Brazilian church officials say the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Rio de Janeiro has escaped injury during a robbery by three gunmen.

Rio archdiocese spokesman Adionel Carlos da Cunha says the robbery occurred Monday night when Cardinal Orani Joao Tempesta was being driven to a local radio station to participate in a debate.

The archdiocese's photographer, a seminarian and the cardinal's driver were also held up. None was hurt.

Cunha says the assailants recognized Tempesta, apologized, but went ahead with the robbery anyway.

He says they took the cardinal's cellphone, ring, crucifix and pen and the photographer's cameras.

Police later recovered the stolen goods except for the cameras.