An issue much revisited here on this blog, I know, but I discovered a set of quotes about it conveniently gathered in one place by Roman Catholic Man. So here they are below.It does seem odd that such an ancient and much lauded tradition has been so casually superseded with no obvious reason that pertains to the good of souls.
Statements from Popes, Saints and Church Councils:
St. Sixtus 1 (circa 115): “The Sacred Vessels are not to be handled by others than those consecrated to the Lord.”
St. Basil the Great, Doctor of the Church (330-379): “The right to receive Holy Communion in the hand is permitted only in times of persecution.” St. Basil the Great considered Communion in the hand so irregular that he did not hesitate to consider it a grave fault.
The Council of Saragossa (380): Excommunicated anyone who dared continue receiving Holy Communion by hand. This was confirmed by the Synod of Toledo.
The Synod of Rouen (650): Condemned Communion in the hand to halt widespread abuses that occurred from this practice, and as a safeguard against sacrilege.
6th Ecumenical Council, at Constantinople (680-681): Forbade the faithful to take the Sacred Host in their hand,
threatening transgressors with excommunication.
The Council of Trent (1545-1565): “The fact that only the priest gives Holy Communion with his consecrated hands is an Apostolic Tradition.”
Pope Paul VI (1963-1978): “This method [on the tongue] must be retained.” (Memoriale Domini)
Pope John Paul II: “To touch the sacred species and to distribute them with their own hands is a privilege of the ordained.” (Dominicae Cenae, 11)