Wednesday, 15 February 2012

And on the subject of treasures lost and saved: communion on the tongue in Brisbane!

I've previously suggested that one of the key steps to cleaning up Brisbane Archdiocese would be to abolish its 'Liturgical Commission'. 

Today, Ms Harrington thereof stars in Rorate Caeli, which highlight an article in the archdiocesan newspaper attacking communion on the tongue as unhygenic and placing 'too much emphasis' on Our Lord's divinity.  It is an attack, inter alia, on the petition being championed by Frs Speekman and Wise.

Is it within the power of an Apostolic Administrator to move on this?  Surely someone can, at the very least, be gagged to prevent them using their position to attack centuries of tradition, Church law, and the rights of the laity to receive on the tongue...

In any case, if you haven't already signed the petition on this subject, go and do so!

10 comments:

Maureen said...

"Too much emphasis on the Lord's Divinity???'"..... I am speechless, and it reminds me of the evening in 1979 when the Parish Priest, during the course of an Adult Theology class, said that modern opinion was that the Resurrection was "just a symbol".

Victoria said...

I prefer to receive Holy Communion on the tongue -cott. but I can't sign the petition because I think that to only allow cott could see some demanding to receive on the hand as a sign of rebellion and others to judge "catholicity" by the manner of receiving Holy Communion. What is needed is better catechesis for the laity on The Real Presence and how to receive Holy Communion in the hand reverently and catechesis for priests, deacons and EMHCs on how to place a Host on the tongue - priests who often celebrate Mass in the Extraordinary Form could give tips here.

True Catholic has a string on this matter.

Kate said...

Victoria - can I suggest that if the petition did succeed, any change would only be most likely phased in and made after substantial catechesis.

And if people did then rebel, what does it say about their attitude to a great gift offered by Holy Church? Some inferences about their cathlicity, and the extent of their belief in the Real Presence would not be unreasonable to make in my view!

I'm constantly shocked when I go to my local parish at the abuses I see - self-intinction and even on a few occasins people having to be stopped from wondering off with the Eucharist. And I read in a parish bulletin recently an instruction not to ask for an additional host for a disabled or sick parishioner, but to request the priest to offer it to them directly - something that evidently hadn't been the pratice there!

We should also remember that the current norm has only been in place a short time, and does not reflect the long tradition of the Church.

Antonia Romanesca said...

Yes, no surprise about “the lack of hygiene” argument. I had the astonishing experience back in the 90s, of a monsignor of the Church pronouncing that communion on the tongue was “a filthy practice, which can contaminate the priest’s fingers, with God knows what and thank God it was finished with.” At that time, I recall there was a common understanding among Australian Catholics, that the practice which had been perpetuated by the Anglicans [of kneeling at the altar rail for communion] ‘had been abandoned by Rome, due to the sheer number of Mass goers’. Standing in line only at Mass, was considered ‘more efficient’ and “faster processing of the congregants.”
One catechist I knew at that time, believed the offering of the Precious Blood would be totally abandoned by the year 2000, “unless the Pope or someone like that, was present at the Mass”, emphasizing that “Reception under one Species alone, was adequate.” [Anglicans of course receive on the hand but by kneeling at the altar rail.]
I have always been half anticipating, since that time, that Reception on the tongue would return [in the transept, rather than kneeling at the rail], now that numbers at Mass have so diminished – probably rather naively!

Andrea said...

I would love to ask Mrs Harrington if she receives the Precious Blood from the Chalice, or if she considers that, too, to be unhygenic. Or perhaps I just missed her calls to ban Communion under both kinds.
As I understand it, Communion in the hand is just as unhygenic - the germs are transferred hand to hand - and worse still is the hand to hand contact at the Sign of Peace

Antonia Romanesca said...

“I would love to ask Mrs Harrington if she receives the Precious Blood from the Chalice, or if she considers that, too, to be unhygenic. Or perhaps I just missed her calls to ban Communion under both kinds.” ~~~~
Certainly I am rather impressed, at the sheer number of people who now refuse to receive from the Chalice. They are doing that “for reasons of hygiene”?

“As I understand it, Communion in the hand is just as unhygenic - the germs are transferred hand to hand - and worse still is the hand to hand contact at the Sign of Peace.”
I would have thought that given how the wafers which become the Hosta are handled, prior to distribution at Mass, that the level of micro organisms would be absolutely minimal and so present virtually no risk to the receiver….? At our Cathedral, all the “Extraord. ministers” have to treat their hands with antiseptic squirt first, up in the Sanctuary. It looks rather bizarre/somewhat undignified and it seems to me regrettable that they are obliged to do this by the priest in charge. It does not happen at the other church I go to Mass at, however. Also would it not be very rare, to contract an infection from shaking hands at Mass? Its not as tho we can go back to the Kiss of Peace, of the Ancient of Days – how many suburban Celtic and Anglo-Celtic Aussies would kiss a stranger on the cheek, while at the same time embracing them?
What is next? Deftly pulling out our individual bottle of squirt at the sign of the Peace, or having the bottle parked on the pew beside us? How much genuine risk are we at, from shaking hands at Mass? If concerned, why not use squirt back at the car or duck over to the loo and do it in front of the basins?

Kate said...

Actually Antonia, unwashed hands are one of the most common mechanisms for transmission of germs. The number of times last year when I saw people attending mass with a hacking cogh, no hankerchief, cough on hand then thrust it out in my face to shale at the kiss of peace - disgusting!

And yes, a friend of mine managed to pick up an infection from the chalice, a lesson she has since learnt from...

Antonia Romanesca said...

“Actually Antonia, unwashed hands are one of the most common mechanisms for transmission of germs”. ~~~~ Of course, we know that from hospitals. I guess I perhaps naively assumed the congregants hands would be pretty clean, if they had come from home to Mass, as nearly all do.
“The number of times last year when I saw people attending mass with a hacking cough, no handkerchief, cough on hand then thrust it out in my face ..at the kiss of peace - disgusting!” ~~~~~How frightful. I can’t say I have ever witnessed that. Could it be a cultural problem? I have spoken to an Anglican friend and she has never seen such a phenomenon in the Anglican church anywhere in the world – this being a culture, [or at least used to be a culture], where there are fairly tight rules about behaviour in public. The strangest behaviour I have witnessed [re ‘The Peace’] in the Australian Catholic Church, is that syndrome where certain thrust their hand out, then look at the ceiling and are super careful not to make eye contact under any conditions, while they shake your hand. They don’t seem to consider it rude. They are always Dissenting Devotees [coincidence??] One was the wife of the current spiritual director of our church –chosen by Dio Australian Dissent HQ to run our Lenten Retreat at his house, graced with his Year 10 education. Another was the daughter of two of the heaviest dissenting hitters in our diocese.

~~~~~ “And yes, a friend of mine managed to pick up an infection from the chalice, a lesson she has since learnt from...” ~~~ What type of infection – it was definitely attributable to the chalice? So she stopped receiving the Precious Blood as a direct outcome, yes? This is very concerning.

Kate said...

Hands quickly become dirty again! Every surface you touch potentially harbours germs, tht's why hospitals now place hand cleansers outside every room.

And there were good health reasons for receiving under one kind only as was mandated during the flu scare (and indeed always)...

Antonia Romanesca said...

“Hands quickly become dirty again! Every surface you touch potentially harbours germs, that's why hospitals now place hand cleansers outside every room.
And there were good health reasons for receiving under one kind only as was mandated during the flu scare (and indeed always)...”
I can see the wisdom of refusing to shake hands with someone who is very evidently riddled with flu or a heavy cold [at the Peace]. I think I would have the nerve to do that, now. When I was a child and teenager, in France one just gave a little smile and a slight curtsey, so that they could not accuse you of having snooted them and ‘behaved in an ill bred manner.’ [if you did not feel confident with hand shaking, so y’know there was an alternative]. ~~~ Usually when any of us have caught a bug from anyone evidently afflicted, it seems to have ‘come through the air’, ie from just being near them. I guess whipping over to the toot and doing your hands with a bottle of squirt after Mass could be prudent - if one has shaken hands with an afflicted person and may then have some slice or whatever, which tends to be handed around when we have a cup of tea outside the church once a month or so. Bugs on your own hands can definitely transfer then. ~~~ Can you say what it was, that your friend caught from the Chalice?