Another Catholic Sanctuary Desecrated in Israel

Source: FSSPX News

The Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem has denounced the desecration of the Church of St. Stephen in the monastery of Beit Jimal, west of Jerusalem. 

The vandals smashed a statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary and stained-glass windows representing important passages from the life of Jesus.

“This is not only an act of vandalism, but an action against the sacredness of the holy places and the faith of people,” declared Bishop Boulos Marcuzzo, patriarchal vicar in Jerusalem and Palestine, on Wednesday, September 20, 2017, during his visit to the Church of St. Stephen in Beit Jimal. 

According to the Times of Israel, the vandals took special care to shatter the faces of the icons and of those depicted on the windows.

This was not the first attack on the church, remarks Raphaël Zbinden on In December 2015, the convent cemetery was vandalized and several tombstone crosses were destroyed.

In 2013, several Jewish extremists from the group “Price Tag” attacked the building with Molotov cocktails. They also wrote “Death to Idolaters” on the façade.

On September 5, the patriarchs and heads of the Churches and Christian communities of Jerusalem published a joint statement accusing Israel of seeking to “weaken the Christian presence in the Holy Land” and denouncing “a systematic attempt to undermine the integrity of the Holy City”.