Prescott Valley parish latest target in nationwide wave of anti-Catholic vandalism

A toppled statue of the Virgin Mary outside St. Germaine Parish in Prescott Valley Oct. 20, 2020. (Credit: Prescott Valley PD)

PRESCOTT VALLEY (CNA) — Police are investigating a vandalism attack against a statue of Mary and a statue of Christ outside St. Germaine Catholic Church in Prescott Valley, which is believed to have occurred overnight Sunday, Oct. 18.

In addition to knocking down the statues, the assailants also destroyed a bed of flowers and support poles for recently planted trees surrounding the Christ statue.

According to the Prescott Valley PD, the estimated cost to repair or replace the statue of Mary is $1,500. The statue of Christ did not sustain any damage, the police said Oct. 20.

Prescott Valley PD is offering $300 to anyone who has information that leads to an arrest in the case, local media reported.

Police in New York City are also investigating a vandalism attack against a statue of Mary outside Resurrection Catholic Church in the Brooklyn neighborhood of Marine Park, which is believed to have occurred the same night.

A parishioner who approached the statue to pray Monday morning noticed the statue’s left hand was cut off, and discovered a large crack in the statue’s head, ABC7 reported.

The church does not currently have a security camera system, but told ABC7 that they plan to install one. The suspect or suspects are still at large.

The attacks are the latest of numerous acts of vandalism on Catholic churches and art this year in the US — including three separate desecrations of Marian statues in the same weekend in July.

Throughout the summer, numerous depictions of St. Junipero Serra, mostly in California, have been forcibly pulled down by mobs of protestors.

June 19, Golden Gate Park, San Francisco: A crowd of about 100 people tore down another St. Junípero Serra statue in the evening.

July 2 or 3, St. Ann Parish, Gary, Indiana: A statue of the Virgin Mary was beheaded.

July 4, Capitol Park, Sacramento: Rioters pulled down a statue of St. Junipero Serra.

July 10, Cathedral Prep School and Seminary, Queens, New York: An individual approached a 100-year-old statue of Mary shortly after 3 a.m. painted the word “IDOL” down its length.

July 11

  • Queen of Peace Parish, Ocala, Florida: A Florida man was arrested after he reportedly admitted to crashing a minivan into the church, and then setting it on fire while parishioners were inside.
  • St. Stephen Parish, Chattanooga, Tennessee: A statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary was attacked and beheaded.
  • San Gabriel Mission, San Gabriel, California: The 249-year-old California mission founded by St. Junípero Serra burned in a fire being investigated as arson.

July 14

  • Good Shepherd Catholic Church, West Kendall, Florida: Vandals beheaded an outside statue of Christ.
  • St. Mary’s Cathedral, Colorado Springs: A statue of the Blessed Virgin was tagged with red paint in an act of vandalism.

Weekend of July 18, Our Lady of the, Assumption Church, Bloomingburg, New York: A monument to unborn children killed by abortion was knocked over.

Aug. 17, Holy Family Parish, Citrus Heights, California: Vandals beheaded a statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary. A statue of the Ten Commandments placed at the parish “in dedication to all those who have lost their life through abortion,” was grafittied with a swastika.

Sept. 9, Immaculate Heart of Mary Parish, Tioga, Louisiana: A man went on an hours-long vandalism spree breaking at least six windows, beating several metal doors and breaking numerous statues around the parish grounds.

Sept. 11, Shrine of Our Lady of Solace, Coney Island, New York: A man climbed over a fence, pulled a statue of Mary out of the ground, and threw the statue onto the sidewalk. The base of the statue was damaged by the vandalism. According to the NYPD, the man is facing charges of criminal mischief. The NYPD is offering a reward of $2,500 for any information about his identity.

Sept. 14, St. Therese of the Child Jesus Parish, Midvale, Utah: Vandals toppled an outside statue of St. Therese.

Sept. 15, St. Patrick Cathedral, El Paso, Texas: A man was charged for smashing a 90-year-old inside statue of Christ.

Sept. 24, Assumption Seminary, San Antonio: A man wielded a baseball bat on the grounds of a Catholic seminary in Texas and damaged a crucifix and several doors, but caused no harm to seminary  students.

Oct. 12, Mission San Rafael Arcangel, San Rafael, California: A protest began peacefully but then turned violent, as participants defaced the Junípero Serra statue with red paint before dragging it to the ground with nylon straps and ropes.

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