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Monday, 27 July 2009

Cardinal Cañizares interview with LifeSite

LifeSite news reports today on an interview with Antonio Cardinal Cañizares Llovera, Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship. See the full interview and the LifeSite report.

Quite properly, LifeSite, which is concerned with Catholic moral teaching on pro-life matters, questioned the Cardinal on the link between faithfulness to the norms of the Liturgy and faithfulness to the Church's moral teachings. The Cardinal affirmed that there is an inseparable link between the Eucharist and the defence of life because in the Eucharist we enter into communion with Jesus Christ and His life. This divine life should make us communicate love and defend human life.

His Eminence gives an interesting answer on the question of whether there is a movement in the Vatican to return to the traditional manner of reception of Communion (kneeling and on the tongue):
If the papal liturgy is a sign, an indication for all the Church, we should promote Communion kneeling and in the mouth. But, this does not mean not permitting or forbidding Communion in the hand if it is done with due respect. With a previous gesture of adoration. This could be kneeling, or a genuflection or with a deep bow. And also in the moment of receiving Communion, the right hand should be placed under the left hand forming a cross expressing in this way the recognition of the real presence of the body of Christ offered for us. We should take care that no particle should be lost. And the body of Christ should be received in front of the priest.

We should recognise that frequently Communion in the hand many times is not received in this way.

It is very lamentable.
This is yet another affirmation from a senior figure concerned with the Sacred Liturgy that we should "promote" communion kneeling and received on the tongue. I agree with him that if communion is received reverently on the hand, it is not sensible at the present time to impede it. But he is also right that the "lamentable" failure to receive communion reverently is often observed with communion on the hand, and the traditional manner of receiving communion can help to restore reverence.
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