Question: On Good Friday at my parish, Communion was offered at the evening service under both forms. I am new to the parish, and this surprised me. When I asked the pastor, he said it was a long tradition at the parish to save the Precious Blood from the night before and receive it on Good Friday. He told me that of all days, Good Friday, when Christ shed his blood, was the most fitting day to receive the Precious Blood. Is this practice allowed?
— Online reader inquiry
Answer: No, it is completely irregular to have done this.
Not only is the practice itself wrong, but the sacramental theology to justify it is erroneous. The doctrine of the Church teaches that under either species alone, the whole and complete Christ and the true sacrament is received. To suggest, therefore, as it seems the pastor does, that the Precious Blood is somehow less perfectly received when only the Sacred Host is consumed is a flawed notion.
Further, since no Mass is celebrated on Good Friday, the practice you describe requires that the Precious Blood be reserved overnight. But the norms currently in force forbid the reservation of the Precious Blood after the celebration of Mass, stating: “The consecrated wine, on the contrary, should be consumed immediately after Communion and may not licitly be reserved” (Inaestimabile donum, No. 14; General Instruction of the Roman Missal Nos. 163, 182, 247, 249; Redemptionis Sacramentum, No. 107).
Canon 925 does state that, in the case of necessity, it is permitted to give Communion under the species of wine alone to a sick person.
In this case, the Precious Blood may be reserved briefly in a properly sealed vessel in the tabernacle after Mass. However, it should not be considered an ordinary occurrence.
Question: It has come to my attention that my 22-year-old son, who does not live with us, views a lot of Internet pornography. What can I say to him to dissuade him?
—Online reader inquiry
Answer: Biblically, pornography is sinful and unfit for a Christian. Jesus, for example, forbids a man to look with lust on a woman (Mt 5:28-30), which, of course, is the precise purpose of pornography. Other passages forbid sexual immorality as well. As these passages make clear, such sins are mortal and, unrepented of, exclude one from the Kingdom of Heaven.
Psychologically, pornography is unhealthy because it is unreal. It is rooted in fantasy and appeals to those who cannot, or will not, take the risk to live in the real world and make the commitment to live and interact with a real spouse.
In real life sex is not had with a body, it is had with a real person, who may not measure up to the fantasies and exotic wishes of pornography addicts.
Real people have limits, preferences and moods. Pornography instills unrealistic notions and often destroys interest in normal marital life.
Addiction to Internet pornography is growing dramatically, and many are locked into terrible and descending cycles. It is a grave evil and takes terrible personal and family tolls.
Many need significant help to break free. Often, a 12-step program under the strict care of a sponsor can help some.
I pray your son will consider the grave spiritual, moral and psychological ruin that can come from indulging this vice.
Msgr. Charles Pope is the pastor of Holy Comforter-St. Cyprian in Washington, D.C., and writes for the Archdiocese of Washington, D.C., blog at blog.adw.org. Send questions to Our Sunday Visitor, 200 Noll Plaza, Huntington, IN 46750 or to firstname.lastname@example.org. Letters must be signed, but anonymity may be requested.