A troubling memorandum

25 May 2018

May 24th, 1918.

THE memorandum with regard to the Reservation of the Blessed Sacrament agreed to at a meeting of the diocesan bishops nearly a year ago has now been published. It seems to adopt the principle that Reservation is forbidden by the Prayer Book, but that the Ordinary has power to sanction it if he chooses. The position taken up by those priests who reserve the Blessed Sacrament in their churches is, in most cases, that Reservation is allowed by the custom and practice of the Universal Church, and that neither a diocesan bishop nor a provincial synod has power to forbid it. It is on this ground that the battle will probably be fought, for battle there will be if it is attempted to enforce these directions in a narrow and unsympathetic spirit. The bishops claim the right to dispense from the Prayer Book rule, and this right rests on Catholic practice. It seems strange to claim Catholic rights in one direction and to forbid them in another. We hope that the publication of the memorandum does not mean that a new attack on Reservation is to be begun. This is not the time even to incur the suspicion of discouraging prayer.

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