Church condemns desecration of chapel in N. Cotabato
Cardinal Orlando Quevedo of Cotabato deplored the “wicked desecration” of a Catholic chapel by terrorist gunmen in North Cotabato.
The cardinal said the gunmen did not only destroy religious icons but also desecrated the Sacred Hosts that were kept inside the chapel of Malagakit village in Pigcawayan town.
“These are irreligious acts that cry out to heaven,” Quevedo said.
“Such acts are similar to the desecration of a mosque and the sacred Qur’an by non-Muslims. Both desecrations are gravely sinful,” he said.
The government troopers on Wednesday foiled an attempted raid on a militia post in Malagakit after they engaged about 300 members of the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters.
The gunmen then ransacked the chapel and left the statues of the Virgin Mary and a huge crucifix damaged.
They also left the tabernacle open and scattered the hosts on the floor.
Cardinal Quevedo challenged the hierarchy of the BIFF, a breakaway group of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, to punish its men who have done a sacrilegious rampage.
“If the BIFF wants to have an image as a respecter of all religions, it must punish its members who perpetrated the odious desecration in Malagakit and educate all its members in strictly respecting other religions,” he said.
The cardinal also called on local Catholics to restore the sacredness of the chapel.
“I ask all the faithful of the archdiocese to pray for peace and harmony among all believers of different religions,” he added.
Aside from the chapel, the gunmen also vandalized a public elementary school and left a stained Philippine flag.
Last month, members of the Maute terrorist group also desecrated St. Mary’s Cathedral in the besieged city of Marawi. CBCPNews