Fr. Arturo López, 77, was brutally beaten by three masked men during an assault on Wednesday at the rectory of Saint Peter and Saint Paul Church in Coslada, a city in Spain’s Community of Madrid.
The three unidentified men tied up and assaulted Fr. Lopez when they entered his rectory Feb. 22 to steal valuables and money around 8:50 pm. The criminals used a rope to bind the priest in one of the rooms.
One of the assailants threatened and beat the priest to give them money while the other two searched the house. As the priest later reported, the assailants spoke perfect Spanish and did not seem to be foreigners.
According to El Mundo, officers of the National Police from Coslada who are investigating the assault described the attack on the parish priest as “brutal.” He had to be taken to the hospital because of injuries from the beating to his face and head.
Fr. Arturo was given stitches and underwent medical tests to see if he had suffered any brain damage. He was kept in the hospital overnight and was discharged Thursday since no complications were noted.
The assailants took more than 800 euros ($845), various keys, and the priest’s cell phone. It is currently being investigated if they went into the church to take valuables.
The assailants left the rectory after about 25 minutes, leaving the priest tied up. However, Fr. Arturo was able to free himself from the ropes and notify the police, who found him stunned and bloodied.
Fr. López belongs to the Priestly Society of the Holy Cross, and has served in Coslada since 1993.