Arrest made in St. Bartholomew Catholic Church tabernacle theft case

By George Slaughter, News Editor
Posted 5/19/22

An arrest has been made in the case of a stolen tabernacle from St. Bartholomew Church, 5356 11th St.

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Arrest made in St. Bartholomew Catholic Church tabernacle theft case

Posted

An arrest has been made in the case of a stolen tabernacle from St. Bartholomew Church, 5356 11th St.

Christian James Meritt, 26, was arrested May 13 for burglary of a building. At press time he was in custody in the Harris County Jail with a $10,000 bond.

Late on the evening of May 8, the tabernacle was stolen. Upon the discovery of the theft the next day, church officials notified the Katy Police.

Police learned that the tabernacle was left at a nearby business located in the 3000 block of West Grand Parkway North. Upon reviewing the store surveillance video, police saw Meritt walking away from this business with the tabernacle before their arrival.

Police conducted surveillance of the area near the business and arrested Meritt. Police interviewed him, and Meritt admitted to the burglary of the church. Detectives went to Meritt's home and found the contents of the tabernacle. However, the tabernacle itself was discarded by Meritt and has not been recovered.

The Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston, in a statement, praised the police’s work.

“Thanks to the police’s diligent efforts and skill, a suspect has been apprehended and charged with burglary,” the Archdiocese statement said. “It is our understanding the theft was not motivated by last week’s release of the draft Supreme Court opinion involving Roe v Wade.”

The tabernacle is a large, ornate container where the Holy Eucharist is stored. The Arhdiocese said efforts are ongoing to recover the tabernacle.

“In any case, such a theft beyond material price is immeasurably hurtful to the Archdiocese and speaking theologically, is sacrilegious,” the Archdiocese said.

The Archdiocese expressed its gratitude to the police and asked for continued prayers both for the parish and all involved in the matter.

Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston serves 1.7 million Catholics in 10 counties. It is the largest Roman Catholic diocese in Texas and the 5th largest in the United States.