Stealing the Eucharist

I have a question on the Eucharist. In Orlando, a UCF student received the body of Christ, but did not eat it. Instead, he put it in his pocket and removed it from the church to show a friend. He said he wanted his friend to see what is was like. He did return it to the church a week later, which makes me think he wasn’t even Catholic.

Naturally, church officials are quite upset. The Holy MInisters are supposed to stop someone who does not eat or drink the body/blood, but he was allowed to put it in his pocket and leave the church with it. Shouldn’t the priest have been notified? What should happen to this person? What if anything will happen to him if he’s Catholic?

He wasn’t ‘allowed’ to leave - people (I think more than one) physically tried to restrain him and retrieve the Eucharist. Presumably he fought back, broke free and ran out. And of course the priest was notified - he was there and saw what happened, d’uh.

This person, presuming he’s Catholic, and he says he was, is guilty of the sin of sacrilege and desecration of the Eucharist, which means automatic excommunication. If he repents and confesses this sin and all other sins he may have committed, the excommunication will be automatically lifted.

The person was raised Catholic- however, no mention was made in any report I’ve read about what that means.

When someone (another student serving as usher, I believe) saw him not consume the Host (he received in the hand), she tried to pry it from his hands. He then put it in his mouth, went back to his seat, then removed it. He deliberately deceived the people there into thinking he had consumed the Host.

He says he didn’t consume the Host in order to show it to a non-Catholic friend who had questions about the faith.

here is the article:

'Body Of Christ" Returned To Church After Student Receives Email Threats

He’s excommunicated. He is denied all access to the sacraments until he confesses and the excommunication is lifted by his Bishop. Also, in a state of REALLY SERIOUS sin, almost assuredly mortal. This is about the worst sin you can commit. maybe the 4 sins that cry to heaven for vengeance are worse, I’m not sure.

God Bless

Wow, I didn’t know they tried to stop him and he bolted past them and ran. The article I read didn’t provide that much information. It makes me wonder how he could be a Catholic as he should know the severity of stealing the Eucharist and of not taking it in church. Where did you read about this? I’d like to see the whole story.

Great link. Thanks. I was also able to read an earlier story on this same subject.

Right, his story doesn’t make any sense. Why would he need to take the Eucharist to show his friend since the friend attended mass with him? Also, as a Catholic, he should already know he’s not supposed to leave without consuming, so he is unbelievable to think the church officials were wrong to try and stop him.

The Pope has to lift the excommunication:

Can. 1367 A person who throws away the consecrated species or takes or retains them for a sacrilegious purpose incurs a latae sententiae excommunication reserved to the Apostolic See; moreover, a cleric can be punished with another penalty, not excluding dismissal from the clerical state.

The story details the attempts to rescue the host from him. He did not “bolt and run”.

From the looks of the article, it appears he is perhaps now an atheist-- since he objects to student service fees going to religions organizations on campus.

Original story:


My understanding is that none of these types of excommunication cases need go to the Holy See any more. That the Pope has delegated this authority to his Bishops, who in certain dioceses have in their turn given faculties to any priest to lift, for example, excommunications incurred for procuring or having an abortion, so also possibly excommunications for sacrilege or desecration of the Eucharist.

Thanks for the information. I did not know this.

This sad and upsetting incident (and there have been others like it) makes a great argument for communion on the tongue ALONE!

He did NOT put it in his pocket. He attempted to, then placed it in his mouth when requested by an EMHC, then kept it in his mouth until he got back to his seat, then spat it out again. Communion on the tongue would not have prevented it.

If someone is going to leave the church with the Eucharist I suggest all and everyone to exercise proper judgement when considering using force to prevent someone from leaving. There can be some serious legal issues involved…false imprisonment can tote a hefty penalty in some states…in my state store clerks cannot even retain shoplifters with physical force.

If I wanted to leave a church with the host I would not have much trouble doing it…I still have my old Rugby moves and I am not a Tiny Guy either.:smiley:

This is not correct.

The canons that state they are reserved to the Apostolic See mean just that. The canon regarding excommunication for abortion does not state it is reserved to the Apostolic See.

Regarding the cessation of penalties, canon law say the following:

Can. 1354 §3. If the Apostolic See has reserved the remission of a penalty to itself or to others, the reservation must be interpreted strictly.

This is true. And I’ve heard stories of people actually packing their mouth with cotton in order to receive on the tongue, but keep the mouth dry enough to remove the Host later.

However- in this particular case, I think the decision to remove the Host once it was in his mouth was more out of spite in response to his “assault” (which he currently has a case pending in the student court) by the usher. To take his story at face value, he sounds as if it was all an “innocent” intent to show the Host to a friend (disbelieving eyeroll here). Had he received on the tongue to begin with, pretended to consume the host, then removed it once back at his seat, he would no longer be able to claim any sort of “innocent” intent.

The is the problem with the Novus Church, desecration. That is also one of the problems with communion recived by the hands, some priests (or Eucharist Minister) wont be able to notice if the Eucharist they gave were really consumed.

Unfortunately your are DEAD wrong…the young man DID put the Eucharist in his mouth. He took it out when he got back to the pew.

Right. Because no Host had ever been desecrated prior to Vatican II. Ever.

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