Ban on Communion-in-the-Paw — South American Diocese Publishes Decree
Text: Giuseppe Nardi
Edit: just one more brief intrusion. Adalante de Fe was an initiative begun in part by the scorned, faithful and long-suffering of Bishop Rogelio Livieres Plano of Ciudad del Este, whose meritorious work for the salvation of souls will continue.
(La Paz) On August 16, 2015 Bishop Krzysztof (Cristobal) Bialasik SVD of Oruro in Bolivia, gave published the prohibition of hand communion in his diocese. Only communion on the tongue is permitted. Bishop Bialasik is responding to incidents where consecrated Hosts were received in hand Communion, and then taken away. It was “unbearable”, said the Bishop, that one does not know what happened to the body of Christ.
On January 6, 2016, Bishop Bialasik has now signed the appropriate canonical decree by which the prohibition Communion in the hand was formalized. Adelante la Fe published the “Decree for the Reception of Holy Communion on the Tongue.”
The bishop refers in this to the current ecclesiastical rules. It nowhere provides that Communion in the hand is the proper manner of the reception of Holy Communion. According to teaching and canon law, oral Communion is the only proper form with which to receive the body of Christ. Hand Communion is something the bishop allowed “only as an indult” which can be granted on a case by case basis in an Episcopal Conference if it wishes. The responsibility lies solely with the competent diocesan bishop. Bishop Bialasik refers to the instruction Redemptoris Sacramentum of the Roman Congregation for Divine Worship of 1999, which expressly bans hand Communion identifying issues present, “when the danger of profanation.”
Worthy reception, awareness of the real presence of Christ, prevent profanation
The Bishop of Oruro offered three reasons in the decree pronounced by him banning Communion in the hand on August 16th: “to promote the worthy reception of the Eucharist”, “to strengthen the faith in the Real Presence of Jesus Christ” and “avoid the profanation of the body of Christ.”
The crucial point of the decree reads:
“We reaffirm for the Diocese of Oruro the obligation to abide by the universal law of the Church to receive Communion in the mouth, as the indult, to receive communion in the hand, does not apply.”
The decree was published in the February issue of the Official Journal of the diocese.
Bishop Cristobal (Krzysztof) Bialasik was born in Zbąszynek (Neu-Bentschen) in 1958 and is a Divine Word Missionary (Steyler Missionar). In 1985 he was ordained a priest by Archbishop Henryk Cardinal Gulbinowicz from Wroclaw. Pope Benedict XVI. appointed him in 2005 as Bishop of Oruro. In 2014 the highest statue in the world was inaugurated (without base) in his diocese. It is based on the miraculous image of Our Lady of Candelaria del Socavón of Oruro.