Aide: Pope Prefers Communion on Tongue

Monsignor Marini Comments on Papal Preference

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VATICAN CITY, JUNE 26, 2008 (Zenit.org).- Benedict XVI would prefer to distribute communion on the tongue and to people who are kneeling, according to the master of papal liturgical ceremonies.



L'Osservatore Romano noted in an interview with Monsignor Guido Marini, published Wednesday, that the Pope distributed Communion to individuals who knelt and received the host on their tongues during his apostolic trip last week to Brindisi in Southern Italy.

When asked if this could become common practice, the monsignor replied, "I believe so."

"It is necessary not to forget," he added, "that the distribution of Communion on the hand continues to remain, from the juridical standpoint, an exception (indult) to the universal law, conceded by the Holy See to those bishops' conferences who have requested it."

"The form used by Benedict XVI tends to underline the force of the valid norm for the entire Church," clarified Monsignor Marini.

The master of papal liturgical ceremonies said receiving Communion on the tongue, "without taking anything away from the other [form], better highlights the truth of the real presence in the Eucharist, helps the devotion of the faithful, and introduces more easily the sense of mystery. Aspects which, in our times, pastorally speaking, it is urgent to highlight and recover."

Pre and post

To those who accuse Benedict XVI of wanting to return the Church to the way it was before the Second Vatican Council, the master of papal liturgical ceremonies explained that "terms such as 'preconciliar' and 'postconciliar' seem to me to belong to a manner of speaking that is outdated, and if they are used with the objective of indicating a discontinuity in the path of the Church, I consider them to be wrong and typical of very reductive ideological viewpoints."

"There are 'old things' and 'new things' that belong to the treasure of the Church of all times, and as such they should be considered," added Monsignor Marini.

"Not all that is new is true, and neither is all that is old," he added. "The truth is in both the old and the new, and it is to the truth that we should tend without prejudice.

"The Church lives according to this law of continuity, in virtue of which it acknowledges a development rooted in Tradition."

The monsignor continued: "What is important is that everything be pointed toward a liturgical celebration that is truly the celebration of the sacred mystery, of the Lord crucified and resurrected, which makes itself present in the Church -- re-presenting the mystery of salvation -- and calling us, according to the logic of an authentic and active participation, to share to the end in [Christ's] life, which is a life of donation, of love for the Father and for his brothers and sisters, a life of holiness."