We commented recently on why certain clauses may have been added to the GOCNSW constitution by the MOU signed with the Archdiocese. Interestingly enough a recent example of scandalous misuse of liturgical items was brought to our attention and photos of this public misuse were published on Facebook. Due to the photos being taken off Facebook in response to false copyright claims we will republish them here with some commentary.

It is clear from the photos that an artophorio has been set up on top of a fridge in the public dinning hall of a nursing home. This is not accidental either as candles have been carefully placed on either side and appear to be used for some sort of activity as they are being burned and replaced.

A person who claims to work at the nursing home excused this behavior by saying:

it wasnt set up there purposely so once again get your facts before passing judgement would u prefer them to put it under the bench? because thats the only other place there for it to go i know because i work in there

This was followed by claims that it is needed there as elderly people may not be able to attend the church services. Presumably this is intended to imply that the Eucharist can be kept and distributed from there.

Although the practice of private keeping and receiving of the Eucharist did exist at one time very early on in the Church this has been forbidden by the Church due to the potential for sacrilege and abuse.

For instance the thirty-sixth of the canons attributed to Saint Athansius says,

“No priest shall carry forth the Mysteries and go with them about the streets, except for a sick man, when the end and death’s hour of need draw nigh. And when they carry the mysteries [without], they shall suffer none but the sick to partake. And they shall not do according to favour and give unto one beside the sick, but unto the sick alone. . . “

Of course this sort of abuse can occur even in the canonical Church but there the oversight of a bishop helps to prevent it. In the case of an organisation like GOCSA where is the oversight of a bishop? Lay people are not always familiar with proper ecclesiastical behaviour or care for holy objects, which is why they should not be burdened with this responsibility. It is no suprise that the Archdiocese would request that GOCNSW change their constitution so that the Bishop is able to intervene in these sort of situations.

See this post for more commentary on the changes to the GOCNSW constitution.