You can see the shocking video of the attack above.
A 48-year-old Newark man was charged with punching an auxiliary bishop during mass at Newark’s Cathedral Basilica of the Sacred Heart Saturday afternoon, officials said. The man, Charles Miller, was arrested by Essex County Sheriff’s officers and charged with assault, according to sheriff’s spokesman Kevin Lynch. The attack occurred during an event honoring baseball Hall of Famer Roberto Clemente at the North Ward basilica. Miller got up from his pew, went to the altar and allegedly punched Rev. Manuel A. Cruz, auxiliary bishop of the Archdiocese of Newark, in the mouth, officials said. James Goodness, spokesman for the Archdiocese of Newark, confirmed Cruz was assaulted.
The auxiliary bishop who was attacked during Mass Saturday is doing well and addressed a congregation on Sunday to assure them he was fine, according to a spokesman for the Archdiocese of Newark. Rev. Manuel A. Cruz, auxiliary bishop of the Archdiocese of Newark, was punched in the mouth Saturday afternoon during an event for baseball Hall of Famer Roberto Clemente, authorities have said. “He did meet and address the congregation this morning to tell everybody that he was fine and that, certainly, people should not be making this a matter that they can be worked up on,” said James Goodness, spokesman for the Archdiocese of Newark. “This was an isolated incident.” Cruz is resting and doesn’t have any other events scheduled for the day, Goodness said. Cruz was taken to the hospital after the attack with injuries that were not serious. Goodness declined to say which hospital Cruz was taken to, but that he was released later on Saturday and went back to the cathedral residence. “He is fine. Certainly we’re thankful that law enforcement was on hand and able to apprehend the assailant,” Goodness said. Goodness would not comment on possible motives.