BILLERICA, Mass. (ChurchMilitant.com) - Anti-Catholic delinquents are continuing to profane statues across the country.
Vandals cut off the the head and arms of yet another statue of the Virgin Mary — the third desecration in Massachusetts in less than a week. The crime took place Tuesday night at St. Mary's parish in Billerica, a small town north of Boston.
The Massachusetts crimes began during the sacred Triduum after a statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary at St. Catherine of Siena parish in Norwood was vandalized with spray paint on Good Friday.
Two days later three statues were smashed at St. Margaret parish in the archdiocese of Boston. Reports say the heads of two of the statues were smashed, while a third statue of the Blessed Virgin had both its head and arms removed.
On the west coast, a 20 foot cross was chopped down outside of Divine Word Retreat Center in Riverside, CA, making a total of four reported acts of vandalism against Catholic institutions in the last week. The cross, which had stood since 1975, was found lying beside its two foot stump. Retreat Center Manager Geoffrey Buyco is calling the vandalism a "hate crime."
"It's really heartbreaking," he said. "[M]y whole life it's been up there."
The targetting of specifically Catholic statues is becoming more common. Last December St. Colette Parish in Livonia, Michigan suffered a vandalism attack. The vandal(s) spray painted a statue of St. Colette red and the message "Rome Will Fall" on the church's doors.
"Considering what they wrote, it appears to be a fundamentalist or extremist Christian group," Fr. Gary Michaelik told ChurchMilitant.com at the time. Father Michaelik also speculated that the vandalism might be connected to the recent Las Vegas Mass disruptions by protestants shouting "Pope, Mary's statue and idols gonna' send you to Hell!"
On the same evening, not three miles south, at the Franciscan Felician Sisters' Motherhouse, the sidewalk was also painted with red messages that said "Pope is False Prophet," "No Idols," "Repent," "Jesus is Lord," "Jesus is coming," and an ambiguous message about "Mystery Babylon."
Altogether, six acts of vandalism against Catholic religious objects committed in the last four months — a disturbing trend for Catholic parishes.