Thursday, 4 October 2007

Church Sanctity defiled as the Blessed Sacrament is stolen

Church Sanctity defiled as the Blessed Sacrament is stolen

By Livinus Tal Bam
Holysacrament The Tobin Quasi Parish Church is under an Ecclesiastical Ban after thieves defiled the sanctity of the church and made away with the Blessed Sacrament. While investigations and fasting are underway to uncover the perpetrators of this hideous act, Catholic Christians are yet to come to terms with such effrontery. Similar acts were reported in Molyko, Buea and Bangangte last year. The reasons behind the increasing interest in the Blessed Sacrament remain a mystery.

On Thursday 4 October 2007 the Tobin Quasi Parish Church in Kumbo was desecrated as the Blessed Eucharist stolen from the tabernacle where it had been reserved after the 6 a.m. Mass. The theft was discovered by Reverend Deacon Edwin Kinga, who had been assisting Father Evaristus Kiven at the 6 a.m. Mass. The Rector of Tobin Quasi Parish, Father Robert Tanto came in that morning from Nkambe and celebrated the Mass for the students.
It was not until after the singing of the Our Father that Reverend Kinga, after solemnly bringing the ciborium from the Tabernacle and opening it on the Altar that he had the shock of finding the ciborium totally empty. He immediately alerted the celebrant that something had gone wrong in the Tabernacle. After discovering the theft of the Blessed Sacrament, Father Tanto informed the Vicar General, Father Roland Berngeh, as well as the Chairman of the Parish Pastoral Council, Shey Julius Ngalim.
When news of the desecration spread in the Diocese, priests from the Kumbo Deanery as well as a cross section of the parish community came to see for themselves. Father Roland Berngeh explained the implications of this act for the entire parish, indicating that since the Church had been desecrated, it would have to be cleansed before it was fit for Holy Mass and the preservation of the Blessed Sacrament. He then pronounced the ecclesiastical sanction of suspending Holy Mass and Communion from the Tobin Church until the cleansing ceremony has been made.
He then urged the parish to pray and fast while investigations on who had committed the act were going on. The Church is expected to be blessed and opened again for celebration on Sunday 14 October. A Commission of enquiry was then set up to investigate the current theft and desecration of the Church. The Council agreed that until the stolen communion had been found, families and individuals should pray at 9 p.m. for the discovery of the stolen host and the restoration of Tobin Church to a Eucharistic Centre.

The Rector of Tobin Quasi Parish, Rev. Fr. Robert Tanto has expressed worry and dissatisfaction with the lack of security that led to the desecration of the sacred species from the only Eucharistic Centre of the parish and in broad daylight. He regretted that the theft of the Blessed Sacrament had happened when the Bishop was out of the diocese. He urged all to work hard and work fast on the conditions given them by the Vicar General for the Church to be blessed and used for the celebration of Holy Mass on 14 October.


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