Suspect In Custody After El Paso St. Patrick's Cathedral Vandalism


El Paso Police have a suspect in custody after vandalism at St. Patrick's Cathedral. The main altar suffered the brunt of Monday's attack. The 90-year-old statue of the Sacred Heart of Jesus that stood high behind the main altar is now decapitated and in ruins on the floor. The act of vandalism happened early when the church was open for morning prayers.

Bishop Mark Seitz says the person responsible "must be greatly disturbed to have attacked this peaceful place."

"This statue is one of my favorite representations of Jesus—his arms open wide in welcome, his heart aflame with love for us. I would often take inspiration from this image as I prepared for Mass. As sad as I am to see a statue attacked and destroyed, I am grateful that it was not a living person. But a statue, particularly this statue, concertizes and connects us to persons and ideals that are not visible to our eyes. They reveal to us realities that are close to us, but unseen. At this point we do not know anything about the person who carried out this assault, but he certainly must be a person who is greatly disturbed to have attacked this peaceful place in our city and this image of the King of Peace. I hope this might be the impetus for him to receive the help he needs. He will be in my prayers." said Bishop Seitz.

“I am devastated at this irreplaceable loss as I know members of this parish community and the whole Church of El Paso will be. In this moment we will reach out in confidence to the One this statue represented and I know he will console us,” Bishop Seitz concluded.

Photo: Diocese of El Paso

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