Muslim blasphemer dances on the high altar at the Florence Cathedral

Here’s an outrageous story that will likely go unnoticed and unreported by the media. Try to imagine what would happen if a Christian were to perform this same moronic dance in crowded mosque. Do you think he’d leave the building alive? I don’t know if this Muslim is deranged or just maliciously trying to insult and provoke Catholics, but either way, he’s a jackass, and I hope he’s prosecuted for this. May God forgive him. (Click the picture at left for the video.)

More information on this story here.
UPDATE (3:45 p.m.) — It occurred to me that others will have the same question that I had when I first saw this: Does this profane the altar such that it would need to be reconsecrated before Mass could be celebrated upon it again?

Not being a canon lawyer, I have no way to answer that question with certitude, but I would like to both post the canons that seem relevant
and solicit the opinions of any canon lawyers who might wish to expound on how (and if) these canons are applicable in this particular case. Is there a iuris doctor canonici in the house? I invite your comments. 

Can.  1211 Sacred places are violated by gravely injurious actions done in them with scandal to the faithful, actions which, in the judgment of the local ordinary, are so grave and contrary to the holiness of the place that it is not permitted to carry on worship in them until the damage is repaired by a penitential rite according to the norm of the liturgical books.

Can.  1212 Sacred places lose their dedication or blessing if they have been destroyed in large part, or have been turned over permanently to profane use by decree of the competent ordinary or in fact.


  1. Left-Footer

    My reaction is less charitable than yours.

  2. dcinadr

    Why did you call him a jackass? Yes he is very wrong. And this absolutely furiates me – as it should any Catholic. And yes my first reaction would be to act very uncharitable. But I don't think as Catholics we should stoop to this level as to name call. We need to let people know that we are better than that. What do you think?

  3. Badger Catholic

    And they wonder why we had the Inquisition.

  4. Patrick Madrid

    Well, I called him that because in my view that's what he is. In your view, was Jesus "stooping" when He denounced the Scribes and Pharisees with terms such as brood of vipers, hypocrites, blind guides, whitened sepulchers full of dead men's bones? Was He being uncharitable, or was he being honest? Or what about when the Lord called Ishmael a "wild ass of a man"? Was He being uncharitable?

  5. iPadre

    I agree with you Pat. Full extent of the law. If a Catholic were to do that to a Muslim it would be the headline on CNN for the next month. We Catholics are the refuse of society, but the Lord's Day is coming!

  6. Claudia

    "Full extent of the law. I agree too. This is a temple, a sacred place. If you go into it, you must show respect for the beliefs and the people who are praying there. This is not a newspaper or a magazine, where you can voice your opinions whatever they are.Thank God for the blogs: I'm sure I wouldn't have known this if they didn't exist.I'm linking your post in mine, if you don't mind.

  7. My Chocolate Heart

    I agree with you, Patrick. He is a jackass. That IS a charitable description!When will people in America realize that there is no tolerance in Islam for anything other than Islam, and all our efforts at being tolerant and understanding are foolish and perilous? They do not want to live in harmony with us. They want to annihilate us.

  8. Nanette

    Patrick: I work for a Canon Lawyer…he said that most likely "No" to your question of re-consecrating the church…it is done when there is "blood-letting" or other grave situations. For instance in NYC an usher was murdered in a church. That church was re-consecrated. Of course, any particular case is always up to the Bishops to decide, etc. And yes, this Church Lady also believes the moron is a jackass. Could you tell me where I can get a "I am a Catholic" badge for my blog…I searched Catholics Come Home and couldn't find it. What a wonderful site! Thanks for leading me there. God Bless. (we have to eat in between our prayers, don't we? 😉

  9. Susan L

    I am sickened. I don't know what else to say right now.

  10. elizabeth

    We get SO caught up in WHAT names are being used — instead of being SHOCKED by what this person did to the ALTAR of my God and King! People. get real — and stand up for your GOD! This is sickening!!

  11. Patrick Madrid

    @Mod, thanks for the link. Yes, why waste a good ad hominem when it makes such handy stick to smack people one disagrees with or doesn't like? Some things never go out of style, as that commenter at Commonweal demonstrated. And the ever-popular fallacy of argumentum ad hominem is one of them.

  12. Patrick Madrid

    Thanks for that info, Nanette. I made that badge myself, and you're welcome to copy it onto your page. Feel free.

  13. Jamie

    well, one thing is for certain, Dancing Guy still won't "get it" if people simply carry on as though nothing had happened, as though dancing on God's altar was not worthy of notice. If the people go back to Mass in sackcloth and ashes (figuratively speaking, anyway), in humility and sorrow for this guy's actions, and asking God for the grace of greater holiness both for themselves and him, then perhaps some good will come of it and perhaps Dancing Guy will realize that there's more to the Catholic faith than people just getting together in a big room. Which is probably how he sees us anyway.IOW, people will be converted more quickly by our actions and how we live our lives than by what we say. And nothing speaks louder than holiness.

  14. Tony de New York

    That guy is a STUPID IDIOT!

  15. Left-Footer

    Holiness and the Rosary, together with guns and swords, spoke very loud indeed at Lepanto and later at Vienna, saving Western Europe from being over run by Turkey.Our forbears, perhaps mistakenly, had an idea of Catholic honour, which saved Christian Europe twice (three times, if you count the Miracle on the Vistula in 1920).

  16. Ismael

    This person clearly has no regard or respect for other people's culture and sensibility, no respect for art ad public buildings.However this person might be *mentally unstable*, who knows…So he was a 'jackass' although I doubt this person is mentally sound, at least from what I can draw from the little information that 'Repubblica' gives us.—@ MODstill, what if someone (Christian or otherwise) would have dances the funny chicken in a mosque? or in a jewish sinagogue?I am sure there would have been a huge uproar. Newspapers would have cried far and loud.Besides you quote 'Commonweal' which is even more pathetic than NCR (which is quite pathetic by itself, mind you)

  17. theresa EH

    I am sickened by this act!!! I will pray for his conversion, but I cannot help but think of what would have happened a christian went swimming in their foot baths pranced in their mosques!!!! (blood shed) I donot think we will see this story on our local news or cnn. But I do a agree with you, the man is a big ja!!signedTHeresa in Alberta

  18. John

    Thank you very much for posting this. We need to bring out the stark differences between Christianity (and almost everyone else), on the one hand; and significant parts of Islam, on the other hand.

  19. Mary Anne

    I'm outraged. I'm not a canon lawyer, but it does seem that a penitential rite is called for. And while we're at it. how about such a rite in all the Catholic churches inside which it is known that children were violated.

  20. Giovanni A. Cattaneo

    This is obviously sad and infuriating at the same time, however it begs the question.Would this person dared to have danced on the altar if it was properly dressed with the Tabernacle attached to it with the the six candles on the altar and the Crucifix in the middle of it.It seems to me that it is a lot easier to dance on a table than an altar.

  21. juscot

    It's an old custom for Muslims to show disrepect for Christian holy places and artifacts. I read some years back that when the Muslims retook Jerusalem during the Crusader era, a relic of the true Cross was tried to a horse's tail to mock it.

  22. DanlBooone

    He looks to me to be expressing the religious triumphalism so fundamental to Islam..a strange evil to express this spiritual pride, exalting the false god of Islam in a Christian cathedral

  23. Joshua

    Giovanni, I think you mean "raises the question". "Begs the question" means someone has assumed something they were trying to prove in arguing for it.But in any case, other than having no room to dance, I don't think that would have made a difference…though if he ended up desecrating the Host or something like that then clearly it would call for reconsecration

  24. emanuel.

    The church is pretty full, but it still takes 30s or so for one guy to react. Nicely.

  25. Giovanni A. Cattaneo

    Joshua you are absolutely right on both counts but I never miss an opportunity to point out tragedies such as current naked altars that look more like tables.

  26. dcinadr

    Good point Patrick. I looked up the official definition of jackass and I am inclined to agree with you. Thanks. It just stood out to me as juvenile and harsh. But now looking closer, that is a title he indeed deserves.

  27. Soutenus

    Latest Update — Apparently the young fellow has a bit of a screw loose and is now in a psychiatric clinic at Santa Maria Novella. He is in Italy as a political refugee."This wasn’t an anti-Christian thing purposely done by a Muslim, it… …seems." I do hope that is true!Thank God for that and Lord help the poor kid!My Source: Fr. Z's Blog – What Does The Prayer Really Say?

  28. Lisa Graas

    I hate Islam and I don't care who knows it. I love Muslims!!!!….but boy, do I hate Islam. So there.

  29. Auricularis

    In better times, men like this blasphemers would have been executed. Make no mistake about it – Muslims will continue to further their boundaries in Europe, until everyone comes under the sword. For our rejection of the Catholic faith, God is teaching us a lesson.

  30. Ben

    I agree with Patrick that the title Jacka** is greatly deserved by this man. "I hate Islam and I don't care who knows it. I love Muslims!!!!….but boy, do I hate Islam. So there."I agree with you Lisa!! When a religion's philosophy is "convert or die", that's worth hating! I know that people sometimes say "All Muslims don't do that!" This must mean that they are not convicted of the importance of their faith. In some ways, that's worse! At least the radical takeover types are convicted that their is a truth and think they are fighting for it!

  31. Alan Phipps

    "In better times, men like this blasphemers would have been executed."I understand the anger, but do we have to turn into an angry mob here? Fortunately, some of the more level-headed folks here thought to first ask whether this incident was actually religiously motivated before throwing up a rope. Turns out the guy is crazy.

  32. Patrick Madrid

    Alan, I agree completely with your comment about the moral danger of succumbing to the temptation toward wrath. That's the last thing I would want anyone to fall into! But please, I want you to at least be clear on one thing: I neither said nor implied that this incident was "religiously motivated," and I in no way suggested "throwing up a rope." It's quite unfair of you to characterize my post that way.Perhaps you only meant to characterize in that way certain comments posted here by others, and if that's the case, then I can understand and agree with your point. But as it stands, your comment gives me the impression that you are tarring me with that same brush, and I object to that.On a different but related matter, I hope everyone who reads this blog post will keep in mind that I specifically said in my post that the guy who did this may well be "deranged." In other words, I anticipated the fact that he may be crazy when I posted this video. It remains to be seen whether he is crazy or not.Some folks are now burbling self-righteously about the news reports that "he's crazy." But the fact that he may be a lunatic is beside the point. What he did — crazy or otherwise — was heinous and blasphemous. The fact that he is reported to be a Muslim is what seems to be irking the "enlightened" and, quite frankly, clueless snobs at Commonweal. They don't seem to understand that pointing out an evil or a simply insane act committed by a Muslim does not equal an "indictment of all Muslims." Please. That's a canard. Pure cant.Let's not forget that Mehmet Ali Ağca, the man who tried to murder Pope John Paul II, was a Muslim. He was crazy too. And that didn't change the fact that what he did was terrible. And no one, then or now, read into his Muslimness the notion that his assassination attempt "represented all Muslims." Pshaw.

  33. solitude

    I agree with many of the postings here. We must remember that Islam is the religion of peace and "one of the great religions" as the bishops always tell us. This apparent disrespect needs to be considered in context and not taken to be yet another example of True Islamism. We need to go away and quietly pray and not make a fuss about this, like sheep.

  34. solitude

    and this is really nothing new. Muslims have been desecrating Christian churches in Armenia, Germany, Serbia, London. you could look it up.

  35. Brian

    dcinadr, really, you are concerned about this blasphemer being called a jackass. Weak people like you are the reason Catholicism is trampled on. People like you give these muslims the comfort of knowing they can trample our alters and leave unscathed. Had this happened in my presence at my Church he would not exit in the same condition he entered. Sure, this man must be respected and then what, do we have to speak kindly of his coreligionists who rape Christian girls in Pakistan as a means for conversion. I assure you anyone who says this man should not be called a jackass is himself a jackass of the most cowardly sort!

  36. Alan Phipps

    "Perhaps you only meant to characterize in that way certain comments posted here by others, and if that's the case, then I can understand and agree with your point."Hi Patrick, I quoted Auricularis, who suggested that maybe execution would have been the proper response, and my response was geared with respect to his sentiments, not yours. I should have specifically addressed him in my comment. Your post seemed balanced to me for the reasons you stated.

  37. Alan Phipps

    "pointing out an evil or a simply insane act committed by a Muslim does not equal an 'indictment of all Muslims.'"Naturally, I agree with you, even if many of the comments here seem to disagree with you.

  38. the Savage

    Re: reconsecrating the altar. Maybe, just to be safe, they can get rid of the table and use the high altar behind!

  39. dcinadr

    Brian, did you not read my latest comment? After thinking about it I agreed with Patrick. The blasphemer deserves the title. Although, I don't think it does any good for the cause. By demeaning other people and religions we will not win the hearts and minds of those that differ from us. And I definitely do not take a stance that allows people to trample over me. I stand firm in what I believe. I just take a different approach then you do it seems.

  40. Brian

    Solitude, true Islam is not peaceful. It is extreme. That is why even last week there was an assassination attempt on Bishop Wako. That is why they desecrate churches, relics and anything holy. Peaceful religions wouldn't condone the raping of young Christian girls for purposes of conversion. Our Lady crushed the enemy at the battle of Lepanto. May She destroy islam before its peaceful adherents attempt to behead us.

  41. redna59

    That man should be forgiven. Forgiving is the very basic of our catholic faith. Probably that man didn't understood the uniqueness of the alter. He need to be explained.

  42. Raymond

    Another example of the enduring brilliance of Islam- peacefulness in action. And of course, no comments from the leadership. God bless us all. Raymond

  43. Gramma 2 Many

    Not a Catholic, but as a Christian this sickens me. People need to wake up to the fact that Muslims are not our friend. Once a fatwa is called by an Imam even the moderate Muslims will be doing all they can to destroy us. It is a religion of destruction and hate guided by the one who Hates our Lord and wishes to destroy Him more than any other being. The one who has been given dominion over the earth, but who will soon be cast into the Lake of Fire for eternity. How I yearn for that day.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: