Statues turned to face wall, candles flipped in Hanford church

Tabernacle carried across the street from Immaculate Heart of Mary
Immaculate Heart of Mary - from ABC broadcast

Immaculate Heart of Mary – from ABC broadcast

The following comes from a May 30 story on ABC News, Fresno.

Leaders and parishioners of a Catholic church in Hanford are devastated after learning their place of worship was set on fire and vandalized Sunday night.

Wine was spilled, windows and pictures were smashed, holy robes and other items burnt and broken. And an entire congregation is shocked and saddened by what took place after the last service on Sunday night.

Inside of church

Inside of church – wine spilled, windows and pictures smashed, vestments burned

“I have seen many people sitting and weeping in the pews throughout the course of the morning,” said Teresa Dominguez, diocese of Fresno chancellor.

Police are calling the arson, burglary, and vandalism at Hanford’s Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic Church a hate crime and have identified the suspect as 33-year-old Oscar Ruiz. They said Ruiz admitted to the damage and told them he was upset with the Vatican.

Ruiz - angry at the Vatican

Ruiz – angry at the Vatican

“And you’re asking the question, what have we done to upset you so much that you would come into this place of worship, God’s house, and create such violent acts,” said Dominguez.

Violent acts, but sometimes also strange. Statues were turned to face walls, candles flipped upside down and filled with wine. Church officials said the suspect somehow lifted the extremely heavy tabernacle and carried it across the street. But they’re grateful that what is most sacred wasn’t desecrated.

“It’s Christ among us, and so the Eucharist for us as Catholics is the source and summit of all that we are,” said Dominguez.

Diocese of Fresno Bishop Armando Ochoa surveyed the damage while parishioners gathered and prayed….

The church will keep their same schedule but mass may be held in an outdoor pavilion. Other events like weddings and baptisms will be moved to other area parishes.

 

 

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  1. Why was he so upset at the Vatican? Maybe the guy is mentally ill?

  2. Campion says:

    Just as with typical businesses now, it seems that every church needs to have cameras and monitoring for the safety of people and the prevention of vandalism. Our Lady of Peace Shrine in Santa Clara, which is open 24/7, had to go to that some years ago, and since then, vandalism has been virtually eliminated.

  3. Patrick says:

    Obviously, there is some level of possession affecting this man.
    Pray for his liberation.
    In Jesus name I pray that all evil spirits or demons leave this man and go to the foot of Christ, for our Lord to deal with them, then I ask that all empty spaces in this man be filled with the Holy Spirit.
    Amen

  4. “Book ’em Dano”

  5. This is plain and simple a hate crime. If this would have been done to any other religious faith it would have been called a hate crime. The persecution of the Catholic Church and the faithful is almost in full gear in North America. Pray, Pray, Pray!

    • John, everyone agrees it was a hate crime: “Police are calling the arson, burglary, and vandalism at Hanford’s Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic Church a hate crime “

  6. Sad and awful as it is, it clearly shows satan is desperate as his time of influence over the earth is soon to end. Praise God, He will always triumph over evil!

  7. This is so sad, however, rather than jail time, his restitution should be to clean up his mess, restore all he has destroyed monetarily and ATTEND DAILY MASS there so that Jesus, Himself, may exorise Satan from within him and convert him with His model of Charity and Mercy.

  8. Linda Maria says:

    This VIOLENT JUVENILE DELINQUENT needs a STRONG PUNISHMENT!! Since the 1960’s, we have seen hateful, violent, liberal leftist, anti-Church, anti-society, social activists, bully others for their causes, committing babyish terrorist acts of violence, complete with death threats– until they got their way! Kids see this, and copy it! So IGNORANT!! Kids need to learn RESPECT for others, and to INTELLIGENTLY seek to address and fix “evils” in the world today! This dumb kid needed to learn to USE HIS BRAIN to intelligently THINK ABOUT HIS CONFLICTS– and WRITE AN INTELLIGENT LETTER TO THE VATICAN!!

  9. Anonymous says:

    Will whats come around goes around..only GOD can punish tje bad…

  10. Linda Maria says:

    This is true, as Anonymous said, “what goes around, comes around!” And it is also true, as other posters have stated, that this criminal is in the jaws of Satan! The Church needs to become very holy, worldwide, and also have many daily devotions of Our Lady, who can easily crush the evil of Satan, with her beautiful– and swift!– graces! The Church should listen closely to the messages of Our Lady of Fatima, to the shepherd children! And ignore the secular world!

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