Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Citing swine flu, Canadian bishop bars Communion on tongue, suspends traditional Mass

Catholic World News - December 01, 2009

A Canadian bishop has suspended celebration of the traditional Latin Mass by priests of the Fraternity of St. Peter (FSSP), because the priests will not comply with a diocesan directive barring the reception of Communion on the tongue. Bishop Frederick Henry of Calgary imposed the policy, ordering the faithful to receive Communion in the hand, in a response to fears of the swine flu.

Reminded that the Vatican's Congregation for Divine Worship has said that all Catholics have the right to receive Communion on the tongue, Bishop Henry replied: "I am well aware of what the congregation has decided but quite frankly, it is not their call. It is mine." He said that the FSSP would be allowed to resume celebrating Mass in the extraordinary form when medical officials say that the swine-flu threat has receded.

Additional sources for this story
Some links will take you to other sites, in a new window.

An appeal from our founder, Dr. Jeffrey Mirus:

Dear reader: If you found the information on this page helpful in your pursuit of a better Catholic life, please support our work with a donation. Your donation will help us reach seven million Truth-seeking readers worldwide this year. Thank you!

Progress toward our August expenses ($14,880 to go):
$35,000.00 $20,119.98
43% 57%
Sound Off! CatholicCulture.org supporters weigh in.

All comments are moderated. To lighten our editing burden, only current donors are allowed to Sound Off. If you are a donor, log in to see the comment form; otherwise please support our work, and Sound Off!

Show 4 Comments? (Hidden)Hide Comments
  • Posted by: thrice.try@hotmail.com - Dec. 02, 2009 2:34 AM ET USA

    After the priests finish delivering communion on the tongue, just go use the antibacterial solution for hand use. What's the big deal? I cannot believe some of the situations I read about. What is happening to the brains of the world? Common sense is diminishing severely. Come, Jesus, come....

  • Posted by: TheJournalist64 - Dec. 01, 2009 8:06 PM ET USA

    This is nonsense. Our novus ordo parish just put back the both species, which is a far greater risk than the minuscule risk of transmitting anything tongue-finger-tongue. I serve as a minister in both forms and there is literally no problem with administering on the tongue. I did have someone last Sunday try to receive in the hand and when I pointed out that in the EF we distribute only on the tongue, she left without receiving communion. I don't think it had anything to do with hygiene.

  • Posted by: Steve214 - Dec. 01, 2009 6:54 PM ET USA

    FSSP is not being stiff necked. There is a rite that was codified at Trent, but goes back almost to the beginning. This mass of the saints throughout the ages has been viewed as some kind of threat: and perhaps it is to some. This mass call for receiving on the tongue. The issue is not sacrilege at all: the ordinary rite permits receiving on the hand. The issue is attempting to change the mass of the ages now that it is permitted.

  • Posted by: Gil125 - Dec. 01, 2009 3:56 PM ET USA

    Maybe I'm older than the bishop, but as I recall, when we used to kneel to receive on the tongue, fingers never touched tongue or lips. The angle just works out. If you try to stand and receive on the tongue---yuck. But kneeling worked every time. (I do think the FSSP may be a trifle stiff-necked about this. You can also kneel and receive in the hand without committing sacrilege. It seems to me.)

Subscribe for free
Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Recent Catholic Commentary

The Blessed Book of Beasts 24 hours ago
Weekend reading August 29
Frustrating the Moral Law August 29
Weep for slaughtered Christians, not for dialogue with Islam August 29
An Appointment that Francis Should Withdraw August 28

Top Catholic News

Most Important Stories of the Last 30 Days
‘A real via crucis’: Pope Francis, patriarch plead on behalf of Iraq’s Christians CWN - August 8
Hundreds of thousands of Iraqi Christians in flight as Islamic State advances CWN - August 8