Attack on Carribean Christians During Mass

Attack on Carribean Christians During Mass Twelve Hospitalized, One Dead

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ST. LUCIA, Carribean Islands, JAN 11, 2001 ( On the morning of December 31, Victor Reyes was attacked by anti-Catholic fanatics while he distributed Communion. The same attack claimed the like of one elderly nun, Sr. Theresa Egan.

The attack was carried out by members of a Rastafarian cult, who attacked worshippers with machetes and set several on fire. Reyes himself is presently in a burn unit in New York. He told the New York Post about the attack: “He threw petrol in my face, and set my whole head and arms on fire. I said, ´I´m finished.´ “

When the attack was over, Sr. Egan lay dead, hacked with a machete, and 12 others were seriously injured. Two suspects are in custody, claiming that a religious vision told them to attack the Catholic church.

Monsignor Michael Wrenn of Manhattan´s St. John the Evangelist parish heard the news and took action. “I knew Sr. Egan and Mr. Reyes,” he said, referring to two weeks he had spent in St. Lucia. “I knew I had to do something.”

He mobilized the U.S. Catholic Conference and the Knights of Malta to have the four most severely injured transferred to New York hospitals.

Reyes, the only one of the four who is not in intensive care, believes that the kind of attack he and his fellow parishioners suffered is more likely to be repeated in the secularized United States than in heavily Catholic St. Lucia. “Look, they tried to buckle the Archbishop of New York,” he said, referring to the recent attempt of a man to handcuff himself to Archbishop Edward Egan. “Watch what they do with him.”

The financially struggling Castries diocese and the government of St. Lucia have volunteered to pay for all the medical expenses. However, the cost will be quite prohibitive for the Third World country. Msgr. Wrenn has set up a St. Lucia Burn Victims Fund at his church to help defray medical expenses.

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