I first saw the YouTube film from which these photographs are taken over a year ago. I’m surprised it hasn’t gained wider currency. It appears to show the future Pope Francis, then Cardinal Bergoglio, distributing Holy Communion to a crowd at a Mass at San Cayetano, Buenos Aires. On the film, he hands the hosts (i.e., the consecrated wafers that Catholics believe are the body of Christ) to people in the middle of the crowd who stick out their hands. He doesn’t check what happens to them; indeed, the hosts are apparently passing hand to hand.
For traditional Catholics, this is a shocking way of distributing communion that breaks every rule in the book. I suspect any English priest caught doing it would be hauled in front of his bishop. Think about it: the host could end up anywhere, unconsumed and desecrated. But the film – which must surely be genuine – may throw light on the Pope’s opinions on who is entitled to receive the sacrament. Anyone, judging by this.
Here is a link to the YouTube clip, from a programme called Bs As al Día. You can see for yourselves if you fast-forward to eight minutes in.
Here’s my attempt to follow the progress of a particular communion wafer (marked in red).
What we don’t know, of course, is whether any of the communicants were divorced and remarried…