08/08/2005, 00.00
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New directives on Eucharist for the sick in the diocese of Incheon

by Theresa Kim Hwa-young

Incheon (AsiaNews) – Mgr Boniface Choi Ki-san, Bishop of Incheon, issued Directives on the Eucharistic Adoration for the priests of his Diocese, warning them against inappropriate practices regarding the administration of the Holy Communion to the sick.

"Although Canon Law provides that in a case of necessity, an extraordinary minister of the Holy Communion can administer the Most Blessed Sacrament to the sick, we cannot regard this as a case of necessity when pastors in some parishes [normally] allow religious to do this in their place," the Bishop writes in his August 1 note.

"Even though it takes more time, pastors and parochial vicars at the parish level are supposed to personally administer the Holy Communion to the sick," Bishop Choi explained.

As to the Eucharistic Adoration, he reminded everyone that Can. 943 of the Code of Canon Law stipulates that the "minister of exposition of the blessed Sacrament and of the Eucharistic blessing is a priest or deacon".

He added there may be the exposition of the Most Blessed Sacrament and Eucharistic benediction either with the pyx or with the monstrance, but imposition of hands by taking the Blessed Sacrament out of the monstrance is prohibited.

As regards to the moving of the Blessed Sacrament, Bishop Choi said that "[e]ven the lay person who received the right to distribute the Most Blessed Sacrament as an extraordinary minister must not move the Most Blessed Sacrament from the tabernacle. The opening and closing of the tabernacle should belong to only a priest or deacon."

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