Washington D.C., Apr 21, 2021 / 10:00 am
The Diocese of Fargo and the Fargo Police Department are investigating an incident of vandalism outside the cathedral last weekend.
A statue of Jesus in front of St. Mary’s Cathedral in Fargo was defaced with black paint on its face. The diocese said it did not know exactly when the vandalism occurred overnight between Friday, April 16, and Saturday, April 17.
By Monday, the paint had been removed, however. The diocese said it did not know who removed the paint, and would look for any permanent damage done to the statue.
The marble statue was originally sent to the cathedral from a parish in Cincinnati which had closed. The Diocese of Fargo installed the statue outside of St. Mary’s Cathedral in May 2018.
A spokesperson for the diocese told the local news station KVLY that the diocese would be praying for the person who committed the vandalism, hoping that he or she would “someday have an encounter with the face of Christ themselves.”
This is the second act of vandalism at a Catholic church in the Fargo area in recent years. In 2018, a statue of the Virgin Mary was decapitated at St. Anthony of Padua Catholic Church in South Fargo.
The incident follows a series of acts of vandalism and arson at U.S. Catholic churches last year, which has continued into 2021.
In January, someone attempted arson at the cathedral of the Diocese of Toledo, painting the message “Jesus is Black” on the outside wall and causing an estimated $5,000 in damage.