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  • John Rock Schild (R) waits after his arrest for stabbing a Catholic priest at Mexico City

    John Rock Schild (R) waits after his arrest for stabbing a Catholic priest at Mexico City's Metropolitan Cathedral, May 15, 2017. | Photo: EFE

Violence against Catholic Church officials in Mexico has also been on the rise in recent years. At least three priests were murdered in 2016 alone.

A Catholic priest was stabbed at Mexico City's Metropolitan Cathedral, the largest cathedral in the Americas, and taken to a hospital, where he is listed in serious but stable condition, government and church officials said.

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The Rev. Miguel Angel Machorro was attacked at the cathedral on Monday, the Mexican Conference of Bishops said in a Twitter post.

Police arrested a suspect in his late 20s who "apparently stabbed a priest while he celebrated Mass at the Metropolitan Cathedral," the Federal District Attorney's Office said.

"The victim, who had wounds in the neck caused by a sharp weapon, was quickly taken by police officers to a private clinic, where he was reported to be in serious but stable condition," the DA's office said in a statement.

"The suspect, who identified himself as John Rock Schild, told authorities that he is an American artist and invoked his right to remain silent," the DA's office said.

According to a report from the Catholic Multimedia Center, Mexico remained the most dangerous country in the world for priests in 2016 for the eighth year in a row after an “alarming” increase in attacks on priests since President Enrique Peña Nieto entered office in 2012.

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