Liturgical federation proposes temporary ban on Communion on the tongue

Days after the U.S. bishops' conference forwarded a set of suggestions for how Catholic prelates might restart the public celebration of the Mass during the coronavirus pandemic, the national organization of diocesan liturgical officials has published its own separate set of recommendations. The guidelines from the Federation of Diocesan Liturgical Commissions differ from those offered by the bishops on one major point: whether Catholics should be allowed to receive Communion on the tongue. Wh

US bishops' guidelines for reopening Mass: groups of 10, sanitizer during Communion

The U.S. bishops' conference has forwarded a set of recommendations to Catholic prelates across the country, proposing various paths forward for how they might restart the public celebration of the Mass in their dioceses despite the continued fear of the spread of the coronavirus. In an April 30 memorandum obtained by NCR, Archbishop Leonard Blair, head of the bishops' Committee on Divine Worship, suggests the prelates consider a series of guidelines prepared by the Thomistic Institute at the Dominican House of Studies in Washington.

Confession by Zoom? Pandemic revives conversation about reconciling from afar

The social distancing measures imposed on most of the world's population during the coronavirus pandemic have not only prevented Catholics from going in person to celebrate the Mass, but have also largely put a stop to the practice of confession. This new reality, especially serious for those suffering from the virus or nearing the end of their lives, has revived conversation around a basic question: Why can't we do this by phone?

Several members of new Vatican commission appear opposed to women deacons

Most of the members of Pope Francis' new commission to study the ordaining of women as deacons in the Catholic Church appear not to have focused on the matter in their scholarly work. And the few with publications in that research area seem to have expressed blunt skepticism that the women who served as deacons in the early centuries of the church had roles analogous to those of male deacons, then or today.

Coronavirus indulgences evoke Francis' 'ridiculously-pardoning' church

Announcement of the Vatican's offering of new plenary indulgences to those around the world affected by the coronavirus may have left some Catholics asking, "We still do that?" The answer is yes. And theologians say the move, made in a March 20 decree from the apostolic penitentiary, shows a seemingly unprecedented level of pastoral care for those who suffer from the virus — especially those who may die in isolation without being able to receive final rites.

Ambulances, lockdown and new patterns of life in coronavirus Rome

An ambulance appeared on our street this morning. Three healthcare workers got out, all wearing white, head-to-toe hazardous material outfits. They entered the building across from ours, shouting for the few people on the street to keep distance from them as they walked to the door. A few minutes later, the three reappeared on the street. This time a middle-aged woman accompanied them, wearing a mask and a coat over pajamas. The ambulance backed up, the siren turned on, and off they went.
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