1. Persons who possess the episcopal character as well as presbyters to whom it is permitted by law or by legitimate concession can validly perform consecrations and dedications.
2. Any presbyter can impart blessings, except those which are reserved to the Roman Pontiff or to bishops.
3. A deacon can impart only those blessings which are expressly permitted to him by law.
A blessing is a good conferred by a higher personage on a lower
personage. All true blessings ultimately come from God, though they come
through those whom He has placed over others. In the family parents bless
their children, as God has given them natural authority over their children.
In the Church spiritual blessings are conferred in God's Name by those to
whom He has given spiritual authority over His People. As is evident by the above, blessings are given by
priests (who have the power of the keys), though some are reserved to
bishops (high priests). Deacons may also bless, but only where the ritual books,
and thus the Church, provide the authority by law. Since the laity do not
possess spiritual authority in the Church they cannot confer blessings. The laity can impose some sacramentals (ashes, St. Blaise blessing), but using objects
previously blessed by the ordained.
So, the blessing of anyone by an EME at Communion time is a vain gesture, which does nothing for the recipient.
Furthermore, by a gesture which suggests priestly authority in a sacramental
setting, it confuses the role of the laity and the ordained minister, something
prohibited by the Instruction
on Certain Questions Regarding the Collaboration of the Non-Ordained
Faithful in the Sacred Ministry of Priests.