(17) Am I committing a sin if I receive Communion in the hand? Why do you and others say it is a sacrilege? I know you have articles on it, but I don't have the time to read them. I am confused. Are my hands dirtier than my tongue?

I will answer the second part first because it is short and we can get it out of the way.

The Sacraments are not administered by the tongue of the minister of the Sacrament---usually a priest. He uses his hands, ordained, sanctified. While one's hands ought to be as clean as possible, you are mixing apples and oranges.

It is the administration of the Sacrament here that we are concerned with, not the afterwards---the consuming of the Host.  It is the ordained hands of the priest or deacon that is the issue, and what they signify. Until the Consecrated Species enters the mouth, the hands must necessarily be involved. This is called the administration.

Prior to the permission for Communion in the Hand, if a Host should fall to the ground or floor and no one notices at the time, but a lay person who was cleaning the Church, say, found it, he was not permitted to touch it---even though the outer appearances would show it had some soil on it from being there. So you see, the cleanliness per se is not the crux of the matter. For if it were, in that case his hands would likely be cleaner than the accidental properties of the Host. The person would get the priest who would have to pick it up and then consume it. If no priest was available, the lay person would have to cover up the Sacred Species with a clean cloth to mark the spot until the priest could come. Why? Because it is the Body, the real Body and the Blood, the real Blood, Soul and Divinity of Christ. It only looks like a piece of thin wafer, called the Host.

Christ has given the Church the authority to speak for Him, but it must follow Tradition. We know this because St. Paul, who knew St. Peter and who was instructed by the Apostles tells us that we must. And we know that not everything Christ taught the Apostles to pass on is in the Bible. Tradition means the oral teachings handed down directly by the Apostles. Later on, when printing was possible that Tradition began to be recorded in the Acts of the Holy See, the Martyrology and the early writings of the Church Fathers some of whom knew the Apostles. The early Church not only had to grow in numbers, it had to grow in knowledge. There is only one Revelation---that of Scripture. However Christ reveals doctrine to His Church through the power of the Holy Ghost by infallible means: If a dogmatic Council or a Pope defines or declares a matter of faith or morals, it is binding from that time onward. It cannot change. Example: Before Pope Pius XII defined the dogma of the Assumption, one was free to believe or not believe. The reality of the Assumption was from the beginning but implicitly held by the Church. How do we know? From the earliest times there were Feast days of the Assumption in various dioceses. Since the dogma had not been declared formally, or defined formally, it was not binding under anathema to believe in it. Once it was defined, then one must accept this and there will never be a time that it can change, the definition is infallible. The doctrines of the Council of Trent are likewise infallible. We will get to them in a moment.

Sometimes a poorly advised Pope or a rash Pope attempts to discount Tradition, but he is in violation, serious violation of the limits of his authority. Since no one can depose a Pope who is the true Pope, the validly elected Pope, when this occurs, our duty is to obey Tradition and try to persuade the Pope to do so also. We know this from Tradition itself. St. Thomas Aquinas, the Church's chief theologian, even today, says if the Faith is in danger, we must admonish a prelate to his face if there is no other way.  If he does not correct things, we do the best we can and offer up our suffering--knowing that a dogmatic Council or previous Pope's infallible declarations are denied in some part by practice, rather than formal teaching [an impossibility]---and wait until things get better, we hope. This is all we can do. Since we have Tradition and the counsels of the Saints we usually can find some licit way to not desecrate that which is sacred and violate our conscience. Seldom are we left with no options. In the case of Communion in the hand, the Pontiff himself provided it: The Holy Spirit protects the Church from indefectibility---the complete loss of the means of sanctification, the Sacraments. The Pope, when he gave permission after years of disobedience and pressure,---reluctantly---he said it was an option only and that the preferred method of reception was on the tongue. Problem solved.  The Council of Trent infallibly declared that only the priest or deacon [if there is one, he is an ordained man, not a lay man any more; deacons are still a rarity] is to administer Holy Communion because of consecrated hands. If a lay person is not to touch the Sacred Species to administer, how can the laity do so to receive?---to take it in our hands is not consumption, it is still administration---we are taking the Host in our hands and then putting it on our tongue for consumption. A violation of that which is part of Catholic truth which cannot change. In fact this is self-communicating which is forbidden, by definition. See below.

When we take it from the priest's hands and put it first in our own hand, we are in effect acting as a co-priest [an ordained man], an impossibility theologically speaking. Most Catholics just don't think of this and because they don't, the Blessed Eucharist is less respected than in the past. In the early days of the Church the Apostles permitted Communion in the hand, following the example of Christ to them. They were priests, not the laity. Slowly they came to see the distinction in all its implications beyond the title designating a state in life; they also saw the decline in respect for sacred things; how do we know? The early writings of the Popes and Saints. Abuses were addressed. Communion in the Hand was forbidden from that time on. Only the ordained could distribute the Sacred Species. Not only did Catholics grow in their devotion to the Eucharist in its sacredness, but heretics and apostates understood how precious this was. When they started their Protestant churches, most of them for a time retained the Communion service of some kind, but they insisted on Communion in the hand in order to induce those who followed them to lose belief in the Real Presence. The Modernists in the Church of recent times told us to take Communion in the Hand. We did not know it was a disobedience. They told us it was allowed, it was Vatican II [a lie---Vatican II did not say this] and that if we wanted to be good Catholics we ought to. They did not even tell us we could say no. Then after twenty years of this abuse, it became widespread. They then told Rome if it did not give permission, they would continue to apply pressure. The Papacy was weak, is still weak, and permission was granted, unwisely. When you reward disobedience you get more of it. Imagine children pressuring their father to go to an impure movie. After a while he gives in for the sake of a false peace---it never comes. The kids do it more and more because they know it works. Does not this father who abused his rightful authority have to render an account to Christ? We all know the answer.

Before I answer the question pertaining to sin I want to expand our discussion on Communion in Hand and aspects pertaining to the Mass in light of Church history and the Council of Trent. I will cite chapter and verse for you so what I have written above is absolutely clear. The citations are from the Catechism of the Council of Trent---a manual for priests and from the dogmatic decrees of the Council of Trent. The excerpts are brief. I am also explaining in more detail to show you how the modern Popes have further violated Tradition concerning Holy Communion---the case of great necessity [below] does not mean convenience of time---it means in context from traditional practice, something happening to the priest suddenly, so that there is no one else.  Or one priest for many hundreds of people. Note that in the manual for priests it states that by these prohibitions both the priest and the laity will fully appreciate the sacredness of Holy Communion. Since Communion in the Hand can anyone tell me of the belief in the Real Presence---has it soared or fallen? 70% of Catholics no longer know the definition of the Eucharist or believe in the Real Presence. No one got up in the pulpit and said this to them, the practice alone brought this on. Most Catholics are exactly where the first Protestants were when they began, with no end in sight.  I rest my case.


It must be taught, then, that to priests alone has been given power to consecrate and administer to the faithful, the Holy Eucharist. That this has been the unvarying practice of the Church, that the faithful should receive the Sacrament from the priests, and that the officiating priests should communicate themselves, has been explained by the holy Council of Trent
[Sess. xiii. cap. 8. c. 10. ], which has also shown that this practice, as having proceeded from Apostolic tradition, is to be religiously retained, particularly as Christ the Lord has left us an illustrious example thereof, having consecrated His own most sacred body, and given it to the Apostles with His own hands! [Matt. xxvi. 26; Mark xiv. 22; Luke xxii. 19.]

The Laity Prohibited To Touch The Sacred Vessels

To safeguard in every possible way the dignity of so august a Sacrament, not only is the power of its administration entrusted exclusively to priests, but the Church has also prohibited by law any but consecrated persons, unless some case of great necessity intervene, to dare handle or touch the sacred vessels, the linen, or other instruments necessary to its completion.

Priests themselves and the rest of the faithful may hence understand how great should be the piety and holiness of those who approach to consecrate, administer or receive the Eucharist.

Why The Celebrant Alone Receives Under Both Species

It is clear that the Church was influenced by numerous and most cogent reasons, not only to approve, but also to confirm by authority of its decree, the general practice of communicating under one species. In the first place, the greatest caution was necessary to avoid spilling the Blood of the Lord on the ground, a thing that seemed not easily to be avoided, if the chalice were administered in a large assemblage of the people.

In the next place, whereas the Holy Eucharist ought to be in readiness for the sick, it was very much to be apprehended, were the species of wine to remain long unconsumed, that it might turn acid.

Besides, there are many who cannot at all bear the taste or even the smell of wine. Lest, therefore, what is intended for the spiritual health should prove hurtful to the health of the body, it has been most prudently provided by the Church that it should be administered to the people under the species of bread only.

We may also further observe that in many countries wine is extremely scarce; nor can it, moreover, be brought from elsewhere without incurring very heavy expenses and encountering very tedious and difficult journeys.

Finally, a most important reason was the necessity of opposing the heresy of those who denied that Christ, whole and entire, is contained under either species, and asserted that the Body is contained under the species of bread without the Blood, and the Blood under the species of wine without the Body. In order, therefore, to place more clearly before the eyes of all the truth of the Catholic faith, Communion under one kind, that is, under the species of bread, was most wisely introduced.

 CANON I.---If any one saith, that, by the precept of God, or, by necessity of salvation, all and each of the faithful of Christ ought to receive both species of the most holy Sacrament not consecrating; let him be anathema.

Council Trent---Session 21

Is it a sin if I receive Holy Communion in the Hand?

Yes, objectively speaking, because it is a sacrilege; a mortal sin.

But the Church permits it.

Yes.  But it does not command us to receive in the Hand---the Holy Ghost cannot permit this--it gives us the option of not doing so. The Pope who gave permission has answered to God for this abuse. Let us pray for his Soul in Purgatory. He ought not have even given permission in the first place because no one has the authority to permit sacrilege or the increased danger for abuse. This does not involve infallibility because it does not teach we must or that Trent is erroneous, which no Pope can do because of Christ's promise. But weak men who sin are not stopped by God---recall the wheat and the tares, and free will. When we sin God does not slay us or otherwise stop us and He does not do so with bad and/or weak prelates and priests. Bad policy decisions are dangerous because of scandal and the loss of  belief, but they are not covered under infallibility. The Church has had weak Popes from time to time, sometimes in a series like now. This is the way it is whether we like it or not. It is the duty of every Catholic to measure practice and ordinary teachings that are novel against Tradition.

Having said this, not every Catholic is equally culpable. Some do not have the capability to know this sort of thing, not because they are dumb, but because of their circumstances, their ignorance is not their fault. A mortal sin has three components: serious matter, knowledge and full consent of the will. Thus only those Catholics who have been given the grace to know all the above commit mortal sin if they receive Communion in the hand, twice a sin if from an Eucharistic minister--two mortal sins. Remember the Church teaches about our judgment, that those who have been given more by way of knowledge and ability are judged more harshly and rightly so. Our responsibility is greater. We owe something to God for the knowledge He graces us with, a strict accounting of what we did with it---the Parable of the Stewards.

John Paul II saw the decline in Eucharistic piety and belief in the Real Presence, the Protestantization  because of his own laxity. Finally horrified he attempted to right the wrong. He issued a correcting document to the Bishops informing them that the practice of Eucharist ministers had to cease---the priest was to distribute Communion, unless a real emergency arose. He, unfortunately, did not remove Communion in the Hand. A weak man who knew the truth, not able to go the distance because of faulty judgment. Ten extra minutes for Communion time [average parish] is not an emergency, even stretching matters. The Bishops did not tell us, but they let the priests know about it. A local pastor who used to be my pastor and whom I knew for years told some of us about it privately, this is how we learned about it. He then said he was going to disobey---he had gotten used to it and liked it this way---although he was supposed to obey. He and almost every priest in the diocese. They read the letter from the Bishop. The Bishop does, too. They have all "gotten used to it" and would rather disobey Rome and God than have to explain the mess to the people. From a human perspective I can understand---I don't condone---just understand---because one Eucharistic minister was incensed with me when I told her. She yelled at me saying I thought she wasn't holy. Not what I meant at all. It never occurred to her that until her outburst I had no thought of her as anything but dear and sweet and indeed, holy. Afterwards, I reflected, I can't judge her heart, but do Saints react this way? No. You see, they are so humble they know they are unworthy. Imagine hundreds of these outbursts. This does not justify because a sacred duty is sacred. Given the times we live in---extreme license and the unwillingness to suffer any blow to our egos, also predictable.

You noticed, I hope, that I used the term Eucharistic minister. This term is incomplete, I used it deliberately because most people use the term in this way. The ordinary minister of the Eucharist is the priest who both confects the Sacrament and administers it. The extraordinary minister of the Eucharist is the lay person who has been selected for an administration role. Yet  by saying just Eucharistic minister there is no distinction, psychologically and intrinsically. Over time this changes perception of essences in a subtle but significant way. It is the peculiar disease of our time that realities are distorted by switching definitions in practice if not by canon law. What is extraordinary---temporary, occasional and optional is now mandated Sunday after Sunday; what is ordinary---mandated---the priest alone is optional and occasional. A diabolical distortion. Our Lady of Fatima warned Sister Lucy that a time would come when the Church would experience "a diabolical disorientation." Indeed!

(18) Why don't you accept the Luminous Mysteries of the Rosary of John Paul II? Aren't you disloyal?

First, I don't need a reason. Pope John Paul II promulgated them as an option only. I am exercising that option in full union with his wishes.

Second, it is sad but interesting to note that modern Churchmen preach diversity ad nauseam. Then when a Traditional Catholic takes them up on their offer, and brings a little diversity, actual diversity, people take umbrage and point fingers. Besides being hypocritical, this is unbecoming a Catholic. St. Augustine taught, In things that are not required, diversity. In things that are necessary, unity. In all things, charity.  Why are so many people threatened by legitimate diversity? Who does it hurt if I do not choose the Luminous Mysteries? Not Mary. She never requested them. The only addition made to the Rosary--- the final form was completed in St. Dominic's time---was the Fatima decade prayer. She has the authority to do this.

Third, Pope Paul VI said that he thought about making some changes to the Rosary, but then thought better of it. His reason? It was not the Tradition of the Church to disturb people in long-standing devotions that are valid and efficacious. Changes could harm the faith of many. Very sadly he forgot his own counsel and wisdom when he changed the Mass into a mess. As if a diabolical disorientation entered him. Since he protected Our Lady's Psalter--the original name of the Rosary---I hope she interceded on his behalf at his judgment. I have always been grateful for his not doing as he considered. No man is all good and no man is all bad.

Fourth: Our Lady revealed in some manner to St. Dominic, whom she chose as the guardian of her Rosary, the set of 15 Mysteries not 20. There is nothing in the extra five that requires special 21st century knowledge in order to be told of them or to appreciate them. The Pontiff, merely added novelty. He knew it, too, because he said they were optional: The Holy Ghost would not permit a Pontiff to bind the consciences of the faithful in re a novelty. They add nothing to the devotion of the Holy Rosary as if it needed updating so Catholics would pray it. The Pope is the "custodian of Tradition", not "a change agent", in the words of John Vennari, editor of Catholic Family News. Mr. Vennari has a CD on the New Mysteries. The CD, an excellent compendium on the Rosary, papal authority and popular piety, is part of a set but I think he still sells it as a single unit. Every Catholic who is serious about true devotion to the Mother of God ought to listen to this CD so he can fortify himself to defend the Church's Tradition. Call 1-
905-871-6292 in the USA. The papal oath, which the Pontiffs used to take before Vatican II, includes the declaration that if the Pontiff should break with Tradition he expects God to judge him severely, specifically "May God not have mercy on me." John Paul II did not take the oath but it remains the hallmark of the limits of the papacy. The fact that popes felt it necessary to take this oath for centuries, means that they knew it it was possible to stray from Tradition. An oath is unnecessary for matters that are not possible, by definition. St. Vincent of Lerins says that when faced with novelty we ought to keep to Tradition and reject the novelty, which has no place in our religion. When Our Lady came to Fatima the three seers were taught to add the Fatima decade prayer, which is not a novelty but a part of the message of Fatima itself---the many souls that go to Hell in this very evil age because there is no one to pray for them. The Rosary is Our Lady's Psalter and she may dispose of it as she wants, this is her prerogative, not ours, not even the Pontiff's. The Rosary is called Our Lady's Psalter because the Rosary decades of Fifteen Mysteries contain 150 Hail Marys, one for each of the 150 Psalms of the Old Testament---not a coincidence. We do not apologize for following Saint Vincent of Lerins who taught in unison with thousands of Saints, Martyrs, Doctors and Fathers of the Church. I once said that if anyone can point to any official Saint of the Church who taught that novelty in religion was a good thing and practiced it himself, that I would reconsider the extra five "mysteries". To date no one has been able to do so. No Saint has ever said in line with John Paul II that the Rosary of the Fifteen Mysteries lacks "Christological depth." If the Holy Rosary really did, what a slap against Our Lady who would be so ignorant of her own Psalter! Unbelievable!! The entire history of the Rosary is bound closely with the 150 Psalms: St. Benedict and his monks recited the 150 Psalms every week at the minimum. This became essentially the Divine Office until Vatican II. After a time the Psalms were divided into thirds, the joyful, sorrowful and glorious; the laity substituted 150 Hail Marys for the Psalms as they knew the Hail Mary and not each Psalm by heart and having the sense of the Faith they were confident that each Psalm was united to the Hail Mary it represented. Moreover, when Our Lord told the Apostles to cast their nets into the water again, they caught exactly 153 fish, one for each Hail Mary on the Fifteen Decades plus the three at the beginning. Again a pointer to the Holy Rosary which would be the cause of the Moslem defeat at Lepanto in the 16th century and the triumph of the Immaculate Heart when the Pontiff finally consecrates Russia by name to Our Lady's Immaculate Heart.

When Our Lady told St. Dominic to preach the Rosary, she said "Preach my Psalter, pray my Psalter." At the time heresy had a stranglehold on the people and St. Dominic had been called by Christ to repel and defeat it. Our Lady, the Roman Missal says, is the defeater of heresies.

When Our Lady said "my Psalter" she referred to the 150 Hail Marys of three classes of Mysteries, not four. She said it was a battering ram against heresy. If we used the 20 Mysteries, this places an impossibility on those who are unable to say the entire Rosary but are able to fulfill the minimum of a third, or five decades, traditionally thought of as the daily Rosary devotion. At Fatima she requested the minimum of a third of the Rosary.  A third of 20 is a fraction, not a whole number or integer. How does one say a fraction of the Rosary? Six and 2/3 decades? Come on. All this is more modernism, busy work at updating what is complete and perfect in of itself. It is as if an infectious agent or germ has invaded the upper echelons of the human aspect of the Church, one that causes frenetic activity for the sake of activity rather than docility to Tradition and serenity in the contemplation of the sublime.