DENVER (KDVR) – What Catholics believe to be the body of Christ was stolen from a church in Denver’s Park Hill neighborhood.
Police are investigating the burglary. No arrests were made.
In addition to the blessed communion hosts in a tabernacle, many other items were recovered from the Catholic Church of the Curé of Ars on Dahlia Street and Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard. A replacement wooden tabernacle is currently exhibited in the church. What was there before was made of precious metals – containing the Holy Eucharist.
“This is what we cherish as a people,” said Deacon Clarence McDavid. “To have this tabernacle stolen means that we have stolen Jesus. They desecrate what is very important to us.
McDavid said it appears the perpetrators used a crowbar – or a similar type of tool – to sneak in at some point between August 30 and August 31.
“They took all of our sacred vessels,” McDavid said. “They took chalices… communion cups.
The thieves also stripped the church of its interior and exterior copper pipes. The piping was used to operate the air conditioning and heating systems. A portable air conditioning unit is used temporarily to keep the church cool.
The broken pipes also caused water damage, but the deacon says there is hope.
“Out of darkness comes light,” he said.
Other parishes, priests and parishioners have donated because the insurance will not cover much. No amount of money, however, can pay for what is irreplaceable. The church pleads for these blessed hosts – the Body of Christ – to be returned.
“This is what we have been praying for ever since this happened – that whoever did this will make the tabernacle,” McDavid said. “If the Eucharist is inside, that would be wonderful.”
The key to entering the tabernacle is also missing.
The church said the evidence pointed to a crime of expediency. Police said they are not currently investigating the case as a prejudiced crime against Catholics.
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