When the parishioners of St. Philomena Catholic Church went to Mass on May 15, they found a statue of the Virgin Mary beheaded. The church, which is located in the Little Havana section of Miami, was the scene of what its pastor called a “hate crime”; the police agree with Father Timothy Hopkins and have listed the crime as such.

The statue’s face received two distinct blows with a metal object, probably a sledge hammer; a third blow decapitated the statue. The mostly Nicaraguan parishioners were stunned, calling the act a “sacrilege.”

Father Hopkins reports that this is the second incident in the past few months. He believes that the violence is the outgrowth of a wave of Catholic-bashing emanating from an influx of Protestant immigrants. Indeed, he points to a local TV station, run by Protestants, that regularly encourages people to smash Catholic statues. In fact, Catholic statues are smashed on the air. The league is investigating what can be done about this.

Catholic League members will be glad to know that we donated $500 towards the $3,000 needed to buy a new statue of Our Blessed Mother. Prior to the league’s grant, the church had already raised $1,800.

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