No Need For Altar Rails, Says Westminster’s Diocese
“In the Dioceses of England and Wales Holy Communion is to be received standing, though individual members of the faithful may choose to receive Communion while kneeling. However, when they communicate standing, it is recommended that the faithful bow in reverence before receiving the sacrament.”
This is the answer that the Congregation for Divine Worship gave to the Bishop’s Conference of England and Wales regarding the reception of Holy Communion.
I fail to see how the answer could have been any different. It is entirely obvious that the CDW would not have said “communion can only be received standing”, thus going against 2000 years of reverent Catholic praxis. It is also evident that the CDW would not have answered “communion can only be received kneeling”, thus fully discrediting what has been the (unfortunate) praxis of many decades. The answer could, therefore, have fallen only in the sense that it did: both ways are allowed.
You will not be surprised to know that the Archdiocese of Westminster has now taken this answer as an excuse to decide that there is no ground for the re-introduction of altar rails in the entire Diocese.
One must love the logic: after it has been repeated what everyone already knew, they profit of this to make it as difficult as possible to receive kneeling.
I truly hope that this disgraceful attitude doesn’t get many followers among the bishops in England & Wales, but it is only natural that many others who were just dying to put as many obstacle as they can to a reverent, old-style reception will now be only too pleased to hide behind Westminster’s decision and do the same.
Westminster Diocese is giving, once again, a beautiful example of how not to do it.
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