A historic statue of Jesus on a church altar in Texas was found to have been vandalised on Tuesday morning.
The Diocese of El Paso shared photos taken of the Sacred Heart of Jesus – a 90-year-old statue – that had been toppled from its place above the altar, resulting in its destruction.
St Joseph Church, Matlock 🇬🇧 are praying for the community of St. Patrick Cathedral in the Diocese of El Paso.— Fr. Robbie O’Callaghan (@FrRobbieOCall) September 16, 2020
The Cathedral was vandalized on 15th Sept at around 10:00am. A 90-year-old statue of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, which was located behind the main altar was pulled down. pic.twitter.com/FNol61HSmN
"We are saddened to announce the vandalism at St. Patrick Cathedral earlier today", the Texas diocese said in a post.
The Diocese said the incident took place in St. Patrick's Cathedral around 10 am, while the church was open for prayer.
Pictures showed that the Jesus statue was decapitated on the church altar while the left hand and arm were also broken off, and lay on the marble floor.
The base of the figure has also disconnected while pieces of the effigy lay all over.
"I am in shock and we at the Cathedral are heartbroken over such an unexpected situation", St. Patrick Rector Fr. Trini Fuentes said in a statement.
Bishop Mark Seitz said in a statement that while he was saddened to see the statue attacked and destroyed, he was "grateful that it was not a living person".
“But a statue, particularly this statue, concretizes and connects us to persons and ideals that are not visible to our eyes", he added.
"They reveal to us realities that are close to us, but unseen.”
Seitz said there was little knowledge about the vandal of the church but said they must be "greatly disturbed" to have beheaded a statue of Jesus.
"I hope this might be the impetus for him to receive the help he needs. He will be in my prayers”, Seitz said.
According to the diocese, one suspect has been detained by police following the incident and they are continuing their investigation.