TALK about taking the biscuit â€¦ in what must be the daftest incident of the year – if not the century – a Florida University student is being crucified by Catholics for kidnapping the Body of Christ.
Not the ACTUAL corpse, long since turned to dust of course, but the symbolic flesh of the Saviour, as embodied in a wafer known as the Eucharist.
The Eucharist is a small bread wafer blessed by a priest. According to Catholics, the wafer becomes the Body of Christ once blessed – and is to be consumed immediately after a minister passes it out to churchgoers … “before the magic wears off,” as Andy Armitage, over at the Pink Triangle Trust points out.
The University of Central Florida student explained what happened in this report:
When I received the Eucharist, my intention was to bring it back to my seat to show him. I took about three steps from the woman distributing the Eucharist and someone grabbed the inside of my elbow and blocked the path in front of me. At that point I put it in my mouth so they’d leave me alone and I went back to my seat and I removed it from my mouth.
Cook was annoyed by attempts to forcibly liberate the kidnapped cracker by a church leader.
She came up behind me, grabbed my wrist with her right hand, and with her left hand grabbed my fingers and was trying to pry them open to get the Eucharist out of my hand.
Her attempts to recover the cracker failed, and Cook took it home.
Then things really began hotting up. Diocese of Orlando spokeswoman Carol Brinati said she was not aware of anyone touching Cook. She released a statement saying:
... a Catholic Campus Ministry student representative filed a complaint with the Student Union regarding the behaviour of the two young men. A Student Government Representative called Catholic Campus Ministry to apologise for this disruption.
The storm in the communion cup escalated into a full-blown tempest when Cook retaliated by filing an official abuse complaint with UCF’s student conduct court regarding the alleged physical force. Following that complaint, Brinati said church members filed their own official complaints of disruptive conduct. Punishment for either offence could result in suspension or expulsion.
Cook remains defiant:
The church feels that I’m the problem here. The problem is actually that this is a publicly-funded religious institution. Through student government here, we fund them through an activity and service, so they’re receiving student money.
Cook is angry that more than $40,000 in student fees have been allocated to support religious organisations on campus for the 2008-2009 school year. But he denied that he is holding the Eucharist hostage in protest of that support.
Regardless of the reason, the Diocese says its main concern is to get the Eucharist back so it can be taken care of properly and with respect.
Does that include a counselling session, normally given to kidnap victims?
The Diocese’s Father Migeul Gonzalez said the Diocese was willing to meet with Cook and help him understand the importance of the Eucharist in hopes of him returning it. He added that intentionally abusing the Eucharist is classified as a mortal sin in the Catholic church, the most severe possible. If it’s not returned, the community of faith will have to ask for forgiveness.
In another report, Susan Fani a spokesperson with the local Catholic diocese, said:
We don’t know 100 percent what Mr Cooks motivation was. However, if anything were to qualify as a hate crime, to us this seems like this might be it.
And Catholic League president Bill Donohue railed:
For a student to disrupt Mass by taking the Body of Christ hostage – regardless of the alleged nature of his grievance – is beyond hate speech. That is why the UCF administration needs to act swiftly and decisively in seeing that justice is done. All options should be on the table, including expulsion.
A “hate crime”? Get a grip, you ridiculous nitwits! We’re talking about a fucking biscuit here – and one not nearly as scrumptious or spiritually fulfilling as an Oreo.
Now if this report did not make you giggle, go across to Pharyngula, where you are guaranteed a damn good belly laugh.