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Priest stabbed at Mass in Mexico City cathedral

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Motive for the attack is still unclear

Photo: A police officer photographs John Rock Schild, the suspect in the stabbing of a Mexican priest in Mexico city's cathedral May 15. (Father Jose Aguilar via Twitter)

A Mexican priest is in “delicate but stable” condition after being stabbed in the neck May 15 at Mexico City’s cathedral, according to government and church authorities.

Father José Miguel Machorro Alcalá, 55, was stabbed in the neck and torso May 15 at the conclusion of saying evening Mass at the cathedral.

Witnesses said it appeared the attacker's intention was to slit the priest’s throat.

Authorities detained a suspect at the scene who had reportedly attempted to flee the cathedral. The suspect has been identified as John Rock Schild, who identified himself as an artist from the United States. He is believed to be about 30.

At a news conference, the lawyer of the Archdiocese of Mexico, Armando Martínez, asked for prayers for the priest and said the motive for the attack was still unclear.

"We cannot talk about terrorism, we cannot talk about motives, because we obviously have no significant facts," he said.

In a radio interview the next morning, archdiocesan spokesman Hugo Valdelomar said the attack occurred as Father Machorro was blessing the congregation with holy water. He said the priest suffered severe injuries to his neck and near his lung.

Father Machorro was transferred by helicopter to a private hospital. He was operated on and was stable but in intensive care, according to the Mexico City archdiocese.

The incident is one of many recent attacks against priests in Mexico, where drug trafficking has led to increased murder and kidnapping. In recent years, 17 priests have been murdered and many others have been kidnapped or assaulted.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 23 May 2017 08:09  

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