Day of reparation after Indian church desecrated

Archbishop Machado 'shocked and greatly grieved' by vandalization of sacred items
Day of reparation after Indian church desecrated

St. Francis of Assisi Church in Bengaluru's Western Suburb was vandalized on the night of Jan. 20-21. (Photo supplied)

Archbishop Peter Machado of Bangalore in the southern Indian state of Karnataka has urged the faithful to observe a day of reparation in his archdiocese after a church was desecrated.

An intruder or intruders vandalized the altar and destroyed the tabernacle at St. Francis of Assisi Church in Kengeri in Bengaluru's Western Suburb on the night of Jan. 20-21.

“Police are still investigating the case and the preliminary report looks like it was a robbery attempt, but I am shocked and greatly grieved that desecration was done to the Eucharistic Lord in that church,” Archbishop Machado told UCA News on Jan. 22.

“It is a matter of great concern not only to the particular parishioners but also to the religious sentiments of all of us in the archdiocese.”

He has asked local Catholics to observe a day of reparation on Jan. 24.

Officials of the Kengeri church filed a complaint on Jan. 21 with the local police station.

"We condemn this dastardly act of an unscrupulous element," St. Francis of Assisi Church said in a statement.

No valuables were stolen from the church. A CCTV camera inside the church has helped identify one person who entered through the back door. However, according to reports, police believe that theft cannot be ruled out.

Archbishop Machado has requested parish priests and chaplains to expose the Blessed Sacrament for adoration for at least 12 hours on Jan. 24 for public veneration in all churches and religious houses of the archdiocese.

Retired Archbishop Bernard Blasius Moras of Bangalore told UCA News that he and some priests had rushed to St. Francis of Assisi Church after hearing of the desecration.

“CCTV cameras recorded the entry and exit from the church of a single person between 10.30pm and 1.30am, and I believe it is not an attack on the church,” Archbishop Moras said.

“The man opened the tabernacle and removed the ciborium and threw away the entire consecrated Holy Communion.”

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