QUAERITUR: A priest who won’t prevent self-intinction
QUAERITUR: A priest who won’t prevent self-intinction
From a reader:
I am a lay eucharistic minister, and 2 parisheners recieve communion, then dip it in the cup.. I told my parish priest and he never did anything about it. He acted as tho he knew it was wrong, but wanted to stay “nice” to all.
First, friend, no matter what term is being used at your parish, you are not a “Eucharistic Minister”. If you are a lay person helping to distribute Holy Communion, then you are an Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion (EMHC). Eucharistic Minister is not a term found in the Code of Canon Law, but were it, it would really have to refer to the ordained. That said, Ordinary Ministers of Communion, properly understood, are the ordained. There are also instituted Acolytes who are Extraordinary Ministers of Communion (cf can. 920). Lay people should be called upon only where there are not enough bishops, priests, deacons, or instituted acolytes to distribute Holy Communion in a reasonable amount of time. And that reasonable amount of time shouldn’t be “as fast as we possibly can”.
Second, that “dip it in the cup” thing is really called “intinction”, from the Latin verb intingo or intinguo, -nxi, -nctum, “to dip in”. It can also mean “to pickle”, but that’s another kettle of garum.
We read about intinction in the document Redemptionis Sacramentum:
[104.] The communicant must not be permitted to intinct the host himself in the chalice, nor to receive the intincted host in the hand. …
It is clear that people may not… must not… dip the Host they receive into the chalice/cup on their own.
That said, distribution of Communion under both kinds by intinction has been used effectively as a transition away from Communion in the hand.
If you have already told your pastor about this self-intinction situation verbally, and he responded that he will not do anything about it, then write a very brief letter to the pastor expressing your concern, and send a copy of that letter to your local bishop.
In writing, do not make accusations or be harsh (“I told you about this and you did nothing!”). Do not go on at length. Do not call into question the motives of the people who are doing the self-intinction. Be brief, state the fact that you asked him, the pastor that is, before and that now you are asking him again to explain to you how this is permitted.
Also, don’t make a big fuss about this with other parishioners. Let this take place quietly so that things don’t get heated.
I have some tips for writing to Church authorities HERE.
Also, lets review together the end of the aforementioned Redemptionis Sacramentum with myemphases:
6. Complaints Regarding Abuses in Liturgical Matters
[183.] In an altogether particular manner, let everyone do all that is in their powerto ensure that the Most Holy Sacrament of the Eucharist will be protected from any and every irreverence or distortion and that all abuses be thoroughly corrected. This is a most serious duty incumbent upon each and every one, and all are bound to carry it out without any favouritism.
[184.] Any Catholic, whether Priest or Deacon or lay member of Christ’s faithful, has the right to lodge a complaint regarding a liturgical abuse to the diocesan Bishop or the competent Ordinary equivalent to him in law, or to the Apostolic See on account of the primacy of the Roman Pontiff. It is fitting, however, insofar as possible, that the report or complaint be submitted first to the diocesan Bishop. This is naturally to be done in truth and charity.
[185.] “Against the seeds of discord which daily experience shows to be so deeply ingrained in human nature as a result of sin, there stands the creative power of the unity of Christ’s body. For it is precisely by building up the Church that the Eucharist establishes fellowship among men.” It is therefore the hope of this Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments that also, by the diligent application of those things that are recalled in this Instruction, human weakness may come to pose less of an obstacle to the action of the Most Holy Sacrament of the Eucharist, and that with all distortion set aside and every reprobated practice removed, through the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary, “Woman of the Eucharist”, the saving presence of Christ in the Sacrament of his Body and Blood may shine brightly upon all people.
[186.] Let all Christ’s faithful participate in the Most Holy Eucharist as fully, consciously and actively as they can, honouring it lovingly by their devotion and the manner of their life. Let Bishops, Priests and Deacons, in the exercise of the sacred ministry, examine their consciences as regards the authenticity and fidelity of the actions they have performed in the name of Christ and the Church in the celebration of the Sacred Liturgy. Let each one of the sacred ministers ask himself, even with severity, whether he has respected the rights of the lay members of Christ’s faithful, who confidently entrust themselves and their children to him, relying on him to fulfill for the faithful those sacred functions that the Church intends to carry out in celebrating the sacred Liturgy at Christ’s command. For each one should always remember that he is a servant of the Sacred Liturgy.