A week after desecrating and robbing a chapel in the Diocese of Orihuela-Alicante in Spain, the thieves have sacramentally confessed and returned the stolen sacred objects.

Bishop José Ignacio Munilla of the diocese made the announcement during the broadcast of his program “Sixth Continent,” which he hosts every Monday and Friday on Radio María Spain, and expressed his gratitude that the prayers requested last week had had an effect.

“We asked for the gift of conversion for those who had committed that sacrilege and today I am going to give you good news. The prayers have been heard and those who perpetrated this sacrilegious theft have repented and confessed,” he explained.

The prelate added that those who desecrated the chapel “have returned everything stolen” and that “the Church will obviously preserve under the sacramental seal the persons, the identities of those who sinned in this way.”

“Now that the Lord has touched hearts, we can only say: Glory to God!” Munilla added, emphasizing that “the true solution is repentance, it’s returning to the will of God.”

The chapel in Quirón Hospital in Torrevieja (a town in the province of Alicante) was desecrated in the early hours of Sunday, Nov. 5, and according to the chaplain, Father Javier Vicens, the thieves took the tabernacle with the Eucharist in it, an altar cross, a chalice, a chasuble, a corporal, and a liturgical book.

The diocese said in a statement that “the profanation of the holy Eucharist is a grave act” and asked “that the parishes, religious communities, and faithful in general make acts of reparation for the sacrilege that occurred.”

The diocese emphasized that what is most serious beyond “stealing the material objects, which have their value and importance,” is “committing a sacrilege against the Eucharist.” Consequently, “any type of celebration in the hospital chapel is suspended until the bishop can make an act of reparation and redress for the incident that took place.”

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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