US Catholic Faith in Real Life

An attack on Mary

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A statue of the Virgin Mary was beheaded in Santa Monica, California over the Easter weekend. Parishioners, ABC news reports, arrived at St. Monica Catholic Church on Easter morning to discover the holy Mother without a head. The head was found at the base of the statue.

Stories about Mary statues going missing or putting GPS locators in Nativity pieces are odd enough, but generally they end OK--such as another California Mary finding its way on to the front lawn of a woman who had been on vacation (see story). This statue can be repaired, but destroying something isn't just a prank.

Debate on at least one blog has risen, however, whether or not this is a case of just vandalism or a hate crime. It is being investigated as a hate crime. Are the police right in this designation?