you quote (May 26) the regrets of Miss Philippa Stewart Craig and of Fr. Trotman over Cardinal Heenan's withdrawal of last month's experiment, in his Archdiocese, of Communion in the hand.
Miss Stewart Craig and Fr. Trotman complain respectively of the sadness the Cardinal's statement has caused; and that the Cardinal's instruction ending the experiment has been "a colossal shock, it will upset quite a lot of parishioners."
I wonder whether Miss Craig and Fr. Trotman (or Monsignor Bruce Kent) have considered the greater shock and scandal caused to ordinary Catholics who were secure in their faith and the struggle to practise it, until the innovators began to undermine its foundations, by among other things. promoting practices which risk leading to a denial of the Real Presence.
Freda Bruce Lockhart London, W.8
WITI1 reference to your editorial f.1 une 2) on the practise of-giving Holy Communion by hand, I know nothing about "The Black Rubric." but as an ex-Anglican, it seems to me that in the Catholic Church Holy Communion is administered very hastily. "It's like shelling peas," was the comment of a friend who attended an Ecumenical Mass.
One of the blessings of giving Holy Communion in the hand is that it gives the recipient an opportunity to gaze and meditate on the Sacred Host before consuming It.
Harry F. Thompson St. Austell,
WHAT is so disturbing about Cardinal Heenan's recent decision (May 26) about Communion in the hand is that he gives the impression probably quite unintentionally — of attaching very little real importance to any of the consultative bodies he and his fellow bishops have set up_
We do not recall that the experiment was announced at its inception as being operative for a fixed term, now expired; and the Cardinal's decision seems to have been extraordinarily
sudden. In all t h e circumstances one might have hoped that the Cardinal (who is usually rather sensitive on matters of public relations) would have devoted the Trinity Sunday Pastoral to an explanation of the reasons that had led him to this totally unexpected conclusion, rather than convey the decision in an Ad Clerum — thus putting on parish and other clergy the onus of explanation and pastoral interpretation.
The Cardinal's decision and his chosen method of announcing it could lead to some quite unnecessary divisions between Catholics, and (more seriously) disillusion and despair among those laity who have been making considerable efforts (and sacrifices) to work through the consultative machinery that the bishops have introduced,
(Mr. and Mrs.) W. N. T.
Roberts New Malden, Surrey
THE decision of Cardinal Heenan to terminate the distribution of Holy C"onimunion to the hand, will bring a sigh of relief to many thousands of Catholics in this country. May I say on behalf of thousands of priests and laity — -1 hank you, Your Eminence, eonnc.c,, for your timely d e The Cardinal's Ad Clerum seems to point out the source every which the practice of Communion in the hand in this country has conic. He refers to the authorisation given to ry
bishop in the "Constitution Sacrosanctum Concilium" to permit Cornmunion in the hand for a period of time and as an experiment. i would like to point out that this is not correct, as this Constitution (dated December 4, 1963) refers only
to Liturgical Regulations — it does not cover Disciplinary Laws of the Church, of which the manner of distributing Communion is one.
The pertinent document on Communion in the hand is the "Memoriale Domini" of May 29, 1969. This Instruction was issued after the Bishops of the world had overwhelmingly voted a,cainst the introduction of Communion in the hand during the previous twelve months. 1 he Instruction reiterated the necessity for observance of Communion to the tongue, which it states "in no way detracts from the personal dignity of the recipient and gives more assurance that Communion will ha distributed with reverence, decorum and dignity, and the stinger of profanation avoided."
(Frs.) John W. Flanagan and L. Whatmnre
IT is disappointing that your second leader (June 2) appears to knock down the wrong target.
Communion on the tongue is surely nothing to do with reverence or subjective altitudes, but is to make it more difficult to remove the consecrated host for blasphemous purposes.
One thinks with particular distress, in these harsh times. of weak people or children, deprived of the protection of authority. being bullied' into such action.
This letter is not aimed at airing personal view, but rather to ask for fuller treatment of the subject in the much improved CATHOLIC HERALD.
P. R. Ward Petersfield, Hants