[quote="CatholicTrekkie, post:4, topic:300134"]
I know that EMHCs are exactly that: extraordinary. What I was looking for was specifically any statement from the Church (in terms of USCCB guidelines or canon law) as to the reasoning and rationale behind the need for them. The Church could very well have not instituted the ministry of EMHCs and Lectors. Yet they did. I want to know what they said that led them to make that decision. That's all.
Like I said, I don't want to start up this debate again.
The Motu Proprio of 1972, Ministeria Quaedam gives reasons for the ministry of instituted lectors and instituted acolytes (who are also EMHCs). This is at ewtn.com/library/papaldoc/p6minors.htm .
Canon 230 of the Code of Canon Law refers to them.
A few months ago I read an article in the book Thirty Fives Years BCL Newsletter ( amazon.com/Thirty-Five-Years-BCL-Newsletter/dp/1574554026 ) which was written before the 1972 Ministeria Quaedam about the options the church had for minor orders.
Regarding EMHCs, the 1973 Instruction Immensae Caritatis gives the reasons:
"There are several situations in which a shortage of ministers of communion has been pointed out:
—within Mass because of a great crowd of people or some disability of the celebrant;
—outside Mass when distance makes it difficult to bring communion, especially as viaticum to the sick in danger of death; or when the sheer number of sick people, especially in hospitals or similar institutions, requires several ministers.
In order, then, that the faithful who are in the state of grace and rightly and devoutly wish to share in the sacred meal may not be deprived of this sacramental aid and solace, Pope Paul VI has decided it opportune to authorize special ministers who will be empowered to give communion to themselves and others of the faithful, under the exact and specified conditions here listed."
(From ewtn.com/library/CURIA/CDWIMCAR.htm ).