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A World-Wide Petition to the Bishops: We Ask for Kneelers for the Faithful Who Want to Receive Communion Kneeling

Today we want to relaunch an initiative which seems to us both legitimate and desirable, at a moment in which the sense of the sacred is being continually eroded, also within the Church, by other concerns and priorities, often linked to passing fashions. We reprint here a letter which the ex-Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship, Cardinal Canizares, now Archbishop of Valencia, sent to his priests in January, which may be found at Nuova Bussola Quotidiana. Among other things, the archbishop wrote, referring to a pastoral letter of some time ago:

“In this same letter I recalled how to exchange the sign of peace and how to receive communion. I confess to you that there are times when I am angry seeing how some people come forward, without any recollection or devotion, without any gesture of adoration, as if they were taking a cookie or something similar. I insist on that which I said in that letter on the Eucharist: one may receive communion directly in the mouth, or with the hand so as to then place the Body of Christ in the mouth. But I must add that the form most consonant with the mystery of the Body of Christ which one is receiving is to receive it kneeling and in the mouth. In saying this I am not turning back the clock; I am merely stating what is in accord with [the nature of] communion.”

And precisely in these days a request has been made, to all the Catholic bishops, to which anyone may show their support by signing it. This is the text.

Letter Addressed to the Bishops of the Catholic Church

We ask for kneelers for the faithful who wish to receive the Eucharistic Jesus kneeling; a petition promoted by the “Committee United to the Eucharistic Jesus through the Most Holy Hands of Mary.”

On the reception of Communion in the hand

In order to understand the importance of the way in which Holy Communion is received, it is necessary to begin with a brief reflection on the significance of the Mass, during which the bread and wine become the Body and Blood of Christ. The document Sacrosanctum Concilium of the Second Vatican Council affirms two central things: the Mass as a sacrifice and the Real Presence. In addition, the formulation of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, under the direction of [Cardinal] Ratzinger, restated these Catholic connotations regarding the Eucharist. It was the very pope who concluded the Council, Paul VI, who even felt inclined to publish an Encyclical letter in which he reaffirmed the sacrificial character of the Mass and the legitimate validity of Eucharistic adoration by the faithful outside of Mass.

In the meantime, the national Bishops’ Conferences were given the faculty to grant an indult for the reception of the Eucharist in the hand, the communion rails and kneelers were eliminated, the tabernacles were moved from the center of the churches, notwithstanding the fact that the Catechism (still in 1992) restated that the tabernacle ought to be situated “in an especially worthy place in the church and should be constructed in such a way that it emphasizes and manifests the truth of the Real Presence of Christ in the Blessed Sacrament.” Concerning the question about the reception of the Eucharist, one must above all remember that in the Conciliar documents – including in those which make the most progressive statements concerning the most significant innovations proposed in the liturgy – not a word is spoken about communion in the hand. And yet it is considered to be something the Council wanted even though the Council did not even address it. In reality the reception of the Holy Eucharist in the hand remains only an indult of the Apostolic See. When the Italian bishops approved communion in the hand (with a majority of only two votes), there were those, like the President of the Bishops’ Conference who was obviously against it and very concerned, who had inserted a recommendation to the faithful, especially to children and adolescents, that they ought to be sure their hands were clean. Instead of stopping the abuse, they concerned themselves from the outset only with trying to limit the extent of profanation. It was precisely this generation of Catholic youth, raised in the 80s and 90s which (apart from the counter-tendency of those in prayer groups linked to the Tradition or to the apparitions of Medugorje) showed a certain disinterest regarding devotion to and adoration of the Holy Eucharist, not having any perception of Who is received. The document in question – the Instruction on Eucharistic Communion – is that of May 1989, followed by the decree of Italian Bishops’ Conference which contains it, dated July 19, 1989, and which came into force on December 3 of that year, the First Sunday of Advent.

The text of the Instruction on Eucharistic Communion concerning this new way of receiving the consecrated host explains: “it appears particularly appropriate today to come forward processionally to the altar and receive the Eucharistic species standing, with a gesture of reverence, professing with an “Amen” faith in the sacramental presence of Christ.” We recall that we are dealing here with an indult. By means of the Instruction Memoriale Domini promulgated by the Sacred Congregation for Divine Worship on May 29, 1969, the Holy See allowed individual Bishops’ Conferences the possibility of requesting the faculty to introduce the practice of receiving Communion on the hand. A possibility does not oblige! Yet it is not an irrelevant question, because it pertains to none other than the Real Presence of Jesus. It is not therefore, merely a quaint practice of the traditionalists; it is rather the central affair of the entire Church, which, prior to concerning itself with ecological matters, or the question of immigrants, ought to guard and protect the Eucharistic Lord with that love and fidelity with which Saint Joseph protected the Infant Jesus. In the Eucharist, in fact, out of love for souls, Jesus makes himself vulnerable as he was when he was a tiny infant, attacked by the murderous hatred of Herod.

This aspect was configured by Bishop Schneider as ius Christi, that is, the law of Christ. Even recently, commenting on this intuition of Schneider, Cardinal Burke, grateful for this intuition, said, “recalling the total humility of the love of Christ who gives himself to us in the tiny Host, fragile by its nature, Bishop Schneider recalls our attention to the grave obligation to protect and adore Our Lord. In fact, in Holy Communion, He, moved by His unceasing and immeasurable love for man, makes himself the smallest, the weakest, the most delicate among us. The eyes of Faith recognize the Real Presence in the fragments, even the smallest, of the Sacred Host, and thus lead us to loving Adoration.” As St. Thomas Aquinas taught, Jesus is really present whole and entire in the least fragment of the consecrated Host. The great Dominican theologian affirmed that the Eucharist is sacred and thus may be touched only by consecrated hands; he made reference to the practice of receiving communion only on the tongue, so that the distribution of the Body of the Lord would be done only by the ordained priest. This is so for several reasons, among which the Angelic Doctor mentions also respect towards the Sacrament, which “ought not to be touched by anything that is not consecrated: and therefore the corporal, the chalice, and also the hands of the priest are consecrated, in order to be able to touch this Sacrament. It is not permitted to anyone else to touch it outside of cases of necessity: if, for example, it should fall to the ground, or in other similar situations.” 

An experiment conducted in the United States demonstrated that, when placing communion in the hand, various fragments, difficult to see with the naked eye, remain first impressed into the palm of the hand, and then fall to the ground. In addition, along with the risk of continuous profanation, there is also the problem of “black Masses” and Satanic circles, which, almost astonished at the new practice, can now more easily steal the host and take it away. Recently, various isolated but significant voices have been raised in the Church, calling for a reflection on the damage caused by and risks of communion in the hand. Particularly deserving of mention is the plurennial work of the already-mentioned Bishop Schneider, Auxiliary Bishop of Astana, who, in several essays translated into various languages, courageously has denounced the great dangers of communion in the hand. So also Benedict XVI, although he expressed himself to be in favor of both practices (both kneeling as well as in the hand), always wanted to give preference to the practice of receiving kneeling during Pontifical Masses. Still more recently, the Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship (meaning the #1 man of Catholic Liturgy!) spoke in Milan with unmistakably clear words about the dangers of communion in the hand. Also worthy of mention in Italy is Fr. Giorgio Maffei who has been fighting for a long time on this topic. He has made many appeals, all falling on deaf ears, in which with authentic priestly zeal he has appealed to his brother priests, as when for example in one of his various contributions on this theme he wrote: “with the practice of Communion in the hand, the fragments remain on the hands of the faithful, who usually don’t even look at them, don’t even care or don’t notice, so that the fragments end up on the ground where they are trampled on, swept away and desecrated. This is well known, and all priests know it well, because as has been said, they have daily experience of it.

Also young priests, who have been instructed to give Communion on the hand and not to use the communion plate, know just as well this particular problem of losing fragments of the Host, even when it is not touched. The faithful have less experience of this and are less culpable than the priests.” This well-known traditionalist priest has also favored at least re-introducing the communion plate, for which argument he has suffered humiliation and ridicule as an old-fashioned priest who does not understand what “real problems” are. However, Fr. Maffei has firmly maintained that the use of the communion plate can significantly reduce the concrete risk of fragments falling to the ground during the giving of Communion. On several occasions, not without reason, this priest from Bologna even expressed concern about the risk of excommunication for those who have permitted the profanation of the fragments of the host through the practice of communion on the hand, because, he has said, a sin committed against God and his Christ is a harbinger of excommunication, and what more serious sin could there be than that of an outrage against the Eucharistic species? Among the mystics, we recall the testimony of the Austrian woman Maria Simma, who had an exclusive rapport with the souls in Purgatory, who revealed to her that all of the Pastors of the Church who had approved Communion in the hand, if they died in the state of grace, would nevertheless remain in Purgatory until the day when the Church revoked the indult permitting it.

It is possible to think that this innovation, which did not originate with the Second Vatican Council, at least not directly, originated in the movement [after Vatican II] which infiltrated its way into the ranks of the national Bishops’ Conferences, especially those of northern Europe.  This movement outwardly claimed to be returning to the practice of the ancient faith, but in fact sought to delegitimize all of the reforms made by the Council of Trent. I will try to explain myself better. All of the circles which requested communion in the hand were linked in a radical way to progressive theology with its origin in Modernism. In reality, the slogan of a desired return to the patristic sources (however appealing and meritorious that may have sounded) meant from these people the discrediting of the era of the Council of Trent. And why? Because the discrediting of the era of the Council of Trent would permit the rehabilitation of Martin Luther. This was a consideration of Ratzinger the theologian just after the Council. And thus, at any rate, the liturgical reform oriented itself unilaterally in the direction of the patristic era, but as a veiled rejection of the Tridentine era. As if to say, yes, the first five centuries are normative, don’t pay attention to the rest. This thesis of a non-existent opposition [between the practice of the ancient Church and the reforms of the Council of Trent], however veiled, accompanied the liturgical reform tampered with by the modernists. They held in high regard the practice in use in the first centuries of Christianity, abundantly attested to by the Fathers of the Church, of receiving the Eucharist in the hands.

In the first Christian communities it was normal to receive the Body of Christ directly in the hands; in this regard there are numerous testimonies, both in the Eastern and Western Church: many Fathers of the Church (Tertullian, Cyprian, Cyril of Jerusalem, Basil, Theodore of Mopsuestia), various juridical canons during synods and councils (the Synod of Constantinople of 629; the Synods of the Gauls between the 6th and 7th centuries; the Council of Auxerre which took place between 561 and 605), all the way to the testimonies of the 8th century of St. Bede the Venerable and St. John Damascene: all of these attest to the same widely-practiced tradition. And it was certainly useful to recognize this practice. But at this point one must ask what happened – in terms of theological and liturgical legitimization – as the next step taken by the faith of the Church. When, in the Medieval period, certain schools of theology began to discuss the modality of the Real Presence of Christ in the Most Blessed Sacrament – some ending by defining it only as an empty sign which recalls from a distance the substantial reality of the Lord present among us [only spiritually] – the reaction of the ecclesial community was to greatly emphasize the veneration and adoration given to the Eucharistic Species, to the point of introducing the new rite of receiving Communion directly in the mouth while kneeling, precisely in order to emphasize the greatness of the Real Presence of the Body of Christ. If there had not been such an intervention, there would have been the real risk that the Eucharist would have been completely profaned.

We would like to add, humbly, that also from a hygienic point of view it is much better if the host is only touched by the priest and does not pass through hands that perhaps have not had the chance to be washed before Mass. Hands, like my own, which [on the way to Mass] have been handling a bicycle, or driving a car and dealing with keys and locks, all of which are certainly not the most hygienic things…anyway here is the link.

Translated by Giuseppe Pellegrino. Originally published at, and edited for 1P5. 


149 thoughts on “A World-Wide Petition to the Bishops: We Ask for Kneelers for the Faithful Who Want to Receive Communion Kneeling”

      • Well then why bother asking for kneelers either? Just because there’s kneelers doesn’t mean the priest will use them. In fact, there’s kneelers all over parishes and priests aren’t bringing them out for the growing number of kneeling communicants. I know. I kneel on the floor like the rest unless I’m at the parish with a communion rail.

        • Now THAT is (to me anyway) inexcusable, that the priest doesn’t use the Communion Rail!! But……there are priests and then there are Priests, it’s really no surprise.

    • Will the people using the kneelers receive Holy Communion from one of the legion of sleeveless shirt and pants wearing ladies or will they need to have a separate kneeler line only for the priest? Good idea about restoring the communion rail, better yet how about we just restore the mass everywhere to the TLM?

      • Agree with you on the TLM everywhere. I don’t know what will happen anywhere else but where I have to travel for a diocesan TLM, they also have all Novus Ordo communicants line up at the communion rail. They can’t make them kneel or receive on the tongue, but most do because it goes hand in hand with the communion rail and no one but the priest and deacon distribute communion as well. So restoration of communion rails and having communicants line up across the rail may be a way to begin the return of reception by all kneeling and on the tongue sooner because it’s natural and from what I see at the Novus Ordo at the above parish, it’s working. The odd man out is the standing communicant.

        • We sometimes go to Mass in a neighboring Diocese which isn’t that far away from us. They do have the N.O. Mass but they still have the Communion Rail and most people kneel to receive on the tongue. I’ve noticed that there are a few standing that receive in the hand, but it seems to me they are more elderly and may have a hard time kneeling. There is also a shrine very near to us that has just recently begun placing a few kneelers at the front of the Altar so that if people wish, they can kneel to receive on the tongue. This shrine has also begun saying some Masses Ad Orientum. I do believe that in some places anyway, they are trying to ‘set the ship right’ so to speak…..slowly, but surely. It makes sense to me because if they very slowly introduce these practices it’s not such a ‘culture shock’ to most N.O. people. Get them used to it in little chunks. (they seem to have taken this tactic straight out of the modernist’s play book, and applied it in the opposite direction:)

        • It would be one way of allowing the divorced and others living in adulterous or irregular unions to remain seated during the distribution of the Holy Eucharist and not be readily identified as wearing the scarlet ‘A’.

          In the days of yore many people remained in the pews simply because they had not fasted from midnight and no one thought anything of it. No gossip. No uncharitable thoughts. That was the presumption.

          Now, after having eliminated the fasting from midnight condition for reception, the ‘presumption’ is that if one does not receive the Holy Eucharist with the rest of the herd one must be a grave sinner.

          • There is still the one hour Eucharistic fast. When Mass is said at 5 PM, one might have haid a cup of coffee or a piece of cake before, and thus one is not fit to receive communion. If distribution if Communion was really enforced like that, most people would not be allowed to go. Maybe even 2 or 3 could go. Maybe everyone enjoyed some cake before Mass. Who knows…

          • Someone correct me if I’m wrong, but I believe that is a bit incorrect, or at least not clear. If the actual reception of Holy Communion occurs at 5:40, say, eating and drinking is allowed until 4:40, which basically means you can’t eat on the way to mass only! Please Lord, send us a holy pope to straighten things out and bring back our centuries-old Catholic traditions and practices that were expunged after VII, like the Pre-Lenten season, which we are currently in as far as I’m concerned. In the meantime, please pray for our current pope. That is what Our Lord and Our Lady desire and expect of us.

          • Right, it isn’t one hour before Mass. It’s one hour before Communion. So like you say, you could probably even eat something on the way to church and still it would be an hour before receiving Communion.

          • No, the fast begins exactly one hour before the beginning of Mass. If the Mass is at 5 PM, you can’t eat/drink from 4 PM on. If you do so, you can’t receive Holy Communion.

          • The Current Rules for Fasting Before Communion

            The current rules are found in Canon 919 of the Code of Canon Law:

            A person who is to receive the Most Holy Eucharist is to abstain for at least one hour before holy communion from any food and drink, except for only water and medicine.

            A priest who celebrates the Most Holy Eucharist two or three times on the same day can take something before the second or third celebration even if there is less than one hour between them.

            The elderly, the infirm, and those who care for them can receive the Most Holy Eucharist even if they have eaten something within the preceding hour.

            When Does the One-Hour Fast Start?

            Another frequent point of confusion concerns when the clock starts for the Eucharistic fast. The one hour mentioned in Canon 919 is not one hour before Mass, but, as it says, “one hour before holy communion.”

            Communion for the Dying and Those in Danger of Death

            Catholics are dispensed from all of the rules of fasting before Communion when they are in danger of death. This includes Catholics who are receiving Communion as part of Last Rites, with Confession and Anointing of the Sick, and those whose lives may be in imminent danger, such as soldiers receiving Communion at Mass before going into battle.

          • I see my error, and I apologize. The CIC is a bit ambiguous, since it says in regard to the faithful “before Communion”, and in regard to the priest “before celebration [of Holy Mass]”.
            The document which clears the confusion is “In apostolica constitutione” (Sanctum Officium, January 1, 1964). It changes the time of the Eucharistic fast from the beginning of Mass to the actual reception of Communion. This document is binding for laity as well as for priests.

      • My RO cousins are in their 60s & 70s and still keep the fast from midnight. I can’t keep the fast from midnight because I need to keep my blood sugar stable in order for my medication (not diabetic, btw) to work properly.

        • Yhen your not keeping that fast is legitimate. I AM diabetic (Type I) and, except for very low glucose could still keep the fast — I need to return to it.

          I asked our pastor to have portable kneelers put out for those who want to receive on the tongue while kneeling. He refused.

          I ONLY receive the Host and then only from a priest or deacon (unless I can’t avoid it) because the Precious blood is distributed by “extraordinary” Eucharistic “ministers’.

          • Just to clarify: My RO cousins fast from midnight. (I had relatives who were Type II diabetic, though.) We have Divine Liturgy at 4 pm on Saturdays and 11:30 am on Sundays so I have to keep the one hour fast on Sundays. (And we don’t have EMs in our church, Deo Gratias.)

      • Mine too; just the same. They have them but they are ignored. Other churches I have seen in my diocese are so modern that they were literally built without any rails at all. And without kneelers. Just chairs. I’m so glad I am not forced to go to Mass at churches like that.

    • St. Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274)
      “Out of reverence towards this sacrament [the Holy Eucharist], nothing touches it, but what is consecrated; hence the corporal and the chalice are consecrated, and likewise the priest’s hands, for touching this sacrament.” (Summa Theologica, Part III, Q. 82, Art. 3, Rep. Obj. 8)

      Your google broken?

  1. Kneelers? Heck, they’ll have to clear it first with all the priests who don’t want to give Holy Communion on the tongue. When I first moved to this part of Florida 13 years ago there was a priest who would place the host on your tongue (standing) and then would zip his fingers loudly on his chasuble while giving you a dirty look. Another just gives you a dirty look should you present yourself (standing) to receive on the tongue. Another would (it seemed to me) go out of his way to touch his finger to your mouth abruptly so as to discourage you from receiving holy communion on the tongue. Of course this was at the Novus Ordo which I haven’t attended since 2011 or so.

  2. I read St. Thomas’s meditation on the Eucharist in a Eucharistic Adoration book from Tan Books (it is a great aid)…..I no longer receive in the hand. Rare at a Novus Ordo parish. I should kneel.

    As I asked my wife when explaining it, when we meet Christ at our judgement, are we going to walk up and give him five or put your hand out like he’s some bro you run into at a bar?

    Finally, I wish this article hadn’t mentioned Medjugore, which seems demonic.

  3. I think in addition to Bishop Schneider’s petition, we have a duty to present both of these before our bishops and keep a track of those in favor/against as well as the fence-sitters.
    If you honestly assess the ‘indults’ and lax discipline introduced, there’s no way you can say that reverence of the faithful towards the Blessed Sacrament has been strengthened as a result.

  4. What is the defense of Communion on hand? There seems to be plenty of arguments against it.
    Anyway, in Poland I have never seen Communion on hand. It’s always on the tongue. In some parishes people kneel, in others they stand.
    But it was really a shock for me when came to Ireland. I went to the nearest parish church on Sunday and not only the Communion was on hand but also it was given away by women.
    Thank God they have Latin Mass not far from there.

    • Well, the reason it’s not in Poland is that the Polish bishop’s conference did not grant the indult, that is, permission to administer holy communion on the hand whilst the standing might have. Until not too long ago, I along with most Catholics thought in the hand was a worldwide practice, but you can’t receive communion on the hand in Rome though some priests do it illicitly at St Peters Basilica.
      Regarding its defense, only thing I’ve ever heard is that it’s quicker, and people can receive communion just as reverently in the hand as on the tongue, which we all consider to be nonsense.

      • Well, communion in the hand is surely not quicker. I was an EMHC at the cathedral here in Portland, but now belong to Holy Rosary( where the liturgy is perfect, and the sermons are to die for) where we have a communion rail, and almost everyone receives on the tongue. When people receive in the hand, standing, they are lined up and each person presents himself, receives, and then steps aside. In that amount of time a priest would have distributed to roughly four people kneeling. The process is protracted when communicants then line up and receive from the chalice. All of this is very time consuming and at least from the standpoint of not dragging the Mass out forever, the EMHCs are very necessary in that context.

        Almost never mentioned in this discussion is the loss of sign value, the loss of the meaning and of the dignity of the the priest, for the priest in persona Christi should be distributing communion, representing Christ who gives us Himself. it is, besides, a sign of the love and solicitude of the priest for the people in giving them the Bread of Life.

        Moreover, priests and EMHCs distributing communion eliminates the need-or seems to- for an altar boy to hold the patten. Since the EMHCs are very often women, here again men (priests) and boys (altar servers) are rendered irrelevant.

    • I lived in Ireland for 10 years it is tragic to see the faith declining so quickly there. In our little country parish we were still kneeling at the altar rail in the late 90 s and around 2001 or 2 it all changed. It happened so quickly in Ireland
      Please pray for Ireland and the Irish.

      • They have an openly sodomite Prime Minister and a lesbian Minister for Children. The clergy is effeminate and cowardly. The major seminary (Gaynooth, I mean Maynooth) is filled with sodomites. The Holy Mass is rushed through in 35 minutes even on Sundays.
        It is a spiritually very bleak place at the moment. One wonders what kind of turnout Comrade Jorge will get in October.
        Incidentally, you might recall the brochure for the World Meeting of Families that the pro-homo Archbishop Diarmuid Martin of Dublin published a few months back featuring a pic of two lesbians in an embrace. Well it has subsequently been removed (under pressure from faithful Catholics) from the online edition and did not appear in the print edition.
        Now the former president of Ireland, the liberal Mary McAleese who caused scandal during her term in office when she strolled up to “Holy Communion” in the Anglican church in Dublin, has weighed in and has called for the World Meeting of Families not to exclude the sodomites.
        In the meantime Ireland votes in a referendum to decide if is the will of the people to allow the murder of unborn children up to 12 weeks.
        Monstrous place. God help the faithful Catholic people of Ireland.

        • Does anyone have a theory about why formerly very Catholic spots like Ireland and Quebec have descended so quickly into nauseous indifference and perversion?

          • An aggressive atheistic Media, Materialism, Anglo-american TV junk, and a Church bereft of genuine vocations.
            Ouebec, I know little about, but Ireland being an historically poor Country, attempted to throw of the British Monkey
            on it’s back only to take up the E.U Gorilla instead. And was forced to implement sweeping constitutional changes
            which destroyed the national fabric.
            A perfect storm of worldly propaganda and ambition.

          • Yes yes yes and yes. Ireland sold its soul at Maastricht 1992 but the time for full-blown apostasy did not come until the Bishops tried to hide the sex.abuse scandal. Church credibility hits rock-bottom, in steps Soros with his “marriage equality” campaign into a country with a small Population that can easily be bought, and before you know it once-Catholic Ireland has become the first country to legalise sodomite “marriage” by popular vote.
            I’ve lived almost 20 years in Germany but whenever I go back to Ireland it appals me how materialistic the country is now in contrast to when I was a lad growing up in the 70s and 80s.
            There’s more to it of course. In the late 70s I recall we were treated as 9yos in Catholic school to the lie that the miracle of the loaves and fishes was a miracle of “sharing”. So a generation grew up not having a clue about the Faith. It is sadly no surprise the Faith collapsed.

          • There is no leadership, neither secular or religious, has been none for many years.
            We are led by knaves, quislings, and moral cowards. Heartbreaking stuff.
            God help us.

          • I firmly believe that the history of what the RCC has done to Ireland is to be blamed for this severe backlash including the current issue of voting whether to allow abortions. What was done to women, children, families, by all segments of the RCC has poisoned the faith there. When the RCC in Ireland can make restitution spiritually and corporeal perhaps in a generation when the old behaviors and damaging catholic culture dies out and all that is left is the pure faith people will embrace the church.

          • What did they do?
            Undoubtedly the legitimate grievance over clerical sexual abuse serves as a means to legitimize contemporary deep seated hostility toward Christian morality.
            There is also the impetus to shed the vesture “backward Catholicism” in order to be seen as cutting a relevant profile and regarded as “in the game.” The laity uncatechised for fifty years by a clergy class exhibiting themselves the behavior just mentioned we follow half hearted pastors over the cliff.
            As Ivan says below, it is a worldwide phenomenon, but it is bitter to observe in places such as Ireland and Italy, in French Canada.
            The real abuse that has occurred has a been fraudulent speculation of a religious nature sold as theology since V2.
            In other words “the abuse of theological reflection” in order to promote secular materialism has born its fruit.
            We all have been gravely deceived.

          • The RCC in Ireland has done more damage than just the sexual abuses of children though that is enough. I am speaking to the abuses of girls and women and their children through illicit adoptions the laundries as well as the catholic cultural practise that ingrained the practice of parents shunning their daughters and handing them over to cruelty at the hands of the RCC. The track record of the RCC in Ireland is steeped in violence and cruelty. That is why we are seeing a backlash. It is not about what Mass is said or other similar issues.

          • Not so long ago at all cultural norms supporting moral behavior were universal throughout the Christian West, as the absence of moral behavior is now universal throughout the post-Christian West. Whatever peculiarities specific to Ireland aside, the means to deal with “poor
            behavior” were not much different elsewhere – even in Protestant enclaves. Even in the United States — in a time not so long ago at all.
            As inferred in my initial statement it suits the Irish to turn the Church into the big bad bogyman in order to find an excuse for not exercising governance and a rationale for the expression of their biological impulses. Myself having been nurtured in the Irish Catholic
            ghetto I assure you there is no justification for this cultural display of
            adolescent vindictiveness.
            Whining is unattractive. Irish whining is particularly so given it was the Church that sustained Ireland through centuries of being a protestant English concentration camp. Whining is a skill best abandoned. It is at least counterproductive, and it appears to be turning deadly. It is malarkey.

          • Any nation that projects its own guilt onto the Church (to scapegoat the despicable behaviour of its own nationals) is contemptible. There are no Catholic instructions for clergy and religious to harm anyone (quite the reverse).
            The sodomitical priests who preyed on altar boys were Irish pederasts.
            The sodomitical bishops who corrupted seminarians were Irish pederasts.
            The nuns who terrorised children in class were (possibly) gay Irish women.

            When the Church has disappeared from Irish life (soon), Ireland will be left with disordered men and women who will continue to harm, physically and psychologically, those in their charge. They won’t be in the Church, they’ll be in social services, or law or any other sphere where they can get access. When the Church has gone, the pathologies of the Irish will perdure.

  5. Posession is 9/10 of the law and until the enemies of the Church are pushed out and we end this foreign occupation, I dont think there is much use in petitions or to appeals to liturgical law. Just more Stockholm Syndrome Catholicism which has got us almost nowhere in 50 years. The Novus Ordo Missae in particular is a lost cause—a hopelessly flawed project of rebellious man that has nothing whatsoever to do with God. Irredeemable.

  6. At this time there are 4,935 signatories, so only 65 needed to reach the 5,000 target.

    Please everyone sign the petition!!!

  7. Hate to break this to you all…but most Catholics are so protestantized by the VII church that they don’t even think the Mass is a sacrifice, but just a communal celebration with a “presider (read the GIRM). If folks (I include the ordained) truly believed in the real presence this would have been done years ago.

  8. Our Catholic church, less than two years old, was constructed with no room for a communion rail between the pews and the first of three steps up to the sanctuary “platform” and altar.

    The tabernacle — bearing *no sacred symbols whatsoever* — is a small, rectangular, textured-brass box with a key hole in the front and a candlestick on either side. One red sanctuary lamp is in a brass wall sconce some 15-20 feet away, seemingly unrelated to the tabernacle and its Sacred Resident.

    Very … ecumenical.

    At the appointed time in the Mass, the assembly observes the EMHCs “Purel-i-fy” their fingers and walk. single file. up an open ramp that runs behind the sanctuary “platform.” They pass *behind* the priest and the tabernacle, into the sanctuary, and then behind the priest but in front of the tabernacle, to await their assigned ciborium or chalice. Nary a nod to Our Lord.

    Thank God, our assigned parish priest (we don’t have a “pastor” yet) is planning to build a traditional reredos with a proper tabernacle.

  9. Dear Bishop,

    Here is a list of stuff we want and don’t want.

    Stuff We Want Stuff We Don’t Want
    Altar Rails Communion in the Hand
    Kneelers (if we can’t have the altar rails) Communion Standing
    A Patten to Catch the Sacred Species The Sign of Peace
    Communion on the Tongue Sister Martha Dancing
    Ad orientam “Extraordinary” Eucharistic Ministers by the Dozen
    Lotsa Latin Altar girls

  10. Here in the US we also have the uber-unsanitary practice of offering “the cup” to lines of parishioners, many of whom assuredly are suffering from transmittable diseases like the flu but still not fully aware of the fact. A cohort of extraordinary-ordinaries (my term for them) approaches the altar to serve in the platoon required to carry out this Operation Participation, to become Junior Priests. It’s an appalling waste of effort and time that makes for people bumping into each other at Communion. Many like me understand how unsanitary and dangerous this practice is and avoid the “cup bearers” only to crash into those less concerned about their health. It’s all so ridiculous. (I also endeavor to avoid the other extraordinary-ordinaries, i.e. the non-cup bearing variety, never receive in the hand, and genuflect just before reception from the priest or deacon. There are many things we can do to indicate we are incensed by the weekly irreverence and won’t stand for it [literally!]. Oh, regardless of what else you do, sign the petition mentioned in the article.)

  11. I’ve been kneeling without a kneeler since Corpus Christi 2016. I don’t need one. However, at my brother’s wedding, the priest left the kneeler upon which the bridge and groom had knelt during the Consecration for anyone who wanted to receive communion kneeling. It was pretty amazing to see how many people knelt to receive communion, simply because the kneeler was in front of them. This simple act would lead many to receive Holy Communion with a greater reverence.

  12. It makes no sense to ask for kneelers when the Lil’ Licit Liturgy is clearly the Lord’s Supper and one does not kneel at a Supper.

    Kneelers only make sense at a Real Mass.

    Far better for the petitioners to speak privately with the local presider prior to the Lil’ Licit Liturgy and ask is he’d be jake with you kneeling for Communion.

  13. Good for Mr. Tossatti. I signed. But. Let’s put muscle in the petition by announcing that all signers will immediate stop funding any and all Bishop or Papal initiatives that are not directed related to the promulgation of the True faith. Money is the only thing these people listen to. Defend the Faith. Defund the Bishops.

  14. AFAIK, the reception of the Eucharistic species on the hand was fundamentally different from what we have now. The early Christians used their hands as a kind of Communion paten, not taking the host from it, but elevating the hands so that the host could be taken from them with the mouth. It really was just another form of mouth Communion. No one grabbed the sacred species as if it were a cookie. Not in antiquity, never. But that is one of the historical errors made by the “scholars” of the liturgical reform. People’s Altars are the product of historical errors, as is the celebration versus populum, and many other things, which “experts” claimed where done so in antiquity. Those fallacies and errors where debunked already in their lifetime, but of course, there was not only scholar interest at hand, but also a theological/political agenda. So the actual facts were ignored in favor of an agenda.

  15. Maybe I’ve got it all wrong, therefore will someone please correct me. “Receiving” Holy Communion does NOT mean physically taking hold of It. When we RECEIVE Holy Communion, we ingest and digest it, in order that we can assimilate the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity completely within ourselves and thus offer ourselves, united with Him, to the Father. Since it is only when we are nnited with the Son that were are acceptable to the Father.This is our priestly sacrifice; that of ourselves united with Jesus as the one acceptable offering of ourselves to the Father. And if this is the fullest manifestation of our common priesthood of the people, that place of our sacrifice must be an altar. And the people’s altar is the communion rail, where we unite ourselves with the priest’s sacrifice, which is that of Christ Himself. Now, my question is this: if I first take the Sacred Host in my own hand, (regardless of who places it there), I must therefore transfer the Host to my mouth with my own hand. Which means, in effect, that I am self-communicating, and this is not licit for the laity. Will someone, maybe Fr. R.P., but me straight on this?

    • Stewart, you said, “When we RECEIVE Holy Communion, we ingest and digest it, in order that we can assimilate the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity completely within ourselves….” Actually, Our Infinite Lord takes *us* into Himself when we receive Holy Communion.

      “Self-communicating” occurs when the non-priest communicant takes and consumes the Sacred Species directly from a ciborium, chalice, or pyx. It is strictly forbidden, except to avoid profanation of the Sacred Species.

      • Yes, Patricia, you are of course correct. Jesus takes us within Himself. It stands to reason that, since “the whole universe is not big enough to contain Him” it is ludicrous to suggest that we, who are less than miniscule, can fully assimilate Him. But I still have this insurmountable obstacle. I cannot get past the point wherein “receiving Holy Communion” does not simply mean physically taking hold of It in the hand; into utterly unworthy hands. I am mindful of the fact that self-communicating primarily relates to the laity taking the Sacred Host from the ciborium, an abuse that was not uncommon at one time. But I cannot understand how taking It first from our unanointed hands is so much different. Up until the early 70’s, we laity were forbidden even to touch the sacred vessels, let alone the consecrated Host. And that, I firmly believe, was, and should have remained the way things are. As things currently stand, the practice of “receiving Communion in the hand” is still, strictly speaking, unlawful unless a special indult has been granted. Which, tragically and universally is never the case.

        • Stewart, I agree that the (ab)use of Communion-in-the-hand is a great tragedy. I was only making technical points. It is so unfortunate that, compared with the many and egregious abuses of the Liturgy, this one — the casual treatment of Our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament, the root of it all — is practically a “non-issue.” As if it were always thus.

          • I do understand, Patricia, and we all tend to view this horrendous situation to a certain, limited extent from individual perspectives. But the whole reason why you and I have had this discussion is precisely the same for both of us; the situation as it currently is breaks our hearts. And I thank you sincerely for your most welcome input.

  16. I attend TLM on Sundays and as many other days I am able to get there during the week. Due to distance and because I still have an obligation to my local parish until May, occasionally I still attend my local Novus Ordo parish for a week day Mass and I kneel to recieve our Lord as does one other woman. The priest has on at least 2 occasions made an announcement after a Sunday Mass that he prefers everyone receive our Lord on the tongue explaining the many obvious reasons why and even had someone demonstrate with an unconsecrated host how to receive on the tongue. The majority still receive standing and in the hand. Without alter rails or kneelers I can see why older or people with a physical limitation would not kneel on the tile floor (although I have seen plenty of older Hispanic parishioners that looked liked they had difficulty walking and could fall over any moment get on their knees to receive Jesus, very reverent and beautiful, they would rather not be able to get up again than not kneel before their King it seems, may God bless them abundantly) But it was shocking and so very sad that after even being told repeatedly by the priest to please receive on the tongue and here is how you do so the overwhelming majority has decided to continue reception of their Lord and Savior’s most precious Body in their hand. As I have not been Catholic for very long I am still able to be shocked about certain things still and to a certain extent.

    • I have to tell this.
      I have a very good dutch friend. His name is Mathijs, and he is almost two times older than me. He knees to receive the Most Holy Eucharist even without a kneeler. He bring himself with the car 40km (one way) to attend Mass. Twice in a week, on Sunday and Tuesday in our local chapel of st. Maria Adolphine Dierckx.
      Not too long after I’ve met him, about a two-three years ago, he told me this:
      “Ivan, I’m extremely healthy for my age, and therefore a very happy man, because I have the abundance of blessings from our Lord. And he asked me; Do you know why?
      I replied that I did not know.
      Then he said this to me:
      “Because I worship my Lord, just in the way as every creature must worship its Creator.
      Every day I give Him a bow with my head to the ground. Several times.
      Even the Mother of God was worshiping Her and our Lord in this way.” – He said.
      The greatest problem of us Catholics for a long time is that we do not know, and will not worship the Lord in order we to have to.
      This is the main reason that the Catholics of these days who should be faithful, actually are without faith. That’s the reason why our Catholic Church is in such deep crisis, in decay. And it is going to be much worse…
      My dear friend and brother in Christ, Mathijs is now 95 years old.

      • Everything has been leveled. We imagine Christ accompanying us like a buddy on a hike, just another guy in the room. Our priests–who my parents still considered to have an aura, something unique about them…which stuck with me from being a kid in the 80s and 90s–don’t wear their Roman collars. They want to be buddies, too. Their homilies often have punchlines, they seem to always pick the reading that is least problematic and expound on it without mention of the difficult one.

        To wit, last Sunday our second daughter (third child) was baptized. I was excited when I looked at the readings, particularly the second reading form which a case for priestly celibacy is certainly made and the Gospel reading regarding the presence of evil and exorcism. Nope, it was a three minute homily in which he mentioned we’re all forgiven and anointed a sick woman.

        Thankfully the new priest came down from a church uptown to baptize her in the Old Rite and we all figured, since the new Church was built in 1967 that it was probably the first one done there. It was truly different than a NO baptism. We loved it.

  17. I posed a question as to whether or not “Communion in the hand” is unlawful because it is tantamount to self-communicating. We are, after all forbidden to take the Host ourselves. How does that differ, if at all, from first taking the Host from our own hand? Since there has been no response to my question, I’m seriously wondering if it’s because I was talking garbage, and you are too kind to tell me so. Please, if what I said was indeed garbage, then my feelings will not be hurt if you tell me so.

    • In no way is this a theological perspective but just my view:
      Priest’s have consecrated hands which consecrate the host. Our hands are not consecrated and will be dirty no matter what we do: we’ll have touched door handles, pews, other people’s hands, etc. Christ is the pure and spotless victim. When we receive the Eucharist we are receiving Christ, his presence is real.

      When you and I face Christ at our respective judgements do you imagine that we’ll approach him and give him a high five or stick our hand out to shake his hand? I’m imagining falling to me knees, if not flat on my face and feeling lower than pile of excrement, so unworthy and terrified that I’ll almost wish that there was really nothing after we die. Why, then, would we not treat our encounter with him in the Eucharist with even a modicum of that reverence?

      • I think you put the whole thing in its correct perspective. Our current complacency is not just pathetic; it’s potentially damning. I did ask a specific question re – “Communion in the hand” that no-one has answered. My question is this: Firstly, let me re-state my understanding of the term “receiving Holy Communion.” This means to ingest, and digest the Sacred Host in order that we may, (if we are in a state of grace), assimilate the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus Christ within our very selves and so offer ourselves, united with the Son, to the Eternal Father. Therefore, “receiving Holy Communion” does not merely mean physically taking hold of the Host, So, if I first take the Host in my hand, regardless of who places it there, and I then transfer the Host to my mouth with my other hand, I have, in effect, self-communicated, which is not permitted for the laity. Therefore, does this action, in and of itself, render “Communion in the hand” unlawful?

  18. This is the best news I have heard in years!!! Blessed be the Most Holy Name of the Lord! Kneeling before the Real Presence of Jesus at the time of Communion will eventually bring more reverence and devotion even to those who do not yet understand or are not aware of the greatness of the Gift we are offered. Let us pray that this is the first step in the direction we should all be moving toward, “ad orientem.” +

    • If anyone has facebook, please share and maybe point out the petition is in several languages including English (in case people are put off by the Italian..)
      I just created an account on Catholic Answers forums and posted it there.
      Must look up some German-speaking fora also.

      • HtB,
        can you please provide here the links to this petition in English, German and in other languages?
        For me, it is only italian version, and I just can’t see a way to ‘swich’ the same petition into other language onthe CitizenGo site. If I chose another language, and chose English (on the right side above), I get the home page of Citizen Go?!
        PS. It is indeed a good advice to share this petition also on the many Catholic blogs, in every language!

        • Hi Ivan,
          if you scroll down, the Italian text of the petition itself is on the bottom left, and farther down it is in Polish and then the other languages.
          God be with you.

          • Oh, I see now. Thank you!
            It is better than nothing, but still, it is only the text (which is important of course) below which is putted below original text (in Italian) which is the translation of explanation. Not the whole *petition* in other languages (on other CitizenGo pages). I think that would make a bigger (better) difference, if CitizenGo workers would make it in hte way they makes the most IMPORTANT petitions, – each (the same) in its apart language page.
            Again, – thank you for your great Catholic efforts. 🙂
            God bless.

        • Hmm I received two messages from admin.

          The first one:

          “Links are only permitted as references for the topic of discussion. Links for promotional purposes, personal blogs, or to anti-Catholic websites are not permitted.”

          The second one:

          “Your post was flagged as spam: the community feels it is an advertisement, something that is overly promotional in nature instead of being useful or relevant to the topic as expected.

          Multiple community members flagged this post before it was hidden, so please consider how you might revise your post to reflect their feedback.”

          Charming lot over there.

          • Well I did not flag it- the post gave many people something to think about. Especially since simply setting up a portable kneeler is so easy, and no one is forced to use it. 🙂

          • Oh I know you didn’t flag it dear sister.
            Some of the comments that I saw before the deletion were of the form “The Church is not a democracy. I am NOT signing this petition ” or “Kneeling is more reverent? Says who? Certainly not the Church!”
            I hope you are right, that it got at least some people thinking.

  19. However, if only Priest are able to touch the Blessed Sacrament, then what about Eucharistic Ministers (extraordinary) who assist, because of the lack of priest, in the distribution of Holy Communion to the faithful at Holy Mass? Are they to be forbidden to touch Jesus? In addition, who will bring Holy Communion to the sick and infirmed, outside of Holy Mass? There are not enough priest to accomplish this either, so EMs do this likewise (me). Do we also kneel for the reception of the Precious Blood in the Cup at Holy Mass too? Yes, the best practice is that priests should be the ones to distribute Holy Communion. Sadly, there just are not enough of them. JAMLY

    • I can see your points for lay EMs. However, prior to the introduction of EMs and much earlier before the practices taking place in parishes in the Netherlands in 1969 (communion in the hand), church teaching on lay people handling the Blessed Sacrament was absent, much less tolerated and promoted. In fact, the priests’ hands are consecrated during ordination so that he may touch the host with his fingers. I can quote you theologian after theologian including St Thomas Aquinas and several catechisms but convenience should never be the grounds for overturning centuries of church teaching that the priest administers the blessed sacrament.

      If we honestly re-assess what these among many changes and additions that have been made, can we honestly say that reverence towards the Blessed Sacrament and belief in the real presence has been strengthened?

      • Yes, thanks, Mark! Anyway, pray for more priest dedicated to Mary. Moreover, the pharisees and scribes were teaching the correct “letter” of the law, so to speak; however, they were missing that one vital ingredient: Love.

        On the tongue; in the hand, standing or kneeling or lying down, as some of the sick and infirm consume the Blessed Sacrament, do it with Love.


        • I would just make one addition to that, those who are critical of these practices are generally not legalistic. They do so because they’ve seen a widespread loss of faith and disrespectful treatment of the body of Christ and care for the faith of their fellow laymen. When these people voice their concerns about lax discipline, they tend to be labelled as rigid, fundamentalists and pharisees from other laymen, priests bishops and in some cases by Pope Francis himself. I submit to you that this is not an issue that is mere ‘law’, but what is consistent with church teaching on Holy Mass and the Eucharist.
          I hope that helps you understand the landscape we’re living in in case you’re new and God Bless.

      • Agreed! Thanks again, Mark! Let us pray & sacrifice for the Pope and all the Catholic Bishops of our world to consecrate Russia to the Immaculate heart of Mary, on the same day within the same hour. To haste the Triumph of the Immaculate Heart of Mary throughout our world, in our hearts and in our home, and in our Catholic Churches, especially in the hearts of the men of our Catholic Church. JAMLY!

  20. I think of some of these LIfeTeen Masses that I have attended in the past, ( help us Lord!), and of course the many Masses, whereby the priest becomes the ‘center of the universe’ at Mass, whereby the people
    sing their heads off throughout the Mass, so loud, when can barely be silent and prayer and ponder the mystery of our faith, etc., etc., etc.,….lay people on the altar, etc., etc.,…..

    It gives glory to Christ that one receive Him on the tongue, kneeling, but under those previous stated circumstances, I am not so certain what else is truly, truly accomplished.

    • Honest to goodness….I have a whole genre of nightmares I call “liturgical nightmares” where I’m at some weird mass with all kinds of abuses, having to re-live those experiences. Terrible dreams.

      • Holy smokes, you too? What a small world; I have had them many times in the past. Exactly like you said — all kinds of abuses. I don’t have them anymore, for reasons it might bore some other readers to explicate. But they are horrible. One thing that helps for me is, on Saturday night before going to sleep, do NOT think at all about Mass the next day. Because when I had them they were ALWAYS on Saturday night.

  21. I remember as a child in school, the parade of priests and nuns who would come and address the class back in the 1980s. Invariably they would comment on “can you believe we had to do such and such” hardee har har ….”thanks goodness the Church changed that—-wasn’t that ridiculous?”. “To think we had to dress that way ha ha”—-as I looked at the ill-fitted, pantsuited lady in front of me with the butch haircut and large waistline telling us how she was a much better nun now. Even at 9 years old my thought was how disrespectful and proud these people seemed. The priests came off as jackasses mocking the sacred (I had no firsthand knowledge of the old Rite apart from my limited exposure to the Byzantine). All of these nuns and clerics were Pre-Vatican II ordained/consecrated so keep that in mind. So imagine whats going on in the average kid’s head after years of this disparagement of the Catholic Faith and traditions by authorities. No wonder most of my peers are practical athiests today.

  22. It is telling that a petition exists to restore communion rails rather than demands the Real Mass be restored. Maybe we should refuse to go to and Lil’ Licit Liturgy and assist at an Eastern Rite Catholic Church or an SSPX Real Mass and deprive the commies of their money until they restore the good, true, and beautiful worship of God He is worthy of.

    IOW, To hell with them and their crummy Lil’ Licit Liturgy

  23. I just want to mention that almost all countries are spelled the same way we spell them in English. Except the US which is listed as Stati Uniti on the drop-down list.

  24. We should not ask….we should DEMAND. Those of us who are old enough to remember what it was to kneel, reverently waiting for Our Eucharistic Lord, often times covering our hands with a white cloth attached to the Communion rail, lest one crumb of the Host should fall….. The paten was placed under the chin so that no part of Our Lord would touch the ground….. AND NOW, we watch the cattle approach the trough, trampling underfoot the precious Body and Blood of Our Divine Lord as they carelessly stuff Him in their mouths, chomping all the way back to their pew, waving and giving “hi fives” to the friends they pass on their way. I suggest that if the Faithful wish a return to what was right and good, which should NEVER have been taken away in the first place, they stop their immediate tithing to their parish, demanding that Orthodoxy return FIRST. “Money talks” to the money changers in the Temple.

  25. Anyone else, at their N.O. parishes, have the giant Sam’s Club bottle of hand sanitizer hanging out on a table (not the credence table, at least) to the side of the “sanctuary”?

  26. Traveling in South America last year, I attended Mass in several different parishes, some of them thousands of miles apart, but one striking feature they all had in common: Most people receive standing, in the hand, while a minority – at a guess, say between 10 and 20 percent – receive on the tongue, some standing and some kneeling. But I saw no kneelers, in any church, anywhere! Those who receive kneeling, kneel on the floor. The person next in line stands far enough back so that there is never the slightest danger of tripping over the feet of the person in front of them who has suddenly and without warning dropped to their knees. No hassle.

  27. Just a thought…

    We see this picture of a bygone age. The priest is young, well-groomed, and vested in traditional vestments. The altar boy is attentively holding the paten underneath the girl receiving her First Communion. The girls are all neatly-dressed as brides, and each one is at the rail to receive Our Lord on their tongues and on their knees. What a beautiful scene! What happened to them though? I would guess the picture was taken around the 1950’s. That altar boy and those girls are probably in their 70’s now, and the priest is probably in his 80’s. What were they like in the 1970’s and later? Did they hold fast to this beautiful piety, or did they throw it off like children who are forced to wear coats, hats, and scarves they don’t want to wear and who throw them off as soon as they are out of their mother’s sight?

    The sickness in the Church that showed itself in the 1960’s and onward was there under the surface for longer than that.

  28. Even as a former Anglican we always kneeled at the altar rail. So to in my TLM Church. In the Novus Ordo church though I have all I can do to make the priest put the host in my mouth.


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