Priest and seminarians robbed amid a wave of church violence in Mexico

church altar Credit: Grant Whitty / Unsplash

A priest and a group of seminarians were tied up inside a Catholic church on Monday amid a growing wave of violence and robberies in churches in Mexico City.

At about 8 a.m. on Aug. 29, criminals entered the Saints of America parish on Mexico City’s south side and tied up the parish priest, Father Jóse Luis Pérez, and a group of seminarians who were entering into the church at that time.

In a statement to ACI Prensa, CNA’s Spanish-language sister news agency, Pérez explained that the criminals took advantage of the fact that at that time “the parish opens up for Mass.”

“They stole all the things we had here,” he said. The seminarians, who take virtual classes, had their computers and cell phones stolen.

The robbers took the priest’s cell phone as well as money from the metal donation boxes and from the weekly collections at the Catholic church.

A few days before, St. Lawrence Deacon and Martyr parish, fewer than two miles from Saints of America parish, was also robbed.

The parish’s pastor, Father Julio Saucedo, explained to ACI Prensa that the criminals managed to make a big hole in one of the walls of the old church on Aug. 20.

Once inside the church they broke open two donation boxes and took the money in addition to breaking some windows in the church.

Very close to both churches is St. Mary of the Apostles parish, which was robbed during the night of Aug. 26–27.

Both Pérez and Saucedo said that they filed complaints with the authorities.

Saucedo said that the local police offered a “greater presence” in the area, especially at night.

This story was first published by ACI Prensa, CNA’s Spanish-language news partner. It has been translated and adapted by CNA.

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