Catholic Church officials in Kerala, an area in southwestern India, report that there was attempted burglary at St Antony’s Monastery in the town of Aluva on September 29. It is feared that the culprits may be Satanists seeking to defile the Eucharist for use in secret rituals known as the Black Mass. The New Indian Express newspaper reported that the tabernacle at the church, which is used for keeping the Eucharist under the form of bread, was desecrated. This is not the first time that such a desecration has been reported in Kerala. In September 2010, it was reported that at the church of St Francis of Assisi, at Vellappally in Alappuzha, the tabernacle was violated and the Eucharist stolen by Satanists.
Bishop Stephen Athipozhiyil of Alappuzha has issued a pastoral letter asking Christians to be vigilant about the activities of Satanists and practitioners of the Black Mass. The desecration of the Eucharist under the form of bread is reportedly an important aspect of Black Masses. Father Malachi Martin, a Catholic priest from Ireland who spent much of his life in the United States, described in several books how Satanists abuse the Sacrament for their nefarious purposes. In India, the Black Mass is a parody of the Holy Mass or Divine Liturgy as celebrated by Catholic and Orthodox Christians. However, it has reportedly turned into the desecration of anything considered to be divine by other religions, including Hinduism and Islam.
In the Archdiocese of Verapoly, the Eucharist is no longer given to communicants in the hand at St James Church in Cheranallore, where it was found that the Holy Communion was not consumed immediately but instead taken elsewhere for unknown purposes.
According to local reports, Christians have expressed their concerns about the incident at Aluva. “We strongly suspect the involvement of an evil group. It may be noted that the offering box in the church remains untouched. The common laity has no use of ‘Consecrated Host’ or the communion bread. Only those who practice Black Mass need it. There were reports that certain groups were active in giving Hosts for cash,” said Jose Vithayathil, secretary of the laity commission in Kerala.
Police in Aluva, however,maintain that the incident at the church is just another case of attempted theft. “We could not trace any link that leads to Black Mass,” said a police spokesman.