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Basilica of the Sacred Heart in Rouen, France. Archdiocese of Rouen

ROUEN, France (LifeSiteNews) –– The Archdiocese of Rouen condemned the theft of the Blessed Sacrament from one of its churches.

According to the Catholic news outlet Aleteia, on the weekend of February 24-25, robbers broke into two churches in the diocese. They stole the Blessed Sacrament in the form of consecrated hosts from one of them. The church of St. John the Baptist (Saint-Jean Baptiste) in the small town of Val-de-la-Haye fell victim to this severe sacrilege. Several other sacred objects were stolen as well, the report added.

“The perpetrators of this sacrilege have violated the holiest of holy to Catholics,” the diocese wrote in its statement. “The Archbishop of Rouen, the parish priest, and the parishioners are devastated by this act of desecration. They appeal to the conscience of the thieves: bring back the priceless hosts. It’s the body of Christ that’s been attacked in the middle of Lent, a time when Christians remember His passion.”

The diocese announced that Msgr. Dominique Lebrun will preside over a Mass of Reparation for the stolen hosts on March 16 at 6 pm at Saint-Jean Baptiste church in Val-de-la-Haye.

The diocese added that it has already filed complaints with the police regarding the theft.

“The Catholic community thanks the mayors for their prompt support and all those who sympathize on this sad occasion. The faithful are committed to praying for the perpetrators of these misdeeds, hoping that their consciences will be awakened,” the diocese’s statement concluded.

This is the second time in the last few months that a church in the Archdiocese of Rouen was the victim of a desecration. In November 2023, sacred vessels were stolen from the Basilica of the Sacred Heart in Rouen and the altar of the church was vandalized. Unidentified persons also destroyed a statue, Catholic News Agency reported. However, the Blessed Sacrament was not stolen during the sacrilegious attack on the Basilica.