DENVER (KDVR) — What Catholics believe is the Body of Christ was stolen from a church in Denver’s Park Hill neighborhood.
Police are investigating the burglary. No arrests have been made.
Along with the blessed communion hosts within a tabernacle, many other items were taken from Curè d’Ars Catholic Church at Dahlia Street and Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard. A wooden replacement tabernacle is currently on display in the church. What was there before was made of precious metals —holding the Holy Eucharist.
“That is what we cherish as a people,” said Deacon Clarence McDavid. “To have that tabernacle stolen means that we have had Jesus stolen. They are desecrating what is very important to us.”
McDavid said it appears the perpetrators used a crowbar — or some type of similar tool — to break in at some point between Aug. 30-31.
“They took all of our sacred vessels,” McDavid said. “They took chalices … communion cups.”
The thieves also stripped the church of its indoor and outdoor copper piping. The piping was used to keep the air conditioning and heating systems running. A portable air conditioning device is being used temporarily to keep the church cool.
The broken pipes also led to water damage, but the deacon says there is hope.
“Out of darkness comes light,” he said.
Other parishes, priests and parishioners have been donating because insurance will only cover so much. No amount of money, however, can pay for what’s irreplaceable. The church is pleading for those blessed hosts — the Body of Christ — to be returned.
“This is what we’ve been praying for ever since this happened — that whoever did this would return the tabernacle,” McDavid said. “If the Eucharist is on the inside of it, that would be wonderful.”
The key to get into the tabernacle is also missing.
The church said evidence points to a crime of opportunity. Police said they are not currently investigating the case as a bias-motivated crime against Catholics.
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