NOTE: This post has been edited....10:00am 9-12-2008
A professor in Minnesota has solicited, via blogpost, Consecrated Hosts for the explicit purpose of desecrating them. It follows a Catholic community's response in Florida to a student who took the Eucharist out of the Church in protest to something which angered him. While many rightfully called for the return of the Host, which Catholics believe IS the Body of Christ, the young man allegedly received threatening emails, as well. This angered Professor Myers, an atheist, who made a most vile blogpost in which he made his request for Hosts, even to be mailed to him so that he could commit sacrilege.
Please pray for the man at the center of this story and his followers, along with any who may respond to his request for a Communion Host for nothing other than to desecrate It.
APPEAL TO CATHOLICS AND CHRISTIANS
We need to guard against hatred of such people because it is not how Christ taught us to respond. Rather, contact appropriate officials that they may comprehend just how offensive this is (university, state, and diocesan). This man - a professor no less - is inciting people, young people especially, to a kind of violence towards what we hold most sacred as Catholics: The Real Presence - the Body, Blood Soul and Divinity of Our Lord Jesus Christ in that Consecrated Host. The professor argues that people are putting a "cracker" ahead of a human being (because the young man allegedly received threatening emails). Not to diffuse blame, but to address the behavior of people who may have done this: How differently would this whole thing have played out had their not been any such threats, which were undoubtedly out of passion for the Real Presence, but also misguided, disordered, and contrary to virtue and the faith?
No matter how grave the sacrilege, such things should not yield threatening emails, statements, signs, voicemails, calls or any kind of physical violence out of Catholics and other Christians, as has been alleged in connection with this story. People are right to want to protect the Eucharist, but not with anger and violence because it drives offenders into standing firm in their lack of faith, or even strengthens them in their resolve to attack Catholicism and Christianity.
This man is a radial atheist and his actions should not prompt us to violent words or actions of any kind, especially over the Eucharist - the Sacrament of Love. God loves this man and others like him far more than we could ever hate them, which would be sinful. Anger and outrage is justified, but it must not cross the line into words and actions that counter the very things Christ taught.
Pray for them, and make acts of reparation, which can be anything from vocal prayers, to Mass intentions, time spent in adoration, and offering up your daily works, struggles and sacrifices (a prayer can be found at the bottom of this post).
Petition your bishop to offer diocesan acts of reparation, perhaps a Mass of reparation, or a Holy Hour in the Cathedral. Ask your parish priest for the same.
QUESTION TO PONDER
To what point may we defend the Eucharist? All through history are heroic examples of Catholics young and old who died defending the Eucharist from being violated, most notable the example of St. Tarcisius - a 12 year old acolyte who died after being beaten while carrying the Eucharist in the third century.
Certainly, defending the Eucharist to the point of death would be heroic. But, does Our Lord want us to defend the Blessed Sacrament to the point of bringing harm to others? I don't think so, but would like to hear from others, priests in particular. I'm especially interested to know if the Fathers or Doctors of the Church have spoken on this subject (please provide references).
I do believe that bishops and priests should refuse Holy Communion to those who are publicly known to be living a life contrary to the faith, and who publicly make known views which are contrary to Church teaching. But, as a matter of catechesis, how should lay people respond when they see someone attempting to remove a consecrated Host from the Church? In addition, what should they do if someone refuses to return the Host if confronted, if all attempts to persuade the person to give It back have failed? I would especially like to hear from priests on this.
More on this story...
From the Catholic League (emphases mine; comments in red)
MINNESOTA PROF PLEDGES TO DESECRATE EUCHARIST
July 10, 2008
Paul Zachary Myers, a professor at the University of Minnesota Morris, has pledged to desecrate the Eucharist. He is responding to what happened recently at the University of Central Florida when a student walked out of Mass with the Host, holding it hostage for several days [another reason to go back to Communion on the tongue, as if there haven'te been enough examples already]. Myers was angry at the Catholic League for criticizing the student. His post can be accessed from his faculty page on the university’s website. [I won't link to it because of how vile it is - not just the professor's commentary, but the combox which is almost worse. Acts of reparation need to be made for these offenses and prayers for the conversion of those whom attack God]
Here is an excerpt of his July 8 post, “It’s a Frackin’ Cracker!”:
“Can anyone out there score me some consecrated communion wafers?” Myers continued by saying, “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 $#%&@, which would apparently be a more humane act than desecrating a [removed gd] cracker), but will instead treat it with profound disrespect and heinous cracker abuse, all photographed and presented here on the web.”
Catholic League president Bill Donohue responded as follows:
“The Myers blog can be accessed from the university’s website. The university has a policy statement on this issue which says that the ‘Contents of all electronic pages must be consistent with University of Minnesota policies, local, state and federal laws.’ One of the school’s policies, ‘Code of Conduct,’ says that ‘When dealing with others,’ faculty et al. must be ‘respectful, fair and civil.’ Accordingly, we are contacting the President and the Board of Regents to see what they are going to do about this matter. Because the university is a state institution, we are also contacting the Minnesota legislature.
“It is hard to think of anything more vile than to intentionally desecrate the Body of Christ. We look to those who have oversight responsibility to act quickly and decisively.”
Contact President Robert Bruininks at email@example.com
Then, there was this follow up at the Catholic League...
HYSTERIA MARKS MYERS AND HIS ILK
July 11, 2008
Yesterday, Catholic League president Bill Donohue issued a news release calling attention to the plea that Paul Zachary Myers made on his blog: he solicited the Communion Host for the express purpose of desecrating it. Donohue now responds to the reaction he has received from the University of Minnesota Morris professor, as well as others:
“Myers went on Houston radio station KPFT last night saying that Bill Donohue has ‘declared a fatwa’ against him. He should know better—I don’t need others to do the fighting for me. I’m quite good at it myself. But he’d better be careful what he says, because if I get any death threats, it won’t be hard to connect the dots.
“Myers, who claims expertise in studying zebrafish, has quite a following among the King Kong Theory of Creation gang. Indeed, we’ve been inundated with hate mail from all over the world, and it all stems from those whose alleged god is reason.
“As a result of the hysteria that Myers’ ilk have promoted, at least one public official is taking it seriously. Thomas E. Foley is chairman of Virginia’s First Congressional District Republican Committee, a delegate to the Republican National Convention and one of two Republican at large nominees for Virginia’s Electoral College. His concern is for the safety of Catholics attending this year’s Republican National Convention in Minneapolis, Myers’ backyard. Accordingly, Foley has asked the top GOP brass to provide additional security while in the Twin Cities so that Catholics can worship without fear of violence. Given the vitriol we have experienced for simply exercising our First Amendment right to freedom of speech, we support Foley’s request.
“We already know that Myers lost one round: the university has removed the link to his blog from his faculty page. He should be prepared to lose a few more rounds. By the way, Myers says he is delighted to have finally garnered my attention. Too bad I can’t say the same—I never heard of the guy until yesterday.”
More news on this...
- Communion wafer held 'hostage' raises holy heck (MN Star Tribune)
- Professor solicits hosts to desecrate (Washington Time)
- University Called to Fire Prof who Pledged to Publicly Desecrate ...(Lifesite)
ACT OF REPARATION
Saint Margaret Mary Alacoque, well known in connection with devotion to the Sacred Herat of Jesus, led the way in making reparation to Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament for the coldness and ingratitude of men. This prayer of hers can become our own as we attempt to make amends for our own and others' neglect of the great Sacrament of His love, the Eucharist.
O kind and merciful savior, from my heart I earnestly desire to return Thee love for love. My greatest sorrow is that Thou art not loved by men, and, in particular, that my own heart is so cold, so selfish, so ungrateful.
Keenly aware of my own weakness and poverty, I trust that Thy own grace will enable me to offer Thee an act of pure love. And I wish to offer Thee this act of love in reparation for the coldness and neglect that are shown to Thee in the sacrament of Thy love by Thy creatures.
O Jesus, my supreme good, I love Thee, not for the sake of the reward which Thou hast promised to those who love Thee, but purely for Thyself. I love Thee above all things that can be loved, above all pleasures, and above myself and all that is not Thee, promising in the presence of heaven and earth that I will live and die purely and simply in Thy holy love, and that if to love Thee thus I must endure persecution and suffering I am completely satisfied, and I will ever say with Saint Paul: Nothing "will be able to separate us from the love of God."
0 Jesus, supreme master of all hearts, I love Thee, I adore Thee, I praise Thee, I thank Thee, because I am now all Thine own. Rule over me, and transform my soul into the likeness of Thyself, so that it may bless and glorify Thee forever in the abode of the saints.
--Saint Margaret Mary Alacoque
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