More desecration of Catholic symbols on the Left Coast

More desecration of Catholic symbols on the Left Coast

1. Vandals hack down cross above religious retreat

25-foot cross has been at the site since 1975

APRIL 2, 2016 @

Vandals hacked down a cross that has stood above Riverside’s Catholic Divine Word Seminary for more than 40 years

A neighboring resident reported the downed cross at 1:30 p.m. Wednesday, March 30, wondering if gusting winds and rain the night before had unearthed the long-standing structure.

The following comes from a March 31 Press Enterprise article by Patrick O’Neill:

A vandal cut down a cross at a Christian retreat center in Riverside, prompting religious leaders to call it a hate crime.

About 1:30 p.m. Wednesday, March 30, a neighbor called the Divine Word Retreat Center, near La Sierra and Cypress avenues, wondering if gusting winds and rain the night before had unearthed a 20-foot cross long perched on a hill behind the Catholic-run center.
Geoffrey Buyco, the 39-year-old center manager, hiked up the hill to investigate and found wood chips scattered around the base of a roughly 2-foot stump, he said. The rest of the cross was lying beside it.

“It’s really heartbreaking to go up there and see that cross lying there,” Buyco said.
“Just thinking about it is – my whole life it’s been up there.”

Riverside police Lt. Carla Hardin said officers were investigating late Wednesday. No one witnessed the crime and there are no common signs of a hate crime such as graffiti or a note, Hardin said.

A cross has been at the site since the early 1960s, when seminary students lugged the wood up the hill to build it. The current cross was erected in 1975, Buyco said.
Thousands of people make religious retreats at the center. Last week, hundreds hiked the hill to the cross to commemorate Good Friday.

Buyco said the cross-cutting, done sometime Tuesday night or early Wednesday, was a hate crime.

“Obviously there’s a reason for why you’d cut a cross down,” Buyco said. “This is completely out of the blue. It’s such a big thing, it’s going to be tough letting everyone know.”

Employees at the retreat center hope to erect a cross in the same spot as soon as possible.

2. Decapitated head of Junipero Serra statue found during low tide

APRIL 5, 2016 @

The Juniper Serra statue is seen after being decapitated in Monterey, Calif. on Saturday, April 2, 2016.

The severed stone head of the Junipero Serra statue in the Presidio of Monterey was found during low tide nearby.

The following comes from an April 3 KRON4 article by Yama Hazheer:

MONTEREY (BCN) — A young girl found the decapitated head of a Junipero Serra statue during a low tide Saturday afternoon off the coast of Monterey, a Monterey police sergeant said.
Officers responded at about 3:30 p.m. to a report of the found statue head, said Monterey police Sgt. Mickey Roobash.

Roobash said the girl was wading in the shallow water near the Coast Guard Pier when she spotted the stone head.

The head of the Roman Catholic missionary was lobbed off a statue in the lower Presidio of Monterey in October 2015, Roobash said, following Pope Francis’ canonization of Serra on Sept. 23.

He said it was found “virtually across the street” from the entrance to the presidio where the statue stands.

The incident followed another act of vandalism against a Serra statue at San Carlos Borromeo de Carmelo Mission at 3080 Rio Road in Carmel-by-the-Sea on Sept. 26 or 27, according to police.

In November, Santa Cruz police officers responded to a report of vandalism to a Serra statue at Santa Cruz Mission, located on School Street between High and Mission streets. Police said the vandals splattered red paint on the mission’s front wooden doors and spray-painted a side wall with the message, “Serra St. of Genocide.”

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