Ateneo University, ran by the Society of Jesus or Jesuit order, has suspended the holding of holy Masses two days ago following the sacrilegious act on March 17 of a senior high school student of pocketing the communion host, taking it home to analyze it and then posting on Twitter his scorecard.
But suspending Masses, just a week before the Holy Week celebration, is tantamount to depriving all other students of participation in such a holy ritual that they had grown accustomed to for years of their stay in the university.
Why should Ateneo punish other students—depriving them of regular holy Mass in the campus chapel—when they did not participate or were not even aware of what an upper year student did.
Social media, particularly Twitter, is now heating up on the issue with most of netizens finding the of act of doing an “ostia review” repulsive and sacrilegious, at the very least, as if it were a common cuisine that had to be analyzed and results posted.
The unnamed senior high student rated and posted on Twitter the communion host with a 6/10 for design with a comment “but if it was centered i think it’d be a lot better;” crispiness at 8/10 “not soggy and had a satisfying crunch;” and taste 7.5/10 “medyo lasang cornflakes;” and WOW factor with 7/10 “decent.” The overall rating was 7.1/10.
The deed has spurred fresh concern over how an obsession with social media stunts has led people, especially youth, to do “over the top” stunts that hurt sensitivities and set back educators’ efforts to impart to learners a deep and healthy respect for people’s beliefs and faith, reported Business Mirror.
“No masses in all chapels/churches in Ateneo, including Gesu,” said the Ateneo’s community billboard, after the ASHS (Ateneo Senior High School) officials decided to suspend Masses starting March 21, “as part of the Reparation and Atonement for the recent act of sacrilege (profanation of the Holy Eucharist) by a member of the ASHS.”
Activities “in line with the Reparation and Atonement” will follow, added the ASHS Community Announcement.
Some have said the sacrilegious acts like this merit, under Canon Law, automatic ex-communication. There has yet been no announcement on the sanctions the school or the Jesuits of Ateneo will take, if ever, against the student.
It was uncertain how the student managed to steal the host during the holy Mass. His post on Facebook and Twitter had since been deleted.
The priest consecrates the bread and the wine for “transubstantiation” into Christ’s body and blood, respectively.
“Sacrilege is a grave sin committed against sacred persons or things, particularly those consecrated to God. In the Catholic Church, it is an offense against the holiness of God and His Church. The Eucharist, the source and summit of our Catholic faith, is the most sacred and central act of worship for us,” the ministry said.
“Therefore, any act that shows disrespect, irreverence or contempt towards the Eucharist, or any other sacred object is considered sacrilegious,” it added.
The ASHS-CMO further noted that the holy Mass activities will only resume after the “Rite of Reparation for the Profanation of the Holy Eucharist” was accomplished.
The senior high school student, named @feignedflowers, reviewed a communion element as an "Ostiya Review" in a Mass he attended on March 17, said a Manila Times story.
Netizens reacted to the online apology of the student with "Nice to hear that you're sorry. Maybe now is the time for you to get to know and experience the Eucharist as the 'source and summit of Christian' life as we Catholics call it," wrote Twitter user @slsyahflsk on Monday.
Online daily Masses are still being done on the Ateneo Senior High School Facebook page.
The Catholic movement ReNew Your Faith on Thursday also condemned the student's actions.
Tags: #AteneoUniversity, #SHSstudent, #sacrilege, #’ostiyareview