22Sep Bishop Olmstead and the Precious Blood

This is not a specifically Irish issue – it arises in the US diocese of Phoenix under Bishop Olmsted, and if the shindig grows any greater the Bishop may change his mind! However he is planning to restrict permission for non-clerics’ reception of the Precious Blood at Mass.
Some refs to ready access to the “story” can be found here:

The Phoenix statement can be accessed here:
There is also a newer article and posts on the praytell blog started since the rumoured ruling was confirmed.

It seems that the Bishop can make the ruling for his diocese, but I suspect the priest may also rule for his parish. This is galloping ROTR. Personally I feel I am being hustled out of my church.

I hope I’m being unnecessarily alarmist, but wasn’t +Olmert recently appointed to VOX CLARA?
Mary Wood

11 Responses

  1. Martin

    Yeah I agree with this. The faithful receive all the benefits of Holy Communion from receiving the Host alone. The risk of profanation is very great when received under both kinds, plus it would be impractical in larger parishes. It also catechises the faithful in that they begin to learn a bit of basic faith, namely that you don’t need to receive under both kinds in order to derive all the grace you receive from Holy Communion.

  2. Simmary

    The writer has confused two persons? Olmert is an Israeli politician and so unlikely to be appointed to Vox Clara? Though maybe Mr Olmert would be an asset to VC and the USCCB – I don’t know!

  3. Anthony Murphy

    Mary – not so sure what all the concern is about, as the diocesan statements which you kindly provide links for above explain the situation perfectly. What is your concern? I do not know the diocese very well but if you take a look at the news page there is much cause for joy – the diocese has 18 seminarians – this is a blessing and we could learn a lot from the American diocese about the promotion of vocations to the priesthood.

  4. Fr S

    In 2005 the Synod of Bishops met in Rome. Their remit was to discuss ways in which the Church could get the Eucharist to a huge number of Catholics in the third world who do not have regular access to it.

    Hundreds of Bishops met for just under a week. They point blank refused – under the watchful eye of Benedict – to discuss the ordination of women, the permanent diaconate and the possibility of a married clergy. They voted for the status quo with the possibility of looking at the re-opening of Junior Seminaries!!

    The week ended with a splendid meal for the Bishops, a different wine served with each course. Benedict gave a speech to the assembled Bishops at that meal stating, “It was not unintentional that Jesus chose to use the imagery of a banquet as presaging Heaven.”

    These Bishops should have been disciplined for dereliction of duty, not fed a five star meal.

    In my local Cathedral Sunday Masses often have 1200 in attendance. Everyone receives communion under both kinds. Its a very simple procedure if enough Eucharistic Ministers, Deacons or Priests are in attendance.

    Where there’s a will, there’s a way.

  5. Mary Wood

    Mr Murphy,

    My concern arises from the simple fact of Matthew’s Gospel account where Jesus bids those present at the Last Supper (Chap 26 : 27) “Drink.” This is implicit in the other synoptists, but spelled out in Matthew.

    Do we not accept and seek to obey God’s word to us? If my parish priest were to withhold the Cup from the layfolk, am I not deprived?

    Martin, from what I have heard, there is a greater risk of profanation in relation to the consecrated Host, rather than any problem arising from the Precious Blood. I do not think this is a really live issue – certainly not in my experience. Is it in yours?

    But anyway, we know that Paul envisaged the possibility of Communion being partaken “Unworthily.” But that is no reason to withhold it from the vast majority.

  6. Mary Wood

    For anyone interested in the views of others on this topic, the original praytell post was referred to in AMERICA magazine, and a number of people have commented there.

    Furthermore, if you do look at the original praytell post, you will see in the index a follow-up article on the Q & A of the Phoenix diocese and multiple comments.

  7. Wendy Murphy

    What on earth do you mean by saying ‘the risk of profanation is very great when received under both kinds’? What are you saying about your fellow parishioners and, indeed, about humankind? What do you mean about the faithful, that they ‘begin to learn a bit of basic faith’?
    Are you talking about my husband, 87 years old, baptised at a few weeks old, altar boy, faithful Catholic all his life, Eucharistic Minister, Reader, RCIA catechist? What about me, most of the above, including, convert 27 years ago? We’re beginning to learn a bit of basic faith are we?

  8. Martin

    I’m not meaning to be patronising, but many folks seem to think you miss out by only receiving the Lord in the Host. Of course, the symbolism is richer when both are received, but it is not necessary, and may not be a good idea in many instances, to receive both. We also don’t need even more EMHCs. We have enough as it is. Accidents happen, and it is much easier to pick up the Host than a spillage. In my parish in the north of Ireland, we do not receive from the chalice and nobody is upset or feeling deprived – it’s simply not an issue for us, and, when given the choice, many people would decline to receive from the chalice anyway.

  9. Irenaeus


    You’re reasoning doesn’t make sense. The faithful need to be continuously catechized. Because you don’t have it, it doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be done. I don’t understand the reasoning of denying both forms when IT’S TOTALLY POSSIBLE! There’s is something fundamentally wrong with people who can’t trust the laity when the excuses they make don’t reflect the reality they’re trying to address.

  10. Fr Seán Coyle

    The General Instruction on the Roman Missal, No 85, reads: It is most desirable that the faithful, just as the Priest himself is bound to do, receive the Lord’s Body from hosts consecrated at the same Mass and that, in the cases where this is foreseen, they partake of the chalice (cf. no. 283), so that even by means of the signs Communion may stand out more clearly as a participation in the sacrifice actually being celebrated.

    How many priests/parishes/communities ensure that everyone receives Holy Communion from hosts consecrated at the same Mass? This to me is more important than having everyone receive under both species.

  11. Teri Bays

    Serving as liturgy and music director here in the Phoenix diocese poses some challenges in terms of communion procession songs. How can we continue to sing the songs that formed us: One Bread, One Body, Pan de Vida, Eat This Bread, and so many others. I have a list of 20 songs with “take and drink this Cup” text.
    It is a loss of symbol and song. We DO have a well-catechized community who are as puzzled and upset by this as many on this site. Pray for us who live in the Phoenix diocese.

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