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Monday, July 15, 2024

Church in Negros Occidental temporarily shut down following the desecration of religious icons

By Ferdinand Patinio

MANILA – The San Isidro Labrador Parish Church in Binalbagan, Negros Occidental, has been temporarily shuttered following the destruction and desecration of several religious artifacts.

“The images of St. Joseph, San Isidro Labrador – the patron saint of the parish, Immaculate Conception, two angels, and the Crucifix suffered partial or total damage. Additionally, the Tabernacle was disfigured. This regrettable incident has deeply wounded the faith and sentiments of Catholics in Binalbagan. Consequently, the church will remain closed for a period,” stated Diocese of Kabankalan Bishop Louie Galbines in a Friday announcement.

The order is provided under Canon 1211, which will provide the church the opportunity to repair physical and external damage caused by the perpetrator.

He also noted that the temporary shutdown would help in the healing of the faithful’s minds and hearts due to the unfortunate incident.

“While the physical and external damages may cause so much burden to the parish, it is the internal injury to the minds and hearts of the faithful that concern more to us,” Galbines said.

“(Closure will) allow repair of the images to take place, and this time will also be utilized for all of us to do penitential act in order to effect complete healing to our very hearts and minds.”

During a Mass at about 6:30 a.m. on Wednesday, a man ransacked and desecrated several religious images and items in the church.

The Catholic prelate reported that the suspect, identified as Rolly Semira, is now under police custody.

“He will be made to answer to the crime and damages he created,” Galbines said.

Charges of malicious mischief, alarm and scandal, and interruption of religious worship have already been filed against the suspect in the “unwarranted act.” (PNA)

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