Continuing the long string of attacks against Catholic Churches, two 84-year old religious statues were smashed to pieces in an act of vandalism outside of Our Lady of Mercy Roman Catholic Church in Queens, New York on Saturday.
The Virgin Mary and St. Thérèse of Lisieux statues, which are beyond repair, have sat in front of Our Lady of Mercy since its opening in 1937. Around 3:30 a.m. on Saturday, a woman dragged the statues into the street, where she proceeded to bash the statues with a hammer until they shattered into pieces. The attack comes three days after the same woman knocked each statue off its pedestal, according to the Diocese of Brooklyn.
“I don’t know if it’s just a general anti-religion sentiment or just people who aren’t well who have some kind of vendetta against churches,” Father Frank Schwarz, pastor of Our Lady of Mercy Roman Catholic Church, said in a statement.
WATCH: Two statues outside Our Lady of Mercy Roman Catholic Church in Queens, dating back to 1937, were vandalized twice this week. “She looked like she had some kind of hammer or something and started smashing.” @NYPDHateCrimes investigating. @BQDiocesePress @NBCNewYork pic.twitter.com/yBjcm0XJKF
— Adam Harding (@HardingReports) July 18, 2021
The New York Police Department’s Hate Crime Task Force is currently investigating the suspect and her motives for the attack, which Fr. Schwarz noted were obvious.
“She deliberately went and destroyed these things. It wasn’t enough just to topple then. She had a rage. She stomped on it and spit on it,” Schwarz said.
On Thursday, police arrested a man who vandalized a historically black church on Staten Island. Just weeks ago in Brooklyn, a crucifix was toppled at St. Athanasius Roman Catholic Church. In June, a robber stole an expensive monstrance from a Catholic Church in the Bronx. Anti-Christian crime isn’t just in New York and after widespread church burnings in Canada, mass vandalism, shattered windows and statues, and the other at least 67 anti-Catholic attacks worldwide, the desecration of two more statues comes as no surprise.
CBS New York reported that despite the horrendous act that left parishioners cleaning up dismantled statues, the congregation left signs around the church that read, “Please pray for the person who did this.”