Colombian Guerrillas Excommunicated After Attack

Dynamited Church and Profaned Eucharist

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BOGOTA, Colombia, APR. 5, 2001 ( The archbishop of Popayan officially excommunicated a group of Colombian Revolutionary Armed Forces (FARC) guerrillas for their savage attack on a church.

The attack took place last Saturday, when a guerrilla group assaulted the locality of Almaguer. They dynamited the altar and tabernacle, which had consecrated Hosts.

Later, the guerrillas destroyed the priest´s house, next to the church, so that they could attack the police headquarters more easily.

The evident profanation of the Eucharist compelled Archbishop Iván Antonio Marín López to publish an official statement announcing the automatic excommunication of the guerrillas, in line with canon 1367 of the Code of Canon Law.

The same statement mentioned an archdiocesan collection being organized to assist the families of Almaguer. Twenty homes were destroyed and 40 seriously damaged as a result of the attack.

The guerrillas´ shootout ended with three people wounded, according to police. Reports of deaths were not confirmed by authorities.

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