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Tabernacle stolen from Old Town church

Joseph Lynch
April 18, 2017 06:20 PM

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. -- The Bible teaches that to sin is something that upsets God. Then what a thief or thieves did Monday at the San Felipe de Neri Church in Albuquerque’s Old Town must have really upset God.

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They stole something that is as sacred as the very church itself.

San Felipe de Neri Catholic Church is one of Albuquerque’s most iconic sights. One of the rarely seen parts of the church is the Gasparri Adoration Chapel of San Felipe. It’s the resting sight of Father Donato Gasparri who was laid to rest in 1882.

On Monday between 1:30 in the afternoon and 9:30 at night, Father Andrew Pavlak said, someone went right into the chapel and stole a tabernacle which holds the holiest of sacraments.

 "The vessel itself, the tabernacle, I mean it's an antique," he said. "It's valuable in and of itself.  But what's inside is even more valuable. It is- we believe as Catholics-- that it is the very presence of the body and blood of Jesus."

Such a sin is upsetting to the people who worship there. It’s even enough to get a reaction from the priest who calls this holy place his church and home.

 "Angry, you're very angry. You're violated. You feel hurt. You feel sad," Pavlak said. "There's a huge sadness."

The best case scenario for Pavlak is that the thief tries to get cash for it. Then there’s a chance they might get it back. Then there’s also a good chance they won’t get it back and it’s fallen into the wrong hands.

"There are people out there that are satanic worshippers. There are people who try to take the blessed sacrament and do very, very bad things with it," Pavlak said. "Perhaps it's something like that? I think it is probably someone that thinks they can get a lot of money for it."

Pavlak said he’ll pray for the return of the tabernacle and the holy sacraments inside. He says he’ll even pray for the person or persons responsible.

If you think you’ve seen it, you’re asked to call Albuquerque police at 242-COPS.

Credits

Joseph Lynch

Copyright 2017 KOB-TV LLC, a Hubbard Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved

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