Sunday, November 12, 2017


Anyone who has read my posts on the common chalice knows that I think the Church should ban it, not on theological grounds, but because it poses a health hazard, especially for those with auto immune issues.

In fact, I believe the Church could be held legally liable if a priest or parishioner could prove that one contracted a disease such as hepatitis b and c or an intestinal bacterial infection, not to mention a deadly flu virus.

Last year I personally believe I contracted a serious intestinal bacteria infection from the ablutions I drank after Holy Communion. I know a GI doctor who is also a deacon who believes he contracted an intestinal bacterial infection from the same procedure, which almost took his life.

I am not opposed to the laity receiving under both kinds, but for the laity, unlike celebrating priests, it is not required. Intinction is the safe way if it is allowed to the laity.

But perhaps individual chalices is another safe way. What do you think?

MIKE ADAMS/SPECIAL The Rev. George Muir of Saint Paul’s Church leads the congregation in communion at the Protestant Reformation service held Sunday, Oct. 1, at Saint Paul’s Church. The doctrine of the Lord’s Supper caused controversy between two reformers: Martin Luther in Germany and Huldrych Zwingli in Switzerland.


Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

From the NIH

The hazard of infection from the shared communion cup.


"Interest and concern that the shared communion cup may act as a vehicle for indirectly transmitting infectious disease was reawakened when the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) was detected in the saliva, particularly the herpes group of viruses, suggests that indirect transmission of infection is rare and in most instances a much greater opportunity exists for direct transmission by other means. There is substantial evidence that neither infection with hepatitis B virus nor HIV can be transmitted directly via saliva so that indirect transmission via inanimate objects is even less likely. 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."


"Were there any significant risk to the eucharistic practices of the Anglican church for so many centuries it would seem likely that the evidence would reflect an increased risk for Anglican priests, who have been performing the ablutions for centuries. In fact the opposite is true. Nor do priests appear to have been regularly stricken with any communicable disease that could be traced to the chalice in all that time. Additionally, no episode of disease attributable to the common cup has ever been reported. 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."

Etc, etc, etc.

TJM said...

what is in the covered dishes, fried chicken and mashed potatoes?

Victor said...

The practice of the laity receiving the sacred wine was done away with centuries ago for sound prudential and practical reasons, and was a good progressive evolution of Church practice and theology. Why now, with the help of the Vatican 2 liturgical deformers, do we need to go back in time, to antiquarianism? Is it just to placate the Protestants and Orthodox? If so, it is up to them to evolve theologically, not Catholics.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

Fr. MJK you have swallowed this old news hook, line and sinker and it is poisoning you and you don't even know it. It is a consistent meme of yours that you would do well to abandon. I suspect you think that seriously ill parishioners with communicable diseases always refrain from the chalice too--naive as you are about this subject.

It is in fact factual that one can contract a bacteria especially if the chalice is not made of 18 carrot gold or silver, say, for instance, pewter, glass or pottery, which are making a come back. And wiping the rim with the same cloth simply spreads the infected slime.

But more importantly, those who comsume the dregs are receiving more saliva than Precious Blood and this saliva over-powers any medicinal aspects of the wine.

The reason why most Protestant denominations don't use the common chalice, but rather the small glass/plastic cups is precisely out of a love and concern for their communicants. In no way do they want to expose them to harmful bacteria or viruses even if minuscule as your faulty science points out.

the Catholic Church notorious about the "Buyer beware" slogan should be a the forefront of protecting the public health of her parishioners and not complicit with the ideology of liturgists about the common chalice. It is a scandal in the making as was the sex abuse scandal and the negligence of Church officials in this regard.

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

"It is in fact factual that one can contract a bacteria..."

Yes, it is, and I have acknowledged this here repeatedly. Contacting bacteria, however, is not the same as becoming ill due to bacterial contact.

If you want to express the same love that Protestants express, you will ban from your church any who sneeze or cough. These actions transmit bacteria in massive numbers.

You will forbid couple from holding hands as they enter the church as doing so is a vector for serious disease.

You will absolutely and loudly forbid any baby in diapers from coming into your church, or your house, or your parish hall, or your car, or even your presence because... well, you know why.

The only scandal in the making is that you want your phobias to dictate church policy.

Anonymous said...

Why don’t priests just remind people that if they are in mortal sin they can’t receive communion. If people were honest it would cut out about 90% of people anyway. That is a pretty good guess considering in my parish 99.999% of people who attend Mass go to communion. Yet at confession time I generally see 1 or 2 other people.

TJM said...

Fr. McDonald, what else would you expect from Kavanaugh who probably holds as his dearest tenet that man made global warming is a fact and a bigger threat to us than radical Islam!

Anonymous said...

I can't remember the last time I went to Mass and the priest was the only ne to receive under both species. Something that as intended to be optional and infrequent has been pushed to become the only way to distribute communion. Personally, I would find individual chalices a distraction. Intinction sounds like an ideal solution. If I recall correctly only the priest can dip the host into the chalice, and it must be received on the tongue. For the transmission of illnesses, many parishes in northern states do away with the handshakes in mass to prevent the spread of influenza. Those parishes have people simply nod and speaking few words during the flu season. Of course in todays environment, one always has to be vigilant that an individual or group might intentionally try to spread illness out of spite.

John Nolan said...

What a silly argument. Assuming that I go up for Communion, which depends on my interior disposition, it is only in the OF that I would be offered the Chalice and I would decline it as my Communion is complete under one species.

A few years ago I found myself acting as MC at a Novus Ordo (Latin) Mass at a chant weekend. The priest offered me the Chalice and then asked me to administer it to the congregation. I did so, since it was a legitimate request, but I was uncomfortable with it, not least because I don't think lay people should handle the sacred vessels.

I would never take Communion in the hand since the way it is practised amounts to self-communication and is entirely without precedent. No doubt Fr K will come up with his usual mantra that because it has never been done before doesn't mean it can't be done now.

But hey! I actually have a choice in the matter!

rcg said...

I thought of both FrAJM and John Nolan this morning at Mass. I am out West and attended a NO Mass. Due to my work schedule I could not attend the only EF I could find, about half an hour away, each way. Communion was in both species and the wine was a very high octane white chardonay; I almost gasped but managed not to swill half the Cup.

Very nice people, by the way, but the poor priest seems to be running on fumes and has allowed the laity to plaster over much of the liturgy with popular tunes and lots and lots of servers and EMHC. One of the servers was seated next to the Tabernacal facing the congregation had a nervous leg all during Father’s homily. Fortunately Father was pacing in front of the congregation on the floor of the nave so many may not have noticed. I also think this is the first saxaphone I have heard at Mass. I will say it was a very good homily telling us to seek in our own prayer traditions for things people often go to other philosophies e.g. Eastern Mystics to find.

Gene said...

Kavanaugh is a liberal progressive. The more active the laity is in the rituals of the Mass, the more clerical functions the laity assumes, the more women in the sanctuary, the more tainted the Mass is by lay involvement, the better he and others like him like it. It is all about egalitarian theology, humanism/existentialism. Hey, Kavanaugh, have you called the archeological teams in Palestine today to check and see if they have found Jesus of Nazareth's remains yet?

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

If, because I rely on scientific studies to provide scientific evidence for guidance you want to call me a "liberal progressive," then I am guilty as charged.

Of course, everyone who posts here who takes a prescription medicine, flies on an airplane, drinks water from a municipal system, or rides an elevator to the 20th floor (or higher) of a building is also a liberal progressive since they, too, rely on scientific studies.

I don't agree that the participation by laity "taints" the mass.

Gene said...

Kavanaugh, Your liberalness has nothing to do with scientific method. You are, once again, dodging thge issue. Yawn...

TJM said...


Here is an example of how liberals (particularly Jesuit trained ones) view scientific "facts:

John Nolan said...


'A very high octane white Chardonnay'. LOL! I am reminded of the wine buff who received from the Chalice and remarked 'Jesus - slightly corked'.

Or the African who received it from a Methodist missionary (where it is passed round in glasses on a tray). 'Fill it up again, boss! Me love Jesus all de time!'

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

No, Gene, I'm not dodging the issue. Good Fr. McDonald's germophobia is unfounded and should not be used as the basis for making policy decisions in our communion practices. That is neither a liberal nor a conservative position.

No, I'm not dodging the issue. The participation of the laity does not "taint" the mass. Altar servers, Eucharistic Ministers, Lectors, Ushers, Choir members, are not harming the liturgy by participating. That is neither a liberal nor a conservative position.

Oh, and you forgot to mention, I'm a globalist, too.

Anonymous said...

Church supply companies still sell those "intinction sets." That's the way to go!

Gene said...

Kavanaugh, of course, you are a globalist. But, you don't have enough shame to keep quiet about it. LOL!

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

There is no shame, LOL, in being a globalist.

Well, there MAY be, but it is only in your mind.