Is nothing sacred? Gurranabraher priest hits out at mass-goers discarding Communion host 

Is nothing sacred? Gurranabraher priest hits out at mass-goers discarding Communion host 

A PRIEST in Gurranabraher has criticised people who have discarded the Body of Christ onto the floor of the church during Mass, saying it could be the work of “second generation pagans”.

The Communion bread, representing the Body of Christ, has been left on the floor of the Church of the Ascension in Gurranabraher three times recently and resulted in a warning being issued in the parish newsletter about the “very serious offence”.

Fr Tomás Walsh
Fr Tomás Walsh

Father Tomás Walsh said the Sacred Host has been found on the floor between seats in the church and he warned that there are “few more serious offences in Church law than the desecration of the Holy Eucharist in this way”.

He has also criticised people who come to receive Communion with chewing gum in their mouths.

Every time the Holy Eucharist is found on the floor, it is put in a glass of water and placed in the tabernacle to dissolve, before being buried deep in the ground.

Fr Walsh previously worked at the Cathedral of St Mary and St Anne and said the offence occurred there also.

He also recalled an occasion when he worked in Nigeria where the host was found on the floor and the local bishop stopped celebrating Mass for a month.

Fr Walsh said that no-one should be chewing gum while receiving the Eucharist as this is a “grave irreverence.”

“This would never have happened years ago when there was proper Catholicism in schools,” Fr Walsh said.

On the discarding of the Communion bread, Fr Walsh said: “Mostly, it is people who are not aware of what they are doing. They probably don’t like the taste of it or are not sure what to do with it.

“It could be children or people with dementia or second-generation pagans at weddings and funerals with no understanding of the importance of the Eucharist,” he said.

Fr Walsh said ministers of Holy Communion must ensure those who receive it place the host in their mouth before they leave the minister’s presence and parents and guardians of young children must ensure that their children are taught to receive Communion in a “worthy manner”.

“All of us need to be more watchful at Holy Communion time to make sure that there is no desecration of Holy Communion,” he added.

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