Archbp. Rodi of Mobile to force priests to distribute Communion as he wants, or priests can’t say Mass publicly

From LifeSite:

US archbishop forbids priests to say public Masses if they offer Communion on tongue

MOBILE, Alabama, June 2, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) — Archbishop Thomas J. Rodi of Mobile, Alabama, has warned his priests that they are not allowed to celebrate public Masses if they want to distribute Holy Communion on the tongue.

“If any priest cannot follow archdiocesan regulations, it will be necessary for him to refrain from the celebration of public Masses,” Rodi wrote in a May 20 letter obtained by LifeSiteNews (see full letter HERE). “This matter is too serious for us to take any other approach than one of extreme caution for the safety of others.”

Public Masses in the Archdiocese of Mobile began again on May 12. Prior to that, Archbishop Rodi had published detailed guidelines, already indicating that “[a]ny church unable to strictly fulfill these requirements may not have public Masses.”

At that time, Rodi did not explicitly prohibit the reception of the Eucharist on the tongue, nor did he prescribe reception in the hand. He only wrote, “Communicants are to maintain social distancing when receiving Communion from the priest.”

In his May 20 letter, however, he revealed the following: “Complaints have been received in my office that priests are not maintaining social distancing when distributing Communion and not sanitizing their hands after touching someone else.”

“Social distancing must be maintained during the Mass and the only way to maintain social distancing when distributing Communion is by the communicant receiving on the hand,” Rodi then declared.


B as in B. S as in S.

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  1. In his May 20 letter, however, he revealed the following: “Complaints have been received in my office that priests are not maintaining social distancing when distributing Communion and not sanitizing their hands after touching someone else.”

    The Stasification of the Church proceeds apace.

  2. Suppose complaints were received in his office about anti-social distancing and other anti-social practices in his diocese and about archbishops who ignored canon law and liturgical law? It’s really time that some bishop– in any diocese at all– publicly castigated his brother bishops in particular and the public in general for the unacceptable lack of civility that has come to characterize public attitudes and behavior (not just discourse) these days. As much as I hate livestreaming, with its choppy audio and lack of the Real Presence, it’s at the point where I just can’t see myself going anywhere near a church until the powers that be get the message that they are part of the problem and not part of the solution as long as they are thinking that physical safety is the only thing that matters. That attitude has to be confronted head-on and unambiguously. The leaders of the Church who essentially have declared war on the faithful are no better than the leaders of government, who essentially have declared war on their own citizens. The shame is that there are still so many good priests who are looking to serve the faithful, but even they are undercut by the “safety first” bureaucratic mentality. We need a few courageous ones to lead the charge, even if they are close to 75 and have nothing to lose; it seemed that the only judges willing to help Cardinal Pell were the retired judge on the appellate court and the life-tenured judges on the High Court. We need someone to start fighting this mass insanity everywhere it appears in whatever form and degree. Just one sitting diocesan bishop– will you please step up to the plate and get the ball rolling? You’ll never win a popularity contest, but Jesus never promised us that; he promised persecution to those who followed him.

  3. Rob83 says:

    In the Steubenville diocese, the bishop has implemented a sensible policy. Aside from capacity restrictions and keeping distance between different families, people are largely free to come as they wish to come and to receive as they wish to receive without any changes to how communion is distributed.

    I suspect we will have this liturgical nuttiness with us for a few more weeks to months yet, in part because bishops and their clergy tend to be a bit on the older side in most places. The thing is, most of the problem could be eliminated by the simple and valid step of suspending public distribution of communion at Mass for a few weeks after re-starting, which would also allow for some much needed instruction on why Mass is more than coming by for a weekly community wafer hour.

  4. Gab says:

    In my (TLM only) parish, Father procured larger size hosts to distrubute to communicants, on the tongue while kneeling. We keep the required distance from each other in the pews and at the Communion rail. Problem solved.

  5. Kevin says:

    Here in Ireland each church including those celebrating the TLM, have 88 conditions to satisify before getting clearance. Including Priest wearing a mask is mandatory, Holy Communion in the hand only, only the priest is allowed on the altar, no Choirs allowed sing in church, no Holy Water, etc.

    But I’m allowed protest sholder to sholder with hundreds of others in an anti Trump rally outside the U S embassy. Shop for unpackaged fruit and veg. thats been handled by many others in a supermarket.
    During this whole stupid mess we kept our boarders, airports and seaports open. Allowing foreign persons freedom of movement the length and breath of our country. All on the advise of the WHO. Muppets!

  6. itaylor says:

    I am unable to attend public masses here because I am 67 with medical problems, but the local parish says communion in the hand is preferred. If you choose to receive communion on the tongue you have to receive communion after mass.

  7. Fr. Reader says:

    If only they put 5% of the concern they had for sterilization and hygiene in the the spiritual preparation to receive Holy Communion.
    Here in my place everybody receives Holy Communion, very few people go for Confession, and nobody talks about that. Apparently nobody cares.

  8. Josephus Corvus says:

    At least he comes straight out an says it in public. Our Archdiocese says “hand only” without the direct threat, but when the only ICK parish in town refuses to go against that statement and simply skips distribution of Communion, you know the threat is there in the background.

  9. teomatteo says:

    ““Social distancing must be maintained during the Mass and the only way to maintain social distancing … ”
    Is it just me or is that term ‘social distancing’ offensive to me as a human being. I mean, we are social beings as per God and so to ‘distance’ oneself from another is … well… negative, demeaning and hurtful. So, I propose to say from herein ‘spatial respect’. Now that is positive and not so… hurtful. Maybe its just me.

  10. Elizabeth D says:

    There are too many rash demands of ecclesiastical obedience, seemingly on pain of sin or censure, for things that aren’t just to require obedience about.

    The priests here are divided about whether it is a sin to disobediently attend Sunday Mass at one’s own parish when, although you are not interdicted, you are not on the list and have been asked to leave. S priest refused me absolution for not being sorry for disobediently attending Sunday Mass at my parish on Pentecost, while another seems to be saying that is wrong and is concerned himself that he will have to answer to God if he continues to keep people away from Mass. This situation of “criminalization” (sin-ization? is there a word for ostensibly making something a sin?) of over-limit Mass attendance really can’t go on. I cannot repent of going to Mass on Pentecost. We are supposed to be evangelizing and need to be able to invite people to Mass who aren’t “on the list” or can’t even get on the list because all communication and sign up is on the internet and only REGISTERED parishioners can be added to the list, and we need Grace ourselves. There must be a more general access to Mass, especially on Sundays.

  11. JabbaPapa says:

    I’m confused.

    Is it not a Right for the Faithful to receive on the tongue rather than some sort of provision for a Bishop or pastor to decide whether to give or not ?

    How can it be right to punish a priest if one or more in a Congregation choose to exercise that Right ?

    Would this not be to punish Jim for the actions of Jeff ?

  12. JabbaPapa says:

    Elizabeth D :

    S priest refused me absolution for not being sorry for disobediently attending Sunday Mass at my parish on Pentecost

    Good GRIEF how backwards some of these new clergy are !!

    What next ? Excommunication for receiving on the tongue ?

  13. Joy1985 says:

    We’ve been receiving Holy Communion since May 1oth at Mass—on the tongue or in the hand it’s up to the person receiving. No problems so far.

  14. Lepanto ! says:

    I’d rather lick doorknobs in China than genuflect to/in the State church.

  15. Hidden One says:

    If it’s unsafe to receive Communion on the tongue in Mobile, then it’s unsafe to distribute Communion. Ergo, in Mobile, don’t distribute Communion (for now). What am I missing?

  16. Fr. Reader says:

    I do not like the term “social distancing”.
    If what they want is “physical distance”, or “physical separation” why don’t they use this term?

  17. Josephus Corvus says:

    Elizabeth D. – I’m confused though about your comment:

    S priest refused me absolution for not being sorry for disobediently attending Sunday Mass at my parish on Pentecost

    I agree with you that you can’t “repent” of going to Mass on Pentecost. If you believed you committed a sin, you would repent, right? If you did not believe you committed a sin, then there’s no need to repent, right? So why would it come up in confession, such that the priest could refuse absolution? Wouldn’t anything that is brought forward for absolution require being sorry for it? Objectively, it sounds like the priest did the right thing, or were you expecting him to say “that’s not a sin.” I’m not commenting on the sinfulness or non-sinfulness of any of the actions here – it’s just the link between absolution and sorrow.

  18. Imrahil says:

    Dear Josephus Corvus,

    it is an established, while not required, Catholic practice and not necessarily to include in one’s Confessions not only the things that are sins but also those where the decision of conscience “that’s not a sin” was anything more than a subconscious matter-of-course.

    Dear teomatteo and Fr Reader,

    it’s just me, but I don’t mind if a practice has a name that is as hurtful as the practice itself. “Spatial respect” would, in my view, sound much too positive for the thing it means. The point also is that God did make us bodies-with-souls and souls-in-bodies for a reason, and much of that reason, as the classical philosophers tell us, actually is communication – so, physical communication.

    Of course, what they meant was “physical distancing”, and also to say that it’s, after all, merely the physical communication. In itself quite true; we do still have some means of communication; only we had forgotten or had yet to learn how big a deal this “merely” physical communication is. Thus, the original misnomer turned out to be a rather accurate description.

    (Disclaimer: I do not, at least not in general, say the practice were unnecessary; but I emphatically do say hurtful. I also do say that forbidding or poo-poohing people to say it is hurtful is unnecessary, and would be counterproductive even if the measure were 100% necessary.)

  19. Imrahil says:

    …and not necessarily a bad one (in my first line).

  20. Suburbanbanshee says:

    Canonically and in every other way, priests do not have the right to control admission to Mass, even if they are pastors.

    It’s also ridiculous and discriminatory to require attendance only by parishioners who have Internet connections.

    And of course, it is ridiculous that Elizabeth D. would be recognized and harassed at Confession that is properly run, or would be told to confess a disobedience that does not actually exist, or be penalized for refusing to be sorry for doing nothing that is wrong.

    This is the sort of confessional abuse that takes place with pedophiles and other sexual abusers who ran confessionals, or with the Cathar priests. It is tyrannical control that comes from Satan, along with some very devious evasion of the Divine Law.

    I praise Elizabeth D. for not doing anything drastic and educational.

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