Vandals hit a Fort Worth Catholic church twice on the same day over the weekend, stealing a statue on their last trip to the church, beheading it and then leaving it at a middle school football field.
The beheaded statue with its arm broken was discovered Monday morning at Ed Willkie Middle School in Fort Worth.
The vandals hit St. Thomas the Apostle Catholic Church twice on Sunday, vandalizing the church early in the morning and then returning that night to steal the statue of St. Thomas the Apostle, church officials said.
No one has been arrested in the case.
Church surveillance video showed two young people on property at the time of the vandalism.
Officials at the Catholic Diocese of Fort Worth released this statement on Tuesday:
“Vandalism of property is always wrong. When that property holds religious and spiritual significance such vandalism carries with it the sin of sacrilege and shows a disposition of hatred,” according to the statement. “The recent vandalism including destruction of a statue at St. Thomas the Apostle Catholic Church is not only disrespectful of that parish and of the Catholic community but is also hostile to God.”
The vandals hit first at about 3 a.m. Sunday at the church, 5953 Bowman Roberts Road in Fort Worth. Two outdoor statues, St. Thomas the Apostle and The Blessed Virgin Mary, were pushed off their pedestals and damaged.
In addition, power to the church was turned off.
Officials withe Catholic Diocese of Fort Worth said parishioners placed the statues back on their pedestals.
At about 11 p.m. Sunday, the vandals returned and stole St. Thomas the Apostle statue. The damaged statue was found Monday just a few blocks from the church at the middle school. The school is in Fort Worth, but it’s part of the Eagle Mountain-Saginaw school district.
Last summer, vandals hit two Lewisville Catholic churches in the Catholic Diocese of Fort Worth, but the incidents were unrelated to each other.
An outdoor statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary was spray-painted at Our Lady of Lebanon Church in Lewisville, and an outdoor display of crosses were damaged at St. Philip the Apostle Church in Lewisville, according to church officials.
Police reports were filed in both cases.
“We pray for the conversion of those who perpetrated these actions and we ask for the protection by God of all of our churches, schools, and especially of our parishioners and faculty, staff, and students of our schools,” officials at the diocese said in a statement.