Rash of attacks on Our Lady’s statues in the Boston area

Latest: 3 Statues Vandalized At Burlington Catholic Church

3 Statues Vandalized At Burlington Catholic Church

March 29, 2016 10:10 PM By Kate Merrill

BURLINGTON (CBS) – Police are investigating the vandalism of three religious statues at a Catholic church in Burlington.

Father Frank Silva at Saint Margaret’s Church in Burlington saw the destruction right away.

“I immediately noticed the head had been chopped off and as I got closer the hands had been broken off,” Father Silva said.

The statue of the blessed mother desecrated, her head knocked right off. But that’s not all, just up the hill, two more statues were vandalized as well.

Earlier: Virgin Mary statue vandalized at Norwood parish


By Reenat Sinay and Alexandra Koktsidis Globe Correspondents March 27, 2016

A statue of the Virgin Mary at St. Catherine of Siena Parish in Norwood was vandalized with black spray paint on Good Friday, the most sacred day of the year for Catholics.

The body of the statue, which depicts the Blessed Mother with praying hands, was covered in paint. Graffiti was scrawled beneath a plaque that reads “To Jesus Through Mary,” on the base of the statue, which stands in a garden outside the parish school.

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5 comments on “Rash of attacks on Our Lady’s statues in the Boston area

  1. Melkite Catholic Deacon Robert Spencer on “3 Statues Vandalized At Burlington Catholic Church”:

    There is no telling who did this. It could have had nothing to do with Islam. Or, in light of the curious fact that the head and hands were severed, the perpetrators could have been Muslims acting upon this Qur’an verse: “When your Lord inspired to the angels, ‘I am with you, so strengthen those who have believed. I will cast terror into the hearts of those who disbelieved, so strike upon the necks and strike from them every fingertip.’” (Qur’an 8:12) Also, Muslims have committed similar vandalism in many churches worldwide.

    Burlington, Massachusetts isn’t all that far from Worcester, where the illustrious Robert McManus is enthroned as Roman Catholic Bishop of Worcester. McManus, in suppressing a planned talk [by me] at a Catholic conference on Muslim persecution of Christians, explained that “talk about extreme, militant Islamists and the atrocities that they have perpetrated globally might undercut the positive achievements that we Catholics have attained in our inter-religious dialogue with devout Muslims.” So he is just the man for this job: he should travel to Burlington forthwith (as long as he doesn’t drive) and jump-start the local “dialogue” with Muslim leaders. If the perpetrators were indeed Muslims beheading and severing hands in accord with Qur’an 8:12, Holy McManus the Wonderworker will soon have them repairing the statue themselves! Such is the unstoppable power of “Muslim-Catholic dialogue”! Just look at all the Christians it has saved from persecution and all the churches it has preserved from destruction? What? It hasn’t saved a single Christian or a single church? Shhhh, you Islamophobe!

    • Chill, Robert. You never miss a chance to take a shot at Bishop McManus. You needn’t bring up the driving incident, as it’s a one-time fault that has nothing to do with his pusillanimous deference to Muslims.

  2. Melkite Catholic Deacon Robert Spencer on “Virgin Mary statue vandalized at Norwood parish”:

    “It’s disrespectful to every religion.” No, it isn’t. It is most likely a member or members of one faith being disrespectful to another. But because the disrespected faith is so very, very solicitous of the likely faith of the perpetrators, no one involved is likely to speak about this honestly — if they ever even realize that the painters wrote “Allah” (الله) at the base of the statue.

    • Wow! Spencer, you nailed it. El Globo called it “graffiti.”

      I had once heard that Muslims have respect for Our Lady, but I guess not. I still wonder why she chose to come to us in Fatima, choosing the name of the daughter of Muhammad.

  3. Joe Doyle at catholicactionleague.com just sent the following email to the Mass AG:

    March 31, 2016

    The Honorable Maura T. Healey
    Attorney General of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts
    Office of the Attorney General
    One Ashburton Place
    Boston, MA 02108-1518

    Dear Attorney General,

    As you are probably aware, three Catholic Churches in Massachusetts, in the last six days, have been targets of vandalism—Saint Catherine of Siena Parish in Norwood, Saint Margaret’s Parish in Burlington, and Saint Mary’s Parish in Billerica. In each incident, a statue of the Virgin Mary was either defaced or decapitated. A fourth parish, Saint Edith Stein in Brockton, suffered the loss of a stained glass window depicting Saint Thomas Aquinas, when a brick was hurled through it last December.

    At least eight Catholic churches in the Commonwealth have been attacked since the beginning of 2012. In the last year in New England, these episodes have increased alarmingly. Nearby, across the border in Rhode Island, four Catholic churches in Providence, including the cathedral, were the objects of either graffiti or property destruction in the summer of 2015 alone.

    Chapter 265, Section 39 (a) of the General Laws states: “Whoever commits an assault or a battery upon a person or damages the real or personal property of a person with the intent to intimidate such person because of such person’s race, color, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, gender identity, or disability shall be punished by a fine of not more than five thousand dollars or by imprisonment in a house of correction for not more than two and a half years, or by both such fine and imprisonment.”

    The Hate Crimes Reporting Act of 1991, (Chapter 434 of the Acts of 1991/Chapter 22C, Section 32, MGL), even more broadly defines a hate crime as “any criminal act coupled with overt actions motivated by bigotry and bias including, but not limited to, a threatened, attempted or completed overt act motivated at least in part by racial, religious, ethnic, handicap, gender, gender identity or sexual orientation prejudice, or which otherwise deprives another person of his constitutional rights by threats, intimidation or coercion, or which seeks to interfere or disrupt a person’s exercise of constitutional rights through harassment or intimidation.”

    The number and increasing frequency of these attacks upon Catholic churches, their malicious timing, coinciding with Catholic holy days, and the heartbreaking effects being suffered by the Catholic faithful, should not be treated by law enforcement as a mere accumulation of isolated incidents. As these criminal episodes have, in the past three months, occurred in Middlesex, Norfolk and Plymouth Counties, and in four different police jurisdictions, we urge the Attorney General’s Office to undertake an investigation of these acts of property destruction perpetrated against Catholic religious iconography, with a view to prosecute them as hate crimes.


    C. J. Doyle
    Executive Director
    Catholic Action League of Massachusetts
    35 Montclair Avenue
    Boston, MA 02132

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