.- Catholics in Costa Rica continue to express disgust following the actions of Deborah Formal, the girlfriend of presidential candidate Otto Guevara. Last Sunday, Formal broke off a piece of the Eucharist and placed it in her boyfriend's pocket.
The Costa Rican media has continued to air footage of the Mass which shows Formal receiving Communion, bringing a piece of it back to her seat, and giving it to Guevara.
Being divorced, Guevara did not present himself for Communion.
The video shows that as she approached the archbishop to receive Communion, the two briefly exchanged words. Formal said later she had requested permission from the archbishop to “share the blessing” of Communion with Guevara. She said she misunderstood the archbishop and thought that he had given her permission.
“It was never my intention to disrespect the Catholic Church,” she said.
Formal is seen receiving Communion in the hand, consuming a portion and carrying what was left back to her pew, where she leaned over and put it into Guevara’s shirt pocket.
“I tried to do something that would allow Otto to carry a part of God in his heart,” Formal explained.
After priests were notified of Formal's actions, they asked the presidential candidate to return the consecrated host. He returned it and it was immediately consumed by one of the concelebrating priests.
Numerous Catholics interviewed by the media expressed outrage over the actions of Formal, saying she displayed not only ignorance in describing the consecrated host as a “blessing” instead of as the Real Presence of Christ, but also complete disrespect for Communion and for the Eucharistic Host.
Archbishop Hugo Barrantes of San Jose called her actions “inappropriate and disrespectful,” although not sacrilegious.