Blessed Sacrament targeted for theft from a church

Some years ago I had to stop reserving the Blessed Sacrament at the church I had in Italy because of break ins.  The area is a well-known zone of satanic activity.  There are also many drug users.  These will two groups will overlap: people break into church and then sell the Blessed Sacrament to satanists.

The following story is about a church break in during which only a ciborium with Hosts was taken from a tabernacle.  The fact that this was the only thing taken points to some satantic cult, rather than a prank or mere desire for something to sell.

From the

Carbondale Church desecrated by theft
Published: August 6, 2010

A golden container and the hosts for Holy Communion inside it were stolen during an overnight break-in Tuesday at St. Rose of Lima Church in Carbondale.

Called the ciborium, it was the only thing taken.

The theft rendered the building desecrated under Catholicism, in which practitioners believe the hosts change into the body of Jesus Christ. On Wednesday afternoon, Bishop Joseph C. Bambera led a ritual ceremony and celebrated Mass to rededicate and bless St. Rose.

Monsignor David L. Tressler, the church’s pastor, described the Catholic community as stunned and hurt. There is a "real sense of violation," and it is all the more disheartening because the thief targeted the hosts, which are at the heart of the religion’s identity, he said.

There were certainly more valuable items. "Once they were in the church, they could’ve had a field day," Monsignor Tressler said.

The thief broke into the church through a window sometime late Tuesday or early Wednesday and then walked out the front doors, Monsignor Tressler said.

Further information from Carbondale police was unavailable.

The ciborium is a gold metallic cup with a lid, about 6 to 8 inches tall. It was taken from the locked tabernacle.

For security, the tabernacle’s lock has been changed, and the church will now be closed immediately after the daily noon Mass, Monsignor Tressler said. Typically, the building closed at 2 p.m.

The community uses the church too frequently to limit access during the morning, Monsignor Tressler said.

"I don’t want to punish all the people because of this one situation," he said.

During Bishop Bambera’s ceremony to cleanse St. Rose, the altar was stripped bare and special prayers were said, according to a Diocese of Scranton statement about the theft. The bishop blessed the altar, tabernacle, walls of the church and the people with holy water.

In his homily, according to the diocese, Bishop Bambera expressed hope that whoever stole the ciborium would return it and seek forgiveness for the crime.


This certainly would fall into the category of graviora delicta if the person who did this was not in some way mentally impaired.   Generally these thefts occur because the Hosts are desired for filthy and diabolical reasons.

I ask the readers to make some act of reparation today, perhaps through fasting and or almsgiving, as well as prayer for the thief who – if acting in such malice – risks roasting for eternity in the deep cinders of hell.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

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  1. Mike says:

    Will do.

    Boy, do I feel like CCing this piece to my pastor!!!

  2. revs96 says:

    Ok, so according to this piece, Catholicism is something to be “practitioned”? Society clearly doesn’t respect God, so we know something like this is bound to happen once in a while.

  3. irishgirl says:

    Just offered the prayer of the Angel at Fatima which begins, ‘Most Holy Trinity, Father, Son and Holy Spirit’, as well as the invocation, ‘O Sacrament Most Holy, O Sacrament Divine’, in reparation for this dastardly act.

    And that the thief-or thieves-has a change of heart and returns the ciborium with the Hosts.

  4. Ellen says:

    We used to have our church open 27/7. But back in the mid 1970s, someone stole the entire tablernacle with the Blessed Sacrament in it. The thieves just pried out the entire thing.
    Our church has been mostly locked ever since, and we never got the tabernacle or the Blessed Sacrament back.

  5. adagio48 says:

    Some catholics do not believe in the Real Presence of Our Lord in the Blessed Eucharist, but the satanists believe. Let us pray, daily to the archangels and angels who guard the altars and the tabernacles where the Blessed Sacrament reposes.

  6. ghlad says:

    It is sad that churches really do need to be locked up very tightly these days.

    A while back while on vacation during my college years, I drove my rusted out car up to Kentucky from Texas, spending an overnight in my car (to save money on a hotel room, haha). Anyhow, I looked up churches around the area and found one that was nearby and headed over. I did end up spending the night in the parking lot, however I also decided to go inside to see if I could find a tabernacle, which I did. I was happy to have the opportunity to adore Our Lord, however, I was also a bit shocked that the Body was left so open. I spent the rest of the night feeling like a bodyguard, but I think I was afraid to try to lock and close the doors in case someone would have gotten locked out.

    At any rate, it is so sad that these things happen, and like adagio48 says above, it’s amazing that the True Presence is assumed (and abused) by Satanists, while it’s scoffed at and denied by many “catholics.” It puts the possible final destination of those souls in perspective.

    James 2:19! You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that and shudder.

  7. sawdustmick says:

    On it Boss ! Will offer up some self mortification for the return of the ciborium and the repentance of the culprits.

  8. The “vulnerability” of Jesus-Host; enshrined in our tabernacles, yet so very humble, silent, and “available”; to either the Adoration of the faithful or to horrid sacrilege.
    How much He loves us! He allows Himself to be handled by priests (some who are not living according to His Plan) as well as the faithful, some of whom are not properly disposed to receive Him until they are reconciled with His Church.
    And this?
    “May the Heart of Jesus, present in the Blessed Sacrament, in all the tabernacles throughout the world, be loved, adored and praised. Now and until the end of time. Amen!”

  9. Mariana says:

    Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament on the altar, have mercy on us.

  10. moon1234 says:

    Sounds like it is time to have a security camera zoomed on the tabernacle/altar during all times of the day. It is a cheap solution, does not show anyone who may stop by to adore and allows any deviants to be quickly identified by police. We have technical means to help avert this. I think it is about time we start using them.

    A simple panasonic IP security camera can be easily concealed in the church and focused on the blessed sacrament. It could even be put online for those who are bedridden to spend some “virtual time” with the blessed sacrament. Is there a 24×7 webcam on the blessed sacrament anywhere online?

  11. sawdustmick says:


    Blessed Sacrament via webcam at

  12. Tina in Ashburn says:

    Horrible. The modern church design opens up the Sanctuary, leaving the Tabernacle exposed.

    Not just the Communion rail, bring back the Sanctuary grill. The good ones I’ve seen in Europe could impale a few climbers.

    If only pastors would immediately stop Communion-in-the-Hand in their parishes the minute there is desecration [putting in pockets, missalettes, leaving in pews, etc]. Why bother taking the Tabernacle? Sacred crumbs are scattered daily by communicants ‘taking’ the Host all over the world.

  13. Norah says:

    Our cathedral has lasers set up to emit an alarm, audible where the priests and office workers can hear it, when someone crosses it.

  14. Ceile De says:

    Perhaps I should be grateful to our bishops in the US after all: thieves would have a hard time finding the Tabernacle in most churches here.

  15. Jack Hughes says:

    Thinking logically the situation that Fr described in Italy is a double whammy for satanists – they get to commit sacralige AND their actions result in many Catholics not being able to visit Jesus resuliting in fewer graces in their lives.

    now if we installed a laser activated tranquilizer gun aimed at the tabanacle that only the priest could disarm…………. Seriously though our Lord needs stronger protection.

  16. Ceile De: Forgive me, but LOL! You hit it on the head!
    Maybe it’s a good that comes from evil; not knowing where our Lord is truly abiding for those who desire to desecrate and defile Him.
    I’ve often heard, that if the faithful (and pastors, for that matter) REALLY believed in the Real Presence of our Lord Jesus Christ in the Holy Eucharist, present in the Tabernacle, there would be someone at each and every hour adoring Him, preventing this kind of horrid sacrilege.
    Something to contemplate, yeah?

  17. Ceile De says:

    Nazareth Priest
    Thank you! We are fortunate that in our parish (St Therese, Alhambra, CA) the priests have kept the Faith – our church as perpetual devotion.
    Ceile De

  18. Ceile De says:

    ..has perpetual devotion.

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