‘Blessed Sacrament’ stolen from Negros Oriental church
Msgr. Julius Heruela, Parish Priest of St. Agustin of Hippo Parish, demonstrates how they padlock the monstrance where the Blessed Sacrament was stolen on January 2, 2020. Judy Flores Partlow/PNA
By Ryan Christopher J. Sorote
January 6, 2020
A consecrated host in a parish in the Diocese of Dumaguete was stolen and believed to be used in a superstitious ritual, Thursday, Jan. 2.
Dumaguete Bishop Julito Cortes has instructed St. Agustin of Hippo Parish in Bacong, Negros Oriental to be in state of penance after a consecrated host displayed in their Adoration Chapel was stolen by an unidentified thief.
Watch lady Radrigo Solibio discovered the stolen blessed sacrament shortly before noon and immediately reported the incident to parish priest Msgr. Julius Heruela.
Heruela said only the consecrated host was stolen and the monstrance was left because it was padlocked.
“This is not the first time a consecrated host was stolen from the parish,” said Msgr. Heruela.
The blessed sacrament could have been stolen to be used in a superstitious ritual or locally known as “tuo-tuo,” he said.
Fr. Ronnie Ablong, Diocese of Dumaguete Exorcist, said the consecrated host could have been sold to be used in a satanic black Mass or as a lucky charm.
“A black mass was reported in Cebu using a consecrated host. It could also reach the (Dumaguete) diocese,” he warned.
As part of the entire parish’s penance, a 24-hour vigil was done and an aurora procession.
Msgr. Heruela asks for prayers for the return of the stolen consecrated host.
Bishop Cortes said if the thief is a Catholic, he/she will immediately be penalized with excommunication.
“The Catholic who did this incurs excommunication latae sententiae or automatic excommunication,” said Bishop Cortes in a statement.
If the blessed sacrament is found, it should be eaten immediately by a priest or dissolved in water and buried, the Bishop explains.
“I ask all priests and God’s people to be vigilant in their Parishes, Oratories, and Chapels, where the Blessed Sacrament is kept to avoid sacrilege,” the prelate furthered, who once was the parish priest of the parish.