St. Anselm statues vandalized

Someone vandalized two statues on the grounds of St. Anselm’s Church on Friday, May 31.

Parishioners entering morning mass noticed an orange “X” written in some sort of marker on the Virgin Mary statue’s neck, as well as a small marking on the side of the statue of Jesus on the crucifix.

State Senator Marty Golden said he would offer a $1,000 award for any information that will lead to the arrest and conviction of the perpetrator.

“I can tell you that we will not stand for such acts of religious intolerance in our community, and I stand with my fellow St. Anselm’s parishioners in denouncing this cowardly act,” Golden said. “We must bring this individual to justice and make sure that no further acts are committed at other houses of worship in our neighborhood.”

John Quaglione, deputy chief of staff to Golden and a member of the St. Anselm’s Catholic Academy board of directors, is also offering a $250 reward.

“As a long time parishioner [and] a member of the Parish Pastoral Council, I am personally offended by this act of religious intolerance which has happened in the parish,” said Quaglione. “To deface the statue of Jesus on the crucifix, and the Blessed Mother, in front of a prayer memorial garden, is definitely a hate crime and should be treated as such.”

Assemblymember Nicole Malliotakis concurred, “Sadly, the desecration and vandalism of religious property is occurring far too often across our city and it is heartbreaking and unacceptable. One of our most cherished rights as Americans is the freedom of religion, which is why we have such a strong, vibrant and diverse community,” she said. “I’m comforted, however, by the fact that the 68th Precinct are diligently searching for the culprit so he or she can be prosecuted to fullest extent the law allows.

Justin Brannan, chief of staff for Councilmember Vincent Gentile noted that this incident is exactly why he believes NYPD security cameras are needed.

“The senseless desecration of a sacred place of worship is unacceptable, Brannan said. Acts of destruction such as graffiti and toppling of statues affect every member of our community regardless of denomination.

Anyone has information regarding the incident, is encouraged to contact the 68th Precinct at 718-439-4211 or Golden’s office at 718-238-6044.

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