Stray bullet falls at feet of priest celebrating Mass in Brazil

Fr. Robinson de Castro Cunha Fr. Robinson de Castro Cunha examines a bullet that landed at his feet during Mass January 31. | YouTube screenshot

A stray bullet pierced the roof of a church in Brazil this weekend as a Catholic priest was celebrating Mass. The local diocese pointed to the incident as a sign of worrying violence in the region.


Fr. Robinson de Castro Cunha was celebrating Sunday Mass at San José parish in the state of Vitória on January 31. He was about to conclude his homily when the bullet hit the building.

The parish reported that the bullet pierced the tin roof at around 7:37 p.m., and “fell at the feet of the priest, who picked it up and handed it over to the community coordinator, and continued with the celebration of Mass as normal.”

The incident was caught on camera and has been widely shared in parts of Brazil and Latin America.

The Archdiocese of Vitória issued a statement lamenting the lack of security in the region.

“Even those who do not live in a particularly violent area feel threatened and affected by the relentless violence,” the statement said.

Speaking to the “A Gazeta” website, parish communication director Elaine Butter said the pastor has no plans to issue a statement responding to the incident.

“Despite everything, he will continue with Masses as normal,” she said.

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Butter also said that stray bullets and violence are becoming more threatening at the parish “because it serves neighborhoods such as Bairro da Penha and Morro do Macaco,” which are hotbeds of drug and gang violence.

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