The Sacred Heart of Jesus statue in Texas, which is 90 years old, has been destroyed during vandalism at St. Patrick Cathedral.
Isaiah Cantrell, 30, is suspected of the vandalism and has been detained. The El Paso Times reported that Cantrell was charged with criminal mischief and possession of marijuana. He was booked into the El Paso County Jail in Downtown on bonds totaling $20,500.
90-Year-Old Statue Destroyed
According to the Catholic Diocese of El Paso, the statue was destroyed at around 10 a.m. on Tuesday. It happened “when a man entered the sanctuary at the cathedral and destroyed the almost 90-year-old statue,” as reported by the El Paso Times.
“I am in shock and we at the cathedral are heartbroken over such an unexpected situation,” said Rev. Trini Fuentes in a statement.
“This statue is one of my favorite representations of Jesus — his arms open wide in welcome, his heart aflame with love for us. I would often take inspiration from this image as I prepared for Mass,” said Bishop Mark J. Seitz in a statement.
“As sad as I am to see a statue attacked and destroyed, I am grateful that it was not a living person,” he also stated. “But a statue, particularly this statue, concretizes and connects us to persons and ideals that are not visible to our eyes. They reveal to us realities that are close to us, but unseen.”
According to Seitz, while “we do not know anything about the person” who did the assault, “he certainly must be a person who is greatly disturbed to have attacked this peaceful place in our city and this image of the King of Peace.”
“I hope this might be the impetus for him to receive the help he needs. He will be in my prayers,” Seitz also said.