, 15 September, 2020 / 11:20 PM
The man who desecrated a Parish Church in Gabon, making away with the monstrance and the lunette containing the Body of Christ took them back Tuesday, September 15, the Parish Priest has confirmed.
“This morning (Tuesday, September 15), Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament is back and deposited in my office,” the Parish Priest of Les Rois Mages, Akebe Ville of Gabon’s Libreville Archdiocese, Fr. Benedict Dieme said in a message obtained by ACI Africa.
“The little one who had vandalized and taken it away came back to ask Our Lady of Sorrows for forgiveness.” Fr. Benedict added in reference to monstrance and the lunette having been returned on the memorial of Our Lady of Sorrows marked September 15.
The member of the Congregation of the Holy Spirit (Spiritans) further said that the man involved in the desecration “is not normal and he needs deliverance” and that he (Fr. Benedict) had “blessed the child and his parents.”
The monstrance and the lunette containing the Body of Christ had been taken from the Parish Church on Saturday, September 12.
On Sunday, September 13, Fr. Benedict announced that the Church had been desecrated saying, “Our Parish has just been stabbed in the heart. It is very serious and we have been hit really hard.”
Narrating the desecration, Fr. Benedict had said, “An unidentified young man, drunk or drugged, infiltrated the grotto and broke in two the exposed Blessed Sacrament. Worst still, he took the monstrance and the lunette of the Body of Christ in his bag.”
“All this happened in the presence of a lady and some Christians who were praying and who observed the incident without reporting to us,” the Priest had narrated, adding, “One of the Church wardens asked the young man to leave the place, without knowing what he had in his bag.”
In his September 15 statement, Fr. Benedict said, “Thank God for the return home of Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament.”
Meanwhile, in Nigeria’s Makurdi Diocese, Bishop Wilfred Anagbe has suspended pastoral services at St. Peter’s Low-Level Parish indefinitely following acts of desecration at the Parish.
According to the Catholic Star Newspaper of the Diocese, “The suspension comes after two sacrilegious attacks on the Parish on the 12th August and 13th September this year by yet-to-be identified persons.”
“The chapel of Perpetual Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament and the main Church building was broken into, the sacred specie of the Most Holy Eucharist was desecrated and sacred vessels looted,” the leadership of the Diocese of Makurdi has further reported Tuesday, September 15.
In the report, Bishop Anagbe is quoted as saying, “The closure is to enable us to adequately prepare for penance required by law in order to repair the injury this profanation has done to the sacred body of Christ.”
He adds that pastoral activities in the Parish shall resume after “a proportional satisfaction is made with regards to this sacrilege and we are also fully guaranteed of a better security outfit and structure for the parish in accordance with canonical requirements.”
Once the requirements are met, Bishop Anagbe has said, the Parish community will pray “a novena of reparation to be concluded with a rite of atonement in line with diocesan liturgical norms.”
ACI Africa was officially inaugurated on August 17, 2019 as a continental Catholic news agency at the service of the Church in Africa. Headquartered in Kenya’s capital, Nairobi, this media apostolate will strive to facilitate the telling of Africa’s story by providing media coverage of Catholic events on the African continent, giving visibility to the activities of the Church across Africa where statistics show significant growth in numbers and the continent gradually becoming the axis of Catholicism. This is expected to contribute to an awareness of and appreciation for the significant role of the Church in Africa and over time, the realization of a realistic image of Africa that often receives negative media framing.
Father Don Bosco Onyalla
Editor-in-Chief, ACI Africa