We must raise $643 by March 31st to pay critical bills. Essential to continue our mission. Donate now!
Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Religious illiteracy

By Phil Lawler (bio - articles - email) | Nov 17, 2008

 A tabernacle has been stolen from a church in Hialeah, Florida. That story is frightening, particularly when one considers the possible motives of those responsible for the theft. Archbishop John Favalora is right to ask the faithful to pray for the return of the Blessed Sacrament, and we should all join in those prayers.

The press coverage of the sacrilege, however, shows a stunning ignorance about Catholicism. Keep in mind that these stories originated from southern Florida, where a substantial proportion of the population is Catholic. If the reporters assigned to the topic were uninformed about Church teaching, their editors could have corrected their errors. But they didn't. 

"Archbishop prays for return of sacred box," read the headline in the UPI story. Sacred box? Is the word "tabernacle" too sophisticated for Miami readers? 

Still, to its credit, the UPI story did-- after mentioning the appraised cash value of the "box"-- get to the crux of the matter, saying that the tabernacle "contains the body of Jesus Christ in the form of the eucharist, according to the Catholic faith." 

The AP story did use the word "tabernacle" in the headline, and seems to be headed in the right direction until it all comes apart with a crashing blunder: 

The custom-made, Spanish-imported jeweled box was stolen late last week. But it contains something  far more important than money: the Eucharist, a symbol of the body of Jesus Christ.

In the unforgettable words of Flannery O'Connor, "If it's a symbol, to hell with it."

 

An appeal from our founder, Dr. Jeffrey Mirus:

Dear reader: If you found the information on this page helpful in your pursuit of a better Catholic life, please support our work with a donation. Your donation will help us reach seven million Truth-seeking readers worldwide this year. Thank you!

Progress toward our March expenses ($643 to go):
$35,000.00 $34,356.96
2% 98%
Sound Off! CatholicCulture.org supporters weigh in.

All comments are moderated. To lighten our editing burden, only current donors are allowed to Sound Off. If you are a donor, log in to see the comment form; otherwise please support our work, and Sound Off!

There are no comments yet for this item.

Subscribe for free
Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org
Shop Amazon

Recent Catholic Commentary

Insights on the enigma that is Pope Francis March 27
Our Most Characteristic Vice? March 27
Recognizing the Noonday Devil March 27
Patricia Jannuzzi on gay activists: And the real problem is? March 27
Surrogate parenthood = exploitation of desperate women March 27

Top Catholic News

Most Important Stories of the Last 30 Days
Pope announces Jubilee: a Year of Mercy CWN - March 13