Santiago, Apr 21, 2008 / 12:10 pm (CNA).- The president of the Bishops’ Conference of Chile, Bishop Alejandro Goic, deplored the recent vandalizing of a statue of Our Lady of Mount Carmel at the Cathedral of Santiago.
“It is a deplorable and profoundly lamentable act that wounds the faith, love and devotion that the Chilean people have traditionally had for the Mother of God in a historic statue venerated by the entire Chilean nation,” the bishop said.
Bishop Goic said, “We don’t know who did it, the police need to investigate.” He explained that the entire body of Chilean bishops will go to Santiago for the closing of their meeting “to make amends for an offense committed against the faith.”
Witnesses said they saw a man in his mid-30s dressed in black carry out the vandalism. Police have identified four men as possible suspects in the act.
The statue of Our Lady of Mount Carmel was dressed in vestments made in 1833 that were burned completely during the attack. Workers in the Cathedral were able to put out the flames before the statue was completely destroyed.
Speaking to Radio Cooperativa, Father Francisco Javier Manterola, pastor of the church, said, “The structure is still there, but all of the mantles, the clothing, the adornments and the insignias given to her by the Armed Forces and even by the president, were burned.”