$2 Million Relic Stolen and Decapitated Angel Statue at Brooklyn Church: NPR

This image provided by the New York Police Department shows a missing tabernacle and a damaged angel statue in St. Augustine’s Roman Catholic Church in the Park Slope neighborhood of Brooklyn in New York, which was stolen between Thursday and Saturday .

NYPD via AP


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NYPD via AP


This image provided by the New York Police Department shows a missing tabernacle and a damaged angel statue in St. Augustine’s Roman Catholic Church in the Park Slope neighborhood of Brooklyn in New York, which was stolen between Thursday and Saturday .

NYPD via AP

Police say someone broke into the altar of a New York church, stole a $2 million gold relic and removed the head of an angel statue at some point in the end of last week.

The incident happened between 6:30 p.m. Thursday and 4 p.m. Saturday at St. Augustine’s Roman Catholic Church, known as “Notre Dame” in the Park Slope neighborhood of Brooklyn.

The church was closed for construction at the time. Camera footage from the church’s security system was also stolen, the church pastor said.

The Brooklyn Diocese called it a “brazen crime of disrespect and hate.”

The diocese said the thief or thieves broke through a protective metal casing and took away a tabernacle dating back to when the church opened in the 1890s.

The tabernacle, a box containing Holy Communion items, was 18-karat gold and decorated with jewelry, police and the diocese said. It is valued at $2 million.

The diocese said it is irreplaceable because of its historical and artistic value.

According to a guide posted on the church’s website, the tabernacle was built in 1895 and restored in 1952 and 2000.

It is described as a “masterpiece and one of the most expensive tabernacles in the country, guarded by its own security system”, which involves an “electronically controlled burglar-proof safe” and security plates. inch thick steel that “completely encloses the tabernacle”.

Statues of angels flanking the tabernacle were beheaded and destroyed, the diocese said. A safe in the sacristy, where priests prepare for mass, was also opened but there was nothing inside.

The Holy Eucharist, bread consecrated like the body of Christ, was taken from the tabernacle and thrown on the altar.

“It is devastating, because the Tabernacle is the center of our church outside of worship, containing the Body of Christ, the Eucharist, which is delivered to the sick and confined to the house,” said Reverend Frank Tumino, pastor. of Saint Augustine. in a press release issued by the diocese.

“Knowing that a burglar has entered the most sacred space of our beautiful church and taken great pains to break into a security system is a heinous act of disrespect,” Tumino said.

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