Diocesan News

Jewish and Muslim Communities Will Help Restore Vandalized Catholic Church Statues 

This morning, Brooklyn Borough President Eric L. Adams will join Jewish and Muslim leaders outside the N.Y.C. Police Department’s 90th Precinct stationhouse in Williamsburg to announce their joint contribution of funds for the restoration of two angel statues in front of Our Lady of Consolation Church.

Msgr. Kieran Harrington, vicar for communications of the Diocese of Brooklyn will join Borough President Adams at the press conference, together with the New York Board of Rabbis Executive Vice President, Rabbi Joseph Potasnik; Anti-Defamation League New York/New Jersey Regional Director Evan R. Bernstein; and Pakistani American Youth Society co-founder Kashif Hussain.

The two angel statues were destroyed last Sunday, at 4 a.m., when a man urinated on and then knocked over two statues guarding the Virgin Mary in front of Our Lady of Consolation Church. The act of vandalism was caught on tape by security cameras and is currently being investigated by the NYPD Hate Crimes Task Force.

The statues broke into pieces, but the figure of the Virgin remained unharmed. Surveillance video shows the man, approximately 30 years old, as he approached the statues, relieved himself on them and then forcefully knocked over the two statues.

According to the press release, “President Adams will urge members of the public to assist the NYPD in apprehending the suspect responsible for the church vandalism while denouncing the recent increase in acts of hate that have impacted Williamsburg as well as the entire borough.”

Last Friday, a man attacked an Orthodox Jewish man, also in Williamsburg, just two days before the start of Hanukkah. Surveillance video shows the attacker sneaking up behind the victim before punching him.

This is the third time in five years that Our Lady of Consolation Church has been vandalized in this way. Angel statues at this shrine were damaged in 2013 and 2016.

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