Mexican Catholics condemn 'brutal' cathedral attack

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The Archdiocese of Mexico City condemned an attack on a local cathedral by a group of armed men who caused serious damage to the church's interior.

On May 3, the group stormed the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Rosary – located in the city of Culiacan in the Mexican state of Sinaloa – setting the linens on the main altar on fire and decapitating numerous statues of the saints and the Virgin Mary.

The archdiocese called the attacks a “brutal sacrilege” and said that the “scandalous act of vandalism offends Our Lord God, his Most Holy Mother, to whom this Cathedral is dedicated, and the faith of all Catholics who have watched as what they consider to be most sacred is insulted.”

According to Noticiero Televisa, the governor of Sinaloa, Mario Lopez, called the incident “an attack on the faith” and ordered local police to provide security at all parishes throughout the city.

The secretary for Public Security in Culiacan, Carlos Ontiveros, said a special group of investigators would be charged with looking into the crime, which he described as “acts of fanaticism against the Catholic Church.”

In its own statement, the Diocese of Culiacan interpreted the incident as vandalism and not profanation, but called it “completely reprehensible because damage was done to statues of great religious value and to an historic building that is a recognized part of Culiacan’s cultural heritage.”

Father Esteban Robles, spokesman for the diocese, said that as “a religious institution, we are saddened by what has happened and we trust that local and state police will investigate this matter.”

The Archdiocese of Mexico City added in their statement that because “of the violence and the magnitude of the damage, authorities must not minimize the incident or fail to punish those responsible.”

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