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Excerpted from: 2019 Witnesses Widespread Attacks on US Catholic Churches | by Bruce Walker • ChurchMilitant.com • April 26, 2019

The recent rash of vandalism and desecration of religious statues and church buildings plaguing European Catholic parishes has spread to U.S. counterparts. News reports from this Easter Sunday alone depict three different incidents of hateful crimes committed against Church-consecrated properties.

Thousands of dollars of damage was performed in the holiest 24-hour period of the Catholic calendar against three buildings and possessions in Lakewood, Ohio; Fresno, California; and Maui, Hawaii.

The Lakewood Police Department continues to investigate what they’re designating a breaking and entering of St. James Catholic Church. Vandals entered church property through a jimmied courtyard window, snatched Rosary beads and a crucifix from a hallway table and managed to detach a statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary from its cement and sandstone base.

To perform this last task, St. James parishioner Joseph Dwyer said, the perpetrator needed to cut through the rebar that connected the statue to the base.”

They were very methodical,” he said. “They pushed the statue over, severing Mary’s head from her body.” Those responsible also tossed the Rosary beads and crucifix on the grounds outside the church.

Saint John’s Cathedral in Fresno suffered at least $50,000 in damage on Easter Sunday. By Tuesday, Fresno police had arrested 35-year-old Jose Luis Rentaria Hernandez, who confessed to felony vandalism that resulted in chipped and/or defaced statues as well as damage to the cathedral’s exterior and stained-glass windows. Hernandez also threw melted red wax from burning candles on several statues, including a likeness of Pope John Paul II.

Continue reading at: 2019 Witnesses Widespread Attacks on US Catholic Churches