Two Roman Catholic churches have posted guards to make sure parishioners swallow the communion wafer and don’t pocket it. The reason: Priests fear that the wafers are being used in satanic rites.
There have been no recent police reports of any satanic activity, but suspicions were raised at St. Charles Catholic Church in December when a half-dozen people were seen leaving with the Holy Communion, the Rev. John Noone said.
Now, guards posted at the altar - usually church ushers - discreetly ask parishioners to eat the wafer or give it back, Noone said. St. Margaret Mary Church in nearby Slidell, La., also has guards keeping watch over the sacraments.
In the Catholic faith, the bread and wine served at communion are considered the body and blood of Christ.
During Satanic rituals, or what are known as Black Masses, communion wafers are burned or otherwise desecrated, said Justin Rudelson, an assistant professor of anthropology and religion at Tulane University.
Myra DeCourcy, a member of the St. Charles church, said anybody who steals communion is crazy and sick.
“We have set up a 24-hour watch over the Holy Eucharist, and Satan doesn’t like it so he’s sending some of his bad people to get it,” she said.