Pope to visit Fatima next year?Government officials in Portugal report that Pope Benedict XVI plans to visit the shrine of Our Lady of Fatima next year. The report indicates that the Pope will make the trip in May, to preside at celebrations for the feast of Our Lady of Fatima, May 13. The Vatican-- which ordinarily does not confirm a papal trip until a few weeks before it takes place-- has not commented on the reports.
September 24, 2009
Pope John Paul II traveled to Fatima on three occasions during his pontificate, making his final trip in 2000 to preside at the beatification of Blessed Jacinta and Franscisco Marto, two of the three children to whom the Blessed Virgin appeared there. (The third Fatima seer, Sister Lucia Santos, died in 2005; a cause for her beatification was opened in 2008, after Pope Benedict waived the rule requiring a 5-year waiting period.) Pope John Paul had a special devotion to Our Lady of Fatima, crediting her with saving his life when he was shot in St. Peter's Square on her feast day: May 13, 1981.
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Folks… people from all over the USA are sending me copies of notices from dioceses about the provisions for Mass during the Swine Flu outbreak. Their questions tend to run along the same lines, so I will answer collectively.
All the copies of provisions have so far indicated a recommendation (at least) that Holy Communion is to be given only in the hand.
At this point, I do not think that it is unreasonable to remind people that they have the right in the USA (and most other places I believe) to receive Holy Communion in the hand if they so desire.
Keep in mind what the Holy See’s document Redemptionis Sacramentum 92 clearly states, namely:
Although each of the faithful always has the right to receive Holy Communion on the tongue, at his choice, if any communicant should wish to receive the Sacrament in the hand, in areas where the Bishops’ Conference with the recognitio of the Apostolic See has given permission, the sacred host is to be administered to him or her. However, special care should be taken to ensure that the host is consumed by the communicant in the presence of the minister, so that no one goes away carrying the Eucharistic species in his hand. If there is a risk of profanation, then Holy Communion should not be given in the hand to the faithful.You may also receive in the hand if you so choose.
In some places/parishes someone who dislikes Communion on the tongue may try to take advantage of the situation and attempt to say that people are forbidden to receive on the tongue.
No one may be prohibited from receiving on the tongue. A lower authority (e.g., bishop, pastor) cannot amend the legislation issued by the Holy See. They can recommend, but they cannot forbid.
At the same time, people should carefully consider their circumstances and consider what is best to do in charity. Try to determine if the recommendation is reasonable and don’t freak out.