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+Olmstead, Phoenix Diocese to limit EHMCs…. September 22, 2011

Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, Dallas Diocese, episcopate, Eucharist, General Catholic, Liturgy, North Deanery, priests, sadness, scandals, sickness.
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…….or (un)Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion.  Not unextraordinary because they are not wonderful people, but because in most diocese in the US the practice has become so commonplace and banal that they are not what was originally intended when the indult began.  The Diocese of Phoenix presents some very, very interesting information regarding Communion under both kinds and EHMCs, stating they will limit both:

“In the Roman Missal (1975), 14 instances were provided when the chalice could be offered to the laity,” the diocese noted. “From 1975 on, the United States, United Kingdom and Oceania were given experimental privileges for the distribution of Holy Communion under both kinds. These privileges expired in 2005 and were not renewed by the Holy See. The new norms issued in June 2011 are what guide the liturgical practice today and in the future.” [Apparently, those norms limit Communion under both kinds to limited cases like conventual Masses, Chrism Mass, and reserving the Chalice for non-concelebrating priests, seminarians, etc]

“These universal norms for the distribution of Holy Communion under both kinds greatly expanded those times when the chalice could be offered to the lay faithful for most of the Catholic world (since in most countries their practice was virtually non-existent),” the diocesan statement continued. “In the Diocese of Phoenix, like other places where the practice of reception from the chalice became frequent or even commonplace, the new norms call for the practice of less frequent distribution of Holy Communion under both kinds than the faithful may have been accustomed.” [somehow, I don’t think the recognition of this reality will permeate to many dioceses]

“In normal circumstances, only priests and deacons are to distribute Holy Communion,” the diocese added; “when both forms of Communion are used frequently, ‘extraordinary’ ministers of Holy Communion are disproportionately multiplied.” [I must wonder how well this directive will be obeyed?  I pray well, but I don’t know how well received these norms will be.  Sadly, there are many times when directives like this are simply ignored]

The bit about the privileges expiring in 2005 is extremely interesting.  It seems the Phoenix Diocese is interpreting the new norms to drastically limit Communion under both kinds and EHMCs.  Perhaps Bishop Olmstead largely agrees with Bishop Schneider, who believes EHMCs represent a novel practice

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