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Phoenix diocese issues norms for Communion under both kinds

November 14, 2011

Bishop Thomas Olmsted of Phoenix, Arizona, has issued new norms for the distribution of Communion under both species.

In September, Bishop Olmsted had announced plans to curtail the widespread practice of inviting all the faithful to share Communion from the chalice. His statement was widely—but inaccurately—reported as a ban on Communion under both kinds.

In the new norms, released on November 11, Bishop Olmsted makes it clear that his intent is to bring practices in Phoenix into line with the Vatican policies set forth in the General Instruction for the Roman Missal.

Under the new norms, Communion under both species is allowed for special occasions (such as weddings and confirmations, and for the newly baptized at the Easter Vigil), and on other occasions when the pastor is satisfied that certain conditions have been fulfilled. Those conditions include a proper instruction of the faith in receiving the Blood of Christ, a manageable number of people receiving Communion, no special concerns about communicable diseases, and an assurance that the Blood of Christ will not be profaned.

The norms issued by Bishop Olmsted specify that pastors should make provision for reception of Communion from the chalice “for those who are unable to receive under the form of bread for medical or health reasons, such as gluten intolerance.”


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  • Posted by: Bernadette - Nov. 22, 2011 5:03 PM ET USA

    The bishop's "new" norms aren't new! Give me a break! He is allowing the distributuion of the Precious Blood on Sundays, Holy Days, Solemnities, weekdays, any special day the pastor would like, such as Marriages, First Holy Communions, Ordinations, Confirmations, etc....So, what's new? We have been doing just that for years and years and years. I am in the Diocese of Phoenix. If the bishop wishes to cut down on the Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion, this is NOT going to do it! New?

  • Posted by: Fr.CharlesGoraieb7438 - Nov. 14, 2011 11:32 PM ET USA

    Originally the Bishop did intend to restrict the distribution of the Precious Blood because that is how he read the GIRM and other norms. But since the story first came out in September, he has since reinterpreted the intent of the norms and is now allowing the Precious Blood to be offered whenever there are enough ordinary ministers (priest and deacons) to purify the chalices and when the amount of wine need to consecrate can be accurately determined.

  • Posted by: Mack - Nov. 14, 2011 8:51 PM ET USA

    In my parish, the Precious Blood continually gets spilt (even small drops). It's ignorant to think otherwise. I see it all the time. Most people just don't care and say things like 'God will understand'. God does understand indeed. The practise should be stopped. It is totally unnecessary.

  • Posted by: AgnesDay - Nov. 14, 2011 4:11 PM ET USA

    This story got picked up on FOX, and a woman being interviewed allowed that we had to receive from the chalice "because the wine represents the blood of Christ." Well, I'm certainly convinced that the people of Phoenix are throroughly catechised.