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Vandals destroy church statues, priceless relics
Police are investigating an act of vandalism at St Cecilia’s RC Church, Maracas/St Joseph. The sacrilege was discovered at the Maracas Royal Road church around 5 am yesterday by an elderly parishioner, who opens the church each morning for morning Mass.
In an telephone interview yesterday, parishioner Dianne Narine said many holy statues and priceless relics had been destroyed by the vandals, who got into the church on Wednesday night through a back entrance. She said the tabernacle and altar were found overturned and chopped into pieces. The church’s PA system and a wall also were badly damaged but nothing had been stolen.
She added: “Everybody is in tears. We (the parishioners) feel violated and are traumatised. We don’t know who would do such a thing to a place of worship. It is like a piece of us is missing.” Narine believes the suspects could not have come from the nearby La Seiva Village as most of the residents attend the church.
The parishioners believe the vandals destroyed the statues using a small cutlass, which is stored in the building and is used to cut the flowers which adorn the church. Detectives of the Northern Division under the supervision of Senior Supt David Abraham visited the church yesterday morning and interviewed several parishioners and lifted fingerprints from the damaged items.
Narine said she could not estimate the cost of the damage as she said many of the destroyed items were donated over 30 years ago. Up to late yesterday there were no arrests. The Larceny Act 1919 defines the offence of sacrilege as breaking and entering into a place of divine worship and committing an arrestable offence. A person found guilty of sacrilege is liable to up to ten years’ imprisonment. Efforts to contact Archibishop Joseph Harris proved futile.
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