our parish priest refuses communion in the tongue...

hello… this is my first time to post in this forum… i’m jayson from the philippines…

just recently, our parish priest announced that he won’t give communion in the tongue because doesn’t want our lips or teeth touch his hand…

i have a strong personal conviction to receive communion in the tongue only… it’s almost like an oath for me… is it ok to go to mass at a different parish just for the reason that i can receive communion from a priest through my tongue?


“is it ok to go to mass at a different parish just for the reason that i can receive communion from a priest through my tongue?”

Not only ok but I’d run there as quickly as possible.

1 Like

Yes do whatever makes you happy!:thumbsup:

You may go to a different parish for any reason you like. It’s OK.

You might talk to this priest, first, though. This may be a temporary measure meant to keep from spreading some local epidemic or pandemic. In that case, you may be willing to re-think how important it is to you to exercise your right to receive on the tongue. Having said that, you may also remind your pastor–all due respect being assumed–that reception on the tongue is your right, as per the Instruction Redemptionis Sacramentum. He has no authority to deny you that right, nor to even imply that he has that authority, but may only ask you and others under his care to voluntarily receive in the hand because you discern his reasons to be compelling.

In any event, charity may compel you to agree to his request (or it may not, I’m not arguing that point, because I don’t know the gravity of his reasoning), but canon law will not. The law is on your side:

[92.] Although each of the faithful always has the right to receive Holy Communion on the tongue, at his choice,[178] if any communicant should wish to receive the Sacrament in the hand, in areas where the Bishops’ Conference with the recognitio of the Apostolic See has given permission, the sacred host is to be administered to him or her. However, special care should be taken to ensure that the host is consumed by the communicant in the presence of the minister, so that no one goes away carrying the Eucharistic species in his hand. If there is a risk of profanation, then Holy Communion should not be given in the hand to the faithful.[179]

In our parish, it is being asked that we receive Holy Communion in the hand, because we have already had one funeral for a relatively young person who died of H1N1, and because the pastor learned that people can be contagious for a day or more before symptoms make them aware that they are a danger to anyone else. (Holy Communion under the species of wine is also not being generally offered to the faithful.) The request, however, is very clearly worded that way: the faithful are being asked, not told. No one has said that communicants will be refused to exercise their right to receive Holy Communion on the tongue. Because of the particular gravity of the reason behind the request, the pastoral decision to discourage Holy Communion in the hand for a limited time is permissible…or at least, this is what I understand our archbishop to have decided for our diocese at present. IMHO, asking the faithful to forgo something that is a right is a matter with enough gravity that a priest who has the ability to be in contact with his bishop about his particular situation would be well-advised to do so.

Your parish priest is operating illegally. The

Redemptionis Sacramentum

On certain matters to be observed or to be avoided regarding the Most Holy Eucharist

States clearly**

[92.] each of the faithful always has the right to receive Holy Communion on the tongue, at his choice,
Pope Benedict prefers communion on the tongue catholic.org/international/international_story.php?id=28379 This article points out that communion in the hand is an indult which is an exception (i call it contrary) to the universal practice of the church.

The faithful may not be refused communion on the tongue. It is an abuse which should be reported to the bishop and if he fails to act then I would report it to some higher authority or to the Vatican.

In my opinion you should not have to leave your parish. We need catholics to stay in their parishes and fight for their rights. We must resist not only for our sake but for the sake of future generations.

I can’t agree more.

He should not have to leave the parish in order to exercise his rights as a Catholic, you are right.

I don’t think you necessarily meant “fight” in an agressive way, but I’d like to clarify: it is better to gently assert one’s rights first, and see how that goes, before one comes out with all barrels blazing to fight for them. It could be that just talking calmly and respectfully to the priest about the issue could solve the problem.

Love covers a multitude of sins, and not only the sins of the person doing the loving, I think. “Love is patient, love is kind, love is never rude…” That’s the best place to start, especially when dealing with those with whom God has placed us in a position of obedience. I mean that applies whether the obedience is due to us or from us. We should strive to be clearly recognizable as Christ’s, by our conduct and not just our words, especially with each other.

You are absolutely correct. In the rule of St. Francis there is a very interesting mandate that can be applied here. Obvioiusly, non-Franciscans are not bound by the rule, but it contains some useful advice for everyone. Our holy Father says that even when our superior violates our rights, we are never to fight for them. Just as our rights are important, equally important is to be men of peace. Francis goes on to say that the quarrelsome may win the battle, but lose their souls, because they achieve their rights, but violate charity and the gates of heaven were open, not by justice, but by love.


Br. JR, OSF :slight_smile:

You have a right to recieve on the tongue and if the priest doesn’t allow this , report it to your Bishop and if he doesn’t do anything about it, email the Pope.

However, even the Holy See, on numerous occasions, has guaranteed the right of the communicant to receive Holy Communion on the tongue. It is not the priest’s nor the bishop’s call to make. In fact, the CDWDS intervened as late as July 2009 when a UK layman wrote to them regarding the denial of COTT due to the H1N1 situation.

The Holy See reaffirmed the right of the faithful in its latest response noting that:

This Dicastery observes that its Instruction Redemptionis Sacramentum (25 March 2004) clearly stipulates that “each of the faithful always has the right to receive Holy Communion on the tongue” (n. 92, nor is it licit to deny Holy Communion to any of Christ’s faithful who are not impeded by law from receiving the Holy Eucharist (cf. n. 91).

The Congregation thanks you for bringing this important matter to its attention. Be assured that the appropriate contacts will be made.

This last statement is rather telling because the Congregation will be contacting those dioceses and parishes where these ilicit restrictions are occurring.

While I can understand the issue of Franciscan spirituality, as you yourself said, those of us who are not Franciscan are not bound to it. Inasmuch as St. Francis certainly had his points to make, the Church reminds us that the faithful have the right to a properly celebrated Holy Sacrifice of the Mass and that they have the right to receive COTT. Remember that CITH is an option granted by an indult that can be rescinded at any time. The same does not hold true for COTT, which is the universal norm.

You don’t email the Holy Father. The Holy Father does not want to receive these complaints. For that reason there is the Sacred Congregation on the Sacraments. If you go to www.vatican.va you will find a button that says CURIA. There are the different offices for different concerns. If you send such a complaint directly to the Apostolic See, you will delay your response. It will be intercepted and rerouted. It is faster to write to the appropriate congregation.


Br. JR, OSF :christmastree1:

No one denied any of this. The point is that we do not have to become quarrelsome.


Br. JR, OSF :slight_smile:

You may address your concerns to:

The Most Rev. J. Augustine DiNoa, Secretary
Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments
Palazzo delle Congregazioni
Piazza Pio XII, 10
00120 Città del Vaticano

Bear in mind that he is your last resort if your bishop has not resolved the matter. As someone who has worked with the CDWDS on a couple of issues, I have found them most helpful, most direct and, oddly enough, most “customer-service” oriented. :thumbsup:

thanks for all the replies… i really appreciate it…

well, he’s not banning communion in the tongue altogether…only when we receive it from him… we can still receive in the tongue from Alcolytes but my conscience compels me to receive only from ordained hands (i’m a little bit traditionalist, but no too much :D)…

And the Pope personally reads every single one of the multiple thousands of e-mails he receives each day, doesn’t he?

If the priest and communicant do things properly, the priest’s fingers do NOT touch the communicant’s mouth.

It could be that he is acting under orders from the Bishop, under the mistaken assumption that Communion on the Tongue is a means of spreading infection. While I normally receive on the tongue, were I in such a jurisdiction, I would accomodate myself to the faith of weaker brethren, and receive on the hand.

This s not his call to make. Regardless of who receives from whom, the faithful have the right to receive COTT. The priest cannot make his own rules here. The CDWDS is very clear about this.

Even in the example that JR gave, the priest is overstepping his bounds since it goes beyond his authority.

I never gave an example. I was responding to someone else’s post about demanding one’s rights. I was simply saying that we need not get quarrelsome. But I never gave an example about communion one way or another. I know the rule very well.


Br. JR, OSF:christmastree1:

With a flu pandemic, I would NEVER distribute on the tongue. Communion in the hand is just as legitimate. If I were forced to, I would refuse.

I hope that you would also not talk with anyone (trasnmission by air droplets) open door knobs, or touch the pews at mass. What a wonderful way to spread the flu !!

We have a flu pandemic everyyear. More than 30,000 people die from the ordinary strains of the flu virus which is about 25,000 more than have died from H1N1.

You don’t have the authority to refuse.

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