By Carlos Villa Roiz
Father Miguel Ángel Machorro, who was stabbed Monday evening, 15th May, at the main altar in Mexico’s Metropolitan cathedral, is hovering between life and death, according to a press release issued last night in the cathedral itself.
Speaking on behalf on the cathedral chapter, Father Ricardo Valenzuela, the senior sacristan and liturgical director of the cathedral, expressed his concern for the health of the priest and asked for the prayers of all the Catholic faithful. He explained that Father Machorro was close to the cathedral of Mexico city and involved in some of its liturgical ceremonies.
Father Valenzuela also announced that Holy Mass would continue to be celebrated at the normal times and that Cardinal Norberto Rivera Carrera, the Archbishop and Primate of Mexico, was currently in Rome. He will decide on the need to celebrate a special Mass of atonement on account of this sacrilegious attack. The Cardinal will be returning to Mexico in time to celebrate the Sunday Mass.
Dr Armando Martínez, the president of the College of Catholic Lawyers, energetically condemned the attack and called for a full investigation and the rigourous application of the law. He confirmed that the attacker had been arrested by the federal police and was being dealt with by the public prosecutor, and he also thanked the Mexico City authorities for having transferred the wounded priest by helicopter to a private hospital, where he is currently being cared for.
(Father Ricardo Valenzuela and Dr Armando Martínez at the press conference © Aid to the Church in Need)
Dr Martínez explained that in recent years there had been almost 30 violent incursions during religious worship in the cathedral, most of them carried out by factional groups, as a result which increased levels of security had been introduced. However, the police units assigned to the cathedral have been more focused on the security of the ordinary Catholic faithful and of the property itself. Never before has there been a direct attack of this kind against any priest of the cathedral, nor indeed against the Cardinal, Norberto Rivera Carrera. This attack had taken everyone by surprise.
The authorities are currently investigating the incident, and consequently it has not yet been possible to give detailed answers to all of the questions asked by the press.
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