FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: May 14, 2021
CRUCIFIX OF JESUS TOPPLED AND DAMAGED IN HATE CRIME AT BROOKLYN CATHOLIC CHURCH
The Diocese of Brooklyn is announcing an act of vandalism that occurred in the early morning hours of today at St. Athanasius Roman Catholic Church, located in the Bensonhurst section of Brooklyn. The damaged Crucifix was discovered by the parish pastor, Monsignor David Cassato, around 8 a.m. on his walk from the rectory to the academy to greet the students.
The Crucifix displayed in the grass adjacent to the school, located at the corner of 61st Street and Bay Parkway, was found toppled over and lying face down. The statue of Jesus, the cross, and the display were all damaged in what is being investigated by the NYPD as a hate crime.
“This was truly an act of hatred and today is the saddest day of my twenty years here at this parish,” said Monsignor David Cassato. “I went over and spoke to the students in the school about what happened, telling them that hate never wins. We are, and must be, a community that continues to share the message of Easter, that which is of love, hope, and forgiveness.”
The Crucifix was installed at the parish in 2010 in memory of Monsignor Cassato’s mother. The parish plans to repair and reinstall the Crucifix in the same location.
Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers at (800) 577-TIPS (8477).