Communion in the Hand and Epidemic: FIUV Press Release

A press release from the FIUV. PDF version here.

Foederatio Internationalis Una Voce

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.

  1. 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.)
  2. 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).)
  3. In neither case can the law of the Church be set aside by the Ordinary.
  4. 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.
  5. 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).
  6. 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.
  7. 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

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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.

CONTACT DETAILS

Website: www.fiuv.org

President, Felipe Alanís Suarez: president@fiuv.org
Secretary, Dr Joseph Shaw: secretary@fiuv.org
Treasurer, Monika Rheinschmitt: treasurer@fiuv.org

UVS Prayer Intentions for April

Dear members and friends,

Thank you for your ongoing support, both material and spiritual. In March we prayed for the priests who we were sending to the Latin Mass Training Course; interest in this course was high, such that some priests who had attempted to book found that the course was full! Sadly, due to the outbreak of Coronavirus the course has been postponed; we are looking into assisting these priests with attending the course on a future date.

In April, I ask you to join me in adding the following to your daily Rosary intentions:

1. The growth of the Traditional Latin Mass community in Dundee

2. The end of the current pandemic through reparation for the sins of the world, particularly sins against Our Lord in the sacred liturgy and sins of idolatry and blasphemy

Thank you again for supporting us in our work for Jesus, for the Church and for the Traditional Mass.

In Domino,

Fraser Pearce

Chairman