Church in the World
26 April 2008
Cardinal bans Communion in hand
A Peruvian cardinal has banned the practice of receiving Communion in the hand in his diocese to guard against devaluing the Eucharist, an Italian website has reported.
Opus Dei Cardinal Juan Luis Cipriani Thorne told Petrus: "I maintain that the best way to administer Communion is on the tongue, so much so that in my diocese I have forbidden the host in the hand."
The cardinal, who is Archbishop of Lima and a member of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, said that "the relaxed attitude of many priests" was to blame for a decline in reverence for the Eucharist among the faithful. "In Masses with great attendance, in the past we even found hosts thrown on to the pavement of the church," he added.
A missionary priest working in Lima told The Tablet the ban "would only apply to his jurisdiction of the Archdiocese of Lima". "The remainder of the dioceses around Lima would not go for such a practice," he said.
The Cardinal is right about the sacrilege of Hosts being discarded here and there. As a sacristan, I've found Hosts in the pews, sometimes stuck to the pages of the missalette, sometimes on the floor. A number of times I had to chase a person down the aisle because they didn't place the Eucharist in their mouth. One man, when I asked him to consume the Host, said he wanted to show It to his kids! Whether we kneel or stand, I believe everyone should receive on the tongue!