A statue of the Blessed Virgin holding the child Jesus was smashed in the face with significant damage at a Catholic Church in Connecticut according to a report:
A statue of baby Jesus and the Virgin Mary in front of a downtown church was badly damaged by a vandal over the weekend.
The head of the baby Jesus was removed; one hand of the Virgin Mary was knocked off and part of her face was smashed, likely by a rock church officials found near the statue when the damage was discovered early Sunday morning at the Basilica of St. John the Evangelist on Atlantic Street.
The pieces were left at the foot of the 40-year-old statue on Monday morning because the Rev. Al Audette wanted people to see what had happened to the statue near the front door of his rectory.
Audette did not think the vandalism was connected to a sweeping scandal of parish priests across the country accused of sexual abuse. He also said he did not see it as a hate crime and if it had been an “anti-faith thing,” he would have expected there to be a lot more damage done to the church property.
“It’s not unexpected — vandals in cemeteries, vandals breaking windows in the neighborhood. I don’t think it’s tough times. I’m 87 years old and I’ve seen a lot and these things happen now and then, so I don’t attribute it to a wave of crisis or a wave of indigenous kind of activity,” said Audette, standing outside and looking at the statue Monday morning. “I think it is just young men or women rebelling.”
Audette said the damage was discovered Sunday morning and a six-inch rock was found near the steps of the rectory. He said it was the only rock in the yard and was probably used to hammer the statue.
“There is no place in this yard where a rock of that size would come from. It was about six inches in diameter and whoever did it had to have done it real close,” Audette said.
Audette wasn’t sure but he hoped the statue could be repaired. He said he will suggest to the parish council that it be replaced by a metal or bronze one that is not so easily damaged.
Because of a renovation to the rectory about to begin, Audette said the surveillance cameras in the yard were off at the time and did not record the person who did the damage. Audette said the statue had been damaged in the past but the damage was not as bad as what happened over the weekend.
Stamford police Capt. Diedrich Hohn said he was very disappointed that anyone would deface the statue located in a downtown bastion of faith that dates back to the 1850s.
“This is shocking and disturbing that anyone would do this to their statue and we hope anyone with any information on the perpetrator will call 203-877-4407 and tell us who did this,” Hohn said.
Hohn mentioned that downtown has been the site of a small “rash” of vandalism. Late last week a window was broken at McDonald’s on Bedford Street and five tires were slashed on Oak Street.