Posted by: Joe of St. Thérèse | January 2, 2008

definition of Sacrileges

According to the Catholic Dictionary published by Our Sunday Visitor, the definition of a sacrilege is the following:

def: Sacrilege: Violent, disrespectful treatment of persons, places, and objects dedicated t God. Receiving the sacraments unworthily (i.e. in mortal sin) is also sacrilegious.

I liken when I think of sacrilegious, it goes much deeper than just violent acts. The Catechism of the Catholic Church goes deeper.

CCC 2118: God’s first commandment condemns the main sins of irreligion: tempting God, in words or deeds, sacrilege, and simony.

CCC 2120: Sacrilege consists in profaning or treating unworthily the sacraments ad other liturgical actions as well as persons, things or places consecrated to Gd. Sacrilege is a grave sin especially when committed against the Eucharist, for in this sacrament the true Body of Christ is made substantially present for us.

Now looking at this definition there’s a lot of things that we do that can be considered sacrilegious in the specific sense.

I alluded to it a couple of blogs ago this thought of not acknowledging Jesus in the Tabernacle as being sacrilegious. Why in the world is this the case? Well, if we look at the definition, it’s treating unworthily the places that are consecrated to God. Now this is not directed at those with physical problems and can not make an act of worship towards the Tabernacle. This is directed at the teens with no knee problems and those who have no physical problems.

Every time in the Latin Catholic Church we pass in front of the Tabernacle, we genuflect with the right knee. (Both knees when the Blessed Sacrament is exposed). In the Eastern Catholic Churches you bow profoundly (kneeling in the East is a position of penance). In the West, we bow in front of the crucifix or statues. The reason for this is that we do not worship the statues. Genuflection is an action of worship, where as bowing is not always this. It is sacrilege in the sense that you don’t even acknowledge His presence there. That is what’s wrong, and that is something that I see a lot in many Churches amongst the young people, and that is something that I despise.

In the olden days, if your nun was super old school, they’d tell you Communion in the hand was an absolute sacrilege. The reason being, it fit the definition of unworthily treating the sacraments. Today we have Communion in the Hand via indult. (It is NOT THE NORM OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH!). It is in my opinion still a sacrilege to see Hosts dropped, and treated so casually as if it was just bread. This is the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus Christ, our Lord. We do many things with our hands. We eat plenty of foods with our hands, pizza, french fries, hot dogs (not knocking on them, as I enjoy them just as much as the next person). But when you associate the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Our Lord, a casualness comes to it. That it’s not something real. This is the sacrilege with Communion in the Hand, the fact that it is being treated as something ordinary. I am a strong proponent against Communion in the Hand. You know a little bit more why this is the case.

(The following paragraph is my own opinion)
Why it should be a sacrelige to enter wreckovated Churches> Well, for one, it is a place consecrated to God. We are treating it with such disrespect to isolate Jesus, no altars, (putting tables instead). To have no reminders of what our Faith is, (i.e. removal of statues, stained glass windows, etc). That should be a sacrilege, but again, that’s just my own opinion.

So, the point of this weeks lecture, stop committing sacrileges, acknowledge Jesus in our Churches, stop wreckovating Churches, and start having some actual Faith in the Real Presence. Amen!


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