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March 16, 2021 (LifeSiteNews) – With orders to refuse the faithful Holy Communion on the tongue coming from governmental health authorities and even some bishops, I wanted to give you the reasons why I could never receive Holy Communion in the hand. And, if the matter was forced, I would make the sacrifice of just making a spiritual Holy Communion. Below are five reasons why Catholics should not receive Holy Communion on the hand.

#1 The first point I’d like to make is about the reverence due to Almighty God.

I want to dismiss the false notion that people receive Communion on the tongue out of some false piety or holier-than-thou attitude. While I can’t discount that there is some of that going on, from those I’ve witnessed and read about, receiving on the tongue comes from a deep reverential love of the King of Kings whom we receive in this Great Sacrament. And I believe receiving Our Lord on the tongue while kneeling reinforces that reverence for Our Eucharistic Lord.

Some of the most powerful arguments for the need for this type of reverence are in the Bible. 

Remember when Moses first met the Lord God in the burning bush, as we read about in Exodus 3? Moses was told not to come too near to the burning bush and to remove his sandals because he was on holy ground. In Psalm 95 we read, “Come let us adore and fall down: and weep before the Lord that made us.” We see it in the New Testament too, when Peter, James, and John on Mt. Tabor at the Transfiguration, saw the glorified body of Jesus, which we receive in Holy Communion – and they prostrated themselves with their foreheads to the ground. 

But the Biblical account that speaks to this subject most directly for me is what happened with the Ark of the Covenant. You can read the account in both 2 Samuel 6:1-7 and 1 Chronicles 13:9-12. The Ark of the Covenant was designed by God and built to the Lord’s specifications. It contained manna, the staff of Moses, and the tablets of the 10 commandments. It was so sacred that it was never allowed to be touched except by certain Levites – the priests of the time. That reservation of touching the Ark to priests only was potently reinforced when a layman named Uzzah who was transporting the Ark at the request of King David was struck dead by God for touching it.

Now, get this, Uzzah was trying to do the right thing. He was doing what he thought was right to save the Ark. He and his brother were transporting the Ark in a cart pulled by oxen. And, along the journey, it was tilted and so Uzzah used his hand to steady the Ark and was struck dead by the Lord. Scripture explains that the Lord struck him down because he was not to touch the Ark. 

It is very much the same in our time when many are trying to do what they think is the right thing for the coronavirus by receiving Communion on the hand.

And yet with the Ark, it was not the right thing to do even though it is what seemed expedient – it was done for good intent to save the Ark from harm, just as many are receiving on the hand today with good intent to save their brothers and sisters in Christ from possible Coronavirus infection or to save the Church so she has the freedom to distribute Holy Communion at all.

Nevertheless, touching the Ark was the wrong thing to do. The Lord’s decision here perplexed David, who thereafter was afraid to bring the Ark of the Lord to himself.

And yet what was the Ark of the Covenant compared to Our Lord Himself in the Eucharist? The Ark was revered in the temple. It was carried in ceremony and was considered holy. And yet it was only the footstool of God. It was His presence, veiled, and a prefiguring of His Real Presence in the Person of Our Lord Jesus Christ, whom we receive in Holy Communion.

My wife, a convert to Catholicism, asked me the other day how communion in the hand makes sense given the practices in the Church of consecrating the altar and sacred vessels used in the Mass. We see priests, bishops, even the Pope, covering his hands with the vestment called a Humeral veil during Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament. This is all about the sacredness of Christ in the Eucharist. If we allow everyone to touch the Sacred Host with their hands the practice of the Humeral veil becomes truly strange. 

I’ll conclude this point on reverence towards Our Eucharistic Lord quoting from Dietrich von Hildebrand, a German Catholic philosopher and religious writer known and loved by the last number of Popes. He was reportedly called “the twentieth-century Doctor of the Church” by Pope Pius XII. Pope John Paul II greatly admired the philosophical work of von Hildebrand as well, remarking once to his widow, Alice von Hildebrand, “Your husband is one of the great ethicists of the twentieth century.” Benedict XVI also has a particular admiration and regard for von Hildebrand. He knew him when he was a young priest in Munich. The degree of Pope Benedict's esteem is expressed in one of his statements about von Hildebrand: “When the intellectual history of the Catholic Church in the twentieth century is written, the name of Dietrich von Hildebrand will be most prominent among the figures of our time.”

Here was what Dietrich von Hildebrand wrote about the subject of Communion in the hand in his book The Devastated Vineyard:

“Unfortunately, in many places Communion is distributed in the hand. To what extent is this supposed to be a renewal and a deepening of the reception of Holy Communion? Is the trembling reverence with which we receive this incomprehensible gift perhaps increased by re-receiving it in our unconsecrated hands, rather than from the consecrated hand of the priest? It is not difficult to see that the danger of parts of the consecrated Host falling to the ground is incomparably increased, and the danger of desecrating it or indeed of horrible blasphemy is very great. And what in the world is to be gained by all this? The claim that contact with the hand makes the host more real is certainly pure nonsense. For the theme here is not the reality of the matter of the Host, but rather the consciousness, which is only attainable by faith, that the Host in reality has become the Body of Christ. The reverent reception of the Body of Christ on our tongues, from the consecrated hand of the priest, is much more conducive to the strengthening of this consciousness than reception with our own unconsecrated hands.” (The Devastated Vineyard, pp. 67/8.)

#2 The Authority of the Church

It’s important to say that I’m saying this knowing full well we are in the midst of a Coronavirus pandemic. In fact, the very first point I’d like to bring to your consideration is that the Church has already considered the matter of the allowance of Holy Communion on the tongue while facing the spread of this type of virus even in modern times. In 2009, in the midst of the H1N1 influenza pandemic, a lay Catholic in England in a diocese where Holy Communion on the tongue was restricted due to the pandemic wrote the Vatican about the matter.

The response from the Congregation for Divine Worship and Discipline of the Sacraments, dated July 24, 2009, was posted online by Rorate Caeli. The Congregation, which is tasked with authoritatively responding to such questions, wrote back quoting Church law on the subject, saying, “each of the faithful always has the right to receive Holy Communion on the tongue” (n. 92, nor is it licit to deny Holy Communion to any of Christ’s faithful who are not impeded by law (Church law) from receiving the Holy Eucharist.)

The Vatican response added, “The Congregation thanks you for bringing this important matter to its attention. Be assured that the appropriate contacts will be made.”

Canonist Cathy Caridi over at the Canon Law Made Easy blog pointed out the significance of that line about appropriate contacts will be made. Caridi says it, “makes clear that after sending this letter, the CDW intended to contact the clergy who were illegally barring Catholics from receiving Communion on the tongue, to inform them in a formal, official way that by doing so that they were violating the law.”

Caridi concludes: “It would be only logical to assume that if the faithful contact the CDW now, with information about current illegal practices in their own parishes/dioceses where they are forbidden to receive Communion on the tongue; the CDW will respond in precisely the same way.”

“The CDW will have to respond in the same way, not because Coronavirus isn’t dangerous, but because the right of the faithful around the world to receive the Eucharist in the way that is the Church’s established norm—on the tongue—cannot be curtailed by anyone other than the Supreme Authority of the Church. This is an issue not of germs, but of the Church’s hierarchical structure. No bishop on earth (still less a parish priest acting on his own!) has the authority to countermand a law or specific directive of the Vatican that is intended to apply to the universal Church. Period.”

#3 The witness of Saints and Popes and Angels

St Thomas Aquinas, regarded universally as the greatest Doctor of the Church, wrote in the 1200s in his Summa Theologica: “out of reverence towards this Sacrament, 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. Hence it is not lawful for anyone else to touch it, except from necessity, for instance, if it were to fall upon the ground, or else in some other case of urgency.” (16 ST, III, Q. 82, Art. 13)

In 2008, Pope Benedict decided to stop giving Holy Communion on the hand to the faithful and would only give Holy Communion to the faithful on the tongue and kneeling. A Vatican webpage commemorating this decision was published in 2009 (updated to include a photo of Pope Francis) and can still be found on the Vatican website.

The Vatican webpage says: “From the time of the Fathers of the Church, a tendency was born and consolidated whereby distribution of Holy Communion in the hand became more and more restricted in favor of distributing Holy Communion on the tongue. The motivation for this practice is two-fold: a) first, to avoid, as much as possible, the dropping of Eucharistic particles; b) second, to increase among the faithful devotion to the Real Presence of Christ in the Sacrament of the Eucharist.”

A celebrated saying of Saint Augustine, cited by Pope Benedict XVI in n. 66 of his Encyclical Sacramentum Caritatis, (“Sacrament of Love”), teaches: “No one eats that flesh without first adoring it; we should sin were we not to adore it” (Enarrationes in Psalmos 98, 9). Kneeling indicates and promotes the adoration necessary before receiving the Eucharistic Christ.

From this perspective, the then-Cardinal Ratzinger assured that: “Communion only reaches its true depth when it is supported and surrounded by adoration” [The Spirit of the Liturgy (Ignatius Press, 2000), p. 90]. For this reason, Cardinal Ratzinger maintained that “the practice of kneeling for Holy Communion has in its favor a centuries-old tradition, and it is a particularly expressive sign of adoration, completely appropriate in light of the true, real and substantial presence of Our Lord Jesus Christ under the consecrated species” [cited in the Letter “This Congregation” of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, 1 July 1, 2002].

John Paul II, in his last Encyclical, Ecclesia de Eucharistia (“The Church comes from the Eucharist”), wrote in n. 61:

“By giving the Eucharist the prominence it deserves, and by being careful not to diminish any of its dimensions or demands, we show that we are truly conscious of the greatness of this gift. We are urged to do so by an uninterrupted tradition, which from the first centuries on has found the Christian community ever vigilant in guarding this ‘treasure.’ Inspired by love, the Church is anxious to hand on to future generations of Christians, without loss, her faith and teaching with regard to the mystery of the Eucharist. There can be no danger of excess in our care for this mystery, for ‘in this sacrament is recapitulated the whole mystery of our salvation.’”

The webpage concludes: “In continuity with the teaching of his Predecessor, starting with the Solemnity of Corpus Christi in the year 2008, the Holy Father, Benedict XVI, began to distribute to the faithful the Body of the Lord, by placing it directly on the tongue of the faithful as they remain kneeling.”

The current head of the Vatican department that deals with the issue of Communion is Cardinal Robert Sarah. Without a doubt, he is one of the saintliest Cardinals alive today.

Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI strongly endorsed Cardinal Sarah saying publicly in an afterward to a reprint of Cardinal Sarah’s book The Power of Silence that, “With Cardinal Sarah, a master of silence and of interior prayer, the liturgy is in good hands.” 

Benedict adds: “Cardinal Sarah is a spiritual teacher, who speaks out of the depths of silence with the Lord, out of his interior union with Him, and thus really has something to say to each one of us.”

It is this Cardinal, this saintly African Cardinal who is in charge of the Church’s dicastery dealing with the sacraments, that has pleaded with priests to only give Holy Communion to the faithful kneeling and on the tongue.

In the preface to a 2018 book critically analyzing Communion on the hand, Cardinal Robert Sarah, Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship, wrote: 

Why do we insist on receiving Communion standing and on the hand? Why this attitude of lack of submission to the signs of God? May no priest dare to impose his authority in this matter by refusing or mistreating those who wish to receive Communion kneeling and on the tongue. Let us come as children and humbly receive the Body of Christ on our knees and on our tongue. The saints give us the example. They are the models to be imitated that God offers us!

Cardinal Sarah also warned strenuously “The most insidious diabolical attack consists in trying to extinguish faith in the Eucharist, by sowing errors and fostering an unsuitable way of receiving it. Truly the war between Michael and his Angels on one side, and Lucifer on the other, continues in the hearts of the faithful.”

“Satan’s target is the Sacrifice of the Mass and the Real Presence of Jesus in the consecrated Host,” he said.

Let us now look at how faith in the real presence can influence the way we receive Communion, and vice versa. Receiving Communion on the hand undoubtedly involves a great scattering of fragments. On the contrary, attention to the smallest crumbs, care in purifying the sacred vessels, not touching the Host with sweaty hands, all 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 is of little importance how big or small a piece of the Host is! The substance is the same! It is Him! On the contrary, inattention to the fragments makes us lose sight of the dogma. Little by little the thought may gradually prevail: “If even the parish priest does not pay attention to the fragments, if he administers Communion in such a way that the fragments can be scattered, then it means that Jesus is not in them, or that He is ‘up to a certain point’.”

The second track on which the attack against the Eucharist runs is the attempt to remove the sense of the sacred from the hearts of the faithful. (…) While the term ‘transubstantiation’ points us to the reality of presence, the sense of the sacred enables us to glimpse its absolute uniqueness and holiness. What a misfortune it would be to lose the sense of the sacred precisely in what is most sacred! And how is it possible? By receiving special food in the same way as ordinary food. (…)

The liturgy is made up of many small rituals and gestures — each of them is capable of expressing these attitudes filled with love,  filial respect and adoration toward God. That is precisely why it is appropriate to promote the beauty, fittingness and pastoral value of a practice which developed during the long life and tradition of the Church, that is, the act of receiving Holy Communion on the tongue and kneeling. The greatness and nobility of man, as well as the highest expression of his love for his Creator, consists in kneeling before God. Jesus himself prayed on his knees in the presence of the Father. (…)

May this book encourage those priests and faithful who, moved also by the example of Benedict XVI — who in the last years of his pontificate wanted to distribute the Eucharist in the mouth and kneeling — wish to administer or receive the Eucharist in this latter manner, which is far more suited to the Sacrament itself. I hope there can be a rediscovery and promotion of the beauty and pastoral value of this method. In my opinion and judgment, this is an important question on which the Church today must reflect. This is a further act of adoration and love that each of us can offer to Jesus Christ. I am very pleased to see so many young people who choose to receive our Lord so reverently on their knees and on their tongues.

One of the other aspects of his preface was Cardinal Sarah’s recollection of the Fatima apparitions and the Angel that appeared to the three Fatima children prior to their seeing Our Lady Herself.

At one of the appearances of the Angel of Peace appeared to the children, the Angel brought Holy Communion to them. The Angel prostrated himself before the Eucharistic Lord, teaching the children to do the same.

#4 Profanation or Desecration of the Holy Eucharist

As we have seen in the comments of Popes and Cardinals of the Church, one of the main concerns with Communion in the hand is the loss of fragments of the Eucharistic Christ.

This has been one of the main themes of the heroic Bishop Athanasius Schneider who penned a book on the subject of the reception of Holy Communion in 2012 called Dominus Est – It is the Lord! 

He wrote:

The Fathers of the Church demonstrate a lively concern that no one lose the smallest particle of Eucharistic Bread, as exhorted St. Cyril of Jerusalem in this very impressive manner:

Be careful that you do not lose anything of the Body of the Lord. If you let fall anything, you must think of it as though you cut off one of the members of your own body. Tell me, I beg you, if someone gave you kernels of gold, would you not guard them with the greatest care and diligence, intent on not losing anything? Should you not exercise even greater care and vigilance, so that not even a crumb of the Lord’s Body could fall to the ground, for It is far more precious than gold or jewels? (Mystagogical Catecheses, 5, 2)

Already Tertullian (who died in 240) gave witness to the Church’s anxiety and sorrow, should even a fragment be lost: “We suffer anxiety lest anything from the Chalice or the Bread fall to the ground” (De Corona, 3). St. Ephrem, in the fourth century, taught thus: “Jesus filled up the Bread with Himself and the Spirit and called It His living Body. That which I have now given you, says Jesus, do not consider bread, do not trample underfoot even the fragments. The smallest fragment of this Bread can sanctify millions of men and is enough to give life to all who eat It” (Sermones in Hebdomada Sancta, 4, 4).

By 1980 the practice of Communion on the hand had become widespread, as did the desecrations of the Holy Eucharist that would surely accompany it.

Pope John Paul II published the letter Dominicae Cenae on February 24, 1980. In it he wrote:

In some countries the practice of receiving Communion in the hand has been introduced. This practice has been requested by individual episcopal conferences and has received approval from the Apostolic See. However, cases of a deplorable lack of respect towards the eucharistic species have been reported, cases which are imputable not only to the individuals guilty of such behavior but also to the pastors of the church who have not been vigilant enough regarding the attitude of the faithful towards the Eucharist. It also happens, on occasion, that the free choice of those who prefer to continue the practice of receiving the Eucharist on the tongue is not taken into account in those places where the distribution of Communion in the hand has been authorized.

In a 2014 interview with the magazine of the Latin Mass Society of England and Wales Bishop Schneider said:

“To my knowledge and experience, the deepest wound in the actual crisis of the Church is the Eucharistic wound; the abuses of the Blessed Sacrament…

“There is…the question of the objectively irreverent reception of Holy Communion. The so-called new, modern manner of receiving Holy Communion directly into the hand is very serious because it exposes Christ to an enormous banality.

“There is the grievous fact of the loss of the Eucharistic fragments. No one can deny this. And the fragments of the consecrated host are crushed by feet. This is horrible! Our God, in our churches, is trampled by feet! No one can deny it.

“And this is happening on a large scale. This has to be, for a person with faith and love for God, a very serious phenomenon.”

“We cannot continue as if Jesus as God does not exist, as though only the bread exists. This modern practice of Communion in the hand has nothing to do with the practice in the ancient Church. The modern practice of receiving Communion in hand contributes gradually to the loss of the Catholic faith in the real presence and in the transubstantiation.

“A priest and a bishop cannot say this practice is ok. Here is at stake the most holy, the most divine and concrete on Earth.”

#5 History 

The earliest accounts of Holy Communion are of course in the Scriptures where Our Lord gave Himself as Communion to the Apostles at the Last Supper. Some suggest that even there He might have given them Holy Communion on the tongue especially since we read in the last-supper narrative in the Gospel of John that Our Lord dipped a morsel of bread before giving it to the Apostle Judas.

However, even if Jesus gave the Apostles Holy Communion in the hand, they were all bishops, not laymen. 

However, it does seem as though in the early Church there was at least in some places the practice of Communion in the hand. St. Cyril of Jerusalem who lived in the 4thcentury wrote: 

Approaching therefore, do not come forward with the palms of the hands outstretched nor with the fingers apart, but making the left [hand] a throne for the right since this hand is about to receive the King. Making the palm hollow, receive the Body of Christ, adding “Amen”. Then, carefully sanctifying the eyes by touching them with the holy Body, partake of it, ensuring that you do not mislay any of it.

St. Cyril of course added the admonitions about not allowing the particles to drop as mentioned in the previous point.

Quoting again from Bishop Schneider’s book Dominus Est about the history of communion on the tongue:

Aware of the greatness of the moment of Holy Communion, the Church in her two-millennium-long tradition has searched to find a ritual expression that can bear witness in the most perfect manner to her faith, love and respect. This is verified when, in the wake of an organic development, stemming from at least the sixth century, the Church began to adopt the method of distributing the Sacred Species of the Eucharist directly into the mouth. This is attested to in several places: in the biography of Pope Gregory the Great and an indication by the same Pope relative to Pope Agapitus (Dialogues, III); the Synod of Cordoba in 839 condemned the sect of so-called “Casiani” because of their refusal to receive Holy Communion directly into their mouths; then the Synod of Rouen in 878 confirmed the norm in force regarding the administration of the Lord’s Body on the tongue, threatening sacred ministers with suspension from their office if they distributed Holy Communion to the laity on the hand.

In the Early Church, before receiving the consecrated Bread, people had to wash the palms of their hands. Moreover, the faithful bowed profoundly in receiving the Body of the Lord with the mouth directly from the right hand and not from the left. The palm of the hand served as a kind of paten or corporal, especially for women. Thus, one reads in a sermon of St. Caesarius of Arles (470-542): “All the men who desire to communicate, must wash their hands. And all the women must carry a linen cloth, on which they receive the Body of Christ” (Sermo, 227, 5). Customarily, the palm of the hand was purified or washed after the reception of the Eucharistic Bread as is up to now the norm in the Communion of clerics in the Byzantine Rite. In the ancient canons of the Chaldean Church, even the celebrating priest was forbidden to place the Eucharistic Bread into his own mouth with his fingers. Instead, he had to take the Body of the Lord in the palm of his hand; the reason for this was to signify that he was dealing here not with ordinary food but with heavenly food: “To the priest,” we read in the Canon of John Bar-Abgari, “it is directed that he receive the particle of consecrated Bread directly from the palm of his hand. He may not place It with the hand into the mouth, but must take It with his mouth, for this concerns heavenly food.”

In the 1500s, Communion in the hand was first introduced by Protestant reformer Martin Bucer specifically aiming to end belief in transubstantiation. Bucer convinced Thomas Cranmer, the heretic Archbishop of Canterbury, not to give communion on the tongue. Bucer taught: “I have no doubt that this usage of not putting these sacraments in the hands of the faithful has been introduced out of a double superstition; firstly, the false honor they wished to show to this sacrament, and secondly the wicked arrogance of priests claiming greater holiness than that of the people of Christ, by virtue of the oil of consecration.”

But the practice had no place at all in the Catholic Church since it had been condemned universally prior to the year 1000. The Q&A style 1908 Catechism of St. Pius X gives only one option for reception of Holy Communion. It reads: 47 Q. How should we act while receiving Holy Communion? A. In the act of receiving Holy Communion we should be kneeling, hold our head slightly raised, our eyes modest and fixed on the sacred Host, our mouth sufficiently open, and the tongue slightly out over the lips.

From an in-depth and heavily referenced study of the question by Michael Davies we learn: 

Communion in the hand was re-introduced into the Catholic Church as an act of rebellion soon after Vatican II. It began in Holland as an arbitrary act of defiance of legitimate authority the practice spread to Germany, Belgium, and France. 

The consequences of this rebellion became so serious that the Pope consulted the Bishops of the world, and, after obtaining their opinions, promulgated the Instruction Memoriale Domini, in 1969. This Instruction is included and will be referred to from time to time. The principal points contained in it are: 

1. The Bishops of the world were overwhelmingly against the innovation. 2. The traditional manner of distributing Holy Communion must be retained. 3. It is a sign of reverence which does not detract from the dignity of the communicant. 4. The innovation could lead to irreverence, profanation, and the adulteration of correct doctrine.Therefore: The Apostolic See strongly urges bishops, priests, people to observe this law, valid and again confirmed, according to the judgment of the majority of the Catholic episcopate, in the form which the present rite of the sacred liturgy employs, and out of concern for the common good of the Church. 

In Memoriale Domini, Pope Paul admonished Catholics, bishops especially, that: “In view of the state of the Church as a whole today, this manner of distributing Holy Communion [on the tongue] must be observed, not only because it rests on a tradition of many centuries but especially because it is a sign of reverence of the faithful towards the Eucharist. The practice in no way detracts from the personal dignity of those who approach this great Sacrament, and it is part of the preparation needed for the most fruitful reception of the Lord’s Body.”

Davies says, however, a calamitous error of judgment then followed. It was agreed that wherever the practice “has already developed in any place” a two-thirds majority of the episcopal conference could petition the Holy See for permission to legalize the abuse. Quite clearly, the phrase “has already developed” meant by that date, May 28, 1969. Countries where the practice had not developed by that date were obviously excluded from the concession—and all the English-speaking countries come into this category. 

When the National Conference of Catholic Bishops debated the question in 1977, Bishop Blanchette pointed out that the procedure approved by the Vatican was that permission could be requested from the Holy See if the contrary usage prevailed. He pointed out that the Bishops could hardly take the second step without taking the first.

Bishop Blanchette is reported in the National Catholic Register of June 12, 1977, recollecting, “I said, we are now going to discuss and probably vote on whether we want to petition the Holy See, and we have not established that a contrary usage prevails. I said a simple way to do that would be to ask the Ordinaries to indicate whether in their dioceses the contrary usage prevails. The Ordinary should know, he is the shepherd of the diocese. He has been asked to obey and his priests have been asked to obey, so if anybody knows whether the contrary usage prevails, he should. And so I asked that the agenda be amended so that the first step—finding out whether the contrary usage prevails—could be verified, and if it were verified then we could get on with the rest of the agenda. But if the first step is not verified, how can we logically go on to the second step? That was my motion.26 25”

Bishop Blanchette’s motion was supported in writing by five other bishops and sustained by the president of the conference. According to the rules, there should have been a written vote, but supporters of the innovation objected and voted, on a show of hands, to rule the president out of order. 

It therefore seems quite reasonable to ask: just how legal was this vote? Then, of course, other extraordinary measures were taken to get the innovation adopted. Retired bishops were prevented from voting, and, when the necessary majority had still not been achieved, bishops who had not been present were polled until the necessary total was arrived at. 

So as you can see, Communion in the hand in modern times came by way of abuse, deceit, and betrayal by wolves in the hierarchy.

It is for these reasons that I believe Catholics should not receive Holy Communion in the hand. Should you be in a situation where you are refused Holy Communion unless you take it in the hand, I would make a spiritual Communion only and then contact the proper authority to remedy the situation. Take that letter that was written by the Vatican on the question during the swine flu pandemic in 2009 to your priest or bishop. Ask them to give you Holy Communion at least after Mass if they feel they can’t do it during Mass since this is a compromise being practiced in many dioceses today. And if they still don’t permit you your right to receive Our Lord on the tongue apply to the Vatican’s Congregation for Divine Worship with the proof of the denial of Holy Communion on the tongue and pray God the remedy comes soon.

In the meantime, offer up the sacrifice of being deprived of the Holy Eucharist and still attend Mass offering your own pain along with Christ’s own Sacrifice. 

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John-Henry is the co-founder, CEO and editor-in-chief of He and his wife Dianne have eight children and they live in the Ottawa Valley in Ontario, Canada.

He has spoken at conferences and retreats, and appeared on radio and television throughout the world. John-Henry founded the Rome Life Forum, an annual strategy meeting for life, faith and family leaders worldwide. He is a board member of the John Paul II Academy for Human Life and the Family. He is a consultant to Canada’s largest pro-life organization Campaign Life Coalition, and serves on the executive of the Ontario branch of the organization. He has run three times for political office in the province of Ontario representing the Family Coalition Party.

John-Henry earned an MA from the University of Toronto in School and Child Clinical Psychology and an Honours BA from York University in Psychology.