Shocking Desecration

In Spain, a deeply troubled “artist” designed a blasphemous “work of art” using 242 consecrated hosts that he pilfered by attending Masses over a period of time and receiving Holy Communion in the hand. (One news source here.)

With those consecrated hosts, he spelled the word “pederastia” (English: pederasty).

What is also shocking is that the Bishop of the place, though issuing a strongly-worded condemnation (in Spanish), has only indicated one solitary Mass of reparation in the face of such a grave scandal! No word in his public statement about the issue of communion in the hand, either!

I’m genuinely surprised that he didn’t order a series of Masses of reparation in every parish in the diocese – or that there even be Eucharistic processions in reparation for such a grave offense. He might also have instructed all the parishes to have ushers to keep an eye on those receiving in the hand, to ensure they consumed the host (so that things like this could not happen again). He might have issued a catechesis on why it is better to receive on the tongue in the first place and why communion in the hand is generally ill-advised practice, even setting grave abuses like this aside.

Now I know that I’m not there in Spain and that more might be happening on the local level. But in today’s day and age, news of such scandals travel the globe at break-neck speed. There needs to be a vigorous public response. This is not just an offense against the Faith; it’s a grave assault against our Lord, Jesus Christ, who is really and truly present in the Most Blessed Sacrament!

Let us pray! Join me in making some acts of reparation?

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14 Responses to Shocking Desecration

  1. Father, thank you for the link to your reparation post with the reparation prayer. I will also go to the adoration chapel every day this way, in reparation. Finally, I want to add that I have been taking communion on the tongue for some time now.

  2. Deacon Dan says:

    Yes, it is insulting to the faith. reading the article this was the act of a severely psychically disturbed person He could have just as easily gotten the host by receiving it on the tongue and expectorate it on returning to his pew. Therefore, I see no reason to catechize against the more ancient tradition of receiving the body of christ in the hand.

    • I agree that the man is disturbed and I also agree that he could have spat out the host and saved it after receiving on the tongue. That said, you may see no reason to catechize against it but you have not engaged a single argument that I have posted before about it. If you’d like to explain why you think that this ancient practice (which, in any case, never took the form that it takes now) is to be promoted or preferred or allowed at present, feel free — but give me a reason. I’ve posted many times about this!

      • To quote the Catholic Encyclopedia from 1913 on the matter:

        In the early days of the Church the faithful frequently carried the Blessed Eucharist with them to their homes (cf. Tertullian, “Ad uxor.”, II, v; Cyprian, “De lapsis”, xxvi) or upon long journeys (Ambrose, De excessu fratris, I, 43, 46), while the deacons were accustomed to take the Blessed Sacrament to those who did not attend Divine service (cf. Justin, Apol., I, n. 67), as well as to the martyrs, the incarcerated, and the infirm (cf. Eusebius, Hist. Eccl., VI, xliv). The deacons were also obliged to transfer the particles that remained to specially prepared repositories called Pastophoria (cf. Apostolic Constitutions, VIII, xiii)

        There are many other patrisitic texts that indicate reception in the hand was not abnormal.

        My major reason is that Rome has said it is a practice that is acceptable stemming from ancient tradition. The Holy See adds that the method of reception is the choice of the communicant not the choice of the of the distributor. This is the present discipline of the Church, the Bishops of the Conference and our Bishop. I promote neither and distribute the Eucharist in the mode desired by the communicant in obedience to the discipline.

      • I will send you a book that I hope you’ll read. Uncritical acceptance of ancient practice — with many details missing (e.g., the fact that lay people may have taken the Eucharist someplace doesn’t tell us which lay people did it, with what training, and in what manner…) — doesn’t help us now. It also fails to take into account the positive value of historic developments and the reasoning behind them.

        I do not deny Holy Communion to anyone who approaches to receive in the hand in the proper manner, and your bringing that matter up is more of a distraction than anything (and makes me wonder if you’ve read anything else I’ve written on the matter).

  3. Elizabeth says:

    I am so saddened to read this. Thank you for posting this and your reparation prayer post. I do wish that receiving communion by hand would come to an end.

  4. The fashionable appeal to “ancient practice” was debunked by Pope Pius XII in “Mediator Dei” in 1947. Liturgical archeologism has re–emerged among today’s Neo–Pistoians:

    61. The same reasoning holds in the case of some persons who are bent on the restoration of all the ancient rites and ceremonies indiscriminately. The liturgy of the early ages is most certainly worthy of all veneration. But ancient usage must not be esteemed more suitable and proper, either in its own right or in its significance for later times and new situations, on the simple ground that it carries the savor and aroma of antiquity. The more recent liturgical rites likewise deserve reverence and respect. They, too, owe their inspiration to the Holy Spirit, who assists the Church in every age even to the consummation of the world.[52] They are equally the resources used by the majestic Spouse of Jesus Christ to promote and procure the sanctity of man.

    62. Assuredly it is a wise and most laudable thing to return in spirit and affection to the sources of the sacred liturgy. For research in this field of study, by tracing it back to its origins, contributes valuable assistance towards a more thorough and careful investigation of the significance of feast-days, and of the meaning of the texts and sacred ceremonies employed on their occasion. But it is neither wise nor laudable to reduce everything to antiquity by every possible device. Thus, to cite some instances, one would be straying from the straight path were he to wish the altar restored to its primitive tableform; were he to want black excluded as a color for the liturgical vestments; were he to forbid the use of sacred images and statues in Churches; were he to order the crucifix so designed that the divine Redeemer’s body shows no trace of His cruel sufferings; and lastly were he to disdain and reject polyphonic music or singing in parts, even where it conforms to regulations issued by the Holy See.

    63. Clearly no sincere Catholic can refuse to accept the formulation of Christian doctrine more recently elaborated and proclaimed as dogmas by the Church, under the inspiration and guidance of the Holy Spirit with abundant fruit for souls, because it pleases him to hark back to the old formulas. No more can any Catholic in his right senses repudiate existing legislation of the Church to revert to prescriptions based on the earliest sources of canon law. Just as obviously unwise and mistaken is the zeal of one who in matters liturgical would go back to the rites and usage of antiquity, discarding the new patterns introduced by disposition of divine Providence to meet the changes of circumstances and situation.

    64. This way of acting bids fair to revive the exaggerated and senseless antiquarianism to which the illegal Council of Pistoia gave rise. It likewise attempts to reinstate a series of errors which were responsible for the calling of that meeting as well as for those resulting from it, with grievous harm to souls, and which the Church, the ever watchful guardian of the “deposit of faith” committed to her charge by her divine Founder, had every right and reason to condemn.[53] For perverse designs and ventures of this sort tend to paralyze and weaken that process of sanctification by which the sacred liturgy directs the sons of adoption to their Heavenly Father of their souls’ salvation.

  5. alexandrinasociety says:

    The best forms of reparation are the ones which have been specifically requested by Heaven – namely, the First Nine Fridays devotion in reparation to the Sacred Heart of Jesus which Our Lord requested to St Margaret Mary at Paray-le-Monial in France, and the First Five Saturdays devotion in reparation to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, which Our Lady requested to the seers at Fatima, Portugal. We need to do these devotions now more than ever. The official Fatima shrine website http://www.santuario-fatima.pt/portal/index.php?id=2415 states that Sister Lucia of Fatima told us that “War or peace in the world depend on the practice of this devotion of the First Saturdays, together with the consecration to the Immaculate Heart of Mary”.

  6. I have, in deed, read all of your blogs. My not responding is not an indication of my not reading. I will certainly read any material you post (either electronically or in the mail) to me. You asked for a reason why I would defend, promote or allow. communion in the hand. My response was I do so because that is the discipline of the Church. If that is a distraction and offends you then I apologise because I respect you and your priesthood. Do people receive in the hand irreverently, yes. They also receive on the tongue irreverently. Someone else’s irreverence should not diminish another’s reverence and deny him/her their right.

    • The problem is that I have never spoken of denying anyone’s rights! It is one thing to counsel people against receiving on the hand — which I do — and quite another to deny them the opportunity to receive that way — which I don’t. It is permitted, so I allow it. If I have ever said or otherwise indicated that I don’t allow people to receive in the hand, please point out to me where so that I can correct it.

      • I never accused you of denying anyone’s rights. I said someone else abuse ought not change the accepted practice of another. The original questions you posed was “”If you’d like to explain why you think that this ancient practice (which, in any case, never took the form that it takes now) is to be promoted or preferred or allowed at present, feel free — but give me a reason.” My response was I see no reason to speak against what the church legitimately allows.
        I have no objection to counseling, but I do feel that both methods must be presented in a neutral manner so as to allow the other to make a free decision.

        Anyway, have blessed Thanksgiving!!!

      • Counseling people is a good, as long as the options are presented neutrally to allow choice. That is to say, both modes are equally acceptable and legitimate.

        Have a pleasant Thanksgiving. I am thankful for your priesthood

      • I hope you had a good Thanksgiving.

        I disagree that both methods should be presented in a neutral manner. I teach that both are allowed, according to what the Church currently permits in this country, but that one method (on the tongue) is better than the other (in the hand), and that since the latter is permitted by indult it could change at any time. My reasons for taking this approach are based on what I have studied about the history of the matter, which I have explained in part on the blog, and also based on my personal experiences.

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