Saturday 22 July 2017

Bishop says break-in and theft at Irish church is 'extremely upsetting for parishioners and the clergy'

Bishop Francis Duffy is appealing for thieves to return the tabernacle
Bishop Francis Duffy is appealing for thieves to return the tabernacle

Kathy Armstrong

A break-in and theft at a church is "disrespectful to religion and to the local community", a Bishop said today.

It was discovered at around 7am this morning that someone broke into St Michael's Church in Shroid, Co Longford.

it's understood that the altar was damaged and several items were robbed, including the tabernacle.

Bishop Francis Duffy said he visited he church this morning and finds the incident "extremely upsetting."

He told The Longford Leader: "This act of desecration is disrespectful to religion and to the local community.

"It is extremely upsetting for the parishioners and the clergy here in Longford that something like this could happen, but especially during Holy Week.

"The tabernacle is the centre piece of every Mass as it holds the sacred Communion hosts. It holds the bread that we believe has been transformed into the body of Christ.

"That is what we believe and that is why this act of desecration is so distressing. The tabernacle is of great significance to the local parish here."

Gardai confirmed they are probing the incident.

They said in a statement: "Gardai in Longford are investigating a robbery at St Michael's Church in Shroid, Co Longford.

"The incident was discovered shortly after 7am this morning.

"A number of items were stolen.

"A technical examination is taking place and investigations are ongoing."

Anyone with any information is urged to contact Longford Garda Station on 043 335 0570.

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