Vandals Behead Statue of Virgin Mary at Chattanooga Catholic Church

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One or more people vandalized and beheaded an outdoor statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary this past weekend at the St. Stephen Catholic Church of Chattanooga, according to church officials.

Bishop Rick Stika of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Knoxville tweeted that incidents such as these are nationwide.

St. Stephen officials referred all questions Thursday to the Diocese of Knoxville.

Diocese of Knoxville spokesman Jim Wogan told The Tennessee Star in an email that a pastor discovered the damage Saturday morning.

“Anytime something like this happens it is disappointing and concerning. We don’t know if this was the targeted desecration of a sacred statue and our Catholic faith, or some kind of misguided prank, but it hurts,” Wogan said.

“For whatever reason we are living in a very chaotic time and anger seems to be the default setting for people. Our bishop has asked that we live by the example set in the Gospel of Matthew, to treat others as we ourselves would want to be treated.”

Someone tore the statue off the pedestal and removed its head. As of Thursday, church officials had no leads as to witnesses or suspects. The vandals possibly committed a hate crime, Wogan said, quoting a police report.

U.S. Rep. Chuck Fleischmann, on Twitter, said this was “a disturbing attack on Catholicism and religion.”

“Sadly, it is among a series of attacks on Catholic churches that have happened in recent days. I hope that the perpetrators will be brought to justice, but I also pray that they will find their way to God as well,” Fleischmann said.

As The Star reported last month, one or more people vandalized the Holocaust Memorial at Nashville’s Gordon Jewish Community Center, according to officials who oversee the facility. Gordon JCC spokesman Deborah Oleshansky said that memorial is about 15 years old.

At the time Oleshansky could not say whether the nation’s current civil unrest provoked the vandal or vandals to act.

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Chris Butler is an investigative journalist at The Tennessee Star. Follow Chris on Facebook. Email tips to [email protected]







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3 Thoughts to “Vandals Behead Statue of Virgin Mary at Chattanooga Catholic Church”

  1. Ron Welch

    Has anyone or group claimed responsibility for this dastardly deed? BLM is an admitted Marxist lead organization and ANTIFA is another neo-Bolshevik group like Lenin’s “useful idiot” Communist terrorists. There is a stated motive which fits with this destruction:

    “We must hate. Hatred is the basis of communism. Children must be taught to hate their parents if they are not communists.” – Vladimir Ilyich Lenin

    In a hotbed of anarchy, A statue of Lenin still stands.

    “We make war against all prevailing ideas of religion, of the state, of country, of patriotism. The idea of God is the keynote of a perverted civilization. It must be destroyed.” –Karl Marx

    These people are dangerous who destroy the statues and monuments of the people they represent. As one of their Russian victims wrote:

    “Bolshevism committed the greatest human slaughter of all time. The fact that most of the world is ignorant and uncaring about this enormous crime is proof that the global media is in the hands of the perpetrators.”

    -Alexsandr Solzhenitsyn

  2. James James Forsythe

    It appears that the vandals should be beheaded! They are just trash!

  3. John

    And because this is a Christian statue, this will not be investigated as a hate crime.

    I once sat on a Grand Jury and asked a detective why 5 African-American, charged with beating the living heck out of 1 white person, wasn’t being charged with at hate crime. He just looked at me and smiled while saying nothing. We all know when the violence is against a white person or white Christians, or white whatever, there’s no such thing as a hate crime.