Monday, November 9, 2009

Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion who do not purify their fingers

after touching the Eucharist

This is an edited excerpt from a letter written last week by the father of a student at one of Corpus Christi's Catholic high schools... The son is scandalized that the school's new 'spiritual director', a layman, doesn't purify his fingers after distributing Holy Communion:

...my son sees the director as a bad influence since he:

1) Encourages hand Communion (by example)

2) exacerbates the theological problems of the above by performing as an extraordinary minister and not bothering to cleanse his fingers even after distributing the Eucharist.....

I don't disagree with my son that these are related problems...i.e. Hand Communion does promote indifference towards Holy Fragments, otherwise everyone touching the Eucharist would be purifying their fingers before and afterwards, and the 2nd problem, if my son is correct, demonstrates an extremely cavalier attitude since extraordinary ministers - having handled Hosts which have been dusted during the fractioning--will often end up with small Fragments remaining on their fingers......

The doctrine that the Whole of Christ's Divinity is in each tiny Fragment seems to have gone out the window........... But perhaps a direct questioning of our lay people is called for: "Why don't you purify your fingers every time you touch the Holy Eucharist, just as a priest does?" (is the priest doing it just for show?) I'm afraid you would find an abysmal confusion as to what the Church actually teaches.

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