Washington D.C., Jun 28, 2021 / 18:00 pm (CNA).
A monstrance was stolen from a Catholic Church in the Bronx, New York last Friday before the parish’s morning Eucharistic adoration.
The New York Police Department (NYPD) told CNA the theft occurred around 7 a.m. at St. Barnabas’ Catholic Church. The monstrance stolen from the parish is worth $10,000. The parish told CNA the Eucharist was not in the monstrance at the time of the theft.
The parish told CNA that Eucharistic adoration had been planned for 9:30 a.m. that morning.
Police have not yet identified the suspect, but are seeking public assistance in doing so.
It was reported to police that the perpetrator entered the church on June 25 and remained inside for an hour. The individual then entered the lower level of the church and stole the monstrance.
“It’s disappointing,” parishioner Tom O’Sullivan told CBS2. O’Sullivan called for prayers for the perpetrator.
“What can you say?,” he said, “People get caught up with different things in life.”
“It was upsetting,” Deidre Brady, another parishioner said.
The NYPD asked anyone with information on the incident to call its Crime Stoppers hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477) or for Spanish, 1-888-57-PISTA (74782). The public can also submit their tips by logging onto the CrimeStoppers website at WWW.NYPDCRIMESTOPPERS.COM, on Twitter @NYPDTips, the department said.
The attack on the Bronx parish follows a string of church vandalisms this year, including several in the New York City area.
On May 28, a Blessed Mother statue in the parish courtyard of St. Adalbert Parish in Queens, New York was found split in half, with the top section completely separated and on the ground.
On the weekend of May 15, a statue depicting the Blessed Mother holding the infant Jesus was discovered vandalized outside the diocesan administrative offices, with the statue of Jesus decapitated. On Friday May 14, a crucifix display outside St. Athanasius parish in Brooklyn was found toppled over, with an American flag outside the rectory burned.
Just a few weeks earlier St. Dominic, St. Athanasius’ sister parish, was also targeted for minor vandalism in recent weeks, according to WABC. According to local media, a poster was stolen from the church and was found slashed last week.
In May, the head and a hand were cut off a statue of the Sacred Heart of Jesus at St. Charles Borromeo Catholic Church in Waltham, Massachusetts. On the weekend of May 8, fingers on a statue of the Sacred Heart of Jesus were broken off, at St. Thomas More church in Narragansett Rhode Island.
In April, the face of a statue of Christ at Saint Mary’s Cathedral in the Fargo diocese was painted black. On April 21, a man used a sledgehammer to damage a mural of Our Lady Guadalupe at St. Elisabeth Catholic Church in Van Nuys, California.
In early February three statues of angels at St. Pius X Church in El Paso, Texas, were toppled over and broken.
In early January, a statue of St. Therese of Lisieux was defaced with an upside-down cross, the word “satan,” and a pentagram, at St. Theresa of the Child Jesus parish in Abbeville, Louisiana.
Catholic Churches and statues throughout the United States were targeted for arson or vandalism throughout 2020 as well.