St. Ann’s Catholic Church in the borough of Emmaus, Lehigh County, Pennsylvania was again the victim of suspected vandals this weekend when they burned off the face of Jesus Christ from a statue standing outside the church.
Pastor of the church, Monsignor John S. Mraz, said that he noticed that the face of our Savior was unrecognizable just before he gave mass on Sunday morning. He added that he saw an orange glow coming from the patio outside of the church and when he went to investigate he saw the burnt face of Jesus.
The distraught Monsignor went on to say that when members of the church arrived for mass, they noticed what had been done to the statue and some of them wept openly. He added that, although he did not believe that the act of vandalism had anything to do with the church’s support of traditional marriage, he couldn’t fathom why someone would do such a thing.
Mraz continued that both the statue of Jesus and that of the Virgin Mary had suffered from vandalism in the past, but as of yet, they did not know what the motive could be or any idea of who was responsible.
“I don’t know if this is just hooliganism or someone is making an anti-Catholic or anti-Christian statement,” said Mraz. He continued that, in the past “The right hand of Jesus has several fingers broken off from one of the topplings. About three years ago, the wall of the church was spray-painted with 666 and other Satanic sayings.”
Replacement of the statue of Jesus is thought to cost about $2,000 and although the statues have been attacked before, this is the first time that fire was involved.
Lying on the ground, nearby the statue of the defaced Jesus, was an empty can of lighter fluid. Mraz thinks that the perpetrator of the crime might have been mistaken to believe that the statue was made of stone, rather than of resin, which made the fire burn even more brightly.