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Philippine church closes after desecration

Man enters Immaculate Conception Cathedral in Quezon City and opens tabernacle

ucanews.com reporter, Manila

ucanews.com reporter, Manila

Updated: August 30, 2018 11:05 AM GMT
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Philippine church closes after desecration

The Immaculate Conception Cathedral in Quezon City will be closed for two days after it was desecrated on Aug. 25. (Photo by Angie de Silva) 

 

A Catholic church in the Philippine capital Manila was temporarily closed on Aug. 30 following reports that it was desecrated last week.

Bishop Honesto Ongtioco of Cubao has ordered the suspension of all religious activities at the Immaculate Conception Cathedral of Cubao in Quezon City for two days.

The prelate said the Catholic community will undertake acts of penance and reparation for the desecration that took place on Aug. 25.

A young man, thought to be mentally disturbed, reportedly entered the cathedral and desecrated the tabernacle and the Blessed Sacrament. 

"Because of this, the community of the Immaculate Conception Cathedral is to undertake acts of penance and reparation," said Bishop Ongtioco. "I ask that these days be days of prayer and fasting." 

While the cathedral will be closed, Masses will be held at a chapel below the church where a "Holy Hour of Reparation" will be held in the evening.

A "procession of penance and reparation" around the cathedral will also be held.

"May this act of penance and reparation instill in our hearts and minds the sublime mystery of the Holy Eucharist," said the prelate. "Let this be an invitation to a deeper devotion and stronger love for the Holy Eucharist." 

In a separate statement, Father Dennis Soriano, rector of the cathedral, said the incident had "wounded our hearts."

"But we also recognize the young man's wounded heart. He will always be included in our prayers," said the priest.

Father Soriano said the young man entered the cathedral and went straight to the sanctuary where he opened the tabernacle and ate communion wafers.

It was not clear why he committed these acts of desecration.

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