While the Palm Sunday celebrations were taking place at the Cathedral of Immaculate Conception in Port-of-Spain yesterday, a medical student took out a pair of dumbbells and damaged the statue of St Paul and desecrated the crucifix that was supposed to be used on Good Friday.
Yesterday signalled the start of the Holy Week on the Christian calendar.
The Holy Week begins with Palm Sunday which commemorates Jesus Christ’s triumphant arrival in Jerusalem to the cheers of the crowd.
Msgr Christian Pereira led the Palm Sunday mass at the Minor Basilica of the Immaculate Conception at Independence Square, Port-of-Spain, yesterday morning.
“During the 6.30 am celebration of Palm Sunday at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception one member of the congregation, who is a medical student, walked into the church with a knapsack containing a pair of dumbbells,” a release from Pereira stated yesterday.
“As the congregation gathered in the forecourt for the Blessing of the Palms and the procession this gentleman proceeded to destroy the Statue of St Paul and the crucifix,” the release stated.
Pereira said the damage was “well advanced” before one of the regular worshippers, an officer with SWAT Estate Police, was able to suppress the student and hold him until the police from the nearby Besson Street Police Station could arrive.
The student’s mother was contacted, and the police had intended to release him into the care of his mother.
“Even though the reality is that a crime had been committed against the church and the desecration of sacred items there is a deeper issue than that of criminal activity,” Pereira stated.
Pereira said the cost of repair and replacement will have to be borne by the worshippers who continue to be faithful.
“The mother has more important responsibilities than finding money to compensate the church,” he stated.
Pereira said the damage was considerable and the crucifix is the one usually used in our Good Friday Liturgy.
Good Friday is the day which commemorates the day Jesus Christ was crucified.
Source: www.guardian.co.tt (Joel Julien)