Desecration of Host Not Seen as Free Speech
Confraternity Proposes Prayer Day in Reparation
HARRISBURG, Pennsylvania, JULY 30, 2008 (Zenit.org<http://www.zenit.org/>).- The Confraternity of Catholic Clergy is proposing Friday as a national day of prayer and fasting in the wake of the desecration of the Eucharist by a Minnesota professor.
Father John Trigilio, Jr., the president of the confraternity, a U.S. association of 600 priests and deacons, sent a statement this week asking Catholics “to join in a day of prayer and fasting that such offenses never happen again.”
Paul Myers, a professor of biology at the University of Minnesota at Morris, says he desecrated the Eucharist by piercing it with a rusty nail, then he threw it into the trash.
The self-professed atheist wrote about the incident on his blog and posted a photo of the desecrated host.
The statement of the Confraternity of Catholic Clergy said it found the actions of Myers “reprehensible, inexcusable, and unconstitutional. His flagrant display of irreverence by profaning a consecrated Host from a Catholic Church goes beyond the limit of academic freedom and free speech.”
“Attacking the most sacred elements of a religion is not free speech anymore than would be perjury in a court or libel in a newspaper,” added the text.
Father Trigilio told ZENIT that the congregation is asking the faithful to make a holy hour before the Eucharist on Aug. 1, the feast of St. Alphonsus Ligouri, and to fast in “reparation for the sacrilegious desecration of the Holy Eucharist.”