More controversy on sharing the communion cup...
The issue of sharing the communion cup has erupted in Texas after a 49-year-old teacher died from meningococcemia on New Year's Day. Two days earlier, she drank from a cup shared by others during Communion at St. Vincent de Paul Catholic Church in Arlington.
The Dallas Morning Star says "the issue surfaces whenever infectious diseases garner attention". It reports on reactions at the grass roots parish level but reports "public health officials said there was little chance that others were exposed to the disease". The article is quite wide ranging looking at the traditions in different Christian churches and even endeavours to explain some of the theology of the Eucharist.
During the 13th century, the Catholic theologian Thomas Aquinas used the word "transubstantiation" to describe how bread and wine can change in substance into the "real presence of Christ" while the color, taste, and shape of bread remain. That remains the church's dominant definition.
Catholics reinstated wine as a Communion option after the Second Vatican Council (1962-1965). The church teaches that receiving bread and wine is a fuller expression of Communion, but that Jesus isn't any less present in bread alone.
Deacon Bronson Havard, spokesman for the Dallas Diocese, said that many Catholics who refrain from Communion chalice do so out of tradition rather than fear of disease.
Dallas Morning Star