» 07/15/2014, 00.00
Mumbai, ancient crucifix desecrated a second time
The faithful found the Vile Parle statue of Jesus with its arms broken off. Hundreds of Catholics in protest at the arrest - judged unfair – of a member of the community. The crucifix was also vandalized in December 2013.
(AsiaNews / Agencies) - For the second time in seven months an ancient crucifix in Vile Parle (district
of Mumbai) has been vandalized. The incident occurred yesterday: the
statue of Jesus was found with the arms of Christ
broken off. The local
Catholic community have voiced their protest accusing police of being unable to control the area and of having failed to conduct an appropriate investigation.
The crucifix dates back to 1880 and is located along the main street of the neighborhood. AsiaNews had reported on
first act of vandalism, December 15, 2013,
just as 37 children from the local church were preparing to
receive their First Holy Communion.
For the moment, police have arrested
a Catholic, Agnelo Pereira, for the
desecration of the crucifix. However,
the community is convinced of the
innocence of man and hundreds of
people gathered on the spot in protest. To express
their solidarity with the Catholic,
Saint Xavier school and the convent of St. Joseph in Vile Parle
remained closed for the entire day yesterday.
Ancient Mumbai crucifix desecrated. Card Gracias : A wound for the entire population
Unknown assailants pulled the statue of Jesus from the cross and smashed it to pieces. The incident occurred in the district of Vile Parle , near the church of St. Francis Xavier, where 37 children were preparing to receive their First Holy Communion . The archbishop of Mumbai describes it as an “attack on the tolerance , harmony and diversity that characterize our beloved city ." Last September, another church was desecrated in Mumbai .
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Card. Gracias: The desecration of the crucifix targets Mumbai’s interfaith harmony
Speaking to AsiaNews, the Archbishop of the city condemns the act of vandalism against the ancient statue of Jesus in the suburb of Vile Parle. "I ask the community to remain calm, because such actions must not destroy the harmony between people of different faiths."
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