Honoring the Blessed Sacrament

Reverence for the Most Blessed Sacrament

Continuation from yesterday’s article in honor of the feast of Corpus Christi.

The Catholic Faith can be attacked by actions done in either an obvious or a subtle manner. We uphold the Faith by upholding the pious practices of the Church that support our adherence to the Faith. By introducing novel practices into the Universal Church that give the impression that the defined Faith is not to be believed, the faithful are scandalized.

In The Devil’s Final Battle, Father Gruner (one of the contributors to this great work) writes about widespread heteropraxis (heterodox practices) in the Church today in regards to the Blessed Sacrament:[1]

“[W]e know by the solemn definitions of the Council of Trent that God guarantees to us that the consecrated Host is indeed His Real Presence — that is, really present in the Blessed Sacrament is the Body and Blood of Our Lord Jesus Christ, together with His Soul and Divinity. Now, the Protestant rebels wanted to deny this article of the Faith and they wanted to influence others to do the same. So they reintroduced the practice of Communion in the hand (it had been originally introduced as a widespread practice by the Arian heretics of the Fourth Century to deny that Jesus is God). By this symbolic action, their denial would be clear to all.

Heteropraxis has been used in our day by the enemies of the Church to scandalize many Catholics into losing their Faith in the Real Presence. That is why the abuse of Communion in the hand forbidden by the universal law of the Church for many centuries and still forbidden by the law of the Church to this day is widely promoted. The recent indult [i.e. permission] to go against the letter of the law is only allowed if this practice does not lead to the lessening of the Faith in the Real Presence and does not lead to less respect for the Real Presence. But the actual practice of Communion in the hand always does, as we can see from our own everyday experience with this form of heteropraxis. [For more information, see “Appendix: Communion in the Hand Forbidden,” below.]

“The practices which uphold orthodox doctrine, on the other hand, are referred to as orthopraxis (i.e. orthodox Catholic practices). These include: genuflecting in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament, distributing/receiving Communion on the tongue, maintaining the tabernacle with the Blessed Sacrament as the primary focus of attention (and worship) in the center of the sanctuary; and the solemn behavior of the clergy within the sanctuary, showing due reverence to the Presence of God in the Blessed Sacrament. These examples of orthopraxis (orthodox actions upholding the Faith) testify to the truth of the dogma that the Blessed Sacrament is the Real Presence of God — the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Our Lord Jesus Christ under the appearance of bread — as well as the proper respect of man to God.

Examples of heteropraxis against the dogma of the Real Presence include Communion in the hand. This form of heteropraxis conveys the erroneous message to the faithful that the Blessed Sacrament is just not that important, that It is just bread, and promotes the heresy that It is not the Real Presence of God — the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Our Lord Jesus Christ under the appearance of bread. Another example of heteropraxis in this area is the permanent removal of the tabernacle with the Blessed Sacrament from the sanctuary to a side room or broom closet, so that the primary focus of attention (and worship) in the sanctuary becomes the chair of the ‘celebrant’ or ‘Presider’ over the ‘assembly’. The message is subtly given, and received, that the person sitting in the chair is more important than the Blessed Sacrament. And since the ‘Presider’ (or president of the ‘assembly’) represents the people, then subtly the message is given that God is less important than the people.”

So what are our duties toward this Sacrament? As St. John Vianney, the Curé of Ars, tells us: “We must appear before Him with the greatest reverence …. We appreciate our God very little, we regard Him with indifference … what indifference and even frivolity do we not often see in our churches.”[2]

Thus, we must not regard Our Lord’s gift to us – His Flesh and Blood in the Blessed Sacrament – with indifference, casualness, or frivolity!

(3) How Does Communion in the Hand Deny the Real Presence?

“Out of reverence towards this Sacrament, nothing touches It [the consecrated Host] but what is consecrated.” – Saint Thomas Aquinas

Accordingly, the Angel of Portugal gave Lucia the Sacred Host on the tongue rather than in her hands. As God’s messenger, the Angel – whom Fatima scholars believe to be St. Michael – was permitted to give the Blessed Sacrament to the three children, Francisco and Jacinta having received the Precious Blood instead.

Here we see from St. Thomas, the Angelic Doctor of the Church[3], that it is sacrilegious for anyone not ordained to Holy Orders to touch the Sacred Host. St. Thomas explains:

“The dispensing of Christ’s body belongs to the priest for three reasons. First, because, as was said above (Article 1), he consecrates as in the person of Christ. But as Christ consecrated His body at the supper, so also He gave it to others to be partaken of by them. Accordingly, as the consecration of Christ’s body belongs to the priest, so likewise does the dispensing belong to him. Secondly, because the priest is the appointed intermediary between God and the people; hence as it belongs to him to offer the people’s gifts to God, so it belongs to him to deliver consecrated gifts to the people. Thirdly, because out of reverence towards this sacrament, 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.”[4] (Emphasis mine.)

As further explained in A Tour of the Summa:

“Apart from cases of necessity (as, for example, when the sacred species is in danger from fire or flood or desecration), no one but the priest should touch the consecrated hosts. Therefore, the priest is not only the minister of consecration (that is, of confecting the sacrament of Holy Eucharist at Mass), but he is also the minister of distributing the Blessed Sacrament to all who receive it in Holy Communion. A deacon[5] may distribute Holy Communion, with [the] pastor’s or bishop’s permission, when there is a reasonable cause for having him do so.”[6]

Furthermore, the Council of Trent also teaches that:

“… to priests alone has been given power to consecrate and administer to the faithful, the Holy Eucharist. That this has been the unvarying practice of the Church, that the faithful should receive the Sacrament from the priests … that this practice, as having proceeded from Apostolic tradition, is to be religiously retained, particularly as Christ the Lord has left us an illustrious example thereof, having consecrated His own most sacred body, and given it to the Apostles with His own hands….

“To safeguard in every possible way the dignity of so august a Sacrament, not only is the power of its administration entrusted exclusively to priests, but the Church has also prohibited by law any but consecrated persons, unless some case of great necessity intervene, to dare handle or touch the sacred vessels, the linen, or other instruments necessary to its completion.”

Thus, we see that the modern-day practices – most likely inherent to all diocesan parishes throughout the world – of distributing Holy Communion by Extraordinary Ministers of the Eucharist and of Communion in the hand are both – beyond any doubt – sacrilegious

For other examples of sacrileges, outrages and indifferences committed against the Blessed Sacrament, see “Functional Atheism and Eucharistic Sacrilege”.

Conclusion

Who cannot see the parallels between the warnings of the Angel of Portugal – of “sacrileges, outrages and indifferences” to “the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ, horribly outraged by ungrateful men” – and the post-Vatican II practices (e.g., Communion in the hand) which implicitly deny the Real Presence of Our Lord Jesus Christ – Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity – in the Blessed Sacrament!

May we heed the warnings of the Angel of Portugal for our time!

O Sacrament most holy! O Sacrament divine! All praise and all thanksgiving be every moment Thine!


Appendix: Communion in the Hand Forbidden

The law of the Church is that in the Latin Rite the manner of receiving the Blessed Sacrament is that the priest is to place the Sacred Host on the tongue of the recipient. This has not changed during or since Vatican II.

In 1969 Pope Paul VI promulgated – in the Acta Apostolicae Sedis, pp. 546-547 (A.A.S. 1969) – that Communion on the tongue is still the law of the Church, but he gave permission to go against the letter of the law if two principles and seven rules are followed. If either one of these principles or any one of the seven rules are not followed, then Communion can only be given on the tongue. Those conditions have been published by The Fatima Center in Issue 28 of The Fatima Crusader (see “The Regulations of the Vatican Concerning Communion in the Hand”).

A. The Two Principles

  • Principle 1: The faithful must not be scandalized by the practice of Communion in the hand.
  • Principle 2: There must be no danger of irreverence or sacrilege to the Sacred Hosts and Particles if Communion is given in the hand. There must not even be the appearance of irreverence.

B. The Seven Rules

How many people – including priests, bishops and Cardinals – know that there are seven rules that must be followed? How can anyone follow the rules if they don’t even know the rules exist? How many souls are receiving Communion in the hand and breaking the law of the Church without realizing it?

Let us consider a few of the seven rules. The first rule states: “The new manner of giving Communion must not be imposed in such a way that the traditional practice is excluded. It is especially important that each one of the Faithful has the possibility to receive Holy Communion on the tongue…” How often has this been violated? We have heard of many priests who have ridiculed, chastised, or even denied Communion to the lay faithful because they wanted to reverently receive the Sacred Host on the tongue. And now in the post-COVID era, we are seeing many chanceries issuing norms that Holy Communion may only be received on the hand and the traditional practice is being explicitly excluded!

Another rule is: When Communion is received in the hand, care must be taken that no fragment of the Host be allowed to drop on the ground. That is, as recipient, you have the obligation to look in your hand every single time and see that you don’t drop even one speck of the Host. If you allow that to happen, you commit a sacrilege – even if you did not intend it to happen. Do you want that sacrilege on your soul and to be judged by God for it on Judgement Day?

The third rule states the practice of Communion in the hand must increase that person’s faith in the Real Presence. If it does not, then that person cannot receive Communion that way. Furthermore, the priest who gives Communion in the hand must make that judgement on the spot, that this practice increases the faith of the person receiving Holy Communion. It is only and exclusively the priest giving Communion – not the Pope, bishop or pastor – who must make that judgement and who is personally accountable to God. He could commit a mortal sin for giving Communion in the hand to even one unworthy person.

Also, Communion in the hand is entirely the option of the priest. He cannot give Communion in the hand if the rules and principles are not followed; and, even if followed, the priest is still at liberty to refuse Communion in the hand. That liberty cannot be taken away by anyone – not even the Pope – simply because the priest has the obligation to answer to God for each and every Host he dispenses.

For more information on the seven rules for receiving Communion in the hand, see “The Regulations of the Vatican Concerning Communion in the Hand”.


[1] 2010 edition, Chapter 12, “The Third Secret Predicts: The Great Apostasy in the Church after Vatican II”, pp. 154-156.

[2] St. John Baptiste Marie Vianney, Curé of Ars, Sermons for the Sundays and Feasts of the Year (Pekin, Indiana: Refuge of Sinners Publishing, Inc., 2014), Sermon for Trinity Sunday, p. 178.

[3] “The Church has ever venerated his [St. Thomas’] numerous writings as a treasure-house of sacred doctrine; while in naming him the Angelic Doctor she has indicated that his science is more divine than human. The rarest gifts of intellect were combined in him with the tenderest piety.” (Alban Butler, Lives Of The Saints, Benziger Bros. Edition, www.globalgrey.co.uk; cited at https://fatima.org/messages/st-thomas-aquinas-confessor-doctor-of-the-church/.)

[4] Summa Theologiae, Pt. III, Q. 82, Art. 3, at https://www.newadvent.org/summa/4082.htm#article3.

[5] In this context, “deacon” refers to those men ordained as such in the Traditional Roman Rite – the diaconate being the last Major Order prior to, and in preparation for, ordination to the sacred priesthood.

[6] Msgr. Paul J. Glenn, A Tour of the Summa, “The Holy Eucharist,” Q. 82, Art. 3: The Minister of Holy Eucharist, p. 388. One such cause could be the celebrating priest or bishop being unable to do it himself.

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