Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Swine Flu

From the Diocese of Austin:
April 28, 2009

Priests and Deacons of the Diocese of Austin

Dear Brothers in Christ:

I have been in conversation with members of the State of Texas Health Department. There seems to be more unknown, than actually known about the swine flu virus. We do not want to create a “panic” but the reality remains that the virus has infected people in Texas and many unanswered questions remain. Therefore, it is wise to be cautious. For the sake of caution and respect for life, I am requesting that we do not offer communion under both species until further notice. Please do not offer the Blood of Christ at Eucharist until more is known about the virus. It seems that having the public drink from the chalice may be an unnecessary risk. This is also an opportunity to make sure all ministers of communion, ordinary and extraordinary, should have clean hands. Thanks for your cooperation. Let us pray for those whose lives have been taken in death and for those fighting the virus.

Fraternally in Christ,
Most Reverend Gregory M. Aymond
Bishop of Austin
Good decision and not unexpected.
Remember that we receive the full presence of Christ with either species.
"Christ is present whole and entire in each of the species and whole and entire in each of their parts, in such a way that the breaking of the bread does not divide Christ" - CCC 1377

Also, "species" speaks of the Body of Christ and the Bread of Christ - not different kinds of animals. One of our employees mis-read and thought someone was making a joke about not giving Communion to humans & pigs. That would give a whole new way to understand Jesus saying "Don't throw your pearls before swine".


Julie D. said...

Our parish rarely distributes communion in both species and when they do on high holy days I usually refrain. There's just something about sharing one cup with so many other people that I just don't like the idea of from a germ-ish point of view. I go with the host alone always.

nwestreader said...

OK, let's look at the last 2000 or so years. How many times has this *EVER* been suspected to be a problem? I'm an Orthodox layman. We receive the Body & Blood by spoon. Everybody, babies on up every Sunday, 2000 years. You'd think it might have happened ONCE, right? When?
Julie, I think you know better. I just know you do. If this is what God said it is, then it isn't the vector of death. Ever. Ask your priest. I'm sorry your bishop says this. Mine never would.