Eucharist & HIV/AIDS


#1

Dear all Catholics,

I’m going to an Anglican-Catholic mass soon and as I understand it Holy Communion is served traditionally from the Chalice.

As a Protestant, this is unusual for me (we have little individuals cups of wine) but to Catholics this is not unusual.

The question I have is this:

I’m worried about germs from everyone in a big city church drinking from one chalice, especially HIV/AIDS.

If this were a suburban church I wouldn’t mind so much, but I’m sure this church would get the odd non-christian gay or homeless person wander in of a morning and take mass.

Do any of you Catholics feel apprehensive about this?

Or does the Priest’s blessing kill any possibility of HIV being transmitted? (if this is the case, because Anglicans have split from Rome, this blessing would be null and void?)

Warm Regards,
Rev13_16


#2

Friend,

It is possible I guess if someone has a bleeding soar on their lips and so do you to get HIV from the chalice, but I’ve never ever thought about this as a concern not to take communion. (I don’t think this has every happen. It’s a far fetch thing) HIV/AIDS doesn’t get transfered by saliva. I have been worried though about other germs like the common cold. As an alter server they always wipe the rim of the cup after each person. And no offense, but AIDS happen to the rich, middle class, and the poor. I don’t see why you don’t think that in a suburban church gays are less likely to show up to church. Also in the Catholic Church the precious blood is an option. Christ is fully present in both ‘bread’ and wine’, and thus if you choose to abstain due to health reasons it doesn’t matter. I wish you peace.

~Jerry


#3

Your post is unclear about which denomination you are attending, as well as your onw denomination. If this is truly a parish in the Anglican Communion, then you as a Protestant can receive Communion there. If this is an Anglican-Use parish in the Catholic Church (in Communion with Rome), then you as a Protestant cannot receive Communion.

I have attended the Mass or Holy Eucharist in the Anglican Communion many times. Much like the Catholic Church, the minister with the cup wipes the cup and turns it 90 degrees. There has been a great deal of debate within the Catholic Church about the alcohol in the remaining accidents of wine being high enough to kill any germs from the communicants, as well as the theological argument that Jesus would never allow the reception of his Body and Blood to pass germs on to others.

Whether or not a consecration actually happens is not for me to say. I am not in the business of proclaiming the sacraments of parishes not in Communion with Rome to be invalid. They believe their Sacraments to be valid, and that’s their business. If the priest does have the power to consecrate, then the theological argument that Jesus would never allow the reception of his Body and Blood to pass germs on to others should be considered as you think about this.

However, in the case of HIV, I highly doubt it could be passed on in this fashion. On the side of the cup, it wouldn’t live long enough outside the body inbetween the previous communicant and you. In the case of “backwash,” if the alcohol in the wine didn’t kill HIV instantly, again, it wouldn’t live long enough outside the body to be passed on. I believe that once it leaves an environment of 98.6 degrees F or higher, it dies almost instantly.

Additionally, you have to consider that passing HIV through saliva is almost nonexistant.

I would say that you’ll be pretty safe. Well, extremely safe.

And leaving the medical information aside, shouldn’t we be putting our trust in God anyway?


#4

This is possibly the most ignorant thing I’ve ever read.

There is absolutely no chance of getting HIV from the communion chalice.

And the comments about “odd non-christian gay or homeless person” beggars belief. Possibly the least Christian, most judgemental comment I’ve ever heard.

Best wishes, C.


#5

You can’t get VIV/AIDS from drinking after someone. It is a blood to blood virus meaning that you get from contact with an infected persons blood.


#6

In my catholic church, I do not recieve the Precious Blood in the fall and winter months because I hear people coughing and sneezing the whole mass. I believe you could catch a cold or maybe even the flu from the chalice. How about herpes from a sore on someone’s lip? I don’t mean to be gross or paranoid…


#7

I don’t see why you think gays have anything to do with HIV?

I second that.


#8

Guess what? It’s a fact that homosexual men have a higher instance of HIV/AIDS than the heterosexual population. The AIDS epidemic has taken 10 years off the life expectancy of the average gay man. It has similarly taken 10 years off the lifespan of certain African nations.

As for the idea that HIV/AIDS dies immediately upon subjection to less than 98.6 degrees is false. If it were true, it would present us with a rather convenient solution to the global epidemic.


#9

Thanks to all, I’ll respond individually.


#10

Hi Jerry,

Thanks for your warm response.

I didn’t mean salvia though, but things like sores in the mouth which can easily bleed through impact with food or tooth.

Regarding “suburban gays”, I must clarify.

I did not mean suburban gays, I mean’t gays are rare in the suburbs. Most gays live in the city or near it due to their lifestyle.

Sure there are some who reside in the suburbs, but usually they aren’t part of the main gay culture of nightclubs and drug use, but rather are gays that are past that or not interested at all.

Warm Regards,
Rev13_16


#11

Hi MusicMan,

Sorry for the confusion.

I was baptized a Baptist but now attend an Anglican church.

I am not confirmed in that church and for that reason when I went to the Anglo-Catholic Mass today, I erred on the side of caution and did not partake of the Eucharist, as when I phoned the day before the girl said if I was a confirmed Anglican I could take it.

She may have been wrong, I didn’t inquire further, partially that was because of the HIV/AIDS issue also.

I have attended the Mass or Holy Eucharist in the Anglican Communion many times. Much like the Catholic Church, the minister with the cup wipes the cup and turns it 90 degrees. There has been a great deal of debate within the Catholic Church about the alcohol in the remaining accidents of wine being high enough to kill any germs from the communicants, as well as the theological argument that Jesus would never allow the reception of his Body and Blood to pass germs on to others.

I question though whether the cloth wiping of the rim of the chalice is suffice to kill the HIV virus.

I’ve heard that the virus dies within 3 seconds of air exposure, but I’ve also heard it can stay alive for up to 2 hours.

Thus I’m confused.

Whether or not a consecration actually happens is not for me to say. I am not in the business of proclaiming the sacraments of parishes not in Communion with Rome to be invalid. They believe their Sacraments to be valid, and that’s their business. If the priest does have the power to consecrate, then the theological argument that Jesus would never allow the reception of his Body and Blood to pass germs on to others should be considered as you think about this.

However, in the case of HIV, I highly doubt it could be passed on in this fashion. On the side of the cup, it wouldn’t live long enough outside the body inbetween the previous communicant and you. In the case of “backwash,” if the alcohol in the wine didn’t kill HIV instantly, again, it wouldn’t live long enough outside the body to be passed on. I believe that once it leaves an environment of 98.6 degrees F or higher, it dies almost instantly.

I hope so.

Additionally, you have to consider that passing HIV through saliva is almost nonexistant.

I would say that you’ll be pretty safe. Well, extremely safe.

And leaving the medical information aside, shouldn’t we be putting our trust in God anyway?

Very true, I have big problems trusting God, I suspect my faith is terribly weak.

Warm Regards,
Rev13_16


#12

No.

There is absolutely no chance of getting HIV from the communion chalice.

No, google it, I’m with alot of people who are worried about this issue.

So much so that traditional Anglicanism now uses little cups to administer the Eucharist in lieu of a Chalice like they once did.

Alot of people are worried about this issue.

[quoyte]
And the comments about “odd non-christian gay or homeless person” beggars belief. Possibly the least Christian, most judgemental comment I’ve ever heard.

I acknowledge I’m selfish, but when it comes to your life, you have a right.

I have a Lesbian friend who when on Holiday in Spain, took Holy Communion at Midnight Mass.

By the way, she’s an Atheist.

I didn’t say anything to her, but as a Protestant I shrieked inside.

We (like you) revere the Eucharist, and because the Priest doesn’t bless us before it to absolve us of sin, we are instead encouraged to ask ourselves if we are worthy of recieveing it - ie. have we forgiven those who have wronged us, have we asked for forgiveness to others, have we confessed our sins to God etc.

There have been times in the past when I was younger and have not taken the Eucharist of a Sunday because I felt I was not worthy due to unconfessed sins.

The fact is this, unfortunately in big city Churches there is alot of non-Christian visitors, which is a good thing indeed, but if they don’t understand the Eucharist they shouldn’t take it.

But … how can they know?

As a result, many homseless people come into church and take it, and depending on the proximity of your church to gay area of the city, you’ll have active homosexuals who may either be liberal christians or not coming in and taking the Eucharist thinking it will cleanse them of sin.

Now I’m a realist, and here are the facts.

I want every homeless person to get help and rejoin society, because life on the street is hard and very unhygenic.

Many homeless people unfortunately have mental problems, either the cause that drove them to street or caused by the street.

As a result of that, their judgement is questionable.

Also, life on the street, like other deprived situations (such as jail) doesn’t look a gift horse in the mouth when drugs come along.

Do you think homeless people would care about sharing needles if the odd treat of heroin came along?

“No thanks mate, I’m not sure that needle is clean”

Shyeah right.

Also, some homeless people are homosexual, or have been ‘situational homosexuals’ in their day.

With homosexuals, especially the culture, it’s very, very reckless.

One of drugs and fornication.

Politcial Correctness who mark me as Satan himself for saying these things, but the fact is, if you had an open wound and a with a bloody nose walked past you and his blood touched your wound, you would freak.

Maybe you haven’t gone through a HIV test, I had a friend who did once and I went with him for the testing.

When you have reason to believe there might be a danger of having contracted the disease, it is utter hell.

You will never pray so hard in your whole life, my friend even broke down and cried in public. Thankfully he did not have it but said later that it was the worst 10 days (that’s how long the test takes) of his life.

Every day dragged on as slow as possible, and I watched him exhibit some strange behaviour, here was a non-catholic wearing two Rosaries around his neck nerly every day under his shirt - in short my friend had become desperate and anxious.

After seeing what he went through, I would never, ever want to be in a situation where there was a chance of contraction, if that makes me un-PC, so be it.

Best wishes, C.

You too.

Rev13_16


#13

I noticed today a woman took the body but not the blood.

I think she was sick.

Good question about herpes on the lips.

Warm Regards,
Rev13_16


#14

Did you read the opening post, they mentioned it and I simply stated I didn’t understand what a city church had to do with their being gays, and thus HIV according to the OP. Of course gays have nothing to do with HIV except for the normal satistics.


#15

Unless they are Catholic’s in good faith they should not be receiving communion. If you have a problem with receiving the precious Blood, just received the Eucharist. It is the whole Body, and Blood of Christ.


#16

Although I don’t receive from the cup, the chalices that were used in my old NO parish appeared to be lined in silver. Silver has long been used as a disinfectant and a quick Google search yielded the following:

Silver was used medicinally as an antibiotic for thousands of years. In fact, it was used in ancient times, because it was known to prevent disease. It was said drinking from a silver cup or eating with silver ware could not transmit disease. Silver coins were commonly put into jars of milk and other drinks to prevent spoilage and silver containers were used to prolong freshness of foods in general. Silver was used very successfully until the early part of the 20th century as an antibiotic and prophylactic against disease. Your great grandparents probably put silver coins in milk to keep it from spoiling. However, with the introduction of antibiotics in the 1940’s, the pharmaceutical companies stopped producing silver products for antibiotic use.

So if the Chalice is silver lined, don’t worry about it.


#17

Because the overwhelming number people in this country who have AIDs are people who engage in homosexual behavior.


#18

I wish I could say the same thing. I’ve been a police officer since 1988 and, believe me, I’ve heard ALOT worse. :smiley:

I think the spirit of the OP’s post was legitimate. Whether there is material scientific proof or not, I would certainly avoid drinking from the chalice right after a known HIV infected person drank from it just the same as I would avoid drinking after someone with a less dangerous virus such as influenza.

The Church has made clear, the host is sufficient - it is the WHOLE body of Christ. There is no “extra” measure of salvation or “strengthening” of the sacrament in partaking of the cup afterwards.

A good question by the OP, even if you disagree with his choice of wording.

.02


#19

If you are not Catholic you can not recieve communion in a Catholic Church. Growing up the only time I recieved the precious blood was at my first communion. My family was uncomfortable drinking from the same cup as everyone else in the parish (and this was way before aids). My current parish has intinction where the priest dips the host in precious blood and then places directly in the mouth of the recipient.

If you want to recieve communion in a Catholic Church you must go through the process of becoming Catholic. Anglicans can not recieve the a Catholic Church.


#20

Killing the HIV virus when it is outside the body is actually very easy. What is difficult is killing the virus when it is inside the body because it lives right inside the cells.

The HIV virus can only live for a very, very short amount of time outside the body. It is not possible to catch HIV from toilet seats, cups, cutelry etc.

People who live with HIV have to live with an horrific amount of prejudice as it is, please let’s not add to it.

Thank you. Best wishes, C.


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