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“We need a respectful, mutual listening, free of ideology and predetermined agendas.” Pope Francis, Let us Dream, December 2020

Priests, worshippers stop attack at Nazareth basilica

Priests and worshippers thwarted an attack by a man armed with sticks in the lower grotto of the Basilica of the Annunciation in Nazareth, Israel, on 18th December.

The man, later identified by police as a non-Jewish American in his early 40s, attempted to break items in the grotto with the sticks during the daily noon Angelus prayer.

He was overpowered by those present and held until the police arrived, said Wadie Abunassar, director of the Media Committee of the Assembly of Catholic Ordinaries of the Holy Land.

“Luckily there were no injuries and little damage,” said Abunassar.

Police later transferred the man to the hospital for psychological evaluation.

Picture: File photo of Catholics praying during a Mass led by Latin Patriarch Michel Sabbah for St John Paul II at the Basilica of Annunciation in Nazareth, northern Israel, on Sunday 3rd April 2005. (Ariel Schalit/PA).