By Susan Brinkmann, OCDS
The Confraternity of Catholic Clergy is asking the faithful to offer public reparation for the sacrilegious desecration of the Holy Eucharist that occurred last week at the hands of university professor in Minnesota.
The Confraternity, a national association of 600 priests and deacons loyal to the Magisterium, issued a statement asking all Catholics in Minnesota and the entire nation to devote a day of prayer and fasting in reparation for the desecration carried out by University of Minnesota professor Paul Z. Myers.
According to a statement by Professor Myers last week, he carried out the descration by piercing the Host with a rusty nail, then throwing it in the trash.
Myers had been threatening to carry out the sacrilege for several weeks after reading about a Florida student who stole a consecrated Host and kept it in a baggie in his dorm room until Catholic students forced him to return it. Myers responded by putting out a call for consecrated Hosts on his blog, an action that drew national outrage. Shortly after receiving the Hosts, Myers made good on his threats.
“We find the actions of University of Minnesota (Morris) Professor Paul Myers reprehensible, inexcusable, and unconstitutional,” the Confraternity said in its statement. “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, they said.
“The same Bill of Rights which protects freedom of speech also protects freedom of religion. The Founding Fathers did not envision a freedom FROM religion, rather a freedom OF religion.”
Lies and hate speech which incite contempt or violence against a religion are not protected under the law. “The freedom of religion means that no one has the right to attack, malign or grossly offend a faith tradition they personally do not have membership or ascribe allegiance.”
Morris’ actions are as wrong as inscribing Swastikas on synagogues or burning copies of the Bible or Koran. “Individual freedoms are limited by the boundaries created by the inalienable rights of others.”
They also questioned the University’s Chancellor for refusing to reprimand or censure Morris. “Tolerating such behavior by university officials is equally repugnant as it lends credibility to the act of religious hatred.”
The Confraternity adds: “One fails to see the relevance of the desecration of a Catholic sacrament to the science of Biology. Were Myers a Professor of Theology, there would have been at least a presumption of competency to express religious opinions in a classroom. Yet, for a scientist to ridicule and show utter contempt for the most sacred and precious article of a major world religion, is inappropriate, unprofessional, unconstitutional and disingenuous.”
The statement concludes: “We also pray that Professor Myers contritely repent and apologize.”
© All Rights Reserved, Living His Life Abundantly/Women of Grace. http://www.womenofgrace.com