Tuesday, November 21, 2017


Everyone knows that the common chalice, especially toward the end of its cycle is a cauldron of bacteria and virus waiting to consume the one who communes.  On top of that, if the chalice isn't made of 14, 18 or 24 carrot gold, but made of pewter, glass, pottery or some other illicit material, the bacteria and viruses thrive and are spread around by the purificator that is suppose to sterilize the cups after a person with a disease has placed their mouth and siliva on it.

But what about communion on the hand and receiving on he tongue while standing? What germs and viruses could be spread to other communicants?

I have my own anecdotal evidence. When I give Holy Communion to those choosing to receive in the hand, very often my hand touches the hand receiving. We all know, as FrMJK has pointed out repeatedly that door mobs have more germs than the common chalice because the hand touches so many fecal smeared objects and other people's hands containing the same human excrement. And what about those who don't wash their hands after using the toilet and touch the toilet that thousands of others have touched?

And then, those who receive on the tongue while standing, I have to reach up to place the Host on the tongue and often, I get the person's siliva on it, but worse than that, the person who receives on the tongue gets the bacteria, germs and viruses that I have just touched when giving Holy Communion on the hand.

The only sanitary sanity to all of this infectious insanity is that the communicant kneel and receive on the tongue. Let me explain in by personal anecdotal evidence I just experienced again these past two Sundays at the Savannah Cathedral's EF Sunday Mass.

When people kneel before our Lord to receive Holy Communion on the tongue, I notice that it is much easier to place the Host on the tongue without touching the person's tongue in any manner whatsoever. I reach down and there is no flesh to flesh contact between the priest and communicant.

The problem of the spread of feces, bacteria, germs and viruses, such as herpes, hepatitis, flu and the like is solved. God is good.


Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

Risk of Infectious Disease Transmission from a Common Communion Cup

CDC October 1998


"For more than 2 decades, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has stated an official position to inquirers (eg, lay public, physicians, nurses, and other health care professionals) about the risk of infectious disease transmission from a common communion cup. Although no documented transmission of any infectious disease has ever been traced to the use of a common communion cup, a great deal of controversy surrounds this issue; the CDC still continues to receive inquiries about this topic."

Does Communion Cup Runneth Over With Germs?

LA Times January 1, 2005

"Church member J.H. Brittain worried about the spread of disease caused by hundreds of parishioners drinking from the same Communion cup.

The Englishman wrote to the editors of the Lancet, an international medical journal: "I venture to think that there is a strong prima facie case against the use of one cup, but the task of the hygienic innovator would be made much easier if he could cite actual example of contagion."

Brittain wrote the letter in 1903, and a century later, no evidence has surfaced proving what so many churchgoers intuitively fear: that the Communion chalice contains more than wine. They suspect that the cup, used by scores of fellow worshippers during a service, teems with germs that could cause colds, the flu or worse.

"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."

The hazard of infection from the shared communion cup

DOI: 10.1016/S0163-4453(88)96029-X · Source: PubMed

"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 of infected persons. Bacteriological experiments have shown that the occasional transmission of micro-organisms is unaffected by the alcoholic content of the wine, the constituent material of the cup or the practice of partially rotating it, but is appreciably reduced when a cloth is used to wipe the lip of the cup between communicants. Nevertheless, transmission does not necessarily imply inoculation or infection. Consideration of the epidemiology of micro-organisms that may be transmitted via 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."

Just the facts, Ma'am.

TJM said...

1, 2, 3, - the left-wing loons will soon appear to dispute you!

rcg said...

FrMJK, let's test you hypothesis: open a wine bar and serve your samples from only one cup without cleaning it.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

He did, right before you citing evidence that is extremely outdated and corrupt, like the dregs of a chalice made of pewter, wood or glass.

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

Outdated? No, bacteria tend to behave today as they did 10 or 20 years ago.

Corrupt? No, unless you can cite the specific data indicating corruption.

Loon? No, just those who know that solid science trumps anecdotes and phobias every single day.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

ARLINGTON (CBSDFW.COM) – Several Catholic churches are changing their ceremonies due to flu concerns. For example, they are opting not to distribute the chalice (to minimize the spread of germs) during communion.

Several church leaders are taking precautions a step further by recommending that instead of shaking hands, parishioners bow slightly to greet each other.

In 1993 Furlow and Dougherty swabbed silver and pottery chalices before and after eight services. They cultured potentially pathogenic organisms, such as Staphylococcus aureus, Haemophilus parainfluenzae, and Moraxella catarrhalis. They concluded that individual cups (challicles) should be used to eliminate infection risk.20

Finally, in 1998 the CDC concluded that it is probably unsafe to participate in services where a common cup is used, because any member of the congregation with active respiratory illness or open labial or mouth sores could spread contagion to others.

In conclusion, there is experimental evidence suggesting that sharing a communion cup contaminates the wine and cup.

And this final shocking ditty:

Michael Valpy and Kevin Cox
March 29, 2017
February 21, 2001

A woman diagnosed with deadly meningitis after attending a New Brunswick village funeral has reignited debate in the Anglican Church over whether the common communion cup is unhygienic and spreads disease.

About 80 people who drank from the same cup as the woman at a service in the tiny community of Bay du Vin have been told by public-health officials to visit their family doctors or community clinics. Many of them have been prescribed antibiotics.

The woman, from Quebec, was diagnosed with meningitis shortly after the funeral.

David Assaff, medical officer of health for New Brunswick's northern Miramichi region, said the chances of contracting meningitis from the shared cup are extremely possible.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

You read that correct! 80 people, let me repeat that, 80 people drank from the common chalice in that Anglican Church in Canada after a woman with deadly meningitis did! 80 people, 80 people.


TJM said...

NO, but Kavanaugh is out of his! With "liberals" ideology always trumps commonsense

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

80 people!!! Did one of them get sick???

You sit next to people with contagious disease every day.

You eat off plates and with cutlery in restaurants that you HOPE has been properly cleaned and sanitized.

In the drains of your house, I the crawlspace of your attic, in the pipes that bring in water and drain away refuse, organisms that could kill you ABOUND!

But, they don't.

You encounter potentially pathogenic organisms, such as Staphylococcus aureus, Haemophilus parainfluenzae, and Moraxella catarrhalis in your daily life and, amazingly, never get sick.

Phobias are not good bases for communion policy

Anonymous said...

As a parishioner I can bypass receiving from a common chalice. I guess the priest also has the authority to eliminate those Chalices and only distribute under one species. For receiving the host in the hand, that is really my only option. Most churches here have no communion rail. Standing and receiving on the tongue seems awkward due to the lack of practice. Once while visiting a church with rail I instinctively put out my hands, that is how much we have been conditioned to the standard practice that was never meant to be the routine.

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

"Common sense" is often nonsensical.

It is in the case of phobias, including germophobia.

Gene said...

The factors in infection control are dosage, time of exposure, and toxicity, or the concentration of the bacteria. Any one of these factors, if significantly present, will greatly increase your chances of getting sick. Since it is not required that we receive the cup, then why take the risk? And, why is Kavanaugh so enamored of everyone drinking from the bacteriological soup? His insistence on this goes beyond any normal Priestly interest. Could it be....nah...really...could it be....TA DA...egalitarianism and progressivism.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

Although you may never have an auto accident, how many out of fear, wear seat belts? Out of a fear of home incpvasion that might never affect you, have security systems? Out of a fear of electrocution, how many of tryout, although in all likelihood you won't get struck by lightening, you don't go outside during an electrical storm or use a landline or stand by an exposed window? And how many of you who want to avoid direct contact with a contagion would allow someone to sneeze on you or to drink after them knowing they were sick?

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

I don't wear my seatbelt out of fear, but out of obligation.

I am obliged to follow the law.

I am obliged to operate my car in a manner that provides the greatest safety to my passengers.

I am obliged to operate my car in a manner that provides the greatest safety to other drivers and their passengers on the road.

Wearing a seatbelt helps fulfill those obligations.

If and when the scientific evidence is presented that the common cup is a dangerous source of contagion, we'll talk. Until then . . .

TJM said...

Kavanaugh, there is evidence, you just won't hear it!! Just like the "handshake" of peace is a HUGE germ spreader. You're just contumacious

Anonymous said...

The reason I don’t drink from the common Chalice isn’t germophobia. It that I still think that part of the Sacrament is reserved for the priest.

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

TJM - Cite the evidence. Peer-reviewed scientific journals, please.

Personal anecdotes are NOT evidence.

Anonymous said...

Bee here:
(With a personal anecdote.... :-) )

I receive Holy Communion each week on the tongue, kneeling at the communion rail. One of the priests has not perfected the technique of placing the host on the tongue without touching the mouth or tongue, and I have noticed several times I have gotten a sore on the roof of my mouth after receiving from him, and him having touched my tongue as he gave me Communion.

I groan inside a little when I see he is the minister at the section where I will be kneeling, even though I have no way of knowing if the sore in my mouth in the past came from this source.

God bless.

Anonymous said...

"You eat off plates and with cutlery in restaurants that you HOPE has been properly cleaned and sanitized." Its not hope , laws dictate how restaurants clean plates, cutlery, and barware. They do require that as a final step a disinfecting solution is used for barware. The commercial dishwashers are also regulated to prevent the spread of germs, and the temperature of foods prepared and stored are also closely monitored. Commercial food preparation and storage is a major responsibility of public health officials. Some people here have mentioned the swabbing of common Chalices, its not uncommon for beginning public health students (often anti-Catholic) to take samples from holy water fonts for analysis. Their results often mention the high bacterial counts

Православный физик said...

In the Greek and Slavic churches, we use the golden spoon, doesn't seem to be much of a problem in terms of people getting sick or things like that....Intinction I think would solve a lot (but not all of the problems mentioned)

Anonymous said...

Yeah, it's. hope. You HOPE the restaurant kitchen is following the laws about cleaning/sanitizing plates, glasses, utensils, etc.

Talk with an honest restaurant owner/manager about the last time they were slammed on a Friday night and they were quickly running out of cutlery and dinner plates....

TJM said...


Thank God you're ok. I thought you broke your hand patting yourself on the back!

Gene said...

"Waiter, what's that fly doing in my soup?"

"Well, I do believe it is the back stroke, Sir."

Gene said...

Kavanaugh, RE: Personal anecdotes: The scientist was going to take a hike in the woods. Several people related to him their personal stories about being chased by a bear. He insisted upon proof. They told him they could not prove it because they had no record. The scientist scoffed at them, went hiking, and got eaten by a bear. Sometimes the event and the evidence arrive is called common sense, Kavanaugh. Get some.

Marc said...

Bee, it happens all the time that priests distributing communion in the old rite touch my tongue even though all of these priests have only ever offered the old rite and do so every single day. Even Bishop Tissier's fingers touched my tongue as I received communion from him!

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

Well, I think part of the problem is being conscious of germs especially on the part of the priest. Perhaps Marc, those priests who are careless are like Fr. MJK? They don't believe in germs.

But also the problem may be a lack of proper catechesis about how to receive on the tongue while kneeling. The communicant, first of all, should not have his forearms hanging over the railing ready to goug the priest in the you know where as the priest approaches the communicant!

Secondly, the communicant should tilt his head back and only slightly stick out his tongue so the priest can place the top of the host on the exposed tongue and then allow the host to gently fall onto the tongue as he lets it go before the priest touches the tongue. If the communicant doesn't tilt his head backwards but rather frontwards as in a bow, and sticks his tongue to far out--then disaster!

Marc said...

I don't think that the priests I have in mind are being careless. These sorts of things happen in life -- nothing is perfect.

I've had occasion to serve a lot of Masses recently, so I can say that each person has a slightly different manner of positioning his or her head and tongue when receiving communion. Perhaps that contributes to it as well. And we are talking about a group of parishioners who have, for the most part, only ever received communion in the old rite for their entire lives. Still, there's not absolute uniformity.

Even the rite itself takes into account that this sort of thing will happen -- hence the multiple layers of purification of the priests' fingers after distributing communion.

I am not concerned about the germs, frankly. I've received communion in the eastern rite where everyone receives from the same spoon, which involves everyone's mouth touching the spoon. And the priests in the east consume the dregs of the chalice every time. None has ever reported being sick as a result.

TJM said...

If Kavanaugh wants "peer review" about man made global warming, here it is, dictators agree the US should pick up the tab for this scam.

As inadvertently reported in the Washington Compost:

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

Good Father, I am not careless and I do believe in germs.

What I don't believe - and have no sound reason to believe - is that we are subjecting the faithful to dangerous exposure to life-threatening illness by offering the common cup for receiving the Precious Blood.

TJM - Don Surber isn't a peer-reviewed journal for science. Ball's in your court.

TJM said...

kavanaugh, your concept of "peer review" is a bunch of government paid leftist scientists sitting in a room agreeing with each other because they are being bribed by government to do so. Now with an adult in the White House (a non baby butcher and body part seller) that game is over. We now will have actual science not left-wing ideology dressed up as science. Guess what, two can play at that game. I belong to a group of non-fake Catholics who ALL agree, based on Catholic liturgical tradition, that the OF is a hot mess and should be suppressed. because it was put together by a left-wing loon committee dedicated to destroying the Roman Mass. Ball in your court!!!

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

"There you go again."

An "adult" doesn't brag about grabbing women by the p***y. An "adult" doesn't engage in Twitter name-calling battles with presidents of other countries. An "adult" doesn't mock people with physical disabilities, doesn't attack POW's, and doesn't brag about the size of his genitals.

If you think that is how an adult behaves, I can't help you.

Now, the world is waiting with bated breath for the reference you might supply regarding the evidence you say exists for the dangers of using the common cup.

Gene said...

All you libs skip right over Bill Boy Clinton, whose behavioir was much worse. Trump may have engaged in locker room talk, but Clinton used his position to abuse a young intern, violated her with a cigar, for Christ's sake, and dragged her reputation through the media and the mud. Meanwhile, a score of other women with credible stories came forward about Clinton, but you libs just glossed right over that. So, Kavvy-naught, which is worse, talking about grabbing a girl by the pudenda or actually doing it? You are such a goober...beyond laughable, even...and a Priest, at that. Heaven help us...

Anonymous said...

SEE IT: Donald Trump says if he wasn’t caught cheating on his ‘beautiful wife’ Ivana with girlfriend Marla Maples, life would’ve stayed 'a bowl of cherries’ in 1994

Trump, "The Art of the Comeback": "If I told the real stories of my experiences with women, often seemingly very happily married and important women, this book would be a guaranteed best-seller." and ""I have too much respect for women in general, but if I did [write about my love life], the world would take serious notice. Beautiful, famous, successful, married — I've had them all, secretly, the world's biggest names..."

“Do you think adultery is a sin?” Trump was asked in the February issue (New York Post 1990). “Very good question,” he responded. According to the report at the time, Trump paused and then said: " don’t think it’s a sin but I don’t think it should be done.”The reporters pressed: “Would you do it?” After which, Trump coyly responded “I’ll let you guess.”

You kind of "man" I guess....

James J. said...

"Trump, "The Art of the Comeback": "If I told the real stories of my experiences with women, often seemingly very happily married and important women, this book would be a guaranteed best-seller." and ""I have too much respect for women in general. "

Could Bill Clinton make the above statement? It seems he is guilty of not just groping and adultery but something more, since not all his "experiences" were, from what has been said about him, consensual.

It is interesting that those who mention or bring up Mr Trumps exaggerations, bragging, or lies take the above quote as gospel truth.

So on the one hand we have a person (Trump) who, if his experiences are true(and not just locker room talk), is deeply flawed and guilty of sinful acts. On the other hand we have a person(Clinton), who, if the actions revealed about him are true, is not just deeply flawed and guilty of sinful acts, but guilty of serious criminal offenses which inflicted serious physical and psychological harm on the lives others.

Gene said...

Trump's braggadocio is annoying, but I hardly believe it all. He blusters a lot, but I don't care. I like what he wants to do for America, and I like the fact that he fights back at all the wimps and libs who attack him. Oh, I did not vote for Trump for his doctrinal expertise or his moral excellence.

Anonymous said...

Braggadocio? Bluster?

Gene said...

So, you like the Washington Post?

Anonymous said...

That's a diversion.

The Washington Post reports facts. It is a fact that over two dozen women have made accusations, corroborated by 3 or 4 others, against Trump.

Gene said...

Yep, he likes the Washington Post...

Anonymous said...

Facts. I like facts. I don't care where they come from.