Philadelphia

Woman in Custody After Punching Church Reader During Sunday Mass, Police Say

About 32 minutes into the Facebook Live video of the Mass, a church reader was punched twice in the face by an unidentified suspect.

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What to Know

  • Facebook Live video captured a woman punching a church reader in the face during Sunday Mass at Cathedral Basilica of Saints Peter & Paul on 1723 Race Street.
  • The church reader is "doing well" after receiving medical treatment, according to Archbishop Nelson Perez.
  • The suspect was taken into custody but has not been charged.

A woman who police say was caught on live video punching a lector in the face during Sunday Mass at a Philadelphia catholic church is now in custody.

The incident occurred during the 11 a.m. Mass at Cathedral Basilica of Saints Peter & Paul on 1723 Race Street. About 32 minutes into the Facebook Live video of the Mass, a woman dressed in a green tracksuit punches a church reader twice in the face before walking away.

Archbishop Nelson Perez said the lector received immediate help from Cathedral staff members off camera and is “doing well” after receiving medical treatment.

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“Such behavior is unacceptable at all times, especially within the confines of a church building and during the celebration of the Holy Mass,” Archbishop Perez wrote in a statement. 

Police identified the suspect who was later taken into custody. She has not been charged however and police continue to investigate.

“Violence has no place in our world and every life is a precious gift from God,” Archbishop Perez wrote. “Please join me in praying for everyone involved in today’s incident and for respect for our fellow brothers and sisters.”

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