Bishop expresses sadness over statues’ desecration
By Rhaydz B. Barcia
Bishop Joel “Bong” Z. Baylon of the Diocese of Legazpi has expressed sadness over the acts of vandalism on the statues of Nuestra Señora De Salvacion and Padre Pio at the St. Padre Pio Parish Church in Rawis, Legazpi City recently.
The prelate said that the irresponsible acts could have been done by people who were not in their right mind.
“I am really saddened by this unfortunate incident. Although I suspect the culprit(s) did not mean to destroy the images because they are still intact, still it is a most irresponsible act, which could only have been done by people who were not in their right mind. I pray that such acts of vandalism may not happen again,” Baylon said.
The images of Padre Pio and Nuestra Señora de Salvacion at the St.Padre Pio Parish Church was vandalized by unidentified suspects.
“And I pray for those who did it to realize the wrong they have done, whether it was intentional or not (were they under the influence of alcohol or illegal drugs?) May they feel and acknowledge at least some sense of responsibility for what they have done,” Baylon said.
When asked if the incident was first in Bicol, the prelate said that the first history of recorded church vandalism in the region occurred in the island province of Masbate.
“When I was in Masbate, the image of the Immaculate Conception at the Cathedral was literally decapitated because the head was stolen as it was (allegedly) made of ivory. I would not be surprised if there have been other such acts and incidents,” he said.
Rev. Fr. Bob Bañares discovered the desecration of the statues of the saints.
As a result of the incident, a security guard will be assigned to watch over the church premises. Police authorities are also conducting an investigation regarding the incident.