By Tim Harfmann
Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams joined religious and other political leaders outside the 90th police precinct in Williamsburg. “We must send the right message to those who are attempting to divide us,” said Adams.
It’s an ecumenical effort after two angel statues were destroyed outside Our Lady of Consolation Church on Sunday, December 2nd. Leaders offered to make personal donations to replace the statues. “All of us have our particular faith traditions, but we’re all catholic with a small ‘c’ because it means universal,” said Rabbi Joseph Potasnik, executive vice president for the New York Board of Rabbis. “We must stand up and add our voice that we are our brother’s keeper. That is why we are here together,” said Adams.
Monsignor Kieran Harrington, vicar for communications for the Diocese of Brooklyn, said the gesture is appreciated, but encouraged them to donate towards issues such as homelessness and drug addiction. “Maybe we ought to be focusing, as a matter of public policy, on solving deeper problems that are causing some of the fracturing and breaking of our society,” said Monsignor Harrington.
The NYPD is investigating the incident as a possible hate crime. Surveillance video captured an individual urinating on the two sculptures before pushing them off their platforms, shattering to the ground. The suspect is described as a 30-year-old male around six-feet-tall and weighing 190 lbs. He has brown hair and was last seen wearing beige pants and a dark pea coat.
It is reportedly the sixth time in eight years that statues have been desecrated outside Our Lady of Consolation Church, located on Metropolitan Avenue between Bedford Avenue and Berry Street.
Religious leaders had a message for the vandal. “We welcome all people. We all have made mistakes — some worse than others. There’s room for everyone, but you have show that you’re sincere before you are forgiven,” said Rabbi Potasnik. “We’ll forgive you for breaking a statue. If you need help, we’re here to help you in any way we can,” said Monsignor Harrington.
No word yet on when the statues will be replaced at the Williamsburg church. Anyone with information is urged to contact CRIMESTOPPERS at 800-577-TIPS or texting their tip to CRIMES then enter TIP-5-7-7.