The head of the Family and Media Association is “almost definitely” going to complain to the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland after the Eucharist was ridiculed on RTÉ’s flagship chat show.
Speaking to The Irish Catholic, Donal O’Sullivan-Latchford said that he was “very likely” to complain to the BAI after The Late Late Show broadcast
on January 6, the Feast of the Epiphany, featured a discussion in which
the Eucharist was referred to as “haunted bread”.
During a discussions about whether religious practice, long in
decline, might be on the rise, comedian David Chambers, who performs as
‘Blindboy Boatclub’ in the comedy duo The Rubberbandits, said that young
people attending midnight Mass at Christmas were “not going there for
haunted bread”, but were going because it was a family event. “Everybody
at midnight Mass is half-cut anyway,” he added.
Presenter Ryan Tubridy said he thought the phrase ‘haunted bread’ was
“a great expression”, and Mt Chambers said “That’s what it is,” arguing
that the Church “does not want us to use critical thinking” and is
“asking us to eat the ghost of a 2000-year-old carpenter”.
On hearing that fellow guest Michael Harding had been a priest, he murmured “sorry about the haunted bread stuff”.
Cork writer and actor Stefanie Pressner commented that she had never
understood Church teaching on the Eucharist when growing up, saying that
the notion of it being the Body of Christ was “a scary concept”, and
that she had thought of it as “cannibalism”.
Under the BAI Code of Programme Standards, the BAI acknowledges that
matters which can cause offence differ from person to person, and that
there is no right not to be offended, but directs that responsible
programming must take into account such issues as audience size and
While the critical scrutiny of religion is appropriate through
information, drama and other programming, according to the BAI, the code
requires broadcasters to “show due respect for religious views, images,
practices and beliefs in programme material”.