January 5, 2001
volume 12, no. 5
Murder, Attempted Murder charges in St. Lucia Attack

    CASTRIES, St. Lucia ( - officials in the Caribbean nation of St. Lucia said two men accused of hacking and burning worshippers at the country's cathedral on Sunday will face attempted murder and murder charges.

    Kim John, 20, and Francis Phillip, 34, allegedly told police they were Rastafarian "prophets" on a mission to cleanse the Catholic Church. "Such acts are not the work of Rastafarians," said Ras Bongo Isley, chairman of the National Council for the Advancement of Rastafarians in St. Lucia. "Real Rastafarians are concerned with peace and love. People who commit such acts in the name of the movement are only abusing its name."

    The men burst in during Mass carrying machetes and a blowtorch while many of the 400 people were lined up to receive Communion, police and witnesses said. One of the attackers doused people with a flammable liquid, while another used a blowtorch to ignite the flames, witnesses said. Police said the attackers hacked at people with the machetes.

    One of the two dead, Sister Theresa Egan, 72, of Ireland, was attacked with a machete, police said. She had lived on St. Lucia for decades and was a former principal of the Ave Maria Primary School. She will be buried on the island Saturday.

    The attackers set fire to a St. Lucian priest, Father Charles Gaillard, injured an altar server and burned the altar. Father Gaillard, who suffered a collapsed lung and third-degree burns over his body, was flown to the nearby island of Martinique for treatment and was in critical condition, said Monsignor Patrick Anthony, a church spokesman. At least 13 people were hospitalized after the attack. Police said they will provide more security at Catholic churches and full-time security for the Archbishop Kelvin Felix of Castries.

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January 5, 2001
volume 12, no. 5
Global News from the Universal Church

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