A gold tabernacle decorated with jewels — worth an estimated $2 million — was stolen from a Catholic church in Brooklyn over Memorial Day weekend and police are now on the hunt for who carried out the carefully planned heist.
The tabernacle, which is pure 18-karat gold, dates back to the 1890s, according to the Diocese of Brooklyn.
The burglars broke into Saint Augustine Roman Catholic Church in Park Slope and cut through the metal case protecting the tabernacle.
The person is believed to have left through the front door, according to New York ABC station WABC. The perpetrators also made off with the security footage, WABC reported.
A statue of an angel beside the tabernacle was also decapitated, authorities said.
The theft took place sometime between Thursday night and Saturday afternoon, according to the New York Police Department. The pastor, who discovered the theft on Saturday, said he believes it took place on Friday.
“This is devastating, as the Tabernacle is the central focus of our church outside of worship, holding the Body of Christ, the Eucharist, which is delivered to the sick and homebound,” Father Frank Tumino, pastor at Saint Augustine, said in a statement. “To know that a burglar entered the most sacred space of our beautiful Church and took great pains to cut into a security system is a heinous act of disrespect.”
The burglars also apparently cut into a safe in the church’s sacristy, but there was nothing inside, according to WABC.
The Holy Eucharist, or communion, kept inside the tabernacle was also tossed all over the alter.
Criminality is by definition hurtful and disrespectful, although given the details, these may have intended to be, which is unfortunate but not inconsistent with the present climate.
Aside from a very few historically significant (takes more than a couple of centuries!) sites, it doesn’t look good for churches to have items of such extravagance, though.
Fo a not entirely equivalent analogy with precedent (guest at a wedding), one doesn’t need Seville Row or Armani to show respect; unless one has means and a record of largesse and to spare, something of the same type but less extravagance from a good department store, properly altered, would be quite adequate. Not saying sell St. Peter’s and donate the proceeds to the poor…they’ll always be with us, since some of their issues are self-inflicted, not that that should excuse an absence of charity either; but just dial back the materialistic substitutes for real awe a little. Visit the treasury at the Cologne Cathedral; it’s impressive enough but really ought to be embarrassing.
Still, given that anyone capable of such planning almost certainly was NOT in dire need (and could probably have been doing something productive instead, even if not so quickly lucrative), hopefully some effective detective work and enforcement will take place. We don’t need to be tolerating criminality, especially if there might be a hateful element to it. And these were perhaps effective enough that they’ll try something similar again.
NOTHING, that happens in NY surprises me……..Even the politicians are inane and not worthy to sit in NY’s capital Building……..