Denver, Colo., Mar 24, 2008 / 08:00 am
An investigation that likely would have led to criminal charges against four Mormon missionaries who desecrated a Catholic shrine in 2006, has been stopped by local authorities following a request made during Holy Week by the Catholic community of Costilla County, in the Diocese of Pueblo, Colorado.
Cpl. Scott Powell, the investigating officer in charge of the case, confirmed on Good Friday that the Costilla County Sheriff's Office will not continue looking into the actions of four missionaries who allegedly mocked the Catholic Church and vandalized a holy shrine in San Luis, Colorado's oldest town.
Photographs taken in August 2006 and discovered on the Internet by a Sangre de Cristo parishioner earlier this month, show the Mormon missionaries preaching behind a church altar while waving a Book of Mormon, pretending to sacrifice one another and holding the head of a statue of a Mexican martyr, whom the missionary shown in the picture claimed to have decapitated. The mocking took place at All Saints Chapel and the Shrine of the Mexican Martyrs in San Luis.
Officials with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints have publicly apologized to the San Luis community for the actions of the three young men in the photos and announced that all of them have been disciplined.