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Ratzinger’s Preference & Cordileone’s Mandate

Lyle J. Arnold, Jr.

In a recent issue of his diocesan paper, Bishop Salvatore Cordileone (Oakland, CA) reminded the readers of two Conciliar Church laws:

Bishop Salvatore Cordileone

Bishop Cordileone: Everyone must receive Communion in the hand and standing

Communion in the Hand
Law number one: "The proper posture for receiving Communion is standing ... Receiving Communion kneeling, or genuflecting before receiving ... is not proper to the liturgical norms. It can also create practical difficulties, such as people inadvertently tripping over the person in front of them in line."

Law number two: Those receiving the Sacred Host should "hold one hand on top of the other and extend their hands flat, like an altar top. This follows the counsel of St. Cyril of Jerusalem, who instructed the faithful: ‘make a throne of your hands in which to receive the King in Holy Communion.’” Bishop Cordileone then admonishes the parishioners "to exercise great care for any fragments which might remain in one's hands." (The Catholic Voice, June 7, 2010, p. 8)

The general order to stand while receiving Holy Communion was decreed by the U.S. Bishops at their 2002 Conference. They were following the universal practice in the Conciliar Church established by Paul VI - not Msgr. Bugnini, please - and faithfully followed by John Paul II with the full and entire approval of his doctrinal adviser, then Card. Joseph Ratzinger.

Benedict’s conversion?

After the latter became Benedict XVI in April 2005, he continued to give Communion almost exclusively in the hand until 2008. Then, he also began to administer Communion on the tongue to kneeling communicants.

Card. Llovera, prefect of the Vatican's Congregation for Divine Worship and Discipline of the Sacraments, speaking to Life Site News on July 22, 2009, stated: "It is the mission of the Congregation for Divine Worship and Sacraments to work to promote Pope Benedict's emphasis on the traditional practice of liturgy, such as reception of Communion on the tongue while kneeling."

Ratzinger gives Communion on the tongue

A personal preference that doesn't exclude giving Communion in the hand

Benedict gives communion in the hand
Some pretend that, for this reason, Benedict XVI “is converting” to traditionalism… I believe he is trying to please an audience that is increasingly tired of the progressivist liturgical abuses. At any rate, Benedict XVI did start to administer Communion on the tongue.

If, however, he were convinced that giving Communion in the hand is wrong, why didn’t he say so? Shouldn’t he criticize the source of this abuse - Paul VI and his Liturgical Reform? Shouldn’t he apologize? Shouldn’t he take the necessary steps to prevent others - like our American Bishops - from continuing this bad practice?

But no, he has not done any of these things that could be normally expected had he converted.

Instead, when he gave Communion on the tongue for the first time, Msgr. Guido Marini, the Vatican Master of Ceremonies, clearly stated that Communion in the hand is an exception to the rule. It is a quite bizarre statement, since for more than 40 years we have seen the imposition of this "exception" as being the rule. Thus, according to Marini's twisted Vatican language, the rule (Communion on the tongue) was almost never applied in the Novus Ordo Masses, and the exception (Communion in the hand) is what became the rule... It does not correspond to reality, but here is what he unequivocally stated:

"In this regard it is necessary not to forget the fact that the distribution of Communion on the hand remains, up to now, from the juridical standpoint, an exception (indult) to the universal law, conceded by the Holy See to those Bishops' conferences who requested it.” (read the news report here)

Marini also highlighted that Benedict "prefers" this way "without taking anything away from the other one." Hence, no mandate is involved.

Cordileone’s rules

Standing for Communion and receiving the Host in the hand are still universal practices, as evinced by Bishop's Cordileone's article. The Bishops do what they want based on collegiality and the other imperial edicts of the Council and the Liturgical Reform of Paul VI.

What prevails in today's Progressivist Church are authoritative statements like the one in the opening paragraphs of this article. Don't kneel, stand. Stick out your hand to receive the Sacred Host, "a practice that was first introduced to the Church by the heretical Arians of the 4th century to express their belief that Christ was not divine." (original here)

Communion in the hand

The official practice: Communion in the hand
The reference by Cordileone to St. Cyril of Jerusalem on Communion in the hand seem very doubtful to me. In all likelihood the statement was made by St. Cyril's successor, who was of suspect orthodoxy, which we know from the correspondence of St. Epiphanius, St. Jerome and St. Augustine.

As for Cordileone's admonition about "care for any fragments" of the Sacred Hosts, Bishop Rodolfo Laise of San Luis, Argentina, rightly said that, "With Communion in the hand, a miracle would be required during each distribution of Communion to avoid some Particles from falling to the ground or remaining in the hand of the faithful."

The Oakland Bishop’s warning about tripping over other recipients borders on the absurd. I've been kneeling to receive Communion since the early 1940s, and I have never once seen any such tripping.

So I conclude emphasizing that, regarding the way of giving Communion, each Bishops’ Conference chooses the way it wants, and, as far as I know, all those Conferences have chosen to have Communion in the hand. Notwithstanding, the Pope “prefers” to give Communion on the tongue. Isn’t this an encouragement to diminish papal authority and encourage relativism?

Posted July 2, 2010

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