Bishop Fred Suspends Communion on the Tongue

A Canadian bishop has suspended celebration of the traditional Latin Mass by priests of the Fraternity of St. Peter (FSSP), because the priests will not comply with a diocesan directive barring the reception of Communion on the tongue. Bishop Frederick Henry of Calgary imposed the policy, ordering the faithful to receive Communion in the hand, in a response to fears of the swine flu.

Reminded that the Vatican’s Congregation for Divine Worship has said that all Catholics have the right to receive Communion on the tongue [even during the H1N1 “pandemic”], Bishop Henry replied: “I am well aware of what the congregation has decided but quite frankly, it is not their call. It is mine.” He said that the FSSP would be allowed to resume celebrating Mass in the extraordinary form when medical officials say that the swine-flu threat has receded. (Source)

The swine flu is overblown, in my opinion.  And I feel just a tad bit uncomfortable with cow-towing to health intimidation by the government authorities.   Global warming doesn’t exactly inspire confidence in the “scientific community”, you know.

While I think the Faithful should obey the bishop, I also think the bishop should obey Rome.

You’re not an island, your Grace. And you are under authority too.

10 thoughts on “Bishop Fred Suspends Communion on the Tongue

  1. No, you’re not “just” reporting the facts.

    You need to be more clear in your language.

    Within your 55-word commentary, I found the following:
    -in my opinion
    -I feel just a tad bit uncomfortable
    -I think
    -I also think

    You produce a news story, and then you offer your own commentary of it. You are completely entitled to do this, but I just want to make sure I understand your commentary correctly, so I repeat my question:

    Are you suggesting that Bishop Fred Henry is being disobedient?

  2. Kelly Wilson;

    The bishop, and others have made a decision to restrict something that, based on the evidence presented below, they do not appear to have the authority to restrict:

    General Instruction on the Roman Missal #161 “If Communion is given only under the species of bread, the priest raises the host slightly and shows it to each, saying, Corpus Christi (The Body of Christ). The communicant replies, Amen, and receives the Sacrament either on the tongue or, where this is allowed and if the communicant so chooses, in the hand. As soon as the communicant receives the host, he or she consumes it entirely.”

    Redemptionis Sacramentum #92 “Although each of the faithful always has the right to receive Holy Communion on the tongue, at his choice,[178] if any communicant should wish to receive the Sacrament in the hand, in areas where the Bishops’ Conference with the recognitio of the Apostolic See has given permission, the sacred host is to be administered to him or her.”

    Summorum Pontificum Art. 2. In Masses celebrated without the people, each Catholic priest of the Latin rite, whether secular or regular, may use the Roman Missal published by Bl. Pope John XXIII in 1962, or the Roman Missal promulgated by Pope Paul VI in 1970, and may do so on any day with the exception of the Easter Triduum. For such celebrations, with either one Missal or the other, the priest has no need for permission from the Apostolic See or from his Ordinary.

  3. To provide clarity to Summorum Pontificum Article 2 please note the following:

    Art. 4. Celebrations of Mass as mentioned above in art. 2 may – observing all the norms of law – also be attended by faithful who, of their own free will, ask to be admitted.

    Art. 5. § 1 In parishes, where there is a stable group of faithful who adhere to the earlier liturgical tradition, the pastor should willingly accept their requests to celebrate the Mass according to the rite of the Roman Missal published in 1962, and ensure that the welfare of these faithful harmonises with the ordinary pastoral care of the parish, under the guidance of the bishop in accordance with canon 392, avoiding discord and favouring the unity of the whole Church.

  4. Kelly,

    The bishop has chosen not to obey the directive. That’s a fact.

    Technically, therefore, he is being disobedient…by definition.

    Whether he is justified in being so is another question.

  5. Kelly,

    What more were you expecting? How many Vatican documents have to be quoted before you accept that the communicant always has the right to receive on the tongue? Can you find a Vatican document that says otherwise?

  6. Hi Steve, I was asking for clarification. The point was to make sure that I was properly interpretting what John was saying. I don’t think that’s unreasonable. Do you?

  7. If the Bishop does not obey the Pope,how can he expect us to do what he says.They are not suppposed to”Lord it over us”.

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