“I encourage all Catholics to participate in this event, as we pray that all religious communities would be free to worship without fear and to continue to bless this great country,” Dolan said in a statement released Friday.
The rosary will be held at 1:30 p.m. EST, and will be live streamed.
“Religious art instructs and inspires. It reminds us that we live most fully when we direct our lives toward our Creator and our neighbors,” Dolan said. “On the other hand, the defacement of such public symbols of the sacred degrades our life together and harms the common good.”
Police have shared surveillance footage that shows a man wearing a mask approaching the Marian statue located outside the basilica. The man steps up to the statue, withdraws a mallet or hammer-like tool, and appears to strike at the statue’s hands. He climbs back down only to step up again and repeatedly whack at the statute’s face, sending pieces of marble flying.
The basilica spokesperson told CNA the cost of the Carrara marble statue’s replacement is “to be determined.” No decision has been made yet about when or how the existing statue will be removed and disposed of, the spokesperson said.
The statue is valued at $250,000, according to a police report obtained by CNA. The case is not being treated as a hate crime, police have said.
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