Communion in the Hand:

Disobedience Permitted

In Memoriam: His Excellency Bishop Juan Rodolfo Laise

on the First Anniversary of His Death

by Msgr. Nicola Bux

Translated from the Italian

Msgr. Bux is a Doctor in Eastern Ecclesiastical Sciences from the Pontifical Oriental Institute of Rome, and has been a consultant to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (2002-2013), to the Office of the Liturgical Celebrations of the Supreme Pontiff (2008-2013) of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments (2010-2018), and to the Congregation for the Causes of Saints (1998-2019).

Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger had appointed Msgr. Bux as a peritus for the preparatory work for the World Synod of Bishops and for the drafting of the “Lineamenta,” “L'Eucaristia fonte e culmine della vita e della missione della Chiesa” and “Instrumentum laboris” (from March 2003 to May 2005). After he became Pope, Benedict XVI appointed him “adiutor secretari specialis” of the Synod of Bishops on the Eucharist (October 2-23, 2005) and in the 2010 Synod on the Middle East.

Until April 26, 1996, the Argentine episcopate was one of the few in the world to continue to reject the practice introduced at the end of the 1960s, in open opposition to the will of Pope Paul VI, to distribute Holy Communion in the hand of the faithful. On that very day, enough votes were obtained in the Assembly of the Argentine Episcopal Conference to be able to ask Rome for the indult that would allow the introduction of this practice contrary to the universal law of the Church.

Rome immediately granted that indult, but did so “ad normam” based on the “Instruction on the Manner of Distributing Holy Communion,” Memoriale Domini, in which it was clearly stipulated that the prohibition against giving Communion in the hand should be universally preserved, but that, there (and only there) where the use had already been introduced abusively and had taken root, so that the bishops of the local episcopal conference considered that there was no choice but to tolerate it: “The Holy Father…grants that, within the territory of your Episcopal Conference, each bishop according to his prudence and conscience, may authorize in his diocese the introduction of the new rite to distribute Communion.”

The then Bishop of San Luis (Argentina), Juan Rodolfo Laise, judged that according to his prudence and conscience these circumstances did not occur in his diocese, so that he did not consider it appropriate to make use of this indult. This decision was immediately interpreted by many as a rupture of the unity of the episcopate and even as a “rebellion” against a liturgical provision that would henceforth be in force. The Bishop of San Luis consulted the various competent Roman dicasteries about this, which unanimously approved his decision.

This past July 22 marked one year since the passing of Bishop Juan Rodolfo Laise, who, after he became emeritus, returned to the conventual life of his Order, the Capuchins, and since 2001 he retired to the monastery of San Giovanni Rotondo (where Saint Padre Pio lived and is now venerated, and to whom the Argentine bishop had great devotion). There Bishop Laise exercised his care of souls hearing the confessions of the pilgrims every day for almost twenty years, until a few months before his death at ninety-three years of age.

There are many aspects of his personality as a religious, priest and bishop that could be evoked, but we will focus on the book he published to explain his position in the incident we have mentioned; the book that, at his request, I had the honor to present a few years ago on the occasion of its Italian edition (Comunione sulla mano, Documenti e storia, Cantagalli, 2016) in a launching held in the Aula Magna of the Patristic Institute (Augustinianum) of Rome.

It is probably the first book specifically on Communion in the hand that had ever been published. In it he delves into the historical, canonical and theological aspects of the manner of receiving Communion and its influence on the devotion and spiritual life of the faithful.

The book is structured as a detailed commentary (paragraph by paragraph) on the documents in which the current legislation on the form of Communion is expressed, to which an appendix is added with historical aspects that place us in the context in which those documents were created. All of this allows us to understand the “mens legislatoris”; that is, the intention of the legislator (Paul VI in this case), which is a key element when interpreting a law.

Finally, after responding to the main arguments frequently used to justify the introduction of the practice of Communion in the hand, he concludes with a series of reflections in which a concrete application of the elements exposed throughout the book is made.

Next, we will see the most important of these elements that in many cases are forgotten truths that contrast with certain received ideas:

It may surprise some, for example, to learn, in reading this book, that this form of Communion was not discussed and was not even mentioned at the Council, and that it is not part of the subsequent liturgical changes. In effect, this use, contrary to the laws, was introduced without authorization in certain regions in the mid 1960s, and although Pope Paul VI immediately arranged that the bishops of those regions be informed (already in 1965) that they should immediately return to the only licit use, that is, on the tongue, this and other complaints of the supreme authority had no effect.

Since the resistance to these directives was unwavering, in 1968 the possibility of granting a prompt indult for specific cases where they were not willing to obey began to be considered, although it was seen that in practice this use was “highly debatable and dangerous,” and it was known that, in the event of error in the manner of solving the matter, there would be a “weakening of the faith of the people in the Eucharistic presence.” It was thus that Paul VI, who, in his own words, “could not help but consider the eventual innovation with evident apprehension,” had an inquiry “sub secreto” made to the worldwide episcopate regarding how to best face this defiant disobedience.

The result of the consultation was that a great majority of the bishops viewed any concession as dangerous. Consequently, the Pope ordered the Sacred Congregation for Divine Worship to prepare the draft of a pontifical document in which it would confirm the Holy See’s thinking about the inappropriateness of distributing Holy Communion in the hand of the faithful, indicating the reasons why (liturgical, pastoral, religious, etc.).

Thus it was that on May 29, 1969, the Congregation for Divine Worship published the instruction Memoriale Domini, which contains the legislation that is still in force today and which could be summarized in this way: the prohibition of Communion in the hand remains the universal norm, and Bishops, priests and faithful are strongly urged to diligently submit to this newly confirmed law.

However, where this illegally introduced use had taken root, the Instruction provided for the possibility of granting an indult to those regions that were not willing to obey this papal exhortation to respect universal law. In these cases, to “help the Episcopal Conferences fulfill their pastoral office, often more difficult than ever because of the current situation,” the Pope arranged that the respective Episcopal Conferences (on the condition of their having obtained the approval of two thirds of their members) would be able to petition Rome for an indult, so that each Bishop who was a member of that Conference, according to his prudence and conscience, could allow the practice of Communion in the hand in his diocese.

For the historical reconstruction Bishop Laise uses the details from the valuable account of events made by Archbishop Annibale Bugnini, in his memoirs, The Reform of the Liturgy 1948-1975. He was not only a witness but also a protagonist in those events. According to the documents transcribed in this book, the objective of this concession was above all to avoid that “in these times of strong contestation...authority be overthrown by maintaining a prohibition that would hardly have been respected in practice.” In fact, when considering the various possible solutions, the following caveat had been made: “…one must also anticipate a violent reaction in some places and rather widespread disobedience where the use is already introduced.” On the other hand, the obviously restrictive will of the legislator clearly manifested in the document should have caused the concession to be interpreted and applied in a way that favored the spreading of the rite as little as possible.

This legislation was never subsequently modified, nor were the possibilities of introducing Communion in the hand ever expanded. However, the requests made by the episcopal conferences, even if the conditions required to request the indult were not met; the insistence on reconsidering the problem in places where the absence of these restrictive conditions had previously been verified; the concession made too easily on the part of the corresponding dicastery and, above all, the absolute silence that was subsequently made about the irreducible disobedience that, as Bishop Laise explains, was precisely the only reason for granting the concession – all of these factors made the practice spread almost universally.

A second point from the study by Bishop Laise that may draw attention is when he shows that the new praxis is not properly a “rediscovery” of an “old tradition,” of “returning to receiving Communion as in the early Church and at the time of the Fathers,” as one often hears it said. In this regard, I indicated in the presence of Bishop Laise the conviction that the Gospel of John and the writings of some Fathers, as well as the Rossano Gospels (Codex purpureus Rossanensis) (fifth century), of Syriac origin, show instead that Jesus gave Communion to the Apostles on the tongue.

In the Instruction Memoriale Domini it is clearly explained how, although in primitive Christianity Holy Communion was normally received in the hand, with “the passing of time, the truth of the Eucharistic mystery, of its power and of the presence of Christ in It were being more deeply studied. Due to an ever-urgent sense of the reverence due to the Blessed Sacrament and of the humility necessary in order to receive It, the custom was established of the minster himself placing a particle of consecrated bread on the tongue of the communicant.”

It was thus that, at a certain moment, one use ended by being replaced with the other, to the point that the first was not only abandoned but even explicitly prohibited. In that context it is clearly seen that for Paul VI this change was a real progress: the transition from an imperfect to a more perfect one. And with good reason, indeed, the ancient patristic texts do not mention any specific advantage that follows from the old way of receiving Communion, nor are there any praises from the writings of the Fathers referring to this way as such; they simply describe the only way they knew. On the contrary, as Bishop Laise says, by repeatedly warning about the dangers that this manner of communicating entails, they reveal an imperfection inherent in it. That is why the author says that it could be affirmed that Communion in the hand was, certainly, the way of receiving Communion that the Holy Fathers had, but Communion on the tongue is the way that they would have liked to have had.

Centuries later, the use of Communion in the hand, “neutral” in the Patristic age, was taken up by the Protestants, but this time with a clear doctrinal connotation: For example, Martin Bucer, advisor to the Anglican Reformation, affirms that the practice of not giving Communion in the hand was due to two “superstitions”: “the false honor they wish to show to this sacrament” and the “wicked arrogance” of priests claiming greater holiness than that of the people of Christ, by virtue of the oil of consecration. From this moment on, the gesture of receiving Communion in the hand will carry a markedly controversial meaning that opposes it to Communion on the tongue as expressing an opposite doctrine, and this on two fundamental points that distinguish the Protestant from the Catholic position: the real presence and the priesthood. Henceforth this implication cannot be ignored.

It is for this reason that, when, in the second half of the twentieth century, the use of giving Communion in the hand began to penetrate Catholic circles, it was no longer a mere return to a primitive gesture. It is not by chance therefore, as Bishop Laise points out, that precisely in one of the first places where Communion in the hand began to prevail, the so-called “New Catechism,” better known as the “Dutch Catechism,” had been published shortly before. To it the Holy See had to impose numerous modifications (fourteen major and forty-five minor) to correct serious doctrinal errors. In that book, commissioned by the Dutch Episcopate and presented by means of a “collective pastoral” of the same, the real and substantial presence of Christ in the Eucharist, among other things, was put in doubt; an inadmissible explanation of transubstantiation was given; and any kind of presence of Jesus Christ in the particles or fragments of the Host coming off after the consecration was denied; on the other hand, there was a confusion between the common priesthood of the faithful and the hierarchical priesthood.

A third aspect that the late Argentine bishop adequately emphasizes is that, even where giving Communion in the hand is allowed, it is not an option more recommended by the Church with the same value as the other current use. Indeed, the position of the Holy See regarding the manner of receiving Communion is not indifferent: Communion on the tongue is the only way authorized by the universal legislation of the Church and it is clearly recommended, while the other, the result of an indult, is only tolerated (and this as a consequence of what Bishop Laise calls the “most serious disobedience to the papal authority of recent times”), requiring that, in the case of using it, a series of precautions be taken, especially with regard to the cleaning of the hands and assiduous diligence and care with regard to particles (prescriptions that, on the other hand, are not usually taken into account in practice).

As stated in the Instruction Memoriale Domini, the document containing the current legislation, this form of receiving Communion, which for a millennium universally replaced Communion in the hand, “is proper to the preparation required to receive the body of the Lord in the most fruitful way possible” and “ensures more effectively that Holy Communion is distributed with the reverence, decorum and dignity that are due to it, thus removing all danger of desecrating the Eucharistic species…diligently keeping the care that the Church has always recommended even for the smallest fragments of the consecrated bread.” With Communion in hand, on the other hand, a miracle would be needed so that, in each Communion, some particle does not fall to the ground or remain attached to the hand of the faithful.

For this reason, Paul VI recalled, in the encyclical Mysterium Fidei, that Origen says that “the faithful believed themselves guilty (‘and with good reason,’ adds the Pope), if, having received the body of the Lord, and preserving it with all care and veneration, some fragment may fall due to negligence.” (1)

The expressions of the Fathers, the change in the manner of receiving Communion at the end of the first millennium, and the arguments of Paul VI in refusing to allow the reintroduction of the archaic way of communicating, all reflect the one faith of the Church that is always the same: the Faith in the real, substantial and permanent presence, even in the smallest particles, which demands care and adoration. (2)

These are, in short, the central themes of the book. But someone may wonder if a book written a quarter of a century ago is not already obsolete.

Successive reprints, with various updates and in various languages – five editions in Spanish (first to third, 1997; fourth, 2005; fifth (New York State), 2014; two in French (Paris), 1999 & 2001; two in Italian, 2015; one in Polish (Cracow), 2007; and five in English (2010, 2011, 2013, 2018, 2020) – prove that, as the author himself had pointed out, beyond the circumstances linked to time and place that motivated this study, there are indeed permanent aspects that may still interest the reader and provide:

a) access to authentic legislation related to this matter, absolutely unknown among the faithful and also to many pastors;

b) the historical situation in which this legislation was produced;

c) indications to understand the dramatic consequences that the practice of Communion in the hand can have on faith in the real presence and on Eucharistic piety;

d) elements that help to reflect on the relationship between the bishop and his Episcopal Conference and his independence with regard to the government of his diocese;

e) a reflection on the operation of some “pressure mechanisms” within the Church, capable of reversing a papal decision, which reflect a way of acting that was and still is used in other domains.

I would also like to add two testimonies on the relevance that the book still has today. The first is an article by Professor Mauro Gagliardi (former consultant of the Office of Liturgical Celebrations of the Supreme Pontiff appointed by Benedict XVI) in the Journal of the Department of Philosophy and Theology of Regina Apostolorum Pontifical University, titled “The Legislative Authority of the Diocesan Bishop over the Distribution of Communion in the Hand: Notes on Liturgical Law” (Alpha Omega, XVI, no. 1, 2013, pp. 127-138). Not only an entire section of this article is dedicated to Bishop Laise and his decisions, also citing his book (n. 9, “A case of Non-Application of the Indult,” pp 135-136), but the entire article agrees with the position and the exegesis of the Argentine prelate, as can be seen in this statement: “If a Bishop decides not to apply the indult in his Diocese, it would not be he who prohibits the distribution of Holy Communion in the hand, but the general norm confirmed by the Supreme Authority (the Supreme Pontiff Paul VI), through Memoriale Domini. The bishop would simply choose not to use an indult to this norm. That is, in his Diocese he would continue observing without exception the traditional and current norm, reconfirmed by Paul VI and never modified to this day” (p. 135).

The other testimony is the doctoral thesis in Canon Law of Father Federico Bortoli, later published as La distribuzione della comunione sulla mano: Profili storici, giuridici e pastorali (The Distribution of Communion in the Hand: Historical, Legal and Pastoral Profiles) (Siena: Cantagalli, 2018). Here we also find a complete chapter on the bishop of San Luis (2.6.3. “The Indult in Argentina,” pp. 178-188). Father Bortoli states there about Bishop Laise: “…as a good canonist, he acted in accordance with the law, and the correctness of his work was confirmed by two dicasteries of the Roman Curia.” And later, regarding the book: “In addition, from the responses of the episcopal conferences to the 1976 investigation, as well as from the testimony of Bishop Laise, we have clearly seen that the practice of Communion in the hand was promoted and encouraged by the episcopal conferences themselves and presented as the best way to receive the Eucharist, circulating the idea that this was the will of the Holy See and the Holy Father. In reality, as Bishop Laise himself pointed out, the objective, the purpose, of the indult was not to promote the use of Communion in the hand, but to help episcopal conferences where the practice had already spread and was difficult to eliminate.”

But Father Bortoli’s book also contains a necessary “update” of the work of Bishop Laise, since he has published previously unpublished material to which the author has had access in the context of his doctoral research, and which from now on will establish his work as an obligatory reference work on the subject. But with this “aggiornamento,” far from correcting or leaving out aspects of the work of the Argentine prelate, Father Bortoli makes known new ones that confirm all that had been stated by him, and shows the extremes that have been reached which he had not imagined.

Thus, not only does the rejection that Paul VI maintained for the introduction of this way of receiving Communion in the 1960s remain confirmed, already proven with historical testimonies by Bishop Laise, but the book also documents the subsequent attempt of the Pope himself to limit it and to advise against it. It is thus that on January 19, 1977 he had the Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship send, through the Secretary of State, a memorandum with the following instruction: “Given that it is an extremely delicate and important issue, His Holiness has entrusted me to send Your Most Reverend Eminence a copy of the letter, with the request that you study how the suggestions indicated by His Eminence the Prefect of the Sacred Congregation for the Causes of Saints (Card. Bafile) can be applied.”

The suggestions sent were as follows: “Suspend the granting of new indults; state explicitly that where the indult has not been granted, the practice of Communion in the hand is illegal, and remember that, even when the indult has been granted, the practice in question should be discouraged.” The reasons for these measures were to avoid the consequences that were taking place, namely: “the decrease in Eucharistic piety, the scattering of the fragments of the host, the facilitation of sacrileges by taking the consecrated host and the impossibility that, despite all the inconveniences that this practice presents, the priest may refuse to distribute Communion in the hand.” But this instruction was not followed by the Prefect of Divine Worship, Cardinal Knox. A year later, on February 1, 1978, there is a new letter from the Secretary of State, by request of Paul VI, which again requests that the Congregation for Divine Worship prohibit the spread of the use of Communion in the hand, but it was not implemented either. (3)

Finally, the Secretary of State once again transmitted the order of the Pope (who was already John Paul II at that time) to suspend the granting of new indults, and this time it was successful, but this provision met with strong resistance; for example, on December 21, 1984, the Ordinary of Ivrea, Bishop Luigi Bettazzi, wrote to John Paul II to greet him on Christmas, and he took the opportunity to express his opinion on what he defines as “a problem, perhaps very marginal but symbolic”: the practice of Communion in the hand.

Bishop Bettazzi regrets that the Italian episcopal conference has not yet obtained the indult and criticizes John Paul II for having suspended any further concessions, saying: “It does not seem right to me to use your authority in this way.” After five years, in February 1985, indults began to be granted as before.

Another aspect of Father Bortoli’s book that confirms Bishop Laise’s position is the description of the attitude of Pope Benedict XVI, and the declarations of high prelates of the Congregation for Divine Worship in support of his position. It should be remembered that, as of Corpus Christi in 2008, Benedict XVI reintroduced the administration of Holy Communion exclusively on the tongue into the papal liturgy.

The explanation of this decision by the Office for Liturgical Celebrations of the Supreme Pontiff was published on the Vatican website: there it is recalled that already in the time of the Fathers, Communion on the tongue had begun to be favored, in principle for two reasons: to avoid as much as possible the scattering of the Eucharistic fragments and to favor the growth of the devotion of the faithful towards the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist. Reference is made to the teaching of Saint Thomas Aquinas, who affirms that, out of respect for the Blessed Sacrament, the Eucharist should not be touched by anything that is not consecrated; therefore, in addition to the sacred vessels and the corporal, only the the priest’s hands have this power. Furthermore, the need to adore the Lord before receiving Him is underlined, as Saint Augustine recalls, and being on one’s knees favors precisely this attitude. Finally, reference is made to John Paul II’s warning that you never run the risk of exaggerating when it comes to caring for the Eucharistic mystery.

But Benedict XVI himself explained this choice as follows: “By having Communion received on the knees and administered on the tongue, I wanted to give a sign of deep respect and put an exclamation point about the Real Presence... I wanted to give a strong signal; this should be clear: ‘He is something special! Here you are, it is in front of Him that we fall to our knees. Pay attention! It is not just any social rite in which you can participate or not’” (Luce del mondo. Il Papa, la Chiesa ei segni dei tempi: Una conversazione con Peter Seewald [Light of the World. The Pope, the Church and the Signs of the Times. A Conversation with Peter Seewald], LEV, Vatican City, 2010, p. 219).

On April 10, 2009, Cardinal Antonio Cañizares Llovera, already appointed prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship, but also apostolic administrator of the Archdiocese of Toledo, during the celebration in the cathedral of the Sancta Missa in Coena Domini, announced to the faithful that from that day on, at the moment of Communion, a kneeler would be placed to invite the faithful to communicate as the Pope wants, putting this decision in the context of an attempt to recover the sense of the sacred in the liturgy. On July 27, 2011, an interview with the same prelate was published in ACI Prensa / EWTN Noticias with the title: “It is Advisable to Receive Communion on the Tongue and on the Knees.”

Also, there is Cardinal Ranjith, especially in the period in which he was archbishop-secretary of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments. In 2008, for example, observing how the practice of Communion in the hand became in fact the common practice for the whole Church, he believes that the moment has come to consider the possibility of abandoning it, seeing all the negative consequences that it has brought, acknowledging with great humility that it was a mistake to introduce it, hoping that in the future Communion on the tongue and on the knees will become the usual practice of the whole Church.

But, in addition to these quotations, the content of Bishop Laise’s book receives additional and authorized confirmation in the preface of the Prefect of Divine Worship, Cardinal Robert Sarah, to the previously mentioned book of Father Federico Bortoli: it is a beautiful defense of the position of Popes Paul VI, John Paul II and Benedict XVI. We stop at a few sentences: “Now we see how faith in the real presence can influence the way of receiving Communion, and vice versa. Receiving Communion in the hand undoubtedly implies a great scattering of fragments; on the contrary, the attention to the smallest fragments, the care in the purification of the sacred vessels, without touching the Host with sweaty hands, become professions of faith in the real presence of Jesus, even in the smallest parts of the consecrated species: if Jesus is the substance of the Eucharistic Bread, and if the dimensions of the fragments are accidents only of the bread, it does not matter how big or small a piece of Host is! The substance is the same! It is He! (4) On the contrary, the lack of attention to the fragments causes the dogma to be lost sight of: little by little the following thought could prevail: ‘If even the parish priest does not pay attention to the fragments, if he administers Communion in such a way that fragments can be scattered, so it means that Jesus is not in them, or that He is ‘up to a certain point.’” “Why do we persist in communicating standing and in the hand? Why this attitude of lack of submission to the signs of God? Let no priest dare to try to impose his authority on this matter by refusing or mistreating those who wish to receive Communion on their knees and on the tongue: let us come as children and humbly receive the Body of Christ on our knees and on the tongue.”

Later Cardinal Sarah continues: “The Lord leads the righteous along ‘straight paths’ (cf. Wis. 10:10), not by subterfuge; therefore, in addition to the theological motivations shown above, also the way in which the practice of Communion in the hand spread, appears as something that has been imposed not according to the ways of God.” And he concludes: “May this book encourage those priests and faithful who, moved by the example of Benedict XVI – who in the last years of his pontificate wanted to distribute the Eucharist on the tongue and kneeling – wish to administer or receive the Eucharist in the same way, much more appropriate to this Sacrament. I hope that the beauty and pastoral value of this manner can be rediscovered and promoted. In my opinion and my judgment, this is an important question on which the Church of today must reflect. This is one more act of worship and love that each of us can offer to Jesus Christ. I am very happy to see so many young people who choose to receive our Lord with such reverence on their knees and on the tongue.”

Finally, I would like to add a hitherto unpublished testimony: The letter that Bishop Laise wrote to Pope Benedict (with whom he had a long relationship due to having visited him several times as Cardinal Prefect of the Doctrine of the Faith) in 2005: “I also consider that the Synod on the Eucharist should stop at an examination of conscience about the extension of the permission to give Communion in the hand to almost all the local Churches, which in 1969 had only been granted to some local Churches in Europe at the particular request of their Pastors. ”


(1) “Re quidem vera fideles reos se credebant, et merito quidem, ut memorat Origenes, si corpore Domini suscepto, et cum omni cautela et veneratione servato, aliquid inde per neglegentiam decidisset (In Exod. fragm.; PG 12, 391). Paul VI, Mysterium Fidei,” (Editor’s Note).

(2) Editor’s Note: Bishop Laise says (Holy Communion, 2011 ed., p. 40; 2013, 2018 and 2020 eds., pp. 49-50: “However, someone could ask what should be understood here by ‘fragments’; faced with doubts presented in this sense, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith has responded with clarity: ‘After holy communion, not only the hosts that remain and the particles of hosts that have fallen from them and that preserve the exterior appearance of bread should be preserved or consumed respectfully, on account of the respect due to the Eucharistic presence of Christ, but also regarding the other fragments of host (quoad alia hostiarum fragmenta) one should observe what is prescribed concerning the purification of the paten and the chalice in General Norms of the Roman Missal.’” The original text and a commentary on it in the official publication of the Congregation for Divine Worship, “Notitiae” (75, Vol. 8 (1972), No. 7: pp. 227–230): DE FRAGMENTIS EUCHARISTICIS. Cum explanationes ab Apostolica Sede petitae sint circa modum se gerendi quoad fragmenta hostiarum, Sacra Congregatio pro Doctrina Fidei, die 2 maii 1972 (Prot. n. 89/71), declarationem dedit, quae sequitur: “Cum de fragmentis quae post sacram Communionem remanserint, aliqua dubia ad Sedem Apostolicam delata fuerint, haec Sacra Congregatio, consultis Sacris Congregationibus de Disciplina Sacramentorum et pro Cultu Divino, respondendum censuit: Post sacram Communionem, non solum hostiae quae remanserint et particulae hostiarum quae ab eis exciderint, speciem panis retinentes, reverenter conservandae aut consumendae sunt, pro reverentia quae debetur Eucharisticae praesentiae Christi, verum etiam quoad alia hostiarum fragmenta obeserventur praescripta de purificandis patena et calice, prout habetur in Institutione generali Missalis romani, nn. 120, 138, 237-239, in Ordine Missae cum populo, n. 138 et sine populo, n. 31. Hostiae vero quae non statim consumuntur, a ministro competente deferantur ad locum sanctissimae Eucharistiae conservandae destinatum (Cf. Institutio generalis Missalis romani, n. 276).”

(3) Editor's Note: Cardinal Knox expressed his disagreement with Cardinal Bafile’s suggestions, saying that this was the reason why he refused to do what the Pope asked him twice through the Secretary of State. However, as Father Bortoli says, “You must note... that the Pope's invitation was not to evaluate whether or not it was possible to apply Bafile’s suggestions, but only to study how to apply those suggestions” (O C. p. 152).

(4) Cf. supra, Editor’s Note.




Communion in the Hand: Documents & History

Some Reflections on Spiritual Communion and the State of Grace

By Bishop Juan Rodolfo Laise, OFMCap

Preface by Bishop Athanasius Schneider

2020 218 pages hardcover

$18.00 #63233