Richmond, VA—The Cathedral of the Sacred Heart is stepping up its security measures, after vandals damaged an important piece of the church's property in broad daylight.
Parishioners and church leaders were heartbroken when they found someone had snapped off the heads of two apostles, known as Stations of the Cross. The copper art, which depicts the story of Jesus' crucifixion, dates back to 1906. Church members view it as sacred, and hold it dear to their hearts.
Madeline Peace, a member of the church, expressed how seriously the church is taking the crime. “This isn't just a statue this is our faith.”
Church leaders thought the damage was an accident at first.
“It wasn't until later that evening that we found the other head missing on Station Number 10,” says church member Kim Kremer, “and then we realized we had a problem that someone actually came in a and ripped these heads off.”
The damaged icons are just one part of the reason the church is distressed by the crime. Now the Catholic Church–known for welcoming all–has to lock its doors.
“The devil loves locked churches, and people come from all over; people who may not be Catholic, may not be Christian, may not believe in God,” laments parishioner Patrick Clark.
The crime comes just days before the funeral service of Bishop Walter Sullivan, which will be held at the Cathedral of the Sacred Heart.
The church has decided to keep its doors locked until it can add more security measures and cameras.
Church leaders believe they know who is responsible, and police are investigating. Stay with 8News for updates.
Copyright 2012 by Young Broadcasting of Richmond