Cochin (Agenzia Fides) - The tabernacle of the Catholic Church of St. Anthony in Aluva, in the Indian state of Kerala (southern India), was desecrated and the hosts stolen. As reported to Fides, the episode which occurred in past days, has aroused serious concern in the local Church: Church authorities suspect, in fact, that the desecration of the Eucharistic bread can be linked to satanic cults or sects, and that the theft was the work of people celebrating "black masses". Fides sources refer that the Bishops of Kerala have invited all the pastors to "raise the threshold of attention". "We strongly suspect the involvement of satanic groups. One can observe that the donation box in the church was intact, therefore the purpose of the raid was not the theft of money. Only those who practice black masses seek the consecrated hosts", explains Jose Vithayathil, Secretary of the Commission for the Laity, in the Council of the Bishops of Kerala. However, the police of Aluva have not confirmed the suspicions, arguing that "the investigations have not tracked ties with satanic cults".
This is not the first incident reported in Kerala, the state where the Catholic presence is highly developed. After a similar incident that took place in September 2010 in the Church of St. Francis of Assisi, in Alappuzha, the local Bishop, Msg. Stephen Athipozhiyil, had published a pastoral letter asking the lay faithful to be vigilant on the activities of groups of Satan worshipers. In another case, church authorities in the Church of St. James in Cheranallore (in the Archdiocese of Verapoly) have stopped giving the host for Communion in the hands of the faithful, noting that several times the host was not consumed but taken away.
The Indian Church has already denounced the spread of groups and satanic rituals, which are capturing the attention of adolescents and young people in the state of Nagaland in northeastern India (see Fides 01/07/2013). (PA) (Agenzia Fides 05/10/2013)