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Sunday, January 22, 2023

More Bad News from the Vatican: Catholics Told Not to Kneel or Receive Communion on the Tongue

Pope Francis Confers Lay Ministries Upon Ten People in St. Peter’s Basilica

What has been considered a "right" of the laity was soundly squashed Sunday when Francis conferred the ministry of lector and catechist on ten lay people at St. Peter's, four men and six women. In the protocols before the event, the laity were instructed (mandated) that they could not kneel or receive Communion on the tongue.  It's unclear from reports whether the mandate applied only to the ten or to all those attending the event (5,000).

What's more than clear, however, is that this is one more "radical departure" from Sacred Tradition and another display of the hermeneutic of rupture. It also shows a mean-spirited and petty tyranny on the part of Cardinal Arthur Roche, liturgy head, who replaced Cardinal Sarah, a friend of the TLM. 

Cardinal Sarah criticized Communion in the hand in the introduction to a book on reception of Communion published in 2018. In the introduction the cardinal wrote:

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.

Francis was not overly enthused by Cardinal Sarah's positions and removed him as liturgy head shortly after he reached mandatory retirement age. Many bishops are asked to continue beyond 75, but Francis lost no time in ditching Sarah and naming NO enthusiast and TLM adversary Roche to the position. What happened today is consistent with Roche's contempt for the TLM whose adherents he describes as "more Protestant...than Catholic." He apparently considers those NO Catholics who receive kneeling and on the tongue as spiritual twins of the despised traditionalists.

Today's event, seems to legitimize rumors that a new, more dogmatic Francis document is in preparation.  It's expected to further clamp down on the TLM and also make more changes to the Novus Ordo. Catholics, both those who attend the TLM and those who attend the NO, have legitimate reasons for concern. 

Two iconoclasts at work: "We'll suppress the TLM altogether and ban Communion
kneeling and on the tongue in the Novus Ordo. The Protestants will love it!"

Roche claims that the TLM was "abrogated" by Pope Paul VI, a fact disputed by Pope Benedict who said it was "never abrogated" and any priest could celebrate it without permission from his ordinary. Today's event suggests that norms for the Novus Ordo may be in the works that forbid the reception of Communion kneeling or on the tongue. 

The TLM obviously isn't the only target of these iconoclasts! Reverence for the Eucharist has to go as well. If they accomplish what seems to be in the works, how many will never attend another Novus Ordo Mass?

Stay tuned. 2023 is likely to be a very unsettling year for Catholics. But we've become used to it in the era of Francis the friendly (to everyone but traditional Catholics).


  1. Nobody ever received kneeling or on the tongue like a dog until after Trent. Its a counter-reformation superstition that only makes sense to k9s.

    1. What about the children at Fatima receiving on the tongue with the Heavenly Angel? If you receive on the hand you are allowing fragments of our Lord to fall and therefore he will be trampled on just like on Calvary

  2. Your insulting characterization of reverence for the Eucharist aside, is your statement true?

    Let's see. Council of Trent 1545-1563.

    Thomas Aquinas, died 1274. What did Aquinas say?

    Church Fathers 1st to 8th century. What did the Church Fathers say?

    Nope! Your comment doesn't hold up to scrutiny.

    "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.

    "Saint Thomas Aquinas also refers to the practice of receiving Holy Communion only on the tongue. He affirms that touching the Body of the Lord is proper only to the ordained priest.

    "Therefore, for various reasons, among which the Angelic Doctor cites respect for the Sacrament, he writes: “. . . 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” (Summa Theologiae, III, 82, 3)."

    [Source: Vatican Office of Liturgy]

  3. The lutherans tradtionally received on the tongue and they pre-date Trent.

    "Luther also preserved the old Roman Catholic tradition whereby the communicant receives the Eucharist kneeling which is an act of adoration. This is a living tradition, even a “standard” in many Lutheran Churches, also in Finland.

    He also quite deliberately held on to the Catholic practice where the priest distributes the wafer directly to the communicant’s mouth rather than into the hand. While Luther was hiding in the Castle of Wartburg, some of his supporters had started to demand that the wafer be placed in the communicants’ hands because Christ had said in the Words of Institution “Take and eat” and Luther had in fact written that the praxis of the Mass had to be arranged exactly on the basis of the institution account. After returning from his hide-out in Wartburg, Luther put an end to the dispute in his eight sermons titled “Invocavit”. If the sign of a good Christian was that he or she takes the wafer in the hand, in that case “even a pig would pass for a good Christian as it can receive the wafer with its trotter.”[16] Luther considered it quite possible to distribute the wafer to each person’s hand, but out of respect for the sacrament he preserved the old tradition in Wittenberg; the wafer was distributed to the communicants’ mouths."

    It says the same on wikipedia, "Traditionally, the minister placed the host on the tongue of the communicant, with the communicants not even touching the base of the chalice as they received the Blood of Christ."

  4. Greek orthodox predate trent:

    Note difference in how Prince Phillip (greek orthodox originally) receives on the hand vs how the Church of England Queen Elizabeth:

    Receiving on the hand is Church of England introduced despite Cranmer to specifically deny the real presence. "In his 1549 Communion Service, Cranmer allowed the Sacrament to be placed on the tongue of the communicant by the minister. This was severely criticized by Martin Bucer, who demanded that Communion should be given in the hand. Cranmer complied and changed the rubric for his 1552 Prayer Book, to bring it into line with Protestant practice on the Continent. The reasons Bucer gives for insisting on this change are quite unambiguous:

    "I cannot see how the seventh section requiring the bread of the Lord to be put not in the hand, but in the mouth, of the recipient, can be consistent. Certainly the reason given in this section, namely, lest those who receive the bread of the Lord should not eat it but take it away with them to misuse it for superstition or horrible wickedness, is not, it seems to me, conclusive; for the minister can easily see, when he puts the bread in the hand, whether it is eaten or not. In fact, 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 honour 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. The Lord undoubtedly gave these, His sacred symbols, into the hands of the Apostles, and no one who has read the records of the ancients can be in doubt that this was the usage observed in the churches until the advent of the Roman Antichrist.

    "As, therefore, every superstition of the Roman AntiChrist is to be detested, and the simplicity of Christ, and the Apostles, and the ancient Churches, is to be recalled, I should wish that pastors and teachers of the people should be commanded that each is faithfully to teach the people that it is superstitious and wicked to think that the hands of those who truly believe in Christ are less pure than their mouths; or that the hands of the ministers are holier than the hands of the laity; so that it would be wicked, or less fitting, as was formerly wrongly believed by the ordinary folk, for the laity to receive these sacraments in the hand: and therefore that the indications of this wicked belief be removed-----as that the ministers may handle the sacraments, but not allow the laity to do so, and instead put the sacraments into the mouth-----which is not only foreign to what was instituted by the Lord but offensive to human reason.

  5. At the end is a pic of luther distributing communion into the mouth of kneeling communicant:

    Many focus just on receiving hand or tongue (and ignore the stadium masses) but see how Luther requires minister to know the person communicating, how they be prominently exposed so that everyone looks to them to give witness to Christ since they are communicating:

    Russian Orthodox (1 church) rules predate Trent (I have seen 3 days fasting other sites), but see how required to give their name when communicating (some require to see the priest a few days before receiving to make known the intention):

  6. I read this article as a Lutheran - we kneel to receive the sacrament. I was shocked to read the title as it defied explanation to me. Why? Kneeling at the altar is kneeling before Christ.