Church vandalism ‘worse than usual’
St. Bonaventure Catholic Parish officials were greeted by an unpleasant display when they arrived for mass Sunday morning to find the church’s nativity scene vandalized.
St. Bonaventure Business Manager Nancy Cesar said the damages, which were discovered at approximately 6:30 a.m. Sunday morning, included drawings of 666, a swastika, phallic symbols, writings of “Hail Hitler” and curse words on the nativity figures in Sharpie marker.
A recent Los Angeles Times article reported another nativity display at a Huntington Beach home was also defaced. Huntington Beach Police didn’t return calls seeking comment but wrote in an email that there were no new developments as of Wednesday.
“Oh my gosh, it was so devastating and hurtful, I would say,” Cesar said. “Interestingly enough, they damaged everything but the figure of the virgin of Mary. They didn’t do anything to it.”
The figure of the baby Jesus was also not harmed since it traditionally isn’t added to the display until the church’s midnight mass on Christmas Eve.
Most of the writings were easily washed off with the rest being painted over, Cesar said.
Cesar said the church’s nativity, which is put up every year by the church’s Vietnamese group, is generally vandalized each year.
“Except not like this,” she said, “this one was really disgusting.”
While Cesar admitted the vandalism made her mad, it didn’t ruin the holiday for her or the church.
“We still had the same kind of attendance at our masses so we were happy, but we hope whoever did this would be found out and hopefully they don’t do it again,” she said.