Several Catholic churches were burned or vandalized over the weekend, as religious people across the country face crossfire in a war over the public use of Christian symbols.
In two cases, authorities found two statues of the Blessed Virgin Mary mutilated outside Catholic parishes. The first, a stone statue in New York City, was vandalized late Friday night with the word “IDOL.” Witnesses told police that a masked woman fled the scene after spray painting the word lengthwise down the statue.
James Kuroly, the rector of Cathedral Preparatory School and Seminary, where the statue is located, called the incident “an act of hatred” in a statement.
In the second case, a statue of Mary set up to honor World War II soldiers in Boston was found burned Sunday morning. The Boston police said they are investigating the incident as arson.