I see Boston is coming around where other US dioceses trod years ago. Ah, the East! Bastion of tradition.
My opinion is that the Vatican Document Redemptionis Sacramentum is mostly fussy conspiracy-theory (the lay people are usurping! the lay people are usurping!) clericalism. From the Pilot:
One of the most visible modifications made to the document since 1991 reflects a change in the title from extraordinary ministers of the Eucharist, commonly called ‘eucharistic ministers’, to extraordinary ministers of holy Communion. The change signals a clarification in the function of the ministers, said (archdiocesan worship director) Father (Brian) Mahoney, “to make clear that they are really just there for the distribution of the Eucharist,” he said.
Actually, they’re there for more than just distribution. Lay people belong at the Mass regardless of whether they’re doing stuff or not. The cardinal was appropriately grateful for lay Communion Ministers. Attitude of gratitude. Good for him.
Over the past several years, I’ve heard the lingo switched from “Eucharistic Ministers” to “Extraordinary Ministers.” One problem with that. The Church recognizes “extraordinary” ministers for a lot of things. Your pastor, if he’s not a bishop, is an extraordinary minister if he confirms Catholic adults. The non-Catholic nurse that baptized a baby? Ditto.
I hear Boston’s/RC’s term shortened to “Extraordinary Minister” or “XM” (we don’t want to use the actual English letter “E,” do we?) and in the minds of some, we’ve created a new category like there wasn’t enough clutter in it already.
In my current diocese, a sensible approach. Communion Ministers. Nobody needs to be told it’s an extraordinary situation. Lay people aren’t dumb: we know. We don’t need ordinary … ministers telling us.