.- A member of the group Call to Action turned the Body of Christ into a political statement last month by taking the host from the altar on his own after being denied Communion by the local bishop.
Call to Action is a group that dissents from Catholic teachings on a number of issues and demands that the Church approve abortion, married priests, women priests, divorce and contraception.
John Krejci, a former priest and co-founder of the Nebraska chapter of Call to Action, told the Associated Press that Bishop Fabian Bruskewitz of Lincoln denied him Communion at Sacred Heart Parish Feb. 7, with "an unfriendly wave of his hand."
Krejci then followed the bishop to the altar and, once the bishop put down the Communion vessel, took a host for himself.
After this incident, two other priests denied Communion to Krejci.
The alleged incident happened nine years after Bishop Bruskewitz excommunicated Krejci and members of several other groups, such as Planned Parenthood, Catholics for a Free Choice and Masonic organizations, which contradict the Catholic faith.
Krejci told the AP that he has appealed this decision to the Vatican.
However, a statement released by the diocese March 3 stated that "no evidence that an appeal from Mr. Krejci or his colleagues who have also abandoned the Catholic Church in order to belong to a sect entitled Call to Action is pending in Rome." The statement said the diocese believed the appeal was dismissed.
It added: "Mr., Krejci's behavior toward the Holy Eucharist has raised many concerns among the faithful who have heard of it. Any faithful Catholic realizes that he may not approach the sanctuary and take Holy Communion on his own. Mr. Krejci can be assured of our prayers, but must understand that we are obligated to follow the teachings of Christ and the laws of the Church."
Krejci, 67, left the priesthood in 1971 and is now married. He had attended the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome with Bishop Bruskewitz in the 1960s.