Unidentified intruders vandalize the Holy Host and dump the donation box at a chapel in Cochin Diocese in Kerala
Catholics in a southern Indian parish suspect the involvement of Satan worshipers in the desecration of the Holy Host kept in a chapel tabernacle.
The unidentified intruders broke open the tabernacle in the St. Jacob Chapel under St. Antony’s Church parish in Cochin Diocese on the night of March 28 and “strewed around the Holy Host in a wetland close to it,” said Bishop Joseph Kariyil of Cochin.
The intruders also removed the donation box from the chapel and dumped it in the same wetland, apparently to give the impression of a theft, he said, adding that it did not contain even 100 rupees (less than US$2).
“We look at it as an attempt to discredit the Holy Host,” the prelate said, desisting from blaming it on anti-Christian motives or an internal rivalry.
Some in the diocese suspect the attack could be an act of Satan worshipers known for desecrating the Blessed Sacrament.
“We do not totally rule out such a possibility,” said Father Johney Xavier Puthukkattu, the diocesan public relations officer.
Meanwhile, police began a probe even as Bishop Kariyil appealed to authorities to bring the culprits to book as soon as possible and take stringent action for the sacrilegious act
The priest, however, said they “do not have any history of hostility to suspect anyone.”
Father Puthukkattu said the 100 families in the substation organized special prayers in the chapel as reparation for the sacrilege.
Meanwhile, police began a probe even as Bishop Kariyil appealed to authorities to bring the culprits to book as soon as possible and take stringent action for the sacrilegious act.
The probe team pressed into service a team of forensic officials and a dog squad to gather spot evidence but a senior police official refused to divulge any details as it could hamper the investigations.
Meanwhile, Kerala Catholic Bishops' Council (KCBC) condemned the incident, saying “it was a deliberate attempt to denigrate the Holy Host that is dear and holy to every Catholic in a most heinous way."
Father Jacob G. Palackappilly, deputy secretary-general of the KCBC, said the incident could be an attempt to whip up “communal frenzy” and urged the state government to treat it as a very serious issue and initiate strict action.
Christians in many parts of India have been witnessing targeted attacks against them, including their churches, mostly from right-wing Hindu groups who are opposed to their charitable works.
Data released by Christian groups termed 2021 as the worst year for Christians in India with more than 500 cases of attacks against Christians and their institutions.
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