Quae patronum invocat sanctum Gregorium Magnum Papam.
Press Release: Communion on the Tongue and Epidemic
In light of the recent statement (and here) by Archbishop Thomas J. Rodi of Mobile, Alabama, in the United States of America, on social distancing during the reception of Holy Communion, and related issues surrounding the reception of Holy Communion around the world in the context of the Coronavirus epidemic, the Foederatio Internationalis Una Voce (FIUV) would like to make the following observations.
In the Ordinary Form, the universal law of the Church gives every Catholic the right to receive on the tongue. This was reaffirmed by the Congregation of Divine Worship in the context of earlier public health concerns, the so-called ‘Swine flu’ epidemic of 2009. (See for exampleRedemptionisSacramentum(2004) 92; Letter of the Congregation of Divine Worship 24th July 2009, Prot. N. 655/09/L.)
In the Extraordinary Form, the universal law of the Church allows for the reception of Holy Communion only on the tongue. (SeeUniversaeEcclesiae(2011) 28; MemorialeDomini (1969).)
In neither case can the law of the Church be set aside by the Ordinary.
The problem of maintaining physical distance between Minister and Communicant during the Reception of Holy Communion applies equally to Reception in the Hand as to Reception on the Tongue. In both cases Minister and Communicant are obliged to come close to each other, if only for a short time, and without touching. It is difficult to see how even the use of an instrument such as a pair of tongs (for which there are historical precedents) would enable Minister and Communicant to maintain a distance of six feet or two meters.
Canon law is rightly very restrictive in the penalties which bishops can impose on their priests for the breach of regulations of their own devising. Bishop Rodi’s attempt to prohibit priests who do not obey his regulations to celebrate public Masses—something which amounts to a partial suspension of a priest—goes beyond what Canon law would appear to justify. (SeeCanons1316-1319).
It has become increasingly evident that there is no clear scientific basis for the claim that Reception on the Tongue is more likely to transmit the Coronavirus than Reception in the Hand. This has been the expert advice given toArchbishop Sample of Portland, Oregon, USA, and toArchbishop José Antonio Eguren, of Piura, Peru, and it is also the view of the experts involved in the guidelines of the Thomistic Institute of Washington, DC, in the USA. If any bishops around the world are in possession of studies or expert opinions in conflict with this growing consensus, it behooves them to make these public as a matter of urgency.
Where local circumstances demand it, the suspension of the Reception of Holy Communion, of the celebration of Masses open to the public, and even the opening of churches for private prayer, have been ordered by bishops and public authorities. These measures are at least even-handed and, insofar as they are justified by genuine public health concerns, do not infringe the rights of the Faithful. As these measures are gradually lifted around the world, we urge bishops to continue to act in accordance with expert advice, not arbitrarily picking out certain priests and faithful for greater restrictions than those imposed on others, and with respect for the rights of the Faithful.
The President and Officers of the Foederatio Internationalis Una Voce, 8th June 2020
ABOUT THE FOEDERATIO INTERNATIONALIS UNA VOCE (FIUV)
The FIUV represents the needs and concerns of the world-wide laity attached to the ancient Latin liturgical tradition, the Extraordinary Form. It has more than 45 member associations from Europe, North and South America, Africa, and Asia.
The Federation has a biennial General Assembly in Rome, and publishes a magazine twice a year, Gregorius Magnus.
President, Felipe Alanís Suarez: firstname.lastname@example.org
Secretary, Dr Joseph Shaw: email@example.com
Treasurer, Monika Rheinschmitt: firstname.lastname@example.org
Although this evening saw the last public Masses for the time being in Scotland, current advice from several Bishops is that Holy Communion may still be administered upon the request of the faithful.
We have prepared PDFs of the formula for administering Holy Communion outside of Mass in the Traditional Rite. It should be noted that Holy Communion in the Old Rite can only be received kneeling and on the tongue. This is still permitted in some of the Scottish Dioceses.
Click here to download a PDF including the rubrics for priests (2pp, A4)
Click here to download a PDF for servers or communicants (2pp, A4)
Click here to download a PDF for servers or communicants, which can be cut to A5 size.
Please make these sheets available to priests with whom you are in contact, or print it out and take it to a priest if you wish to receive Holy Communion in the Traditional Rite.
I assure you of my daily prayers as Chairman for all our members, friends and priests who offer the Traditional Rites for us.
The Traditional Latin Mass has been celebrated in a relatively unchanged form throughout nearly all of the Church’s history and it is this Mass which Father Frederick Faber once described as “the most beautiful thing this side of heaven”. Although the Mass has, at various times, incurred minor modifications to its liturgy, notably in 1570 and 1962, Pope Paul VI promulgated a new missal in 1969, which came into effect in 1970. This new rite of Mass was radically different from the traditional Latin Mass which preceded it. Between 1970 and 1984 the Vatican restricted the celebration of the Traditional Latin Mass. In October 1984, following the issue of the indult Quattuor Abhinc Annos from Pope John Paul II, permission to celebrate the Traditional Latin Mass became at the discretion of the local bishop. In July 1988 Pope John Paul II issued the motu proprio Ecclesia Dei Adflicta which, among other things, required that respect be shown for the feelings of all those who are attached to the Latin liturgical tradition. The status of the Traditional Latin Mass changed again on 14 September 2007 as a result of Pope Benedict XVI’s motu proprio Summorum Pontificum.
From the Catechism of Saint Robert Bellarmine:-
The Mass is a compendium of the whole life of Christ!
The Introit of the Mass signifies the desire which the Holy Fathers had for the coming of Christ.
The Kyrie eleison signifies the words of these Patriarchs and Prophets who sought from God the desired coming of the Messiah at such a time.
The Gloria in excelsis means the Lord’s Birth.
The subsequent Oratio or Collect signifies His presentation and offering in the Temple.
The Epistle, customarily said at the left side of the altar (right to us) signifies the preaching of St. John the Baptist, inviting men to Christ.
The Gradual, or response to the Epistle, signifies the Life arising from the preaching of St. John.
The Gospel, customarily read at the right side of the altar (our left), signifies the preaching of Our Lord whereby we move from the left to the right, ie. from temporal things to eternal ones, and from sin to grace, where the Lights are carried and the incense is enkindled and the Holy Gospel illumines the whole world, and it was filled with the sweet odour of Divine glory.
The Creed signifies the conversion of the Holy Apostles and of the other disciples of Christ.
The Secret, which immediately follows the Creed, signifies the secret plots of the Jews against Christ.
The Preface, sung in a high voice, customarily ends with the Hosanna in excelsis, and it signifies the solemn entry of Christ into Jerusalem which He made on Palm Sunday. The Canon which comes after the Preface, represents the Passion of our Lord.
The Elevation of the host teaches that Christ was Lifted up on the Cross.
The Paternoster, the prayer of Christ hanging on the cross.
The fraction of the Host shows the wound that was made upon Him by the lance.
The Angus Dei signifies the weeping of Mary when Christ was taken down from the cross.
The Communion of the priest signifies the burial of Christ.
The chant which follows with great joy shows the Lord’s Resurrection.
The Ite Missa est, signifies the Ascension.
The Final Blessing of the priest relates the coming of the Holy Spirit.
The Last Gospel that is read at the end of Mass, signifies the preaching of the Holy Apostles when, filled with the Holy Spirit, they began to preach the Gospel through the whole world, and began the conversion of the nations.