BY Peter Diamond | March 9 | comments icon 0 COMMENTS     print icon print


Coatbridge church vandalised and sacred Host desecrated

Catholics from a parish in Motherwell Diocese have been left angry and hurt after an intruder desecrated the Blessed Sacrament last weekend

The parishioners of St Patrick’s Coatbridge, including their priest Fr Eamon Sweeney, said the incident had been a very painful act to discover.

Fr Sweeney, who has been a priest in the town for more than two decades, was informed of an incident which took place on Saturday March 3, which has caused him to suspend exposition of the Blessed Sacrament.

“I was alerted on Saturday afternoon to an incident that had taken place in the centenary chapel and Blessed Sacrament,” Fr Sweeney said. “On entering the room I found that the Blessed Sacrament had been desecrated, the monstrance had been dismantled and the sacred Host had been scattered all over the floor of the chapel.

“It was both hurtful and upsetting for me, as this is the first time anything like this has ever occurred in my 23 years as a priest in Coatbridge.

“There has been no material damage to the chapel itself but for the sacred Host to be broken and thrown all over the room is very painful from a Faith perspective—it is the real and divine presence of Christ. Many of the parishioners are angry and hurt and it is my responsibility to help calm them down.”

Fr Sweeney intimated that St Patrick’s was not empty when the attack on the Eucharist took place, as there is always ­members of the congregation on hand to look after the church.

Fr Sweeney added: “The church is open everyday and there is a team of faithful parishioners who are look after the building, and there was a team scheduled for Saturday afternoon.

“Therefore it is with regret that I have had to suspend exposition of the Blessed Sacrament until the issues surrounding those teams have been resolved.

“I made this clear at a Mass last Sunday when I read out a statement to make parishioners aware of the unfortunate incident and the ongoing enquiries.”

A spokeswoman for Police Scotland, said: “Around 2.55pm on Saturday March 3, police were called to a report of an attempted theft of a statue from St Patrick’s Church, St John Street, Coatbridge.

“Police enquiries are continuing and anyone with information should contact Coatbridge Police Office through 101 quoting reference number 2215 of March 3, 2018.”



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