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Penn. Man Allegedly Fires Gun at Priest

January 20, 2003

EDDYSTONE, Pa. (AP) _ A church member allegedly fired a gun at a priest as he celebrated Mass, but the bullet bounced off the clergyman’s shoe and injured no one.

Several people in the congregation at St. Jude’s church tackled the assailant and took his gun.

Police said Joseph George Barder, 31, was charged with attempted murder and other charges. No one answered phone calls at Eddystone’s part-time police department late Sunday, and Delaware County police said no further information was available. Barder did not have a listed phone number.

The Rev. Craig Gonzales said Barder was a member of the church and attended Mass sporadically. He said he did not know the man’s motive.

``I don’t know if it was something personal or aimed at a priest in general _ you try to rack your memory,″ Gonzales told The Philadelphia Inquirer.

St. Jude’s is a traditionalist Catholic church affiliated with the Society of St. Pius X, which is not recognized by the Roman Catholic hierarchy. Its members are followers of Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre, who was excommunicated by the Vatican in 1988 for his defiance of church reforms.


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