1. We reported in August last year about the intention of the Polish Verbite Bishop of the Diocese of Oruro, Bolivia to forbid communion in the hand in his Diocese. Bishop Krzysztof Białasik has now issued a decree (dated January 6, 2016) formalizing the ban. (Source).
H/t to our friends in Adelante la Fe / Rorate Caeli en Espanol.
2. On Candlemas (February 2), 2016, the Basilica of Our Lady of the Rosary of Fátima was reopened after having been closed for renovations for more than a year. Among the renovations was the installation of a brand-new altar designed by sculptor Bruno Marques, which was consecrated on that day by the Bishop of Fatima, Msgr. António Marto. The following photos are from the official, Portuguese-language Facebook page of the Sanctuary of Fatima:
Ironically, Bishop Marto dedicated part of his Candlemas homily to lamenting the loss of the "transcendent dimension" in Europe. We would have loved to tell him that a good example of that loss was standing right in front of him.
At least, the tabernacle seems to have been refurbished and the carpeting removed.
Unfortunately, the installation of ultra "modern" altars in traditionally-designed sanctuaries, implanting ugliness and disharmony in the very heart of beautiful and venerable churches, remains a trend in parts of Europe. We have a post from November 2013 recording more than 40 such cases from 2010 to 2013: Basket case: The craze for strange new altars and "youth churches". We are well aware of many more cases from 2014 and 2015.