Two vandals break Virgin Mary statue at St. Charles Borromeo Church


Unholy rollers: Vandals knock over Virgin Mary statue in Brooklyn Heights

The Brooklyn Paper
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Cops are on the lookout for a pair of young men caught on video knocking over a decades-old statue of the Virgin Mary in front of a Brooklyn Heights parish house last week. The act of vandalism is a slap in the face to Catholics and to the neighborhood as a whole, said the church’s priest.

“It’s like if you burned a picture of my mother,” said Father Edward Doran of St. Charles Borromeo Church on Sidney Place between Aitken Place and Joralemon Street.

The security footage, which was captured in the wee hours of June 12, shows a man open a gate into the garden, wrap the Blessed Mother in a bear-hug, tear the statue from its pedestal, and lower it to the ground — all while his buddy films the incident on his cell phone. The blasphemous blockheads then run off into the night.

The statue, a four-foot bronze depiction of the Virgin Mary holding baby Jesus, has graced the front of the Charles Borromeo parish house since the 1960s.

Doran said the church will have to pay thousands of dollars to restore the statue, which is currently lying in the basement of the parish house. It will also have to hire landscapers to tear up and replant the garden in order to get Mary back on her feet, he said.

The duo’s motive in defacing the statue is unclear, but Doran speculated that it could have been a dare or some sort of “initiation ritual,” as the vandals appeared to be young and doing it for kicks.

The clergyman said he would have had to answer to a higher authority than the 84th Precinct for such a brazen and disrespectful act when he was a young man growing up in Long Island.

“My father would have kicked my a--,” Doran said.

Reach reporter Noah Hurowitz at or by calling (718) 260–4505. Follow him on Twitter @noahhurowitz
Updated 10:17 pm, July 9, 2018
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Reasonable discourse

bkmanhatman from nubrucklyn says:
jerks. Just leave the persons property alone.
June 17, 2015, 8:11 am
John from Bay Ridge says:
Hey Penny, now that you've commented you have removed any doubt that you are a jerk.
June 17, 2015, 8:38 am
Me from Bay Ridge says:
It won't be called a hate crime because it's a Catholic church.
June 17, 2015, 9:05 am
ujh from downtown Brooklyn says:
The remarks by "Penny" and "Me" show the callousness that is de rigueur nowadays. I wonder whether they would react the same way, if their property were damaged.
June 17, 2015, 10:09 am
bkmanhatman from nubrucklyn says:
it looks like "white on white " crime.
June 17, 2015, 10:29 am
Jimmy from Flatbush says:
A house near me has one of those jockey statues in their front garden... someone has knocked its head off a few times, but the owner had pretty good humor about it and rotated various heads according to the season/holiday. Jack-o-lantern, Santa, bunny, etc.

It's since been replaced with a shiny new jock, complete with head. So far, so good.
June 17, 2015, 10:42 am
Me from Bay Ridge says:
How was I being callous? My point was that the crime won't be taken seriously because it is a Catholic church as it would be if it were, say, a synagogue or a mosque.
June 17, 2015, 1:58 pm
old time brooklyn from slope says:
Me is correct
June 18, 2015, 9:09 am

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