Leinster parishioners have submitted hundreds of complaints to RTÉ about how the Eucharist was ridiculed in the national broadcaster’s flagship chat show.
More than 900 letters have been sent from parishes in Laois, Carlow, and Kildare, The Irish Catholic has learned, following a discussion on The Late Late Show in which the Eucharist was referred to as “haunted bread”.
Over 400 letters have been sent to RTÉ from Abbeyleix, Co. Laois,
according to Fr Gerard Ahern, PP, with about 350 being sent from
Hacketstown, Co. Carlow, and roughly 200 more from Naas, Co. Kildare.
During the January 6 discussion, comedian David Chambers – ‘Blindboy
Boatclub’ in the comedy duo The Rubberbandits – said any young people
attending midnight Mass at Christmas were going because it was a family
event, with them “not going there for haunted bread”.
When presenter Ryan Tubridy remarked that the phrase ‘haunted bread’
was “a great expression”, Mr Chambers said that was an accurate
description. Claiming that the Church “does not want us to use critical
thinking”, he said the Church wanted people “to eat the ghost of a
Describing the discussion as “terrible”, Fr Ahern told The Irish Catholic
he had arranged for the exchange to be transcribed, and read the
transcription at Mass, asking that any parishioners who were troubled by
it to send a letter to RTÉ about the matter. Sample letters were
supplied, he said, with the transcribed exchange on their reverse side.
Signatories to the letter wrote saying that they were “greatly offended” by the discussion on The Late Late Show,
arguing that Mr Tubridy failed in his duty to maintain balance and
uphold the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland (BAI) code of programme
standards which require broadcasters to “show due respect for religious
views, images, practices and beliefs in programme material”.
Describing the term “haunted bread” as “particularly offensive”, the
letter took issue with how Mr Tubridy encouraged the term’s use.
Fr Ahern contacted the BAI to ensure that proper procedures were
being followed, he explained, adding that “RTÉ have a number of days to
reply, and if they don’t it can be taken up with the BAI afterwards”.
“I just wasn’t prepared to sit back and do nothing,” he said.