BAI rejects 11 complaints over calling Holy Communion 'haunted bread'

All complaints relate to a broadcast of 'The Late Late Show'

BAI rejects 11 complaints over calling Holy Communion 'haunted bread'

Image: Facebook/The Late Late Show

The Broadcasting Authority of Ireland (BAI) has rejected 11 complaints over comments made about Holy Communion.

It has published its latest decisions, all of which relate the State broadcaster RTÉ.

The complaints were all against a broadcast of 'The Late Late Show' from January 6th this year.

They say that during a panel discussion on the show, one of the contributors - Blindboy Boatclub of The Rubberbandits - referred to Holy Communion as "haunted bread".

While another stated it was like eating bits of body and that this was cannibalism.

One of the complainants claimed these references were hurtful and mocking of her religion.

She also stated that the programme was broadcast January 6th - also known as Little Christmas - which is a holy day in the Catholic calendar.

Another complainant believed the comments "crossed a line into, not merely, gratuitous offence, but sheer nastiness, hatred and contempt for the Roman Catholic faith".

And another woman believed the language was "a disgraceful comment based on his erroneous and insulting understanding of the The Eucharist".

In response to one of the complaints, RTÉ acknowledged the phrase ‘haunted bread’ in relation to the doctrine of Transubstantiation was provocative.

But the broadcaster adds that it was designed, as the comedy of The Rubberbandits generally is, to provoke thought and not to be pointlessly offensive.

The broadcaster says that Blindboy Boatclub’s assertion of his difficulty in coming to grips with, what are to him personally the contradictions within some Christian beliefs, "gave rise to a substantial, sincere and thoughtful discussion of truth and belief in contemporary society, in Ireland and internationally."

The BAI itself says: "While not agreeing with the contention by the broadcaster that this panellist was speaking for his generation, the committee considered it legitimate for a panellist to articulate their own personal views."

It also noted that the panellist in question apologised to another panellist, after learning he was a former priest.

The Rubberbandits have responded the the dismissal of the complaints: