A tragedy came across our local news today: A Tabernacle was stolen from a local Catholic Church. :-(
Here is the story from WNEP-16:
Tabernacle Stolen from Chapel
This tabernacle was stolen from the chapel at Saint Casimir's Church in Shenandoah.
Monday, December 4, 5:13 p.m.
By Bob Reyolds
Parishioners at a church in Schuylkill County are outraged after someone broke into a chapel and stole a tabernacle.
It happened at the chapel at Saint Casimir Roman Catholic Church in Shenandoah. It is next door to the Father Ciszek Center, named for the man parishioners hope will be named a saint.
"This is the lowest criminal in the world. He's lower than a rapist or child molester and when he gets to jail, I hope they treat him that way," said Geronimo Rafter of Shenandoah.
"It's horrendous to think that someone would come into a house of worship and take something so important," said Andy Szczyglak.
The tabernacle houses sacred vessels used during Mass. The tabernacle is important, but it's what was inside that has parishioners most upset. The Holy Eucharist was also taken.
"That is the main focus of the Eucharist when we go to communion. When we go, there is the body of Christ, so the body was stolen!" explained Jack Thomas.
Police do have a suspect. They are asking for help in tracking him down. If you know anything about the theft, they would like to hear from you.
Rafter has a message for the thief. "It was an honor to come in here and pray and I hope the police get to you before I do. Bring it back real quick and pray for God's mercy."
This is getting a good bit of traffic today so I thought I'd add this...emphasis mine...
From a document on EWTN's website:
Read the entire thing here: A crime against all we hold dear.
What punishment is envisaged for offenders?
DE PAOLIS: The punishment envisaged, as set down in Canon 1367, is excommunication
reserved to the Apostolic See: Whoever profanes the consecrated Eucharistic species, or removes or keeps them for a sacrilegious purpose, incurs excommunication means the sentence already given, meaning it is incurred by the very fact of having committed the offence, without the need for any trial (Canon 1314). Reserved to the Apostolic See means that the sentence can only be lifted by the Holy See (Canon 1354-1355).
How is someone who has incurred punishment and then repented absolved?
DE PAOLIS: A person who has incurred punishment can be absolved by a father confessor in the sacrament of Penance only in the urgent case envisaged by Canon 1357 and by any priest if the guilty party is in danger of death, according to Canon 976. In all other cases absolution for the offence is reserved to the competent authority, the Holy See, which can remove the punishment through the Apostolic Penitentiary or the relevant department.