“We are now standing in the face of the greatest historical confrontation humanity has gone through. I do not think that wide circles of the American society or wide circles of the Christian community realize this fully. We are now facing the final confrontation between the Church and the anti-Church, of the Gospel and the anti-Gospel. This confrontation lies within the plans of divine providence. It is a trial which the whole Church… must take up.” Karol Cardinal Wotyla (Sept. 1976)

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Eucharist Desecration at UCF

As many of you have read, a student at University of Central Florida named Webster Cook took Communion with the thoughts of not consuming it, but holding it for his own purposes. Here is the full story. Htip to Creative Minority Report

I wrote the President of the University, Dr. John Hitt, an e-mail tonight sharing my outrage, and he replied:

I am vacationing outside Florida with my children and grand children, and have not had an opportunity to discuss this matter with staff, but have seen a press account and had the benefit of an email from our student judicial officer.

Rest assured that the university takes this matter very seriously and is working with the Catholic diocese to assure that university rules of conduct and Florida statutes are upheld. The Catholic campus ministry is a vibrant and respective part of university life.

John C. Hitt President, UCF

We will see what happens here.

7 comments:

matthew archbold said...

Stay on this story. Good job sending the email out. Thanks for posting the response.

Lisa Julia Photography said...

I am a member of a Catholic Mom's group, where i first heard of the UCF story. Regardless of your belief in what the Holy Eucharist does or doesn't represent, this boy's actions smack of a hate crime. I think he has every 'right' to protest, but i think he crossed the line. It's one thing to protest in a peaceful manner and quite another to take an element of a large number of society's belief system and basically spit on it.
To some like the Professor in MN, the Eucharist is a 'cracker' to some the Torah or Koran is just a book....but you can bet that if this student walked into a Muslim service and walked out with the Koran or started ripping it's pages, the actions against the student would be swift. If he walked into a temple and spray painted swastikas on the Torah, no way would he be seen as a hero standing up for his rights. He would be seen as one who committed a hate crime.
Of course, it's considered politically correct and in vogue to encourage hate crimes against the Catholic Church so this will probably go unpunished much like Bill Maher's comments regarding the Pope.

A Voice in the Crowd said...

Lisa,

Amen, couldn't have said it better...want to take over my blog?

Lisa Julia Photography said...

LOL! I am no Theologian, nor am i a writer..just a Roman Catholic woman who is a bit weary of the 'cooler than thou' set who thinks it's okay to insult and poke fun of a belief system that differs from their own.

benjdm said...

Regardless of your belief in what the Holy Eucharist does or doesn't represent, this boy's actions smack of a hate crime.

It is in no way a hate crime. In order for something to be a hate crime, it has to first be a crime:

A hate crime is "A criminal offense committed against a person or property motivated, in whole or in part, by the offender's bias against a racial group, religion, ethnicity, gender, sexual preference, or disability." Webster Cook did not commit any criminal offense. A hate crime only refers to motivation and effect on a larger population of something that is already a crime.

My understanding is that Cook is a Catholic himself, so even then, you'd have a tough time showing that his motivation was his bias against his own religious group.

A Voice in the Crowd said...

As you saw in my latest post comparing the Jewish and Muslim incidents, disrupting a religious service is a misdemeanor. A misdemeanor is definitely a crime.
Is it not?

So I am not sure how you logic that a crime could not have been commitment. A “hate” crime would depend on the definition of Florida’s statutes. The President of the college mentioned we will have to consider this action with FLA statutes, making me believe that he was referencing a statue and there is something there.
But we will see.

As far as Webster being a Catholic, that does not negate responsibility. If a person from another religion desecrates their own house of worship are you saying they could not be charged? I am an American, but if I charge the White House maliciously, my nationality isn’t gone void my action.

To do this, Webster is a cultural Catholic, like Ted Kennedy, like Mario Cuomo, nothing more. He is not a practicing Catholic, so this will not help him either.

benjdm said...

As you saw in my latest post comparing the Jewish and Muslim incidents, disrupting a religious service is a misdemeanor. A misdemeanor is definitely a crime.
Is it not?


At the time I responded to this post, I had not yet read the other post where you listed those. As those laws stand, IF he had committed one of those crimes, motivation could raise it up to a hate crime, I think.

I put up my disputes of those laws in the other post's comments.


As far as Webster being a Catholic, that does not negate responsibility.

Of course not. It would make the case of a 'hate crime' much more difficult to establish, though, since you would be attempting to show he was biased against his own religious group. It wouldn't affect any other charges at all.

If you maliciously did something to the White House, I think it would be difficult to show that your action was motivated by a bias against Americans if you considered yourself an American. I don't think it would be impossible.