Friday, September 23, 2011

Phoenix on Communion under Both Kinds

Despite the hysteria this has generated, I'm happy that the Diocese of Arizona has chosen to take the first step that competent theologians and liturgists have urged for decades: the restoration of the traditional Roman Rite practice of the laity's receiving, under normal conditions, communion under one form only. I'm aware of all the contrary arguments, but, in the end, I find it very disturbing that most Catholics today are very much under the impression that full communion is not realized unless the laity receive under both forms. I've heard this view propounded many times in the classroom and pulpit. The view tends to reinforce the belief that communion is little more than a special meal served to the community. This belief is directly contradictory to the clear statement in the Catechism of the Council of Trent: "If anyone says that each and all the faithful of Christ are by a precept of God or by the necessity of salvation bound to receive both species of the most holy sacrament of the Eucharist, let him be anathema."

That is our history. That is the teaching. There is good reason for it.

Yes it is true that people love communion under both kinds. I don't know why that preference should prevail against Catholic teaching.