Can I be forced to receive the Eucharist on the tongue?

I teach at a conservative, non-diocesan Catholic school.part of my contract was that I “show proper respect for the Eucharist by receiving on the tongue.” likewise, I am expected to genuflect before receiving the Eucharist. After doing some research, I was wondering if it is canonically valid for a school run by the laity to make these rules. If the bishops of the US have recommended bowing before the Eucharist and have stated that it is the right of the communicant to choose how they receive the sacred species, so long s they do so reverently, am I having my rights violated?

Explain what you mean by a non-diocesan Catholic school.

It is the right of the priest to restrict Communion to the Host only if he likes, and/or only on the tongue if he feels that profanation of It may occur. Even though I dislike CITH for many reasons, this does not seem to fit the criteria for restricting it. And no, no one can expect you to genuflect.

i can not see how anyone can force you to do this.

Well, depending on her contract they could force her out of a job.

Non-diocesan schools, to the best of my understanding, are simply Catholic schools that are not affiliated with any particular parish. We do, however, have diocesan approval to operate a school and teach the faith. However, since we are not affiliated with a single parish, we have no official priest assigned to the school. For instance, when we have school Mass, priests from Miles Christi often come to say Mass. Other times preists from local parishes come.

Then you should bring this situation to the attention of the Office of Catholic Schools in your diocese.

Right. My question is as to whether or not they can rightfully set a restriction on a church teaching that has two valid options (receiving on the tongue or in the hand). Is it a sin for them to threaten legal/occupational retribution for a practice that is completely in line with church teaching?

Also, I’m a he. :slight_smile:

We have a Catholicity clause in my school board, and they can fire if you don’t live up to the Church’s teaching.

However: you (he ;)) want to follow Church teaching, just not in the way your employer would like.

Is there are a union/professional teachers’ association you could ask?

You might have to talk to a lawyer.

Perhaps there is someone at the diocesan office who could give you advice.

I don’t suppose such is true for Calgary’s catholic university? Sure would be nice. :frowning:

Hello, pilgrim. The crux of your issue is that the criteria of the school, to which you now object, . . .ARE . . .the . . . critieria . . . of . . . the . . . SCHOOL ! Read that again. The criteria of the school are the criteria of the SCHOOL! This school has developed guidelines that the parents support and want for their children. If they didn’t care about the manner of distribution of communion, and if they didn’t prefer genuflection over bowing, they wouldn’t make it a part of their contract. This was so important to them that they didn’t just verbally tell you about it and hope you were a kindred spirit; they put it into writing, including it as a requirement for your hiring. THAT’s how important those issues are to them.

You sought a job there. That job had certain requirements and expectations–some delineated by the state, and, some, by the individuals who have reigned supreme at THEIR school. That’s the way THEY want it, and it is THEIR right, not yours, to call the shots. You apparently agreed to those conditions, since you refer to “parts of my contract.”

My personal belief is that you are honor-bound to abide by the traditions and expectations of the people who emotionally, physically, spiritually, and financially support the school, and that you are legally bound to deliver or depart. To even ask if your rights are being trampled strikes me as disgusting, immature, and petulant. You apparently agreed to those conditions, without coercion. If you had reservations at the time, but signed a contract anyway, shame on you! Resign! For you to even think about making an issue of it is repulsive to me and to all parents–and teachers–who have put their hearts, souls, and pocketbooks on the line to develop and maintain such schools, even while diocesan schools have folded.

If you were okay with the expectation at the time of your contract signing, but have since decided that your rights are being trampled, then, at the very least, summon some tiny vestige of honor and resign.

There is no difference between your behavior and the behavior of people who come to this country with their primary goal being to change it, not to become a part of it. The answer for such charlatons, and for you, is to love it or leave it. To make an issue of ways that are not your own, when you are the newcomer–or intruder–reeks, and if those ways, in fact, are not your own, then you never should have signed that contract.

No! Absolutely not! Your rights have not been violated, but YOU have violated the good faith of the school; YOU have violated the rights of the school. I will pray that you learn to understand your duplicity and have a change of heart.

a private entity has no say in how one practices their faith

I. I am assuming this regarding reception at school masses, where it might be disruptive for teachers and faculty to behave in a manner other than what they are teaching.

II. The “private entity” may not, but the person who signed a legally and morally binding contract did.

*I receive Communion on the tongue because I feel that my hands touch all sorts of things: the steering wheel, tissues, shaking hands with other people (I hate to do so in winter especially with all the sneezing going on etc). The Eucharist is so very precious that I just cannot bear to receive it in the hand. That is just me. I do not criticize anyone for doing so. I also would not object to receiving on the tongue if it were a requirement - it is just my preference. *

As far as I know, CITH in the USA is a right of the faithful, on equal footing with COTT. A bow of the head has been decreed as the norm, a uniform sign of reverence to the Eucharist by the USCCB, but other gestures of reverence are still permitted.

It seems legally murky for a employment contract to limit your rights in these liturgical matters. I think you should seek counsel from a priest, or bishop, who is entrusted with authority in these matters. I don’t think this question is answerable by forum goers. You probably need a canon lawyer.

That would seem like a silly rule to fire someone over, but you signed the agreement and while canonically you should have the option the school administration has set up their own additional rules for the reception of the Eucharist that they expect teachers to follow.

So, my question back to you is, why don’t you want to receive communion on the tongue? Have you explored your reasoning? I can’t tell if you just don’t want to be told what to do by your boss, or if you have a specific opposition to the reception of our Lord on the tongue.


Were you told about this when you interviews for the job ?

After all you signed the contract and there is a clause in the contract about this .

Strikes me that if you knew about it AND signed the contract - then it’s legally binding.

The time to protest was before you signed the contract - maybe the problem was that you didn’t actually read the contract .

Sort of.

You are fully correct that the proscribed sign of respect when one is recieving the Eucharist while standing is a bow of the head.

But as for CITH, it can actually be restricted by the priest if he feels that there is danger of profanation.

But that is a choice on the part of the celebrant, not of the school administrative staff.

Now, if it is an element of employment at a Catholic school, the school CAN choose to offer employment to only those who recieve COTT. That really isn’t a violation of ‘rights’, no more so than a man would have every right to wear a white polo and gray pants to Mass, a school might mandate that a male teacher wear a blue shirt, kakhi pants and a tie to Mass. No ‘right’ is being violated.

But I would object to any requirement to perform an act of reverence contrary to the instrutions of the bishop ( but then again, the school could also choose to offer employment to only those who kneel for Holy Communion)

Exactly… if they are not affiliated with the diocese, they cannot force the school to allow her to receive in the hand. Nor can they stop them from firing her. And, I seriously doubt the bishop will try to intervene in a school attempting to be more respectful vis-a-vis the Eucharist.

This is one of those “pick your battles” moments.

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