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A judge in the Spanish city of Tudela issued an order last week stating that the man who vandalized, attacked and burned several images of Our Lady in the church of Fontellas must now keep 10 meters away from centers of Catholic worship.
The judge who issued the order said that he considered this an act of an Islamic faction in direct opposition to the religious values of the West.
When the man lit the statues of the Virgin Mary on fire, it was inside of the local Catholic church, causing it heavy damage. One of the side chapels was completely destroyed, and several statues were burned. Part of the ornamentation of the chapel ceiling fell, and the nave was left blackened by soot.
The man who committed the vandalism has admitted that he performed the acts, has not asked for forgiveness and has even said he earned paradise with his actions. According to police investigations, he seems to be the perpetrator of other attacks on churches in nearby locations in the Ribera de Navarre, doing damage to many Catholic religious symbols.
The Mother of God has always been known to be a symbol that directly relates to the battle between Islam and Catholicism. On October 7, 1571, a victory over the Turkish fleet was won by Catholic naval forces primarily from Spain, Venice and Genoa under the command of Don Juan of Austria. It was the last battle at sea between oared ships, which featured the most powerful navy in the world — a Muslim force powered by 12,000 to 15,000 slaves as rowers. The greatly outnumbered, patchwork team of Catholic ships, its men all praying the Holy Rosary, crushed the Turks in only four hours.