This will be sent as a letter to the Archbishop with my signature. As this is not a private matter, it is being posted here so we all can see.
As you may know, there has been an argument for several years in this diocese over the whether or not the manner in which Holy Communion is distributed and received in the celebration of the Eucharist in the Neocatechumenal communities is allowed by the Statute as approved in 2008.
Since you, by virtue of your office, are the ultimate guardian of the liturgy in this diocese, you can help us settle this matter once and for all and spare further division and argument by simply confirming that the Neocatechumenal Way's manner of distributing Holy Communion is permitted.
The problem is that members of the Neocatechumenal Way have been told since 2008 that the way the consecrated bread is distributed was approved with the approval of the Statute in 2008. However, the rest of us see no such approval.
For those who may not be familiar with the argument, let us describe the manner in which the consecrated bread (host) is distributed and received in the Neocatechumenal celebration of the Eucharist.
- The priest, before consuming the sacred species, takes the consecrated bread to the communicants.
- The communicants remain in their place, standing.
- The consecrated bread is placed in the hand of each communicant.
- The communicants hold the consecrated bread until it has been distributed to all other communicants.
- The priest then communicates himself.
- The priest then signals the members to consume the sacred species which up to then, the communicants are still holding in their hands.
If this description is not correct, please feel free to correct it. Once corrected, or if it is already correct, please confirm that this manner of distributing Holy Communion is permitted and by what authority it is permitted:
- In the approved Statute of the Neocatechumenal Way (please provide the reference)
- A separate document from a Vatican Congregation or Dicastery
- Your own authority
Thank you for helping us to resolve this dispute, a dispute, as you know, has been going on far too long. If the practice is licit, you need only confirm it as so, provide the reference, and this discussion ends.
Tim Rohr & Many Other Catholics
P.S. I am sure you will want to answer us officially, so be assured that whatever the answer is, we will post your letter here on this blog for all to see so that we may officially end this tiresome conflict. I hope also you will post it in the U Matuna. It is time to resolve this.