Bishop Edmund Carmody has banned Communion on the tongue.
He has done this temporarily in response to the flu epidemic.
A couple of facts need to be remembered.
1. This is an unprecedented action! Bishop Carmody is acting in concert with the bishops of Mexico and a handful of other American Bishops. (To its credit, the Archdiocese of L. A. has not jumped on this bandwagon. ) But this measure has never; not during the 1976 flu epidemic, not during the black plague; ever, been taken before. Communion on the tongue has never before been banned.
2. Ironically according to http://firstname.lastname@example.org/msg01722.html
the U.S. bishops reaction to the 1976 epidemic was just the opposite of what Bishop Carmody is doing. They decided to retain the ban on Communion in the hand. K. C. does not understand how basic rules of sanitation and logic could have reversed themselves in 32 years!
3. The Bishop's ban is not in accordance with the Church's own guidelines which state conditions where people may be refused Communion in the hand , Redemptionis Sacramentum par. 92; but specify no contingency for refusing Communion on the tongue! I repeat again, this is not the first epidemic the Church has ever experienced.
4. Unintended (or otherwise) consequences of this action will be to overcome many people's inhibition about touching the Eucharist and some will no doubt they just like it better that way. This action will also undermine the Holy Father's ongoing desire to promote Communion on the tongue. Back-stabbers who seek to oppose Pope Benedict XVI will simply state that taking Communion in the hand is preferable because it is 'all a matter of public health.' K. C. believes that priests very seldom touch anyone's tongue and so the main result of this action will be only to ensure that all Hosts are contaminated by the unwashed hands of the Communicants.
However, even if Communion on the tongue were proven to be 'unsanitary', it should not make any difference. The Church has said no one may be denied Communion on the tongue. The reasons for this are not hygein. They are rooted in basic Catholic dogma. If they can be set aside for hygeine then if it were to be proven that artificial contraception extended women's lifespans, we could also suspend Humana Vitae.
Pray for those who are ill! Pray for those who have perished! Pray for Bishop Carmody!