The statue of the Mallorcan friar and saint Junípero Serra in Palma which stands in front of the central convent of Sant Francesc, was vandalized on June 22nd. The word 'racist' was smeared on the base of the monument, and the saint's image was also stained with red paint. The statue was attacked after the Podemos councilor in the Palma City Council, Sonia Vivas, mayor of Social Justice, Feminism and LGTBI, noted the statue of the eighteenth-century Franciscan friar had been attacked in California, USA. She suggested the statue of the saint should be thrown away "peacefully, "calling the saint a symbol of the "oligarchy".
On June 22nd, vandals defaced the image of Our Lady of Częstochowa and painted the letters "BLM" at the base in a park chapel in Breda. The image of Our Lady, which is revered by Poles and also known as the 'Black Madonna', was erected in the park in 1954 in thanksgiving for the city’s liberation from the Nazis.
The small church of the Minori Cappuccini di Spoleto was discovered vandalized with human excrement on June 14th, the feast of Corpus Christi. The excrement was scattered in several places in the church, including the chapel of the Madonna, on the entrance threshold, and on door handles.
The statue of Saint Anthony in the De Kluize sanctuary in Knutsegem in Velzeke and the statue of Julius Caesar on Romeins Plein were vandalized on the weekend of June 14. Their names were sprayed with graffiti. Additionally, all the statues in the sanctuary sculpture garden behind the chapel of Saint Anthony were beheaded.
During the night from the 11th to 12th of June, Rennes firefighters intervened to extinguish an intentionally-set fire in front of a door of the Saint-Pierre cathedral in Rennes. A trash bin, placed just in front of the door located at the back of the building, on Rue Saint-Sauveur, was set on fire. According to the first impressions from the investigation, this was a voluntary act because the bin was brought from an adjacent street and deliberately placed outside the door.
The parish priest of San Gennaro in Molfetta, Don Sergio Vitulano, reported that on the morning of June 12th he had noticed the number of consecrated hosts was significantly reduced compared to those placed in the ciborium during the Mass of the previous day. He also reported finding a consecrated host on the ground. The security camera footage revealed that a recognizable woman, observed in the area in the previous days, had entered the church and had taken numerous consecrated Hosts from the tabernacle by hurriedly putting them in her pocket and leaving the church.
Our Executive Director discusses the Observatory's work with Jonathon Van Maren.