Sunday, October 26, 2014

ELIMINATING THE COMMON CHALICE AND WHAT ABOUT BLESSING HAND SANITIZER?

With proof now that the communal chalice with up to 20 people drinking from the same chalice, does spread the flu, other viruses and contagions, I wonder how many parishes are foregoing liturgical correctness to protect parishioners from communicable diseases that can be caught from the common chalice? What about your parish?

This weekend St. Joseph Church out of an abundance of concern and caution for our parishioners stopped the practice of the communal chalice. 

To the lawyers out there, could the Church be sued for liturgical correctness in the face of a health epidemic?

On the lighter side, we have placed hand sanitizer at our Church entrances. Would it be kosher to bless it and make it Holy Hand sanitizer? Just wondering and maybe thinking about doing it!

55 comments:

Anonymous said...

Maybe you can change the sign of peace to a silent reflection. In the spirit of today's Gospel text you could ask people to bow their heads and wish Christ's peace to those they love and most importantly to those against whom they hold animosity or harbor resentment. This is the kind of sign of peace I would be happy to
practice at Mass. Mike

Gene said...

Amen, Mike.

But, Fr…. Ignotus has assured us that you cannot get diseases from the common chalice. Even better, the head of CDC (that would be an MD) has said, "You can get Ebola on a bus, but you cannot give Ebola on a bus." Now, think about that for a minute LOL!…the CDC quacks are nothing but political flunkies who will say anything to support the administration.

Anonymous said...

Gene,
The same people that will tell you that they receive Communion in the hand because occasionally they would feel the priest's saliva dampened finger on their lips are the same ones who have no trouble placing their lips on a Chalice that has had 50 other mouths on it before them. To people like these the CDC statements are perfectly logical.

Anonymous said...

Never been a fan of the abundance of common chalices on a Sunday Mass, and still feel the sacred vessels should only be handled by the priest. That though has nothing to do with the common flu or the CDC, it simply has to do with giving the Sacrament the dignity and respect it deserves.

Paul said...

At our church as standard practice,the EMHC use hand sanitizer as they prepare for the Eucharist. Wouldn't it be just like The Liar to give the appearance of a "weaponized" Eucharist and use it against the people?

Prudence is a virtue. So is fortitude.

Why is there so much noise at "the sign of peace"? There's already been enough noise with the previous shuffling around for holding hands during the "Our Father". Ugh.

I think eye contact, a simple nod and smile would suffice

Would holding up the hand with the "V" sign for peace (palm outward) satisfy the aging hippies? Peace, man. (just kidding)

Pater Ignotus said...

Pin/Gene - Nope, I never said you cannot get diseases from the common chalice - that is simply not true.

I have said that you CAN get diseases from the common chalice, but it is very unlikely.

I do not share Good Father McDonald's phobia, or your penchant to misrepresent intentionally what others have posted here.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

But it is clear that your position has evolved and become less extreme and scientifically dogmatic and more in line with the truth. You now write you can get a communical disease from the common chalice. I look forward to the day you do not arrogantly qualify it as a phobia of those who worry about even one child of God being exposed to a flu virus that kills thousands every year in the USA!

Anonymous said...

I like the pic...Herpes Simplex II virus in action..all year long.

The purificator does an efficient job of spreading it all over the rim of the chalice.

Sheila

Pater Ignotus said...

Good Father - No, my position has not evolved. Your understanding of my position may have evolved, but my position has not. I have, many times, stated that one can get sick from use of the common cup.

One can also get sick from touching doorknobs, standing in a crowded elevator, shopping at Belks, handling money, holding a newly baptized baby, drinking from a glass in your rectory kitchen, etc etc etc.

I have maintained, from the get-go that, there are many ways in which germs can be transmitted, including the common cup. I have never said, as Pin/Gene maintains in his newest lie, that, "...you cannot get diseases from the common chalice."

The issue is not the possibility of getting sick from the common cup, but the probability.

Sheila - Can you offer a single peer-reviewed study that supports your idea that Herpes simplex is spread through the use of the common cup? Not that is CAN be spread, but that it has been spread.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

PI, shocking and scandalous that you sow seeds of doubt about even one child of God dying from a communicable disease from a liturgical principle that dogmatist insist the laity must have, the common chalice. It is an unnecessary liturgical option, whereas doorknobs have nothing to do with the liturgy! Stop the lies and obfuscation and bifarafication!

JBS said...

The common chalice at a parochial Sunday Mass just seems like an unnecessary risk, especially since there is no liturgical need to even offer the chalice to the congregation. And since lay communion ministers are only tolerated when there's a shortage of clergy, it makes no sense to employ EMHC for distribution of the unnecessary chalice.

Pater Ignotus said...

As to the use of hand sanitizers, you would do well to read "Missing Microbes: How the Overuse of Antibiotics is Fueling Our Modern Plagues" by Martin Blaser.

Now, it has a LOT of biological terms in it, but if you keep a good dictionary at hand, I am sure you'll be able to understand him...

Jdj said...

Dr. Blaser is an expert in the field of BACTERIA and anti-bacterial use, NOT VIRUSES and anti-viral use.
Father, alcohol-based hand sanitizers are not as effective against many serious viruses including the Norovirus, nor are they effective against spore-forming microbes.

Jdj said...

And BTW, Father it is probably dangerous to take advice from anyone here regarding anti-microbial science. Someone with a BS in Biology, or even myself with a degree in medicine... Call the CDC or a reputable Infectious Disease specialist--I can give you names of a couple of extremely qualified I.D. Specialists at the medical center here.

Gene said...

Listen to old Ignotus…LOL! Hey, Iggy, regarding "intentionally misrepresenting your statements"…that has been your tactic on this blog for years. How's it feel…LOL! I see you are still explaining bacteriology and epidemiology to everyone…tell us about neurosurgery next…or maybe nuclear physics…LOL!

Joe Potillor said...

I'm going to say, it looks rather tacky from an aestetic point of view, the "Liturgical procession of Purell" (aka the army of EM's going to squirt the purell before distribution of Holy Communion.

If I had my way, we'd simply use intinction (either via the spoon or dipping the host, and we wouldn't be fighting over these problems.

Carol H. said...

PI-

As someone who is responsible for making sure the med equipment she uses is sterile, Sheila has no need to site sources. She is a primary source.

Pater Ignotus said...

Pin/Gene - Here's but ONE example of what I said that shows you are lying: On October 19th I stated, "There is no need to believe in miraculous protection from pathogens when receiving from the common cup. Sharing a common cup can be a vector for germs."

Got that? I said, "Sharing a common cup can be a vector for germs."

You assertion that I said that "... you cannot get diseases from the common chalice." is simply a lie.

Shall I cite other times when I have made similar statements?

And, no, despite her experience, Sheila is hardly a primary source for the information I requested.

Pater Ignotus said...

And here's info previously posted on this blog from Dec 24, 2010:

John Hus said...
Scientific studies HAVE been done.

"The Hobbs study, which Dr Danewicz cites, notes that a 1943 study by Burrows and Hemmens found that 'under the most favorable conditions for transference only about 0.001 percent of organisms were transmitted from the saliva of one person to the mouth of another.' It was the general conclusion of the Burrows and Hemmens study that 'the communion cup cannot be regarded as an important vector of disease.'"

" 'People who sip from the Communion cup don't get sick more often than anyone else," said Anne LaGrange Loving, a New Jersey microbiologist who has conducted one of the few studies on the subject. 'It isn't any riskier than standing in line at the movies.'" (Times, 1 January 2005)

" 'No episode of disease attributable to the common cup has ever been reported,' Dr. Gould writes. 'Thus for the average communicant it would seem that the risk of drinking from the common cup is probably less than the risk of air-borne infection in using a common building.'" (Dr. David Gould 1987)

If you want to argue that the common cup is deadly, show us the data from a reputable, peer-reviewed medical/scientific journal.

Jdj said...

1943? 1987?
Even by 2005, microbe vectors were not as well studied/known as today in 2014. No one here should be giving I.D. advice/research assessments... Please, this is a non-sensical thread.

JusadBellum said...

I love arguments between two sides who dispute possibility vs. probability.

Pater agrees that it's possible...but thinks the likelihood is vanishingly small so not to worry about it.

Our Host agrees that it's possible but disagrees about the probability in feeling it's much more likely to occur than not.

Unless you took a survey of your people over a year it would be pretty hard to nail down either way as you'd have to isolate when someone was sick and when others came down with the same cold or virus...

Absent this direct data, the best we have is conjecture and speculation and actuarial tables we keep in our heads depending on our mood and general optimism/pessimism.

It's sort of like the gun debate. The 2nd amendment supporters and the gun control people both agree that it's possible for some deranged or evil person to attempt to interrupt the Mass with a mass casualty assault.

But they disagree as to probability. The 2nd amendment people think it's a higher threat than the gun control folk (who see the chief threat coming from law abiding but non-governmental armed citizens).

Again, the argument boils down to one's own private balance and scale of probabilities.

Pater Ignotus said...

Jdj - Can you point us in the direction of more recent studies?



Gene said...

Ignotus, your self-righteous outrage is really rather humorous. My point was, of course, that you are always giving yourself out as an expert on such matters and making categorical statements that are simply stupid coming from someone with your level of education. No matter how many quotes you can muster, you still come across as an arrogant buffoon.

JusadBellum said...

Fr. McDonald, wouldn't "intinction" of the blessed host in the precious blood solve the transmission problem (also solving the 'communion in hands' issue too!)?

Pater Ignotus said...

Pin/Gene - I am not outraged. I am simply pointing out the plain truth. You lied when you said that I had stated that, "...you cannot get diseases from the common chalice."

Don't you realize how easy it is to catch you in and reveal these lies?

And I'd rather appear to be an arrogant buffoon (although I am not) than a bald-faced liar.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

Yes intinction would be perfect! PI resorts to polemics whether biological or liturgical and both forms of dogmatic fundamentalism, where previous lives if only one is completely ignored with little pastoral care for this precious life.

John Nolan said...

All this brouhaha concerning lay reception of Communion makes one wonder whether the centuries-old tradition of infrequent Communion might not have been such a bad thing after all.

It is arguably better than the present situation wherein everyone troops up, row by row, with no fast, no shrift (in most cases) and precious little reverence, to take something that is more often than not handed out (literally) by a lay person, and to regard reception from the Chalice as a right.

St Pius X encouraged frequent Communion but did not facilitate it by relaxing the nil-by-mouth fast from midnight. It was Pius XII who did this, not long before I received my first Holy Communion in 1958. And I guarantee that we still approached the Sacrament with more of a sense of awe than do most people nowadays.

Traditional 'Prayer Book' Anglicans received their Eucharist once a month at most, and took it seriously; one had to be confirmed first. Now the Church of England typically has two HC services every Sunday and publicly announces that all are welcome to participate.

Current Anglican liturgical practices are greatly influenced by the post-V2 RC Church. Casual reception of the Eucharist is something that they might have been well advised to leave with us.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

200,000 hospitalized every year from flu complications in USA. How many got it from the common chalice? Of course no way to know on this side of life, but if even one person, that person's life and health are worth abandoning unhealthy liturgical risks. I am pro life in this!

Gene said...

I wasn't lying, Ignotus, merely accenting your stupidity and arrogance.

Gene said...

BTW, Kavanaugh, you are by far the most accomplished liar on this blog. As my Dad used to say, "you'd rather climb a tree and tell a lie than stand on the ground and tell the truth." LOL!

Pater Ignotus said...

Jus - Actually . . . It doesn't boil down to "one's own private balance and scale of probabilities."

Probabilities aren't a private matter. Were that the case, Good Father McDonald would have to live in a hardened bunker and drive an armored personnel carrier to avoid being smashed on the head by a massive chunk of blue ice falling from the heavens, if that's what his "private balance and scale of probabilities" led him to do.

But, then we'd have to find a replacement for him for the duration of his "time away for rest and reflection."

No, we don't operate that way. One person's near-hysteria shouldn't be allowed to determine reality or parish policy.

Anonymous said...

Here's the answer, y'all. A person can commit a MORTAL SIN....adultery, for instance without ever touching or even being near another person (or him or her self, if you know what I mean). A person can be condemned to eternal hellfire for what he or she does IN HIS OR HER MIND.

A person might also, then, receive the body and blood of Christ IN HIS OR HER MIND without ever touching or being near any actual bread or wine....or germs or viruses.

(Non)problem solved...anything else bothering you?

You may continue with your dumbass discussions.

Anonymous said...

Let's all wear hazmat suits to church too. Jesus is not gonna look after us. We have to do it all ourselves.

rcg said...

I don't know that infrequent communion would help control health issues, but I have been of the same mind as John Nolan Concerning infrequent communion for a while. It seems much more serious and thoughtful.

Anonymous said...

Actually, there is really no need to go to church...or even to have churches. We can do it all in our heart...our mind...like adultery...

just saying said...

How quickly the insults start to seep back into this blog; and usually coming from the same source. Fr McD how do you decide to let this start up again?.
We went from discussing the concerns in sharing the common cup to being subjected to a devolving tone of attack and disrespect. It is pitiful really.

Paul said...

We do know that Christ is in the sanctuary, don't we? Amidst the sewage of human existence, I'm blessed to even be near Him. I'll happily receive whatever crumb falls to the floor -- if He falls.

Pater Ignotus said...

Pin/Gene - You accented your own dishonesty.

You said, "Ignotus has assured us that you cannot get diseases from the common chalice."

But what I said just a few days earlier was, "There is no need to believe in miraculous protection from pathogens when receiving from the common cup. Sharing a common cup can be a vector for germs."

So, who is being dishonest here?

It's your consistent M.O. Take what I say, twist it, inflate it, or, as in this case, completely lie about it, all in an effort to discredit me.

But it's you who is shown to be have little or no credibility.


JusadBellum said...

My point in agreeing with Pater was that he did admit it's possible to get sick from a common cup....but possible does not mean "highly probable".

Fr. M and others who blew past his qualified statement asserted he said it's impossible" (when he clearly allowed that it is possible, just unlikely).

Then we get accusations of lying and insults flying back and forth in a very unedifying manner for adults. As an outside observer it's obvious you all have some unresolved personal issues you're working through in public on a blog. I really think you should all have breakfast somewhere and re-humanize each other as fellow sinners seeking to love Our Lord rather than as totem of the hated 'other side'.

I love a debate as much as the next guy and enjoy the back and forth but I've no emotional stake in this fight. I just wish people were more careful in their reading of others' posts.

Granted that Pater agrees "in theory" that pathogens may be transferred, what is the likelihood of this happening?

Conjecture isn't going to solve this argument boys. Either you post studies from the CDC on transmission of bacteria and viruses from hand to cup or lips to cup... or you will run in circles calling each other names.

Pater Ignotus said...

Jus - Posting scientific study results has no effect on the Chicken Little crowd.

The sky is falling, no matter what evidence to the contrary is presented.

So, you put it out there in the hope that a reasonable person will read the scientific facts and not be swayed by the germ-o-phobes.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

PI perhaps you should be in very close contact with all Ebola victims without protection, especially prior to them actually showing signs of the illness. The CDC tells us that we can't get it from them prior to them having symptoms. So drink from the common chalice with them and share some mucus!

JusadBellum said...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Transmission_(medicine)

Yes, it's Wikipedia, but it's the only place I could find all the various diseases listed by category of vector.

So it appears that only some viruses (herpes) are the type that could possibly be shared via a common cup.

It's "possible". But how likely?

What's far more likely is airborne infection of flu by sneezes, coughs, etc.

If a pandemic breaks out then sure, wearing N-95 masks at Mass (or better yet, not going if you're sick) could be called for. But short of a local pandemic I think we're getting worked up over a relatively improbable vector for contagion.

I think intinction is a viable and liturgically appropriate solution - it eliminates the threat of viral or bacterial infection via the common cup.

But the airborne viruses will still be threats. If you're worried about the flu, then I've bad news for you - short of wearing a N-100 mask or respirator whenever in public, you'll probably be exposed to it.

So, avoid sugars (lowers your immune system), beef up, (literally and figuratively), get plenty of sleep, hydration and frequently wash your hands.

Anonymous said...

Haven't y'all had enough of this discussion? Let's talk about something less controversial...something on which we may agree...I'll start....I think the Shroud of Turin is a fake,

Talk amongst yourselves.

Gene said...

I am all for Ignotus being sent to minister to Ebola victims. LOL! Maybe he can come back and tell us how wonderful he is and how Africa is just as great a country as America…no difference at all.

Henry said...

Perhaps we need not worry so much about the probable physical danger of the common cup, rather than the certain spiritual danger of the ordinary use of extraordinary ministers to administer the common cup.

Anonymous said...

Here's more for you all to ignore...Communion wine always contains alcohol. Hosts always contain gluten. Quite a few Catholics get left out on Communion.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

I don't think anyone is intentionally ignoring it. When I was a child, the fast before Mass was three hours. One had a choice to break the fast or not and if the fast was broken one did not go to Holy Communion, but we were to make a spiritual communion at the time of Holy Communion.

I had a Canadian aunt who would tell me when I was in the seminary that she made her Holy Communion for me, which in her mind meant the graces of her Holy Communion were transferred to me.

I don't know how kosher that is, but I was moved because i knew how much receiving Holy Communion meant to her.

Many people apart from glutton intolerant or whatever, cannot receive Holy Communion because of mortal sin that plagues them. They make spiritual Holy Communions.

However, we do have low-gluten hosts available.

Anonymous said...

Particularly with intinction....

Anonymous said...

I mentioned yesterday the idea of receiving Communion in your mind and your heart (similar to the way you can commit mortal sins).

It would seem that you agree...."Spiritual Communion"...no germs or viruses...no arguments about kneeling or standing or in the hand or on the tongue. Call the Pope. We've solved a few of the problems.

Anonymous said...

"CDC quacks are nothing but political flunkies who will say anything to support the administration."

-Gene

Gene, what you just said is the most insanely, idiotic thing anyone has ever heard of. I award you no points and may God have mercy on your soul.

JusadBellum said...

Just so we're clear though: a spiritual communion is not the sacrament.

It's a disposition of soul being open to Jesus and the Holy Spirit. As a pious practice it's a good thing. But it is not the same thing as Eucharist, which is the substantial reception of the body and blood, "soul and divinity" of Jesus Christ.

There's a reason we stand on 'transubstantiation' and not consubstantiation or 'symbolizes' Jesus. We don't believe spirit and flesh are the same. They are related...but distinct realities.

it was a big deal for the invisible God to incarnate, to be made flesh.

Anonymous said...

Jusad 3:56...I learned all of your deep theological stuff for my First Communion prep too.

I'm messing with you my friend...about this entire, endless, inane germ/virus thing.

Gene said...

Anonymous, did you hear what the CDC physician said…"you can give ebola on a bus, but you cannot get it on a bus." The entire CDC approach has been one of denial, obfuscation, and "spin."

George said...

The Blessed Virgin conceived Jesus within her heart before she conceived Him in actuality, by way of the the overshadowing of the Holy Spirit. So we can and should receive Him within our heart before we receive Him corporally by making Spiritual Communions. It is more than a spiritual disposition, although as St. Thomas Aquinas and St. Alphonsus Liguori taught, the effects and benefits(which can be similar to Sacramental Communion) are contingent on our disposition.Like water which revivifies a parched garden, so is a good spiritual communion which when made revivifies the soul and the spiritual life within and brings us more efficacy from our Sacramental Communions.

JusadBellum said...

this calls for close attention...

God's grace (a free gift) is always available to anyone who asks and thus an open heart does go a long way to welcoming the Holy Spirit in.

However a sacrament is the direct physical presence of God per se, not in potential but in act.

Again, one's disposition is helpful - being open vs. closed (and sacrilegious) is good. But being open alone does nothing if the Lord is not coming through that door as he does in the Eucharist or Baptism or Confirmation....

The hinge is found in analogy or "like" vs. identity. A spiritual communion is "like" a sacrament in that we are open to God's indwelling but it does not ipso fact make God's indwelling occur (as a sacrament does).

Ergo, it's not equivalent.

Now, if you struggle with deepseated sinful addictions or structure of sin (like an adulterous second marriage) then making spiritual communions will most certainly begin to dispose you to the grace needed to make a clean break with sin...so it's better than nothing.

But we cannot argue that "since spiritual communion is the same as sacramental communion, to offer one is to offer the other, therefore let's welcome adulterers to communion to be consistent" (*as some German theologians who are not quite as smart as they think they are have argued).

It's a VERY slight difference and many miss it, but it's there and it's being used to cleverly get people to agree for full 'inclusion' to Eucharist on the premise that they're 'in communion' spiritually already (despite living in a state of objective mortal sin...)