An issue regarding the mixing of consecrated hosts between autonomous rites

Our Latin Catholic parish hosts a Syriac Catholic Mission. They are mainly from Iraq and most are refugees. Despite never being part of the decision to allow them to use our church and other facilities parishioners have gone out of their way to make them feel welcomed and their rites respected. Unfortunately this respect has never been reciprocated and there have been a number of incidents where they have bee disrespectful of our liturgy. They have come with the attitude that they can do whatever they please regardless of the impact on others. it has gotten to the point where our safety has been compromised and parish property has been put at risk. Our parish priest has turned a deaf ear to the concerns of parishioners.
It has recently come to light that unused hosts consecrated during the Syriac Divine Liturgy are being placed in the tabernacle and used in our Latin Catholic masses and conversely unused hosts that are consecrated in our rites are being used in their liturgy.
I am aware that the Syriac priest is a validly ordained Catholic priest but I am also aware that the mixing of rites between autonomous churches is strictly forbidden.
I and others have tried to approach our Parish priest regarding this but he simply waves away any concerns we have regarding this issue.
I have tried to find out if this practice is acceptable but have hit brick walls at every turn. Either no one knows if this is acceptable or they simply do not want to get involved.
We simply just want to know if this practice is valid and licit

In what ways are they disrespectful? How are they endangering you? Presumably all they’re doing is celebrating Mass. How does one compromise another’s safety while doing that?

Your other question: I’m not very sure, but I would venture that it’s not a mixing of rites, only validly consecrated hosts being used in two rites. Therefore, I see no problem.

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A consecrated Host is a consecrated Host. Why would the liturgy in which it was consecrated matter?

Your inclusion of the fact that they are refugees and that you weren’t consulted speaks volumes.


You have your answer right there. What if it was an Anglican Ordinariate group using your Church? Validly ordained, in communion with Rome, no problems there. So there wouldn’t be any problem with a Syriac priest leaving hosts in the tabernacle.

What you describe has nothing to do with “mixing rites.”

It sounds like you have a strong animus against this group, and maybe there really are issues, but you can’t just be looking for reasons to get rid of them. That’s what this sounds like. The practice you describe is perfectly licit.

I, too, would be interested to know how they’re compromising your safety.



I didn’t want to assume anything of the OP, but I found his inclusion that they were refugees and Iraqi to be superfluous.


At Christmas it is their tradition to light large bonfires. Our parish simply is not set up for this. An elderly woman who lives in a unit at the back of the Parish Office has been put in jeopardy because of this practice. After their liturgy is finished they congregate at the back of the church and make a lot of noise whilst we are trying to celebrate our service. They can see what is happening but don’t seem to care. They roam all over the sanctuary taking numerous photos during their liturgy without showing any respect to the Blessed Sacrament in the tabernacle. We have a coloumbarium where ashes of parishioners are kept. Their children run screaming through through this area whilst family members of parishioners come to pay their respect. We have a very multicultural parish and this has upset many of the Samoan community who place great respect on deceased family members.
To consecrate the hosts the rites of two autonomous churches are used and that is where my concern lies. It is not acceptable for priests who concelebrate mass in another autonomous church to wear the vestments of the other church so how is it acceptable to mix consecrated hosts

Because those are two completely different things.

You’re shifting from asking “is it legal?” to “how can it be legal?” It seems that you’d rather it not be.


This seems to be an issue of bad communication and cultural differences.

You can tell them that the parish is not set up for bonfires, and that a woman was negatively affected. I doubt they would be offended.

Again, bad commumication. Someone should tell them they are disrupting the service.

I am not sure what you mean by this. Why would they roam around taking pictures during Mass?

Bad communication: tell them not to.

If these people came from a rural Iraqi parish they might be used to having a small church where everyone knows everyone and people aren’t usually annoyed by children running about.

It’s not like there’s a Syriac host or a Roman host. A consecrated host is a consecrated host.


If they are doing this during “their liturgy” in the worship space where they are all worshipping, then if it’s a problem I would expect their priest to say something to them. I have seen situations in my own RC churches where priests for one reason or another allowed someone to take photos during Mass, other situations where priests did not.

It’s not like there’s a Syriac host or a Roman host. A consecrated host is a consecrated host.

Exactly, and if a host is consecrated by either rite, it is Jesus’ body and blood and it belongs in the tabernacle, not someplace else.

OP, I can see where there is a cultural difference here and I think it would be good if some representatives from both groups sat down and talked about the issues with bonfires, noise and with kids running screaming past the columbarium, etc. but trying to find some reason why they can’t keep their consecrated Body of Christ in the tabernacle alongside yours is way off base.

With respect to the fires, do you have a fire department in your town? If a bonfire is too close to residences then the normal thing people do is call the fire department and they come down and deal with it.


You have no idea of what our Parish has done to make this community feel welcomed and the efforts made to make them feel included. No one here has ever objected to sharing our church to any one in need. Yes it matters that they are refugees because in the beginning they were given a lot of latitude because of their situation but as time wore on (they have been in the Parish for nearly 3 years now) and as we are only human their attitude towards us has meant that many do not feel quite so welcoming any more.
Sadly because of the attitude of our Parish priest no one trusts his judgement. The Blessed Sacrament is at the heart of who we are as Catholics.

Yes, another question to the OP: Is this a regular occurrence, or was it a one-time thing? I don’t understand why people would be taking pictures during Mass regularly, but maybe they did it once for some reason, like to celebrate safely leaving Iraq and being safely in church or something.

So ask them to set up for fellowship in the Parish Hall after liturgy. We have a mission. That is what they do. There are no problems.

I think this is simply a cultural misunderstanding. It is not uncommon for some to be up and moving around during an eastern liturgy. Likely no disrespect meant. Perhaps they were taking pictures because they were celebrating something. I can think of times Roman Catholics have done the same.

Tell them to try to keep their children away from the columbarium. We have a similar issue in that ours backs up to a lot kids usually play in. Nothing wrong with reminding people to stop.

I applaud your pastor for being so accommodating to our Catholic brothers and sisters. The cultural differences will work themselves out over time. You’ll just have to be more willing to compromise and accept that their practices are different from yours.


And the Blessed Sacrament is at the heart of who the Syriac Church are as Catholics too. You keep implying a division that simply doesn’t exist.


The Blessed Sacrament is the same whether it’s been consecrated by a Syriac or Roman priest. Your priest is right to dismiss your objections.

The other issues can be solved by communication. Even if they’re refugees that doesn’t mean they should be allowed to do whatever they want.

Alrighty, seems like everything to be said has been said. Excuse me, I am going to explore other threads.


The issue is not about where the consecrated hosts are kept but the fact they are being mixed together and used in the two different rites.
As far as trying to communicate with the Syriac community efforts have been made in that regard but their priests seems to want to keep his community separate. Our youth group has invited their youth group to shared activities but that doesn’t seem to be acceptable. Something about wanting to keep their culture from being too westernized.

Which you’ve been repeatedly told isn’t an issue. If anything, it might be more of an issue if it were insisted that the hosts be kept separate, which would enforce the kind of division you imagine exists.

In this case, nothing wrong with that. They are their own parish, being a mission. They are simply using your parish’s space.


We have gone head over heels to compromise but when people are constantly being disrespected that wears a bit thin. They have been told to keep their children away from the coloumbarium but it is like talking to a brick wall. They simply take no notice. Like they take no notice about showing respect for our services.
Our Parish priest’s accommodation has put an elderly woman at risk, I guess she doesn’t deserve any consideration at all

Nothing wrong with that. Pope St. John Paul II was one of the biggest proponents of keeping the eastern churches eastern.

Like I said, we have a mission. Yes, their activities are separate from our. No, our ministries don’t intermingle. We foster community by encouraging parishioners to attend each other’s liturgies especially if they are major liturgies. We each try to attend each other’s patronal feast days, for instance. Also, if there are bishops coming we try to support each other. Lent and Easter is another time we tend to support each other. Their pastor is biritual, so he even fills in for us sometimes when we need help covering masses.


Again, if a person living in the community is at risk from a bonfire, call the fire department. They will advise on how far a fire has to be from residences and if necessary they will put the fire out.


They are their own parish, being a mission. They are simply using your parish’s space.
And that is it in a nutshell. They might be in full communion with Rome but they are an autonomous church with their own separate rites and code of cannons.
On the one hand I am told that there should be more communication with them and on the other hand I am told that there is nothing wrong in remaining apart. Which is it

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