How to Report Liturgical Abuse


I occasionally attend a parish where, after the consecration, the priest pours the precious blood into a large bowl and has communicants dunk the hosts into it. There is no “Blood of Christ. Amen.” You receive the host then dunk it in the bowl next to the priest. I’m pretty certain that’s forbidden. Abusive enough to report? Who would I address it to? The parish is in the Archdiocese of NY.


You are correct “self-intinction” is not allowed.

From the GIRM-

  1. When Communion is distributed under both kinds:

a) the chalice is usually administered by a Deacon or, in the absence
of a Deacon, by a Priest, or even by a duly instituted acolyte or
another extraordinary minister of Holy Communion, or by one of the faithful who, in a case of necessity, has been entrusted with this duty for a single occasion;

b) whatever may remain of the Blood of Christ is consumed at the altar by the Priest or the Deacon or the duly instituted acolyte who ministered the chalice. The same then purifies, wipes, and arranges the sacred vessels in the usual way.

Any of the faithful who wish to receive Holy Communion under the species of bread alone should be given Communion in this form.

  1. For Communion under both kinds the following should be prepared:

a) If Communion from the chalice is done by drinking directly from the chalice, a chalice of a sufficiently large size or several chalices are prepared. However, care should be taken lest beyond what is needed of the Blood of Christ remains to be consumed at the end of the celebration.

b) If Communion from the chalice is done by intinction, the hosts should be neither too thin nor too small, but rather a little thicker than usual, so that after being intincted partly into the Blood of Christ they can still be easily distributed.

  1. If Communion of the Blood of Christ is carried out by communicants’ drinking from the chalice, each communicant, after receiving the Body of Christ, moves to the minister of the chalice and stands facing him. The minister says, The Blood of Christ, the communicant replies, Amen, and the minister hands over the chalice, which the communicant raises to his or her mouth. Each communicant drinks a little from the chalice, hands it back to the minister, and then withdraws; the minister wipes the rim of the chalice with the purificator.
  1. If Communion from the chalice is carried out by intinction, each communicant, holding a Communion-plate under the mouth, approaches the Priest who holds a vessel with the sacred particles, with a minister standing at his side and holding the chalice. The Priest takes a host, intincts it partly in the chalice and, showing it, says, The Body and Blood of Christ. The communicant replies, Amen, receives the Sacrament in the mouth from the Priest, and then withdraws.

That said, you need to start with the Pastor of said parish. Document everything. If you receive no reply and nothing changes, this is definitely something that needs to be brought to the attention of the Bishop.


This is three abuses in one. Self-intinction has already been explained. The other abuses here are the pouring of the Precious Blood after its consecration, as well as the use of a bowl to contain it. These two are both covered by Redemptionis Sacramentum #106, as seen below:

[quote=“Redemptionis Sacramentum”][106.] However, the pouring of the Blood of Christ after the consecration from one vessel to another is completely to be avoided, lest anything should happen that would be to the detriment of so great a mystery. Never to be used for containing the Blood of the Lord are flagons, bowls, or other vessels that are not fully in accord with the established norms.

I encourage you to follow the link, this document is good instruction for anyone concerned about abuse in the liturgy. It even has guidelines for reporting these things. You will be in my prayers.


Oh yeah, what’s in the OP is abuse big time. As has already been said, this should first be discussed with the pastor. Take some pics or a video, (always good to have visual documentation), and in the (likely) event that it goes unaddressed, contact the Archdiocese. If that fails to produce a result, try the Vicar-General.


Both Oneofthewomen & Elizium23 are correct. You need to speak to the Pastor about this. If it is the Pastor who is doing this; you need to contact the Chancery as soon as possible.


A good rule of thumb is always to talk to the pastor first. Don’t come out with guns blazing though.

After a Mass, just casually remark as you shake his hand “Father, I was always taught that self-intinction was not permitted, is this true?” If he confesses that it’s not allowed, then encourage him to reform the practice of the parish. If he feigns ignorance, or say that it’s allowed, just nod and walk away.

If the pastor said that what he was doing is allowed, after a few days write him a letter, explaining that you checked your sources (In this case, the GIRM) and give him the citation explaining the practice. Sign your name, and give your address in case he should reply.

A week or so after he received the letter, if he still is offering Communion by self-intinction, write a polite letter to the bishop, or whoever he delegates the government of liturgy to in the diocese, explaining that you mentioned this to the pastor and nothing has been done. Include copies of any communications from the pastor you might have received in response to your letter.


I second all that has been said so far. And I recommend following the very charitable advice.

However, I must comment here. If you are in the US or another western Catholic country, you must know that there is no way, and I mean no way, that this happens organically. There is no seminary that teaches this. There is no Bishop that allows it. When a priest is trained, they are trained correctly. You will never be able to convince me that someone could just “not know” this is wrong. I just cannot imagine a scenario in which the Priest in question is not aware of what he is doing.:shrug:

I personally would report to the Bishop and never return. But that is me.


I think this is why cell phones have video. I’d find a few friends who know how to be discreet and “document” it all happening via the cell phone videos from different places in the pews when it is happening. That way when you do report it there will be more than one person’s testimony that it happened and enough video documentation to prove you aren’t some crank.

Also know that everyone who would participate in such a dastardly sacrilege shouldn’t be trusted with your intention. You aren’t the only person there who knows it is wrong. They all do but do it anyway. BE CAREFUL.



Father Z has some good advice on the subject here. This post is a few years old, so you’d probably want to verify the names, but the process should remain the same.

Anyway, you need to know the correct thing to do (does it say something in the GIRM or RS, has it been addressed before in Notitiae, and so on).

Then I would ask the priest involved why he does it the way he does. Ask him if he is aware that the GIRM says ___, or RS says ___, or the practice was reprobated in Notitiae

(That generally goes over a lot better than an accusatory tone).

If he doesn’t respond correctly, then take it to your diocese. With some “proof” that it was going on. (Use your cell phone camera and take a movie, for example). Then go to Father Z’s blog (link above) and follow his advice. Carefully.


From the 2004 Instruction Redemptionis Sacramentum:

“[184.] Any Catholic, whether Priest or Deacon or lay member of Christ’s faithful, has the right to lodge a complaint regarding a liturgical abuse to the diocesan Bishop or the competent Ordinary equivalent to him in law, or to the Apostolic See on account of the primacy of the Roman Pontiff.[290] It is fitting, however, insofar as possible, that the report or complaint be submitted first to the diocesan Bishop. This is naturally to be done in truth and charity.”


This happens regularly at my parish. How should I report this? I have a terrible fear of “confronting” people, so I think I should write a letter, may it be anonymous? And whom shall I send it to, and what should I say? Please someone help :confused:


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