A Virgin Mary statue at a Catholic Church in Toronto, Canada was decapitated Saturday, numerous sources reported.
Our Lady of Lebanon Parish said a parishioner noticed the Virgin Mary statue’s head missing and reported it to the priest, Father Walid El Khoury, before morning mass. After searched for the head turned up empty, the church notified the police, CTV News reported.
Sunday August 30th, 2020, before we started our Masses at Our Lady of Lebanon church Toronto, we were shocked to discover a horrible act of vandalism: We found that the statue of the Virgin Mary, erected in front of the church, was completely decapitated!https://t.co/xuJxh17F7b pic.twitter.com/VemWvkiV5Y
— OLOL Toronto (@ololtoronto) August 30, 2020
“Our parishioners, when exiting the church, were horrified to see such a deplorable and malicious act,” the church said in a post on Facebook.
The parish is a Maronite Catholic Church, many of which churches were started by Lebanese immigrants to Canada and the U.S. The Toronto parish includes roughly one thousand families from all parts of Lebanon, according to the website.
Toronto police were on the scene Monday to investigate the incident, which happened a month after a statue of Jesus at a church in Alberta was also vandalized. (RELATED: Statue Of Jesus Vandalized At Catholic Church In Canada)
The search for those responsible for the crimes at churches in Canada coincides with several similar incidents in the U.S., which have included setting statues of the Virgin Mary on fire in Boston, and arson at a Catholic Church while parishioners inside prepared for mass in Florida.
The incidents prompted letters from Republican Louisiana Senator John Kennedy and Republican Tennessee Rep. Chuck Fleischmann to Attorney General William Barr, expressing concerns about what the latter Senator called a “disturbing trend” of attacks on houses of worship in the U.S.
This is a disturbing attack on Catholicism and religion.
Sadly, it is among a series of attacks on Catholic churches that have happened in recent days.
I hope that the perpetrators will be brought to justice, but I also pray that they will find their way to God as well. https://t.co/MFPHZhqn3h
— Chuck Fleischmann (@RepChuck) July 15, 2020
In Fleischmann’s home state, a Virgin Mary statue was beheaded in Chattanooga in July, around the same time that a statue of Jesus Christ was vandalized in Miami.