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Two die in Colombia church shooting

A gunman burst into a Catholic church in Colombia during Mass on Sunday morning, killing two people and wounding six others.

Witnesses described a scene of chaos when the shooting broke out, with panicked parishioners streaming out the doors of the San Carlos Borromeo church in a southern neighbourhood of the capital Bogota.

Police have not yet identified the two dead men. One, apparently the target of the shooting, died at the scene, according to police spokesman Colonel Daniel Castiblanco. The other, a man of about 70 years, died at the hospital.

The gunman and three accomplices fled on two motorcycles after the shooting.

A police spokesman said the shooting bore the hallmarks of a professional killing.

Independent Catholic News


A priest saying Mass at St. Jude's church in Delaware escaped injury when a bullet fired at him on the altar bounced off his shoe, according to local police.

Several parishioners attending the 8:00 a.m. Mass at the church in the town of Eddystone tackled and disarmed the 31 year old assailant whom police later identified.

Police said the suspect has been charged with attempted murder, aggravated assault, recklessly endangering others, and carrying a firearm without a license.

"I don't know if it was because it was in a church, but I think it was a miracle that no one got hurt," Eddystone police Officer Tom Reilly said.

Fr Greig Gonzales, a member of the schismatic Society of St Pius X, said he did not know why the assailant shot at him.

"I don't know if it was something personal or aimed at a priest in general - you try to wrack your memory," Fr Gonzales said. "Did I remind him of someone else? I don't know."

Fr Gonzales said that the suspect has been a member of the congregation for a number of years and that his parents are also parishioners.

Philadephia Inquirer


A priest on the NSW Central Coast has pleaded guilty to a charge of wielding a knife in a public place.

Fr Jans Wewersowicz, assistant parish priest at Our Lady of the Sea Terrigal-Erina, appeared yesterday before Magistrate Michael Morahan at Gosford Court.

The Polish-born priest he threatened staff at the Crowne Plaza Resort beer garden on the night of November 3, last year. The drama began about 7.15pm when the Catholic priest pulled out an 18cm-long knife and placed it on the popular Florida Beach Bar.

He was apprehended soon afterwards by hotel security.

On a previous appearance the 47-year-old priest had told the court he carried knives because of the dangerous years he spent in the jungles of Papua New Guinea. He said he had been threatened many times during his stay there.

His defence lawyer argued Fr Wewersowicz has several issues due to the shock of life in New Guinea and is receiving counselling.

Daily Telegraph (payment required)

21 Jan 2003