Nov 16, 2007

We need to safeguard the Blessed Sacrament, our fellow parishioners and our churches

You probably read about parishioners subduing a man recently as he attacked a church in our Archdiocese just before Mass and knocked down the pastor. And the police found a loaded and cocked pistol on him.

Here are a few ideas that I posted as a comment yesterday about the need for every diocese and parish to defend the Blessed Sacrament, our churches and our parishioners from attacks by anti-Catholics, nuts and demonics.

Some of these suggestions might not fly, because of insurance concerns or existing Church policy, or because law enforcement might deem them unwise. But I am suggesting them anyway, just to get comments going about a genuine need we have.

Parishes can guard themselves, in a strictly defensive posture, against outside attacks -- by working with the police ahead of time to arrange quick response, having a plan in place to have the ushers phone the police immediately in case of attack, stationing as guards during Masses and other events and services any parishioners who are off-duty law enforcement or military, and perhaps using as guards, during Masses, other services and any events, some physically able men including perhaps some from the local Knights of Columbus.

Parishes should also have video surveillance cameras covering the sanctuary and elsewhere inside and outside their churches. Motion detectors are also good. Parishes can also employ security and guard services to patrol their premises and their neighborhoods.

Pastors and parishioners in concert with them should also work ahead of time with the local district attorney and the local FBI and other law enforcement officials to make sure that they will seek hate crimes charges against those who commit anti-Catholic attacks.

What is at stake here is the safety of the Blessed Sacrament and the lives and well-being of our parishioners, as well as the safety of our consecrated churches.

What ideas do you have?

Christ's peace be with us all.


Blogger Joe of St. Thérèse said...

All of your ideas are good ones. My thought to those Churches that have the Blessed Sacrament exposed 24/7 is to move it higher (similar to the EWTN chapel)...and also having passcodes for certian parts of the Church.

10:46 PM  
Blogger Quintero said...

Dear Joe,

Thanks for the kind words. That's a good idea of yours, to move the Blessed Sacrament higher.

Pass codes are an interesting idea.

8:40 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

From the diocese of Springfield, IL:

9:49 AM  
Blogger Quintero said...

Dear Anonymous 9:49 a.m.,

Thank you for this link to an article in the Nov. 11 issue of the Catholic Times, the newspaper of the Diocese of Springfield, Ill.

It's an article we all need to know about, even if it is shocking and heartbreaking: On the night of Oct. 28, someone stole the tabernacle, with Eucharistic Jesus inside it, from the reservation chapel of 30-year-old St. Thomas Church in Decatur.

The article says the tabernacle from "the old church" of 1929 has now been moved into the reservation chapel.

But the article does not mention any new safeguards or precautions.

May we each make prayers of reparation for the sacrilege. My Jesus, mercy! Mary, help!

11:18 PM  

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