Kathy Schiffer is a Catholic blogger. In addition to her blog Seasons of Grace, her articles have appeared in the National Catholic Register, Aleteia, Zenit, the Michigan Catholic, Legatus Magazine, and other Catholic publications. She’s worked for Catholic and other Christian ministries since 1988, as radio producer, director of special events and media relations coordinator. Kathy and her husband, Deacon Jerry Schiffer, have three adult children.
Two priests were violently attacked in Rome's Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore on Saturday, January 7 – their faces slashed with a broken bottle.
Fr. Adolfo Ralf, Father Superior of the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate, was slashed on the cheek by 42-year-old Renzo Cerro, a homeless man who burst into the sacristy and brandished the neck of a broken bottle. Fr. Angelo Gaeta, sacristan at the Basilica, was more seriously injured, sustaining a deep wound from cheekbone to chin. Both priests were treated in the hospital and are expected to make a full recovery.
Attacker Had a Troubled History
Renzo Cerro, the attacker, attempted to flee the basilica on foot; but he was stopped in the nearby Piazza Dante by Carabinieri, Italian police, and by the basilica's own guards who were patrolling the area surrounding the basilica – part of an enhanced police presence in the wake of recent terror threats against the Vatican. According to The Italian Insider, Cerro suffers from psychological disorders and already had a criminal record. When he was apprehended, he told the officers, “The Church does not understand me.”