Sisters and Brothers in Christ, During the 11:00 a.m. Mass at Cathedral Basilic…

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Sisters and Brothers in Christ,

During the 11:00 a.m. Mass at Cathedral Basilica of Saints Peter & Paul, which was broadcast live via my Facebook page and the Archdiocesan Vimeo Channel, a senseless act of aggression took place. One of the lectors was punched by someone in the congregation as she left the altar.

Such behavior is unacceptable at all times, especially within the confines of a church building and during the celebration of the Holy Mass. I was saddened to learn of this incident and regret that it took place. The lector who was assaulted received immediate attention and assistance from Cathedral staff members off camera. She did not require medical attention and is doing well based on the reports I have received. The Archdiocese of Philadelphia is working in conjunction with police regarding the matter and will cooperate with them fully. Please be assured that there are safety and security plans in place for the Cathedral Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul. We welcome all visitors and work to provide for their safety. Violence has no place in our world and every life is a precious gift from God. Please join me in praying for everyone involved in today’s incident and for respect for our fellow brothers and sisters.

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