Calling Eucharist ‘haunted bread’ not sacrilegious, says RTÉ

Broadcaster responds to priest’s complaint over ‘blasphemy’ on The Late Late Show

A Co Kerry priest complained about comments made on The Late Late Show by Blindboy Boatclub (left) of the Rubberbandits

A Co Kerry priest complained about comments made on The Late Late Show by Blindboy Boatclub (left) of the Rubberbandits

 

RTÉ has told a Co Kerry priest who complained about the description of the Eucharist as “haunted bread” on The Late Late Show that while the phrase was provocative, it was not sacrilegious.

Fr Kevin McNamara, parish priest of Moyvane, on Sunday morning rejected RTÉ’s explanation from the show’s producer and has said what occurred was “blasphemous”.

The priest has also told his congregation the core values of another faith would not have been so attacked.

In January, Fr McNamara complained that the description by Blindboy Boatclub of Rubberbandits was endorsed by presenter Ryan Tubridy.

He also took issue with the description of the Eucharist being the ghost of a 2,000-year-old carpenter.

The Late Late Show producer, Larry Masterson, has defended the remarks as “part of the conversation,” on the night, which concerned some people in their thirties returning to the Catholic Church after a period of difficulty and scandal.

“As someone from that age group, Blindboy Boatclub was first to reply, and he did so in the language of his generation and his satirical character. The point he was making, to put the language to one side for a moment, was that in his view, people of his generation are not returning to the Church,” Mr Masterson said.

“The phrase ‘haunted bread’ was certainly provocative. He used it to get a reaction, and indeed it did. I do not believe, however, that it was sacrilegious. It was, in my view, a linguistic phrase that encapsulates the Holy Ghost and Holy Communion,” Mr Masterson told Fr McNamara in an email.

The response was published in the Moyvane newsletter this morning.

Mr Masterson said: “In attempting to hear new voices on the The Late Late Show, it is inevitable that some will not like what they hear. Uncomfortable or unpopular opinions are part of debate as are views that clash or disagree with mainstream consensus.”

He accepted the phrase “haunted bread” had caused offence to some viewers and has been seen by some disrespectful and for that he apologised.

Fr McNamara rejected the statement and said he was disappointed with the response. He maintained the remark was blasphemous.

“I wonder what the reaction would be had a guest insulted the core values of another Faith,” he said.

“From my viewing of our national channels the Catholic faith is not afforded sufficient respect or fair play. After all, RTÉ is funded by all licence payers.”

He told worshipers on Sunday that he is pursuing the matter with the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland.