Bangalore: Miscreants Vandalize St Antony’s Church

| November 8, 2009

Bangalore, November 8, 2009: The parish priest Fr. Arockiadoss and his parishioners were in for a rude shock early in the morning Sunday 8th November to see their church vandalized. A visibly upset Fr. Arockiadoss, the parish priest of St. Antonys Church in Kavalbysandra says "When I went to open the Church doors at 4.30am I found it was already broken into, the dumb boxes were all broken open and the tabernacle where the sacred host is kept was taken out and thrown about the place". He suspected that vandals must have broken into the church in wee hours of the morning.

Archbishop Dr Bernard Moras who rushed to the spot at 6.30 am consoled the parish priest and a large gathering of over 700 parishioners who had come for the Sunday service.

Speaking to the Home Minister Acharya on phone at around 7.15 am, the Archbishop told him that he is deeply disturbed over the incident and termed it as an "Assault on the sentiments of Christians. Those indulging in such acts that hurt the sentiments of any religious community must be dealt with seriously". The Home Minister who is in New Delhi, assured the Archbishop that he would alert the police to look into the incident immediately.

The Archbishop also spoke to Police Commissioner Shankar Bidri who was on his way to Belgaum seeking his immediate intervention and an investigation. A dog squad, finger print experts and several police officers including ADGP Pujjar visited the parish. By 8.30am over a thousand people gathered into the Church and began prayer and reparation along with the Archbishop and other priest-officers from the archbishops House. St. Antony's Church which was recently re-built into a larger one has around 5000 parishioners.

"I am hurt because of the desecration done to the Blessed Sacrament which is so central to our Faith. The Christian community is hurt by such acts that are recurring" the Archbishop said.

Expressing dismay over the progress of investigations in other Church attacks and referring to the Hebbaguddi Church incident too, he said "Till date there have been so many church attacks and not a single culprit has been booked despite the assurances given to me by top police officers. How can one expect to have confidence in the investigations or inquiries?".

Talking to Mr. Pujjar at the Church, he urged him to "do everything possible to bring the culprits to book". "Such acts of vandalism on places of worship create communal disharmony and discord. The Government should take serious cognizance and act with urgency to stop such vandalism" the Archbishop said. "The Christian community and I will be confident that a sense of security will prevail only when the inquiries concerning all the church attacks show some progress and the culprits are brought to book" the Archbishop added.

Officials from the Archbishop's House including Fr. Prem Kumar, Fr. Patrick Pinto, Fr. Adolf Washington (PRO) accompanied the Archbishop to take stalk of the situation.


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Category: Church Security

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