FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: May 6, 2021
BISHOP DIMARZIO DENOUNCES VANDALISM OF STATUE IN MCCARREN PARK DEDICATED TO POLISH PRIEST WHO FOUGHT FOR FREEDOM
The Most Reverend Nicholas DiMarzio, Bishop of Brooklyn, is releasing the following statement in response to the vandalism discovered late Tuesday in Brooklyn’s McCarren Park, to the statue of Father Jerzy Popieluszko, a Polish priest killed for his resistance to communism:
“It is disheartening to learn the statue of Father Jerzy Popieluszko, a man who devoted his life to the advancement of freedom and liberty, has been vandalized once again. This statue has long stood in Greenpoint’s McCarren Park in tribute to a Polish priest who is revered by Catholics, and the Polish community, for his courage and leadership in championing peaceful resistance to Communism. I definitely consider this despicable act to be a hate crime and would encourage the NYPD to classify it as such,” said Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio.
Father Jerzy Popieluszko was ordained a priest at the age of 24. He was captured on October 19, 1984, beat to death with a rock and thrown into the Vistula River at the age of 37. Father Popieluszko utilized Radio Free Europe to spread his message of nonviolence in the wake of the Communist movement. He also served as a chaplain to the Solidarity movement and trade union which opposed the ideas of a Communist government.
During a period of martial law declared by the Communist Party, Father Jerzy celebrated monthly “Masses for the Homeland,” which advocated for human rights and attracted large crowds. Father Popieluszko was declared a martyr of the Catholic Church by Pope Benedict XVI in 2009 and was beatified on June 6, 2010. An investigation is ongoing into a miracle that took place in France through the intercession of Father Popieluszko.
Anyone with information is encouraged to contact the NYPD Crime Stoppers at 1-877-577-8477 or you can submit a tip through the NYPD website.