Intruders stole a monstrance with a relic of St. Leopold III, the patron saint of Lower Austria, from the pilgrimage church Maria Lanzendorf, along with a second relic monstrance, as well as other liturgical objects such as chalices and incense boats. According to police reports, the crime was committed during the night of July 5th.
On July 4th, unknown perpetrator knocked over the 75 kilogram cast iron cross in front of the Heart of Jesus church (Herz Jesu Kirche) in the Upper Palatinate town of Weiden, according to police reports. The cross, which was broken off steel pins, suffered massive damage. Police began an investigation and called for witnesses.
In the three weeks between June 11th and July 2nd, the church of Bissendorf-Achelriede was vandalized three times by unknown perpetrators. The first two incidents happened at two buildings belonging to the church, eight windows were smashed and a wall sprayed with graffiti. The last incident occurred in the church and resulted in twenty-eight smashed windows, causing a total estimated damage of over thirteen thousand euros.
On June 29th, firefighters were called to the San Girolamo Church in the city of Rimini shortly after 3:30 in the afternoon. A pedestrian reported smoke emanating from the storage room of the church building where old furniture and plastic chairs formed the basis for the fire. Fortunately, the firefighting team was able to quell the blaze. A forensics team investigated whether the fire had been intentionally set, noting that nothing indicated that short circuits or similar faults were the cause of the fire.
In the week before June 27th, the church of Sant’Andrea in Bergamo was the victim of two crimes. The first incident was the vandalism of the liturgical chair which was discovered upside down in the middle of the church and wet with what the priest suspected was urine. The second incident was the theft of the offerings, accomplished by severely damaging the valuable offering boxes. This series of events led to the closure of the church except for Sunday Mass, until funds have been raised to install comprehensive security measures.
Police report that between June 26th and June 28th unknown perpetrators stole money from the offering box of the evangelical Church of Sulzbach. While the damage to the church property was estimated to be one hundred euros, the thieves fled with five euros.
Our Executive Director discusses the Observatory's work with Jonathon Van Maren.