Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion

Current status: Local action where appropriate.

Hat-tip to Hermeneutic of Continuity:

Rome's decision not to extend the permission given to the United States bishops, to allow EMHCs to purify the sacred vessels after communion, is sufficient to outlaw the practice in England and Wales, where bishops have been permitting it.

Rome's decision: " In an Oct. 23 letter, Bishop William S. Skylstad, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, asked his fellow bishops to inform all pastors of the change, which was prompted by a letter from Cardinal Francis Arinze, prefect of the Vatican Congregation for Divine Worship and the Sacraments.

The U.S. bishops had asked the Vatican to extend an indult -- or church permission -- in effect since 2002 allowing extraordinary ministers of holy Communion to help cleanse the Communion cups and plates when there were not enough priests or deacons to do so.

Bishop Skylstad, who heads the Diocese of Spokane, Wash., said Cardinal Arinze asked Pope Benedict about the matter during a June 9 audience, "and received a response in the negative." " See the full article (Catholic News Service) here.
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1 comment:

kate said...

The term extraordinary minister of the eucharist is an oxymoron of sorts. Rome has asked us not to use this term. Most recently, see Redemptionis Sacramentum 156. (Also 154-155)

Only a priest (including a bishop)can be a minister of the eucharist as only he can confect the sacrament and offer the holy sacrifice. Hence there can only ever be an ordinary minister of the eucharist.

Likewise, the 'ordinary ministers of Holy Communion' are bishops, priests, and deacons.

Like the boy martyr, Saint Tarcisius, under conditions of genuine need, as determined by the Magisterium, lay people can be commissioned to do this. They are extra to the ordinary, and hence called extraordinary ministers of holy Communion EMHC's.

CTS have brought out a pamplet called 'Extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion'. It goes some way to rectifying a host of commonly observed abuses in a very straightforward way, including stipulating the fact that only a priest can purify chalices.

I don't know what it is about this pamphlet, but the people I have given it to, have been so grateful, and seem to have been completely converted to the Church's actual way of thinking after reading it. This includes one who had formely referred to himself as a 'eucharistic minister' in a died in the wool sense, and even one Catholic publishing house who had very damagingly used the term 'eucharistic ministers' in their diaries which are popular in parishes throughout the British isles, but have agreed to change from 2008.

Why not suggest that people give, or send some copies to their PP, neighbouring parishes, or any EMHC's they know. They're 20p each.

Pope Leo XIII's Prayer to St Michael

Holy Michael, Archangel, defend us in the day of battle. Be our safeguard against the wickedness and snares of the devil. May God rebuke him, we humbly pray, and do thou, Prince of the Heavenly Host, by the power of God, thrust down to Hell Satan, and all wicked spirits who wander through the world for the ruin of souls. Amen