Disposing of Eucharist??


I was recently on a retreat, and one of the priests there advised the EMHC’s to “pour out what was left on the ground” concerning the blood. I knew this was wrong, but I did not know how serious it might be until someone pointed out that there is a paragraph in Canon law exactly about this, #1367. It seems to say that a person who did this would be excommunicated. This bothers me quite a bit.

1.Is this basically true? Is the person who did this on retreat excommunicated?

2.Is pouring the blood down the sacrarium in the Church okay or prohibited the same way?

3.What should I do about this?

Thanks for any help.


Dear Bookworm,

Yes, a person who “knowingly” desecrates the Blessed Sacrament incurs automatic excommunication. Notice I said “knowingly”. Canon 1367 clearly states: “ A person who throws away the consecrated species or who takes them or retains them for a sacrilegious purpose incurs automatic (latae sententiae) excommunication reserved to the Apostolic See; if a cleric, he can be punished with another penalty including dismissal from the clerical state.”

“…the consecrated wine is to be consumed immediately after Communion and may not be kept.”
Congregation for the Sacraments and Divine Worship: “Inaestimabile Donum” 13-15.

The Precious Blood is never to be poured down the sacrarium! ( U.S. Bishops, :This Holy and Living Sacrifice: Directory for the celebration and Reception of Communion under Both Kinds”
34, 36, 38)

You need to speak to the priest about this immediately and notifiy him of what you have read here! This is a very serious matter.

Fr. Vincent Serpa, O.P.

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