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The Post  
Lector Assaulted At Mass Philly Cathedral Basilica, Video; 6-Alarm Fire; Montco Man Shoots at Police
  by: iradioal - Philadelphia, PA
started: 08/23/20 11:28 pm | updated: 08/23/20 11:28 pm
Philadelphia Police are investigating an unprovoked act of violence caught on video during the 11:00 a.m. Mass at the Cathedral Basilica of Saints Peter & Paul in Center City on Sunday morning, 8/23. The Mass was attended in person by parishioners and was being live streamed as well. The video shows two female lectors (readers) walking off the altar. An unidentified woman walks up the center aisle, stops at the front, and stands off to the side. When the lectors step down out of the sanctuary, the suspect quickly punches the one woman twice in the face. She thens walks off and flees the church. According to Archdiocesan officials, the victim was attended to immediately off-camera. She is reportedly doing well. The Archdiocese of Philadelphia is working with the Philadelphia Police department is helping identify the suspect.

Philadelphia Archbishop Nelson Perez released this statement:
"During the 11:00 a.m. Mass at Cathedral Basilica of Saints Peter & Paul, which was broadcast live via my Facebook page and the Archdiocesan Vimeo Channel, a senseless act of aggression took place. One of the lectors was punched by someone in the congregation as she left the altar.

Such behavior is unacceptable at all times, especially within the confines of a church building and during the celebration of the Holy Mass. I was saddened to learn of this incident and regret that it took place. The lector who was assaulted received immediate attention and assistance from Cathedral staff members off camera. She did not require medical attention and is doing well based on the reports I have received. The Archdiocese of Philadelphia is working in conjunction with police regarding the matter and will cooperate with them fully. Please be assured that there are safety and security plans in place for the Cathedral Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul. We welcome all visitors and work to provide for their safety. Violence has no place in our world and every life is a precious gift from God. Please join me in praying for everyone involved in today's incident and for respect for our fellow brothers and sisters."

Philadelphia firefighters had been battling a massive fire at a warehouse in the Tioga-Nicetown section all Sunday morning, 8/23. The 6-alarm fire broke out around 2 a.m. on the 3300 block of Stokley Avenue near West Westmoreland. It happened in a block-long building used by paper company Treco Fibematics. It was full of paper and other combustibles. Nearly 300, or about half of all on-duty firefighters, responded to the fire. It was located in an industrial section with a residential neighborhood across the train tracks. Only one firefighter suffered non life-threatening injuries. Fire Commissioner Adam Thiel said that this was the largest fire the city has had since he came to Philadelphia in 2016. He said by comparison, the refinery fire last year was 3 alarms. The fire was brought under control by 11 a.m., but the department will be on scene for hours perhaps days putting out hot spots.

Police in Montgomery County took a man into custody on Sunday, 8/24, after he fired a shotgun at an officer and roamed around a neighborhood high on drugs. It happened just after Noon near E. Prospect Avenue and Hancock Road in Upper Gwynedd. Police responded to a call of a suspicious person. The 35-year-old man had been trying to get into homes, sheds, and a car. He was asking for water and drinking out of garden hoses. Sergeant Ray Royds arrived on scene and found the suspect in a backyard. "The subject turned around at Sgt. Royds, yelled obscenities, pointed a shotgun at him and fired it at a distance of approximately 30-feet away, directed at Royds," Chief Duffy said. "Somehow that shot missed him." Officers were eventually able to him into custody. He also had a rifle and extra ammunition. No one was injured. He was taken to Lansdale Hospital for detox. The man was under the influence of methamphetamines. He will be charged later.

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