MEXICO CITY — Cardinal Norberto Rivera Carrera and the Metropolitan Cathedral said that Father Miguel Angel Machorro, stabbed at the altar while celebrating Mass May 15, has died.
A series of tweets from the cathedral and the cardinal early August 3 said the priest had been declared brain dead August 2. The cardinal prayed for the priest’s soul and his family.
Machorro, 55, was stabbed in the neck and torso at the conclusion of saying Mass at the cathedral.
Witnesses reported that it appeared the attacker’s intention was to slit the priest’s throat.
In a radio interview, archdiocesan spokesman Hugo Valdemar said the attack occurred as Machorro was blessing the congregation with holy water.
The suspect was arrested at the scene. Mexico City security officials said the suspect identified himself as John Rock Schild, an American citizen, “approximately 28 years old” and an artist.
The attack is one of many recent attacks against priests in Mexico. Drug trafficking has led to increased murder and kidnapping in the country. In recent years, 17 priests have been murdered and many others have been kidnapped or assaulted.
The Metropolitan Cathedral is a popular stop for tourists. It faces Zocalo Square in Central Mexico City and dates back to the 1500s. The police presence there is heavy due to the traffic and frequent protests in the vicinity.
On July 25, an explosive device was detonated outside the offices of the Mexican bishops’ conference, directly across the street from the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe.
An internet statement claiming to be from an anti-authoritarian feminist movement said the group was behind the bombing, which caused little damage.
This report incorporated information from Catholic News Agency and Associated Press.