Friday, March 27, 2009

Mother Teresa

"Not very long ago I said Mass and preached for their Mother, Mother Teresa of Calcutta, and after breakfast we spent quite a long time talking in a little room. Suddenly, I found myself asking her -- don't know why -- 'Mother, what do you think is the worst problem in the world today?' She more than anyone could name any number of candidates: famine, plague, disease, the breakdown of the family, rebellion against God, the corruption of the media, world debt, nuclear threat, and so on.

"Without pausing a second she said, 'Wherever I go in the whole world, the thing that makes me the saddest is watching people receive Communion in the hand.'"
- Father George William Rutler, Good Friday, 1989 in St. Agnes Church, New York City (a precise transcript taken from a tape of his talk available from St. Agnes Church)


Marilyn said...

Wow - I had never heard this quote. You have started me off on some research - our parish will not even give Communion on the tongue unless you are carrying a baby or something. I am now on a mission.

BTW - sorry about your blog problems. I think Abby has put a caveat and some more instructions.

Also - would you join in the modest dress discussions on my blog - I am sure you could add something.

Batjacboy said...

The Church has condemned communion in the hand from the early
centuries on:

ST. SIXTUS I (115-125) (NOTE--this is 2nd Century!). Prohibited the faithful from even touching the Sacred Vessels: "It has been decreed that the Sacred Vessels are not to be handled by others than by those consecrated and dedicated to the Lord."

POPE ST. EUTYCHIAN (275-283). Forbade the faithful from taking the Sacred Host in their hand.

ST. BASIL THE GREAT, DOCTOR OF THE CHURCH (330-379). "The right to receive Holy Communion in the hand is permitted only in time of persecution." (That is, when Masses were said in uncontrolled conditions). St. Basil considered Communion in the hand so irregular
that he did not hesitate to consider it a grave fault.

POPE ST. LEO I THE GREAT (440-461). Energetically defended and required faithful obedience to the practice of administering Holy Communion on the tongue of the faithful.

SIXTH ECUMENICAL COUNCIL, AT CONSTANTINOPLE (680-681). Forbade the faithful to take the Sacred Host in their hand, threatening the transgressors with excommunication.

ST. THOMAS AQUINAS (1225-1274). "Out of reverence towards this sacrament [the Holy Eucharist], nothing touches it, but what is consecrated; hence the corporal and the chalice are consecrated, and likewise the priest's hands, for touching this sacrament." (Summa Theologica, Pars III, Q. 82, Art. 3, Rep. Obj. 8)

COUNCIL OF TRENT (1545-1565). "The fact that only the priest gives Holy Communion with his consecrated hands is an Apostolic Tradition." (That is, dating back to the Apostles).

Even as recently as POPE JOHN PAUL II (1978-2005): "To touch the sacred species and to distribute them with their own hands is a privilege of the ordained. (Dominicae Cenae, sec. 11)

So true. It's too bad he gave in and allowed it.

Rita said...


Thanks Batjacboy for all of those quotes.

It's really sad when you go to receive Holy Communion on the tongue and the Priest gives you a dirty look. That has happened to me several times, but I'd rather get the dirty look.

Aunt Laura said...

I always preferred to not have it in my hand, but felt funny when everyone else was putting out there hands. So i figured i would just go along.

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