Stop me if you’ve heard this one: Catholics of the internet are outraged at a scandalous video. It features something that some claim has no place in a church.
That thing? It’s a drone.
For Easter Mass, someone at the São Geraldo Magela church in Sorocaba, Brazil, thought it would be a good idea to have a drone deliver the eucharist.
(A brief brush-up: the eucharist is the bread and wine Catholics believe transforms into the literal body and blood of Christ after a priest consecrates it. It’s a pretty big deal in the Catholic church; communion is one of the holiest of holy religious rituals. Which is why so many Catholics are ticked off.)
Priest John Zuhlsdorf called having a drone deliver the eucharist “sacrilegious silliness” on his blog, and the church’s Facebook page is now inundated with comments denouncing its use of the drone. Since the video’s release, about 100 people have left abysmal 1-star reviews on the site’s Facebook page, which boasts just two reviews for the entire year prior. Most are in Portuguese, but the few English language reviews include:
“I pray your Chruch [sic] burns to the ground with the priests who allowed the drone to hold the Sacred Species and a better one replaces it. Congratulations on entering the running for worst Catholics in the universe.”
“HOW COULD YOU PEOPLE DISRESPECT THE HOLY SACRAMENT HANGING IT TO A DRONE??? SERIOUSLY?? WE ARE GOING TO DENOUNCE THIS TO THE HOLY SEE. DO YOU EVEN BELIEVE THAT MOST HOLY SACRAMENT IS JESUS CHRIST IN PERSON? YOU DO NOT!! SACRILEGIOUS PEOPLE! YOUR PRIEST IS A FRAUD!”
“It was written that you would be a house of prayer but you insist on being a den of sinfulness.”
While the video’s creator deserves all the 1-star reviews imaginable for filming in portrait and not landscape mode, it’s a matter of opinion whether the church really deserves all this hate for having a drone deliver the eucharist.
Still, this is clearly a hot-button issue on the intersection of tech and society, and as such, we thought it appropriate to break down the video play-by-play to help get to the bottom of the controversy.
Was the church being sacrilegious by letting a drone deliver the eucharist? Or simply using a little 21st-century tech to get folks hyped for Jesus’s return? Read our recap below and judge for yourself.