.- Archbishop Fernando Saenz Lacalle of San Salvador has denounced the stealing of religious artwork from several churches in the country, calling it a “sad disgrace, first of all because it is a sacrilege, and second because of the historical and artistic worth that these works have as a national patrimony and because of the material value they have.”
In a press conference after Mass on Sunday, the archbishop commented on the stealing of four works of art in different churches in the country during the last month. The last one, stolen on July 11, was an image of Our Lady of Mercy which was kept at the historic church of the same name and which was values at more than $60,000.
Archbishop Lacalle demanded police be more alert for these kinds of thefts and he called for “greater control over this network of thieves of sacred objects that has operated for more than fifty years.”
He said El Salvador has lost “very many pieces of great value,” especially in the town of Panchimalco, in the southeastern suburbs of San Salvador and in the central region of La Libertad.