Kneeling While recieving communion II

Prot. n. 1322/02/L

Rome, 1 July 2002

Dear Sir,

This Congregation for Divine Worship gratefully acknowledges receipt of your letter, regarding an announced policy of denial of Holy Communion to those who kneel to receive it at a certain church.

It is troubling that you seem to express some reservations about both the propriety and the usefulness of addressing the Holy See regarding this matter. Canon 212 ¶2 of the Code of Canon Law states that “Christ’s faithful are totally free to make known their needs, especially their spiritual ones, and their desire: to the Pastor of the Church”. The canon then continues in ¶3: “According to their own knowledge competence and position, they have the right, and indeed sometimes the duty, to present to the sacred Pastor; their opinions regarding those things that pertain to the good of the Church”…. Accordingly, in consideration of the nature of the problem and the relative likelihood that it might or might not be resolved on the local level, every member of the faithful has the right of recourse to the Roman Pontiff either personally or by means of the Dicasteries or Tribunals of the Roman Curia.

Another fundamental right of the faithful, as noted in canon 213, is “the right to receive assistance by the sacred Pastors from the spiritual goods of the Church, especially the word of God and the Sacraments”. In view of the law that “sacred” ministers may not deny the sacraments to those who opportunely ask for them, are properly disposed and are not prohibited by law from receiving them” (canon 843 ¶ 1), there should be no such refusal to any Catholic who presents himself for Holy Communion at Mass, except in cases presenting a danger of grave scandal to other believers arising out of the person’s unrepented public sin or obstinate heresy or schism, publicly professed or declared. Even where the Congregation has approved of legislation denoting standing as the posture for Holy Communion, in accordance with the adaptations permitted to the Conferences of Bishops by the Institution Generalis Missalis Romani n. 160, paragraph 2, it has done so with the stipulation that communicants who choose to kneel are not to be denied Holy Communion on these grounds.

Please be assured that the Congregation takes this matter very seriously, and is making the necessary contacts in its regard. At the same time, this Dicastery continues to be ready to be of assistance if you should need to contact it again in the future.

Thanking you for your interest, and with every prayerful good wish, I am

Sincerely yours in Christ,

Monsignor Mario Marini
Undersecretary

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~ by Citizen Cane on February 3, 2008.

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