The book by Enrico Zoffoli, Communione sulla mano? Il vero pensiero della Chiesa secondo la vera storia del nuovo rito – “Communion in the Hand? The True Mind of the Church according to the True History of the New Rite” – was published in Rome in 1990. In it, the author attempted to demonstrate that communion on the tongue was in use in Rome in the 5th-6th century and passed from there into the regions of Gall in the 7th century.
Zoffoli’s book was soon reviewed in Ecclesia Orans by Matias Augé, longtime professor at the Benedictine pontifical liturgical institute of Sant’ Anselmo in Rome, and more recently a member of the commission appointed by Pope Francis to examine Liturgiam authenticam and the issue of liturgical translation. Augé shows that the author’s historical claims are not supported by the sources, and raises critical questions as well about the author’s methodology.
Pray Tell offers in translation Augé’s review of Zofolli, in the hopes that it will be a constructive contribution to the discussion which has recently arisen: “Concerning Communion in the Hand” by Matias Auge.
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Pray Tell Readers will also be interested in Fr. Augé’s recent blog post covering much of the same territory: “La distribuzione della Communione sulla mano: storia o ideologia?” (“The Distribution of Communion in the Hand: History or Ideology?”). (Let Google Translate work for you and you’ll have a pretty good translation – that service is getting better and better.)
Augé’s post is especially interesting because it addresses the historical errors in the recent book La distribuzione della Communione sulla mano by Federico Bortoli. It is this historically inaccurate book for which Cardinal Sarah wrote the preface that has recently aroused controversy.
Featured image: Institution of the Eucharist, Giusto di Grand (Joos van Wassenhove), active c. 1460-1480.