Bishop Schneider: No Jesus Better than Hand-Communion

Bishop Schneider: No Jesus Better than Hand-Communion August 18, 2020

Bishop Athanasius Schneider:

Nobody can force us to receive the Body of Christ in a way that constitutes a risk of the loss of the fragments, and a decrease in reverence, as is the way of receiving Communion in the hand. . . .

In these cases, it is better to make a Spiritual Communion, which fills the soul with special graces. (2-28-20: published at Rorate Caeli, which opposed Pope Francis from his first day in office, relying on a Holocaust denier to do so)

Reactionary outfit Toronto Catholic Witness exhibits the same mentality (3-14-20):

There are Masses – albeit with mandated Communion in the hand – WHICH ONE MUST REFUSE EVEN IN THE TRADITIONAL LATIN MASS AND MAKE A SPIRITUAL COMMUNION INSTEAD . . . [bolding and caps in original]

I find this mentality very much along the lines — and in the spirit of — these two incidents with Jesus and the Pharisees:

Matthew 12:1-8 (RSV) At that time Jesus went through the grainfields on the sabbath; his disciples were hungry, and they began to pluck heads of grain and to eat.
[2] But when the Pharisees saw it, they said to him, “Look, your disciples are doing what is not lawful to do on the sabbath.”
[3] He said to them, “Have you not read what David did, when he was hungry, and those who were with him:
[4] how he entered the house of God and ate the bread of the Presence, which it was not lawful for him to eat nor for those who were with him, but only for the priests?
[5] Or have you not read in the law how on the sabbath the priests in the temple profane the sabbath, and are guiltless?
[6] I tell you, something greater than the temple is here.
[7] And if you had known what this means, `I desire mercy, and not sacrifice,’ you would not have condemned the guiltless.
[8] For the Son of man is lord of the sabbath.”

Mark 7:1-9 Now when the Pharisees gathered together to him, with some of the scribes, who had come from Jerusalem,
[2] they saw that some of his disciples ate with hands defiled, that is, unwashed.
[3] (For the Pharisees, and all the Jews, do not eat unless they wash their hands, observing the tradition of the elders;
[4] and when they come from the market place, they do not eat unless they purify themselves; and there are many other traditions which they observe, the washing of cups and pots and vessels of bronze.)
[5] And the Pharisees and the scribes asked him, “Why do your disciples not live according to the tradition of the elders, but eat with hands defiled?”
[6] And he said to them, “Well did Isaiah prophesy of you hypocrites, as it is written, `This people honors me with their lips,
but their heart is far from me;
[7] in vain do they worship me,
teaching as doctrines the precepts of men.’
[8] You leave the commandment of God, and hold fast the tradition of men.”
[9] And he said to them, “You have a fine way of rejecting the commandment of God, in order to keep your tradition!

This discussion is not about mere preference: which Holy Mother Church allows. I myself prefer to receive on the tongue, kneeling at an altar rail, and did so in our parish for literally 25 years.

And I have partaken of the cup exactly twice in my 30 years as a Catholic: once, when I was received into the Church (from Fr. Hardon), and in the past year once when the hosts ran out. I’m as traditional on this as almost all reactionaries, and certainly, traditionalists. But I don’t have to go around trumpeting how spiritually superior I supposedly am, and look down my nose at tens of millions of fellow Catholics.

Rather, the question is whether it is better to not receive Jesus at all, if receiving on the hand is required (as in the present extraordinary circumstances). That is what I have condemned as Donatist-like and pharisaical.

See the related papers:

Taylor Marshall: Better No Jesus at All Than By Hand [+ vigorous Facebook discussion] [3-14-20]

Can Communion in the Hand be Equally Reverent? [7-13-11]

Bible on Reverent Posture for Worship & Communion [1-23-13]

Further Thoughts on Communion in the Hand [6-20-13]

Clarification of My Nuanced Position on Hand-Communion [7-8-13]

Communion in the Hand: More Reflections & Opinions [7-8-13]

Holy Communion in the Hand (Norm till 500-900 AD) [9-3-15; some additions on 3-13-20]

Thoughts: Communion in the Hand & Reverence [9-4-15]

Communion in the Hand & Biblical Reverence & Piety [9-5-15]

St. Augustine’s Holy Communion (Standing, in the Hand) [10-4-15]

Communion in the Hand: Reactionaries vs. St. Cyril [3-15-20]

Communion Posture: Examples from the Book of Revelation [4-14-20]


(originally on Facebook on 3-14-20)

Photo credit: Pope Benedict XVI giving Holy Communion in the hand.


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