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By Bradley Eli, M.Div., Ma.Th., Church Militant, March 6, 2020
Only pope has power to modify universal norm
Cardinal Francis Arinze: “No priest has the right to demand that, and even no bishop has the right to demand you must receive on the hand.”
Reception of Holy Communion on the tongue, a universal Catholic norm from time immemorial, is being set aside by many bishops owing to the possible spread of coronavirus.
On Monday, the vicar general for Chicago, Cdl. Blase Cupich, told priests, “Every consideration should be given by each individual to receive Holy Communion reverently in open hands for the time being.”
In Australia, the archdiocese of Perth said Wednesday, “Priests are to encourage communicants to receive the Sacred Host in the hand, not on the tongue.”