After 40 years of "Postconciliar Bishops" (churchspeak for local CEO's) the Catholic Church in America is showing signs of a new pulse. One of the brightest (and most courageous) of this new breed of bishops is Phoenix Bishop Thomas Olmsted.
The smoke has hardly cleared from the announcement that altar girls would no longer serve at the Phoenix cathedral, and he has pronounced yet another move towards restoring sanity.
The diocese is restricting the reception of Communion under both kinds to special occasions, and restricting the role of Extraordinary ministers, noting:
"In normal circumstances, only priests and deacons are to distribute Holy Communion. When both forms of Communion are used frequently, 'extraordinary' ministers of Holy Communion are disproportionately multiplied."
Of course, we can be certain that the usual liberal suspects will be crying out in reaction:
"He is forcing us to return to the past!"
"This is unfair!"
Just as no one has a "right" to be a priest, or an altar boy (that's "altar server" for the indoctrinated), no lay person has a "right" to distribute Holy Communion. (In fact, we don't even have the right to touch It with our hands. The only reason we can is because of an indult we are currently granted, which can be revoked at any time).
Naturally, those making the most noise will be the ladies who have etched out a Sunday career of parading to the altar at Communion time. And, they will have a point--sort of. They could say that this discriminates against women, but only because the vast majority of Extraordinary Ministers are women.
The priesthood has been emasculated. Many parishes bring in "rent-a-priests" to say Mass every Sunday, then go on about the business of running their enterprise under the control of the parish lay administrator, who is, in most cases, a woman.
Besides, the laity does not need to receive under both kinds to receive the Body and Blood of Christ. It has always been the teaching of the Church that the Body and Blood of Christ are both present in the Host.
So cry, and yell and scream liberal Catholics. The game is ending, bit by bit and you cannot stop the return of tradition. You can delay it, but it's coming nonetheless. And as for Bishop Olmsted? Look at his face. Does he look like he's worried?