The U.S. Catholic Church needs to return to receiving the Eucharist on the tongue.
Otherwise, receiving on the hand allows things like this to happen:
Webster Cook, a University of Central Florida student, took the consecrated Blessed Sacrament out of an Orlando Mass. His motivation is unclear; other sources say he was protesting the use of UCF student fees for religious purposes, while the above article notes Cook's claim to want to show the host to a friend. I'm not convinced of the latter explanation; there are many other ways to enlighten people who are interested in the Eucharist without resorting to sacrilege. Also, I'm not convinced he got death threats; all we have is his word without corroboration. If, of course, he DID get death threats, that ought to be condemned.
But just as wrong is for us Catholics to just sit there and take Cook's action without comment, which implies consent. Cook decides to blunt any criticism by saying that pacifism = Catholicism = consent:
"I was kind of confused because I always thought that Jesus was a pacifist, and they're using violence in order to get back the body of a pacifist," [Cook] told WOFL-TV.Um, remember that part about driving the moneychangers and merchants out of the Temple? Not to mention the ultimate act of violence in the Crucifixion? Let's stop this "pacifist" canard once and for all.
And now, some publicity-seeking professor in Minnesota is openly soliciting -- and sadly, receiving -- consecrated hosts with the intent of sacrilege. Those who are getting the hosts for him are guilty of the greater sin. The receiving of the Eucharist in the hand makes this all too easy. It's not impossible for there to be abuse with receiving on the tongue, but I'm sure it would be much more rare. (I hope too that we can go back to receiving the Eucharist kneeling, as is now done at Papal Masses.)
I am so not surprised that incidents like this are going on, especially when not even 1/3 of practicing Catholics even believe that they consume the Real Presence of Jesus once the bread and wine are transsubstantiated into the Body and Blood of Christ. Why should they? Catechesis in the post-Vatican II Catholic Church is almost non-existent, and priests rarely speak about it from the pulpit.
As an example, check out this bit of "We Are Church" drivel from U.S. Catholic, dismissing the Real Presence:
We need to be as passionately convinced of the presence of Christ in those “around the altar” as we are certain of Christ’s presence in the eucharistic elements. Without making this connection, we risk overly objectifying Christ’s presence and overlooking his presence elsewhere—in our neighbors and especially in those who are poor and suffering.This is exactly the kind of small-minded thinking that has made the Eucharist irrelevant since Vatican II. No wonder why Catholics and non-Catholics alike think the Eucharist is about "sharing a meal" at best, or "getting a cookie" at worst. What is there to keep non-Catholics from receiving the Eucharist, especially when there's just about no difference between what they and Catholics believe the Eucharist is?
O Lord, we're even more unworthy to receive You than I thought.