Venezuelan parish attacked for second time

According to law enforcement officials, the Church of Our Lady of Mount Carmel in Los Teques, Venezuela, was attacked again last week by arsonists, who managed to set fire to some interior and exterior parts of the church.  This is the second attack the parish has seen in seven days, as the first attack took place on December 9, when a gasoline bomb exploded at the church’s entrance.

Flames destroyed the church’s entrance and further damaged the roof and several statues.  Bishop Ovidio Pérez Morales of Los Teques confirmed that the attack did indeed take place but he refrained from comments about the identity or motives of those responsible.

According to the Efe news agency, Local reporters speculated after the first attack that religious fundamentalists were behind the acts, saying the perpetrators may be members of an Evangelical sect.

Bishop Pérez Morales deplored the attacks saying, “I have asked for permanent security guards to stand watch over the church at night and in the early morning hours.”  He did not speculate on the reasons for the attacks, but emphasized tolerance, understanding and reconciliation.  He said the country needs an atmosphere of tolerance and respect, and he invited Catholics to express their dismay at the attacks.  “This aggressiveness is very worrisome and it requires us to be renewed in our faith,” he said. 

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