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Refused Communion on tongue
Question from Gina on 10-24-2014:
In a diocese in the American West, our priest said the bishop has ordered his priests to refuse to give Communion on the tongue. No reason. How should this situation be handled since the bishop does not have the authority to go against the General Instruction of the Roman Missal?
Answer by Catholic Answers on 10-31-2014:
Gina--

In researching the matter, I found that the bishop in question recommended that, because of the Ebola scare and upcoming flu season, his priests not distribute Communion on the tongue, or distribute the precious blood, or have parishioners touch one another during the sign of peace. There was no "order" given, although some priests took it as such and began refusing to distribute Communion on the tongue.

I'm afraid you're mistaken though about the extent of a bishop's authority. When local conditions indicate that such an adjustment is necessary, bishops do have authority to make these kinds of recommendations about the administration of the sacraments. When the recommendations are made out of concern for public health, laity would be well-advised to respect the judgment of their pastors and cooperate.

Michelle Arnold
Catholic Answers


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