RTÉ rejects Communion complaint
RTÉ has rejected a complaint by the Catholic Communications Office about an item on the Mario Rosenstock Show broadcast on November 26th last.
It showed a man a man spitting into a bucket before receiving Holy Communion.
In a complaint to RTÉ, Martin Long, director of the Catholic Communication Office at Maynooth, said that “any objective viewer would certainly see the offence caused in ridiculing the reception of Holy Communion, the Eucharist, which is the Body of Christ”.
“To make fun of this sacred act is sacrilege and is offensive to the core belief of every Catholic,” he said.
Mr Long said that “to parody the reception of the Eucharist in such a manner goes beyond basic standards of taste and decency which we should be able to expect from our national public service broadcaster.”
While accepting that “the item might cause offence to some viewers”, RTÉ said the item was not “satirical of religion, nor does it have points to make about Catholic practice.... If anything, the setting of Mass is here treated fondly and naturally as an environment in which Irish people may commonly be found and within which norms of behaviour are well-known.”
Spitting in the item was “a bizarre variation on a respectful intention that is the wish to be cleansed in preparation for receipt of the Eucharist.”
Exclusion of such occasional treatment “would be likely to have an unduly restrictive impact on comedy and social satire,” it said.