News by email Donate


Top Stories

Most Read

Popular Videos

Father V Communion WYD.png
Father V/Twitter
Father V Communion WYD.png
Father V/Twitter
World News

‘Tupperware Tabernacle’: World Youth Day comes under fire for storing communion in boxes

by Heather Preston

The Catholic youth festival that reportedly gathered up to 1.5 million people in Lisbon this weekend is facing criticism after photos of how the Holy Eucharist was stored were released online.

Pope Francis closed World Youth Day 2023, the first edition of the Catholic event since the pandemic with an outdoor Mass attended by 1.5 million at riverside park on Sunday, while tens of thousands of pilgrims participated in the events first Holy Mass on 1st August.

Some Catholics have criticised the practise of large-scale Mass at the event, after pictures on social media showed the Eucharist being stored in plastic containers. Photos show a number of plastic boxes (thought to contain the Eucharist) placed on a table, under a tent, beside two candles.

Catholics believe in transubstantiation - that the bread and wine used in communion becomes the literal body and bread of Christ. Therefore, some attendees found the “irreverent” storing of it in “cheap boxes” to be “sacrilegious” while others have called for mass distribution of Holy Communion to be banned.

Nick Donnelly posted one such photo on Twitter, commenting: “This is how they reserved the Blessed Sacrament in Lisbon.

“WYD commits untold outrages, sacrileges and offences against Our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament It should be banned All enormous gatherings for Mass should be banned if they cannot show basic reverence to Our Lord,” he added.

Another Twitter user commented “Tupperware tabernacle” on the photo, while another dubbed it “unbelievably sacrilegious/godless.”

Catholics in support of the event argued the storage containers were a practical and respectful option, given the circumstances and that people were given the opportunity to pray and adore Jesus before them.

Speaking on Twitter, Father Sean Gough said: “These posts are so infuriating. You’d think the Lord was being kept in the plastic bag on the floor! If u’re going to complain, at least propose a better idea for distributing Communion to 1.5 million people spread over many square kilometres!!”

Gough continued to explain that the Eucharist was being kept inside a tent, on a table, with an alter cloth, plant and candles, stating that “Jesus was being loved and adored throughout.”

Premier has reached out to WYD organisers for a response.


A Monthly Gift Of $11 Makes A World Of Difference

In a world of fake news there’s never been a greater need for quality Christian journalism. Premier’s mission is to provide the Church with the most up to date and relevant news, told from a Christian perspective. But we can’t do it without you.

Unlike many websites we haven't put up a paywall — we want to keep our journalism free at the point of need and as open as we can. Premier’s news output takes a lot of time, money and hard work to produce. No one in the USA is sharing news like we are across radio, magazines and online so please help us to continue that today.

For a monthly gift of $11 or more we’d also be able to send you a free copy of the brand new Premier Bible, a wonderful Anglicised version of the NLT packed with exclusive bonus content, reading plan and resources to help you get the most out of scripture.

Your monthly support will make a world of difference. Thank you.

Support Us
Continue the conversation on our Facebook page

Related Articles

Sign up to our newsletter to stay informed with news from a Christian perspective.

News by email