Friday, June 23, 2006

Apologist Jimmy Akin Addresses Issue of Rainbow Sash Sacrilege at St Paul Cathedral

Jimmy Akin, Chief Apologist for Catholic Answers in San Diego, addresses the incident on Pentecost Sunday at the St Paul Cathedral when a Rainbow Sash sympathizer kept the sacred host in his hand, broke it and distribute it to some who had been refused Holy Communion for wearing the sash.

[snip] I'm not sure of all of the details of the incident, and I'm not sure on what grounds the guy could have been arrested, but this situation has potential canonical implications that go beyond civil law.

The man who took the host and then used it to give Communion to the Rainbow-Sashers may have excommunicated himself and incurred an excommunication that can only be lifted by the Holy See.

Normally, sacreligious purposes would be things like using the consecrated Host in a "black Mass" or similar act of overt and unambiguous desecration, but what the man did may count.

The Rainbow Sash movement is in open opposition to the Church's teachings on homosexuality, and wearing a raindbow sash at Mass signals this opposition. It is thus no surprise that the Cardinal Arinze, prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, has intervened to prevent Communion from being distributed to them.

So it sounds to me like this gentleman may have excommunicated himself, and done so in a way that will require the action of the Holy See to undo (since this offense is reserved to the Holy See).

If this is the case, then it happened automatically, without any intervention on the part of the Diocese of St. Paul-Minneapolis.

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