Police and church leaders seek the public’s help in finding the vandal who tagged the word “idol” onto a statue of the Virgin Mary outside a seminary in Queens early on Friday morning.
According to the Diocese of Brooklyn, at around 3 a.m. on July 10, an unknown individual approached the statue outside of Cathedral Prep School and Seminary, located at 56-25 92nd St. in Elmhurst, and wrote the word “idol” in black paint onto the statue’s front, the diocese said.
School staff discovered the vandalism around 7:30 a.m. By Friday afternoon, the statue had been cleaned, according to the diocese.
Cathedral Preparatory School educates young men considering joining the priesthood. Father James Kuroly, the school’s rector and president, called the incident “an act of hatred.”
“We were victims of vandalism against a beloved statue that is dear to generations of Cathedral students. This image of our most Blessed Mother is approximately 100 years old and each day, both students and passersby pray fervently for her intercession in front of the statue,” said Father James Kuroly, the rector and president of Cathedral Prep. “Obviously, this tragedy saddens us deeply but it also renews our hope and faith in the Lord as he has shown his goodness in the many people who have already reached out to us. We are sincerely grateful for the help we have received as well as the prayers.”
The statue of the Virgin Mary has been at the entrance of the all-boys school for over 100 years. It moved with the school when the school was relocated from Brooklyn to Elmhurst in 1985.
Anyone with information regarding the incident can call Crime Stoppers at 800-577-TIPS (for Spanish, dial 888-57-PISTA). You can also submit tips online at nypdcrimestoppers.com, or on Twitter @NYPDTips. All calls and messages are kept confidential.