Constant Thefts in Churches Plague Mexican Archdiocese

Most churches, particularly in the state capital, have taken security measures.

The Cathedral of San Luis Potosí in Mexico.
The Cathedral of San Luis Potosí in Mexico. (photo: Credit: Saher / Wikimedia Commons)

The Archdiocese of San Luis Potosí expressed its concern about the constant wave of thefts that is plaguing churches in the Mexican state of San Luis Potosí.

Father Tomás Cruz Perales, spokesman for the Archdiocese of San Luis Potosí, said in a statement to ACI Prensa, CNA’s Spanish-language news partner, that although thefts from churches are a constant, most of them have so far been insignificant, primarily thieves looking for money in the poor box.

“It’s a situation that we’re going through, but it’s very identified with people seeking to satisfy needs, perhaps related to [drugs and alcohol], or who live from day to day,” Father Cruz commented. He also lamented that in some cases, when confronted, the offenders “have even attacked the sacristans.”

However, he noted that on a couple of occasions more serious sacrileges have been committed where sacred objects have been destroyed. In a particularly serious incident at St. Philip of Jesus Church located on the outskirts, eight chalices and six ciboriums with gilded relief (and adorned with) precious stones, patens, microphones, wiring, and video cameras were stolen.

“Even the altar wine was [desecrated]. That day there was a true sacrilege, especially because the consecrated hosts were left on the ground,” the priest added.

Although thefts from churches “are a constant,” Father Cruz noted that insecurity goes beyond simply stealing money from poor boxes: “It’s a situation that we experience throughout the country, unfortunately,” he noted, alluding to the widespread problem of thefts from homes, businesses, and on the streets.

The spokesman said that most churches, particularly in the state capital, have taken security measures, “such as the installation of cameras and alarms, especially when the churches have already been closed.”

He also thanked the local authorities for the measures implemented so far but called on the population to remain alert in the face of growing insecurity.

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