FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: January 14, 2020
BROOKLYN CATHOLIC CHURCH ALTAR DESECRATED DURING MASS
Brooklyn – The Roman Catholic Diocese of Brooklyn is releasing the video of a heinous act of religious intolerance which occurred this past weekend, on Sunday, January 12, 2020, during the 9:30 a.m. Mass at St. Anthony of Padua, located at 862 Manhattan Avenue in the Greenpoint section of Brooklyn.
The attached video shows a man walking onto the church altar as Father Jossy Vattothu is celebrating the Mass. The perpetrator poured juice on the altar, desecrating the altar and interrupting the Mass. He also tossed some juice at the priest, staining his garments. The NYPD’s 94th Precinct responded quickly and the suspect, who was detained by church attendees, was arrested.
“During my years as a priest, nothing like this has ever happened. At first, as he approached the altar, I thought he had something to tell me. It is a miracle that the bread and wine were not damaged, and I was able to continue the Mass, consecrating the bread and wine into the body and blood of Jesus Christ,” said Father Jossy Vattothu.
“It’s really egregious that somebody would do that at the most sacred part of the Catholic Mass, which is the consecration. I think right now, people are scared given the current environment of anti-Semitic and anti-Catholic incidents. People are afraid to go to their house of worship,” said Monsignor Anthony Hernandez, Chancellor of the Diocese of Brooklyn.
“I pray for this person and do not know what was going through his mind. I am grateful for the parishioners who were so caring and consoled me after Mass. I would urge Catholics who attend mass to sit closer to the altar so that we as a faith community can be more together and make the priest feel more comfortable,” continued Father Vattothu.
Father Jossy Vattothu recently celebrated his 10th year as a priest. He is a priest of the religious order of the Carmelites of Mary Immaculate assigned to the Diocese of Brooklyn.
The video can be found at https://vimeo.com/384574133/