Among the latest in an ongoing series of attacks on Catholic churches in the United States, St. Mary Catholic Church in Escondido, California, has been vandalized three times since Christmas.
Father Scott Herrera, the church’s pastor, told CNA Thursday that he believes the vandal, who was caught on security cameras in all three incidents, is the same person.
Father Herrera said that police notified him that a suspect was apprehended in connection with the vandalism. The suspect’s identity, however, has not been revealed yet to the church.
Father Herrera said that the man first vandalized the church on Dec. 25, 2022, and damaged a statue of the Virgin Mary and flower vases decorating the sanctuary.
The same individual then visited the church again on Jan. 9 and Jan. 10, Father Herrera said, and did more damage to property.
Father Herrera told CNA that the vandal caused more than $20,000 in damages. The church, he said, will have to find another $20,000 to pay for security measures such as new cameras, a guard and door locks.
The priest told CNA that while he considers the crimes a “hate crime” because the religious images were targeted, he hopes that the perpetrator of these crimes will seek help if needed.
“God forgives, and we forgive,” Father Herrera said.
Full story at National Catholic Register.
God forgives, but he doesn’t pick up the tab. That’s for you laity to do.
Actually, if and when possible, it’s on the offender. Anytime a crime victim suffers a loss, the offender should be ordered to pay restitution for that loss. A victim’s right to a criminal restitution order stems from Article I, section 28, subdivision (b) of the California Constitution. Restitution orders are to be imposed for the full amount of a victim’s economic loss. Forgive, of course. But, the lay faithful should not have to pay for his crimes. Hopefully, the perpetrator is able to do so.
It would be great if all of the devotees of the TLM who are so critical of the Holy Father would make a donation to this church as part of their penance.
William, must every story be made about your obsession with the TLM?
In the words of that famous southern California social philosopher, “People, I just want to say, can’t we all get along? Can’t we all get along?”