Police: Suspect ID’d, charges deferred in Philadelphia church assault

Philadelphia Archbishop Nelson Perez says a woman is recovering after she was punched while leaving the altar during a livestreamed mass at Cathedral Basilica of Saints Peter & Paul on Sunday.

Archbishop Perez reports that the assault was carried out by a member of the church congregation during the 11 a.m. service. Perez condemned the act and said the archdiocese is working with Philadelphia police to investigate the incident.

"Such behavior is unacceptable at all times, especially within the confines of a church building and during the celebration of the Holy Mass," said Perez. "I was saddened to learn of this incident and regret that it took place."

The victim, 40, did not require medical attention. Perez says the woman is doing well.

"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," Perez said.

Philadelphia police said Monday they identified a suspect but have deferred charges at this time.


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