Catholic Herald on desecrated Host

The wonderful Anna Arco had an item in the last number of the Catholic Herald, which is worthy of notice:

Atheist professor desecrates stolen Host
By Anna Arco
1 August 2008

Priests at the London Oratory have called for prayers of reparation after a consecrated Host was allegedly stolen during High Mass and desecrated by an atheist professor in America.

Several priests have celebrated Masses of reparation this week responding to a video posted on the internet of a young man taking the Host and later placing it next to a condom, claiming he was holding it "hostage" inside the prophylactic until the Pope changed his policy on contraception in light of Africa’s Aids epidemic.

An evening of reparation with Mass and Adoration with prayers, litanies and silent meditation is planned for next Wednesday. Oratorians have also called on the faithful to make personal acts of reparation this week and next "for all the outrages against the Blessed Sacrament around the world".

"Close observation of the film and of the facts seems to suggest that this is not an elaborate hoax, but depicts something that really occurred," said the e-mail asking people to make acts of reparation. It also asked people to pray for "the conversion of the culprits, that they will answer God’s call to repentance and open their hearts to receive His forgiveness".

The incident took place during the Oratory’s High Mass on July 13 and was posted on the internet soon after. It said: "The Catholic Church forfeits all rights to respect for its ludicrous beliefs, including ‘transubstantiation’, while its anti-condom campaign in Africa results in tens of thousands of deaths."

It further said: "Just because you believe that the cracker has some special significance doesn’t mean that I have to respect that ridiculous belief. I think the moral cost of disrespecting a cracker is a lot less than the moral cost of disrespecting human life; a concept that should be more important to you people."

A follow-up link to the video claimed that the young man had sent the host to Paul Myers, an atheist professor at the University of Minnesota who is thought to have further desecrated the Host by piercing it with a rusty nail and throwing it in the bin. In a post on his blog, dated July 24, Prof Myers wrote: "I thought of a simple, quick thing to do: I pierced it with a rusty nail (I hope Jesus’s tetanus shots are up to date). And then I simply threw it in the trash, followed by the classic, decorative items of trash cans everywhere, old coffee grounds and a banana peel. My apologies to those who hoped for more, but the worst I can do is show my unconcerned contempt."

Prof Myers caused controversy earlier in July when he called a "Eucharist challenge" in which he incited people to steal consecrated Hosts from Catholic churches and send them to him so that he can desecrate them.

He wrote: "Can anyone out there score me some consecrated communion wafers? There’s no way I can personally get them – my local churches have stakes prepared for me, I’m sure – but if any of you would be willing to do what it takes to get me some, or even one, and mail it to me, I’ll show you sacrilege, gladly, and with much fanfare. I won’t be tempted to hold it hostage (no, not even if I have a choice between returning the Eucharist and watching Bill Donohue kick the Pope in the —s, which would apparently be a more humane act than desecrating a goddamned cracker), but will instead treat it with profound disrespect and heinous cracker abuse, all photographed and presented here on the web. I shall do so joyfully and with laughter in my heart."

His words followed a theft of a Host in Florida earlier this year which had American Catholics up in arms.

As a result of July’s alleged theft and desecration of the Eucharist, priests at the London Oratory are urging worshipers to be vigilant at Mass and to receive Communion on the tongue. Communion plates have started being used at certain Masses again.

 

First, it occurs to me that more and more incidents of disrespect are being shown by non-believers toward the Catholic Eucharist.  Off the top of my head I can think of not only this awful business with the prof at the U of Minn, and also the theft from the Brompton Oratory, but also the theft of the Host in Florida, the reception of Communion by weirdly dressed people in San Francisco, during the Pope’s visit Catholic pro-abortion politicians receiving, and a non-believing journalist receiving at Tim Russert’s funeral Mass.

Who goes forward for Communion is often hard to control

But there is something simple we can control.

No more Communion in the hand.

Not a fool-proof (and never was that term better applied) safeguard, but one that greatly reduces risk of profanation.

Catholic Herald on desecrated Host
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83 Responses to Catholic Herald on desecrated Host

  1. Jim says:

    I once wrote that we had received communion on our knees.

  2. Gordon says:

    How can someone manage to steal a conscrated host at a high mass? Unless they got Communion on the hand? Reminds me of something I saw at requiem mass for Pope John Paul II. At Commuion time, We see a hand shoot out from nowhere and person just takes the host. No dignity there at all. One must commend the Oratory for their prayers of reparation and prayers for the person involved.

  3. Woody Jones says:

    I wonder what the inimitable Fr. Giulio Maria Tam has to say about this sacrilege?

    Too bad one does not speak Italian–yet.

  4. Allan says:

    OK, I’ll bite:

    What, exactly, is a “Mass of Reparation”? Is it in the English language Sacramentary?

    Is in available in both the EF and OF Mass?

    What are the Prayers of Reparation we are encouraged to say?

  5. Daniel Latinus says:

    Remembering back to the 1970s, I only sa Communion in the hand once (before it was permitted), and I am not sure if my memory is correct. After the practice was legalized, it was everywhere. Someone obviously petitioned the Conference of bishops to seek an indult for this (just as somebody petitioned the bishops to make standing for Communion normative), so the question is, how do we petition the bishops, or the Holy See, to withdraw these indults?

    OTOH, I’m not sure how much good this would do. Rules are only worthwhile when they are enforced.

  6. Luca says:

    Non si può denunciare questo tizio e mandarlo in tribunale? In America e in Inghilterra non esiste il reato di vilipendio alla religione?

  7. Luca says:

    In America and England cannot anybody be charged with crime of contempt towards religion?

  8. Dominic says:

    Allan

    Fair questions, and I’m not sure I am qualified to answer them.

    Specifically, however, details of the “evening of reparation” (tonight) at the Little Oratory can be found here
    http://the-hermeneutic-of-continuity.blogspot.com/2008/07/evening-of-reparation-at-oratory.html

    Hopefully this goes some way towards answering your final question.

  9. JohnE says:

    Did you mean to say “No more communion on the tongue”? Or “No more communion in the hand?” The first seems opposite of other things I’ve read here before.
    -oh, just now see the correction above. Google reader must’ve had it cached or something.

  10. David says:

    Luca:

    In the USA, freedom of speech trumps contempt towards religion.

  11. Jordanes says:

    Luca asked: In America and England cannot anybody be charged with crime of contempt towards religion?

    I don’t know about England, but in the U.S., sadly no — the First Amendment to the U.S. constitution makes it pretty much impossible to have laws against “contempt towards religion.”

  12. Vicki Williams says:

    Would this not qualify as a hate crime?

  13. magdalen says:

    Sounds like a hate crime to me…

  14. Fr. Scott Bailey, C.Ss. R. says:

    Allan,

    There is no “Mass of Reparation” in that there are no specific texts for such a Mass. A “Mass of Reparation” is one offered with the intention of making up for the offenses committed against God, in this case the heinous profanation of the Most Blessed Sacrament. Prayers of reparation can be any prayers offered for the same intention such as the Sorrowful Mysteries of the Rosary, the Stations of the Cross, one of the litanies, etc. There are also specific prayers of reparation, mostly directed toward the Eucharist and the Sacred Heart which can be found in most prayer books and/or by doing an internet search.

  15. John Enright says:

    I really don’t understand why the people involved in this sacrilege haven’t been prosecuted under Minnesota law as a hate crime. Under Minnesota law, a hate crime is a criminal act committed against a person, institution, or property, the primary motivation of which is the victim’s affiliation with a protected class such as race, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation, age, disability or national origin, according to Minn.Stat.Ann §609.223 1 (4). This includes such criminal acts as arson, assault, vandalism, threats, harassment, and physical acts of violence.

    This U of M teacher (I’ll bet he considers himself “non-judgmental”) apparently solicited others to commit acts of theft to obtain the Consecrated Host, and when he came into possession of the Host, desecrated It. At a minimum, he should be charged with criminal solicitation and conspiracy. Moreover, the value of the property at issue, i.e. the Host, should not be determined by its constituent components. Just as the Mona Lisa is much more valuable than the canvass and about five dollars worth of paint, so too is the Host valuable beyond comprehension.

  16. Dubitans says:

    May a priest simply decide that, in view of recent trends, he is not going to give communion in the hand? That is, can he decide this without reference to the wishes of his bishop or of the faithful?

  17. Garrett says:

    What non-believing journalist received at Tim Russert’s funeral? Was it Campbell Brown, who recently apostasized from her Catholicism to Judaism before she wed her Jewish husband? She and Russert were close, and I could see her still taking Communion despite her Judaism…

  18. LCB says:

    I believe England has ample laws for prosecuting this barbarian.

    They aren’t just at the gates, we’ve made them the gatekeepers.

  19. The other David says:

    I think we need to remember that while removal of the communion in the hand would eliminate the “hostage” incidents, it would not prevent the desecrations like at St. Patrick’s Cathedral where the desecrators reportedly spat out the Eucharist.

    The tragedy is, there is very little we can do about someone determined to desecrate the Eucharist

  20. JD, Esq. says:

    Good point, John Enright. The problem is that Catholics should be deeply skeptical about the expansion and application of “hate crime” laws. They are largely instruments of government-approved thought police to bludgeon their opponents. We’ll see more instances of them being used against Catholics as same-sex marriage becomes more common. The other crimes listed in the statute like vandalism can already be punished as such. The hate crime statute just increases the penalty.

    Thus, the interesting question is whether Myers can or should be punished for plain old conspiracy, theft, or vandalism. I don’t think a misdemeanor theft charge is totally out of bounds.

    For those who lament the First Amendment guards against defamation of religion, think twice about that. The First Amendment is largely a great blessing that makes our relatively free discourse about all matters possible. People have a right to criticize Catholicism and should be challenged in the public square when they do so, not silenced.

    Would Pope Benedict be guilty of defamation of religion because of his Regensburg address? How about the fiction writer cited in today’s WSJ who wrote a book about one of Muhammed’s wives? Or even Dan Brown. Should they be punished? By the state? Who is the arbiter of what is religion? And what is defamatory? Let’s think about this a little more, folks. Just because something offends you, it doesn’t mean the state should step in to punish it.

    Catholics already have a reputation as scolds, moralizers, and enemies of “liberty.” Let’s not needlessly add to that by overreacting to this childish behavior. Let’s call it what it is, namely, sacrilege, and join the Oratorians in fasting and prayer.

  21. Chironomo says:

    This seems like an excellent justification (not an excuse!) for eliminating communion in the hand. Those who continue to argue in favor of the practice seem to be arguing in favor of the abuse and possible desecration. There is clearly a CONSPIRACY here to commit desecration and sacrilege (although I’m not sure how an atheist can be sacriligious?). The clear danger to the Blessed Sacrament should be reason enough for immediate action from the Holy See or the CDW to cease and desist from communion in the hand.

  22. Deusdonat says:

    Luca – Non si può denunciare questo tizio e mandarlo in tribunale? In America e in Inghilterra non esiste il reato di vilipendio alla religione?

    Purtroppo l’America è ancora un paese rimasto protestante. Cioè, la realtà è che queste istituzioni non se ne freggano di qualsiasi atto di bestemmia ò profanità contro un “simbolo” della fede cattolica (sempre che siano Università cattoliche…e poi c’è ormai un dubbio). Sinceramente è difficile qui. Rispettano i diritti dei Cristiani, ma solo cuando si rivolge alle loro sette.

  23. Maynardus says:

    In addition to the oppoertunities for sacrilege offered by the practice of Communion-in-the-hand, the manner in which it was introduced into the U.S.A. was in itself a scandal. Memoriale Domini permitted episcopal conferences to apply for an indult from the Holy See *if the practice of Communion-in-the-hand had already become established (obviously illicitly) by May of 1969.*

    When in 1977 the question of requesting the indult came before the N.C.C.B. (former name for the U.S.C.C.B.) several bishops objected that there had been no effort to determine whether this practice was in fact “established”, however their motion was quashed by the use of some dubious parliamentary tactics.

    The subsequent vote was also quite irregular – retired bishops who were present were not permitted to vote but when a majority was not evident it was decided to poll the absent bishops in order to pass the measure!

    See “Communion in the Hand and other Frauds” by Michael Davies for many more details…

  24. mwa says:

    Garrett, it was Sally Quinn. You can see her account of her actions here http://newsweek.washingtonpost.com/onfaith/sally_quinn/2008/07/why_i_took_holy_communion.html

  25. James the Less says:

    John,

    They (PZ Myer supporters) claim that once given to them by the priest, the Blessed Sacrament is their property, they can do it with as they please. When confronted with Canon Law 935, they say it is not binding upon them. I have asked politely for a distinction between desecration within a church or synagogue (illegitimate) and desecration outside a church (in their minds
    legitimate). Perhaps if any reminder must be made to the secular authorities it is render unto Caesar, render unto God – the Church respects the laws of this nation, perhaps the university needs to remind Mr. Myers that private citizens should respect the church within the confines of its authority.

    In any event, we should focus on what we can do. I think prayer is what is
    most needed and devotion to the Blessed Sacrament and promotion of Real Presence. A few weeks ago a priest gave me a prayer card for the Chaplet of Adoration and Reparation.

    One final thought/observation. The Holy Father has done much to increase reverence in the liturgy and the Blessed Sacrament – the MP, communion on the tongue & kneeling at papal Masses etc. Is it any surprise that offenses are now increasing? Perhaps there is a connection?

  26. John Enright says:

    As a Philadelphia lawyer, I generally agree with what JD, Esq. says. I don’t agree, however, that a prosecution under Minnesota hate crime legislation is “overreacting to . . . childish behavior.” If the U of Minn prof simply destroyed a mere symbol, or said disparaging things about Catholicism or Christ, I’d say that he should be punished only in the forum of public opinion. The Consecrated Host, however, is much more than a symbol of Christ; It is Christ. Using my Mona Lisa example, theft of a small piece of canvas and a few dollars of oil paints constitutes petty theft, a summary offense in many jurisdictions. When those items coalesce in a priceless work of art, the gravity of the offense increases greatly.

    The First Amendment right to freedom of expression doesn’t detract from the criminality of the U of Minn prof’s conduct. People have the right to say whatever they want to say usually, but not in every instance. Just try saying “This is a robbery” while standing in the teller’s line at your bank. Without more, a prosecution for attempted theft is likely. Expressive speech isn’t any different. You can probably “give the finger” to a sitting President without incurring criminal liability; “mooning” him might not be protected.

  27. Peterk says:

    so???? where are the newspaper photos of rioting Catholics, burning flags, destroying collegiate emblems. There have to be some happening somewhere

  28. Deusdonat says:

    I’m wondering what would happen if someone bought a Torah blessed by a rabbi and said they would now use it as toilet paper while publicising it all on the internet.

  29. John Enright says:

    James the Less said: “They (PZ Myer supporters) claim that once given to them by the priest, the Blessed Sacrament is their property, they can do it with as they please.” I disagree. Gifts of property to another can be conditioned, either explicitly or implicitly, upon an acceptable use of the property. Obtaining a Consecrated Host for the express purpose of desecration vitiates the gift ab initio. That’s called fraud. How would you feel if you donated a car to an organization to provide suitable transportation for indigent children to obtain medical care. Suppose further that the vehicle was thereafter used to convey women to abortion mills. Was your gift ever valid? I don’t think so.

  30. Jordanes says:

    JD Esq. said: People have a right to criticize Catholicism and should be challenged in the public square when they do so, not silenced.

    Deliberately committing sacrilege is not criticising Catholicism. Sacrilege is not a human right.

  31. Thomas says:

    At a minimum, he should be charged with criminal solicitation and conspiracy.

    Prosecute under RICO – the government seems to be able to do whatever it wants by invoking this act. Oh, wait, the government won’t want to do anything about this one.

  32. John Enright says:

    Sorry, Thomas, but I don’t think that RICO applies to this. Trust me on this, I’ve been involved in several RICO cases in Philadelphia. RICO means “Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations.” There’s a split of authority on the issue of whether two people constitute an “organization” for the purpose of RICO. Moreover, there has to be a consistent pattern of criminal activity in furtherance of the racketeering enterprise, an element which doesn’t appear here. Solicitation and Conspiracy are known as “inchoate” crimes; they nevertheless carry the same penalties as the completed acts in most jurisdictions.

  33. mwa says:

    While eliminating Communion in the hand would diminish the offering of opportunity for theft of the Host, Communion on the tongue cannot guarantee the safety of the Sacrament. It would take a slightly more intrepid sort, but remembering the “antics” of the boys in my Catholic gradeschool who could return to their pews and under the “watchful eyes” of the teachers remove the Host from their mouths and proceed to various games, this would not be a real difficulty for anyone who really wanted to take a Host.

  34. CK says:

    On the whole these cowards take advantage of the unwatched casualness that now exists within the Church. They would never attempt such harrassment if they actually had to give up something themselves as a consequence of their actions. This was a high mass but there exists that now worldwide influence of the lack of real faith in the Eucharist. What also adds to this connotation of “nothing special here” are the huge numbers, casually trained to go through the motions, of EEMs. Like altar “servers” today there is an explosion of girls/women in both cases with a much greater lacking of boys/men. And then those themselves often appear in tight or immodest attire, flip flops, wet hair, chewing gum up at the site or getting rid of it just before. When not enough ministers show up there is the casual voluntary service, also, not expecting to be called, may be attired even in shorts. I often notice that the place of the key to the tabernacle is shown to the EEMs so that they may come, when the church is open perhaps for other events, and take the host for particular visitations. This is of course good for the sick but when people witness the number of lay persons with such freedom to the tabernacle it does make an impression…especially when said tabernacles are off to the side…as if mere storage bins for “hosts”.

    “If the U of Minn prof simply destroyed a mere symbol, or said disparaging things about Catholicism or Christ, I’d say that he should be punished only in the forum of public opinion. The Consecrated Host, however, is much more than a symbol of Christ; It is Christ.”

    Yes, I agree. And in such a case, as proof, the Church also has evidence throughout Her history of the Eucharistic miracles, scientifically verified by not only members of the Faith, but objective secular scientific investigation for verification. And of course the number of years for such to exist is more proof. Why not put forth such proof for the whole world to see and learn more about the sacred Body Blood Soul and Divinity/True Presence? Perhaps even some Catholics will finally learn about the very Center of their supposed faith!

  35. Allan says:

    Fr. Scott, Dominic – Many thanks, this has clarified the matter. A Google search for “Mass of Reparation” does yield a number of suggested prayers. Thanks.

  36. Garrett says:

    You know what’s the saddest part of Ms. Quinn’s account. The fact that her twisted logic sort of makes sense. Because of the public (or public knowledge of) scandal of non-Catholics like Blair and Clinton taking Communion, of public adulterers like Giuliani, and public dissenters like Kerry and Pelosi, and the public communing of Brother Roger, unfortunately, by Pope Benedict, Ms. Quinn has good reason to simply shirk the rules and say, “Hey, if big names are doing it, often right under the nose of the Pope himself, what’s the big deal?”

    When will we protect our Lord, AND THE SOULS OF THOSE WHO EAT AND DRINK JUDGMENT UPON THEMSELVES BY COMMUNING, from this scandalous behavior? It truly gives me great heartache.

  37. Fr. Steve says:

    Since communion in the hand is an “indult” given to the United States. Can it be forced upon parishes? Isn’t the universal norm still valid for the Universal Church? Can a pastor choose not to use the indult in his parish even without a grave immediate danger? Better yet, isn’t even the possibility of proffination a grave and serious reason to reinstitute communion on the tounge while kneeling?

  38. WDPRSer says:

    Luca, David, et al.,

    In my home state blasphemy is a misdemeanor crime. The staute does not give a penalty but it is on the books. Also, as a memeber of the law enforcement community, I could tell you that I responded to that call, I would have detained him and went through every statue in the book and find every little crime that he could be charged with. While Jesus is really present in the Eucharist, Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity, I’m not sure that there is any way of emprically proving it in court so I probably wouldn’t be able to make a kidnapping charge stick. I would sure try though.

  39. John Enright says:

    Fr. Steve asked whether a Catholic parish in America can be forced to allow “communion in the hand” pursuant to a Papal Indult. This is a good question.

    The Sacred Congregation for Divine Worship issued a letter entitled En reponse a la demande to episcopal conferences petitioning for an indult to allow reception of the Eucharist in the hand on May 29, 1969:

    In reply to the request of your conference of bishops regarding permission to give communion by placing the host on the hand of the faithful, I wish to communicate the following. Pope Paul Vl calls attention to the purpose of the Instruction Memoriale Domini of 29 May 1969, on retaining the traditional practice in use. At the same time he has taken into account the reasons given to support your request and the outcome of the vote taken on this matter. The Pope grants that throughout the territory of your conference, each bishop may, according to his prudent judgment and conscience, authorize in his diocese the introduction of the new rite for giving communion. The condition is the complete avoidance of any cause for the faithful to be shocked and any danger of irreverence toward the Eucharist. The following norms must therefore be respected.

    In the April, 1999 issue of Notitiae, which is the official publication of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, the Congregation dealt with the exact inverse of this question: whether in dioceses where it is allowed to distribute Communion in the hands of the faithful, a priest may restrict communicants to receive Communion only in their hands, not on the tongue.

    While we know that reception of the Body of Christ cannot be denied to the faithful who seek to receive the Host in the traditional manner, one phrase jumps out at me regarding this exact issue: “The celebrant priest, if there is a present danger of sacrilege, should not give the faithful communion in the hand, and he should make them aware of the reason for way of proceeding.”

  40. Craig says:

    The Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis has posted a response to the desecration. It was written by the Director of Worship, Fr. John Paul Erickson and is located on the The Catholic Spirit website. It also contains links to local Adoration locations and contact info to file (respectfully) a complaint.

    http://thecatholicspirit.com/main.asp?SectionID=16&SubSectionID=16&ArticleID=2252

    May God Have Mercy

  41. CK says:

    Hopefully, this is still on topic:

    Another case of desecration? And a now public challenge of real scandal for the bishop to handle?

    From: http://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2008/aug/080805
    05.html

    House Speaker Pelosi Vows to Kill Defense of Marriage Act and Still Receive Communion

    Pelosi relieved no bishop has had the courage to call her to account for her strong abortion advocacy

    As the Catholic Speaker pledged to knock out one of the remaining props of real marriage in the United States, Pelosi also told C-SPAN that she is thankful still to receive communion while crusading against all pro-life attempts to restrict or eliminate legal abortion.

    And here’s the challenge:

    In a C-SPAN interview released on Sunday, Pelosi explained that while other US politicians have had problems from their bishops denying them communion over abortion, she has continued to receive without any difficulty.

    “I think some of it is regional,” Pelosi stated. “It depends on the bishop of a certain region and fortunately for me, communion has not been withheld.”

    She added, “I’m a regular communicant so that would be a severe blow to me if that were the case.”

  42. Gladiatrix says:

    We do have an offence called incitement to religious hatred in England & Wales (not sure about Scotland and the Channel Islands etc), it is up to the Brompton Oratory to make a complaint to the Metropolitan Police Service so that it can ask the Crown Prosecution Service for advice. Just as, I would have thought, the Catholic Church in Minnesota would have to make a complaint under the relevant law (if there is one) to the appropriate police department in order that the District/State Attorney could decide whether or not to proceed.

  43. Calleva says:

    Over here in the UK the law against blasphemy was recently revoked. It appears that it is open season on Christianity now.

    I don’t know about the professor using the Torah as toilet paper, if he followed his conscience he’d use the Koran. Of course he won’t (and should not, either).

  44. Deusdonat says:

    CK – I currently live in Pelosi’s archdiocese. Our archbishop is not worth his weight in salt unfortunately, so Pelosi will continue unabaited so long as he’s around. His diocese really is a free-for-all (except for trads).

  45. Matt Q says:

    Would this not qualify as a hate crime?
    Comment by Vicki Williams — 6 August 2008 @ 10:21 am

    Sounds like a hate crime to me…
    Comment by magdalen —

    )(

    Does sound like it and wish it were, but it isn’t covered under such laws. It has to be against an individual. The Individual in this case, Our Lord Jesus Christ, isn’t covered by the law because the law cannot state Christ is present in the Eucharist. To do so would truly be against the separation of the Church and State because the State would be declaring by law Christ is present–declaration of a particular religious fact.

    We’re stuck with this one, folks. All we can do is pray for these people and make reparation ourselves. It would also be opportune to catch one of these creeps and settle it there and then. I am NOT in anyway advocating doing anything to the person other than speaking up ( THAT WE HAVE A RIGHT TO DO ) and tell the facts. Beyond that, it’s done. Nothing we can do to stop that person from leaving.

    Please be careful with these people. Who knows what their state of mind is. Heard of that poor guy riding the bus in Canada ( of all places )whose head was literally cut off as slept? Can’t tell me the Devil didn’t take advantage of the perp. Anyone going out of their way to steal Host from Communion is deliberate and has some cold dark hole in their heart somewhere. Who knows what they’ll do if confronted.

  46. Louis E. says:

    If the viewpoint of a convinced non-believer can be expressed here without being attacked as a hate crime…

    Personally,I never go near Catholic communion wafers…on the rare occasion that I attend a Catholic service (funeral of a neighbor,for instance) I stay in the back row and participate in nothing.But to ask a non-believer to behave toward a Catholic communion wafer that comes into his possession incidentally [not a la Myers] as if Transsubstantiation were literally true is a horrifying attack on one’s conscience.

    How would you like to be forced to obey the tenets of a religion you did not believe?I was disgusted with the news organizations that refused to show images of the Mohammed cartoons…they had no business acting like Moslems.

    If civil law is made to assume the truth of any faith’s doctrines you do not have a free society.

  47. Patrick T says:

    Matt Q said: “Nothing we can do to stop that person from leaving.”

    Is that really true? I mean, if it was clear that someone was attempting to “kidnap” the Blessed Sacrament for nefarious purposes, couldn’t the person have the Host forcibly taken away from him?

  48. miss book says:

    Desecration of a consecrated Host is evil, the person who does it is carrying out an act of evil willed by the father of lies.Such a person may be aware that satan is working in him, or may not be, in either event some prayers of exorcism are desirable to release the person from the bondage of the devil.

  49. Patrick T says:

    Louis E.,

    It is certainly permissible for nation’s to have laws that are intended to prevent people from being complete a——s. A nation can pass laws that prevent burning flags, effigies of individuals, crosses, etc. and still be a free society. Even if one regards the Eucharist as a “symbol-only”, one could still make a case for protection against desecration under the law. It’s just simple decency really.

  50. Matt Q says:

    “JD Esq. said: People have a right to criticize Catholicism and should be challenged in the public square when they do so, not silenced.

    Deliberately committing sacrilege is not criticising Catholicism. Sacrilege is not a human right.”
    Comment by Jordanes

    “At a minimum, he should be charged with criminal solicitation and conspiracy.

    Prosecute under RICO – the government seems to be able to do whatever it wants by invoking this act. Oh, wait, the government won’t want to do anything about this one.”
    Comment by Thomas

    “Sorry, Thomas, but I don’t think that RICO applies to this. Trust me on this, I’ve been involved in several RICO cases in Philadelphia. RICO means “Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations.” There’s a split of authority on the issue of whether two people constitute an “organization” for the purpose of RICO. Moreover, there has to be a consistent pattern of criminal activity in furtherance of the racketeering enterprise, an element which doesn’t appear here. Solicitation and Conspiracy are known as “inchoate” crimes; they nevertheless carry the same penalties as the completed acts in most jurisdictions.”
    Comment by John Enright

    )(

    Keep in mind, all the evil people have to is invoke their “religious belief” in what they are doing and all bets are off. Funny though it’s okay to get away with this stuff against Catholicism but open your mouth against the Islamics or even the Jews, and boy you’d better duck fast.

    Folks, the law isn’t on our side on this. If the law allows an unborn child to be killed in the womb which is physically evident, how do we get people to see the Lord in a wafer Who is not physically evident?

    At the moment, I can’t think of a prosecutor who’d go out of his way to be creative with the law and make something stick against those who do this sort thing, and whether the courts would even let it proceed.

  51. cheyan says:

    As repulsive as the professor’s actions are, they’re not a hate crime, because a hate crime is a crime done out of hate, not hate that is itself criminal.

    The government should consider the action equivalent to saying “Sure, I’ll take one,” when the Gideons offer free bibles on state university campuses, and then taking it back to your apartment and lighting it on fire (or tearing out the pages and using them as toilet paper, or to make an obscene paper-mache sculpture, or whatever). Nothing illegal was done. Hateful, certainly, but not illegal. Otherwise the government is in the position of determining what things are and are not holy and what actions are and are not profanation, and that’s not a good thing.

    We don’t want the government simply taking canon law’s word for it about holiness and profanation, either, even if it’s just to say “You can’t do this because the religious law of the place you were in said you couldn’t.” I would have no problems with Mr. Myers seeing repercussions from his employer because he’s publicly hateful (except that at that point it would be reasonable to expect that anyone who said anything negative about sexual behavior between any number and type of consenting adults would then also be punished)… but I don’t want it to be because he violated canon law, because at that point either the government has to pick a particular religious group’s religious law to enforce, to the detriment of all other religious groups (bad), or the government has to decide which religious group’s laws should take precedence in case of a conflict (not any better).

    Now, if someone had shoved or pushed a EMHC in an attempt to be given one or many consecrated Hosts to desecrate, that would be physical violence (a crime) plus hateful motivation and would equal a hate crime, just like if somebody punched one of the men handing out free Gideon bibles for not handing one over, or whatever. If someone broke into a church, broke the lock on a tabernacle, and stole a ciborium, that would be a number of crimes (at least three) plus hateful motivation and would equal a hate crime.

  52. Jackie says:

    Louis E – A person should never be forced to adhere to tenants of another’s faith. However is it not equally true that a person has a responsibility to respect another’s faith, especially while in their particular church? There is nothing wrong with a non believer staying in the back of a church and not participating but it becomes a problem when they take the Host for evil purposes.

  53. Cathy Dawson says:

    Louis E.,

    I was an atheist most of my life before my conversion to Christianity and the Catholic faith. I never would have done what this professor did or would have thought it to be his right. As an atheist, I didn’t hold anything to be sacred, but I would never have violated others in this way. Whether it is a crime or not, it really is a violation of the people who hold the Eucharist to be not only sacred, but God Himself. I would have been nearly as repulsed by this professor’s actions when I was an atheist as I am now, although then my revulsion would have been from the act against Christians. Now my revulsion is more because of the act of hatred towards my Lord.

  54. pomofo says:

    Cheyan: Hosts are offered to Catholics in good standing for the purpose of immediate consumption. Doing anything other than immediately consuming the host is, as has earlier been explained, fraudulent, and therefore qualifies as theft.

    Louis E: Because a host only can be removed from a Church under fraudulent pretenses, I would expect a non-Catholic to treat that host as they would treat any other stolen property that comes into their possession. I would expect them to treat it with great care and respect and make an attempt to return it to its rightful owner.

  55. AJP says:

    Louis E,

    I don’t think anyone here expects non-believers to behave towards the Eucharist
    as Catholics do. We expect non-believers to not go out of their way to
    disrespect our beliefs. Not agreeing with Catholic doctrine on the Eucharist does not
    qualify as disrespect. I would argue that a non-believer who attends a Catholic funeral
    Mass but doesn’t genuflect towards the tabernacle and doesn’t kneel at Consecration is
    also not being disrespectful. No one is up in arms about that kind of stuff. What
    is so outrageous is that PZ Meyers and some person in London weren’t content to simply
    disagree with Catholicism and be atheists – but rather devoted considerable time and
    energy to doing something for the sole purpose of offending Catholics.

    I am hesitant to see legal action taken against this. If this meets the legal
    standards for theft, fraud, and/or vandalism, it ought to be prosecuted, but it seems
    that proving those charges would be very difficult. But I really don’t want to see
    it prosecuted as a hate crime. Hate crimes laws are a very bad idea, they are a
    slippery slope to censorship and thought crimes. And more often than not, hate
    crimes laws are used to silence traditional Christian views (see Canada’s recent
    troubles). Out of principle, I think Catholics should refuse to use these statutes
    even when it would be to our advantage.

    I would like to see PZ Meyers face some professional sanctions to the greatest
    extent possible allowed by his university. His university has adopted a hate
    speech code – while I don’t think those are very good ideas to begin with, there’s
    no point in having the policy if they aren’t going to apply it to no-brainer cases
    like this. And while I think the legal system should uphold freedom of speech to
    the greatest extent, I recognize that employers are a different case and it’s not
    always in their best interest to allow unlimited speech without consequence. I work
    in academia myself, and Meyers’ behavior is beyond unprofessional. This is the kind
    of stuff that absolutely poisons an academic community. We don’t need a hate speech
    code to recognize that this behavior is inappropriate and deserves
    sanctions of some sort. Basic professional ethics will do. Now I believe Meyers is
    tenured at his university, so there is only so much that they can do, but they
    ought to do something.

  56. mpm says:

    Louis E.,

    If the viewpoint of a convinced non-believer can be expressed here without being
    attacked as a hate crime…

    To ask a non-believer to behave toward a Catholic communion wafer that comes into
    his possession incidentally [not a la Myers] as if Transsubstantiation were literally
    true is a horrifying attack on one’s conscience.

    If civil law is made to assume the truth of any faith’s doctrines you do not have
    a free society.

    I don’t know quite how anybody could come into possession incidentally of a communion
    host, but I do not think anyone expects a non-believer to believe in the Real Presence.

    Civil law need not deal with beliefs, it could command “respect” for religious
    customs and make it a crime to ridicule, or show disrespect to people, places or
    things held in reverence by virtue of their beliefs. For peace-loving people there
    would never be a problem — and nobody could be convicted except on the basis of the
    evidence.

  57. Deusdonat says:

    Cheyan – As repulsive as the professor’s actions are, they’re not a hate crime, because a hate crime is a crime done out of hate, not hate that is itself criminal. The government should consider the action equivalent to saying “Sure, I’ll take one,” when the Gideons offer free bibles on state university campuses, and then taking it back to your apartment and lighting it on fire (or tearing out the pages and using them as toilet paper, or to make an obscene paper-mache sculpture, or whatever).

    No disrespect, but you are absolutely wrong here. First, the eucharist is NOT a Gidion bible. A Gideon bible is passed out to whomever will open their hand and take it. There is no implied contract that they will read it, as opposed to flushing it, propping up a table with it etc. The eucharist on the other hand DOES have several implied conditions associated with it:
    a) that the person recieving is in GOOD GRACE and a MEMBER of the church. If the person recieving does not fulfill BOTH of these qualificatins then they are ineligibile. If you receive a refund from the tax board for $1,000,000 and are later found ineligible for this tax rebate, you still have to return it.
    b) the person receiving must consume the eucharist immediately.
    c) the person receiving does so willfully and with regard to his/her own salvation and no other intent (i.e. doing something with malice)

    All of this equals “implied consent” in legalistic terms. Meaning, there are factors regarding intent and eligibility (unlike receiving a Gideon bible, which anyone can do). Therefore, this is absolutely a hate crime, since the person(s) involved did so with a) fraudlent tactics and b) witht he forethought and premeditated attempt to do harm (i.e. vandalise) sacred property of a particular group. I don’t see how anyone can logically see this any other way.

  58. Derik Castillo says:

    James the Less said: “They (PZ Myer supporters) claim that once given to them by the priest, the Blessed Sacrament is their property, they can do it with as they please.”

    So then stolen jewellery becomes someone else’s property when stolen? But the case of the Holy Eucharist may be different. I personally believe that even when I am receiving Jesus Christ Himself, I approach communion with the intention to unite myself to God.

    A priest in Germany was accused of physical assault because he forced someone to return a Consecrated Host. If you can read German, visit
    http://www.hr-online.de/website/rubriken/nachrichten/index.jsp?rubrik=15662&key=standard_document_28857122

  59. mpm says:

    As for “hate crimes”, however, show me a “loving crime” and I’ll buy the “hating”
    sort!

  60. Supertradmom says:

    I would like to challenge a lawyer to take up this case as a “hate crime” and pursue this, as many Catholics, for example in Canada, are being sued for much lesser so-called hate crimes, like speaking against homosexual life-styles.

    If Catholics do not stand up for the Church and Christ Himself, so vulnerable in the Eucharist that He suffers again and again, then we cannot complain if our rights in secular government, in the city, in every space are eroded. We have only ourselves to blame for passivity in the fact of persecution. Let us use the law to defend ourselves.

    In A Man for All Seasons, the character of St. Thomas More states clearly to his son-in-law Roper that we need to use the law until we have no other recourse. The law of the land is there to use and to protect us until we can no longer use the law.

  61. AJP says:

    It’s interesting to note how the original person who held the Host hostage
    used AIDS and condoms as a justification. One thing that has struck me in the
    past few years is how big a deal the issue of AIDS in Africa and condoms is in the
    minds of anti-Catholic bigots. To us Catholics this may seem like an important and
    complicated moral issue, but just one facet of the very broad issue that is the Church’s
    teachings on sex and how they are applied to countless real-world situations. But
    in the mind of some anti-Catholic bigots, the Church’s prohibition on condoms is
    the defining feature of Catholicism. They truly and passionately believe that
    the epidemic of AIDS in Africa is due to the Church’s ban on condoms.

    I’ve never understood how educated people (because the bigots I’ve met who say
    this are all very well educated, including Ivy League PhDs) believe that a man who
    has no qualms with adultery, visiting prostitutes, and raping his wife will refuse
    to wear a condom because it’s against Church teaching. They don’t seem to get that
    if a person is an orthodox enough Catholic that he or she won’t use condoms, then
    it’s almost always the case that he or she won’t be fornicating,
    commiting adultery, engaging in prostitution,
    raping, using drugs, etc, and thus will be at a low risk of AIDS.
    Nonetheless that is what some people think, for whatever reason.

    I saw this because I think it’s important for Catholics to realize just how deeply
    we are hated by some people in our society. In their eyes, we are as bad as Nazis.
    This explains why some people become so foaming-at-the-mouth
    hateful of Catholicism. To them, this mind-bogglingly intense level of hatred
    is justified.

    In my experience there’s not much that can be done with such people. It’s very
    hard to reason with them about anything, like what behaviors spread AIDS, and what
    behaviors are correlated with an acceptance of Humanae Vitae. I guess all I can say
    is if you’re ever in a conversation with someone and it comes up that they believe
    this, heads up!

  62. Harry Thompson says:

    I will begin a Novena in preparation for the Feast of the Assumption of Our Lady into Heaven in reparation for this horrible and sickening desecration inflicted upon our Eucharistic Lord. Surely, the Heart of Mary must be grieving for the way her Son has been mistreated.

  63. Blonde Bertha says:

    I really believe that this is an elaborate hoax, probably devised to stir catholics up into a frenzy. I’ve watched the u-tube video posting and seen the guy walking away from the communion rails at Brompton Oratory. He doesn’t seem to have anything in his hands or to put his hands in his pockets when walking away etc. Please also note that communion at BO is crecieved at the altar rails kneeling. Also most people receive communion on the tongue although it’s obviously not compulsory. I think given the set up at BO that he would have been noticed. Firstly, it would have been very difficult to recieve communion on the hand and get up from the altar rail (with someone waiting behind him to kneel down)and to hide the host. As the camera was to the side of the altar rail filming at the time, it is hard to understand why he did not discretely show the host as he walked past to prove possession. Personally, I do not believe it. In fact, communion kneeling at the altar rail here would conversely would have made it easier to sureptiously hid the host rather than consume it since there is a scrum of people waiting to kneel down. It is not an orderly communion posession as happens when one receives standing and the priest has moved further down the line to communicate the next person so cannot watch out of the corner of his eye. This is not an argument for restricting communion in standing. In fact, if anything the local bishop (ie Cardinal COM) should restrict communion kneeling at the altar rails in response if anything. It would still be possible to receive communion on the hand of course.

    Finally, I also read about this in the Catholic Herald. I noticed on the front page that very issue was an advert for a wholesale company selling communion wafers. It’s not that hard to buy these and they’ll sell to anyone, just say you’re a free church chaplain if they ask. You can even buy boxes of wafers in religious bookshops (eg the bookshop attached to westminster cathedral etc). I’m sure that this is what this guy has done, ie bought some unconsecrated wafers commercially and simulated a desecration.

  64. Deusdonat says:

    Blonde, one would hope. And I could definitely come to your conclusion. But whether or not it was a hoax, it’s aim WAS indeed “to stir catholics up into a frenzy” as you say. And we can all take solace in the fact that their goal failed miserably. Yes, we have shown justifieable indignation, written letters, and even voiced our opinions publically. But we have thus far not burnt down any Communist/Secular Humanists/Free-thinking establishments, rioted in front of the Smithsonian or tarred and feathered Christopher Hitchens (although even on a good day I subconsciously hope this would happen).

    Catholics are definitely the “good guys” when it comes to dealing with crisis. I think even the Mohammedans would be hard pressed not to admit this.

  65. John Enright says:

    Blonde Bertha said “I really believe that this is an elaborate hoax, probably devised to stir catholics up into a frenzy.” I’m concerned about the desecration of the Blessed Sacrament at Brompton Oratory, but I don’t know much about it. Yet. I notice, however, that you haven’t said anything about the reported desecration of the Host by the U or Minn teacher.

  66. A.Klaud says:

    Fr. Z—
    Huzzah!

  67. I’m sorry if someone already asked this, but assuming that it was Mass in the Extraordinary Form (the article said, “High Mass”), how then did he get the Host which surely would have looked partially dissolved had It been held in the mouth for any length of time. I have not heard of any cases of Communion distributed in the hand for TLM’s or was this a Novus Ordo and it called out incorrectly in the article?

  68. Deusdonat says:

    Diane – unfortunately “High Mass” does not mean Extraordinary Form any more than “low mass”. I have been to many “High” or “Sung” masses in my lifetime. But prior to 1998, none in the EF. I have been to Brompton Oratory several times. And unless things have changed, the EF is celebrated in a chapel off to the side which accomodates roughly 50 people on Sundays. The large oratory is reserved for the regular NO mass, in whatever setting.

  69. Mitch says:

    It never ceases to amaze me at the capacity for cruelty within some individuals..and still I am outraged and shocked by this story. I find it hard to believe. First off receiving on the tongue should become the mandated norm again. People will not crumble because of it…It may have prevented this one barbarous act of desecration if done a few years ago. At least it would be the Church doing its’ best to address the problem. For all this Professor’s ranting and raving about the Catholic Faith there is something he could learn from us. Humility and Tolerance to top the list. I end it just horrified someone would even think up the plot and plans….Simply terrible story..

  70. Ottaviani says:

    Just to let everyone know that the “High Mass” at the Brompton Oratory, London is celebrated according to the Missal of Paul VI but ad oreintem and in Latin. Therefore the priests are unfortunately obliged to give out communion in the hand at this mass.

    One can only hope that they stop and also abandon the Novus Ordo completely and revert back to the traditional mass.

  71. John Enright says:

    Mitch, please see one of my previous comments. Communion in the hand results from an indult; reception on the tongue is still the norm. The indult should be vacated.

    I appreciate your reverence for the Most Blessed Sacrament.

  72. John Enright says:

    Just to let everyone know that the “High Mass” at the Brompton Oratory, London is celebrated according to the Missal of Paul VI but ad oreintem and in Latin. Therefore the priests are unfortunately obliged to give out communion in the hand at this mass.

    Sorry, but I don\’t agree. Communion in the hand in English speaking communities results from a Papal Indult. An indult is a \”permission\” to do something; it\’s not a commandment.

  73. Geoffrey says:

    Does anyone know where I could find the actual text of the Papal Indult in question? The name of the document, etc.? I would really like to give it a read.

    This seems to be the perfect time to revoke this indult. No serious Catholic could oppose revoking the indult after all this! It seems like the perfect time for even the most left-leaning of Catholics to agree.

  74. Matt Q says:

    Patrick T wrote:

    “Matt Q said: “Nothing we can do to stop that person from leaving.”

    Is that really true? I mean, if it was clear that someone was attempting to “kidnap” the Blessed Sacrament for nefarious purposes, couldn’t the person have the Host forcibly taken away from him?”

    )(

    Patrick, in answer to your question, no, there is NOTHING you can do other than asking him not to. There is nothing in criminal statute or civil statute which specially says a person cannot do what we are discussing here.

    Should you forcibly take away the Host from that person, at minimum you can be charged with battery–unlawful touching of another without the person’s consent. Should you have effected a citizen’s arrest on the person, perhaps, that may work but it would have to be an arrest pertaining to an actual crime. Just taking away the Host is not found in statute anywhere, and you then can and probably will be charged with false arrest, a felony in most states, and not to mention Federal Civil Rights charges against you.

    The person didn’t take the Host without paying, there wasn’t a special admissions fee to the Mass, he is not trespassing ( especially during Mass ), so there is no crime on the part of the person.

    Should anything be done to the person forcibly as you described, it can escalate to Grand Theft Person–the taking of property off a person without consent, and once force comes into play, it becomes robbery, a felony. Since the person is not committing a crime and one lays hands on that person, the individual has then himself committed a crime because there are already statutes which cover such behavior.

    We think we are doing the right thing, but since what we are doing is not covered by law, the person can turn around and charge you, and then you would have to spend all that time and money retaining a lawyer and going through the whole mess. No, again, Patrick, there is nothing we can do to stop such people, not physically other than to ask them to stop.

    When I say “you,” I am speaking in the general sense. :)

  75. Bryan Jackson says:

    “Be not deceived, God is not mocked. For what things a man shall sow, those also shall he reap.”

  76. mwa says:

    Geoffrey,
    these may be helpful:
    MEMORIALE DOMINI (5/29/69) http://www.ewtn.com/library/CURIA/CDWMEMOR.HTM
    EN REPONSE A LA DEMANDE (5/29/69) http://www.ewtn.com/library/CURIA/CDWREPON.HTM
    IMMENSAE CARITATIS (1/29/73) http://www.ewtn.com/library/CURIA/CDWIMCAR.htm

  77. Geoffrey says:

    mwa: Thank you very much!

    I am thinking of collecting the media reports regarding these recent acts of sacrilege and then send them off to the CDF and the CDW. Perhaps with the “Benedictine winds” as they are, the time is ripe for rescinding the indult in order to better protect the Most Blessed Sacrament.

  78. Michael of Ware says:

    Dear friends,
    Just a couple of points.
    First, any more doubts about diabolical possession?
    The young fool who stole the Sacred Host and “Professor” Myer are clearly bonkers but function very well as the instruments of Satan in this particular case. To hate them and revile them (however justified that might seem in the heat of the moment) would be to cooperate in the Devil’s plan – the hater of God and of humankind par excellence is never more pleased than when we abjure the commandement to love. Forget recourse to the criminal or civil law, which is useless anyway. The best thing we can do for these guys is to pray for them, remembering, humbly, that the Sacred Heart of Jesus loves them infinitely, just as much as He loves us, and He wants them to return His love. God grant that this miracle may happen.
    Secondly, practical measures.
    1)No more Communion in the Hand. Forget the canon law stuff about indults. Our Holy Father has recently shown the way and a clear and decisive word from him could sort this matter out: ie, an instruction that Communion on the tongue should be mandatory everywhere. No exceptions. Let the bishops argue if they dare, and they will. Pray hard for this intention.
    2) Why do we need Eucharistic ministers? Here in England, you’ll be glad to hear, there are still parishes (some) where at a normal Sunday Mass you will find maybe 500 communicants. Good. So they could wait patiently in line, which gives added time for preparation for what is the most significant act in their lives on that day and on any day.
    3)In the front pews, a couple of Knights of Columbus or similar stout fellows. Their task? To observe that every communicant swallows the Sacred Host. Anybody who does differently – spitting out or attempted secretion? Photograph them. No physical contact – assault or whatever – is involved in such a process. You have the right to take photographs in your own church. Nobody wants this option, of course, and I hope that the number of parishes where it might be necessary is very small indeed, but we do not know. Such are the times. For people who have been proven (photographically and evidentially) to have committed such acts, I would hope there is no canonical obligation against denying them future access to the Church and the Altar.
    Finally, Holy Communion from the chalice? I just ask – why?
    With love and prayers,
    All Will Be Well,
    Michael of Ware (Herts, UK).

  79. John Enright says:

    Michael of Ware said : “The young fool who stole the Sacred Host and “Professor” Myer are clearly bonkers but function very well as the instruments of Satan in this particular case. To hate them and revile them (however justified that might seem in the heat of the moment) would be to cooperate in the Devil’s plan – the hater of God and of humankind par excellence is never more pleased than when we abjure the commandement to love.”

    I don’t hate Mr. Myer, or for that matter, anyone! I pray that he eventually recognizes his errors and repents for the wrongs for which he’s responsible. I don’t believe, however, that my hope for his salvation is inconsistent with my demand for justice.

  80. Jack says:

    I have been reading the various stories of these incidents with a sense of unimaginable horror. I cannot fathom what would encourage anyone to behave in such a manner. The young man in Florida appears to be more of a genetically-limited mutant doing evil rather than being evil, but the professor is another story. He only proves that you can be educated but not smart.

    My first response to these events was not much different than any other threat to my friends or family. Normally I would “Cowboy Up” and turn the predator into nuclear ash. However, after much reflection and prayer, I think this situation begs another solution.

    Reacting, as some other groups would do, by killing, rioting, looting, burning, threatening, etc., only bring us to the level of the sin. While this is an awful event, it, like the crucifixion, may be a way for the faithful to strengthen that faith. I believe that most of the problems in the world, and especially the Church, are directly related to the lack of belief in the Real Presence. We see “Liberation Theology” with priests armed with guns, whole parishes engaged in (good) social services, etc., etc., but diminishing attention to the true base of the Church, the Holy Eucharist. Try to find 40 Hours devotion, Benediction, etc., in parishes. With most, even Mass seems to be an afterthought to all the other (usually very commendable) activities. If we keep the First Great Commandment first, things are in better balance.

    In today’s Gospel, Matthew relates how Jesus challenged Peter to look at solutions from God’s, not man’s, perspective. I think this is the challenge to us in this situation. Much prayer is needed. That is the true Christian response. I don’t think it’s inappropriate to contact the school and voice an opinion that Catholics are, and continue to be, victims of the Political Correctness double standard. I do think that witness should be unemotional, rational, calm and non-threatening.

    We may not be able to change the Professor’s outlook. That’s between him and the Holy Spirit. We will affirm our own Baptism, and I’m sure the Lord appreciates that. Also, all this prayer and proper Christian response to this provocation will drive the evil one batshit!

  81. Matt Q says:

    MPM wrote:

    “As for “hate crimes,” however, show me a “loving crime” and I’ll buy the “hating” sort!”

    Exactly. It’s a foolish point of law.

    =======

    Jack wrote:

    “We may not be able to change the Professor’s outlook. That’s between him and the Holy Spirit. We will affirm our own Baptism, and I’m sure the Lord appreciates that. Also, all this prayer and proper Christian response to this provocation will drive the evil one batshit!”

    Yes, Jack. Very true. A most Catholic and measured response. One which we must all endeavor to do.

  82. Michael UK says:

    Communion in the Hand is an aberration, but there exists an aspect which the clergy tend to overlook, or, they do not believe in The Real Presence to any great extent.

    The Rubrics dictate that the clergy, post cleansing their hands and the Lavabo, only handle The Host between forefinger and thumb. However, The Rubric is broken where the clergy exchange The Kiss of Peace [handshake].

    The Rubric is also contradicted when the clergy place The Host in the uncleansed hands of the communicant.

    One E.M. has stated that they use hand wipes, after the handshake, to cleanse their hands. Perhaps, they should be given-out with the missalettes!! Another referred to “germs in the mouth” – so what is the difference! I completely fail to understand the mentality of these people who are fanatical about their right to Communion in the Hand – a virus perhaps.

  83. A. Nonymous says:

    I reckon with regard to the desecration of the host that a large amount of attention is sure to be what this professor is seeking. Some people genuinely like to bait Christians. They are spurred on when they get a reaction. I agree with what the Oratory priests are saying. The desecration is an extremely grave matter but I feel it would be better in the long run if there were no public reaction. Let the priests and faithful pray and make reparations privately. I strongly suspect that such attention might lead to more of the same incidents. After all, there are plenty of people hungry for the limelight and hosts are not hard to steal, even if given on the tongue.

    Now about communion on the tongue/ hand – are any of us really worthy? Is any part of our bodies really worthy? No way! The point of our faith is that we are unworthy but loved nonetheless.

    Now, responding to the argument that the sign of peace breaks up communion – if you think that a sign of love, friendship, peace breaks up the reception of Christ, then I would respectfully suggest that you understand neither.