The Bishop of Paris Vilifies Communion on the Tongue

Source: FSSPX News

Mgr Michel Aupetit

On November 17, 2020, Bishop Michel Aupetit reported the result of a meeting the day before between the French government and representatives of religions, on Radio-Notre-Dame. On this occasion, he was particularly virulent against communion on the tongue.

The meeting was held on Monday, November 16, in application of the decision of the Council of State on the 7th of the same month, between the Prime Minister and the Minister of the Interior and representatives of religions. Catholics were represented by Mgr. Eric de Moulins-Beaufort.

The press release issued the same day by the French Bishops’ Conference (CEF) indicates that the resumption of worship cannot take place before December 1st at the earliest, and that strict health protocols will be put in place for this resumption.

After mentioning these elements, the Bishop of Paris continued: “I want to take this opportunity to say that all the people who want to do their own thing ... they are the ones who did us in.” He continues:  “The Ministry of the Interior, on the day of the Council of State meeting, brought videos which showed that certain parishes, ... communicated on the tongue, uh ... because that is how it is required to take Communion according to the Mass of all times.”

He explained on this subject: “We see that people do not know history well: it was in the sixth century that they began to receive communion on the tongue. And he notes that the Council of State had specified: “You see, you are not able to control your troops. So now we have to be serious.” 

A Biased Discard

To put it bluntly: the bishops of France have not been up to the task. They remained passive during the first confinement; they wanted to do a catch-up session for the second. But they were unsuccessful, and their meeting with the government yielded next to nothing.

This is not surprising, since the bishops, instead of showing themselves to be pastors and vigilant defenders of the rights of the Church, have wanted, for some ages, to play the game of secularism. They have since reaped what they sowed. But Bishop Aupetit finds nothing better than to blame those who have distributed communion on the tongue for this failure. With such mean-spiritedness, it is hard to do worse.

And first a clarification. In an article in Le Figaro published on November 16, entitled “With the Church, a change of tone, hardly any concessions,” the journalist Guillaume Tabard reported this information: the famous videos were two in number, and they were taken after the deconfinement. No comment…

A Cartoonish Example of Antiquarianism

By the term antiquarianism, is meant the error that everything that is primitive in liturgy - in the sense of the first - is better and must be taken up if it had disappeared. This error was strongly condemned by Pope Pius XII, especially in his encyclical Mediator Dei (1947).

Thus, Pope Pius XII condemns “the temerity and daring of those who…call for the revival of obsolete rites out of harmony with prevailing laws and rubrics.” Pius XII then mentions the “use of the vernacular” in the celebration of mass.

The Pope adds that we must likewise judge those who “are bent on the restoration of all the ancient rites and ceremonies.” The reason he gives is that these extinct rites cannot, by their antiquity alone, be considered more suitable and better. In addition, the more recent rites “likewise deserve reverence and respect. They, too, owe their inspiration to the Holy Spirit.” It is the condemnation of antiquarianism that will be all the rage at the Council and after.

Communion in the hand is such an example of antiquarianism. It was soon enough – let us concede to the sixth century - replaced by communion on the tongue. This was imposed for many reasons and completely supplanted communion in the hand. Wanting to bring back the latter is pure antiquarianism, condemned by Pius XII. This shows to what degree their Excellencies the bishops place themselves. They speak as a historian, but it is the liturgy that is the issue.

In addition, let us remember that neither the Second Vatican Council nor the Novus Ordo Missae of Paul VI provided for communion to be received standing and in the hand. Consulted by a Letter from the Consilium for the Application of the Constitution on the Liturgy dated October 29, 1968, nearly two-thirds of Latin bishops around the world opposed the introduction of this form of communion.

It was at the insistence of the French bishops that authorization was finally given, on May 6, 1969, for France, then for the other countries requesting it. However, it does not supplant communion on the tongue.

Thus, the instruction Redemptionis Sacramentum of March 25, 2004, specifies in no. 91 “that it is not licit to refuse Holy Communion to a faithful, for the simple reason, for example, that he wishes to receive the Eucharist kneeling or standing.” It is specified in no. 92 that “every believer has always the right to receive, according to his choice, Holy Communion in the mouth.”

The question arises: who is running things around here? The priests who respect the rights of the faithful, or the French bishops who would like to take it away from them?

As for the communion on the tongue and the reasons why it was universally imposed in the Church, the link at the end of this page gives a very detailed explanation.

Even if this is a secondary argument, it should be remembered that many doctors in various countries of Europe have contested that communion on the tongue is more dangerous in times of Covid. From May, in Italy, Professor Filippo Maria Boscia, president of the Association of Catholic Doctors affirms that “as a doctor, I am convinced that communion in the hand is less hygienic and therefore less safe than communion on the tongue.”

In June, a group of 21 Austrian doctors sent a letter to the bishops of their country in which they were astonished: “from a hygienic point of view, we cannot understand why communion on the tongue is prohibited in Austria.” On September 17, it was the turn of 27 German doctors to make the same approach to the German Bishops’ Conference, claiming that there was “no medical reason to ban communion on the tongue.”

Finally, on October 7, 65 Polish doctors and professors published an open letter in a daily newspaper, in which they affirmed that the way of receiving communion standing and in the hand is more conducive to contagion than receiving it on the knees and on the tongue.

The French bishops know how to use their authority to impose it on the faithful: this is how they once declared the Mass of Saint Pius V as prohibited, in defiance of the law, and they hunted down the recalcitrant. This is how they want to impose communion in the hand on all the faithful, always against their most legitimate right.

But before civil and political authority, they have shown themselves incapable of defending the rights of the Holy Church, as well as the natural law. If there is a decline in the influence of the Church in society, it is to their reluctance, and their loss of apostolic sense that we owe it. Analyzing the causes of their attitude would bring us back to considering the crisis brought about by the Second Vatican Council.

Little by little, having lost their true Catholic identity, the bishops at the same time lost their representativeness in the eyes of the government. Let them not dare to say now that it is “the tradis fault.”