Diocese in Des Moines Robbed

“More than $600,000 has been stolen electronically from a Bankers Trust account belonging to the Catholic Diocese of Des Moines, the bank and the diocese said Friday.

The thieves are believed to be “a highly sophisticated operation most likely based overseas” who transferred the money “to numerous recipients across the United States on Aug. 13 and 16,” the diocese said in a statement announcing the theft.

Bankers Trust alerted the diocese to the fraud on Aug. 17. The bank immediately shut down relevant bank accounts and began a process to recover the funds. “To date, approximately $180,000 has been recovered,” the diocese said.

“No diocesan or bank staff is suspected” of being involved in the theft, the diocese said.

The statement said law enforcement officials have said that similar thefts have involved the “participation of individuals who unknowingly act as intermediaries of the funds obtained by theft.”

Des Moines Diocese Bishop Richard Pates said in the statement that the loss was protected by insurance.

“We have been advised that such criminal activity is rampant,” Pates said in the statement.

The FBI and U.S. Treasury were immediately notified of the theft, the diocese said, adding that the FBI has taken possession of several diocesan computers.

Bankers Trust has sent a memo to its employees informing them that the bank’s “Internet system was not breached and continues to be secure.”

“We do not yet know how the criminals infiltrated the diocesan systems, but we expect the investigation will reveal this so we can share with other clients and prevent potential breaches of their systems,” said the memo signed by Donald J. Coffin, Bankers Trust’s chief lending officer.

The diocese serves 82 parishes in 23 central and southwest Iowa counties.” – “$600,000 is Stolen from Des Moines Diocese”, The Des Moines Register

This story from The Des Moines Register was a real shame to read about. This poor diocese had a large sum of money stolen from them, and there was nothing they could possibly do about it. The thieves are apparently very good with electronics and computers because they found a way to scoop up all of this diocese’s savings without actually taking any physical money. Hopefully they continue to recover money over the next few weeks. Keep this diocese in your prayers.

Local Church Has It’s Chalice Stolen

This story was really quite disturbing, I found it on WNEP.com. I could not believe this article’s title, I thought it was some sort of joke. Somebody has stolen a chalice full of the Eucharist. This is the body of Jesus Christ and is the most spiritually valuable item inside of every church. It sickens me that people would stoop so low. By taking this item they must have known the value that Catholics would place on it, which makes the crime even worse in my opinion. Please pray that the despicable humans who did this are caught and brought to justice.

“Members of a Roman Catholic church in Lackawanna County are praying for the return of a sacred item stolen from the altar.

The pastor of Saint Rose of Lima said Thursday the church was violated when a holy vessel was stolen two nights ago. Monsignor David Tressler said the thief entered the church through an open window.

What the person took, the pastor said, is one of the most sacred items in the Catholic church.

“What has been taken is the Blessed Sacrament, which is our Holy Communion, which is the the source and summit of who we are , the body and blood of Christ,” Tressler explained.

The pastor said the thief opened the tabernacle on the altar and took a chalice-like container that holds what Catholics believe is the body of Christ. It was the only thing that was taken. While it has little monetary value, Tressler said, the crook knew its spiritual significance.

“Why they’ve done it, I don’t understand but it’s such a violation to us as Catholics because of our strong beliefs in the real presence of Jesus Christ,” Fr. Tressler added.

Because the communion was removed from the church, Catholics consider the crime a desecration of the Blessed Sacrament. So the bishop had to come and bless the church again.

Parishioners at Saint Rose are still in shock.

Betty Flood of Carbondale shared her theory on why the thief struck. “The only thing I can think of is a cult. Devil worshipers. They desecrate the sacrament,” she said.

Cecelia Zapotosky from Carbondale said, “I couldn’t believe it. I could have just sat down and cried, I mean it was just so sad.”

Tressler said for security reasons he’s going to lock the church a few hours earlier each day.” – “Chalice Stolen from Catholic Church”, WNEP

The Relic of True Cross Goes Missing from Boston

“Spokesman for the Archdiocese of Boston, Terrence Donilon, released the following statement Monday July 12:

Relic of the True Cross Stolen from the Cathedral of the Holy Cross

On Thursday, July 1, staff from the Cathedral of the Holy Cross learned that the relic of the true Cross was stolen from the Cathedral’s Blessed Sacrament Chapel. Boston Police were immediately notified and an investigation was begun to determine who might be responsible. That investigation continues.

The relic of the true Cross is an important sacramental that helps Christians contemplate the crucified Savior and the great suffering he endured for the salvation of the world. The true Cross was discovered in the fourth century, and since then its particles have been diffused to the Church throughout the world. The Cathedral’s relic of the true Cross was brought from France in the Nineteenth Century and given to Bishop Cheverus, Boston’s first Bishop.” – Relic of True Cross Stolen from Cathedral”, Catholic Answers Forum

This was truly some unfortunate news to be informed of, and I for one am disappointed that somebody would take such an important relic from the Catholic Church. It also is disappointing that the Cross has been missing since July 1st and it was given twelve full days before an official statement was released at all. Hopefully the Cross finds it was back to its rightful place sooner rather than later, or never.