Cardinal Sarah, prefect of the Vatican Congregation for Divine Worship, has written in the preface to a new book that Catholics should receive Communion kneeling and on the tongue. The book for which he wrote the preface is Fr. Federico Bortoli, La Distribuzione della Comunione sulla Mano: Profili Storici, Giuridici e Pastorali (“The distribution of Communion in the hand: a historical, juridical, and pastoral overview”).
In the preface the Cardinal says, in part:
[W]e can understand how the most insidious diabolical attack consists in trying to extinguish faith in the Eucharist, sowing errors and favoring an unsuitable manner of receiving it. Truly the war between Michael and his Angels on one side, and Lucifer on the other, continues in the heart of the faithful: Satan’s target is the Sacrifice of the Mass and the Real Presence of Jesus in the consecrated host.
Why do we insist on communicating standing in the hand? Why this attitude of lack of submission to the signs of God?
[Receiving kneeling and on the tongue] is much more suited to the sacrament itself. I hope there can be a rediscovery and promotion of the beauty and pastoral value of this manner. In my opinion and judgment, this is an important question on which the church today must reflect. This is a further act of adoration and love that each of us can offer to Jesus Christ.
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With this development, I believe one of my predictions for 2018 has bitten the dust. I predicted last December 31:
11. I’m least sure about this one, but here we go: Cardinal Sarah will remain as prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship. Sarah will not issue the kind of ROTR statements that get him swatted down by the pope.
I think the cardinal hit the bell as far is this being a “Reform of the Reform” proposal.
But there is a chance my prediction holds up: if the pope doesn’t swat down the prefect, then this will not have been the kind of ROTR statement that gets him swatted down. So I’m not sure what to hope for. I think I’d prefer that my prediction be wrong, and that the pope swat him down really hard. His grasp of what has happened in eucharistic theology in the last 75 years is simply shocking.
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