After photos appearing to depict blessings or baptisms by water gun went viral online, several priests cautioned that Catholics should take care to treat sacred objects and rites with a proper sense of reverence.
“Putting holy water into a squirt gun and treating it as if it were a comedy sketch on SNL is treating both the sacrament and the blessed water unworthily,” said Fr. Pius Pietrzyk, assistant professor of canon law at St. Patrick Seminary in Menlo Park, California.
He noted that the Catechism teaches that profaning sacred objects or treating them unworthily is a sin – the sin of sacrilege.
Pietrzyk cautioned against assuming that the intention in a specific instance was to mock the sacraments. “I think we ought to proceed from the premise that it involves individuals who were attempting to make light of the difficulties of the coronavirus situation,” he told CNA.
Still, the priest said, while the intent may have been lighthearted, the photos raise serious concerns.
“[B]lessed objects, including holy water, should be treated with respect and reverence as things set aside to build up the life of faith,” Pietrzyk said.
Fr. Daniel Cardo, who holds the Pope Benedict XVI Chair of Liturgical Studies at St. John Vianney Theological Seminary in Denver, noted that there is a liturgical instrument specifically intended for the sprinkling of water – the aspergilium – which is used during the Easter Season and in other ceremonies when holy water is sprinkled.
“We do this all the time. We bless people at a distance with holy water. We have a beautiful thing that we can use [the aspergilium]. We don’t need toys to do that,” he told CNA.
Full story at Catholic News Agency.