OK, pastors, it's time for a Homeland Security alert. Make a note of the story Kelly cites: thieves broke into a parish in Lynn, MA, skipped the sacred vessels, located the tabernacle key, and took the Holy Eucharist. Since Lynn is next door to Salem, Mass., a magnet for neo-pagan kooks, one has to wonder if there's some connection to any of the occultists.

But back to the security point: a lot of priests are pretty lax about storing the key, leaving it unsecured in a sacristy, and that's just not going to cut it anymore.

Kelly and Dom are wondering why the theft isn't being treated as a "hate crime", though it sure fits the definition. One reason is that we Catholics don't protest vigorously about bias crimes as smaller religious bodies often do. Perhaps the clergy are trained too well to avoid attracting public attention; this is a mistake. Protesting against theft and violation is an act of courage. I'd like to see our Abp. Sean speak publicly about this.

(I'll include the story here in case it should expire off the newspaper's site:)

Lynn Daily Item:

'Body of Christ' stolen from church
By Caitlin Nagle / For the Item
Thursday, August 25, 2005

LYNN - When Rev. James Gaudgreau learned that there was a theft at St. Joseph's Catholic Church on Tuesday night, he was quite alarmed. But when he found out what was taken, he was downright flabbergasted.
"It is gravely sacrilegious," said Gaudreau, after learning that the thieves made off with communion hosts. " Webelieve (the hosts) are the body and blood of Christ," Gaudreau said.
The hosts were locked inside the tabernacle located on the first floor of the church. Gaudreau believes the thief or thieves entered through a boiler room door, which might have been left unlocked by a repairman who serviced the boiler last week.
Gaudreau, piecing together a trail of broken wood, said that the thief then punched a hole through a wooden cross located on a door to a small room behind the alter. Although valuable gold chalices are kept in a cabinet in the room, only the keys to the tabernacle were removed.
Gaudreau found the keys lying on the altar at the base of the tabernacle Wednesday. The hosts were the only items missing from the church.
A visibly disturbed Gaudreau said he would not speculate as to why only the hosts were stolen, but added, "I have ideas."
Gaudreau said recently the church has taken measures to secure potential break-in entrances, including bars over windows, because the church has been broken into several times in the last few months. The parish installed expensive bars over a number of windows; however, because the door might have been left unlocked, the additions were unable to ward off thieves during this latest incident.
A police report was filed and the department said they would be forwarding the information to a department detective. They also said that the incident is being handled as a larceny.


Police really shouldn't be "baffled." Clearly it's a case of B&E, theft, and vandalism, as it were, to communicate a hateful message to faithful Catholics. I wouldn't be surprised if the responsible party(ies) in the occult or Satanism are to blame.

This theft is symptomatic of an all around disresepect for the Holy Eucharist that has grown worse and worse since allowing Communion in the hand. A major Catholic magazine a read recently is now advocating going back to Communion on the tongue only. I am starting to agree. But if we do we should institute the option of receiving under both species by intinction as is so successfully done in Eastern Catholic Churches like the Maronite which I frequently attend. Incidentally I live in Lynn and there are rumors it was an "inside" job since few knew where the tabernacle key was hidden.


So how do we explain thefts of the Eucharist that occurred back when everyone received on the tongue?

I receive on the tongue, and would like to see a return to that practice exclusively in the West. Yet, with all due respect, I don't see the connection between that issue and this theft. We don't even know who committed the theft or why, so how can we automatically blame it on a modern practice among Catholics? Perhaps the thieves aren't even Catholic, for all we know.

In Jesu et Maria,

Wherever there there appears to be a
lack of respect among those who should have the most respect, it seems to encourage others to do even worse things.
Recently, in my parish a parishoner found a Host--presumably consecrated- wedged between two misalette pages. None of us had seen anything like that in our church before.
At first here in Lynn the talk was that someone wanted consecrated Hosts for a Black Mass. However, now the question making the rounds is "How did they know where the well-hidden tabernacle key was?"

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This page contains a single entry by Richard Chonak published on August 29, 2005 11:59 AM.

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