This missive arrived last week for all priests and liturgists in our diocese:
As many of you are aware from reports in the media, including the Catholic Key, the indult which had been granted to the dioceses in the U.S. permitting the purification of sacred vessels by Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion has expired.
Bishop Finn wishes to provide some guidance to parishes so that the change to purification performed only by priest, deacon, or instituted acolyte might be made in an informed and orderly manner. To that end, an instruction is being prepared. With the dissemination of that instruction, there will be a date for implementation of the new procedures.
Until the directive is received and the implementation date set, you may continue current practice.
In some parishes, it may be possible to implement the change prior to receiving an implementation date.
It will be an interesting implementation, given the numbers of guest clergy we have presiding at Mass these days. Our new associate does return from school just before Christmas, so the traffic of visiting clergy will lessen somewhat.
From my view, bringing Eucharistic vessels to a place out of view–a sacristy–for reverent cleansing would make more sense, ritually and pragmatically. If vessels were to be purified in church, then I could see a point of lifting the indult.
Again, decisions made by guys (Cardinal Arinze, Pope Benedict) who, being surrounded by a cloud of clergy at nearly every Mass, rarely conceive of the impracticalities of some of the things they dictate. Another example of a misplaced decision that should be made on the parish level, under the supervision of the bishop.