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RE: Responsibility of EMHCs
Question from K.T. on 10-14-2015:
Regarding the responsibility of EMHCs to distribute Communion to communicants: What about people who approach EMHCs with gum in their mouths? I was in line behind a young lady who was told by an EMHC to discard her gum before she received. She became very angry and practically stormed out of Mass.
Answer by Catholic Answers on 10-14-2015:
K.T.--

In my response I conditioned the distribution of Communion by EMHCs upon "the protocols outlined by your diocese and parish for distribution of Communion." Many parishes and dioceses provide guidelines for cases such as the one you mention, and EMHCs are trained in how to politely ask communicants to receive Communion correctly.

In the incident you witnessed, I do not know exactly what the EMHC said, but if the young woman was told to discard her gum (i.e., given an order) rather than asked politely to please remove her gum before she received Communion, she may have become angry at the manner in which she was spoken to. In any case, asking a communicant to please remove gum before receiving Communion is not the same thing as refusing to give a communicant Communion.

Michelle Arnold
Catholic Answers


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