The beheading of a Virgin Mary statue outside of a California church has reportedly ignited some local Catholic officials’ fears a vandal is targeting houses of worship.
In recent months, several acts of vandalism were recorded against other Catholic churches, with the vandal supposedly trying to “make a statement.”
Marianne Hacker, the pastoral administrator at Saint Margaret Mary’s Church, told KCAL 9 the vandal severed the statue in two, “like a clean cut.”
“This is a place we come to feel safe, to feel God’s presence, to worship with our community,” Hacker said of the chapel and statues. “It brings people comfort.”
“This is a place we come to feel safe, to feel God’s presence, to worship with our community. It brings people comfort.”
She said the crime resembled vandalism at another church in Los Angeles.
“That’s why I’m thinking it was a sledgehammer like they used at Our Lady Lourdes,” Hacker said.
She was referring to a vandal who used a sledgehammer to hack the heads off two statues at that church, according to KCAL9.
“Definitely trying to make a statement,” Hacker said.
Saint Margaret Mary’s Church believes the same person was responsible for both acts.
The Church officials say they also suspect the individual could be behind the destruction of their double pane stained glass window, which featured Mary and was smashed with a stone.
“We’re always willing to forgive, and we’re always willing to help if there’s anger,” Hacker said, noting that the churches don’t know why they would be targeted.
The church said they will install security cameras as a response to the damage.