Video: Suspect punches woman during Mass at Philly Catholic church

This story originally appeared on NBC10.


An investigation is underway after a suspect was caught on live video punching a woman in the face during Sunday Mass at a Philadelphia Catholic church.

The incident occurred during the 11 a.m. Mass at Cathedral Basilica of Saints Peter & Paul on 1723 Race Street. About 32 minutes into the Facebook Live video of the Mass, an unidentified suspect punches a church reader twice in the face before walking away.

  • WHYY thanks our sponsors — become a WHYY sponsor

Archbishop Nelson Pérez said the lector received immediate help from Cathedral staff members off-camera and is “doing well” after receiving medical treatment.

“Such behavior is unacceptable at all times, especially within the confines of a church building and during the celebration of the Holy Mass,” Archbishop Pérez wrote in a statement.

Pérez said Philadelphia police are aware of the incident and are working with the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. Police have not yet revealed a possible motive behind the attack or the suspect’s identity. They continue to investigate.

“Violence has no place in our world and every life is a precious gift from God,” Archbishop Pérez wrote. “Please join me in praying for everyone involved in today’s incident and for respect for our fellow brothers and sisters.”

If you have any information on the suspect, please call Philadelphia police at 215-686-3093 ext. 3094.

Sisters and Brothers in Christ,During the 11:00 a.m. Mass at Cathedral Basilica of Saints Peter & Paul, which was…

  • WHYY thanks our sponsors — become a WHYY sponsor

Posted by Archbishop Nelson Perez on Sunday, August 23, 2020

Get the WHYY app!

Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

Together we can reach 100% of WHYY’s fiscal year goal