Desecration and Robbery in Bremen Convent; Police Seek Witnesses

Country: Germany

Date of incident: March 22, 2018

Category: Social Hostility / Intolerance

Attack against: Faith

Area of case: Private

An unidentified man forced open the tabernacle in the chapel of the convent of Bridgettines in Bremen to take the consecrated Hosts with the liturgical objects that were inside, as well as the relics of the founder of the Order, St. Bridget of Sweden.

The Bremen police published a press release about an unknown man who, in the afternoon of March 22nd, broke the lock of the tabernacle inside the convent chapel of the nuns of the Society "Ordo Sanctissimi Salvatoris" (Order of the Most Holy Savior) to steal the consecrated Hosts that were kept inside, along with a monstrance (a liturgical object where the eucharistic forms are deposited and worshipped), a golden ciborium, and a small ornate bowl with water. 

In addition, the relics of St. Bridget of Sweden (1303-1373), founder of the Order, which were placed at the foot of the altar in a small box sealed by the Vatican, were also stolen.

Mother Giovanna, who runs the community where nuns from Italy, Mexico, and India live, reported that it is precisely the theft of objects with lower financial value that caused the most damage and pain because of their religious value. The consecrated Hosts, which hold incomparable value for any faithful Catholic, and the remains of the founder of the Order, were most painful to have lost. The rest of the stolen objects were not of extraordinary quality either, but they are especially valued for the service they render within and in the role of the liturgy.

Mother Giovanna and a couple who were staying at the convent were able to give the police a description of the man: about 1.65 to 1.70 meters tall, with a strong build, black hair, and a dark complexion. The police asked witnesses who may have seen a man matching this description between 3:00 and 3:30 pm on Kolpingstraße to contact them at 0421 362-3888. 

Unfortunately, the police report does not record the spiritual value of the act, where the tabernacle is simply referred to as a "deposit box" (Aufbewahrungsbox) and the relics of St. Bridget as religious objects (religiöse Gegenstände).

Sources: Katolische Gemeindeverband in Bremen, Bremen PoliceWeser Kurier, and Weser Kurier