EMHCs were first permitted in the U.S. in 1971. In January 1973, Pope Paul VI, in “Immensae Caritatis,” extended this permission to the universal Church. He wrote, “Present-day conditions demand that greater access to Holy Communion shall be made possible, so that the faithful, by sharing more fully in the fruits of the sacrifice of the Mass, might dedicate themselves more readily and effectively to God and to the good of the Church.”

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