Monday, January 7, 2019

GOD BLESS THE NATIONAL CATHOLIC REORTER FOR EXPOSING THE GRAVE THREAT OF THE COMMON CHALICE TO HUMAN HEALTH!


FCC Logo Illus_Chalice OnlyThat beloved newspaper, the National Catholic Reporter just published several comments about their not only orthodox but highly scientific article on the deadly consequences of drinking from the common chalice.

Most comments are obviously written by smart people like me who agree that the common chalice poses a grave if not deadly threat to human health.

Others post inane comments that separate Faith from reason!

You can read it there by pressing the title:

Your thoughts on illness and the Communion cup


38 comments:

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

"That beloved newspaper, the National Catholic Reporter just published several comments about their not only orthodox but highly scientific article on the deadly consequences of drinking from the common chalice."

"Most comments are obviously written by smart people like me who agree that the common chalice poses a grave if not deadly threat to human health."

Um, no on both counts.

One letter: "As a practicing pharmacist (32 years), I am disappointed the anecdotal events offered do not demonstrate cause and effect. Our societies have numerous examples of well-intended "helpful health practices." However their scientific basis is dubious.
The viral and/or bacterial episodes presented could equally be the result of numerous fomites, the edges of the pews, door handles, etc. Also the incubation period for various communicable infections (as noted) would also make it challenging to subscribe the communal chalice as the proximal cause of an upper respiratory illness. In addition any pathogen that may be contracted orally is neutralized in the highly acidic gastric contents.
Myself and other eucharistic ministers from our parish always wipe the chalice between those receiving — as such cross contamination is very remote. It is for these reasons it is not necessary to suspend exchanging the sign of peace be that a handshake or respectful embrace.

Perhaps we should have faith in our creator who is pleased when we share in his body and blood.

JOHN FONTAINE
Forest, Ontario, Canada"

And the real kicker: "Authors Jesuit Fr. Thomas S. Acker and Brian Cain are wrong to say that drinking from the communion cup is a hazard to your health. They offer only anecdotal evidence. What real data we have says drinking from the cup is OK or, at least, no worse than shakings hands or opening the church front door.

See these excerpts from three studies:

The hazard of infection from the shared communion cup: "No episode of disease attributable to the shared communion cup has ever been reported. Currently available data do not provide any support for suggesting that the practice of sharing a common communion cup should be abandoned because it might spread infection."

Risk of Infectious Disease Transmission from a Common Communion Cup: "In summary, the risk for infectious disease transmission by a common communion cup is very low, and appropriate safeguards-that is, wiping the interior and exterior rim between communicants, use of care to rotate the cloth during use, and use of a clean cloth for each service-would further diminish this risk."

Debunking The Communion Cup Myth: "In other words, you're more likely to contract germs on the door handle leading into church or shaking someone's hand after the service than on the lip of a Communion cup."

ROBERT V. SCAVULLO
San Francisco, California"

The second contains ACTUAL links to ACTUAL studies that, in ACTUAL FACT, continue debunking the germophobia you transmit hereabouts.

Gene said...

Cue Kavanaugh...4--3--2--1--

TJM said...

Gene,

Kavanaugh is a Democrat, so he is anti-science.

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

I'm the one here - any others? - with a degree in science. Graduate study for a year before seminary, too. And I'm "anti-science...?

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

No just unsound and anti-reasonable; btw have you discontinued the common chalice as you did this time last year as a reassuring and quite reasonable desire not to spread the flu into and epedemic for your parish all of Chatham County, Bryan County not to mention the Low Country?

TJM said...

Kavanaugh,

Well you are a member of a political party that thinks of abortion as "healthcare!"

Dan said...

As a microbiologist, my opinion is that the hand-holding that goes on during the Our Father, and the shaking of hands, poses a much greater risk.

Of course, skip the chalice if the person in front of you is hacking, coughing, and sneezing.

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

There's nothing unreasonable about following sound science. What is unreasonable is allowing personal phobias to rule the day.

rcg said...

Fr Kavanaugh just gave scientific evidence to abolish the sign of peace for the NO.

I’m in.

Dan said...

May I point out too that wine was used as a kind of antiseptic. It does have alcohol in it.

Anonymous said...

I have never received from the chalice, but the thought of it I find disgusting. Who would go to a restaurant, bar, social gathering and everyone is drinking from the same glass or cup? Ugh!

Anonymous said...

TJM adds in a discussion of the health concerns over use of the common cup: "Well you are a member of a political party that thinks of abortion as "healthcare!"

Can you say "non-sequitur"?

Not Chicken Little said...

"However, a recent study of 681 persons found that people who receive Communion as often as daily are not at higher risk of infection compared with persons who do not receive communion or persons who do not attend Christian church services at all.

In summary, the risk for infectious disease transmission by a common communion cup is very low, and appropriate safeguards that is, wiping the interior and exterior rim between communicants, use of care to rotate the cloth during use, and use of a clean cloth for each service-would further diminish this risk. In addition, churches may wish to consider advising their congregations that sharing the communion cup is discouraged if a person has an active respiratory infection (ie, cold or flu) or moist or open sores on their lips (eg, herpes)."

http://www.ntnl.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/Common-Cup-CDC.pdf

That or...

The Sky Is Falling!!! The Sky Is Falling!!!

John Nolan said...

Holding someone's hand during the Our Father and embracing at the 'sign of peace'? A lot more dangerous in this day and age than drinking from a common cup - you might become famous and be accused twenty years later of 'inappropriate behaviour'.

In Germany there is a drinking custom in which a large boot-shaped glass is passed from hand to hand. It carries the danger of inebriation, but of little else. The idea of a 'loving cup' is an old and symbolic custom once often seen at weddings.

This whole thing strikes me as being a storm in a (common or uncommon) teacup. There is no compelling reason for any lay communicant to receive from the chalice, just as there is no compelling reason for administering the chalice to the laity as a matter of course.

And no, providing employment for a vast army of mostly female EMHC is not a compelling reason.

Fr Martin Fox said...

I point out that the N"C"R article in question misrepresnts the proper and licit means by which Holy Communion is to be distributed by intinction, in support of self-intinction.

Second, I think the least problematic way to distribute Holy Communion is on the tongue, when the communicant is still and looking up: i.e., kneeling would work. Hands are generally germ nurseries, and communion in the hand means touching hands. I can generally avoid getting slobbered on when giving Holy Communion on the tongue if people are not still moving. The communion line was a terrible idea. Who advocated it in the first place, and why?

TJM said...

Anonymous Kavanaugh,

A non sequitur? Not really, just taking a shot at someone who claims they are a scientist or trained in science.

rcg said...

When the last translation was released I had an EMHC state he would leave the Church if he was denied both species. I asked him how could the separated? “A pound of flesh but not one drop of blood.” He also led the discussion of the new translation. I was excited to have Latin in any amount and was disappointed when he mocked it. He also had the most extensive Marty Haugen collection I have ever seen. It’s a shame Slim Whitman never sang hymns.

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

"Not really, just taking a shot at someone who claims they are a scientist or trained in science."

Not a "claim," but a fact.

My bachelor's degree is in biology and I spent a year in grad school studying fresh water biology with an emphasis on fresh water insects before entering seminary.

If you'd like to hear my science based arguments against abortion - that a fetus is a living human being since it exhibits the four standard signs of life: growth, respiration, response to stimuli, and potential for reproduction - I'd be happy to share.

TJM said...

rcg,

You should have said "be my guest." We don't need fake catholics in positions of power

Fr Martin Fox said...

TJM, RCG:

No, you should not have invited him to leave the church!

We get frustrated, but our job is not to push people away, or, to be more specific to this case, induce or encourage anyone to do the wrong thing.

If someone is a bad Catholic, we are called to help them become better.

Gene said...

A B.S. in Biology (or Chemistry or Physics) hardly makes one a scientist.

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

Gene, that phrase you are intentionally omitting, "trained in science," really matters, doesn't it?

Joe said...

Follow the custom of the Eastern churches: Intinction
Kills 2 birds.

No common Chalice and no Communion in the hand.

Gene said...

Kavanaugh, you are not "trained in science." You had a bit of field experience with a BS. A scientist is someone whose life work is science, who follows scientific method and practice in a scientific pursuit as a profession. You are what might be called a dilettante.

rcg said...

Fr Fox, I didn’t ask him to leave and I think of him often and hope he is still practising. I think he is because his wife was strong in the Faith and I think they support each other.

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

Gene - I am most certainly trained in science. A bachelors degree and a year of grad school is not "a bit of field experience." I continue to read histories of science on topics from epidemiology to hematology (that's "haematology" for John Noland) to engineering to microbiology.

And I never claimed to be a scientist. I have not devoted my life to the profession of a scientist, but that does not diminish my background.

You have, from time to time, touted your academic credentials here. You've named your schools, your teachers, the books you've read, all to bolster your credentials. No one called you a scriptural dilettante or suggested you had "a bit of field experience" in theology.

Yes, I am trained in science. As such I know the difference between anecdote and data and how anecdotal evidence can, in too many circumstances,trump real scientific results. (Check you the Scientific American article: https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/how-anecdotal-evidence-can-undermine-scientific-results/


TJM said...

Kavanaugh,

"If you'd like to hear my science based arguments against abortion - that a fetus is a living human being since it exhibits the four standard signs of life: growth, respiration, response to stimuli, and potential for reproduction - I'd be happy to share.

January 7, 2019 at 6:05 PM"

If you believe that, why would you imperil your immortal soul for voting for the Abortion Party. Nancy Pelosi is railing about a wall being "immoral" yet fails to respond to the morality of the following:

Putting aside the question of whether abortion should be legal or not, does Pelosi think sex-selective abortions — e.g. aborting an unborn baby solely because she’s a girl — are immoral?

Does Pelosi think it’s immoral to coerce Catholic nuns to subsidize birth control?

Does Pelosi think it’s immoral for Democratic senators to use membership in a Catholic charitable organization, the Knights of Columbus, as a negative test for judicial office?

Gene said...

Ok, Kavanaugh, fair enough. I double majored in English and Biology, have studied reptiles and amphibians since I was a kid, engaged in taxonomical research as a college student, and have spent many weeks in the Everglades and Okefenokee collecting specimens and taking photos. I still collect the occasional herp or lizard for the grandkids to identify, then turn it loose where I found it. So, we both have scientific interests. I still don't think I would call myself a scientist, although it is a scientific avocation. I won't quibble with you about it...you obviously are well-versed in things scientific. I apologize for the attitude.

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

"If you believe that, why would you imperil your immortal soul for voting for the Abortion Party."

I'm not imperiling my soul. If you think that choosing one candidate over another "imperils" one's soul, you are incorrect.

If you want to know what Pelosi thinks, it's better to ask her.

Gene said...

I do find it difficult, as a Christian, to understand anyone voting for a party that has abortion and gay marriage as a part of its platform. I would rather not vote at all than have that as my only viable choice. For the Christian, moral issues should trump political issues and, where the two overlap, the judgement should be used upon the most acceptable moral argument. There can be some very difficult choices here and people need the guidance of clergy who have struggled with these issues and prayerfully considered them. Science and technology have outrun our value system and the moral systems we had in place to deal with various issues. As Jacques Ellul (a French sociologist whom everyone should read) said, "Technology dictates its own morality. Its axiom is, 'If it is possible, it is necessary."

rcg said...

I will concur with Gene generally but will quibble on the point that technology has outstripped our vales but that it has revealed them. I don’t wear Google Glasses so women won’t know where I am looking. So we are required to express our ethics with our artifacts be they electronic social networks or the creche on the lawn of the Church. Basically it reveals the thoughts of the creators and users, and influences the formation of thoughts in others. As for elections I would not want a devout Muslim nanny for my granddaughter so I would resist the election of politicians from a party that expressed core vales different from and even hostile toward my own.

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

Not voting is, in my judgment, not a viable choice.

There are few political issues that are not also moral issues. Budgets, military spending, ecological matters, trade agreements - all of these impact humans directly and are, therefore, matters of moral judgment.

I have no quibble with definitions of moral issues by the Church. When, however, someone says, "This is how you must reason, or this is how you must think, or this is how you must decide in order to determine how you will act (vote)," then, I think, we run into a serious overreach by the one(s) making such demands.

All of us have to make the best prudential judgments we can in a particular set of circumstances. Sometimes we have no "best" choice. But a person has to be able to exercise that judgment freely.

TJM said...

Kavanaugh,

If you vote for a pro-abortion candidate you are imperiling your soul because you are cooperating with intrinsic evil. I am glad you are not my pastor, because I still insist on having a Catholic priest.

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

"If you vote for a pro-abortion candidate you are imperiling your soul because you are cooperating with intrinsic evil."

No, this is incorrect. I'm not going to spend my time explaining to you the Church's teaching on cooperation. You can go and learn it if you want.

Suffice it to say, your conclusions are, as usual, overly simplistic and wrong.

rcg said...

Real politik aside, what are we trading for the lives of the sick, elderly, and unborn that demands cooperation?

TJM said...

Kavanaugh,

Don't flatter yourself. I have a firmer grounding in the Faith than most fake Catholic priests I encounter who are apostates and timeservers. I will send you a millstone to tie around your neck. I assume you will know what Our Lord said on the subject.

Joe Potillor said...

I have two points for consideration:

a. Does voting for someone who supports abortion necessarily imply that abortion will be advanced? I suppose that depends on the position of the politician. If the person is taking a position that is writing laws (aka Congress), perhaps that answer might be probable. If the person will just be signing checks, like a controller, not so much. Yet at the same token, we believe in the power of prayer, that we can indeed pray for peoples' conversion from their ways. That is to say, there's not a pre-destination that someone who is pro-abortion in words will be so in action. And yes, there are those who are pro-life in words, but when push comes to shove, they end up doing the opposite of their words. So in that sense, i can see where Fr. MJK is coming from.

The above said I'd rather not take chances if there's a way to avoid abortion being advanced. I tend to take people at their words, so if they say they want to advance abortion, they most certainly will try to do so. Voting isn't exactly pure black and white, but there are clear boundaries....It is damaging to one's soul, if and only if they follow through with their support on "insert intrinsic evil here"

b. To be a scientist (in my case, a physicist), does not mean that one per se has to be in active research...Research isn't the only way to be engaged in one's field of study...I teach physics and have to keep up with the latest research, even though I'm not directly doing said research. So yes, there are Biologists, physicists, and mathematicians amongst us in the comments.

I'm glad we have intinction, and use of the spoon in my parish. God is God, and we are not, I think there's more of a risk of disease in other places than the Holy Eucharist in the chalice.

HAbeauty said...

To be a researcher (for my situation, a physicist), does not imply that one fundamentally must be in dynamic research...Research isn't the best way to be occupied with one's field of study...I show material science and need to stay aware of the most recent research, despite the fact that I'm not specifically doing said explore. So indeed, there are Biologists, physicists, and mathematicians among us in the remarks.