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By Diogenes ( articles ) | Sep 15, 2006

Bishop Tod Brown of Orange, California, responds to a lay group whose members protested-- among other things-- being required to receive Communion standing:

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops has determined that in the United States, Holy Communion is received standing and that the appropriate sign of respect is a bow of the head before the Sacrament. The Diocese of Orange is obliged to observe this norm.

Leaving aside the question of how thoroughly a diocese is "obliged" by a statement of the episcopal conference, let's look at what the USCCB actually said:

The norm for reception of Holy Communion in the dioceses of the United States is standing. Communicants should not be denied Holy Communion because they kneel. (emphasis added)

And when Catholics who were denied Communion because they insisted on kneeling petitioned the Holy See, the response was that the Vatican...

....considers any refusal of Holy Communion to a member of the faithful on the basis of his or her kneeling posture to be a grave violation of one of the most basic rights of the Christian faithful, namely that of being assisted by their pastors by means of the Sacraments.

And the Diocese of Orange is obliged to observe that norm, too.

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