Bengaluru, Jan 21 : Differing with the police department dismissing the St. Francis of Assisi Church's break in as burglary, the Metropolitan Archbishop of Bengaluru, Peter Machado, called it a sacrilege.
"I am deeply disturbed and terribly shocked and also greatly grieved that desecration was done to Lord Jesus Christ who is present in the Holy Eucharist," Machado said, calling it a great dishonour.
Machado said the burglar broke open the tabernacle, the sanctum sanctorum of the Catholic church, and threw the Holy Communion and the sacred spices.
"A sacrilege and serious dishonour is done to our Blessed Lord and Saviour which is a matter of great concern not only to the parishioners of St. Francis Assisi Parish, but it also seriously affects the religious sentiments of all of us in the entire archdiocese, and also all the members of the Catholic community worldwide," said Machado.
In an attempt to restore the honour, Machado appealed to the congregation to observe Friday as a 'Day of Reparation' to praise, glorify and worship the Eucharistic Lord in a very special way.
"I have requested the Parish Priests/Chaplains to expose the Blessed Sacrament for adoration on this day, and keep it for at least 12 hours from morning till evening for public veneration in all the churches and religious houses of the archdiocese," he said.
Earlier on Tuesday, Kengeri Assistant Commissioner of Police U.D. Krishna Kumar dismissed the burglary as a mere theft.
"There is no communal motive to the burglary, it was only a theft," Kumar told IANS.
Kumar said an FIR has been registered on a complaint filed by the church father Satish Kumar. According to Kumar, the thief broke into the church at around 11 p.m. on Monday to decamp with the offering box.
Kumar said the police are yet to arrest the culprit.
However, Machado expressed hope that the police will nab the culprits and uncover their real motive.
Kengeri is a satellite town 20 km from Bengaluru.