On Monday I received an email from Father Martin Wallace, O.P. It referred me to a bulletin of the National Liturgical Commission "Australian Liturgy".
In the edition No. 5 of November 1977, page 27, it has Directives of the Australian Episcopal Conference Concerning the Sacred Liturgy:
The first of these directly contradicted the instruction in the liturgical book: "De Sacra Communione et de Cultu Mysterii Eucharistici Extra Missam" (i.e. Holy Communion and the Worship of the Eucharist Outside Mass). Instead of a double genuflection (on both knees) for the consecrated host in the monstrance, there was to be a normal single genuflection (on one knee):
Does the Conference of Bishops have the authority to reverse this? Not on their own, according to n. 12:
The Australian edition of Holy Communion and the Worship of the Eucharist Outside of Mass (ISBN 0 85574 401 4) was published in 1975, with the imprimatur of Cardinal Freeman, dated 19 November 1975. It makes no reference to the double genuflection or Divine Praises. To the best of my knowledge no later edition of this book has been published for Australia.
But in July 1976 Australian Liturgy, No. 2 was published. Father Denis Hart (then aged 35, now Archbishop of Melbourne) was Secretary-Treasurer of the Commission. It included an article: "Holy Communion and the Worship of the Eucharist Outside Mass -- a Summary -- Father Denis Hart". It has on page 19:
Despite considerable research, I have no evidence of the double genuflection ever having been approved by the Apostolic See.
If it had been approved then there should have been an reference to the letter of approval.
If it was not approved this would be consistent with the liturgical book. It would explain why the Australian edition made no reference to the double genuflection when it was published in November 1975. In this case, I think it was wrong of Father Denis Hart to write about, and so introduce this adaptation, without the consent of the Apostolic See.
In "Liturgical Question Box" Msgr. Peter Elliott wrote on this issue:
Most Reverend Denis Hart gave his imprimatur for this book on 22 December 1997.
So what should people do in Australia today? Faithfully follow the liturgical books as approved by the competent authority (Canon 846). In that case it should be a single genuflection. This would also be consistent with the Ceremonial of Bishops (1984):
If approval has been given by the Vatican then this should be properly promulgated.
By J.R. Lilburne, 7 November 2002. I give what I have written on this page to the public domain.