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One Church set Ablaze in Mexico, Eucharist Stolen from Another

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The Diocese of Irapuato in the Mexican state of Guanajuato has expressed deep shock and condemnation over a deliberate fire that was set at the Santiaguito (St. James) Church, describing it as a sacrilegious act. In another incident, the Eucharist was stolen from St. Luke the Evangelist Parish in the Progreso neighborhood of Jiutepec.

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
5/17/2023 (10 months ago)

Published in Americas

Keywords: church, fire, Eucharist, Catholic, Mexico

Father Efren Silva Plascencia, the diocese spokesperson, stated in a released statement on May 15 that the fire was intentionally started by an individual who arrived at the church at 1:04 a.m. and departed at 1:26 a.m.

The Church of Santiaguito, which has historical roots dating back to the 17th century, holds significant importance in the region and is regarded as an emblematic and iconic structure. Bishop Enrique DĂ­az DĂ­az of Irapuato shared the initial images of the church after the fire on his Facebook page.

The diocese has filed a criminal complaint with the authorities regarding the incident. Father Silva strongly condemned the sacrilege and called on the appropriate authorities to identify and bring the responsible individuals to justice. He expressed sadness that this act of arson occurred shortly after the completion of restoration work, which was made possible through the efforts and collaboration of many people. The priest reported that the church has suffered extensive smoke damage throughout the entire complex.

Despite this attack, the diocesan spokesperson affirmed that the Church would continue its mission of promoting peace with unwavering determination. He concluded by emphasizing that violence in any form only begets more violence.

In another distressing incident, the Eucharist was stolen from the tabernacle of the Lord of the Harvest chapel, which falls under the administration of St. Luke the Evangelist Parish in the Progreso neighborhood of Jiutepec, located approximately 60 miles south of Mexico City.

Bishop Ramon Castro Castro of the Diocese of Cuernavaca issued a statement on May 13, informing that the necessary investigations were already underway. He pointed out that according to Canon Law, specifically Canon 1367, the act of discarding consecrated species or taking and retaining them for sacrilegious purposes results in automatic excommunication reserved to the Apostolic See.

Bishop Castro strongly urged the faithful to gather in their communities and participate in Eucharistic celebrations and other liturgical and pious acts as a means of reparation for this unfortunate incident. He expressed his prayers and solidarity with Father Roberto Carrasco Ruiz, the pastor of St. Luke's, and the entire Lord of the Harvest community in Progreso. The bishop concluded by invoking the sustaining and encouraging presence of the Blessed Virgin Mary within their communities.

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