Destroyed statue, show in entrance of Brooklyn Church; Police on the lookout for suspects
BENSONHURST, Brooklyn (WABC) – Police are looking for a suspect after a church in Brooklyn is destroyed.
Someone knocked over the crucifix in front of the Roman Catholic Church of Saint Athanasius on 61st Street and Bay Parkway in Bensonhurst.
The damaged crucifix was discovered by the parish priest, Monsignor David Cassato, on Friday around 8 a.m. on his way from the rectory to the academy to greet the students.
The statue of Jesus, the cross, and the display were all damaged. A GoFundMe page has been set up to help restore the Church.
“This was really an act of hatred and today is the saddest day of my twenty years here in this church,” said Monsignor David Cassato. “I went over and talked to the students at school about what happened and told them that hate never wins. We are and must be a community that continues to share the message of Easter that is of love, hope and forgiveness . “The churchgoers packed the street on Friday evening and prayed in solidarity.
It has been 27 years for Barbara Loughlin since she was a member of Saint Athanasius. She was shocked to hear what happened to her beloved statue of Jesus overnight.
“I couldn’t believe it. I walked by here today and didn’t see it,” said Loughlin.
The statue was intentionally overturned – the pieces of wood were broken and the American flag hanging in the rectory was burned.
“We are one people of God – we love everyone, we accept everyone,” said the church’s trustee, Ginger Bivona.
A poster stolen from St Dominic’s sister church a week ago was found slashed on the lawn – suggesting the two incidents may be related.
“It’s terrible – no house of worship should experience anything like this,” added Loughlin.
Whatever the person in charge was trying to achieve didn’t work – rather, parishioners say it brought them together and they hope the suspect finds the right path.
The community overcomes hatred simply by spreading the message of oneness and love.
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