An investigation that likely would have led to criminal charges against three LDS Church missionaries has been stopped.
Cpl. Scott Powell, the investigating officer in charge of this Colorado case, confirmed Friday morning that the Costilla County Sheriff’s Office will not continue looking into the actions of three missionaries who allegedly mocked the Catholic church and vandalized a holy shrine in San Luis.
The San Luis Parish council took a vote and recommended Thursday afternoon that no charges be filed against the missionaries. This recommendation came after Bishop Arthur Tafoya of the Pueblo diocese issued an Easter letter on Tuesday asking Catholics to forgive.
Powell would “not elaborate on what those charges would have been, whether they would have been misdemeanors or felonies,” but he said based on what he was discovering, charges “very easily could have been brought” against the three young men.
“It’s moot at this point,” he said. “When that recommendation came from the church, everything stopped.” According to The Pueblo Chieftain, hard feelings have persisted in the parish despite apologies from the LDS Church for the incidents.
But in the letter, Tafoya asked that, “. . . we as Catholics, who believe in the forgiveness of Christ, will ourselves forgive, and pray for the young men who showed such a lack of tolerance and understanding.”
He also wrote, “I especially ask the members of the San Luis community to help the healing process by removing any anger that exists in their hearts. This is the time that we can show our love of Christ by forgiving and loving our neighbors.”