The Devil is attacking the Eucharist as part of his attack on the Church, the head of the Vatican department dealing with liturgy has said.

In the preface to a book on the subject, Cardinal Robert Sarah laments the lack of reverence for the Blessed Sacrament.

“The most insidious, diabolical attack consists in trying to extinguish faith in the Eucharist, sowing errors and favouring an unsuitable manner of receiving it,” the cardinal writes.

“Truly the war between Michael and his Angels on one side, and Lucifer on the other, continues in the heart of the faithful: Satan’s target is the Sacrifice of the Mass and the Real Presence of Jesus in the consecrated Host.

The cardinal also criticised some common liturgical practices. “Why do we insist on communicating standing in the hand?” he asked. “Why this attitude of lack of submission to the signs of God? [Receiving kneeling and on the tongue] is much more suited to the sacrament itself. I hope there can be a rediscovery and promotion of the beauty and pastoral value of this manner.

“In my opinion and judgment, this is an important question on which the Church today must reflect. This is a further act of adoration and love that each of us can offer to Jesus Christ.”

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