BRIDGEPORT, Conn. (CNS) — Police are investigating vandalism at St. Augustine Cathedral in Bridgeport where someone painted a swastika on the cathedral doors.
Police discovered the vandalism the morning of Jan. 4. No arrests had been reported in the vandalism as of midday Jan. 7.
Bishop Frank J. Caggiano of Bridgeport, who has been on a seven-day retreat with the rest of the U.S. bishops in Mundelein, Illinois, said he only learned of the incident the afternoon of Jan. 5.
In a statement issued later that day, Bishop Caggiano said: “I am appalled and outraged by this act of vandalism against the mother church of our diocese and this brazen and disgusting display of anti-Semitism, which is morally abhorrent and an affront to our Catholic faith.”
He added, “I am deeply disturbed and outraged that someone would violate the sanctity of our church.”
Bishop Caggiano also reached out to Jews in the Bridgeport area. “My thoughts and prayers are with our Jewish brothers and sisters in the city of Bridgeport and beyond,” he said. “We stand with you and condemn every form of anti-Semitism, racism, and bigotry wherever it may be found.”
The bishop added, “To use a clearly anti-Semitic symbol is participating in unspeakable evil. I know I speak for everyone at the cathedral parish and the diocese as we condemn the act, we condemn what it signifies, and we hope the perpetrator will be found.”
He said it was “deeply distressing to see such a display of hatred at a time when we need to strengthen our efforts to come together as a community in mutual respect and support,” adding, “I am deeply disturbed and outraged that someone would violate the sanctity of our church.”
The Connecticut Post reported that anti-Semitic acts and symbols have appeared in Connecticut in recent years.
In November, students at Amity Regional High School in Woodbridge reported they felt unsafe because of hate speech and anti-Semitic symbols appearing there. In 2017, the headmaster of Greenwich Country Day School found two swastikas in a hallway and in a school lounge. In 2014, two 14-year-olds were arrested for allegedly painting swastikas on a vacant home, a tree and several public signs in Putnam, in the northeastern part of the state. Schools in Stratford, Danbury, Greenwich, Ridgefield and Wilton have also seen drawings of swastikas over the years.
In a time to build, CatholicPhilly.com connects people and communities
As society emerges from the loss and separation of the pandemic, CatholicPhilly.com works to strengthen the connections between people, families and communities every day by delivering the news people need to know about the Catholic Church, especially in the Philadelphia region, and the world in which we live.
By your donation in any amount, you join in our mission to inform, form in the Catholic faith and inspire the thousands of readers who visit every month.
Here is how you can help:
- A $100 gift allows us to present award-winning photos of Catholic life in our neighborhoods.
- A $50 gift enables us to cover a news event in a local parish, school or Catholic institution.
- A $20 gift lets us obtain solid faith formation resources that can deepen your spirituality and knowledge of the faith.
- A small, automated monthly donation means you can support us continually and easily.
Won't you consider making a gift today?
Please join in the church's vital mission of communications by offering a gift in whatever amount that you can ― a single gift of $40, $50, $100, or more, or a monthly donation. Your gift will strengthen the fabric of our entire Catholic community.
Make your donation by credit card here:
Or make your donation by check:
222 N. 17th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103