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Communion in the Hand:

Communion in the Hand: Documents and History [Shows the real mind of the Church on this subject]

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Laise, Most Rev. Juan Rodolfo [bishop emeritus of San Luis, Argentina]


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From Bishop Laise’s Preface to the 2013 Edition: 

I also carefully verified that no document of the Holy See existed after Memoriale Domini in which the possibility of introducing this form of receiving Communion had in any way been extended.

On the other hand, from the outset priests and faithful asked me, by various means, that this resolution not be applied in the diocese of San Luis.

For August 8, that is to say some days before the date foreseen by the president of the episcopal conference for the start of the practice in question, I called a priests’ meeting.  During that meeting I presented the priests, both at the same time, the decree from Rome and the content of the Instruction Memoriale Domini. Unanimously they agreed that, for the good of the faithful, the discipline should be respected that was clearly confirmed by the Pope, that is to say, the practice of giving Communion exclusively on the tongue should be maintained.  Likewise they affirmed that in the diocese there were none of the cases of abuse required by the legislation for considering the possibility of the application of the indult, for which reason it was not justified even to present the option of accepting the indult in order to permit the faithful to receive in the hand.

The result of this meeting was a diocesan decree in which I decided to reiterate the solicitude of the Pope in the documents in which he legislated with respect to submitting oneself promptly to the law in force, as he himself asked, maintaining the prohibition of Communion in the hand.

Nevertheless, a question remained: Since Memoriale Domini was the only legislation in force, how was it that in almost all the dioceses of the world they adopted the practice that was clearly advised against, as if it were merely an option proposed, and even recommended, by the Church?

Seeking an answer to this question, and to defend the grounds for my decision – which at that time was an object of controversy within some Argentine ecclesiastical sectors that spoke out even in a public manner, before the communications media – I encouraged a deeper investigation of the history of this usage. And the results of this investigation are found in this work.

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