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Suspect in Texas church burglary is apprehended, but tabernacle is still missing


Saint Bartholomew Catholic Church/Facebook | Shutterstock

J-P Mauro - published on 05/16/22

In this bizarre case the tabernacle and the consecrated hosts within it were stolen. The empty tabernacle was later recovered in a Burger King parking lot, but has once more been reported as missing.

An arrest has been made in connection with the tabernacle which was stolen from a church in Katy, Texas. While a suspect has been charged with burglary, the location of the stolen tabernacle is still unknown.

Aleteia previously reported that the tabernacle was taken from St. Bartholomew Catholic Church on May 9. It was then discovered cast aside in a Burger King parking lot on May 11. At some point after the tabernacle was found it went missing again. Reports have remained cryptic, with little information about the second theft aside from a Tweet by Adrian Fonseca: 

In the image, the doors of the tabernacle appear to have been pulled clean off. There also looks to be some kind of a gash on the top of the golden roof and the consecrated hosts within have been removed.

Reports have not indicated how the tabernacle was stolen for a second time, nor who was in custody of the tabernacle at the time of the second theft. It is also unclear as to whether the suspect in custody, identified by the Houston Chronicle as Christian James Meritt, was responsible for one of both of the thefts. 


In a statement, the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston praised the efforts of the Katy Police department:

“Thanks to the Katy Police Department’s diligent efforts and skill, a suspect has been apprehended and charged with burglary. It is our understanding the theft was not motivated by last week’s release of the draft Supreme Court opinion involving Roe v Wade.”

The Archdiocese went on to lament the continued absence of the tabernacle and implored anyone with information to come forward. They have also asked for continued prayers for the parish and all those involved in the matter. 

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