Mexican priest stabbed during Mass dies in hospital

A priest who was attacked in the middle of Mass at the Metropolitan Cathedral in May has died in the hospital on Aug. 3, the archdiocese of Mexico City has announced.

(REUTERS / Russell Boyce/Files)A Mexican National flag is seen by the Metropolitan Cathedral in Zocalo Square in central Mexico City March 25, 2014.

During Mass at the Metropolitan Cathedral on the evening of May 15, an assailant stabbed Father Miguel Angel Machorro in the neck in what appeared to be an attempt to slit his throat. The priest lay on the ground with his clothes full of blood, the BBC reported.

Government and church sources said Father Machorro's condition was "delicate but stable" after the stabbing. Archdiocese lawyer Armando Martinez spoke at a press briefing and appealed for prayers for the injured priest at the time.

"We cannot talk about terrorism, we cannot talk about motives because we obviously have no significant facts," said Martinez.

The attacker, who claimed to be a North American artist, tried to escape but he was detained at the site of the crime. At the time, his identity had not been confirmed, but the Catholic Herald identified him as 32-year-old Juan Rene Silva Martinez. The suspect was later known to have a "psychotic disturbance."

Father Machorro was eventually discharged from the hospital to stay with his family. However, he was once again admitted several days ago due to an intestinal infection. He was cleared from danger but came back on Tuesday last week because of malnutrition and neuronal issues.

On Wednesday night, Father Machorro slipped into a coma, and the archdiocese announced the following morning that he had already passed away. In his Twitter post, the Archbishop of Mexico City Cardinal Norberto Rivera asked God to strengthen the deceased priest's family and commended his soul to the Lord.

"Encomiendo el alma del Pbro. Miguel Machorro y pido a Dios para que fortalezca a su familia. Que en Gloria de Dios esté," said Rivera.

The Metropolitan Cathedral, on the other hand, posted a "rest in peace" message on its official Twitter account after news of Father Machorro's death broke out.

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