A Catholic priest in Italy has ignited a contentious debate by involving an altar girl in the Holy Communion service. Father Eros Accorigi, based in the Bergamo province, sought assistance from one of the altar girls due to the absence of "an extraordinary minister of communion" and chose "the purest heart among so many sinners" to aid him.
However, a video of the ceremony swiftly went viral on social media, drawing criticism from numerous viewers who conveyed their disapproval through comments and emails to the Curia of Bergamo, with many labeling his decision a "liturgical horror."
In an interview with the local news outlet La Nuova Bussola Quotidiana, Father Eros expressed his perplexity over the controversy his decision has stirred.
“It was as if I had killed someone,” Father Eros said.
“I don’t think the Eucharist has been vilified, I really don’t … I didn’t do anything wrong.”
As per Catholic Church law, the administration of Holy Communion is traditionally the responsibility of bishops, priests, or deacons. Nevertheless, in specific circumstances, a priest may call upon an "extraordinary minister of Holy Communion," who can be a seminarian or a layperson, to provide assistance.
The liturgical office of the Bergamo curia has cautioned Father Eros against repeating the act.