"It is...Our will that Catholics should abstain from certain appellations which have recently been brought into use to distinguish one group of Catholics from another. They are to be avoided not only as 'profane novelties of words,' out of harmony with both truth and justice, but also because they give rise to great trouble and confusion among Catholics. Such is the nature of Catholicism that it does not admit of more or less, but must be held as a whole or as a whole rejected: 'This is the Catholic faith, which unless a man believe faithfully and firmly; he cannot be saved' (Athanasian Creed). There is no need of adding any qualifying terms to the profession of Catholicism: it is quite enough for each one to proclaim 'Christian is my name and Catholic my surname,' only let him endeavour to be in reality what he calls himself." -- Pope Benedict XV, Ad Beatissimi Apostolorum 24 (1914)

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Communion Under Both Species As Per Church Law


Dear Friends in Christ:

Maybe you noticed a story in last week's

Catholic Herald about new norms for Communion under both species in the Diocese of Phoenix. You may have wondered why this story from Arizona received such prominent coverage here (on page 3 of the Catholic Herald, where letters from Bishop Morlino appear). In fact, the story was featured because it will be significant for us as well. Bishop Morlino spoke to us priests about this while we together at Wis-consin Dells at the end of last month.

In the last couple of decades, Com-munion under both species (with the congregation able to receive the Pre-cious Blood as well as the Sacred Host) has become routine in our ex-perience. I knew (as many of you do) that Communion under both species was first introduced, on a limited basis, after the Second Vati-can Council, and that it has become much more common since. What I did not know was that the widespread American practice of offering both species at most Sunday Masses began here under an indult (special permission) given by the Vatican in 1975, which expired in 2005.

Almost no one realized that until very recently. Maybe we can be for-given for forgetting that we were operating under a temporary indult. After thirty years, something can seem pretty permanent. But it wasn‟. The bishops of our country did apply for an extension of the 1975 in-dult, but that was denied.

So, all over the United States, we now find ourselves needing to bring our practice into conformity with current regulations (and with the rest of the world). In his comments at Chula Vista, Bishop Morlino men-tioned a few instances in which Communion under both kinds is still permitted: the Chrism Mass, the Feast of Corpus Christi, for the bride and groom at a Nuptial Mass, and for those so allergic to wheat that they cannot tolerate even low-gluten hosts. Beyond those occasions and circumstances, Communion can be offered under both species at cele-brations of special importance. But it is clear that we will not be seeing Communion under both species as a weekly practice.

Bishop Morlino understands that this comes as news to all of us. He is giving pastors considerable latitude as to the timetable for implement-ing this change. He suggested that the beginning of Advent (when the new translation of the Missal is fully implemented) would be one plau-sible date to make the change. That will be our timetable here at the Cathedral Parish (and also at St. Paul‟ University Catholic Center, the other parish clustered with us).

Msgr. Kevin D. Holmes
Cathedral Parish Madison, Wisconsin

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