Cuenca archdiocese denounces the release of a foreigner who attacked two priests

Jan 4, 2024 | 0 comments

The Catholic archdiocese of Cuenca is denouncing a judge who released a man who attacked two priests and has threatened to kill others. At a press conference, Archbishop Marcos Pérez questioned how the unnamed judge could allow an “attempted murderer” to walk free. “The man delivered a message to the church that read ‘I came to kill someone,’” Pérez said. “Then the man tried to follow through on his threat. How is it possible this man is not in jail?”

A Cuenca priest was attacked while he performed communion at the cathedral December 27.

According to police, a Mandarin-speaking Chinese citizen attacked Father Rider Macas between Calles Padre Aguirre and Sucre on December 26. “Father Macas was grabbed by the neck but, fortunately, he was able to escape without injury,” Pérez said.

Although the attacker escaped, he attacked a second priest the next day at the cathedral. While Father José Conde was performing the eucharist, the man came out of the congregation and applied what police described as a martial arts choke hold. Conde fainted during the attack but was saved when other members of the congregation grabbed the attacker. The man was held until police arrived.

According to the church, Conde recovered and suffered no permanent injury.

Police say the attacker was in Ecuador on a tourist visa. His name was not released.

Pérez says all Cuenca priests are in danger as long as the attacker remains free. “Because of the court’s action, we are having to assign personnel to priests who are performing their duties,” he said. “Even priests who are not in church are at risk. This is an outrageous situation.”

Pérez says he has scheduled a meeting with court officials to discuss the case.

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