Cross desecration in Holy Week upsets Mumbai Catholics
Mumbai: Police in Mumbai have registered a case against unknown people for desecrating a cross in the western Indian city.
Parishioners going for morning Mass at Gaothan village in Santacruz (West) on April 12 saw a garland of slippers around Jesus nailed on the cross. “I immediately intimated other neighbors and called the police,” said Mildred Carlos, a parishioner. The cross was below the skywalk on the station road.
The incident occurred two months after a statue of Mother Mary was desecrated at Kurla, some 10 km southeast of Santacruz.
Local people saw the latest incident as a case of mischief when Christians observe Holy Week, the time to commemorate the passion and death of Christ, The Times of India reported.
Police have registered a case for hurting religious sentiments and mischief causing damage under the Indian Penal Code. A police team visited the scene and took away CCTV footage. “We hope to crack the case soon,” said an officer.
Father Nigel Barrett, spokesman for the Archdiocese of Bombay, said the desecration has greatly disturbed the Catholics in the city. The priest said the Catholics revere cross as the sacrifice of Christ on the cross “actualizes the love of God for all humanity.”
The Church officials termed as worrisome and disturbing that the desecration occurred during Holy Week. “We do hope the police will be quick to take action,” he added.
Activist and advocate Godfrey Pimenta said, “We have been greatly disturbed by the desecration. We have also been informed that two vehicles belonging to the community, which had Christian symbols, have been damaged. This trend of damaging symbols of Christianity is on the rise every year, hurting religious sentiments of the community. We will protest if the accused are not caught and brought to book.”
Nicholas Almeida from the Watchdog Foundation said it had been done deliberately to hurt the religious sentiments of the community. The Bombay Catholic Sabha stated that the community cannot be a mute spectator to the mischievous act of deliberate vandalism.