(Photo from Father Lawrence Lew, O.P. - God’s Excessive Love - Used With Permission)
" "In the first place it should be known that if a person is seeking God, his beloved is seeking him much more." — St. John of the Cross

Monday, January 21, 2013

Monday Musings - "Holy Spirit" vs "Spirit of Vatican II"

If God used Balaam’s donkey to get that prophet’s attention, I guess he can use me to get yours. May these periodic Monday postings (God willing) generate fruitful discussion and faithful change.
(Image from Biblebios.com)
I have made a commitment during this Year of Faith to do a number of things, including reading the Catechism of the Catholic Church and the Vatican II Documents. Both exercises have been worthwhile. From time to time I hope to share the fruits of my efforts.

Today I will start with a few questions.

Did you know that at the time of Vatican II the vast majority of Catholic Bishops in the world were opposed to permitting reception of Holy Communion in the hand and that as a result our Holy Father decided not to change the manner in which Communion was administered? (See Instruction On The Manner of Distributing Holy Communion)

They feared then (and I would argue the resulting realty became) a widespread loss of reverence for and belief in the Real Presence of our Lord in the Holy Eucharist. In fact, the Holy Father “urged bishops, priests and laity to obey carefully the law” requiring reception of Holy Communion while kneeling and on the tongue.

Despite the Pontiff’s entreaty, many Episcopal Conferences persisted and insisted on permitting reception of Communion in the hand. In response to such widespread defiance, Pope Paul VI relented and allowed Bishop Conferences to request his permission to do so by submitting a detailed account to him of the reasons which led them to take such action.

Did you know that? Have you ever seen the justification offered by the Bishops of this country or your Diocese for ignoring the Pope’s initial directions? Might it now be the time to pull those explanations out of moth balls and take a fresh look at them, especially in light of the widespread irreverence and disbelief in the Real Presence that so typifies much of the Catholic Church today?

You probably also did not know that the same Bishops were to send a report to Rome six months after authorizing Communion in the hand informing the Holy Father as to the outcome of their policies. Was that done? Has anyone seen those reports?


Our Bishops are human and can and do make mistakes. I suspect we will not be too surprised to see now how inaccurate and wrong the assessments and justifications were that they offered then for defying the Holy Father’s initial directions.

Is it not time for our Bishops to reassess their past posture on this crucial issue and objectively re-evaluate and report on the extent to which their policies have or have not contributed to the widespread lack of belief in the Real Presence? I suspect the objective evidence will demonstrate that it is time to correct that error and return to receiving Holy Communion on our knees and on our tongues. I highly recommend that you read Dominus Est! It Is the Lord! Reflections of a Bishop of Central Asia on Holy Communion.

The Holy Spirit will never lead its Church or its members to do something contrary to Scripture, Holy Tradition or the Church's Magisterium. Unfortunately, the man-made and often relied upon “Spirit of Vatican II” has and continues to do so.

What do you think?


  1. Sadly, over the years our Church has caused confusion over this and many other matters. Such as eating meat on Fridays, fasting before taking Communion, women covering their heads in church etc ...

    I know of a priest who is deliberately against taking Communion on the tongue and makes a point of having his congregation take the Host in their hands.

    God bless.

    1. Thank you for taking the time to comment. Sad that some priests lack the humility to be obedient and faithful to the Magisterium. All of our priests need and deserve our prayers.

  2. For some reason the American bishops after Vatican II were falling all over themselves to imitate the disobedience of the Dutch, where communion in the hand originated. What's worse, the "liturgists" promoting this were misrepresenting the practice of Communion in the hand that took place somewhere in the 300s. The Church abandoned the practice then for the same reasons we should abandon it now. Restore the altar railings and kneeling to receive Holy Communion! Receive on the tongue! The priest as the delegate of the bishop is supposed to "feed My sheep," not hand off the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Christ to another hand. Hands are not mouths. Plus, it is far easier to prevent the sacrilege of people not consuming the Host when we receive Communion on the tongue.