Vandals behead statue of Virgin Mary

| April 26, 2010

CHARLOTTE, N.C.– A statue of the Virgin Mary was vandalized at a Charlotte church and police are trying to figure out who did it.

Church members believe it happened late Friday night or early Saturday morning.

The first time they noticed the damaged statue was just before the 9 a.m. mass on Saturday.

Church members tell NewsChannel 36 they are outraged and heartbroken about the vandalism.

The statue sits in a prayer garden that was built as an Eagle Scout project in 2001.

The vandals broke off Mary's head and her praying hands.

One of the parish priests tells NewsChannel 36 this incident is a vivid reminder about the church's call to forgive others.

"This is a great reminder for us that we need to be peacemakers. And, obviously there are people out there that need to receive the gift of peace and we extend that gift of peace to them. The same thing Jesus says, that he tells us, forgive," says Fr. Patrick Toole from St. Matthew Catholic Church.

Father Toole says the statue will be left up for a while "as is" as a reminder about forgiveness.

At the same time, the church will seek some justice.

They believe security cameras or church members coming and going from an all-night mass Friday may have seen who did this.

Anyone with information about who may be responsible can leave a tip with Crime Stoppers at 704-334-1600.

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Category: Church Security

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